Facebook is reportedly developing its own digital cryptocurrency in an effort to compete with popular tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, according to new reports on the world’s largest social media platform. While rumors have been swirling for months about a supposed relationship between Facebook and leading cryptocurrency exchanges, it was recently confirmed that the company is skipping the middleman altogether and hopes to develop its own digital token.
According to sources who spoke to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity, Facebook will be developing its new cryptocurrency on its WhatsApp messaging platform, which the company acquired for $19 billion back in 2014. Facebook’s new digital token is reportedly so far along in its development that the social media platform has already held conversations with leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
Facebook hopes to differentiate its forthcoming digital token from existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin by making it more acceptable for everyday transactions. While mainstream cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin are largely used as investment assets rather than as everyday cash, Facebook hopes that its new token can be leveraged through the WhatsApp messenger to send money directly to your closest family members and friends.
Facebook isn’t the only tech company hoping to piggyback on the rapid growth of the cryptocurrency in recent years, either; according to an investigation from the New York Times, Telegram is also developing its own digital coin that it hopes will come to replace physical cash. Both Facebook and Telegram reportedly believe that existing cryptocurrencies aren’t suitable enough for everyday use and believe they could profit off their large user bases by offering the coin directly to consumers through coin exchanges.
Facebook’s new cryptocurrency doesn’t have a name yet, however, and mystery still surrounds the development of the forthcoming coin. The news comes at the time when the Bitcoin price is continuously sliding. The team at Facebook working on the cryptocurrency, is reportedly quarantined from the rest of the staff, equipped with its own private working space that’s only accessible via a secure keycard.
Cryptocurrencies aren’t the only reason Facebook is in the news. The world’s largest social media platform has also recently snatched international headlines thanks to the testimony of Ethan Lindenberger, an 18-year-old from Ohio who defied his anti-vax parents in order to inoculate himself from preventable diseases.
Appearing before a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the teenager testified that his parents had been exposed to fake information on Facebook’s platform that vaccines cause autism, according to the Washington Post. The Center for Disease Control continues to remind the public that vaccines do not cause autism and are vital for public health.