Facebook hopes to "succeed where Bitcoin failed" with its highly secretive cryptocurrency project, according to a New York Times (NYT) article released today, Feb. 28.
Citing several anonymous sources who spoke under cover of anonymity, the Times collects the alleged outline of the project, which would aim to incorporate cryptocurrency payments into its courier services.
Facebook plans to reorganize its messaging infrastructure and integrate its three applications to 100% – WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram – under a canopy. As the Times notes, this would provide a future encryption token covering the 2.7 billion combined users who use the three services each month.
The Times note is an encrypted payment system that would work from a messaging system, is an idea strongly pursued by several global messaging giants, such as Kakao in Korea, Line in Japan and Telegram developed in Russia.
According to the NYT, Facebook has launched its cryptography project – led by PayPal's former president, David Marcus – shortly after Telegram sealed nearly $ 1.7 billion worth of two private tender towers. ICO parts for its future Token and Chain Platform, Telegram Open Network (TON).
Facebook has reportedly employed more than 50 engineers to develop its cryptocurrency, said three unnamed sources at the NYT. Two others told the newspaper that the importance of keeping the project secret is such that the team involved has an office with separate access by key card to keep the details confidential information of other employees.
In particular, five sources claiming to have been informed of the team's work stated that the upcoming piece was the most likely to be a fixed fiat currency – linked to the value of three different national fiat currencies, rather than alone.
The NYT notes, citing unnamed sources, that Facebook has already started buying the "Facebook coin" for unidentified encrypted exchanges.
The issue of centralization – and the extent to which Facebook will allow the decentralization of its digital coin transactions – remains irrelevant, according to the NYT. In addition, the Times quotes industry experts who have argued that Facebook would likely face the same technological limitations and regulatory hurdles as robust crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).
As noted, unconfirmed reports on Facebook's plans to embed cryptocurrency for WhatsApp users surfaced in December 2018. At that time, anonymous sources also suggested that the token would be a stablecoin.
As reported by Cointelegraph, the latest information on the project matches last year's job offers for blockchain talents on Facebook's career page.