Facebook is developing a cryptocurrency for WhatsApp

Tyrone Stewart

WhatsAppFacebook is reportedly working on a cryptocurrency that will enable users of its WhatsApp messaging app to transfer money.

The tech giant will develop a stablecoin, a type of digital currency linked to the US dollar, in order to minimise volatility, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. It will use this stablecoin to first focus on the payments market in India.

The plans are said to still be in their early stages – the company still working on a strategy, including a plan for custody assets or regular currencies that would be held to protect the value of the cryptocurrency.

In 2014, Facebook hired former PayPal president David Marcus to run its Messenger app. Marcus would become the head of company’s blockchain initiatives in May of this year, and the company’s blockchain group now has around 40 employees.

“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” a Facebook spokesman said. “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”