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Facebook eyes remittance market in India; developing crypto for WhatsApp transfers


Social networking giant Facebook may become the first tech firm to develop a digital currency of its own.

The social networking firm is planning to develop a stable cryptocurrency for its messaging app users, said sources close to the company. Its prime focus is on the remittances market in India, which is considered largest in the world.

Last year, people sent around $69 billion as remittances to India, according to the World Bank.

The company’s concept is to create a digital coin reportedly called Stablecoin that would be far easier to use on daily purchases and whose value is tied to the dollar. The design of this coin is slated to be less volatile than Bitcoin.

Once in place, this is said to smoothen and increase transparency of network transfers.

The social networking giant has also created a fresh team to explore the potential of blockchain technology and leverage it for the development of the currency, said a Bloomberg report.

However, this is completely opposite to the company’s stand in past. Earlier this year, Facebook had imposed a crypto ad ban, which it said was designed to prevent ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.

The company considers India as one of its key markets.

With over 200 million users in the country, Whatsapp is one of the most popular apps. In January, the company rolled out WhatsApp Business, to allow businesses to create a profile and send messages to their customers on the app.

As per the latest report, the Facebook-owned platform is also working closely with the Indian government, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and multiple banks, including payment service providers to expand its payments feature for the masses.

At present, WhatsApp Pay is available for around 1 million users as a part of a beta launch.

Last Month, Whatsapp had hired Abhijit Bose as the country head for India. Bose is entrusted with the job of building WhatsApp’s first full country team outside of California which will be based in Gurugram.

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