Facebook has launched a new Fintech startup in Switzerland called ‘Libra Networks,’ which seemingly aims to support its cryptocurrency payments plan that it is developing.
So far, little is known publicly about the project, but according to the Swiss commercial register, the social network is a stakeholder in the new Geneva-based company which was set up to develop financial and technology services and provide related infrastructure and software.
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Facebook’s original initiative, dubbed ‘Project Libra,’ includes a stablecoin pegged to a basket of different foreign currencies, rather than just the US dollar, which users of WhatsApp messaging service could use to send money to one another.
This super secretive cryptocurrency project has prompted US Senators to ask Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to provide information on the company’s project.
Facebook has been rumored to be involved with cryptocurrencies for at least a year now. The new approach has been part of a broader effort to delve deeper into the financial services business that eventually creates new revenue streams.
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Per a report by The New York Times, sources familiar with the project revealed that more than 50 engineers are currently working on the new cryptocurrency that will be functional over the company-owned WhatsApp network. It seems like the company has also rapidly expanded its blockchain department making many new hires recently.
The report also cited five people familiar with the project as saying the company is working to connect its encrypted mobile-messaging apps with Instagram to extend the reach of its cryptocurrency to over 2.7 billion global users.
A previous report also claims that the Facebook coin may be initially launched in Asia and that the new cryptocurrency may first see the light in India thanks to its burgeoning population of 1.3 billion people, out of which WhatsApp has a hold on 200 million.
Earlier this month, Facebook decided to ease its restrictions on cryptocurrency-related advertising to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events.