More details about Facebook’s cryptocurrency project have come to light. The project, which was nicknamed ‘Project Libra,’ has apparently also been internally referred to as ‘GlobalCoin’–which could say quite a bit about the company’s intentions for the project.
The BBC said that the company is planning on “setting up a digital payments system in about a dozen countries by the first quarter of 2020.” Facebook will begin testing the coin by the end of this year.
The fact that the currency has been named ‘GlobalCoin’ and not something like ‘FacebookCoin’ or ‘WhatsAppCoin’ could be indicative of hopes that the currency will eventually be used off of Facebook and WhatsApp as a common global currency.
Facebook is apparently attempting to prepare the GlobalCoin network as a cheap and efficient system for sending remittances and is in talks with Western Union and other money transfer firms to “discover cheaper and faster ways for people without a bank account to send and receive money,” according to the BBC.
’GlobalCoin’ Could Transform the forex and Remittance Industries
Finance Magnates reported in March that Facebook’s coin could seriously disrupt the forex and remittance industries. This is because if properly implemented, the currency could easily be used as a quick, cheap vehicle to carry value across currencies.
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Konstantin Brazhnik, Chief Technology Officer of the Juris Project, told Finance Magnates that “in the US, we take our fiat currency for granted, after all, it is the de facto global reserve currency.”
“However as soon as one steps a foot outside of the US borders, they feel the pain of global currencies that fluctuate with market and political forces,” he explained. “A Facebook or Telegram has the potential to smooth these volatilities in a way that consumers will flock to them just to avoid the uncomfortable and obsolete practice of fiat currency exchange.”
If GlobalCoin manages to get the support it needs to be easily paid into and cashed out of, it could become the defacto cross-border currency for much of the world.
Whatever will happen, the project is moving forward. Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly also been in contact with Bank of England governor Mark Carney–the two met last month to discuss the risks and opportunities associated with launching a cryptocurrency.
Facebook is also reportedly in talks with a number of online merchants, seeking e-commerce partners who might be willing to accept its cryptocurrency as payment.