Not only Facebook, highly-encrypted mobile communications apps Telegram and Signal are also on the job to roll out new cryptocurrencies over the next year, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
“The most anticipated but secretive project is underway at Facebook. The company is working on a coin that users of WhatsApp, which Facebook owns, could send to friends and family instantly,” said the report, citing people familiar with the project.
Telegram, with an estimated 300 million users globally, is also working on a digital coin.
“Signal has its own coin in the works. And so do the biggest messaging applications in South Korea and Japan, Kakao and Line,a the report mentioned.
With Facebook’s plan to merge its three platforms — Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram – the digital currency would reach nearly “2.7 billion people who use one of the three apps each month”.
Last year, David Marcus, a long-time in-charge of Facebook Messenger, said in a blog post that he is setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.
Facebook also promoted one of its senior engineers Evan Cheng as the Director of Engineering at its Blockchain division, signalling the importance of the project.
According to Zuckerberg, the users may soon login to Facebook with Blockchain-based authentication.
In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain late last month, Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology.
“I’m thinking about going back to decentralised or Blockchain authentication. Although I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out but this is around authentication and basically granting access to your information and to different services,” Zuckerberg told Zittrain.
According to him, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps.
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of Blockchain technology,” Facebook said in an earlier statement.