Facebook’s Digital Currency to Reportedly Be Called “GlobalCoin”
It was only a few weeks ago that word came down that Facebook was still hard at work developing their own cryptocurrency and getting partners on board. Now it seems those plans are firming up, with a potential name and launch timeframe emerging. According to BBC News the digital currency has been referred to internally as GlobalCoin and Facebook hopes to bring it to a number of markets as early as the Q1 2020.
The BBC reports that the social network is planning to reveal details about the project sometime this summer. Previously it was reported that Facebook was holding discussions with the likes of Visa and Mastercard, while the BBC notes the company has spoken with Western Union as well. Interestingly it also seems that Mark Zuckerberg and company are looking to stay on the right side of regulators with their cryptocurrency, apparently seeking advice from the U.S. Treasury and Zuckerberg meeting with Bank of England governor Mark Carney. None of the companies or agencies involved cared to comment.
Speaking of regulation, one potential challenge Facebook could face lies in India. While the country is said to be a priority for the GlobalCoin project, India has proven to be hostile toward cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, back at home, the company has been enduring scrutiny on a number of fronts unrelated to digital currencies. Surely these scandals will be resurrected if and when Facebook does try to bring GlobalCoin to the U.S. and those who worry about Facebook’s record on privacy might think twice about giving the platform access to their financial transaction history.
Of course it’s impossible to underplay the power Facebook has and what a potential entry into digital currency could mean for the space. To put things in perspective, London School of Economics researcher Garrick Hileman conservatively estimates that there are currently 30 million cryptocurrency users worldwide. Compare that to the 2.4 billion monthly users Facebook has and it’s easy to see that GlobalCoin could be a breakthrough.
Apparently those involved in Facebook’s cryptocurrency project already admit that their current timetable is ambitious. Moreover it’s clear that the company will face some major hurdles along their path to launching GlobalCoin or whatever the eventual name comes to be. Nevertheless, if it can overcome these challenges and execute the coin well, it will almost certainly change the course of cryptocurrencies — for better or worse.