Social media giant Facebook is reportedly planning to announce its cryptocurrency, GlobalCoin, later this month, June 2019, and could even allow employees working on the project to accept payment in the cryptocurrency, which is said to be a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar.
According to The Information (via CNBC), the company will let users trade, store, and exchange its cryptocurrency for fiat currency through Facebook’s apps, including messaging platforms Messenger and WhatsApp.
Per the report, the firm is also planning to deploy physical “ATM-like machines” that will allow users to buy its cryptocurrency GlobalCoin. This would allow its over 2 billion users to easily get access to its cryptocurrency, and to exchange money between countries in a seamless way.
Facebook itself could benefit from the move as it’ll allow it to diversify beyond advertising, which currently makes up nearly all of its revenue. The social media giant’s ad model has been criticized by its users and by lawmakers over the way it uses detailed user information.
It’s worth pointing out that this month we could merely see Facebook announce GlobalCoin and not launch it for its users yet, as according to a report from last month the company is looking to launch the cryptocurrency in the first quarter of next year.
The report, initially published by the BBC, noted that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been in contact with U.S. Treasury officials and with the UK’s central bank governor Mark Carney to get “advice on operational and regulatory issues.”
The Information’s report adds that operating chief Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehner have been “skeptical of the initiative internally,” and that Facebook is asking third-party organizations to act as “nodes” to help manage its cryptocurrency’s network.
$10 Million to Operate a GlobalCoin Node
Facebook is reportedly looking to set up 100 nodes, and the report adds that, to have the privilege operate a node for its GlobalCoin, Facebook has discussed charging firms $10 million. This would bring in $1 billion for the company. As covered, a Barclays analyst has suggested Facebook could see up to $19 billion in additional revenue until 2021 from its crypto project.
Cryptocurrency nodes are used to validate transactions on a network. On the Bitcoin blockchain, for example, these are decentralized and can easily be set up by anyone. Facebook is reportedly creating a foundation with several partners to manage its nodes.
Previous reports have revealed Facebook was in contact with companies like Visa and MasterCard, to establish partnerships before launching a cryptocurrency-based payments system.