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Facebook is building its own digital currency to power money transfers on Whatsapp, report claims

Facebook is reportedly working on a digital currency to enable money transfers on its messaging service WhatsApp.

The social network has plans to launch its cryptocurrency in India first to benefit from the countries growing mobile payments market, according to a new report.

The news comes just months after Facebook revealed plans to launch a blockchain group to study how it could use the technology for a secure online database of transactions.

Blockchain, also known as distributed ledger technology, is a shared database that provides a public record of changes in the ownership of an asset, such as a cryptocurrency.

Facebook's blockchain team, led by former PayPal executive David Marcus, is believed to be working on plans for a WhatsApp "stablecoin" - a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin that would be pegged to the US dollar to reduce volatility. 

The plans for a cryptocurrency are in the early stages, according to people familiar with the matter speaking to Bloomberg.

A Facebook spokesman said: "Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share."

So-called stablecoins are online tokens designed to match the value of real-world current, meaning they can be used to send payments.

The Telegraph

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