There have been a lot of rumors that Facebook is developing a cryptocurrency for WhatsApp (one of the world’s most popular messaging services globally).
There is no official press release from Facebook that I can find, but there are reputable entities reporting on this including the New York Times (see: Facebook and Telegram Are Hoping to Succeed Where Bitcoin Failed; note that the idea Bitcoin failed is something most would disagree with, but still…).
The gist of this “Facebook / WhatsApp coin” is that is, if we trust reports, a price stable crypto with some centralized features that is aiming for a launch in the first half of 2019.
This is exciting because it is yet another example of a major U.S. / global company embracing crypto. We have JPMorgan coin, Facebook / WhatsApp coin (almost definitely going to be nicknamed ‘Zuckercoin’ on social media), Telegram coin, an ICE futures exchange and custody solution (Bakkt), a Fidelity exchange [I think] and custody solution, etc.
Bitcoin may be in a bear market, but from indie devs, to the big players of crypto (Ethereum devs, Bitcoin devs, Binance devs, etc), to the major institutions of the world, there are lots of people pushing crypto forward and setting up for the next phase.
That is bullish for the future of cryptocurrency adoption almost any way you look at it. In the sense that while Bitcoin price action may seem a bit like mania and fad, the demand and use-case for online payment systems using crypto tech is clearly legit enough to get the world’s biggest players committing resources and launching products for their online platforms.
For more reading, see CoinDesk’s Facebook Plans Cryptocurrency Launch in First Half of 2019: NYT Report.
NOTE: Gemini is a major crypto exchange that launched a NYC regulated stable coin this year. That exchange is owned by the Winklevoss twins, the ones who had a part in Facebook’s early history. Interesting to see everything coming full circle in the land of things internet.