Facebook is reportedly making a cryptocurrency for users of the messaging service WhatsApp, Bloomberg reports on Dec. 20. The token will purportedly be used for money transfers made within the app, and will focus on the remittances market in India.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg states that Facebook is developing a stablecoin. The sources further stated that the coin will not be released anytime soon, as Facebook is still working on a strategy for custody assets i.e. the asset to which the stablecoin will be tied.

The Indian remittances market is significant. According to data from the World Bank, the country received nearly $69 billion dollars in foreign remittances in 2017, or 2.8 percent of the country’s GDP.

WhatsApp enjoys widespread popularity in India, with over 200 million users in the country. The number of users in rural India doubled last year as data and internet costs in the region declined.

Facebook’s stance on cryptocurrency has changed significantly over the last year. In January 2018, the social media network introduced a crypto ad ban, which it said was designed to prevent “ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

In May, David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s messaging app Messenger, announced the formation of a blockchain exploratory team at Facebook. At the time, Marcus was also a board member at San Francisco-based crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase.

Marcus then wrote “I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” Facebook repealed its blanket ban on crypto ads in late June, while upholding its ban on the promotion of initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In August, Marcus stepped down from Coinbase’s board in order to avoid a perceived conflict of interest. He said “Because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain, I’ve decided it was appropriate for me to resign…”

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Fintech is believed to be a “systemic risk” to the broader economy, according to a survey conducted by the United States Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Dec. 11.

20 percent of respondents to the so-called “DTCC Systemic Risk Barometer,” identified fintech among the system risks for the global economy in 2019. The results are up from 15 percent in last year’s survey.

Stephen Scharf, DTCC’s Managing Director and Chief Security Officer, declared that the increased concern over fintech “demonstrates a growing awareness of the potential risk and highlights the need to evaluate both risks and rewards associated with fintech initiatives.” He then explained:

“As the industry continues to adopt fintech innovations, like blockchain, AI and cloud solutions, we must ensure that those innovations do not jeopardize the safety and security of the current global financial marketplace.”

Figures in traditional finance have often proven wary of cryptocurrency and the technology behind it, blockchain. As Cointelegraph reported mid-November, an Executive of the European Central Bank (ECB) defined Bitcoin the “evil spawn of the [2008] financial crisis.”

This month Andreas Utermann, the CEO of major investment management firm Allianz, declared that crypto assets should be “outlawed” during a panel in London. On the same panel, Andrew Bailey, the head of United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) argued that crypto assets lack “intrinsic value.”

This post is credited to cointelegraph

Although the prices of Cryptocurrencies around the world have been in the bearish zone for quite a while now, blockchain adoption has not in anyway reduced. Based on a recent report, an Investment funds transaction network called Calastone, has announced plans to move its entire system to the blockchain and launch the world-first blockchain powered global funds marketplace.

Calastone to Complete Move by May 2019

Calastone which is also a founding member of the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger Project made it known that it is likely to complete the movement of its data to the blockchain before the end of next year’s Q2. The firm has named the network it will be switching to — the Distributed Market Infrastructure (DMI).

Based on information sourced from the firm’s official page, Calastone mainly helps its numerous clients with the sales of their fund globally, through the use of banks and financial advisors.

It was also made known that Calastone’s client list consists of top-ranking financial institutions like JP Morgan Asset Management, Invesco and Shroders. The firm also made it known that it services “more than 1,700 organizations for which it offers back office and even middle office services in 40 global markets.”
According to the press release from Calastone, this switch is going to “radically transform how funds are traded especially in an era of rising costs by creating a global funds marketplace that will allow both buyers and sellers to connect and transact.”

Calastone has also made it known that this move is going to lead to more than “9 million messages involving transactions that are passed between various counterparties completed on the blockchain.”

Saving Money

The firm also made it known that the switch to blockchain technology from a preexisting centralized system for trades settlement in the United States known as the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, is estimated to save the “global fund industry approximately US $4.3 billion in annual costs outside of the U.S. market”.

This post is credited to coindoo