Facebook is planning to launch GlobalCoin, its very own form of cryptocurrency, in about a dozen countries in 2020. Facebook wants to start testing GlobalCoin by the end of 2019.
Facebook wants to create a digital currency that provides affordable and secure ways of making payments, regardless of whether users have a bank account. According to the BBC, Facebook will join forces with banks and brokers that will enable people to change dollars and other international currencies into GlobalCoin. Facebook is also talking with money transfer firms like Western Union.
Personally, I can see plenty of problems with Facebook creating its own cryptocurrency. Facebook doesn’t have a good record of protecting people’s privacy or their data. If someone buys GlobalCoin, and their data or GlobalCoin account is hacked, I doubt Facebook is going to do anything about it. This whole things
feels like even more of a gamble than other types of cryptocurrency are.
What happens if a Facebook user buys GlobalCoin and then Facebook suspends that user’s account for breaking Facebook’s Terms and Policies? Does that person lose the GlobalCoin they paid for? If not, how would that user be able to access it without a Facebook account?
I’m not the only one with concerns. The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs sent Mark Zuckerberg a letter with a bunch of questions about Facebook’s cryptocurrency.
Here are a few of the Committee’s questions:
- What privacy and consumer protections would users have under the new payment system?
- What consumer financial information does Facebook have that it has received from a financial company?
- Does Facebook share or sell any consumer information (or information derived from consumer information) with any unaffiliated third parties?
Another huge problem for Facebook is that it will have to navigate the legislation that a multitude of countries have put in place regarding financial transactions. This is not going to be easy to do.