The social media giant wants to start testing its crypto-currency, which has been referred to internally as GlobalCoin, by the end of this year.
Facebook is expected to outline plans in more detail this summer, and has already spoken to Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg met Mr Carney last month to discuss the opportunities and risks involved in launching a crypto-currency.
The two experts expect the currency to be used for payments, commerce, applications and gaming — across Facebook’s ecosystem that includes image-based social media platform Instagram and encrypted messaging service WhatsApp.
Mahaney and Schwartzman also repeated previously reported expectations that Facebook will release their currency’s white paper on June 18, following in Satoshi’s footsteps to explain the fundamental protocols that will underpin Libra, the internal codename for the project.
RBC said it plans to offer an analysis of the paper when it’s released, “to help investors analyze the underlying cryptoeconomics of the token.”
Facebook allegedly will offer employees the option to take their salary in the new currency. It has not been confirmed if the $514 billion company will offer incentive packages in GlobalCoin.
More people will turn to bitcoin for one simple reason—bitcoin is scarce, while Facebook’s cryptocurrency is not. People will migrate over time to the most honest ledger for storing their hard-earned wealth—and that’s not fiat currencies or derivatives thereof, including Facebook’s cryptocurrency,” wrote Caitlin Long of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force.
Blockchain expert David Gerard said that Facebook would gain access to valuable spending data by creating its own payment system.
However, he questioned why the social media giant needed to mint its own crypto-currency to harvest that data. Instead, he said, Facebook could create a platform like PayPal, which allows users to transfer traditional currencies.
Crypto-currencies are vulnerable to fluctuations in value, which Gerard said could create a barrier to the success of Facebook’s so-called GlobalCoin.
“Normal people don’t want to deal with a currency that’s going up and down all the time,” he explained.
But Garrick Hileman, a researcher at London School of Economics, said the GlobalCoin project could be one of the most significant events in the short history of crypto-currencies.
Conservatively, he estimated that around 30 million people use crypto-currencies today. That compares to Facebook’s 2.4 billion monthly users.