Facebook to Pilot its Stablecoin in India Amid Ambiguous Crypto Regulations
Facebook is planning to pilot test its stablecoin in the India despite the country’s unwelcoming stance towards digital currencies. Unidentified sources told that the country still has room for expansion, reported Business Insider, May 10, 2019.
Plans to Disrupt the Remittances Market
Since 2017, India has had an indecisive stance with regard to cryptocurrencies. In February 2019, the Supreme Court gave a four-week deadline to the government to come up with a well-formed crypto regulation, to which the hearing was set on 30th March. However, with no defined results, the dates were yet again pushed further.
On April 26, 2019, BTCManager reported that the India government had drafted a bill that may impose a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, debarring all cryptocurrency participants to withdraw from the industry.
In a scenario as harsh as this, the social media giant Facebook is planning to swim against the current. The much-anticipated Facebook stablecoin, set to launch in the third quarter of 2019, will reportedly be pilot tested on the Indian grounds as the stakeholders see room for expansion in the country. The coin will allow users to make cross-border payments for remittances using WhatsApp.
While much of the Facebook’s blockchain project, also called Project Libra, still remains a secret, Nathaniel Popper, a New York Times journalist, tweeted on April 9 that the Facebook stablecoin will be pegged to multiple currencies to maintain a stable price. In his next tweet, he informed that the company was also looking for a $1 billion investment for the project. Almost a month later, a report published by the Wall Street Journal confirmed Popper’s claims as it reported that Facebook was in talks with Visa and Mastercard to raise a $1 billion funding.
A Perfectly Wrong Timing
There have been no official announcements about Facebook’s cryptocurrency launch, however, it’s probable that we’re months away from it. And there have been no reports as to how Facebook plans to tackle the current crypto regulations in India.
Zebpay CEO, Ajeet Khurana, who had to move Zebpay headquarters to Malta from India due to restricting laws, believes that India will not ban cryptocurrencies despite all the media reports that suggest otherwise.
The new bill has sparked a huge controversy in the crypto community. Will the government listen or will it crack down on cryptos is now a thing that only time will tell.