Facebook’s vaulting ambition to create a new global digital currency has led it to hold talks with some of America’s largest trading houses and cryptocurrency exchanges, including one founded by Mark Zuckerberg’s sworn enemies — the Winklevoss twins.
A secretive unit of the social media company has been working for more than a year to create a currency that its 2bn users can use to send money to each other, and to buy things not just on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp but across the internet and in the real world.
“Payments is one of the areas where we have an opportunity to make it a lot easier. I believe it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo,” said Mr Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, at the company’s developer conference at the end of April.
But the project will be “bigger and more open” than just a way to make payments and purchases within Facebook, according to three people familiar with the project.
To make sure that its new currency, a digital coin linked to the value of the dollar, is liquid and tradeable, Facebook has talked to Jump and DRW, Chicago’s biggest high-frequency trading firms about making a market, according to two people familiar with the talks.
Both firms declined to comment. Facebook has required all parties taking part in talks to sign non-disclosure agreements.