SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook wants to create an in-house digital currency system that its members can spend and trade on its website.
The Irish Times reports that the Irish central bank has been approached by the social network and is rather close to approving its request.
Those aims include the creation of Facebook currency that Facebook members will be able to use to pay for things within the social network and, presumably, its associated properties.
"Facebook wants to become a utility in the developing world, and remittances are a gateway drug to financial inclusion," said a person close to Facebook's plans.
We have asked Facebook and the Irish central bank about the proposals and have yet to receive any responses. The report said that the deal could be announced within as few as three weeks.
Facebook already has the right to make some in-house transactions in the US, and according to the Irish Times it facilitated $2.1bn worth of transactions in 2013.
The report said that the social network has already chatted with three companies in the field, and named them as Transferwise, Moni Technologies and Azimo. Again we have asked the firms to confirm or deny this.
Facebook has danced with digital currency before, but abandoned the idea in 2012. It used Facebook credits for in-app payments, but was accused of forcing developers to use it. Then Facebook was taking a 30 percent cut of transactions.
In 2012 the firm announced micro transactions on mobile phones, saying that they would simplify everything.
"The payment flow is simple," Jessi Xu, a Facebook software engineer said in a blog post at the time. "Users who want to pay for a virtual or digital good in a mobile web app open the payment dialog and confirm their purchase." µ
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