The popular social media platform, Facebook, continues to raise eyebrows amongst those in the crypto community. Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with over one billion registered users. And many analysts see a crypto Facebook as an essential step towards large-scale adoption. The platform exercises extreme influence in the digital sector, and their global network could prove to be an essential addition to the decentralized economy.
The company’s new pro-crypto stance could give the decentralized economy a much-needed boost. The social media giant continues to remain silent regarding the development of a cryptocurrency, but they have openly embraced blockchain technology, including the creation of a new blockchain research group.
Californian-based Facebook entered the market way back 2004. The company quickly grew from a small operation with a few employees into one of the largest corporations in the world. Facebook current employees are over 27,000 people and is publicly traded on the Nasdaq (GS; FB). It has been hard to determine the crypto stance of many large tech firms until recently, and Facebook has made mixed crypto statements in the past. Let’s take a moment to review how Facebook went from banning all crypto ads in January to announcing plans to start a blockchain research group earlier last week.
A crypto Facebook could introduce billions of people to cryptocurrencies in the coming months as the company’s controversial CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, appears to be getting serious about blockchain technology. A recent report by FOX business shared that Facebook executive David Marcus was leaving the Facebook messenger app team to start a new team dedicated to researching blockchain integration into the platform.
Marcus confirmed the move in a Facebook post in which he explains that the messenger app program was very rewarding, but now he is ready to move on to a “new challenge.” The move is a reversal of Facebook’s February stance in which the executive stated that the platform had “no intention of adding crypto anytime soon.” He even went on to explain that crypto payments were too expensive and slow for use with Facebook at that time.
When asked about Facebook’s blockchain plans, Marcus explained that Facebook is not simply working on one area of crypto development. The platform now recognizes the potential advantages of blockchain integration across multiple sectors. When asked if the world’s largest social media platform planned to create their own cryptocurrency in the future, Facebook executives simply said: “We don’t have anything further to share at this moment.”
As an early Bitcoin investor, Marcus understands the crypto market and is, therefore, the perfect selection to lead Facebook into the digital economy. In December last year (2017), Marcus became a member of Coinbase’s board. Coinbase is the largest crypto exchange in North America.
Many saw Marcus’s decision to join Coinbase’s board as a strong signal of Facebook’s future blockchain intentions.
Crypto Facebook Speculation
CNBC reported in May that a corporate reshuffling had reopened the doors for the prospect of a crypto Facebook. There have been mixed results from the crypto community regarding the matter with most posts seeing the move as positive.
The popular news outlet Cheddar also reported on May 11th, that Facebook is indeed looking into making a native token – Facecoin. The publication, citing anonymous sources, found Facebook blockchain research going back at least a year. The report also revealed that Morgan Beller, a member of Facebook’s corporate development team, secretly spent the last few months researching possible integration scenarios.
Crypto Facebook Ad Ban
In January, Facebook instituted a cryptocurrency ad ban which was later adopted by Google. Both firms cited the unregulated and speculative nature of the market as the motivation behind the bans. Facebook executives were responding to growing backlash from users and government officials who claim that many Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are scams.
Both corporate and government officials have turned up the heat on ICOs in recent months after a string of ICO scams took investors for billions. A study released by the Statis Group LLC claims that 8% of ICOs were scams in 2017.
Crypto Facebook Ad Restoration
In June, Facebook executives decided to reverse the ad ban. Blockchain firms can now advertise on Facebook, but they must first seek approval. All interested parties must fill out an application which includes licensing information, and publicly traded companies must disclose their status. ICO ads are still banned from the platform.
Crypto Facebook Changes
Facebook’s product manager, Rob Leathern, made an intercompany post last week in which he describes the need to examine the results of these changes before making additional adjustments. He explained how the previous ban was unintentionally blocking many legitimate businesses from advertising on Facebook, and how the new protocol should allow these companies to rejoin the Facebook advertising network.
Advertising is Facebook’s main source of revenue. Therefore, completely restricting a growing business sector such as blockchain doesn’t make much sense from a business perspective. Now, there is an avenue that interested parties can take to utilize Facebook’s global market.
Facebook Opens up to Crypto While Google Says No
Facebook seems to be relaxing their ban at the same time that Google is instituting theirs fully. There could be some reasons for this timing. Both Google and Facebook compete over ad revenue. Facebook’s reversal now places the platform as a premier advertising space for the blockchain community. Google hasn’t reversed their ad ban yet which could funnel significant advertising funds into Facebook’s new program.
A Crypto Facebook Future
Crypto analysts have hypothesized what would happen when a large company such as Facebook or Amazon starts integrating cryptocurrencies into their platform. These mega sites have billions of users, and if only a small percentage of their user group joined the crypto-market, the effects would be a huge boost in the space. It now appears that these questions will answer themselves when Facebook unveils their full blockchain aspirations in the coming months.
David Hamilton aka DavidtheWriter has published thousands of cryptocurrency related articles. Currently, he resides in the epicenter of the cryptomarket – Puerto Rico. David is a strong advocate for blockchain technologies and financial sovereignty.