For those who did not know yet, Facebook is starting to invade the blockchain. This is not exactly new, though. According to Tech Crunch, it has been the social media giant’s aim since time immemorial. The only catch, however, is how could it be done? Back in May, the company formed a cryptocurrency team tasked to explore the possibilities. Now, it decided to get rid of a roadblock in order to reveal its highly-anticipated secret plans.
The former head of Messenger David Marcus, who leads the company’s Crypto team, made an announcement suggesting that he stepped down from the board of Coinbase. It is worth noting that the latter is deemed to be the biggest crypto startup. Marcus is also known to be the former president of PayPal. His works involved helping Mark Zuckerberg’s company in developing the Messenger. He spearheaded the adaptation of chatbot commerce and peer-to-peer payments. Based on his works and, it is safe to say that he was a natural choice for being Coinbase’s board and Facebook’s blockchain initiator.
Facebook explained that Marcus’ decision to step down was meant to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, which is exactly what happened before. Marcus even confirmed that his decision, per his statement, was due to the fact that he was setting up at social media giant around blockchain.
For starters, the company is now cleared to jumpstart everything publicly. Meaning, it can start talking about its plans whatsoever publicly, without the burden of conflict of interest. The only catch, though, is that it has yet to publicly talk.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, the crypto team are still in “the very early stages” and that they are heavily considering a couple of different applications for the blockchain. Unfortunately for the eyeing public, neither the team nor the spokesperson has anything to share.
But what exactly does this mean? What can this team do and/or build?
To start, Facebook has every possibility to build a so-called cryptocurrency wallet. Apart from that, it can have its very own token, which, in turn, can be used by people in paying for stuff with partnered businesses or anything they find through Facebook ads.
Since blockchain is capable of processing transactions either free or very cheap, the tech company along with its partners can easily sidestep the traditional credit card payment process. Above anything else, this will allow the company to offer users with discounts when they use Facebook’s very own token.
On the other hand, this team can help build Facebook a process that revolves around crypto-based payments. It is worth noting that the social media site is already capable of sending money between users and it is done through Messenger for free. The only catch, however, is that it involves a connected debit card or PayPal account.
With the aforementioned payment process, Facebook can let a wider range of users settle debts for things such as shared dinners or taxis. Of course, this will still be through Messenger. But instead of using credit/debit cards or PayPal, users can opt to cryptocurrencies.
It is possible that users will have to fund their Facebook Crypto wallet with a payment, though this might just be done once. Or perhaps there is a one-time transaction fee. Regardless, users will be able to send and receive tokens for free after. Blockchain is certainly a backbone when it comes to peer-to-peer payments; hence, it has the potential to further increase engagement with Messenger for its billions of users. It is really interesting to see what Facebook can do now it is starting to use blockchain to its advantage.