How many times have we heard Facebook mentioned within the cryptocurrency space this year? It seems that Facebook are intent on inciting a bit of a blockchain revolution, though still, none of us really know exactly what Facebook intend to do here. Do they want to move their social network onto the blockchain, or are they looking at the adoption of Bitcoin? Moreover, do Facebook want to create their own coin?
So many questions, yet as it stands, so few answers.
Facebook, in crypto
The first major piece of news regarding Facebook within the crypto sphere came early in 2018, when Facebook announced that they would be banning all forms of cryptocurrency advertising in an attempt to crack down on fake ICO and scam advertisements that had been designed to trick people into giving their own cryptocurrency away. Indeed, this whole culture has been a huge problem through 2018, with fake Ethereum giveaways and fake ICO’s launched on a daily basis. In order to crack down on this and to protect their own customers, Facebook decided the best action to take, would be totally ban all forms of cryptocurrency and blockchain advertising.
This was met with disgust within the cryptocommunity – why stop all forms of advertising when lots of legitimate ICO’s and companies rely on Facebook to communicate with their audience?
In the world of tech companies and social media however, this was met with some form of unified agreement, that then went on to allow Twitter and Google to do the same – totally ban all forms of cryptocurrency advertisement.
This was then the general consensus for a number of months. Some companies managed to bypass the rules by not using certain buzzwords in their advertisements, so, for example, many companies advertised ICOs through Facebook, Twitter and Google, by using words such as ‘digital money’ as opposed to cryptocurrency, though overall the ban did seem to achieve the goals these companies set out to achieve – a reduction in the occurrence of crypto scams on their platforms.
A change in the rules
Out of the blue, Facebook then went ahead and changed their own rules, totally lifting the ban a few months later and introducing a new and more regulated approach to cryptocurrency advertising. This, still involves the ban of ICO advertising, however Facebook now allows crypto and blockchain companies to advertise their products and services within reason. As you might have guessed, Twitter and Google soon followed suit.
Not only did Facebook go back on their original ban, they also announced the appointment of a new blockchain department within the upper tiers of Facebook management. The department, now known as the ‘Experimental Blockchain Group’ was announced in May 2018 and includes a team of blockchain experts, as well as Facebook professionals all of whom are working towards experimenting in and developing blockchain technologies for the Facebook brand. Upon this announcement, Facebook also announced the appointment of David Marcus, a member of the Coinbase Board of Directors who now leads the Experimental Blockchain Group.
More experts recruited
Now, as the year continues and as we edge closer to 2019, we are seeing more blockchain experts recruited into Facebook than ever before. According to Sludgefeed, a new job listing is live within the company that is offering five new positions, working in all areas of blockchain research from science, to engineering and marketing. The listing states:
“The blockchain team is a startup within Facebook, with a vision to make blockchain technology work at Facebook scale. We’re exploring areas of interest across all facets of blockchain technology. Our ultimate goal is to help billions of people with access to things they don’t have now – that could be things like equitable financial services, new ways to save, or new ways to share information.”
Of course, the listing does not suggest that Facebook are turning to Bitcoin integration, nor does it disclose that they are looking to develop their own FacebookCoin, however there’s no harm in speculating around what the implications of this could mean.
According to Sludgefeed:
“Given the massive userbase across Facebook and Instagram, a FacebookCoin could function as the ultimate utility token, but trust in the company may ultimately hinder its long-term success in achieving a decentralized platform or currency.”
Frankly, we agree. A FacebookCoin would be huge, simply based on the sheer size of the Facebook network. With so many users of Facebook actively using Facebook products on a daily basis, we can safely assume that a Facebook based utility token would be easily adopted, on a huge scale too. However, as the quote stipulates, since Facebook are a massive corporation, could the crypto community really trust in a FacebookCoin, given that it probably won’t be very decentralised overall?
In all honesty, we don’t know what will come from this area of Facebook. Bitcoin adoption is a strong possibility, however for now we expect an announcement along the lines of a migration of data onto the blockchain, as opposed to the integration or the creation of an actual cryptocurrency. Over time though, as crypto on the whole becomes more mainstream, Facebook will need to get in there first in order to continue to be seen as a technologically advanced and forward thinking company.
So, no, Facebook will not adopt Bitcoin in 2019, however, ask the same question again in a couple of years time and we could expect to see so much more than just Bitcoin go live on Facebook. Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, FacebookCoin?
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Source: Crypto Daily