For months, reports have been circulating speculating on Facebook’s alleged foray into the cryptocurrency sphere.
In December 2018, Bloomberg cited an undisclosed source privy to the alleged project, claiming that Facebook is purportedly working on the development of a potential stablecoin that would be used on its cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp for remittances and other cross-border transfers in India in which over 200 million users are currently domiciled.
According to a number of pundits, Facebook is purportedly attempting to go head to head with WeChat, a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app developed by Tencent, now touted as one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps by monthly active users, largely due to its multiple features that allows users not only to send and receive messages but also to shop online, make reservations, purchase tickets, as well as conduct money transfers, all through single platform.
The option to conduct the majority of online business transactions via a single app offers an attractive venue for data collection and surveillance, something that Facebook most likely recognizes.
Earlier this week, Yahoo Finance published an article surmising that Facebook’s rumored crypto project coupled with price factors and its move to diversify its business model may likely indicate that Facebook’s stock is currently “cheap.”
As the hype surrounding Facebook’s supposed stablecoin venture further escalates, one writer from HackerNoon argued how such a project could be even considered innovative.
As the author stressed:
“Cloning and Copying (can be) consider(ed) as bad at innovation(,) and this is one of the reasons I am a bit sceptical about this Facebook/WhatAapp Coin.”
Furthermore, the author also underscored Facebook’s previous botched attempts at driving mass adoption of the social media platform’s multiple financial instruments, including Facebook Credits (2011), Facebook Gifts (2012), and Facebook Messenger Payments (2015).
As the author further emphasized:
“With each passing year AliPay and WeChat Pay (are) expanding their business and mov(ing) globally while Facebook remained flat, a niche digital advertising company stuck around (a) behaviour targeting network.”
In addition, the writer also noted that Telegram, “Line, Square, WeChat and others find a better sweet spot for their consumers than Whatsapp strictly us(ed) for communication purposes.”
As the author went on asserting, Facebook Coin will most likely be akin to JPM Coin, that is, it should have none of the cultural caché that is antithetical to the ethos of a decentralized network like Bitcoin.
Further scrutinizing Facebook’s crypto project, the author also stated that not only is the coin venture disingenuous, but is also evidently another desperate attempt at staying ahead of its competitors, adding that:
“Facebook has family of apps that are more distracting than useful, and the product has never been very consumer-focused.”