Facebook May Be Pushing Cryptocurrency This Year

January 9, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Apparently, to hear Mark Zuckerberg talk about it, Facebook needs fixing. That’s the plan for 2018, anyway, and probably not without reason. One of the potential fixes involved in fixing Facebook, though, might surprise outside viewers, as the 2018 mission statement issued Thursday for Facebook features several references not only to cryptocurrency, but also to potential uses therein.

Admittedly, Zuckerberg’s mention of cryptocurrency was fairly brief, and the mission statement referred to the system as a means to gain technology that can bypass centralized power structures. However, Facebook may ultimately be able to put cryptocurrency to use as a way to address the massive Asian messaging systems like WeChat, who are also offering mobile payment systems as part of operations.

China is becoming increasingly focused on mobile payments, a development that was increasingly clear all through 2017 and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down in 2018 so far. China has been advancing in mobile payments to the point where even beggars are offering quick response (QR) codes to transfer money electronically.

While this has been going on, however, Facebook’s own payment features languish at best. It’s planning to ramp up its offerings to include investments and bill payments, but the notion of cryptocurrency is something a bit new. In fact, some, like Coinify CEO and co-founder Mark Hojgaard, suggest that Facebook may well plan its own cryptocurrency to use as a medium of exchange on the site itself, a token that can be redeemed for, among other things, access to premium content.

This isn’t such a bad idea, but Facebook is first going to have to develop premium content that’s actually worth paying for; that may require partnerships with other firms, like Crunchyroll or something similar. With such content in place, it can then make a case for the Facebookcoin or whatever they end up calling it. If it can be mined via GPU, even better; there will likely be more than a few out there hoping it will be the next bitcoin.

Whether Facebook goes all in on cryptocurrency or not remains to be seen, but in the short term, if Mark Zuckerberg is taking it seriously, it might be a good plan for other firms—and the rest of us—to do likewise.