When it comes to volatile relationships, nothing beats Facebook’s stance towards cryptocurrency. The social media giant went from neutral to somewhat supportive, then they turned around and banned cryptocurrency from being advertised on their platform. Then, last month, they reversed their anti-cryptocurrency ban and scaled back restrictions on blockchain and crypto advertisements.
And here’s the kicker. They’re starting their own cryptocurrency too.
Of course, this isn’t exactly breaking news. Facebook has always toyed with the idea of developing their own digital currency, even as they suppressed crypto’s presence on their actual platform. But Facebook isn’t just talking about cryptocurrency anymore, it’s actually happening. They’ve even got a name for it, the Libra coin and it’s expected to drop sometime this month. Here’s what we know about it:
- It’s a new type of cryptocurrency known as “stablecoins” which are pegged to the value of fiat currencies to prevent market volatility.
- Users will be able to send and receive money over Facebook’s platforms, including Messenger and WhatsApp.
- Facebook has been working closely with the world’s leading financial institutions, including then U.S. Treasure, the Bank of England, and Western Union to ensure that the crypto launch runs smoothly and is in compliance with various rules and regulations.
The release of this cryptocurrency brings us into uncharted territory. For starters, it’s major news that crypto is going to be integrated into WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, especially now that there’s been a couple of messaging services who’ve already been tinkering with blockchain technology.
Will Facebook overshadow them or will it be a new technological arms race to see who can be the most innovative?
Who knows! But one thing’s for sure, Facebook has reported that crypto transactions between Facebook-owned platforms won’t include processing fees. That’s huge, and depending on how they play their cards, Facebook, Inc. could become one of the world’s leading services for international transactions.
Either way, this could open up a lot of doors for on-platform transactions. Facebook already mentioned they were interested in giving group admins the option of monetizing their private groups. What better way to start than with the introduction of Libra?
Keep your eyes peeled, lads. Third-quarter is going to be an interesting time to follow crypto.
Featured image courtesy of DonkeyHotey: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/7216473832