Facebook’s pivot from advertising to a more privacy-focused community will feature among other things a blockchain based payments play. Facebook really does think we are global family, after all.
Here comes GlobalCoin. That’s the name of digital payments system that Facebook plans to deploy in “about a dozen countries by the first quarter of 2020,” according to a report Friday (May 24) from the BBC. It’s truly going to be incredible. Testing will start this year, however it’s likely to first launch in a place like London, UK.
Interestingly Facebook is expected to outline plans in more detail this summer, and has already spoken to Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
So apparently, Mark Zuckerberg is a man with a cryptocurrency plan. The Project Libra team really wants to realize PayPal’s original vision with the 2.38 Billion global citizens they have captured in Facebook’s reach, and more if you count the different penetration of apps like WhatsApp and Instagram that are popular in some surprising places.
Can GlobalCoin Disrupt Crypto?
For Facebook to get into payments makes sense, before cryptocurrencies or the Lightning Network is up and running properly. They basically want to monetize all of those users after taking their data, sharing it with their friends and making brands believe Facebook was the only and best play to do targeted ads to consumers.
Inside Facebook, the cryptocurrency is reportedly being called “GlobalCoin,” which not only hints at the company’s, well, global aims but sounds a bit like something Zuckerberg would say, a character who wears a lot of different hats in his own company, including CEO and chairman of the board.
Facebook has also sought advice on operational and regulatory issues from officials at the US Treasury. So it’s looking like stablecoins in walled gardens are going to eat up the world! Long live the era of subscriptions and paying for things with crypto, I guess?
Zuckerberg doesn’t think it’s the right time to break up Facebook. As if it’s not powerful enough, right? On top of seeking advice from banks, Facebook also reportedly called up Zuckerberg’s old pals the Winklevoss twins, who founded the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange.
Facebook will attempt to throw a lot of $ to legal proof, lobby and push its payments product, that will make a centralized global chat that much more monetizable. It’s all crystal clear what Project Libra and a GlobalCoin owned by Zuckerberg would try to accomplish.
Facebook wants to monetize WhatsApp better, and a GlobalCoin could create quite the peer-to-peer mechanism, especially in places where people don’t necessarily have access to bank accounts.
The Arrival of GlobalCoin is going to be Epic
This GlobalCoin appears to be Facebook’s attempt to create a digital currency that provides affordable and secure ways of making payments, regardless of whether users have a bank account.
The social networking site, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, is hoping to disrupt existing networks by breaking down financial barriers, competing with banks and reducing consumer costs. So this isn’t just a threat to crypt, it’s a real threat to Square, PayPal, Stripe, Venmo, Zelle, Transferwise (the biggest FinTech startup in Europe), and so many others.
Whatever you think of Facebook’s “family of apps”, GlobalCoin is coming and it will be to make even more money off of your data, interactions, friends and shopping preferences. It’s so great to live in such a globalized world. GlobalCoin might free us from inconvenient methods of sending, sharing and accumulating digital assets for our online activities.
The currency will need to overcome numerous technical and regulatory hurdles before it can be launched. However, Facebook has a proven track record of duping regulators, deceiving consumers and defrauding businesses via its digital Ads monopoly, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be okay.