\ Facebook - Have they suddenly seen the Crypto-Light?
Opinion: Page (1) of 1 - 06/30/18

Facebook - Have they suddenly seen the Crypto-Light?

Or has the light always been on?

By Arran Stewart, Job.com

I'm frustrated to report that Facebook would have been looking into the possible benefits of blockchain, crypto and ICO's for some time, however for several reasons they decided to announce that they would remove ads relating to crypto earlier this year. I was personally quoted saying that this was not a bad thing, purely because anyone being enticed into buying into crypto through a Facebook or Google ad was certainly not a sophisticated investor and for something that is still so embryonic, that is dangerous.  However, it's clear now that Facebook didn't do this for the wholesome intentions I was quoted for, instead, it seems to be yet another self-centered play.

Low and behold, they announce that they're removing the ad ban and which has left them wide open for speculation as to why the sudden change of heart.  I personally have several theories and believe its probably a combination of them.  Let's discuss... 

So to be clear, my views, visions, and ideas around everything in this article are my own, but they are educated.  So we can assume there is some distant truth with all of them. 

Facebook announced that they were pulling together a blockchain team back at end of April and then literally a week after the US decides that Ethereum and other Cryptocurrencies were not securities and now Facebook has removed the ban on ads. 

Both those factors, are huge incentives as to why Facebook would now allow the selling of cryptocurrencies ads on Facebook.  However, I don't personally believe that it is this as to why they have changed their mind and removed the ban, instead I think they are going to create their own cryptocurrency. 

With this in mind where would be the first place Facebook would try to advertise and sell its currency?  Oh, Facebook users of course.  But with increased pressure from governments, media and the general public over monopolies that sites such as Facebook and Google hold over the market, it would have sparked a massive backlash if Facebook started selling its own currency through its platform but ban all others?  

So why such a short ban?  Well, we all know the crypto market has been a moving target since its inception and more so than ever in the last 12 months. Facebook has clearly been watching the market and somewhere deep within an R&D department, they have been thinking and working on the future of their platform, but whilst doing that, they haven't wanted to open up the main stage to the rest of the world through their platform until they were comfortable they had something to compete with and offer the market. 

So what do I think?  I think Facebook is creating its own protocol, its own currency, and platform that other DApps could be built on.  There you go, I said it.  Why do I think that?  Well why wouldn't they?  Remember, Facebook has been building apps within itself for sometime and creating its own 4.0 version of blockchain protocol that other DApps could be built on and utilize a Facebook cryptocurrency is basically business as usual for them, but bang up to date?  Remember, Facebook is old as the dinosaurs to the next generation who live in Snapchat and Instagram?  So how do we revive a site that's become 'the' place for your grandmother to see her families' latest holiday pictures?  You bring it right up to date with Facebook DApps and paid content for users who attract big followings.  Let's look into both of these avenues more...

Facebook DApps; you want to keep people in the platform, you create useable DApps that built on a Facebook framework and continue to engage the lifeblood of any platform, your 18-35 year users.  Imagine the potential value Facebook could create out of their protocol and cryptocurrency?  The reach they have?  It's either now or never to enter this arena and continue their focus towards encompassing the Internet within one place, their place. 

Facebook has relied on the content of its users engaging one another since it began; in fact every social based platform relies on this.  However, certain master users, such as celebrities and social celebrities have poured there efforts into Facebook, gaining them traction, growth and advertising dollars, without offering anything in return?  When considered against YouTube, why would a viral star put so much effort into Facebook with nothing to show for it financially?  Well, I have it under good authority that they have been considering out bidding sites such as YouTube for years, by paying CPM revenue to users that create content that attracts high engagement and views.  Now, considering payment through their own cryptocurrency seems like a logical, two birds one stone scenario.  You pay your stars on the platform for their content performance in Facebook Coin/Tokens and then they sell, trade and transfer those tokens both internally and on secondary markets.  This market is already made for success if they actually launch this and all the content providers that have been there from the start and first movers could benefit hugely from the potential growth the currency would experience through the instant demand of buyers and sellers.  It could be the perfect opportunity for Facebook to say thank you to its long-standing users that made the platform but waited so long to enjoy the spoils, yet at the same time it hasn't cost the company of the shareholders anything to do so, its all courtesy of the latest and fastest growing new economy out there, the crypto global economy. 

So mixed emotions to conclude this article, on one hand I want to scream that Facebook is a hypocrite, playing more cards for further global domination.  Yet on the other, less radical and more rational hand, I feel excited and enthused to see what one of the biggest tech companies in the world will further contribute to the progress a movement I have so much love for, the movement towards cryptocurrencies, blockchain and the decentralization of further industries for the benefit of all of us. 

That's my take on it all and I believe that some of these points will certainly show their head in the next 12 months, but which ones will it be?  Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets. 

Arran Stewart, Job.com
Arran is a Cranfield School of Management post-graduate with a decade of experience in both the recruitment and online recruitment market.  He has worked with and consulted many of the leading names within the online recruitment space.

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