January 5, 2018 (The FR) — Facebook titan Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the social media giant would start exploring “important counter trends—like encryption and cryptocurrency—that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands.”
The company has 1.8 billion users globally, which means that Facebook’s potential addition or creation of a digital asset to use on the platform would facilitate population-level adoption of cryptoassets. Somewhere in the range of 5.8 million to 11.5 million wallets “are estimated to be active today,” according to a 2017 University of Cambridge study.
One question concerns whether Zuckerberg will move to create a Facebook-centric currency centralized by the Silicon Valley giant or if he moves to adopt one of the existing, decentralized digital asset giants like bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH) or litecoin (LTC).
When the supply of tokens is heavily controlled by one group or entity, such as the case with ripple, then the goal of decentralization goes out the window.
“Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force. But today, many people have lost faith in that promise…many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it,” Zuckerberg wrote.
What seems inevitable is that Facebook will integrate a cryptoasset into its services in one form or another, if only to catch up with competitors.
“In China, it is so easy to make purchases with WeChat Pay and AliPay that cash is becoming obsolete. In Chinese cities, beggars seek mobile payments to their accounts using QR codes rather than spare change,” CNBC reports.
Support independent journalism with ETH: 0x92c0c5f97959fdf79927c1619c1761b7648f9bd1