Is Facebook Preparing to Launch Its Own Crypto Exchange?
We’ve heard rumblings for several months that Facebook could launch its own cryptocurrency – like a Facebook Coin. But now reports are suggesting that Facebook could take it a step further by launching its own crypto exchange.
That report comes from Mark Nezvisky at Crypto Daily, who cites two key points as evidence that Facebook could be launching its own cryptocurrency exchange:
“…firstly, we know Facebook now have a blockchain working group, a team of employees dedicated to exploring and researching blockchain technology.”
We’ve known about Facebook’s blockchain research group for about a year. Since last year, Facebook has assigned a team of employees to exploring blockchain technology, including how blockchain could improve Facebook’s various business processes.
It’s not unusual for a major corporation to explore how a new technology could be integrated into their business. However, the second piece of evidence proposed by Nezvisky is more significant, and it indicates a Facebook-backed crypto project could be right around the corner.
The second piece of evidence proposed by Nezvisky is this:
“The second and most important story though is this; The Head of Blockchain Research at Facebook, David Marcus, has left his position on the Board of Directors at Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and arguably, the biggest potential rival for a future Facebook made cryptocurrency exchange. The resignation of Marcus is alleged to have been inspired by an appearance of a conflict of interest.”
Why would there be a conflict of interest between Facebook and Coinbase? Facebook is a social network and Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange. There would only be a conflict of interest if Coinbase was preparing to launch its own social network or – what seems more likely – if Facebook was building a crypto exchange.
Is Facebook Going To Buy Coinbase?
Coinbase is one of the world’s largest and most influential crypto exchange platforms and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Some have suggested that Facebook isn’t looking to compete with Coinbase or launch its own token. Instead, Facebook is preparing to buy Coinbase. Facebook could see potential in integrating its social network technology with Coinbase’s existing exchange platform.
Nezvisky cautions that this is all just speculation:
“As it stands, Facebook claim that they are only exploring blockchain technology and have no plans to develop a cryptocurrency exchange, nor do they wish to acquire one, so a Coinbase acquisition is probably off the cards for now.”
Facebook has a history of making outside-the-box acquisitions. They famously acquired Oculus, for example, which makes the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. However, acquiring Coinbase would seem to be a little too far outside the box.
A Facebook Crypto Exchange Would Be Massive
The cryptocurrency world surged with growth in 2017 as most people worldwide heard about it for the first time.
That surge would pale in comparison to the growth if Facebook launched its own cryptocurrency exchange. Overnight, over 2 billion people – nearly one third of the world’s population – would have easy access to cryptocurrencies.
If you believe Nezvisky, then we’re facing three possible outcomes here:
- Facebook is going to launch its own digital currency
- Facebook is going to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange
- Facebook is going to acquire Coinbase
Of course, there is also a fourth option: Facebook does nothing. They shut down their blockchain research division after finding no discernable benefits to their business. People forget about the potential launch of a Facebook Coin. We move on.
The more optimistic take, of course, is that where there’s smoke there’s fire. Facebook and Coinbase have a conflict of interest, and it seems unlikely that Coinbase would launch its own social network.
Could a Facebook crypto exchange be just around the corner? Stay tuned.