Facebook’s interest into cryptocurrency, with the forthcoming Facebook coin likely to be announced in Q3 2019, is finally having its effect on the crypto markets.
The blockbuster rumor that Facebook was in the process of developing a stablecoin for its messaging platform had a small impact on the crypto markets at the time, in large part due to the “crypto winter” for coin prices throughout 2018. Plain and simple: excitement and investor interest in cryptocurrency hit a lull at the end of last year and beginning of 2019, as weary traders and retail investors all but fled the market. The rise in coin prices throughout the first quarter of 2019 have been enough to reignite digital assets, with Facebook making a serious foray into cryptocurrency grabbing the attention of institutional investors.
Some have called Facebook’s stablecoin a primary competitor to Bitcoin, representing the first established company to issue its own currency. However, Facebook’s impact upon the marketplace for cryptocurrency and its adoption has been more in favor of the entire of the industry than seeking to crush it through competition.
For years, cryptocurrency adoption ran into the roadblock of not having major names using or developing digital assets of their own. While Overstock.com was one of the larger online retailers to accept and support Bitcoin, industry pundits remained skeptical on whether a larger enterprise would both using digital currencies. Walmart and Amazon appeared favorites during the bullish run for crypto in 2017, owing to the fact that both companies operate on a large enough scale to benefit from the improved efficiency of blockchain.
However, Facebook has become the frontrunner in establishing massive interest for cryptocurrency. The Facebook coin will likely find a following amongst the 2+ billion users of the social media platform, particularly in developing countries where digital payments provide a welcome alternative to untrustworthy government fiat.
Nonetheless, the real industry growth comes from the exposure of cryptocurrency to such a massive user base. The current divide between a service like Venmo or PayPal and that of Bitcoin is still large enough to buffer otherwise tech-savvy users. With Facebook bringing cryptocurrency to the masses, the advent of token payments and digital alternatives to fiat becomes all the more appealing, particularly when targeted to the global audience that the social media platform commands.
The massive rise in valuation for Bitcoin, which took the coin above $6000 for the first time this year, is in no small part being drive by positive sentiment generated out of Facebook. The company recently announced a landmark shift in its cryptocurrency advertising policy that is clearly paving the way for their own stablecoin. Rather than repelling the industry and generating all-too familiar stereotypes of vagrancy, Facebook is now becoming one of the primary platforms of embracing the industry.
While Facebook Coin may become a substantial competitor to Bitcoin in the future, for now news of the social media platform is having a synergistic effect. Institutional and retail investors alike are changing their predicted outlook for cryptocurrency, and funneling their investment into the increasing market dominance of Bitcoin.