Facebook changed its mind about the virtual currency market and blockchain technology in 2018. A few days ago, Bloomberg informed that the company will create a stablecoin and will target the Indian market for private transactions.
This is something that seems to challenge the opinion of Facebook at the beginning of the year when it banned all the cryptic ads on its social network. However, the company decided to reverse the trend partially in June trying to include only some approved content.
The first few months were in some ways unpredictable for Facebook. At the beginning of January, Mark Zuckerberg he wrote one of his personal challenges for 2018 in which he claimed to be interested in studying the positive and negative aspects of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
However, only a few weeks later, Facebook announced it was going to ban advertising that was misleading or deceptive. This ban included Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) among other financial products that tend to have a lot of scammers.
In December, the president of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, suggested that there were several ICOs who were just fraudulent schemes or just scams. Between 2017 and 2018, ICOs began to grow in popularity, raising several million dollars a month. However, this trend ended a few months ago, when there were only a few hundred ICO launched per month, compared to the thousands at the start of the year.
After of Facebook the decision to ban ICO and crypt ads on its platform, the encrypted market has collapsed. Bitcoin rose from $ 11,200 to $ 8,800 in a few days.
Later, in February, David Marcus, Messenger's head of Facebook and a member of the Coinbase board, He said that cryptocurrency would not appear on Facebook anytime soon. The main reason behind this decision was related to scalability issues.
On the question, he commented:
"Payments with Crypto are now only very expensive, super slow, so the various communities that manage the various blockchains and the different resources have to solve all the problems, and then when we get there one day, maybe we'll do something".
He went on to say that the encrypted advertising ban aimed to protect the community from fraud and fraudulent companies. However, he explained that if the community self-regulated, it could revise its decision and revoke the ban.
Between February and May, there were no important events, as reported by Cointelegraph. In May, the company decided to set up a blockchain group that was examining the possible applications of blockchain technology. David Marcus has been selected as the head of this group.
According to some reports, the company was also planning to launch a virtual currency that could be used by its 2 billion users. However, the company did not provide any information about it.
In June, Facebook took the decision to lift the ban on virtual currency advertising. However, initial coin offerings are still prohibited and they would not be able to promote their content. The company has informed that it wants to be sure that the content displayed by these ads is safe for users.
Companies that want to advertise on the platform should be previously approved by Facebook and provide information about their business. In fact, the company has informed that not all those who want to advertise would receive the approval to do so.
Another important thing that happened during this year was the statement by Marcus to leave his position on the board of Coinbase that he had since December 2017 when Bitcoin reached $ 20,000. He explained that because of the new group that is going on Facebook in relation to blockchain technology, he would prefer to focus exclusively on Facebook. The intention was to avoid the appearance of conflicts.
In August, the company also worked with Stellar Lumens (XLM), one of the largest blockchain networks in space. It seemed that the Intention was to build a Facebook variant of the stellar blockchain. However, this was denied by Facebook. They informed them that they were not involved in any discussion with Stellar.
Now, in December, the latest rumors are related to Facebook trying to launch its stablecoin. The intention is to start it on its WhatsApp messaging app and provide services to the Indian market. India is an important country for remittances e Facebook He seemed interested in offering solutions to individuals in the country.
At the same time, the blockchain team is working on things that people do not have now but could have in the future. This could be related to financial services, innovative ways to save money or different ways of sharing information.
WhatsApp reported about 200 million users and according to data provided by the World Bank, the country received $ 69 billion remittances in 2017. This is equal to 2.8% of the GDP of India.
Apparently, the virtual currency that the company could launch will be a stablecoin, reducing volatility and allowing users to know that their funds will always be what they expected to be.
A Bloomberg report on the subject law as follows:
"Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to harness the power of blockchain technology – this new small team is exploring many different applications – we have nothing else to share."
This statement provided by the company is the same that it provided in May when the items relating to the virtual currency emerged.
Finally, the company was also looking at the beginning of December for new blockchain specialists to work on Facebook. However, these positions have already been taken and, with the exception of the Business Development Lead.
Of course, 2018 was a strange year for the company. In one hand, Zuckerberg was very open towards the blockchain and virtual currencies. Furthermore, there were several items related to the company that worked in a digital currency.
On the other hand, the company has not confirmed anything and imposed a strict ban on cryptographic companies that wanted to advertise on its platform. Time will be able to say what's in advantage for Facebook.