The idea that a company is powerful and autocratic
Facebook would have never plunged into crypto-currencies has always seemed a little bit
like the Death Star who decides to organize a Christmas party for the staff.
Whether it is the Bitcoin model itself (wild-western capitalism
where nobody is responsible) or more corporate efforts towards
take advantage of the blockchain approach (databases distributed on networks within a
business or industry) it was hard to see how a billionaire like Mark
Zuckerberg could find it useful. His whole activity depends centrally
data collection to sell advertisements with a profit.
So it is not surprising that the last step of Facebook
to a blockchain product, as reported by Bloomberg News last week,
it seems more like a simple co-opting of technology for a nice mess
payment system rather than a rush to join the crypto-revolution.
The digital token of the company, still in its infancy, would have left it
users transfer money to WhatsApp, focusing first on the remittance market
India. It would be a so-called "stablecoin", which is usually anchored to a
evaluate how the dollar to minimize volatility. There would be a pool of
goods stored in custody to protect it.
You can already hear the screams of anguish from the
Crypto evangelists. This is not a token designed to move fiat
currencies or rise in price. In theory, a FaceCoin would never be again
valuable $ 1 that supports it (although, in practice, markets can be fun
what's this). It is essentially an online IOU.
Zuckerberg is hardly inventing the wheel here given this
migrant workers have already sent home $ 69 billion to India last year and India
it is not a mature crypto-market anyway after its central bank has been virtually banned
digital currencies this year. Facebook would be competing with services instead
like PayPal Xoom, or WorldRemit, or even Western Union. The company could become
as a result, without cash, but it will no longer be encrypted.
The prophets of Blockchain had once imagined that they could
create a way for people to control and sell their personal data rather
that let Big Tech profit from doing it. But the Facebook project seems
the opposite: block users in a safer way inside their enclosed garden
offering them an internal currency. Zuckerberg and his lieutenants have long
resisted giving up data control; naturally so, seen as
So, rather than fixing the internet giants, blockchain is itself
to be repaired cryptography startups that promised to free the world from the
the yoke of capitalism now can not even keep its personnel employed profitably.
The approach of Facebook is to take the broken pieces of the blockchain and fashion
something much more acceptable to shareholders. This will not please the people who
fear its monopoly power, and for good reason. One thing for regulators