A new update on Facebook’s GlobalCoin holds serious implications for cryptocurrency payment coins. The altcoin transactional payments market, so far as it concerns everyday transactions, may soon be in peril.
According to anonymous sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has signed on an assemblage of new partnerships. These include goliaths the likes of PayPal, Stripe, Mastercard, Visa, and Uber.
Each partner will invest in the range of $10 million to the Libra Association, GlobalCoin’s governing body. These funds will act as backing for the stablecoin. Other partners that have reportedly sign on include Booking.com and MercadoLibre, an Argentinian e-commerce site.
This mega-network consortium seems happy to fork out a large sum of money for the endeavor. Yet, the WSJ reports that not all members have clarity on the coin’s workings or what role they will play.
It seems Facebook’s partners might be awaiting its soon-to-be-released white paper as eagerly as the rest of us.
Facebook — Our Lord and Master
In the 15 years since Facebook launched in 2004, the company has infiltrated not only most aspects of our lives (including our mental health). It’s also swallowed up whole industries. Heck, it’s even moved in on the food ordering business.
Earlier this year, Facebook acquired a retail visual AI specialist company. The tech will presumably incorporate visual search and product recommendations into the Facebook platform. This way, you don’t have to resign yourself to jealously scrolling through your feed eyeing your friend’s fabulous lifestyles — you’ll be able to buy it.
Thanks to the GlobalCoin, it’ll be easier than any other payment company has ever had it. No other company boasts a 2.5 billion-strong user base who voluntarily spend hours a day inside the gilded cage built for them.
Why This is Very, Very Bad
There are countless repercussions from allowing a mega-corporation to swallow up an industry. Like an exploding real estate market that leaves locals unable to afford rental and purchase prices. Or the fact that it can threaten democracy, which has led to campaigns such as Freedom from Facebook.
They promise us a cornucopia of our dreams with their fine-tuned psychological messaging. All the while pulling the very fabric of an equal-opportunity society out from under us.
“Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government, and security.” So states a Colombia Journalism Review feature written in 2016 entitled ‘Facebook is Eating the World.’
This is a good thing — a great thing — for Facebook and its shareholders. But it’s a terrible thing for the thousands of businesses steadily being killed off by companies like Facebook.
One aspect of this is a business presence. Once it was a marketer’s dream and a surefire way to build an audience. Facebook pages are now largely dead and buried unless you cough out enough cold hard cash to promote it.
Even more disconcerting is terminating businesses it sees as potential competitors. Often even before they’re able to hit the ground running. They’re either acquired through Facebook’s zealous mergers and acquisitions strategy, or their industry is simply overrun, and now it’s crypto’s turn.
In the miniseries Stephen King’s It, there’s a famous line that goes, “I am eternal, child. I am the eater of worlds, and of children. And you are next!”
Facebook has taken this line to heart much too literally.
Do you think the altcoin market can survive the crypto payments kill zone Facebook is constructing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.