If CME and CBOE listing Bitcoin futures failed to convince you that cryptocurrencies have finally become finally hit the mainstream at the end of 2017, then this ought to do it. In a post on Thursday the fourth of January, Facebook CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he would spend 2018 studying up on cryptocurrencies and blockchain in an effort to put an end to persistent issues on the social platforms.
Zuckerberg’s post alluded to Facebook possibly using decentralising technologies in future to enhance the social network’s user experience, perhaps in enforcing policies to prevent misuse and – it is hoped- finally put an end the proliferation of fake news and inbox scams that plague the platform.
The mere inference that a tech heavyweight would be looking into cryptocurrencies had the community abuzz with speculation about what decentralised features the Facebook of the future would sport. Who can blame them though? Facebook, could potentially expose over 2 billion users from all walks of life to cryptocurrencies, needless to say, that would be absolutely huge. Imagine monetising your social media content, or influencers being paid directly by the brands they endorse it could open up new revenue streams and open up totally new career paths.
My personal bet though, is that, unless Mr. Zuckerberg decides to add crypto payment services to facebook (which, again, would be an incredibly HUGE!) will most likely focus on blockchain and not so much on cryptocurrencies, for governance and administrative reasons.
This however, doesn’t completely rule out cryptocurrencies being implemented on the social media platform, seeing as Facebook’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus, is on the board of Coinbase Inc. and has been actively involved with cryptocurrencies since 2012.
Either way we’re on the cusp of a paradigm shift in terms of how Social Networks and, by extension, technology companies interact with users, with a great deal of control shifting back into the user’s hands if Mark’s words are anything to go by. 2018 is going to be an interesting year.