In a recent company mission statement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed an interest in adopting cryptocurrency for the social media platform.
Positioning his company as a “decentralising force that puts more power in people’s hands,” Zuckerberg conceded that “many people have lost faith in that promise.”
Decentralised Model Raises Legal Compliance Issues
To remedy this, Zuckerberg has issued instructions for his development teams to investigate the use of encryption and cryptocurrency on the Facebook platform but has also expressed concern that a decentralised model may also contain its own inherent risks, particularly for legal compliance.
Facebook’s application of censorship has a history of arousing controversy, and whilst a move to a decentralised model could eliminate accusations of bias, most observers remain unconvinced that the social network’s executives would be willing to relinquish some aspect of control over its content.
It seems more likely that Zuckerberg will be looking to implement crypto-derived digital payment mechanisms rather than anything which offers editorial solutions. Such a development would bring Facebook into line with Chinese competitors such as WeChat and Alipay who have been offering payment capabilities for some considerable time.
If Facebook does migrate some of its services to the Blockchain, it remains to be seen whether the company would then launch its own ICO. Whilst such a scenario remains the object of speculation, the wider impact on cryptocurrency mass adoption are likely to be profound.