After its previous tough stance on it, Facebook has recently shown a willingness to go easy on the cryptocurrency world. The latest news, which followed the announcement that Facebook is reintroducing crypto advertisers to its platform, said that the platform is looking into purchasing Coinbase.
The news broke during the same week that Facebook announced the overturning of their January crypto ad ban. The ban was originally instated because “misleading and deceptive” promotional practices were detected from certain cryptocurrencies and ICO’s. The banhammer struck broadly, hitting even the legitimate projects that haven’t engaged in malicious practices. Even after being faced with a significant uproar from the community, Facebook figureheads decided to push through with the policy.
The move was both lauded and pushed back against. Many scam crypto projects flocked to the platform to advertise to unsuspecting “nocoiners”. Many people who knew little about cryptocurrency have seen these ads and ended up getting scammed as a direct result of that. The ban was praised because it put a stop to this issue. However, just days before rumors broke about Facebook looking to start their own crypto project. Many saw the full scale ban as Facebook’s devious attempt to limit the competition and prepare the playing field for their own project.
After a recent shift in management structure – the biggest one Facebook experienced in years – it soon became apparent that these new people are more willing to cooperate with the crypto world. As part of the reshuffle, a blockchain management group, led by David Marcus (the former head of Facebook Messenger and a board member at Coinbase), was launched. Lifting the ad ban seems to be the first step on this new management’s road to acknowledging Facebook’s previous errors regarding crypto.
The second step might be the rumor that Facebook is looking into purchasing Coinbase. Facebook’s interest in Coinbase isn’t exactly new, as The Economist previously broke the news in their opinion piece on American tech giants and their stifling influence on small startups. Their article notes that big tech tends to jump into new and emerging industries quickly, looking to both secure their position as a leader in said industries and to kill off potential competition at the same time. Experts feel that a potential Coinbase acquisition would boost Facebook’s overall value and utility while significantly legitimizing the existence of cryptocurrencies.
Commenting on the rumor, tech entrepreneur Oliver Isaacs said:
“It wouldn’t surprise me if Facebook made an attempt to acquire Coinbase. Whether [Coinbase CEO] Brian Armstrong and the team would agree is another question.”
The staff at Coinbase hasn’t responded to these rumors as of now. Armstrong himself has previously stated that he enjoys bear markets, as they provide opportunities for improvement:
“After many years of this, I’ve come to enjoy the down cycles in crypto prices more. It gets rid of the people who are in it for the wrong reasons, and it gives us an opportunity to keep making progress while everyone else gets distracted.”
Could this mean that the platform has spent the latest bear run by working on something as big as becoming a part of the Facebook behemoth? One cannot but entertain the thought that Gemini, due to the past that Zuckerberg and Winklevoss twins share, might be a more likely (if not more spicy) acquisition. For now, Facebook still remains out of the crypto picture; still, all the signs imply that this is about to change.