A Month Ago

There has been a lot of discussion about the forthcoming launch of Facebook’s ‘Facecoin’ and what a huge fan Jack Dorsey (the founder of Twitter) is of Cryptocurrencies.

Once either of these social media giants launches their own token, it will no doubt help to further fuel interest and adoption of Digital Currencies. Indeed, if you take a closer look at Instagram, there are over 800 million Instagram users, of which 500 million are active EVERY DAY! It is not just ‘selfies and pictures of plates of food’ that are being shared on Instagram. According to an e-marketing specialist, The Drum, Instagram will generate over $10 billion of revenue for Facebook (its owner) in 2019. Online digital advertisers are increasingly looking at social media sites, such as Instagram, as part of their digital engagement with existing and prospective customers.

However, as the chart above shows, the total number of people on social media is a staggering 3.4 billion, and the vast majority are using mobile devices to get onto social media sites. It is not just large social media sites using Blockchain technology - there is a host of other lesser-known social media platforms that use Blockchain technology as well, and many are using tokens to reward and encourage active users.

Minds - similar to Twitter and Facebook, with approximately 2.7 million monthly visits. A ‘Free Speech Social Network’ which does not push particular content over any other and uses a selection of popular features from Facebook and Twitter.

Choon - similar to Spotify. Designed to help musicians ensure they are paid a fare-share for what they create, receiving a form of Crypto tokens as payment. Choon also pays listeners to curate playlists and listen to sponsored tracks in exchange for tokens.

Indorse - similar to LinkedIn. A platform for people looking for a job, by allowing them to post their CV, listing what projects they have worked on and then, anonymously, experts in that person’s professional network can ‘endorse’ them. The user and the endorsers are incentivised to use the platform by being paid ‘Indorse Bucks’, creating a more reliable and honest database of people’s experience and skill sets.

MeWe - similar to WhatsApp, but with a focus on privacy. This could be a better solution for people who use private Facebook groups (shared with close friends) using features such as disappearing messages.

Steepshot - similar to Instagram. This social media platform enables smartphone photographers and influencers to be paid for their content, by earning tokens as an award for their photos and the interest they generate.
So social media, which is now being used by over 3.2 billion people, is embracing Blockchain Technology and or Digital Assets (by giving way tokens to users) and, in many cases, without its users even being aware. Perhaps this is how this technology and this New Asset class will become mainstream. After all, do we really care, let alone think, about what operating 7system our smartphone uses? Or what the latency and cybersecurity challenges are of using a debit card as we pay for our weekly groceries?

The massive growth of social media has financed selling adverts based on users data. This...

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Nike, the world’s largest shoe manufacturer and the most valuable apparel brand in the world, has filed a trademark “CryptoKicks” which could lead to it launching its own Cryptocurrency.

This rather bold claim is on the back of Nike’s trademark application, which states “Financial services, namely, providing a digital currency or digital token for use by members of an online community via a global computer network; facilitation of financial transactions using unconventional currency systems and bartering...”

Interestingly, earlier this year, Nike launched trainers that lace themselves, called HyperAdapt. Therefore, will CryptoKicks support an incentive scheme for people wearing these trainers? After all, Nike apparel, with its distinctive logo, is as a form of advertising medium while being worn. So, the more you wear your trainers, the more CryptoKicks you could earn!

Facebook is looking to launch Facecoin on WhatsApp in India, but will Nike beat it and have CryptoKicks up and running before Zuckerberg is out of the blocks?

Nike, like Facebook, has a global audience, who are using their goods and services on a daily basis and both firms need to stay relevant, engaged, and keep the attention of their customers while finding ways to encourage them to repeat purchases.

How long before we see other global brands launching their own Cryptocurrencies for engagement, reward, and payment mechanism?

Social Media

2 Months Ago

The key to success for many businesses is having strong and effective distribution, and this is what Telegram (200+Million), Twitter (300+Million), Facebook (2.3 Billion + 1.5 Billion using WhatsApp and 1 Billion using Instagram) have already done.

So, all three firms, with their existing distribution could enable each one of them to launch their own Digital Currency and try and take a slice of the $5+Trillion foreign exchange market (as estimated by the Bank of International Settlement). On top of this, there are the internal cash, credit and debit card transactions every day within each country across the world, so the potential size of the market to go for is huge.

In the $508 Trillion global publicly quoted equity and bond market, there is also the potential for a successful Digital Currency provider to target these assets too, if the former NASDAQ CEO and chairman, Robert Greifeld is right. He believes that by 2022, all Wall Street financial instruments such as bonds, real estate, and equities will be tokenized. For tokenised, think of digital, and Silicon Valley organisations have many of the digital skill sets needed to become competitors to the traditional Wall Street incumbents.

One of the key factors holding back mass adoption of Digital Assets, is that dealing in Digital Assets is not very user-friendly, but I suspect Facebook, Telegram or Twitter will soon work out how to solve this challenge.

Facebook is looking to issue Facecoin, Telegram is rumoured to be going to launch GRAM and Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, also the founder of Square - a financial services payments business are currently hiring engineers as it gears up its Crypto skills. Jack Dorsey is known to be supportive of Digital Assets, just look at his Twitter feed, so will Square’s Crypto skills be used within Twitter?

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Digital Assets
A New York Times journalist has reported that Facebook has been talking to Venture Capital (VC) firms to raise $1 Billion to invest in its cryptocurrency project.

Facebook is looking to launch Facecoin in India on its WhatsApp platform later this year, and it is thought Tim Draper, a VC manager who backed Skype, Bitcoin ( five years ago) and Coinbase, is considering to participate and invest.

Facebook is allegedly going to issue a stablecoin, although it is not clear yet whether it will be pegged/linked to the US$, or to a basket of international currencies. Given Facebook‘s global reach of users, a stablecoin based on a basket of currencies could be an interesting proposition. While the concept of investing in a basket of currencies is not new, as it has been possible to invest in such an asset for a while and there are Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) securities that offer this exposure, a stablecoin that gives exposure to a basket of currencies would be unique as a Digital Asset.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, who is reportedly worth over $66 Billion, has spoken a lot about Facebook’s plans to launch its own Digital Currency, and his company now has over 50 people working on this project, including David Marcus, the former President of PayPal.

Some are predicting that Facebook is looking to offer an alternative to the US$ and emulate the success that We Chat in China has had, offering a money transfer solution. In any event, with Facebook’s financial muscle and strong balance sheet (as it is sitting on over $40 Billion of cash and investments), it is surprising that it is looking to raise more capital. So, what else is this global titan, which has been the subject of so much recent criticism up to now, and will the launch of Facecoin really enable Facebook to attack the lucrative financial services sector?

There could be a much bigger story here as Facebook looks to further monetise our behaviour and gather even more data about what we buy and sell, then selling this data to their advertising clients. Facebook could reward users, based on the number of “likes and shares” people make, whether it be on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, as they are all part of the same organisation. How long though will it be before we see Amazon, Apple, Google Microsoft, etc. issuing their own Digital currencies, bypassing banks and governments, in a scramble to be the go-to Digital alternative payment mechanism?

Social Media
Established in 2006, and with over 500 Million accounts, VKontakte is the ninth most visited website in the world according to SimilarWeb.

Users of the Russian social media network, based on the amount of time they spend on the VKontakte’s platform, will receive tokens. Tokens earned this way could be transferred between users, to purchase goods and potentially be converted to cash via VK Pay. VK Pay is a money transfer service that lets VK users send money to each other in messages, using a credit or debit card. 

This format is similar to Facebook’s plans for Facecoin, which is reported to be launching later this year in India on WhatsApp, and follows Line, Japan’s largest social media platform, which is using Digital Assets.

VKontake’s co-founder Pavel Durov also founded Telegram, which raised over $1.8 Billion in 2018 and is reported to be worth over $2.7 Billion personally.

These massive social media firms in three different continents are all using a potent cocktail of gamification and loyalty programs to incentivise and reward their customers for spending more time on their platforms. They presumably will be collecting information on what the tokens are being used to purchase and sell this valuable consumer data to advertisers.

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Social Web

3 Months Ago

No surprise that Facebook is launching Facecoin, as the West Coast tech giant looks to attack the rich powerful East Coast financial services market.

Barclays has based their analysis on Google who earn $6 per user on Google play, and with 3 billion Facebook users, Barclays thinks that $19 Billion of additional revenue is achievable.

Facebook is launching later this year after which no doubt they will roll out Facecoin in other jurisdictions very quickly, and with it, global reach to customers that could be anywhere.

Facebook generated 89% of its $40Billion revenue in 2017 from digital advertising. It has over 6 million business users, so it may be it will be corporate accounts that Facecoin will be targeting, cutting out the banks especially for any overseas payments from their clients.

If Facebook becomes a major provider of payments, as it is in messaging and social media, then it is likely to attract even more pressure for mega tech companies to be broken up!

In this lengthy post last week Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t mention Cryptocurrencies but did talk about payments and encryption on a number of occasions.

This announcement will not have been lost on other FANGs members – Apple, Netflix, and Google let alone Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent so watch this space for more branded digital assets dressed up as payment methods for their loyal customers…

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Digital Advertising
How ironic Facebook, who has made billions from controlling and selling data in a highly centralised way, is now looking at using Blockchain technology with it’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg  extolling the benefits of decentralised systems as a more secure way to login.

Amazingly Zuckerberg recently said, ‘If you have a fully distributed system, it dramatically empowers individuals.’

Blockchain offers individuals control over their data so they can share and potentially monetize it this taking control away from the current hand full of tech giants that provide “free” services while selling your data to advertisers.

Facebook seem to be more and more active in the Blockchain sector having bought Chainspace earlier this year and announced it was going to launch FaceCoin on WhatApp in India.

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4 Months Ago

 Facebook has bought a Blockchain company that was founded by University College of London researchers who specialize in Smart Contracts. 

The deal is rumored to have been driven to help Facebook secure talent in this highly competitive blockchain sector as opposed to buying a profitable business. Facebook on 21/12/18 announced that it was looking at launching its own Cryptocurrency to run via WhatsApp and to initially be launched in India. Facebook as at the end of 2018 was sitting on over $41billion in cash and with a stranglehold along with Google over digital online advertising it is in a very strong position to complete further deals in this rapidly developing sector.

Cryptocurrency Investments
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5 Months Ago

Fieldfisher corporate partner Tim Bird shares three predictions for tech deal-making in 2019.

The first prediction is that while blockchain will continue to mature in 2019, much of the attention previously fixed on this sector is likely to shift to the underlying infrastructure that enables cryptocurrency exchange.

The second prediction is that social media platforms will continue to move into fintech territory. For example, Facebook has grown its blockchain capability and confirmed rumors that it intends to launch its own cryptocurrency. However, Mr. Bird predicts that it will be a bumpy year ahead for the social media sector in general as global privacy policies and customer usage continue to move away from text-based sharing and content generation to more video and image-based experiences.

And the final prediction is that as demand for batteries is increasing due to mobile phones, electric cars, etc. and the amount of electricity needed to power blockchain technologies, a novel development could be the deeper integration of renewable energy into blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies in order to reduce the carbon footprint of these sectors.

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Co-founder of TeamBlockchain, Thomas Power, with over 30 years of experience building online digital communities, believes that it is just time before the FANGs - Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google start gobbling up the leading crypto players. Just like Dotcom, there will be a handful of winners from the 5,000 ICOs we have seen to date as they give way to the more compliant institutional friendly security tokens.

Digital Currency
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6 Months Ago

Co-founder of TeamBlockchain, Thomas Power with over 30 years of experience building online digital communities believes that it is just time before the FANGs - Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google start gobbling up the leading crypto players. Just like Dotcom, there will be a handful of winner form the 5,000 ICOs we have seen to date as they give way to the more compliant institutional friendly Security Tokens.

Security Token
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Source: Why crypto will be eaten by Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple