Facebook Archives -
Facebook’s vaulting ambition to create a new global digital currency has led it to hold talks with some of the nation’s largest trading houses and cryptocurrency exchanges, sources say, including one founded by Mark Zuckerberg’s sworn enemies: the Winklevoss twins.
A secretive unit of the social…
It may sound like a 2014-era shitcoin, but Globalcoin is this year’s most anticipated new digital asset. It doesn’t matter that it’s not decentralized, not permissionless, and not even crypto. The only question that really matters is what does Facebook’s currency spell for bitcoin? Will it steal its thunder or accelerate bitcoin adoption?
Globalcoin: Coming Soon to a World Near You
If Mark Zuckerberg had hoped to convince the world that he’s a normal guy, and not a shape-shifting Illuminati reptilian, Globalcoin has scuppered that. It’s the name that satirists would have dubbed Facebook’s forthcoming currency, had Zuck not gone and claimed it for himself. Like Facebook itself, Globalcoin (GC) is easy to mock and easier to meme, but away from the easy one-liners, what’s known about the coin and what effect – if any – will it have on cryptocurrency?
GC is scheduled to launch in Q1 2020. Lest confirmation were needed as to how entrenched in the legacy financial system Zuck bucks will be, Facebook’s CEO has reportedly met with Bank of England governor Mark Carney as well as seeking advice from the U.S. Treasury. Project Libra, as the program is known, has been one of the world’s worst kept secrets since 2018, when it emerged that Facebook was seeking to hire blockchain developers for a covert monetary project.
Mining GlobalCoin pic.twitter.com/G4fuSq956f
— cryptograffiti (@cryptograffiti) May 24, 2019
GC will be nothing more than another fiat-pegged stablecoin, which is unremarkable. The coin’s real power comes in the network effects that can be leveraged to get the currency into the hands of billions, including Facebook users who don’t have bank accounts. The benefits this could bring to Facebook-loyal consumers, who can seamlessly use the coin in-app (be it FB, Insta, or Whatsapp) to pay friends and purchase goods, are substantial. But the benefits this powerful new trove of data will bring Facebook are bigger still.
A Cash Grab From the World’s Data Despots
Facebook’s extremely shitty attitude towards protecting user privacy does not need reiterating. Indeed, it is hard to think of a worse qualified custodian of a global digital currency. For all its crimes though – deplatforming, unauthorized data sharing, censorship and flagrant privacy violations – Facebook remains the world’s dominant social network. People are inherently complacent and, save for a handful of privacy purists, there has been no mass exodus of users in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and similar abuses. It doesn’t matter how much data Globalcoin harvests or who it’s shared with: if the coin works seamlessly, people will use it.
As for quite how crypto Facebook’s crypto is, the answer is “not very.” As a permissioned currency, just like the permissioned social network it lives inside, it’s irrelevant whether GC runs on a blockchain or an SQL database. No amount of nodes or validators will change the fact that your globalcoins are only yours provided you use them for the purpose that Zuckerberg intended. Play by the rules, and you’ll be just fine. Step out of line, however, and expect to see your account balance emptied and wallet frozen. As Bloomberg put it, “More than 2 billion users spending one currency, controlled by one billionaire. What’s to worry about?,” noting that Dr Evil would love Globalcoin.
Wow bold move from Facebook on the Globalcoin logo pic.twitter.com/YAMFRoxUYt
— Josh Cincinnati (@acityinohio) May 24, 2019
What Globalcoin Means for Bitcoin
As for what GC means for bitcoin, there are essentially two schools of thought. One holds that GC holds a genuine threat in giving the masses the benefits of crypto – fast settlement, low fees, wrapped in a package that even grandma can understand – with none of the downsides, such as volatility, complexity, or the irreversible loss of funds. In this paradigm, GC will replace BTC as a medium of exchange (MoE), leaving bitcoin to serve as a store of value (SoV) and for payments that fall outside of Facebook’s purview – like buying drugs. If this comes to pass, then GC could also threaten other MoE cryptos such as BCH, LTC, and DASH.
The other school of thought holds that Globalcoin will serve as a Trojan horse, or gateway drug, to bitcoin. Through normalizing the use of digital currency, it will make the transition to permissionless crypto seem less scary, ensuring that bitcoin is primely placed to onboard the masses when they tire of GC’s limitations: the privacy concerns, the data abuses, and the limited means of spending. In this context, Zuckerberg’s vanilla crypto will get bested by bitcoin, which can outmuscle it on all fronts, save for network effects. With an estimated 30 million cryptocurrency users versus 2.4 billion Facebook users, Globalcoin will launch with a massive advantage.
Didn’t think I’d ever say this, but:
I don’t want to live in a world where mark zuckerberg beats the winklevii.
— Ryan Selkis (@twobitidiot) May 24, 2019
Love, hate, or fear it, Globalcoin merely represents the inevitable evolution of money. The majority of our spending has already gravitated to the digital realm, be it Paypal, Apple Pay, Visa, Venmo or bitcoin. With the underlying payment network being abstracted away while cash dies a slow death, Globalcoin will take a seat at the table of digital payment solutions, despite offering nothing new. As has been reiterated many times over, bitcoin doesn’t need to take over the world to succeed: it simply needs to survive. It is highly probable that Globalcoin will gain more users in its first month than bitcoin ever has or ever will. That metric, however, is meaningless.
When Facebook users tire of being surveilled, censored, and sold out, bitcoin will be there, as sound money that is beholden to no one and available to everyone.
What are your thoughts on Globalcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.
The post Facebook Globalcoin: Bitcoin Killer or Bitcoin Multiplier? appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Facebook says it removed 2.19 billion fake accounts in the first quarter of the year—a total nearly as high as the number of monthly active users. About 1.2 billion accounts were taken down in the last quarter of 2018, Engadget reports. The company said in its Community…
A Connecticut police department has reached a deal with a fugitive that would have him surrender if enough people respond to a wanted poster on social media, an agreement that at least one expert calls unethical. Jose Simms, 29, who is believed to be somewhere in New York, has seven…
In the world of high finance, Erlan Abdikarimov is as small-time as they come. A 30-year-old stock analyst, he plies his trade in Kazakhstan, where he advises investors about local companies and initial public offerings in the U.S.
So when Abdikarimov came out last week with a dire warning on Beyond…
Livestreaming terrorist attacks. Using social media to spread deadly ideas. Manipulating banned videos to keep sharing them online.
World leaders and tech bosses are meeting Wednesday in Paris to find ways to stop all this. They’re working all day on the “Christchurch Appeal,” named after the New…
After years of pressure to crack down on extremist content, Facebook has banned Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and other extremists, saying they violated its ban against hate and violence, the AP reports. The company also banned right-wing leaders Paul Nehlen, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, and Laura Loomer, along with…
Facebook Inc. rolled out a substantial redesign of its website and mobile app, as Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg seeks to address criticism of the social-media giant’s influence by nudging users toward different types of engagement and more private communication tools.
“I know that we don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly,” Mark Zuckerberg quipped at the annual F8 Facebook developer’s conference—but he promised that the company will turn it around. In his keynote address, the CEO announced a major overhaul of Facebook’s…
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling on Facebook to escalate action against fake accounts set up by law enforcement to nap immigration violators.