There are a handful of tech giants today whose influence and scope are undeniably enormous. Facebook might well be the #1. The controversial social media platform has a global reach thanks to its 2.4 billion monthly users. Not only them, but the terabytes and terabytes of personal data they feed into the centralised data-collection megalith concerning both themselves and the people they know.
For us in the crypto space, Facebook has long represented something like a ‘Deal with the Devil’ in that accessing those 2.4 billion people with the news and utility of crypto would be overwhelmingly positive. However, trusting a proven untrustable company like Facebook to deliver on the promise and ethos of crypto and blockchain seems a path doomed for failure.
Nonetheless, Facebook has recently come out and stated that they are creating a cryptocurrency and are aiming to have it live and utilized by 2020.
What Is It?
Zuckerberg and Facebook have decided on the name ‘GlobalCoin’.
Ominous, I know.
GlobalCoin will simply be a payment network solution native to the Facebook ecosystem. It is not yet clear exactly where users will be able to spend GlobalCoin and what potential products and services will be available. However, the intention is to provide it’s 2.4 billion users with a more instantaneous and cheaper payments solution where traditionally Paypal or the banking sector were relied upon.
Facebook intends to have GlobalCoin up and functioning by the first quarter of 2020. They are launching test projects as early as this year. What these projects involve is not exactly clear.
How Will It Work?
Again, this is another example of a centralised digital ledger. Details aren’t clear right now as to how the GlobalCoin blockchain will achieve consensus but it is fair to assume that Facebook will not delegate the consensus mechanism to a trustless, global peer-to-peer network but instead will maintain control over the ledger and which payments are approved and which funds are allowed to move at any given time. To do any different would be to hand over control of their native asset to a global community which it cannot control.
Is This Really A Cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a means of digital transaction that cannot be interfered with by a centralised authority. By very definition GlobalCoin will not be a cryptocurrency. Rather GlobalCoin is simply a centralised payment solution owned and operated by the largest data-mining and advertising company in the world that just happens to be settled on something like a blockchain… maybe.