Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have made waves over the last few months. In fact, venture-backed startups that have been experiencing stalled progress are now looking at a new lifeline: Shift towards cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
One particular company is Kik. Kik is a messaging app that has struggled against Facebook and Instagram. In order to stay relevant, what it did was create its very own cryptocurrency called Kin. Kin can be used in buying and selling things using the Kik app as well as in other relevant apps in the future.
The company has sold tokens and has been able to raise around $100 million from both individual investors and institutions. Kik isn’t the only startup that has now focused on blockchain tech. A number of other startups such as Skedaddle, which is an “Uber for buses”, and Lumia, which is a wearable company, have all began using blockchain technology.
But these days, it isn’t just startups that are looking to grow using blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies. Mark Zuckerberg expressed his interest in cryptocurrencies in his mission statement for 2018.
Facebook and Cryptocurrency
In Mark Zuckerberg’s statement, he mentioned fixing Facebook as well as mentioning the possibility of using technology that decentralizes power. Facebook has been lagging compared to other Asian messaging rivals from WeChat Pay to AliPay in terms of payment functions.
WeChat combined with Alibaba hold an estimated 92% of China’s mobile wallets market share. It has an estimated 500 million mobile payment users within China. On the other hand, the rest of the world has approximately around 556 million mobile money accounts according to CGAP, a finance industry consortium.
Facebook payments have struggled over the years. Facebook payments allow users to link their debit card to their messenger account. This allows them to pay friends using just a quick message or an e-commerce purchase from the Messenger application as well as on Marketplace on Facebook.
It has already been announced in the past that Facebook is planning to expand the payments business conservatively. Part of their plan is to include bill payments as well as investing options, something that both WeChat Pay and Alipay have used over the years.
Mark Hojgaard, the CEO and co-founder of Coinify, a tech firm that helps businesses accept payments using digital currencies, mentioned that “it definitely makes sense for Facebook users globally to send some kind of token to each other. this could be currency or something else like points that you can redeem them for things within the Facebook ecosystem, like premium content”.
Experts believe that Facebook has an advantage overseas at least for now. Since Chinese governments have banned both ICO and domestic cryptocurrency exchanges from operating in the country, this could mean that Facebook can move for the time being without being bothered by their competitors. This way, Facebook can make its own cryptowallet or even have a possible Facebook coin in the near future.
Can Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook be able to clinch the market for the rest of the world? And can Facebook payment be just as popular worldwide as WeChat Pay and AliPay are popular in China?