Facebook executives announced not long ago that they would launch their own cryptocurrency, Libra, next year. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has likened his vision for the ease of peer-to-peer cash transfers to sending photos, and now it seems as if the company may be able to bring that vision to life with cryptocurrency. And beyond peer-to-peer transfer, Libra will likely have applications in the increasingly popular Facebook Marketplace (which has basically become a modernized versions of eBay and Craigslist), as well as on the platforms of some of Facebook’s Libra Association development partners (including Uber and Spotify).
Even with these few clear possibilities, the potential of Libra can begin to seem vast. This, in turn, raises the question of what other major companies might be inclined to follow Facebook into the cryptocurrency space.
Other Tech Giants & Social Media Platforms
The simplest suggestion is that in order to compete with Facebook, other tech giants may also look to up their cryptocurrency game. Google could certainly be a player in this space, with its massive variety of services (from web browsers to audiobook rentals) lending itself naturally to in-house payment processing. Another possibility could be Apple, which has already made a fairly significant impact with Apple Pay simply in popularizing the idea of tech-based, digital payments. Apple Pay itself, as it currently functions, is still a far cry from cryptocurrency. However, a hypothetical “Applecoin” could be integrated with the Apple Pay infrastructure, or simply added on the side for Apple-related purchases.
Online Gaming & Betting Platforms
Being able to make payments via digital currency will be useful in the realm of online gaming and betting. This is due to the fact that paying with cryptocurrencies is much faster than most other existing digital options (some of which go through banks). So for instance, at an online casino you could buy into a game more quickly; in a sports betting scenario you could see your winnings transferred to your account more quickly. Websites in these categories are also well equipped to add cryptos. Some casino sites already have, in fact, and with modern online betting sites taking more modern, streamlined approaches, they too can incorporate a new digital payment method with ease.
Streaming Services & TV Providers
Cable TV viewing seems well on its way to becoming obsolete with the rise in internet streaming services. Even popular channels like ABC and CBS now have their own streaming services online, despite not being as commonly advertised as market leads like Netflix and Hulu (and more are on the way). As more and more of our favorite pastimes – like binge-watching TV shows – become digitized and embedded in internet usage, so too will our means of obtaining these services. These companies and services already accept payments on an entirely digital basis, and could thus easily implement their own cryptocurrencies.
Online Publishers Of Written Content
One more industry (so to speak) that is likely to see an influence from cryptocurrency trends is that of written content online. To an extent, this has already been done by Steemit. This site is similar to others like Reddit or Medium, where an online community is created through interactions between authors and readers. On Steemit, however, readers earn payments in the form of the STEEM cryptocurrency, which they can then use to tip the authors of pieces they’ve enjoyed reading. At the moment, this is a pretty contained environment, but similar models could spread to any number of other content platforms if and when cryptos become somewhat more mainstream.
Nothing is for certain yet, of course, but given Facebook’s move, we’d be wise to keep our eyes on these areas for additional crypto plays by big-name companies.