Facebook’s reported stablecoin project could be a significant moneymaker for the social media giant, according to Barclays analyst Ross Sandler.
In a note to investors first reported by CNBC and later obtained by CoinDesk, Sandler says Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts could yield anywhere from $3 billion to $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021. To put that estimate in context, the Menlo Park, California, company brought in $40.6 billion in total revenue in 2017, with $39.9 billion from advertising.
However, the analysis hinges on whether “Facebook Coin proves successful in reinvigorating FB’s micro-payment strategy for digital content distribution,” Sandler wrote.
Sandler also sees two primary challenges for Facebook achieving its crypto goals: “demonstrating a value prop for users above what is available today in payments” and overcoming consumers’ “trust issues after 2018’s problems.”
In an apparent bid to account for said trust issues, CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a lengthy post last week calling for Facebook to become more privacy-oriented in the years ahead. While “cryptocurrency” isn’t mentioned, payments and encryption are frequently invoked.
Face from the past
Sandler of Barclays noted that much remains unclear about Facebook’s crypto project. However, there is a precedent for virtual currency on the social media site: Facebook Credits.
“Facebook coin may simply be [looking] to process micro-transactions and re-invigorate the original business model that was in place in 2010-2012 under Facebook Credits,” Sandler wrote. “However, the scope of the project could be much larger, especially considering David Marcus (former CEO of PayPal) is heading up the project.”
Underscoring the breadth of the recruitment program, Facebook’s careers website now lists 20 job openings related to the technology.
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