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CRYPTO STORY OF THE DAY
Last Week, To Little Fanfare, Facebook Announced Facebook Pay On Their Website - This Is The Announcement That Libra Should Have Been - We Feel That FB Got The Release Strategies For These Two Projects Backwards
The announcement was made in a release on the company website on November 12 that coincided with their brand redesign. The post titled, 'simplifying payments with Facebook Pay' explained that developments would be rolled out as soon as this week. The service offers payment solutions for fundraisers, in-game purchases, event ticket payments, person-to-person payments on Messenger and payments to select businesses on Facebook marketplace. The product seems to be positioned, down to the name, as a competitor to popular Chinese messaging app WeChat's WeChat Pay. More domestically, the business would compete with American peer-to-peer payment app Venmo. Contrary to how the company marketed Libra, with a grand announcement and whitepaper release, the Facebook pay announcement was done to little fanfare. In fact, there has been essentially no change in Google search volume for 'Facebook Pay' while searches for 'Libra' saw a major spike around announcement (chart).
Crypto Takeaway: Since Libra was announced we have consistently expressed our confusion regarding why FB decided to present what was most comparable to a payment network in a cryptocurrency wrapper. Not only is cryptocurrency hot-button in the best of times but why the company chose that angle, in a period where they were already under immense scrutiny from regulators, is beyond us. The payment network described in the blog post is very exciting. Facebook has over 2.5B monthly active users and conceivably this is just the start of what could end up being one of the world's largest retail financial services businesses. Given the damage done to the company's regulatory standing from Libra, it is no surprise that they have kept Facebook Pay relatively quiet. The question now is whether that damage will impair the company's ability to operate Facebook Pay to its commercial potential.