Time and again there have been news reports that speak about Facebook developing its own token and it would deploy it for payments for Whatsapp users. While the news of Facebook entering crypto space is exciting, it leaves behind a point of contention as to are messaging apps great way to deploy crypto-based payments.
Messaging apps could take cryptos to every hand
According to a recent report published in the New York Times, authors, Nathaniel Popper, and Mike Isaac have again touched upon the news of Facebook releasing its own stablecoin to deploy the same via Whatsapp to enable crypto-based payments. While this is not the first time such news has surfaced and there is every indication that Facebook is progressing on its secretive crypto project, the discussion does try to answer a critical question – Are messaging apps the answer to crypto payments.
It’s not just Facebook, which according to current update speaking to cryptocurrency exchanges about selling the Facebook coin to consumers, other messaging apps are also entering the fray of developing their own coins and tokens. These include the Telegram and Signal who plan to roll out their new cryptocurrencies over the next year and would also provide its user’s payment options to send money to contacts on their messaging systems, just like a Venmo or PayPal would do to move money across international borders.
Telegram, which has an estimated 300 million users worldwide, has been thoroughly working on a digital coin, Signal, an encrypted messaging service that is popular among technologists and privacy advocates, has its own coin in the works. And so, do the biggest messaging applications in South Korea and Japan, Kakao, and Line.
These messaging companies have hundreds of millions of users and have a reach far beyond anything. Bringing cryptocurrency-based payments to these apps means there would be a direct adoption of crypto coins by millions of users across the globe. While all these new projects are moving towards a competitive industry, still they will be able to capture a wider market faster than any other cryptocurrency. And like bitcoin, these new cryptocurrencies would make it easier to move money between countries, particularly in the developing world where it is hard for ordinary people to open bank accounts and buy things online.
Eric Meltzer, a co-founder of a cryptocurrency-focused venture capital firm, Primitive Ventures believes this messaging route is great and quite fascinating. According to him “It’s pretty much the most fascinating thing happening in crypto right now,” “They (messaging apps) each have their own advantage in this battle, and it will be insane to watch it go down.”
While the story is fascinating, these apps may face many of the same regulatory and technological hurdles that have kept Bitcoin from going mainstream. The road to their success might not be smooth, but definitely is a great way to make cryptos mainstream.
While the companies continue to throw significant resources into their projects, despite the slowdown in markets, it shows the potential these messaging apps hold in making crypto payments mainstream. If Facebook and Telegram are able to achieve the desired vision surpassing all the hurdles, crypto-based payments may soon become mainstream.
What is your view on crypto payments and their use via messaging apps? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.