Facebook Eyes NFT Market, Warns of Chinese E-Pay Dominance
Facebook could be set to take the plunge into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – and has also claimed that America is losing the “digital payments” race to China.
Facebook’s David Marcus, the head of the social media giant’s blockchain operations and the architect of its Diem stablecoin plans, claimed that the firm was is in a “good position” to “get involved” in the NFT space. The company is “definitely looking at the number of ways” to enter the sector, Marcus told Bloomberg.
Marcus’ remit includes heading Novi, Facebook’s forthcoming digital wallet, which he claimed was “ready now,” but will not debut until the launch of the scaled-back Diem project.
“When you have a good crypto wallet like Novi will be, you also have to think about how to help consumers support NFTs. We’re definitely thinking about this.”
However, he did concede that Facebook would entertain the notion of launching Novi without a parallel Diem debut “as a last resort” – perhaps a reference to the glacial progress the token has made since it was announced back in 2019.
Plans for a “global stablecoin,” pegged to a “basket” of international currencies, based in Switzerland and involving some of the world’s biggest payments firms have been reeled in after regulatory pressure took its toll. The likes of Mastercard dropped out of the Diem (formerly Libra) project, forcing a massive rethink.
But Facebook is still eager to move into the payments space and has already laid some of the groundwork by building up its Facebook Pay network.
The company appears wary of falling behind international rivals and warned Washington that slowing tech giants’ e-pay plans could prove costly. China’s own tech giants – Alibaba and Tencent – have fast-growing e-pay platforms that have already cornered 15% of the nation’s payments market. Both are now eyeing overseas expansion.
Marcus stated that “without more innovation in payments technology,” Western nations like the United States would “struggle to keep up with China in adapting to a world where digital payments are dominant.”
“We’re really falling behind at an alarming rate.”