The as yet unconfirmed move by Facebook to develop a cryptocurrency for global payments has been cited by multinational banking group Barclays as a USD 19 billion opportunity for the social networking giant.

The company’s WhatsApp-driven crypto global payments system reported by The New York Times has still received no comments from Facebook but Barclays is already speculating on where this move, if it happens, could take the company’s profits by 2021.

Barclay’s internet analyst on Wall Street, Ross Sandler, has been happy to project figures on to what is still an unconfirmed report, also suggesting base-case of an incremental USD 3 billion in revenue from a successful cryptocurrency implementation if the crypto P2P system tied to fiat currencies goes ahead, adding:

“Merely establishing this revenue stream starts to change the story for Facebook shares in our view… Any attempt to build out revenue streams outside of advertising, especially those that don’t abuse user privacy are likely to be well-received by Facebook’s shareholders.”

Due to the huge user base of Facebook, numbering over 1 billion, a Facebook cryptocurrency would become extremely popular and has the potential to become one of the top cryptocurrencies quickly. The first hints that Facebook may be considering a move on cryptocurrency emerged last year when the company created a blockchain research team led by David Marcus, with a goal of leveraging blockchain technology, and possibly cryptocurrency, across its social network platform. Sandler predicts:

“Based on our checks, the first version of Facebook Coin may be a single purpose coin for micro-payments and domestic p2p money transfer (in-country), very similar to the original credits from 2010 and Venmo today.”


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