Facebook is considering creating products and features related to non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, the digital assets that took off with the emergence of blockchain technology.
“We’re definitely looking at a lot of ways to get involved with the space because we think we’re in a really good position to do that,” said David Marcus, a Facebook executive, in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
Marcus leads F2, or Facebook Financial, the internal group that develops the company’s Novi digital portfolio. That wallet could be used to store NFTs, he said. “When you have a good cryptocurrency portfolio like Novi’s, you also need to think about how to help consumers support NFTs,” he added. “We are definitely thinking about it.” He wasn’t more specific about the types of NFT-related products Facebook can build.
Facebook’s digital wallet is “ready now,” said Marcus, but the company is waiting to launch it until it can do so alongside Diem, the digital currency formerly known as Libra, which Marcus co-founded within Facebook in 2019.
Plans are for Diem to offer a so-called stablecoin backed in US dollars, but it’s not clear when the currency will be released. The bill faced immense resistance from lawmakers and regulators when it was unveiled, and while Facebook is still a partner in the project, Diem is now independently run.
Marcus said Facebook would consider launching the Novi Diem-free wallet “as a last resort,” but he believes both are needed to change the way people make payments. The social media giant’s hope is that people will use Facebook’s wallet to transfer Diem, which could reduce expensive fees and shorten the time it takes to send money abroad.
Without more innovation in payments technology, Marcus said, countries in the West like the US will have a hard time keeping up with China in adapting to a world where digital payments are dominant.
“We are really falling behind at an alarming rate,” he said.
© 2021 Bloomberg LP