Facebook Inc. is deliberating on the development of products and features related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This happens as NFTs and the digital asset craze take off with the increased momentum in blockchain technology. Facebook executive David Marcus confirmed this Tuesday in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
We are looking at the number of ways to get involved in space because we think we are in a very good position to do so.
Marcus is in charge of Facebook Financial (F2), an internal group that builds the company's digital wallet, Novi. The wallet can be used to store NFT, he said. "When you have a good crypto wallet like the one Novi will have, you also have to think about how to help consumers support NFTs," he added. However, Marcus did not go into details about the NFT products that Facebook intends to launch.
Facebook and the blockchain ecosystem
According to Marcus, the digital wallet is "ready now." However, the company is hoping to launch it alongside its stablecoin, Diem. Formerly known as Libra, the digital currency pegged to the US dollar was co-founded by Marcus within Facebook in 2019. Facebook has not specified when exactly these events will take place.
In particular, the social media giant faced a lot of opposition from regulators and lawmakers when it became known. Today, Diem operates independently, but Facebook remains a partner in the project.
Due to these headwinds, Novi can launch separately from Diem, Marcus said. This move, however, would be "a last resort", as he believes that both are necessary to alter the payment system. Facebook's goal was for its digital wallet users to make payments using Diem. This would make transactions not only profitable but also fast, especially when making cross-border remittances.
Marcus warned that if payments technology innovations failed, Western countries like the United States would suffer. The balance may tip in favor of regions like China, which are rapidly adapting to a world dominated by digital payments.
We are truly falling behind at an alarming rate.
Growth of social commerce and digital payments
According to Mordor Intelligence, the transaction value of the digital payments market was $ 5.44 trillion in 2020. This figure is projected to increase to $ 11.29 trillion by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.21%.
Additionally, social commerce grew 37.9 percent in 2020, according to emarketer.com. The website also forecasts 34.8 percent growth this year, driven by the pandemic. Instagram and Pinterest have been the most relevant social commerce sites so far. However, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok are expanding their offerings to catch up.
On August 24, Facebook announced the deployment of its market function in 37 more countries and territories in sub-Saharan Africa. The market is a convenient destination for people to discover, buy and sell other people's items in their local communities. Similarly, rival social app TikTok recently launched a shopping feature for additional e-commerce integration.