Facebook Messenger VP David Marcus may have joined Coinbase’s board a few months ago, but that does not mean he has plans to bring cryptocurrencies to his platform.
Marcus stressed this at a conference last week where he participated in an onstage with CNBC. We’ve included some excerpts from that interview as noted by CNBC’s full article on their talk with him.
Reasons for reluctance
One of the things that Facebook has made a priority over the years is finding ways to monetize its users. Facebook Messenger boasts having 1.3 billion users, which would seem to make accepting Bitcoin a great monetization tool. However, Marcus explained that’s not the case.
"Payments using crypto right now is just very expensive, super slow, so the various communities running the different blockchains and the different assets need to fix all the issues, and then when we get there someday, maybe we'll do something."
Instead of figuring out ways to incorporate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into his Messenger platform, Marcus said he's focused on encouraging people to exchange money.
"When you want to pay someone you always have a conversation about it...Payments is really at home in a conversational environment. The experience is really frictionless because it's debit card to debit card experience."
Marcus alluded to the possibility of crypto acceptance once “the industry self regulates a lot better and you have better more legit products that want to be advertised on the platform.”
It’s clear that Marcus doesn’t have an aversion to cryptos. Not only did he say that he owned some, but in December, the former PayPal exec joined Coinbase’s board. When he did, he made this comment on Twitter:
“Thrilled to join the @Coinbase Board! Looking fwd to doing my best to help @brian_armstrong and the amazing team he's assembled, continue to democratize access to cryptocurrencies, and deliver on the mission to create an open financial system for the world”
Coinbase, in a blog post, noted that Marcus’ “perspective and experience in bringing innovative and impactful products to market will be invaluable to Coinbase as we grow.”
Coinbase further stated:
“David’s knowledge of both the payments and mobile space will help guide us in achieving our mission of creating a truly open financial system that will bring opportunity to people all across the globe.”
For now, that may be as much as we’ll see from a top Facebook exec in the crypto space. Facebook announced at the end of January that it had decided to ban crypto ads.
Specifically, the company said that one of its core principles was to provide a safe experience for users and protect them from misleading or deceptive ads. For that reason, the company decided to prohibit ads related to a wide range of financial products, including but not limited to binary options, ICOs and cryptos.