Social media giant, Facebook piqued the cryptocurrency industry’s interest with its native coin project. However, it might pique even more interest after Ross Sandler, an internet analyst with the British investment bank, Barclays, stated that Facebook’s Coin project could be a revenue opportunity worth a billion dollars.
According to Sandler, the Facebook Coin could be valued at a potential revenue ceiling of $19 billion by 2021. Taking a conservative approach, the revenue floor would be $3 billion, according to the analyst.
Sandler based his revenue prediction on Google Play, the Android app store which is also Google’s digital distribution service. The Barclays analyst stated that Facebook Coin will move with a “similar cadence,” on the Play Store, ringing in $6 in net “revenue,” per user.
Given this massive prediction, Facebook shares would see soaring values. Sandler said,
“Merely establishing this revenue stream starts to change the story for Facebook shares in our view.”
Facebook was embroiled in several disputes last year, resulting in its share value dropping to under $125 from a high of $217. After being attacked by users, advertisers and even politicians, Facebook seeks to diversify their operations to make sure investors stay on board. Payments, it believes, is the next frontier.
The social media giant has been looking into developing a native coin tied to the global payments network via their messaging platform, WhatsApp. Users can instantly send the coin to their contacts through a decentralized computer system. Sandler described this development as something “sorely needed at this stage of the company’s narrative.”
“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.”
The payment system would also allow the social media giant to curate more premium content in partnership with other companies, stated Sandler.
In 2010, Facebook employed a similar payments system called Facebook credits. Users could buy credits using traditional money, which could later be used for in-app purchases.
The failure of this old system was due to interchange costs, said Sandler. He stated that this reduced the business’s profitability, when the quantity of transactions was high and the valuation was low.
“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.”
Facebook has already hired PayPal President David Marcus to run the company’s blockchain and cryptocurrency front. Furthermore, the Menlo Park company also acquired the team behind the blockchain startup, Chainspace to work on the coin project.
Sandler concluded that the USP of the Facebook coin project still has to be determined and it should be “above what is available today in payments.” The company also has to earn back the trust of its investors following the previous year’s mess, he said.
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