If Mark Zuckerberg wishes so, you may soon be able to shop on Facebook using cryptocurrency. Well, that’s not an immediate rollout, but something we can expect given the rising popularity of the new-age virtual currency, and Zuckerberg’s reference to it in his latest public post for the new year, and the challenges he intends to take on.
In his traditional post on Facebook, Zuckerberg talks about his yearly challenges; from building AI for his home, visiting every US state, and learning Mandarin. He writes, “The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.”
In addition to focusing on fixing these issues, Zuckerberg also intends to learn more about other issues such as centralization and de-centralization in technology, referring to cryptocurrency. He writes, “There are important counter-trends to this –like encryption and cryptocurrency — that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”
The result of a complex mining procedure, cryptocurrency was under the spotlight more than ever before when Bitcoin valuation soared over $10,000 on some exchanges in November last year and continued to surge up to $20,000 in a span of one week.
However, as virtual currency, it still needs regularization to be fully called a legal currency. Despite the lack of clarity on its status and future, it has got the interest of the world, including major banks, policy makers, and of course, technology leaders.
It must be understood that Zuckerberg’s next plan might not be actually to introduce cryptocurrency as an alternative payment system, but to use the technology to help fix Facebook. As a report on The Independent puts it, Zuckerberg believes that the problem with the internet today is that it is becoming too centralized, which means a few companies, including Facebook, are controlling it. In order to address that, the use of cryptocurrency technology could act as a de-centralizing force.