New Reports Suggest Facebook is Buying Coinbase
The news is being reported by the UK’s Independent and other news outlets. Anthony Cuthbertson from the Independent revealed that Facebook already has connections to Coinbase, and that those connections could point to a pending acquisition.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard connections between Facebook and Coinbase. On June 2, The Economist reported that “there are rumours Facebook wants to buy Coinbase, a cryptocurrency firm.”
A Facebook takeover of Coinbase would be absolutely huge for the crypto industry, needless to say. However, at this point, it’s just a rumor. There are various links between Facebook and Coinbase, but there’s no specific evidence indicating that Facebook is preparing to acquire Coinbase.
Is There Any Truth To This Rumor?
First Sign: Facebook Lifts Crypto Ads Ban
One sign that Facebook is preparing to buy Coinbase is that Facebook recently reversed its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements. The social network banned crypto advertisements back in January. This past week, it reversed that ban, allowing companies that go through a registration process to post advertisements on the platform.
Of course, some suggest that the Facebook advertising ban reversal is linked to one simple reason: there’s too much money in crypto advertising for Facebook to ignore.
Second Sign: Management Shuffle & Blockchain Division
The next sign is more significant: Facebook has legitimate ties to Coinbase.
Last month, the social network announced the biggest management reshuffle in company history. That reshuffle included the launch of a division dedicated to exploring blockchain technology and how Facebook could implement it. That group, significantly, reports directly to Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer.
Third Sign: Facebook Head is Board Member of Coinbase
There was another significant development as part of this management shuffle. The head of the Facebook division exploring blockchain technology is David Marcus. Marcus was previously the head of Facebook Messenger. However, Marcus is also a board member of Coinbase, one of the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges.
We first heard rumors of Facebook buying Coinbase back in early June when it was reported by The Economist. The Economist reported the news against the backdrop of American tech giants getting involved in cryptocurrencies. The Facebook connection to Coinbase was buried deep in the article:
“Seeing little opportunity to compete with the tech giants on their own turf, investors and startups are going where they can spot an opening. The lack of an incumbent giant is one reason why there is so much investor enthusiasm for crypto-currencies and for synthetic biology today. But the giants are starting to pay more attention. There are rumours Facebook wants to buy Coinbase, a cryptocurrency firm.”
It’s unclear where The Economist got the rumors.
Meanwhile, The Independent’s story from earlier today reinforces the rumor.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if Facebook made an attempt to acquire Coinbase,” said tech entrepreneur Oliver Isaacs in a statement to The Independent. “Whether Brian Armstrong [the CEO of Coinbase] and the team would agree is another question.”
Coinbase has not responded to comments. However, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has previously announced his intentions of bringing cryptocurrency to a billion people. A partnership with Facebook would be one of the fastest ways to enhance crypto adoption.
“Today we’re serving maybe 10 million customers,” explained Armstrong in a promotional video for Coinbase filmed in March. “We would like to reach a billion people in the world who are using digital currency on a daily basis.”
Facebook, meanwhile, has over 2 billion users.
What About a Facebook Coin?
Facebook could take cryptocurrency adoption in a whole new direction: the company could be exploring the launch of its own Facebook coin. Many suspect that Facebook’s new blockchain research division is exploring the idea of a Facebook coin – or at least partially exploring the idea.
Such a coin would have enormous impact on the crypto community, needless to say.
The Independent cites a Facebook post published by Mark Zuckerberg in January where he seemed open to the idea of launching a cryptocurrency:
“One of the most interesting questions in technology right now is about centralization vs decentralization,” Zuckerberg wrote. “With the rise of a small number of big tech companies… many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it.”
Zuckerberg then pointed to cryptocurrencies as one way in which tech companies and users can coexist without centralization.
“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.”
Ultimately, the next few months could be significant for the cryptocurrency space. Facebook could transform the crypto industry overnight by acquiring Coinbase. They could also transform the industry overnight by launching their own Facebook Coin. Or they could do both and watch the community erupt.
Either way the social media scene is on fire with people posting their opinions
— Weiss Ratings (@WeissRatings) June 27, 2018
I'm calling it now…Facebook will buy Coinbase and integrates it to serve their $2+ Billion users to accelerate the digital currency revolution.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 10, 2018
Facebook will not buy coinbase. Coinbase is too well positioned to sell now.
— Tulips de' Medici ⚡️ (@cryptodemedici) June 27, 2018
Facebook bans Cryptocurrency advertisements, then lifts the bans, and now there are rumors that Facebook is interested in purchasing Coinbase.
— Hedge (@CryptoHedge_) June 27, 2018
Rumor is, Facebook is planning to buy Coinbase
🔹FB's Blockchain Group's Head is David Marcus, former head of Messenger & Coinbase board member
🔹Zuckerberg stated "how best to use blockchain" via FB
🔹No real crypto giant
🔹Coinbase CEO stated ambition to reach 1 billion users
— Indian CryptoGirl (@DesiCryptoHodlr) June 27, 2018
Just save this tweet for later…
If Facebook is really looking at buying Coinbase or any other #Crypto companies, the one person to look at for this move is Jihan Wu.
I promise you Jihan has his fingers in places nobody even knows about. Give it time 👀 #ControllingStake
— Nick (Crypto_Core) 🏆 (@Crypto_Core) June 27, 2018