Facebook Inc. is considering building products and features around non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, the digital assets that have taken off with the rise of blockchain technology.
“We’re definitely looking at a number of ways to get involved in the space because we think we’re in a very good position to do that,” Facebook executive David Marcus said Tuesday in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
Marcus leads F2, or Facebook Financial, the internal group developing the company’s Novi digital wallet. That wallet could be used to hold NFTs, he said. “When you have a good crypto wallet like Novi will have, you also need to think about how you can help consumers support NFTs,” he added. “We’re definitely thinking about this.” He was not more specific about what kind of NFT-related products Facebook might create.
Facebook’s digital wallet is “ready now,” Marcus said, but the company has been waiting to launch it until it can do so alongside Diem, the digital currency formerly known as Libra, which Marcus co-founded within Facebook in 2019.
Plans are for Diem to offer a so-called US dollar-backed stablecoin, but it is unclear when the coin will be introduced. The project faced a lot of pushback from lawmakers and regulators when it was unveiled, and while Facebook remains a partner on the project, Diem is now run independently. QuickTake: Read more about NFT
Marcus said Facebook would consider launching the Novi no Diem wallet “as a last resort” but believes both are needed to change the way people make payments. The social media giant’s hope is that people will use Facebook’s wallet to transfer Diem, which could lower expensive fees and reduce the time it takes to send money across the border.
Without more innovation in payments technology, Marcus said, Western countries like the US will have a hard time keeping up with China in adapting to a world where digital payments are dominant.
“We are really falling behind at an alarming rate,” he said.