Online Services Behemoths, Square and Facebook, Heavily Target Blockchain Opportunities

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Photo: QuoteInspector.com / Flickr

Photo: QuoteInspector.com / Flickr

Facebook and Square have announced on various occasions about their interest in investing in the new technologies. They represent some of the institutional investors looking to make a profit from the gradually stabilizing market. Although the crypto winter remains persistent, commentators believe that the new technology is set to explode in the future.

Most analysts believe that the current low crypto prices provide a viable entry point for long-term investors. Facebook seems to be seeking ways to benefit from the nascent blockchain technology while Square hints to focus on Bitcoin.

Square Hires Crypto Engineers

The payment platform is hiring cryptocurrency experts including engineers. Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced in a tweet on March 20 about his plans to invest in the crypto industry:

“Square is hiring 3–4 crypto engineers and one designer to work full-time on open source contributions to the Bitcoin/crypto ecosystem. Work from anywhere, report directly to me, and we can even pay you in Bitcoin!”

Dorsey said that the decision to pay employees in crypto is based on the intention to enhance the broader crypto ecosystem. Hence, it will contribute to the growth and development of the Bitcoin community in the long-term. The CEO noted that the project will rank as the first open source initiative independent from their business objectives. All the hired engineers will primarily focus on:

“What is best for the crypto community and individual economic empowerment, not on Square’s commercial interests”

Square’s Outlook

The plans to expand their presence in the bitcoin world have existed for several months now. As we published in February, Dorsey highlighted his plans to integrate Square’s mobile app with bitcoin’s lightning network. Previous reports show that Square registered $166 million in yearly Bitcoin revenue for 2018. The company achieved at least $52 million in Bitcoin sales for Q4.

Nevertheless, the company never published any clear profits from the Bitcoin operations. The revenue from Square’s consumer app Cash remained low. On the other hand, the purchasing costs account for most of the company’s revenue. Last month, Dorsey reiterated his belief that Bitcoin will soon become the Internet’s native currency:

“[Bitcoin] was something that was born on the internet, that was developed on the internet, that was tested on the internet…It is of the internet.”

With such bullish sentiments, it is not a wonder that Square seeks to invest more in the largest cryptocurrency.

Facebook Seeks Blockchain Partnerships

The social media behemoth aims to hire a lead commercial counsel for its several initiatives with the blockchain technology. According to a new job posting at the company’s career page, this position will be responsible for:

“Drafting and negotiating a wide variety of contracts related to our blockchain initiatives, including partnerships needed to launch new products and expand such products internationally.”

The holder of the position will also advise clients on business strategies, legal risks, other business issues related to blockchain. Furthermore, the commercial counsel will structure Facebook’s relationships with major partners. Also, the commercial aspects of the products and programs feature in the job details.

The preferred candidate must have the ability to manage multiple deals simultaneously and have undisputed lawyer’s qualification. They prefer a J.D. degree and membership in any U.S. state bar. The job also needs extensive tech expertise in blockchain or payments technology and any related legal issues. Any candidate with a strong interest in mobile and alternative payments will have an added advantage.

The company’s ambitions related to the blockchain-enabled payments now exist for a few months. In February, we announced that the company is working on a token for payments across its platforms especially WhatsApp. The token, expected to arrive in the first half of 2019, is a stablecoin pegged to several fiat currencies.

Facebook might also be looking at an integrated identity solution as highlighted in a posted video interview by the CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He said:

“Basically, you take your information, you store it on some decentralized system and you have the choice to log into places without going through an intermediary,”

The social media giant seems interested in blockchain technology as it has posted at least 20 blockchain-related jobs this year.





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