Facebook and Facebook Messenger won’t be implementing cryptocurrency payments anytime soon, Facebook Messenger VP David Marcus told CNBC.
The reasons, according to him, are because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments are slow and expensive. (And there was a time when the blockchain platforms were claiming transactions on them are much faster and cheaper than the “traditional” ways of sending and receiving money.)
“Payments using crypto right now is just very expensive, super slow, so the various communities running the different blockchains and the different assets need to fix all the issues, and then when we get there someday, maybe we’ll do something,” Marcus told CNBC who is also a member of the board of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world – Coinbase. He also hails from the online payment platforms business, having set up the mobile payments company Zong, which he sold to PayPal and became a president, before heading Facebook Messenger. Currently the chat app supports instant payments, which Marcus describes as “frictionless because it’s debit card to debit card experience”.
In his CNBC interview Marcus also defended last week’s decision of Mark Zuckerberg to ban ads of high-risk financial products such as cryptocurrencies, ICOs and binary options, despite the potential revenue losses. He said the main job is to protect the community. “All the legitimate people in the crypto world that I spoke to at least thanked me for what we just did with that move,” Marcus said. “The reality is the vast majority of these ads were a scam and we cannot allow scams to exist on our platform.” He added that one day maybe the ads will be allowed back again, but not until the industry self-regulates and offers legit products.