Shopify and other businesses may be experimenting with cryptocurrency, but the company that helps developers create online stores has officially joined the Facebook-only cryptocurrency payments team called the Association for Digital Asset Transactions. That means Facebook will have support from one of the early leaders in the blockchain ecosystem, given that a key tech in a new generation of virtual currencies is stored in Shopify’s e-commerce platform.
By joining, Shopify now has a way to set up crypto payments without needing to choose between running their own payments system or letting an outside vendor like Facebook handle the transaction.
The group is part of Facebook’s effort to consolidate the nascent but booming crypto economy on one site and one social network. In its mission statement to make the “internet faster, simpler, and safer for everyone,” Facebook says it plans to “bring the open source, non-binary, and existing cryptocurrency ecosystem on Facebook.”
With a billion daily users already, the group is tasked with improving upon the most basic of transactions that happen across Facebook, Messenger, Groups, Posts, and Instagram, with a focus on faster speeds and more secure methods of digital money.
Next month Facebook will launch a “worldwide test” of blockchain payments for people willing to set up tokens as transactions for content streamed through its video app Watch. That trial will seek to realize the potential of the CryptoSyndicate blockchain payment system that it designed to enable digital token purchases for games and subscription services. More wide-scale pilot programs will surely follow.
It’s worth noting that Facebook certainly has other advantages. Facebook is a platform where people spend billions of hours every month and produce a wealth of content. It’s where virtual currency can spread.
Meanwhile, Facebook itself started launching original television shows in March and January to draw more eyeballs to Watch, but hasn’t promoted them with the hefty ad load that goes for video on YouTube or Facebook News Feeds.
As more businesses launch their own trading exchanges, blockchain security, cryptocurrency paper trails, decentralized computing hardware and even educational resources, Facebook may find that managing a whole cryptocurrency ecosystem on the network is just the same as running a dozen or more competitors using their site and backend technologies.