Pomp: Never Underestimate Mark Zuckerberg (Even With Crypto)
Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano has long been a diehard advocate for Bitcoin, and a fervent hater of banks, so many were surprised when he came out in support of the rumors that Facebook, a centralized company distrusted by many Bitcoiners, was foraying into crypto.
For those who missed the memo, just yesterday, as reported by Ethereum World News, Bloomberg divulged that the Menlo Park-based social media giant is looking to launch its own crypto asset. The early-stage project, unveiled by an anonymous source, will see Facebook’s blockchain arm aim to create a U.S. dollar-tied stablecoin on WhatsApp, a multinational messaging platform owned by the technology conglomerate. Per the source, the integration in WhatsApp will be aimed at India’s ~200 million users, as there is a growing need for low-cost, rapid, and easy-to-use remittance transactions.
As this news broke, some took the stablecoin rumors with boatloads of cynicism. Angus Crespigny, a New York-based crypto infrastructure builder, noted that Facebook’s foray into this space could directly devalue the words “crypto” and “blockchain.” Rob “Crypto Bobby” Paone, a growth advisor at AirSwap and well-known media personality, joked that decentralization – crypto’s underlying raison d’etre – will be truly encapsulated with a Facebook-led stablecoin. This sarcastic quip was echoed throughout the sardonic corners of the cryptocurrency community, as Facebook has recently been lambasted for its apparent inability to be responsible with consumer data.
Regardless, Pomp, who has gone to the ends of the Earth to laud cryptocurrencies and the value proposition they pose, claimed that consumers should “never underestimate Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg. Explaining why he’s so bullish on the proposed product, the founder of Morgan Creek Digital and a former employee of Snapchat and Facebook noted that this isn’t just about crypto, rather, “building a globally dominant product that changes the way billions of people live their lives.”
The insider explained that India’s addressable remittance market amounts to $70 billion, approximately 4% of the country’s GDP. With a smartphone-friendly society, a Facebook-backed crypto asset is a perfect choice for reducing costs and transaction speeds in remittances. The fact that much of India is interested in cryptocurrencies, in spite of the ban, only makes such an offering even more attractive than it initially may seem.
Facebook, while a fledgling in the cryptosphere, is evidently ready to make such an offering to a growing nation, as the firm’s blockchain branch is headed by notable talents, and Facebook’s “notorious Growth team” has single handily scale offerings to billions of consumers across the globe. Discussing what’s ahead for the firm’s seeming first step into financial technology. Pomp wrote:
If the technology company could successfully build the product and drive adoption, they will have a chance to transition from a social network to one of the largest financial services companies in the world. This move would allow them to take a small percentage on each transaction and reduce the dependency on their advertising-based model.
However, the Morgan Creek representative noted that this won’t happen overnight, as there remain a number of barriers that could slow Facebook’s first tangible step into cryptocurrencies. Firstly, Facebook will need to produce a “viable stablecoin”, before sufficiently launching the product in India’s competitive market. Regardless, in Pomp’s eyes, no matter how this venture ends up, Facebook remains the most important company in crypto’s history.