Facebook is considering building products and features related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
“We’re definitely looking at the number of ways to get involved in the space because we think we’re in a really good position to do so,” Facebook executive David Marcus said Tuesday in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
Marcus is the lead of F2, or Facebook Financial, the internal group developing the company’s Novi digital wallet. According to Marcus, the wallet could be used to hold NFTs.
“When you have a good cryptocurrency wallet like Novi will be, you also have to think about how to help consumers support NFTs,” he said. “We’re definitely thinking about this.” However, he was not specific about the kinds of NFT-related products Facebook might build.
Marcus added that Novi is “ready”, but the company has been waiting to launch alongside Diem, the digital currency previously known as Libra. It was co-founded by Marcus from within Facebook in 2019.
Diem is slated to offer a so-called stable coin backed by the US dollar, but it is unclear when the coin will be introduced. Although Facebook is a partner on the project, Diem is run independently as it faced immense pushback from lawmakers when it was unveiled.
Without more innovation in payments technology, Marcus said, countries in the West like the US will struggle to keep up with China in adapting to a world where digital payments are dominant.
NFTs are surging in popularity
The popularity of NFTs has been rising wildly. OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, has recently reached a major milestone — surpassing $1 billion in NFT transaction volume.
Ethereum-based NFT game Axie Infinity also crossed US$1 billion in sales. Axie Infinity is a turn-based real player game (RPG) that allows users to buy, sell, trade, breed, and battle cuddly digital pets called “axies”.
More large companies and institutions are also buying into NFTs.
Digital payments giant Visa revealed that on August 18, it had spent US$150,000 to purchase its first non-fungible token (NFT) — CryptoPunk 7610.
The CryptoPunk collection is one of the most popular NFT collections, and exploded in popularity over the past few weeks. This led to OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace registering a transaction volume of over US$1.1 billion this year.
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