Facebook Ready To Enter Digital Payments - Via Bitcoin?

Galileo Russell profile picture
Galileo Russell


  • In April reports surfaced that Facebook was seeking approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to start a service to allow users to send/store money on its platform.
  • Facebook recently hired PayPal President David Marcus to lead its Messaging Apps (a potential avenue to expand into payments).
  • David Marcus was an adamant supporter of Bitcoin prior to joining Facebook.
  • Remittances are a $500B low hanging fruit ripe for disruption.
  • Apple may have finally opened the doors for Bitcoin Apps within iOS.


A little over 2 months ago, Facebook (FB) made headlines for reportedly trying to obtain approval with the Central Bank of Ireland to send and store payments on its website.

The Guardian provided slightly more information in its publication on the matter:

Facebook is preparing a money transfer service in Europe that would allow it to compete with the likes of Western Union, while giving users the option of storing money with the social network or buying items online.

The US tech firm is seeking regulatory approval in its European base in Ireland for "e-money" status, which would see it issue digital credits that can be converted into cash by recipients.

The firm already has permission for some forms of money transfer in the US, which allow payments within apps, including the Candy Crush Saga and Farmville games, from which Facebook takes a 30% cut. The company facilitated $2.1bn (£1.3bn) in transactions across Facebook in 2013, primarily to games publishers.

Approval in Ireland would allow Facebook to operate an e-money service throughout Europe using "passporting", which allows digital payments to be used across EU member states without having to gain regulatory approval from each one.

This is potentially very big news for Facebook. As of now, the company makes nearly all of its revenue and profits from advertising. With 1B+ users spread all across the globe, Facebook has a unique opportunity to be a very disruptive force in the payment industry.

Things got even more interesting when Facebook followed up these payment rumors by poaching a digital payment visionary.

Enter David Marcus

On June 9th, Facebook hired David Marcus, the President of PayPal (EBAY) to lead its efforts in mobile messaging.

Marcus joined PayPal in 2011 as VP of mobile, to help lead its mobile payment efforts.


This article was written by

Galileo Russell profile picture
Hi my name is Galileo, I went to NYU Stern to study finance (class of 2015). I'm a finance geek whose two biggest current fascinations are Tesla and Bitcoin.HyperChange TV is a new YouTube channel I launched geared toward millennials with the intent of creating fun, educational and unique content. If you like my articles, check it out via the link on my profile.Contact: galileorussell@gmail.com

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