Can Facebook Find Success with Crypto?

In 2019, Facebook announced Libra, its own cryptocurrency, along with the Libra Association, which boasted many major tech companies, as an overseeing body. Companies such as PayPal, Mastercard, and Stripe backed out of the Association shortly after, and regulatory concerns from multiple governing bodies resulted in a strategy shift and rebranding effort. In October 2021, Facebook announced that it is piloting its Novi digital wallet in the U.S. and Guatemala to streamline transfer of remittance. The wallet still does not include Facebook’s own cryptocurrency, now renamed from Libra to Diem. In addition, Facebook is using Coinbase, which Patent Forecast has highlighted for its strong patent portfolio, as its custodial entity. This move makes sense given that Facebook has fallen behind in patenting its own novel technologies for implementing cryptocurrency capabilities. It filed four applications in 2019 and received one patent but didn’t file any additional applications throughout 2020. It’s possible that Facebook is more focused on financial strategies than research and development; however, the company should consider shoring up its base technology given continued regulatory uncertainty in the space, as well as negative perceptions surrounding Libra that we predict will impact Facebook’s success. Keep up with the company and others with the Cryptocurrency Patent Forecast®.