Is Facebook the Awkward Uncle At The Blockchain Party?

Recently I have come to wonder, Is Facebook the awkward uncle at the blockchain party? Let’s take a look.

We’ve all been to those parties. Usually it’s a wedding or family birthday party. The cool people hit the dance floor rocking the hot moves and styles. They know all the lyrics to the latest songs and they are confident about themselves.  And then there’s that awkward Uncle. He wants to join in but his outdated moves, and cheesy smile leave him bopping at the edge of the dance floor clutching a campari. He’s fun, everyone likes him, but he’s out of touch.

Anything you can conceive as a supply chain, blockchain can vastly improve its efficiency – it doesn’t matter if its people, numbers, data, money.As the CEO of IMB, Ginni Rometty, rightly pointed out, blockchain has enormous capabilities and the power to revolutionise many sectors across the globe. William Mougayar, author of The Business Blockchain describes it as a “tsunami-like phenomenon, slowly advancing and gradually enveloping everything along its way by the force of its progression”. So why is Facebook continuing to take such a negative stance on such ground-breaking technology?

Restrictive Rules and Regulations

Okay, so Facebook themselves are dipping their toe in the blockchain sea with top exec David Marcus looking into how to leverage the tech across the social medium platform –from scratch. But to date, Mark Zuckerberg and crew are still making blockchain marketing an almost impossible task for external companies by placing it under the same umbrella as other financial services which are often connected with malicious activities such as crypto trading and ICOs.

While Facebook has somewhat relaxed its policy by allowing advertisers to apply for a right to promote their ‘controversial’ products, there are still many road blocks in the way. Firstly, the application process is lengthy and even if you’re just talking about it, the blocks still apply. As is standard with Facebook, the policy is still restrictive with personnel lacking in understanding for the technology. On many occasions I have explained the difference between blockchain, fintech and crypto to the Facebook advertising team.

Automatic Word Blocks

Adverts often get turned down only to be approved afterwards making advertising time consuming. Words like ‘blockchain’ and ‘fintech’ still trigger automatic bans most likely due to their association with crypto. But both fintech and blockchain have advanced significantly since the introduction of Bitcoin and altcoins, so isn’t it time for a Facebook blockchain amnesty? Due to Facebook’s robotic approvals process, adverts placed using words like blockchain are often rejected. Appeals usually result in overturning of the decision but not always. And who has time for that?

Examples of banned blockchain adverts

And then another Blockchain advert

And another Blockchain advert

Yep- we are getting a little frustrated at this stage

And don’t get us started on fintech…

Blockchain And ICOs are Not The Same

If I had $1 for every time I have told Facebook that blockchain and ICOs are not the same I would be as rich as Satoshi Nakamoto. Well, almost. Of course I understand the need to restrict ICO advertising on the platform. Many ICOs turned out to be scams with others exhibiting dubious tokenomics and questionable promises. But there are thousands of reputable blockchain brands that are not ICOs. Governments, tech giants and healthcare providers are exploring the technology. And they’re not asking for funding.

The Evolution of Blockchain

Blockchain and Bitcoin have long been best buddies, but blockchain’s advancements can’t be ignored. While the crypto sector is undeniably volatile, the underlying blockchain technology has the ability to enhance many global industries. In fact, this year’s Forbes Global 2000 list reveals that not only are all ten of the largest public companies exploring blockchain, but at least 50 of the biggest names have made their own mark on the technology.

Take IBM, for instance. As Blockchain pioneers, the company is a driving force behind multiple blockchain initiatives and has open sourced the widely used Hyperledger Fabric. What’s more, Amazon also offers cloud integrations for multiple blockchains and recently partnered with Ethereum start-up ConsenSys. Pfizer is even in the early stages of a blockchain start-up showing how this technology is making its mark in many different sectors including science.

Over 40 banks across the globe are investing huge amounts of time and assets to incorporate blockchain technology into their systems. Mastercard and Visa have launched their own blockchain network for Business to Business (B2B) and cross-country payments. American Express has also added blockchain technology to its payment system

Blockchain Networks of the Future

Facebook’s lack of understanding regarding blockchain, even blockchain-based e-books that are designed to educate,  is frustrating to say the least. But with other networks such as Telegram, Steamit and Medium embracing the blockchain tidal wave, Facebook could soon be left behind. After all, there’s an increasing need to discuss blockchain developments that may potentially have a huge effect on our future lives.

Medium, for instance, allows brands to post cutting edge blockchain stories without fear of persecution or being ‘blocked’. Steemit embraces crypto by rewarding people for posting content via its content platform Steem. The blockchain-based social media platform is built on a delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism and is revolutionary for the content marketing sector.

Times are evolving and while Facebook may pull something unexpected out of the bag to assist blockchain communication, they need to move fast before brands turn to alternative channels. We recently discussed the “Leave Facebook” trend over at Contentworks. Teenagers and early 20s are deleting Facebook in their hoards, leaving the network as an over 55s favourite.

As blockchain, AI, fintech and other revolutions sweep the world- is Facebook the awkward Uncle at the party?