In light of Visa's recent NFT CryptoPunk purchase #7610, institutions are starting to listen to merchants regarding their peaked interests in NFTs. In re-branding itself as a metaverse, Facebook has aligned itself with financial technologies and products with the soon-to-be-launched digital wallet, Novi—which aims to support NFTs.
Facebook's head of financial services, David Marcus is adamant in expressing that the company "is definitely" looking to support NFTs as part of its long "overdue change." This move positions Facebook to further engage in the emerging industry while exposing users to the broader cryptocurrency and blockchain.
What NFTs offer
Considered to be the future of data storage by some experts, NFTs have been widely accepted in the crypto ecosystem for years now. However, they just recently surged into mainstream adoption. Given that NFTs reinforce verifiable digital ownership and represent the value of digital scarcity, many people are turning to NFTs as indicators of the future of commerce.
The Novi wallet is a digital custodial wallet powered by the blockchain payment-based network, Diem. While the Diem network has faced a few roadblocks and controversy regarding its privacy, the wallet is set and ready to launch. The wallet will veer Facebook into the financial services sector, but it will still be at the intersection of culture. Many people still associate the application for its social media purposes.
In defending the scrutiny Facebook still faces regarding trust and privacy, Marcus said that the company isn't asking for blind trust. Instead, Facebook is asking for a "fair shot" to earn users' trust over time considering the positive impact the Novi wallet can potentially have on its users.
Still too early to speculate on the nature of NFTs that will be supported.
Since the wallet hasn't been released yet, it's still too early for Facebook to say which NFTs will be associated and supported on the wallet. Marcus provided reassurance that a team of developers has been researching its prospective options and projects. With increasing awareness of the utility cases for NFTs, Marcus said, “It’s really an area that is worth exploring and one where we can have a positive impact for both creators and consumers.”
With the announcement of both a digital wallet and features to support NFTs, Facebook continues to display its preparation for Web3. The wallet functions as an interoperable product that will enable users to send money as quickly as sending a text message.
With potential NFT supported features, will Facebook host an NFT marketplace?
While not for certain, it seems only fitting that with a future release of a digital wallet, that could potentially support ERC-21 tokens, Facebook might even be considering launching its very own NFT marketplace. Many other financial services platforms that have expanded to offer a marketplace can more readily expose new investors to the emerging space.
Big tech giants, financial institutions, and investors are quickly coming around to the impact NFTs might have on the future of both culture and commerce.