Many speculated that Facebook (FB) would announce Bitcoin holdings in its Q1 earnings report. That rumor turned out to be false. But after companies like Tesla (TSLA), Square (SQ) and MicroStrategy (MSTR) bought Bitcoin, many are wondering who could be next?
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Some companies are more positioned to offer crypto-related products and services than others, making them more likely candidates for a Bitcoin investment. Companies that could be more likely to purchase Bitcoin include payment providers, social media companies, e-commerce sites and varying tech-driven corporations.
- Facebook's earnings revealed no Bitcoin, but its endeavors into crypto with its “Diem” project may position it to move into Bitcoin down the line.
- Twitter's founder, Jack Dorsey, is a known Bitcoiner. Plus, Twitter's CFO has already publicly stated that it is looking at holding Bitcoin on its Balance sheet.
- Google's payments app, Google Pay, seems like a prime candidate to double as a crypto wallet for its over 150 million users. Its co-founder, Sergey Brin, has had positive comments on blockchain in the past, making the idea of Google owning Bitcoin in the future less outlandish.
- If Amazon were to start accepting crypto on its site, the digital assets' real-world usability would skyrocket. Amazon recently posted jobs for a digital currency project that is still unknown, proving that the company is aware of the growing trend in the payments industry.
- Mastercard has jumped into the crypto industry by announcing it would start to support cryptocurrencies on its network. The company is also working with Gemini on a crypto rewards credit card.
While there was a lot of hype around Facebook's earnings report and its potential to hold Bitcoin, there is still a chance the company could make such a move.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg posted a picture to his Facebook page of his goats named Max and Bitcoin. This led to a good deal of speculation among those in the crypto community about whether or not Facebook could make a move into Bitcoin.
Facebook has also spent significant resources building its own cryptocurrency and wallet infrastructure. This investment has shown that the company has a great deal of interest in the digital assets and payments space.
Facebook also has two board members that are pro-Bitcoin with Peter Thiel and Marc Andreesen, which doesn't hurt.
Facebook's stablecoin, "Diem," is set to launch a pilot sometime in 2021. As the company slowly movies into the crypto scene and establishes itself with its stablecoin and digital wallet systems, it could become more realistic for it to hold Bitcoin on its balance sheet.
It's no secret that Twitter's (TWTR) founder, Jack Dorsey, is a major Bitcoiner. Dorsey has one thing in his Twitter bio: #Bitcoin.
Dorsey also founded the payments company Square. In 2013, Square launched CashApp, a digital and peer-to-peer payments system. CashApp also allows its users to invest similarly to Robinhood and other apps. In 2018 the app began allowing its users to buy, send and receive Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from the app.
In October, Square announced that it would buy $50 million worth of Bitcoin, equating to 4,709 Bitcoins at the time. In February, Twitter's chief financial officer said the company is considering the option of holding Bitcoin on its balance sheet during an interview with Squawk Box.
“We have done a lot of the upfront thinking to consider how we might pay employees should they ask to be paid in bitcoin, how we might pay a vendor if they asked to be paid in bitcoin and whether we need to have bitcoin on our balance sheet,” said Ned Segal, Twitter's CFO.
Given Dorsey's stance on Bitcoin and the comments from Twitter's CFO, it would not be outlandish to hear an announcement that Twitter has purchased Bitcoin.
Google (GOOGL) has the potential to become more involved with crypto in general for a couple of reasons. Perhaps the most obvious is Google Pay, which seems primed for crypto integration.
Currently, users can use BitPay's card to use their cryptocurrencies through Google's payment app, but adding the ability for users to buy, hold and spend crypto directly in the app seems like an obvious choice in a world where crypto adoption has been growing.
Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, has also shared a positive outlook on the blockchain space. In 2019 the tech billionaire had comments about the promise the tech showed and how he and his son once mined Ethereum together.
“I see the future as taking these kind of research-y kind of out-there ideas and making them real," he said about blockchain. “A year or two ago my son insisted that we needed to get a gaming PC. I told him If we get a gaming PC we have to mine cryptocurrency. So we got an ethereum miner on there and we’ve been making a few pennies and dollars since.”
Regarding his experience, Brin said, “that definitely got me interested and I started to study the technology behind it and found it to be fascinating.”
Google would likely add support for cryptocurrency to Google Pay long before it ever puts Bitcoin on its balance sheet, but it doesn't seem unrealistic for Google to one day own some Bitcoin.
If Amazon (AMZN) were to make a move into crypto it would make huge waves in the cryptocurrency industry and help to further legitimize digital assets. Amazon accepting Bitcoin or other crypto assets would mean that individuals would be able to get their daily needs with only crypto.
In February of this year, Amazon announced that Jeff Bezos would step down as CEO to be replaced by Andy Jassy. Prior to becoming Amazon's CEO, Jassy ran Amazon Web Services. Under his leadership, AWS launched the Amazon Managed Blockchain that allowed developers to build on Hyperledger or Ethereum without using their own hardware.
It was also revealed in February that Amazon had a number of job postings that seemed to point towards some sort of digital currency project for a new division called Digital and Emerging Payments.
One of the postings said, “We are looking for a leader to help us launch a new payment product starting with Mexico as our initial launch country. This product will enable customers to convert their cash in to digital currency which customers can enjoy online services including shopping for goods and/or services like Prime Video.”
Jassy's experience with blockchain could allow him to be more open to the company's acceptance of crypto payments. More importantly, the company's somewhat secretive Digital and Emerging Payments division suggest that Amazon is already developing such a system to accept alternative payments in the future.
In early February, Mastercard (MA) made a huge announcement when it said they would soon start supporting cryptocurrencies directly on its network.
"We are preparing right now for the future of crypto and payments, announcing that this year Mastercard will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on our network. This is a big change that will require a lot of work," the company said in its press release.
The company went on to say that its decision is all about choice.
"Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is straightforward: It’s about choice. Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value – traditional or crypto – however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money."
Mastercard is also working with the Gemini Exchange to offer a crypto rewards credit card. Mastercard's stance and growing activity in the crypto industry puts it in a position to be a significant player, which could lead to a more open stance on holding Bitcoin.