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Facebook也来插足稳定币,只是印度市场为何偏偏受到热捧?

全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

Facebook也来插足稳定币,只是印度市场为何偏偏受到热捧?

数月以来,脸书一直在秘密筹建自己的区块链团队。由于相关信息一直对外界秘而不宣,因此很少有人知晓内情。直到12月21日早晨,彭博社的一则报道才将大众的视线再次拉回到这件事上。据彭博爆料,脸书正在开发一款稳定币产品,WhatsApp用户可以使用该产品向印度汇款。目前WhatsApp在北美地区的每用户收入要远远大于其他地区的每用户收入,如果脸书可以增加其他国家和地区的每用户收入,其意义无疑会十分深远。

6个月前,Ledger Insights就曾推测,脸书很有可能在开发一款支付类的产品。其根据是该产品研发团队的主管为前贝宝总裁大卫·马库斯,而且团队的很多成员也均有贝宝背景,尤其是Tomer Barel,他曾在贝宝担任负责风险和数据业务的全球主管,现为脸书负责区块链风险与运营业务的主管。

之所以选择印度作为汇款地也是有诸多原因的。首先,在脸书用户规模上,印度已在去年超越美国,成为全球最大的脸书用户群体,目前使用脸书作为社交工具的印度人口已经达到2700万,远超美国的2100万。其他几个脸书用户大国分别是巴西、印尼和墨西哥。

根据世界银行发布的信息,2017年全球汇款金额为6130亿美元,其中有690亿美元是印度居民发往家乡的汇款。汇款市场被认为是低价值的个人支付。据联合国估计,2018年第一季度,用户平均每输送200美元的支付金额就会产生7.1%的成本。这意味着全球汇款市场的利润价值高达430亿美元,而印度市场独占49亿美元。人们不禁想到,如果区块链可以降低汇款成本,减少手续费,就可以将其他商家的客户吸引到自家平台。假以时日,脸书定会在全球汇款市场占据相当数量的份额,而印度无疑是其重点拓展对象。

脸书最新的季度报告显示,亚太地区的用户数量占到了脸书用户总量的40.4%,但其贡献的营收只占脸书总营收的17.6%。除广告收入外,亚太地区用户在支付领域贡献的收入更加糟糕。脸书在美加地区的2018年第三季度的每用户平均收入为27.61美元,而亚太地区仅为2.67美元,全球则为6.09美元。

因此,类似在印度市场拓展新的营收渠道的方法将对脸书的总体收入带来积极影响。不过与此同时,脸书正在为用户抗议侵犯隐私的案例懊恼不已。类似事件是否会影响用户采用脸书的区块链支付方案成为人们关注的话题。值得一提的是,彭博在报道过程中引用WhatsApp作为这一支付方式的发起方,至于脸书的名字则少有提及。SpreadPrivacy做的一份调查显示,大约有一半的美国成年用户不知道WhatsApp为脸书所有。

与此同时,总部位于阿联酋、主打全球支付服务的Finablr最好尽快搞定IPO,等脸书的稳定币杀到,其市场份额势必要面临被瓜分的风险,到那时再推进IPO就显得太晚了。

Facebook has been building a blockchain team for several months but has yet to announce anything. This morning Bloomberg reported that Facebook is developing a US Dollar stable coin cryptocurrency to enable WhatsApp users to make remittances to India. Facebook’s revenue per user is far higher in North America than elsewhere. Hence, if the company could increase revenues for users outside the U.S., it could have a dramatic impact on its top line.

Six months ago Ledger Insights speculated that there was a good chance that Facebook was working on something payments related. That was based on the team led by former Paypal president David Marcus with other Paypal hires. In particular, Tomer Barel joined as Head of Risk & Operations for blockchain. As SVP at Paypal he was Global Chief of Risk and Data.

India’s appeal

The Indian angle makes sense for multiple reasons. Firstly India is the country with the largest number of Facebook users at 270 million (source: Hootsuite). It overtook the U.S. last year which currently has a 210 million audience. The other top five countries are Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico.

According to the World Bank, the global remittance figure for 2017 was $613 billion, of which $69 billion was Indians sending money home. The remittance market is classified as low-value person-to-person payments. The UN estimates that sending a payment of $200 costs on average 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

That means the potential revenue from the global remittance market is $43 billion and the Indian market is $4.9 billion. One would hope that blockchain will reduce those costs and cheaper fees will attract customers away from existing outlets. Over time Facebook must have the potential to take a very significant slice of that market, especially in India.

According to Facebook’s latest quarterly report, Asia-Pacific makes up 40.4% of Facebook’s audience but just 17.6% of its revenue. Beyond advertising revenues, the region fares even worse for payments and other Facebook income. Facebook’s total average revenue per user (ARPU) in Q3 2018 is an impressive $27.61 in the US & Canada compared to just $2.67 in Asia-Pacific and a global figure of $6.09.

So finding ways to earn more money from a market like India could have a positive effect on Facebooks’s earnings. But at the same time, Facebook is encountering a stream of privacy issues. The question is whether these problems could hamper adoption of Facebook blockchain payments. Notably the Bloomberg news refers to payments via WhatsApp rather than Facebook. A survey by SpreadPrivacy found that half of U.S. adults were not aware that WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.

At the same time, UAE based Finablr which owns Travelex and Express Money had better make a move on with it’s IPO before Facebook starts to dent its income.

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