Facebook's cryptocurrency may be 'one of the most important initiatives' in its history, RBC says

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Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris, France.

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RBC Capital Markets believes Facebook has a “crypto opportunity,” explaining in a note to investors the firm’s high expectation for the tech giant’s coming cryptocurrency announcement.

“We believe this may prove to be one of the most important initiatives in the history of the company to unlock new engagement and revenue streams,” RBC analysts Mark Mahaney and Zachary Schwartzman said in a note Thursday evening.

RBC expects Facebook will release a white paper on June 18 to explain the company’s long-term strategy for the cryptocurrency, or “token.” The company’s crypto offering was reported earlier this month and is expected to allow Facebook employees to take their salary in the form of the new currency. RBC said it plans to give an analysis of the paper when it’s released, “to help investors analyze the underlying cryptoeconomics of the token.”

“We believe Facebook will use crypto to facilitate a platform for: 1) Payments; 2) Commerce; and 3) Applications & Gaming,” Mahaney and Schwartzman said.

RBC has an outperform rating on Facebook with a price target of $250 a share. Facebook’s stock is up more than 35% this year as of Thursday’s close of $177.47 a share.

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