Facebook is exploring the possibility of leveraging blockchain technology for its platform. Recode reports that the social media giant has established a dozen-member-strong research and development team to explore the applications of this tech in its varied businesses.
On the 8th of May the head of Messenger David Marcus confirmed in a Facebook post the news that Facebook is going to set up the group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch. David Marcus is a former Messenger lead, who also has experience at Coinbase and PayPal.
It's a vague start for Facebook. But it's notable because of Marcus' high profile and because the announcement comes four months after Zuckerberg said in his 2018 mission statement that he was interested in studying the "positive and negative aspects" of the decentralized nature of technologies like cryptocurrencies.
Recode reported that Marcus will be joined by Instagram executives James Everingham and Kevin Weil, who helped Facebook fend off the threat from Snap with a series of rapid-fire updates to Instagram that mimicked key Snapchat features.
Zuckerberg isn't pulling a WhatsApp or Oculus — at least not yet — and making a multibillion-dollar acquisition to address a competitive threat. He's giving Marcus the tools to see how blockchain can be used internally and to make sure the company is closely monitoring the broader ecosystem and where Facebook may be most vulnerable.
Facebook is reportedly “exploring” the creation of its own cryptocurrency, news media outlet Cheddar reported May 11.
The move nonetheless provides for a curious juxtaposition for Facebook bitcoin, the platform having banned cryptocurrency-related advertising across its network in January. Also citing “misleading or deceptive promotional practices,” the ban was copied by both Google and Twitter soon after.
According to Cheddar’s anonymous sources, people “familiar with Facebook’s plans,” the social media giant is “very serious” about plans to launch an in-app virtual coin. Currently, there isn’t too much detail, but the company is said to be specifically focused on using cryptocurrency specifically for facilitating payments on the platform, something that could be a pretty dramatic shift given Facebook’s huge user base and existing marketplace section of the site for buying and selling goods.