What’s Going On?
Facebook is building a new team dedicated to blockchain technology, reigniting speculation the social media leader plans to introduce its own cryptocurrency.
Why Does It Matter?
David Marcus, previously head of Facebook Messenger, is leaving that position to set up the new blockchain group, reported Recode. The new team will be part of Facebook’s New platforms and Infrastructure division, along with the company’s augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence efforts.
“After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge,” Marcus wrote in a Facebook post, but didn’t share any details of his blockchain plans, which he says will be built “from scratch”.
Is Facebook Building A Cryptocurrency
Marcus is on the board of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and previously worked at PayPal, noted Recode, so it’s tempting to suggest blockchain might be used for payments when Mark Zuckerberg has publicly expressed a burning interest in cryptocurrencies.
But don’t expect a ZuckBuck altcoin any time soon, said Engadget, who speculated the tech will be used for trust and ID verification.
The Verge noted the company restructuring comes weeks after Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Congress about the Cambridge Analytica data breach. Zuckerberg promised to fix Facebook as part of his New Year’s resolution, but The Verge said a blockchain initiative may in fact attract greater governmental scrutiny as a result.