Facebook has been a global giant when it comes to social media and advertising. In a little less than a decade-and-a-half, the company has managed to bring about several changes in the way we know social interactions and digital advertising to be. The company has now been exploring the blockchain sector as they set up their blockchain division earlier this week. Reports now indicate that Facebook might also be planning to launch a native cryptocurrency as well!
Facebook is a major name in the world of technology but the company has not made any significant advances towards the crypto and blockchain tech so far. However, earlier this week, Facebook’s David Marcus, who was heading the Messenger division stepped down from his position and is now working towards setting up a team that would explore how Facebook can leverage the blockchain tech to innovate their platform.
Reports from Cheddar now indicate that along with the blockchain efforts, Facebook is also looking forward towards creating cryptocurrency tokens that would allow the platform’s users to make digital payments over the platform. Cheddar’s sources indicate that Facebook is giving it a ‘very serious’ thought.
These plans are at an initial stage at the moment. Even if all goes well and the plans are approved and finalized, it might take over a year before the actual launch of the cryptocurrency. Cheddar indicates that unlike other cryptocurrencies, Facebook does not intend to set up an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to sell their cryptocurrencies. However, these are the only details on the plans that are available so far.
Facebook on Blockchain and Crypto
While this is the first time that Facebook’s plans of launching a cryptocurrency have come to light, the company is not new to the concept of virtual currencies. Almost a decade ago, Facebook introduced ‘Facebook Credits’ - which was a virtual currency that users could make use of to buy items in Facebook-based games and apps. However, that concept wasn’t so successful and Facebook had to shut it down in 2011.
Facebook’s opinions on cryptocurrencies remain to be ambiguous. The platform has never released an official statement about anything related to cryptocurrencies, with one exception - their advertising ban. Anything related to cryptocurrencies is banned to be advertised on Facebook’s platform since January. Facebook has decided to do this in light of rising cryptocurrency related Ponzi schemes and scams on social media.
Interestingly in February, David Marcus, who was then the head of Messenger was asked about Facebook’s plans to introduce cryptocurrency payments during an interview. He had replied saying:
"Payments using crypto right now is just very expensive, super slow, so the various communities running the different blockchains and the different assets need to fix all the issues, and then when we get there someday, maybe we'll do something.”
While Marcus heads Facebook’s first dedicated team for blockchain tech, he is not the first Facebook employee to be working on the blockchain tech. Morgan Beller, a member of Facebook’s corporate development team was the first Facebook employee to be given the responsibility of looking into the blockchain tech last year. It is assumed that Beller’s research acts as the foundation upon which this new, David Marcus-led team would build further upon.