Facebook is exploring the creation of its own Cryptocurrency, a virtual token that will allow billions of users around the world to make electronic payments.
The company began to study Blockchain almost a year ago, when a member of the corporate development team Morgan Beller began to study how a social platform can use emerging technologies.
In the past, Beller was the only Facebook employee involved in the study of blockchains, the digital and decentralized ledger that supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
This week, her work was focused on when Facebook announced that the vice president in charge of the Messenger application, David Marcus, would lead the new team to “explore how to best use blockchain via Facebook, starting from scratch” .
Marcus leads a team of fewer than ten Facebook employees working on blockchain. Prior to joining the company, he was the president of PayPal, which facilitates transactions between users in Facebook’s Messenger.
David Marcus – an early investor Bitcoin, joined to the board of Coinbase in December, which is the most popular platform for the exchange cryptocurrency.
Heads of the company regularly talk about future initiatives with their employees, and they advertise the company’s 10-year roadmap in public presentations. But blockchain’s plans were excluded from this roadmap, and top managers were rigidly minded about any plans for crypto.
In an internal post earlier this week, announcing the Blockchain initiative for Facebook employees, CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t explain exactly what the team will work.
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to use the power of Blockchain technology”, a Facebook spokesman said. “This new small team will explore many different apps. We have nothing more to share”, he added.
Facebook’s work on blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies will probably take years to materialize. People familiar with this issue said that there are no plans in the social network to hold the so-called original coin offer (ICO), offering a limited number of virtual tokens for the public to buy at a fixed price.
In the opinion of one of Fasebook’s representatives, they will need to make acquisitions in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space to develop their own virtual currency. Blockchain technology can also be used to help verify the identity of Facebook accounts and encrypt data.
Previously, the social platform experimented with virtual currency. In 2009, the company released Facebook Credits, which can be used to purchase virtual goods in popular games such as Farmville. But this feature didn’t work out, and Facebook closed it two years later.
During an interview at a conference in February, David Marcus said that Facebook doesn’t plan to integrate cryptocurrency into its applications in the near future:
“Payments using crypto right now are very expensive, very slow, so different communities that use different blockchains and different assets need to fix all the problems, and then, when we ever get there, maybe we’ll do something.”