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article imageFacebook may launch its own cryptocurrency

By Ken Hanly     May 11, 2018 in Technology
A report from Alex Heath of Cheddar news service claims that Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency. The company is said to be focused on using the platform to make it easier to make payments.
Facebook's plans
However, the company is also said to investigating other ways it could use such a currency and its blockchain technology on its platform.
David Marcus is apparently heading a new blockchain division at Facebook "to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook starting from scratch".
One of the people familiar with the plan said that they were very serious about developing a blockchain system which would allow the many users of Facebook to make electronic payments.
Facebook has long been considering the blockchain technology
Facebook has been studying blockchain technology for about a year now when Morgan Beller started to look at how the social platform could use this emerging technology. At that time Beller was the sole employee looking at the technology.
The new team
However, recently the company announced that David Marcus, who was the vice-president in charge of the Facebook messenger app would lead a new team, as mentioned earlier. The team would consist of less than a dozen employees working on the blockchain. Before Marcus joined Facebook he had been president of Paypal a payment company that Facebook uses to facilitate transactions by users of the Facebook Messenger app.
Marcus is also one of the early investors in Bitcoin and is also on the board of Coinbase, one of the more popular cryptocurrency exchanges.
Up until now the blockchain initiative has not been much publicized
Executives usually talk about future initiatives with their employees. The company 10-year roadmap is given public presentations. However, the blockchain plans were not included in the roadmap. Up to now executives have not been forthcoming about any plans in the cryptocurrency area.
In an internal post earlier this week CEO Mark Zuckerberg did not explain in detail what the team would be researching. However, a company spokesperson said: “Like many other companies Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team will be exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”
Facebook plans may take years to become reality
People familiar with the situation said that Facebook did not at present have plans for an initial coin offering (ICO) to raise funds for a new coin, by releasing a limited number at a set price.
The blockchain technology could also help Facebook identify accounts and encrypt data.
In February, in an interview, Marcus said that Facebook was not intending to integrate cryptocurrency into its apps anytime in the near future 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."
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