According to reports, Facebook is looking at the possibility of creating its own cryptocurrency that would be used by people to make payments on the platform.
In its recent reshuffling, Facebook put Messenger’s David Marcus in charge of its blockchain efforts, and with this move, we couldn’t help but wonder what that exactly would entail. Is the company planning its own cryptocurrency? Marcus’ placement, in combination with recent reports, seems to point in this direction.
Facebook, albeit new to cryptocurrencies, is no stranger to virtual currencies. Back in 2009, it released Facebook Credits which users could use to pay for things on the platform – gifts, or virtual goods for some games. The thing is, Facebook Credits didn’t really take off, so Facebook shut it down a few years later. But now, with blockchain technology having gained huge traction, Facebook seems to be revisiting a similar idea.
Although the company hasn’t actually announced anything yet, it seems intent on looking for ways to create a cryptocurrency as a token payment method for users. According to Cheddar, Facebook began to study blockchain last year, when “a member of its corporate development team, Morgan Beller, started to look at how the social platform could use the emerging technology.”
At the time, it was only Beller doing the studying; Now, Facebook has an entire arm dedicated to it, headed by one of its top execs – who happens to have a position on Coinbase’s board no less. And by the way, before coming to Facebook, he was also president of PayPal.
So, it’s unlikely that David Marcus is “starting from scratch.”
In any case, it may be a long time until we know for sure whether or when Facebook will indeed be launching its own cryptocurrency. For now, we have rumours, plus something Marcus said back in February:
“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.”
So, maybe… someday. I’d say that day may come soon.
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