Facebook is reportedly planning on creating its own cryptocurrency, a virtual token that would allow its users worldwide to make electronic payments. Facebook, in this matter, is quite serious. Though the news is surfacing only now, they had started reading about blockchain almost a year back. It all started when a member of Facebook’s corporate development team, Morgan Beller, looked at new ways the social platform could be used for emerging technologies.
This week Facebook announced that David Marcus, the developer for the Messenger app, would head a new team “explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” He will be leading a team of less than a dozen for this hermeneutic task. Plans for blockchain had been omitted from the 10-year-old roadmap the executives were trying to sell, and the executives have been tight-lipped about any plans regarding the cryptocurrency from then on.
However, the Facebook cryptocurrency initiative was announced earlier this week in an internal post, but Zuckerberg did not explain what particular area the team would work on. A Facebook official has 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’s work on cryptocurrency would certainly take years to materialize. In order to develop its own virtual currency, Facebook would need to make acquisitions in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.
This will not be the first time Facebook will launch its own virtual currency. Previously back in 2009, they had released Facebook Credits which could be used to purchase virtual goods in popular games like Farmville, but Facebook shut it down in two years because it did not gain any popularity among its users. One of the Facebook officials, Marcus, said, “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.”