Facebook is reportedly planning on creating their own cryptocurrency which is a virtual token that would allow its users around the world 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 started to look 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 which the executives were trying to sell and the executives have been tight-lipped from then on about any plans regarding the cryptocurrency.
However, the Facebook cryptocurrency initiative was announced earlier this week in an internal post but Zuckerberg that did not explain what particular area the team would work. 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 that Facebook would be launching its very 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.”