Social media giant Facebook is reportedly “very serious” about launching its own cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cheddar’s Alex Heath. This isn’t the first time the idea of a ‘Facecoin’ has been entertained, but this time’s plans take on greater meaning as the company recently reshuffled its executive structure.
FB’s crypto efforts will take years to materialize, sources tell me. But the company doesn’t plan to hold an ICO (it doesn’t need the $$$) https://t.co/73eLBBaegK— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) May 11, 2018
According to Cheddar’s report, Facebook may create a cryptocurrency that will allow its over 2 billion users to make electronic payments. Facebook’s huge userbase, along with its own existing marketplace section for buying and selling goods, would help cryptocurrency adoption surge.
The social media giant reportedly started studying blockchain technology nearly a year ago, and isn’t just looking to create a payments cryptocurrency that will “facilitate transactions without a government-backed currency.” It’s also set on using blockchain technology to improve identity verification and secure its backend infrastructure.
Recently, Facebook announced that its vice president in charge of the Messenger app, David Marcus, was going to lead a team to “explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” Marcus is a former president of PayPal, and an early bitcoin investor who, back in December, joined the board of cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Coinbase.
After Cheddar’s report started circulating, a Facebook spokesperson stated:
"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."
Reports suggest it will likely still take Facebook years before it actually launches its own cryptocurrency. People familiar with the matter have revealed that the company doesn’t plan on holding an initial coin offering (ICO) to distribute it.
If Facebook goes forward with launching its own cryptocurrency, it is expected to make acquisitions in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space to fuel its efforts. The company is notably not the only social media platform to launch its own cryptocurrency, as Telegram claims to have raised $1.7 billion through an ICO, while chat app Kik already launched its Kin token.
It’s worth noting that earlier this year Facebook banned cryptocurrency and binary trading-related ads, in a move the company claimed was being made to protect its users. Per the company’s Product Management Director, the social media platform is now prohibiting financial products and services that “are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”