Facebook sets up dedicated team to explore Blockchain

Facebook has appointed a new head of development to explore blockchain. While the team is small the move is watched closely. Why?

Blockchain technologies could – potentially – provide new options how the social network interacts. The newly appointed head of the team is David Marcus, formerly responsible for the messaging app. Further, David Marcus brings expertise from a former job at PayPal, so speculatively there might be an interest in payment features, based on blockchain technologies. Messenger has recently added features like service bots, shopping and advertising.

Should Facebook enter the field of tokens, which are the base for Cryptocurrencies, this move would open new perspectives for the idea of digital currencies as a whole. Not so much by adding yet another currency, but by accepting payments – for games, merchandise, content – and providing a way to exchange those tokens into standard currencies.

Why would Facebook be interested in blockchain?

Blockchain technologies, in a simplified way, are understood as an important innovation, often compared to the early days of the web, where the option to link between documents opened the path to what is the internet today. Using blockchain a number of features such as trusted identities, reputation, payment functions and – depending on the platform – “smart contracts” could be deployed.

These features could add new layers and options to perform trusted exchanges of services, goods, track usage while being “open” in the sense that records stored in the blockchain can be validated and tracked. Facebook has recently been under scrutiny by governments for intransparent use of user data and it’s role in how and when it displays political advertising. The push into blockchain could potentially add new ways to build trust and security. But let’s see.

Recode.net: “Facebook is launching a new team dedicated to the blockchain. Messenger’s David Marcus is going to run it.

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