Facebook’s Blockchain Bet
The year 2018 may go down as the turning point in the history of blockchain technology, as an increasing number of companies are testing the use of a distributed ledger technology within their organization. Spearheading the adoption were financial institutions and logistics companies, and it seems like the tech sector does not want to be left far behind.
David Marcus, the executive responsible for running Facebook’s Messenger platform, has joined an internal team in the organization with a focus on exploring the use of blockchain technology in Facebook’s core business.
Time for a new challenge! After four amazing years leading Messenger, I'm going to setup a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain for Facebook. I will miss my fierce Messenger team, but I'm excited about the journey ahead. My full note: https://t.co/nBKAr7vyj9
— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) May 8, 2018
As per reports, the internal team would include key Instagram members. Marcus is joined by James Everingham and Kevin Weil, VPs of Engineering and Product respectively at Facebook-owned Instagram.
Interestingly, Marcus was served as the president of PayPal from 2012-14 and brings his expertise of payment platforms to the table. The executive was instrumental in strategizing the future of Messenger, with the decision of offering the platform as app-only solely a decision made by Marcus. Messenger’s foray into customer service bots, shopping, and advertising was headed by Marcus as well. Although unconfirmed, the use of blockchain falls perfectly at the nexus of payments and advertisements, and Marcus might greatly consider that idea.
Furthermore, Marcus joined the board of Coinbase in December 2017, making it evident that the executive is well-versed with cryptocurrencies. Coinbase described his addition as “impactful,” as Marcus was appointed to deal with scaling the crypto exchanges business to reach a wider audience.
Thrilled to join the @Coinbase Board! Looking fwd to doing my best to help @brian_armstrong and the amazing team he's assembled, continue to democratize access to cryptocurrencies, and deliver on the mission to create an open financial system for the world https://t.co/CDGPu4RhYO
— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) December 12, 2017
Seemingly Marcus is positive on the role Coinbase would play to bring cryptocurrency to the masses, saying:
“I’m convinced that what the company is working on has the potential to materially change the lives of people around the world, and I’m looking forward to working with Coinbase and its leadership team to help make this vision a reality.”
Blockchain May Bolster Data-Privacy
The announcement would add much-needed trust towards the blockchain sector, and in turn the cryptocurrencies, as the industry is currently viewed with a pessimistic view. Understandably, this stems from the presence of widely-reported ICOs scams, and the volatility of bitcoin’s price. Educating the masses about blockchains, decentralization, and the existence of cryptocurrency takes a backseat in mainstream media reporting.
Facebook has no plans to create their own cryptocurrency at the moment. However, blockchain technology could help with encrypted data storage, blockchain could help with encrypted data storage, particularly after its recent data-misuse scandal involving U.K.- based Cambridge Analytica. In March 2017, the two firms were at the center of a massive controversy, as Cambridge Analytica allegedly used Facebook’s data for pushing political agendas.
In a world where data is regarded as the next oil, blockchain’s use would highly help with security, credibility, and privacy, with firms like Facebook’s adopting the tech for a specific cause but helping the general cause of blockchain’s awareness.