Facebook has been recruiting cryptocurrency and blockchain specialists, suggesting the technology giant is moving forward with plans to launch its own cryptocurrency within the next year or two.
Facebook announced back in May 2018 that it was creating a blockchain division to investigate ways it could leverage the technology for its benefit moving forward. This project would be run by David Marcus, former president of Paypal, who joined Facebook as vice president of messaging products before moving across to lead this experimental blockchain group, reports Tech Advisor.
Marcus recently said that he’d look into the best ways to apply blockchain technology in a way that best benefited the social media platform. The size of Facebook’s blockchain division is suggested to be roughly 40 strong which has grown from a team of 12. These hires include ex-Paypal executives, data scientists, data engineers, software engineers, a marketing lead and a number of Google and Samsung developers.
Within job listings for Blockchain related careers, Facebook states: “The blockchain team is a startup within Facebook with a vision to make blockchain technology work at Facebook scale and improve the lives of billions of people around the world.” “Our ultimate goal is to help billions of people with access to things they don’t have now – that could be things like equitable financial services, new ways to save, or new ways to share information.”
Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has mentioned interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology previously. In January, he wrote a Facebook post in which he discusses the potential of decentralised currencies and other technologies. Facebook has active to more than 2.2 billion active users via its flagship social network. However, it has billions of users on its WhatsApp and Instagram channels as well.
This leverage puts Facebook in a good position to launch the first mass-market cryptocurrency. According to Business Insider, if Facebook were to offer a cryptocurrency, it could extend financing options to those unaffiliated with a bank. This could be a great disruptor in the financial services industry, which certainly would do well to watch what unfolds under Marcus’ watch.