Blockchain is making headlines everywhere as of late. From the pioneering platform that's responsible for the explosive success of Bitcoin to its recent integration with the Internet of Things, or IoT, it will likely experience even more mainstream appeal in the coming months and years. It seems that everybody – including Facebook – has their eyes on blockchain technology.
Although Facebook's intentions with blockchain are unclear at the time of this writing, representatives with the social media giant have made it clear that they're planning something big. The project is headed by David Marcus, former leader of the Facebook Messenger app division. His new endeavor has him in charge of a small group dedicated to blockchain research and integration.
Before joining Facebook, Marcus founded the mobile payment platform Zong in 2008. He maintained status as the company's CEO until 2011, when the company was acquired by PayPal and he named the new president. He also joined the board of directors at Coinbase, a popular Bitcoin exchange – but it seems his foray into social media will continue for some time to come.
Exploring the Murky Announcement
While it's clear that Facebook has a significant experience in exploring blockchain technology further, the initial announcement was anything but clear. In fact, it raised more questions and rampant speculation than anything else.
Some see the inevitability of a Facebook-based wallet – similar to the offerings of Bitcoin wallet providers and exchanges. This does seem likely, especially considering Marcus' past with Paypal and his current relationship with Coinbase.
Although a Facebook wallet may seem like a foregone conclusion, blockchain technology has many relevant uses in the business world and many that would potentially benefit Facebook. A shortlist of applications includes:
- Reducing the carbon footprint of Facebook offices and buildings.
- Facilitating the integration of the Internet of Things with social media and Facebook.
- Fighting fraudulent activities, like fake profiles, spammers and potential hackers, across the Internet.
- Establishing a real-time payment system that works within the Facebook platform. The introduction of blockchain could even let Facebook offer credit to small or established businesses and customers.
Trevor Gerszt, CEO with Coin IRA, recently had an interview with Inverse, where he stated: "It’s obvious that blockchain has many business uses, which is why more and more major companies are exploring it. But it’s not clear whether Facebook wants to use blockchain to improve internal business processes, protect user data, enhance the user experience, or develop new products. We can certainly speculate about the possibility that Facebook might try to develop its own cryptocurrency or trading platforms for its users to trade cryptos or tokens, but without further information that’s just pure conjecture."
Plenty of Uses for a Highly Innovative Company
There are plenty of options and many different routes Facebook can take in regards to blockchain technology. Developers might even forego the common options listed above and use the foundation to develop something completely new and entirely unique – we'll just have to wait and see.
Facebook to Embrace Blockchain Technology
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