Facebook could be developing its own cryptocurrency
A Facebook-backed cryptocurrency could be coming following significant management moves.
Staffing and management moves in large companies are often a sign that a shift in company strategy is coming. David Marcus, the former head of Facebook's Messenger team has moved sideways to lead a new team looking at blockchain technology.
What makes that move particularly interesting is that Marcus is currently on the board of directors at Coinbase and he was the president of PayPal for a couple of years. In other words, Facebook has moved their foremost expert on payments and cryptocurrencies into a senior role exploring how blockchain, and presumably cryptocurrencies, can be a part of the company's future.
It's an interesting move given Facebook banned cryptocurrency ads and ICO advertising earlier this year.
Facebook hasn't been shy about expanding the capability of Messenger. With the addition of bots and a rich API library that allows the service to be integrated into retail and customer service systems, it makes sense to expand its capability into cryptocurrency payments, potentially using a new alt-coin created by the social media giant.
Marcus's experience is a perfect storm for bringing such a project together. And while, according to a report at recode, Marcus will only be leading a small team of perhaps a dozen people, he'll have representatives from Instagram on that team.
He said, in a note shared on Facebook, "After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge. I'm setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch".
Facebook has made no secret of trying to expand Instagram's commercial value by enabling shopping on Instagram. By adding a new cryptocurrency, the long-term plan might be to create a completely closed loop with shoppers and members of the social networks able to see and purchase goods with almost no involvement from the existing commercial banking industry.
If Facebook does establish their own cryptocurrency, then the market will be given a massive boost. It will add significant legitimacy to the cryptocurrency markets and, perhaps, even break bitcoin's dominance as the most widely traded and valued coin around.
With over two billion users, even if just 1% of Facebook's user base become engaged in currency trading through a Facebook coin, it would cause a massive disruption. Whether that would be positive or negative is anybody's guess.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds BTC, EOS, ETH, XLM, ETN, LTC, ADA and XRP.
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