Facebook creates Blockchain Division to be led by Coinbase board member

May 11, 2018
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Facebook on Tuesday announced a new blockchain division as part of its reorganisation—the biggest in 15 years. The blockchain group will report directly to the Chief technology Officer just like AI; AR/VR; and the Engineering, infrastructure, and data privacy division.

Former Head of Messenger, David Marcus will lead the new blockchain division. Confirming his new role, Marcus put out a post on Facebook. He wrote, “After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge.” He continued, “I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” Instagram’s vice president of product, Kevin Weil, will join Marcus in Facebook’s blockchain division.

Following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal in which details millions of American accounts were shared with the political consulting company, Facebook may be looking for a way to leverage on the benefits of decentralized blockchain technology to safely manage data. Blockchain technology takes away the need for a ‘centralized’ third party when sharing data and as such can eliminate massive scale data leaks.

Despite its ban on ads for Initial Coin Offerings and Cryptocurrency schemes, Facebook may be considering creating its own cryptocurrency or a tokenized service.

Founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said in a new year Facebook post said that he wanted his company to better understand the positive and negative aspects of cryptocurrencies. “I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services,” he wrote amongst other things in the post.

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If Mark Zuckerberg and his team are considering a cryptocurrency, the will draw on the experience of David Marcus who was formerly the president of Paypal and helped develop a Messenger’s P2P payment system. Marcus joined the board of Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange Last year.



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