What is Facebook Doing with Blockchain?
CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently made a bombshell post outlining a “
privacy-focused vision for social networking” that suggested a move to embrace end-to-end encryption of users’ data on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
There have also been rumours about Facebook starting its own coin, which in many ways would make sense for advertisers - lower payment processing fees and new value created through the token could, potentially, lower the cost of ads.
In February 2019, The New York Times reported that Facebook was planning to roll out new cryptocurrencies over the next year. This is meant to allow users to send money to contacts on their messaging systems. The report added Facebook had assigned more than 50 engineers to work on the project.
The hiring has not stopped there: As first reported by TNW , there are 22 jobs up for grabs in the company’s blockchain division , including a lead commercial counsel, finance analyst, and data scientist. The other roles available are predominantly based around business development, engineering and product management, and security; a threat investigator and security engineer for threat detection and response are wanted.
It is significant to mention that the man heading Facebook’s blockchain technology efforts is David Marcus, who was previously in charge of the Messenger division. Notably, Marcus is also one of Coinbase’s board members, which established ties between the two companies.
Facebook also acquired the team behind Chainspace. The acquisition of Chainspace’s team is the clearest sign yet of the network’s ambition to be a big player in the nascent blockchain industry.
In a separate post of a video interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, Zuckerberg speculated on the prospect of Facebook using a blockchain model to enable decentralized logins without its servers acting as authenticators. If done right, this could help a lot. Facebook has abused their users’ data and also not kept it safe.
Facebook is currently investigating the extent to which it accidentally logged and stored unencrypted password data, according to security expert Brian Krebs . All users are encouraged to change their passwords. This issue goes back a while now.
Is blockchain the tech that can revive Facebook and bring credibility back to its name or is it another effort to show they are really trying to do the right thing as a show?