Facebook intends to launch its own cryptocurrency

Facebook intends to launch its own cryptocurrency

"This new small team will be exploring many different applications", the spokesperson said.

Recode first reported the creation of Facebook's blockchain team earlier this week.

"They are very serious about it", an anonymous source told Cheddar. "We don't have anything further to share". The blockchain unit is part of Facebook's New Platforms and Infra (structure) group led by Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer and is presently said to consist of under a dozen employees who are exploring blockchain solutions.

According to Cheddar, it would be a way for the social network's billions of users to make electronic payments on the platform, as well as outside it. David Marcus, the executive formerly in charge of Messenger, will be the leading the blockchain group.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a hot topic right now, and it looks like Facebook doesn't want to be left in the dust.

Messenger and WhatsApp each has more than 1 billion users, making them among the most widely used smartphone apps globally. He also recently joined the board of Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange.

If Facebook does pursue its own cryptocurrency it is believed that it will take years to materialise and sources close to the project have also confirmed that there are no plans in the works to offer an initial coin offering (ICO) either. There is a range of possibilities of how the social media giant could introduce its digital currency.

Blockchain can counter the menace of fake news and help Facebook in clamping down on people peddling false narrative. Facebook in the past offered Facebook Credits, a way to pay for games and other items electronically.

The venture would likely see Facebook make "strategic acquisitions" in the cryptocurrency industry as it seeks to build out its blockchain infrastructure.

During an interview at a conference in February, Marcus said Facebook didn't have plans to integrate cryptocurrency into its apps anytime soon.

"So, the various communities running the different blockchains and the different assets need to fix all the issues, and then when we get there someday, maybe we'll do something", Marcus added.

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