"This new small team will be exploring many different applications", a Facebook spokesperson told Cheddar, without elaborating on the matter or confirming its ambitions to launch a new cryptocurrency. One of the sources said that Facebook could make acquisitions in the field in order to develop its own cryptocurrency. "I'm setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch", Marcus wrote.
"So I think it's a technology that fits very well with some of the business model challenges that they're actually facing, and I think they're very right to take this very seriously", van Kralingen said.
According to a new report from Cheddar, Facebook is exploring the possibility of launching its own cryptocurrency.
Stan Chudnovsky, who has been Messenger's product chief, will succeed Marcus as head of the service, Facebook said. Will the company give users an official method of mining for it?
The self-confessed "cryptogeek" and cryptocurrency investor was also the former lead at online payment service PayPal prior to Facebook, and is now on the board of directors at the cryptocurrency exchange "Coinbase". The company lets consumers use cryptocurrency to pay for Windows services and Xbox gift cards.
According to Cheddar, sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that the social media giant is now exploring creating its own virtual tokens.
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.
In an internal post earlier this week announcing the blockchain initiative to Facebook employees, CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn't explain what specifically the team would be working on.
"Blockchain has been a buzzword in 2018 and has been associated with crypto and ICOs, however the most interesting part is the promise of this tech for a decentralised future which Facebook can leverage to clean up their name from the recent scandal". But the feature never gained traction, and Facebook shut it down two years later.