After banning all ICO and cryptocurrency related advertisements on this channel, Facebook is tapping into its underlying technology- blockchain. The company is using the best of its talent and deep pockets to dive into this technology headfirst.
According to latest reports in Recode, the company has roped in former head of Messenger team David Marcus to lead a blockchain effort within the company. Marcus has extensive experience with PayPal and Coinbase, which could help the company in making substantial progress in its distributed ledger efforts.
Since the news leaked, there is no report about Facebook and its proposed plans. The company is engaged in a hush project and it is highly likely that no one except a handful of people are aware of what is going on. It is important to understand if the company is genuinely interested in a distributed ledger framework is simply jumping into the trends with half baked cookies in place of products.
There is no concrete news about their plans, but it looks like the company is trying everything it can to avoid making people leave their platform. It has acquired of dozens of other companies in the past few years, simply to ensure that their users never move out of the Facebook network. Oculus VR, Instagram and WhatsApp are examples of services which were hurriedly acquired by the company to tap into their potential markets or simply to ensure they don’t have a competition.
Their lack of competitive spirit was also revealed when they blatantly copied features of competing product Snapchat in all their service offerings. It appears that the company wants to tap into this technology early on to ensure that no competitor emerges in the market for which it must shell out billions of dollars to acquire.
Another explanation for their digital ledger fascination is their bid to ensure security of user data. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is fresh in users’ memories till date. With a new blockchain based security layer, they could be assuring users that their information remains private and 100% secure on the network. As all information is decentralized, there is no single point of failure which could compromise the entirety of the network.
A potential problem with this kind of social network is that it distributes data to everyone on the blockchain, instead of just Facebook. There is no guarantee that the distributed ledger will not be centrally controlled by the company. Also, blockchain cements data forever. Therefore, even if a user wants to delete his/her account, it could remain on Facebook forever and there is no way you can get rid of the information.
Some sources also suggest that they are secretly creating their own cryptocurrency which could be used to buy services on the platform. There is no doubt that the company has a small yet powerful e-commerce ambition. The platform could also incentivize posts, giving a small chunk of cryptocurrencies to users who keep sharing and remain active on the platform.
The project is shrouded in mystery till date and we would never know what’s going on until the company makes a formal announcement.