Facebook has taken the first steps towards launching a new ‘Facecoin’ digital currency by setting up a blockchain task force.
Headed by former PayPal supremo David Marcus, the team of several dozen experts is looking at how to harness the benefits of blockchain technology for the social media giant.
One of the ideas is to launch a Facecoin that allows the 2.2 billion users to spend within the network without a government-backed currency.
The corporation is also researching if blockchain can help with managing customer data by verifying identity and other back-end processes.
Strategic cryptocurrency acquisitions
Marcus is a recognised cryptocurrency advocate and sits on the board of Coinbase, the world’s largest exchange.
Although Facebook has banned any advertising that promotes ‘misleading or deceptive promotional practices’, most of the ads caught in the net involve dubiousICOs, cryptocurrencies and binary options that border on fraud or illegality.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg also published a blog at the start of the year indicating that he was making exploring how Facebook could utilise the blockchain and cryptocurrencies his top priority for the year.
Reports from within the corporation suggest Zuckerberg is ready to clear the purchase of ‘strategic acquisitions’ within the cryptocurrency sector to achieve his plan.
Facebook executives acknowledge a cryptocurrency launch is years away, but other social media networks are closer to their own ICOs.
Telegram and Kik working on blockchain apps
Telegram has raised $1.7 billion with a private ICO aimed at funding a next-generation blockchain, the Telegram Open Network. The money came from 200 institutional and high net worth investors.
Meanwhile Kik Messenger, the chat app, is working on a blockchain token ICO for a token called Kin.
“Most crypto projects to date have been technology-driven first and product-driven second. Kin has always been the opposite,” said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kin and Kik.
“After working heads down alongside the best minds in the industry we concluded that a hybrid solution of Ethereum and our own fork of Stellar would benefit the Kin Ecosystem both short and long-term.
“Our goal is for Kin to be the most used cryptocurrency in the world and this will help get us there sooner.”