Facebook Reportedly Considering Its Own Cryptocurrency
Facebook may be interested in creating its own cryptocurrency.
That’s according to a report on Friday by the online video news network Cheddar that cited unnamed sources.
A possible Facebook cryptocurrency would let the company’s users more easily buy goods from each other through the social network “without government currencies” the report said.
It’s unclear how exactly Facebook (FB) would use its own cryptocurrency, but a possible Bitcoin-like coin could let people more easily sell goods internationally through the company’s growing Marketplace online classified section.
This week, Facebook created a new team dedicated to blockchain, the technology that underpins popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and XRP. The company moved the leader of its Messenger service, David Marcus, to the new blockchain unit that he will oversee.
Facebook did not say what it plans to do with its blockchain unit, but Marcus said that the company would be “starting from scratch.” Marcus, who is no stranger to online payments, was once the president of PayPal (PYPL) and he’s also a board member of the Coinbase cryptocurrency trading service.
A Facebook spokesperson told Fortune in an email, “Like many other companies Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology.”
“This new small team will be exploring many different applications,” the spokesperson said. “We don’t have anything further to share.”
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She said that blockchain technology could be beneficial for privacy concerned people who want to better understand how their data is being used and shared via different advertising services “or on the personal side.”
“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.