Social media giant Facebook is exploring the possibility of creating its own cryptocurrency that would allow its users to make electronic payments, according to a report from news outlet Cheddar.
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Cheddar reported on Saturday that Facebook’s work on blockchain and cryptocurrency would likely take years to materialise. The sources also said that the company’s plans do not include launching an initial coin offering (ICO).
“They are very serious” about launching its own cryptocurrency, one of the sources told Cheddar.
Facebook’s recent moves seems to indicate that the company is indeed thinking seriously about utilising blockchain technology. Last week, the company announced that it was launching a small experimental blockchain group. The blockchain unit will be led by David Marcus, who was most recently in charge of the company’s Messenger division.
“After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge,” Marcus wrote in post on May 8. “I'm setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”
In December Marcus joined the board of the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase.
"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," a Facebook spokesperson told said in a statement on Friday. “We don’t have anything further to share,” it added.
Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has also indicated that his company is interested in digital currencies. In January Zuckerberg said that he was interested to examine “the positive aspects” encryption and cryptocurrency and how to best use these technologies in the company’s services.