Facebook is exploring the creation of its own cryptocurrency, a virtual token that would allow its billions of users around the world to make electronic payments, people familiar with Facebook’s plans told Cheddar.
“They are very serious about it,” said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced plans.
Facebook started studying blockchain almost a year ago, when a member of its corporate development team, Morgan Beller, began looking at how the social platform could use the emerging technology.
At the time, Beller was the only Facebook employee devoted to studying blockchain, the digital and decentralized ledger that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Her work was thrust into the spotlight this week when Facebook announced that the vice president in charge of the Messenger app, David Marcus, would lead a new team to “explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”
Marcus leads a team of less than a dozen Facebook employees working on blockchain. Before joining the company, he was the president of PayPal, which facilitates transactions between users in Facebook’s Messenger app.