Mark Zuckerberg has assigned a dedicated team to explore the possibility of leveraging blockchain technology across the Facebook platform.
As a growing number of businesses and tech companies embrace blockchain technology, tech giants, it seems, are not ready to sit back and try to play catch-up tomorrow.
Social media giant Facebook announced this week it has dedicated an entire team to focus on looking into how the company can apply the distributed ledger technology to its various businesses. The small blockchain group includes executives of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, among others.
David Marcus, who is leaving Messenger to take over as the head of the group said:
“After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge. I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”
It is at odds to see a massive centralized organization like Facebook that thrives on exercising control of the data of its 2 billion users across the globe, express interest in the distributed ledger technology.
So what could be the use cases of Facebook blockchain adoption?
First, Facebook sees blockchain tech as a big threat to its goal of staying on top of every emerging or existing technology. Blockchain- the distributed ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrency is enjoying a widespread adoption because of its decentralized nature. Data on the blockchain is stored across a network of computers simultaneously and the rules are enforced through a consensus among participants.
Facebook has recognized that the hype around blockchain is real and it is likely the company is looking into the distributed technology to address the data privacy concerns on its platform. This move could also hint at a possibility that Facebook could use blockchain to help users manage their content rights or perhaps monetize their data. A few weeks ago, another tech leader, Sony, announced its intent to use blockchain to store digital rights data.
It is worth noting that so many ICOs have raised funds to build social media platforms powered by blockchain, but so far none has been successful in showcasing the results of their product development efforts.
It’ll be interesting to see what innovation and process improvements come out of Facebook blockchain initiative.