Facebook has officially made the decision to pursue blockchain technology. In a report by Recode on Tuesday, Facebook has launched an experimental blockchain group that will be led by David Marcus, the executive formerly in charge of Facebook’s Messenger group and current Coinbase board director. Marcus followed up with a tweet shortly after the report was released to confirm the big internal reshuffling.
Time for a new challenge! After four amazing years leading Messenger, I'm going to setup a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain for Facebook. I will miss my fierce Messenger team, but I'm excited about the journey ahead. My full note: https://t.co/nBKAr7vyj9
— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) May 8, 2018
The team will be small at launch, according to the report, with around ten people including a few key Instagram executives who are moving over to join Marcus: Instagram’s VP of Engineering, James Everingham, and Instagram’s VP of Product, Kevin Weil.
The news drops just months after Facebook made the decision to block all cryptocurrency related ads on its platform. According to Facebook’s new policy, these ads are “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” While it’s important to differentiate between cryptocurrency investing and the underlying blockchain technology, it does raise questions about the company’s true stance on crypto.
Facebook also recently announced the addition of two new features, including the long-awaited downvote button, and an in-app dating service to rival Tinder.