Facebook reportedly has ‘very serious’ plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, which will be designed to allow users to make payments on the social media platform.
The initial report came courtesy of Cheddar, and a Facebook spokesperson later confirmed to The Verge that the company has a small team working on developing its own blockchain solution, but said that at the moment it’s exploring “many different applications.”
There’s been some speculation that if Facebook is working on its own blockchain tech, that it might take the form of a cryptocurrency that users could then use to make payments for items on the Facebook Marketplace.
That said, given the blockchain’s ability to store information as well as working as working as a payment method, the technology could also be deployed to keep a tighter hold over its user’s data — especially in the light of the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The return of Facebook credits?
In recent months it’s become easier to point out the large companies that aren’t working on blockchain than the ones that are. The photography company Kodak launched KodakCoin and saw its share price jump by 60%, and more recently Playboy joined with other members of the adult entertainment industry to work on its own cryptocurrency deployment.
This wouldn’t be the first time Facebook has experimented with its own currency. Between 2009 and 2012 the social media platform operated its own payment system called ‘Facebook Credits’ which provided an alternative way for users to pay for microtransactions in the burgeoning Facebook gaming scene.
However, despite its ambitions to expand the credits to one day become a general payment currency for use across the rest of the web, and the fact that it even created a subsidiary to administer it, the company shuttered the scheme in 2013.
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