Facebook Launches Blockchain Research Unit Headed by David Marcus


New Facebook Team Researching the Blockchain

Facebook is no stranger to the movements of technological innovation. The company has always been at the forefront of technology, and continues to make every effort to integrate the newest innovations into their own business model. It should not be surprising news, then, that the corporation is rolling out a new research team tasked with diving into the realities of blockchain technology.

The most interesting aspect of this latest move is likely the major Facebook executive who has been given reigns over the new team. The former head of Facebook Messenger, the Facebook messaging app, David Marcus is taking the lead on the blockchain integration team.

In his absence, the Messenger head of product Stan Chudnovsky will be taking charge of the messenging service’s operations.

Marcus is not the only major executive from Facebook joining the new blockchain coalition, either. Additional big names from Facebook on the team include the Instagram Vice President of Engineering and Instagram’s Vice President of Product.

Marcus has a history of innovation within his previous positions on executive committees. He was the former president of PayPal and is consequently well-versed in payment familiarity and financial interactions. Specifically, he oversaw the decision to split Facebook Messenger away from the main Facebook app, a decision that yielded a clear increase to downloads.

Marcus also seems to be personally invested in the movements of the immensely popular blockchain technology. In December, he joined the Coinbase board of directors. This is a significant point, because it helps to conceptualize where the interest of this head executive may lead the committee to as they explore Facebook applications of blockchain technology.

Applications could be varied and are increasingly hard to predict though, analysts speculate. The blockchain is a decentralized public ledger used to store information, typically financial in nature. For Facebook, the implications could be wide and varied.

In this new position, Marcus will be directly reporting to the Chief Technological Officer of Facebook, Mike Schroepfer. Some leading industry professionals say that the creation of this particular group marks another restructuring in the biggest re-organization in the history of Facebook’s corporation.

Facebook’s interest in blockchain technology likely has something to do with its capacity for secured, encrypted data storage. In relation to recent allegation of a lack of security with customer information, it is entirely possible that Facebook seeks to score a major win with the integration of this newest technology into their existing data infrastructure.

Looking toward the future, it is possible that the Facebook team will come forward with a new announcement in the coming weeks regarding the direction they want to go in with developing blockchain technology on their own site. The process might take a long time, though; blockchain technology’s integration would demand a drastic restructuring of the existing information technology infrastructure of the website and the corporation.

In any case, Facebook seems confident that the blockchain is a technology of great utility, and their placement of experienced board members on the new team signifies their deep interest in the decentralized ledger.

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