Facebook Toys with the Idea of Blockchain

Facebook Toys with the Idea of Blockchain

It appears that social media giant Facebook is giving blockchain a serious thought after naming an officer responsible for studying the distributed shared ledger technology. 

Facebook confirmed previous reports that Evan Cheng, one of its senior engineers, will become the company’s first director of engineering dedicated to the development of the blockchain technology. 

“Director @Facebook, previously @Apple. World’s friendliest curmudgeon. Day job – Programming languages, runtimes, compilers Night job – blockchain, crypto,” Cheng said in his Twitter account’s biography. 

Moreover, in his LinkedIn profile, Cheng stated he was Facebook’s director of engineering for programming languages and runtimes for nearly three years before he was given the blockchain post. This, after his 10-year stint at technology giant Apple. 

The news comes after Facebook unveiled a group responsible for exploring the technology, to be headed by David Marcus, who has served as its vice president for Messenger. Marcus, a board member of Coinbase, former PayPal President.

“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,” Marcus wrote in a post on his Facebook page. 

Although it remains uncertain the exact work to be carried out, the new team would have fewer than a dozen people, mostly from the Facebook and Instagram units. 

Earlier, Facebook sort of welcomed cryptocurrency in its arms after relaxing its ban on ads pertaining to digital currencies. It launched a “cryptocurrency products and services onboarding request” allowing some entities to flash their ads on the social media site. But the prohibition on ads related to binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs) continue. 

“Advertisers wanting to run ads for cryptocurrency products and services must submit an application to help us assess their eligibility — including any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business,” a blog post said in May. 

“Given these restrictions, not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so. But we’ll listen to feedback, look at how well this policy works and continue to study this technology so that, if necessary, we can revise it over time,” it said at that time. 

In January, Facebook announced a policy banning ads which promote financial products and services which mislead customers or promote deceitful activities. 

“At the time we also made clear that ‘this policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices… We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve,’” Facebook had stated. 

Facebook’s move had earned praises from PR companies in the crypto arena.

This is “the first step in allowing credible blockchain projects, crypto companies and ICOs to get in front of new potential customers and investors. This will be a big boost for Facebook advertising revenue as the majority of projects out there are interested – and have the money – to run paid ads,” Trey Ditto, founder of Ditto PR, had said.

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