After Facebook went back on the decision to ban all cryptocurrency ads, they have since made a major human resources-related decision to promote one of their veteran developers, Evan Cheng, to head of blockchain engineering. The news comes after announcements that Facebook was closely inspecting the decentralized infrastructure of the blockchain.
The Facebook team has been exploring decentralized infrastructures and potential blockchain technologies for some time now. After the social media giant received major backlash for banning all cryptocurrency-related ads on their platform, Facebook backpedaled on the decision and re-enabled cryptocurrency advertisements. The act was quite surprising to many, though others started speculating that Facebook was pro-crypto almost immediately.
Now that Facebook has officially created the position of ‘Director of Blockchain Engineering’ and promoted their former head of programming languages and runtimes, Evan Cheng, to the position, speculation continues as to what the role of blockchain will be for the company. Per his LinkedIn profile, Cheng is a three year veteran at Facebook. Prior to his positions at Facebook, Cheng spent nearly 10 years at Apple, working in low-level programming positions. Prior to that, he graduated from Syracuse University with a Computer Science degree.
Facebook’s move indicates that it’s silently upgrading it’s blockchain arsenal and attempting to move into the field. Whether that means heading a sector that’s focused on maintaining cryptocurrency, or strictly emphasizing distributed ledger technology is unclear as of now.
Facebook and the Cryptocurrency Speculation
Prior to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, there was information that indicated the Facebook associate was planning to launch an ICO. It seems that its plans were halted, though, and the entire blockchain project-sector was placed on a sudden pause. This prompted many to believe that Facebook had ICO plans of their own that had to be stopped because of the impending pressure from regulators.
Although most of the claims are pure speculation, many have believed that a partnership between Facebook and Coinbase could be in the works. Coinbase has seen its team and overall business expanding to various parts of the globe, which has prompted many to believe it is getting ready for some large announcements this year. This speculation also comes shortly after David Marcus, head of Facebook’s “Messenger” app, joined Coinbase’s board of directors this past December.
A Symbiotic Relationship Between Facebook and Cryptocurrency
Many believe that Facebook and cryptocurrency could actually be the perfect match for one another. Facebook is an online portal with many pay-for-play services, but no inclusive digital payment method. Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency could theoretically increase the social media giant’s exposure to a global audience through the usage of limitless and instant digital currencies. Facebook would not be the first social media or messenger service to look into cryptocurrencies as a solution; Telegram held a private ICO earlier this year, with massive success.
Studies have even shown that social media, factually, has influence upon cryptocurrency prices, which raises the question of whether the inclusion of the biggest cryptocurrency in the world in this sector would create some new stability. Facebook has many games on its platform where real-life payments are accepted; however, the slow processing, wiring, and transaction times and fees have always proven to be a roadblock in its overall growth. The introduction of a cryptocurrency to the social media platform would bring ease, immutability, and speed to billions of internet users daily.