Facebook will reportedly design and build its own cryptocurrency to go with a new blockchain division under the guidance of David Marcus, a self-proclaimed “cryptogeek” and former head of Facebook Messenger.
Marcus confirmed on Twitter and Facebook earlier this week that he will run Facebook’s new division after "four amazing years leading Messenger" and will "set up a small group 'from scratch' to explore how to best leverage Blockchain for Facebook."
And while cryptocurrency, a virtual token, doesn’t always go hand-in-hand when a company creates a blockchain, the cryptocurrency could allow Facebook’s users and advertisers to make electronic payments, sources familiar with the plans told Cheddar, a live streaming financial news network founded by Jon Steinberg.
Marcus is an early investor in bitcoin, a virtual currency,
and sits on the board of Coinbase, a secure online platform that enables people to buy and sell digital currency.
The creation of a unique cryptocurrency would allow Facebook members to make purchases with retailers that advertise on its platform, but it would also allow advertisers to buy ad space.
Using cryptocurrency to buy advertising isn’t new, but remains in the early stages of development.
In December 2017, MadHive -- which develops blockchain technology for media and advertising, along with The Mad Foundation – began generating the sale of "Mad tokens," a cryptocurrency to support an open blockchain network for the advertising industry.
Microsoft in January 2018, restored Bitcoin payments for its online store after removing the option in December 2017. The company lets consumers use cryptocurrency to pay for Windows services and Xbox gift cards.
At the time, Microsoft didn’t reveal whether or not it would allow advertisers to use cryptocurrency to buy search ads.
And while Google will restrict the use of its AdWords platform to advertise cryptocurrency-related products and services as of June 2018, the company began work on blockchain technology.