David Marcus is a big name in fintech. He was the president at PayPal before he took up his post at Facebook. There is no word from Facebook on what David Marcus is working on, besides the potential takeover of the internet via an internet 3.0 platform lifted directly from WeChat.
Just kidding, Facebook hasn’t admitted to that.
While details on what Facebook’s blockchain is working on are scant, they have been sending employees to major international blockchain events, perhaps with the intention of poaching talent for their growing blockchain division.
News network Cheddar reports that Facebook’s blockchain team is now 40+ employees strong, and looking to add more talent. They are apparently working on launching a “decentralized digital currency,” which would leverage their existing global user base.
Facebook is a Strange Player
For a platform that started off as a MySpace killer, Facebook’s business model has come a long way. Mark Zuckerberg learned how to leverage his massive pile of data for political gains, and may be an integral part of the Western intelligence system.
The West has a very different view of personal privacy, which is why the Cambridge Analytica affair created a scandal. If it had happened in China, it would have been seen as business as usual.
If it made it to media outlets at all.
While Mark Zuckerberg had to do a few laps around Capitol Hill, Facebook’s highly questionable business model emerged from Cambridge Analytica unscathed. The stock took a hit, but people all over the world are still lining up to offer Zuckerberg their most sensitive personal data.
WeChat has an Incredible Business
Social media users in the West are just waking up to the Chinese online juggernaut that is WeChat. If you don’t know it, check out this brief video from The New York Times.
The kind of money that Facebook could generate with a platform like WeChat is amazing. From a technical perspective, they aren’t far off. Facebook has deep infrastructure to support digital platforms, a popular messaging service, and they could easily fill in any of the gaps to their software as it develops.
A major hurdle Facebook would have to overcome is the payment barrier that still exists in the West, as most people use their credit or debit card as an electronic payment solution.
Enter Facebook’s new “decentralized digital currency,” which is being overseen by the ex-president of the most successful digital payments platform in human history.
The One-Stop Identity Shop
Identity theft is a major problem. If Facebook wants to challenge the banks, and use a digital currency that looks very proprietary for online payments, they will have to overcome data security issues. Their users’ personal identity was hacked over the summer, and it also seems to be for sale as well.
If people are going to trust Facebook’s platform with their money, there would probably have to be additional safeguards for data theft in place.
Then, there are the personal privacy concerns. WeChat is probably successful in part due to the fact that the Chinese population is accustomed to living in a surveillance state already. The Chinese government can do as they please with their population, so WeChat’s treasure trove of personal information probably doesn’t freak the average user out.
Facebook’s Maybe Stasi
Many people in the USA don’t seem to care about the surveillance state their tax dollars finance, but other areas of the Western world may not be as accepting of a platform that collects an absolutely jaw-dropping amount of personal data.
The communist-led surveillance state that the USSR installed in European nations is still fresh in the collective mind of many, which may create issues for the adoption of a catch-all life platform created by a company that has both knowingly and unknowingly haemorrhaged sensitive personal data.
In many ways, blockchain ups the ante for privacy concerns. The data that is collected with blockchain would likely be extremely accurate, and very hard to get rid of once it is created.