The founder of Morgan Creek Digital and the host of the popular “Off The Chain” crypto podcast has declared that Facebook will eventually build the “most used product in crypto.” Facebook recently advertised openings for software engineers specializing in blockchain technology. Though Facebook’s intent is unknown as of know, speculation has already begun.
Mike Dudas, the founder of ‘The Block’ – a global community of crypto and blockchain enthusiasts, tweeted the news of Facebook’s hiring of blockchain engineers and opined that the position will hold no value other than prestige without a defined purpose. Pompliano quickly responded to this tweet, stating that he is betting on Facebook to build “the most used product in crypto.”
Facebook Blockchain has been publicly quiet, but FB's career site reveals huge ambition. The "ultimate goal is to help billions of people with things they don’t have access to now” via blockchain tech. And they're now hiring go-to-market Marketing talent. https://t.co/YABRHo0VyP
— Mike Dudas (@mdudas) December 9, 2018
A Mild Frenzy
Crypto enthusiasts all over the world got involved in the thread sharing their take on the hot topic after Pompliano responded to Dudas’ tweet. Pompliano admitted that he did not know ‘when’ and ‘what’ Facebook will build and that is for them to decide. He backed up his statement saying ‘They have more 1 billion user products than any other company I believe. They out-executed everyone historically. You could go at most corporates, but Facebook ain’t it.’
Dudas though wasn’t convinced, he proclaimed that Pompliano is simply wrong in this matter and went on to state that this will be his worst prediction yet.
Pompliano then explained the reason behind Facebook’s success, stating that the company has an extraordinary team of individuals who excel at building, launching, and scaling their products: ‘Betting against David Marcus, Kevin Weil, Morgan Beller, Zuck, Chris Cox, and the FB growth team is insanity. I’ll ride with that crew any day when it comes to building, launching, and scaling products. Ask their competitors how it went last time.’
Enthusiasts carried in the debate, speculating about the nature of Facebook’s entry into the burgeoning world of crypto. Some thoughts included a Facebook identity system, personal data, a Facebook stable coin, etc. However, nobody really knows what Facebook is planning by hiring new engineers to join their blockchain development team.
Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Project
Facebook began its exploration of blockchain in mid-2016 when the company reportedly tasked a single corporate development staffer with investigating blockchain technology. Facebook was rumored to be working on a cryptocurrency project on top of the Stellar network back in April. However, Facebook denied the rumors and has remained very tight-lipped regarding the operation of their blockchain division. A report from an unnamed Facebook Blockchain insider said the company was making a long-term bet that would most likely resemble its investments in AI: “Rather than targeting a specific vertical, such as payments, Facebook’s blockchain group would provide a foundation from which the firm will be able to target an array of possible opportunities.”
The fact that the mysterious team is working on something in the background is clear despite there being no official confirmation from Facebook whatsoever. David Marcus, the blockchain division head of Facebook and former president of PayPal recently resigned from his position on the board of directors at Coinbase due to a conflict of interest working at both companies. He explained to TechCrunch that he is leaving Coinbase “because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain, Getting to know Brian [Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase], who’s become a friend, and the whole Coinbase leadership team and the board has been an immense privilege. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the talent and execution the team has demonstrated during my tenure, and I wish the team all the success it deserves going forward.”
The CNBC had reported earlier that Facebook is ‘paying attention to Robinhood, an investing app that targets young audiences and recently launched a crypto trading platform. The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Robinhood’s surging popularity among millennials has attracted venture investors, who are poised to value the company at $5.6 billion.’
Facebook’s massive scale gives it a major advantage. AngelList founder Naval Ravikant has posited that Facebook could adopt an extreme version of the popular “airdrop” model as a path toward adoption. This recent development further fuels the speculation that Facebook is working on some kind of cryptocurrency project.
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