|Headquarters||Menlo Park, CA|
|Key People||Mark Zuckerberg, founder, CEO; David Marcus, Head of Blockchain Initiatives|
|Products||Social networking website, software app development and e-commerce platform, messaging apps|
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg while he attended Harvard University in 2004. He was accused of stealing the idea for the social networking site by the Winklevoss twins, who were working on a similar project at the time called ConnectU. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss later sued Zuckerberg. They settled in 2008 for a total of $65 million worth of cash and equity.
In January 2018, Facebook banned all ads on the website pertaining to "initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency," as well as binary options, in an effort to curb the influence of financial services that were associated with "misleading or deceptive promotional practices." Following the news, prices for bitcoin decreased by 12 percent.
In February 2019, Zuckerberg posted a video interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain on Facebook. In the interview, Zuckerberg discussed the pros and cons of blockchain technology, particularly its relevance to user privacy and security of information. He said that using distributed ledger technology could potentially "empower" individual users while adding accountability to companies that use their information, but that it could raise "the question of consent and how people can really know that they’re giving consent to an institution."
In March 2019, Coindesk reported that Facebook was advertising for 25 blockchain-related positions within the company. All of these were based in the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The position titles included "production manager," "business operations manager," "data scientist," "software engineer," and "growth product manager."
Products and Services
Facebook allows users to make text posts, share photos and videos, post links to other websites, start groups with other users, and develop and use apps. Facebook's software platform allows app developers to monetize their apps through e-commerce transactions or allowing advertisements in their content.
In December 2018, Bloomberg reported that Facebook was in the process of developing a cryptocurrency for WhatsApp, a messaging app for the website that is popular in India. Facebook said the blockchain project was focusing on creating a stablecoin that would allow users to transfer money to other users. At the time of the announcement, the company was in the process of working out its strategy for implementation as well as custody and regulatory issues. The project is being developed by Facebook's blockchain initiatives department, a small team headed by former PayPal president David Marcus, who joined Facebook in 2014.
In April 2019, the New York Times reported that venture capitalist Tim Draper was planning on meeting with representatives from Facebook to discuss Facebook's stablecoin project.
Cheddar, an online business, technology, and culture news service, reported on February 4, 2019, that Facebook had taken on most of the members of the staff of Chainspace, a London smart contract consulting firm. Chainspace was a start-up created by researchers from University College London. Though the company was still developing its technology, according to its website it is being used on the European project "DECODE", a data security initiative that aimed at giving people greater ownership of their personal data. The Alpha version of this program's technology is being tested in Barcelona and Amsterdam.
- Mark Zuckerberg - Founder, CEO
- David Marcus - Head of Blockchain Initiatives
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- The Code of the Winkelvii. Vanity Fair.
- Facebook ban on bitcoin ads is the latest in a very bad day for cryptocurrencies. CNBC.
- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Sees Pros and Cons in Blockchain Logins. Coindesk.
- Facebook’s Blockchain Hiring Spree Continues With 5 New Job Postings. Coindesk.
- What Is Facebook?. Lifewire.
- Facebook Is Developing a Cryptocurrency for WhatsApp Transfers, Sources Say. Bloomberg.
- Venture Capitalist Draper to Meet With Facebook on Crypto Fund. Bloomberg.
- Facebook Makes First Blockchain Acquisition With Chainspace: Sources. Cheddar.
- A planetary scale smart contracts platform. Chainspace.
- Plunge in crypto sets stage for Facebook and other tech giants to hire blockchain experts. CNBC.