Last week, Facebook's main blockchain player left the board at Coinbase. David Marcus was on the board since last December and if he's gone to avoid a conflict of interest. They were very cautious about their intentions in the blockchain space, but this move by David Marcus could announce the beginning of a greater presence of Facebook in the online payment area.
David Marcus has a history in the web payment industry. Before taking up an office on Facebook, he worked with PayPal and also with the Facebook Messenger team. Now it seems to go on with a project on Facebook, although there has been little shared information on what it could be.
After his departure from the board of directors of Coinbase, David Marcus commented on BI through a Facebook representative on the move,
"Because of the new group I'm installing on Facebook around blockchain, I decided it was appropriate for me to resign from the board of Coinbase. "
Facebook is not the only one to potentially pursue an online payment platform that uses blockchain and a messaging service. While they have a lot of money to work with, their reputation is all but stellar at the moment. A series of scandals has plagued the company, and whether the public will trust Facebook or not with their money is an important question for them.
Facebook holds a unique position
The formation of the blockchain Facebook team that David Mark's heads are very recent. After being announced in March of this year, there has not been much news from the company about what they could do with blockchain. Now that they have met with Stellar and denied a partnership, an online payment platform seems increasingly likely.
Although Facebook has been involved in user privacy disputes, blockchain could help them shore up their public image in the wake of major scandals. Depending on how a blockchain-based payment platform is implemented, it may allow them to demonstrate their commitment to the strong language that has come out of the company regarding user privacy in recent months.
Unfortunately for Facebook, there is more malicious information that continually comes up. According to a report that was reproduced from the blog The Burning Platform, in 2011 they claimed that their platform could be used
"as a market research tool and as a platform for ad saturation (that) can be used to change public opinion in any political campaign. "
We now all know how Facebook would probably have done well with this offer. They were more than willing to sell highly sensitive data to companies like Cambridge Analytica. In all probability, Cambridge Analytica was one of many, many entities that were able to purchase private data from the mother ship, which could have been used for anything.
People have many other options
There are many other options developed for people who want to use a messenger-based payment platform. While Facebook struggles with its public image, there are startups like the Republic of Zulu who are working with the Telegram messaging platform to create secure payment systems for crypto users. Their Litecoin Lite.im function will allow Telegram users to exchange Litecoin on the Telegram platform and use RSA encryption and the user's private password to protect data.
The Republic of Zulu stressed the need for a secure platform, saying that Telegram is, "the safest messenger in the world" and that on Telegram, privacy is "integrated by setting default. " Most people do not want a platform to track every move and then use that data to manipulate the masses. Sadly for Facebook, their total lack of respect for privacy will probably continue to haunt them, especially in an area like online finance.
One of the biggest questions Facebook has to address is how to restore trust in their brand, and compete with other platforms that do not have a bunch of privacy scandals that follow them around. Blockchain could be part of their trust solution, but it could also be too little and too late.