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Home / NewTech / 50 person Facebook team plans cryptocurrency payment tech, report says

50 person Facebook team plans cryptocurrency payment tech, report says



 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg


Stephen Shankland / CNET
                                                

Ready to send some virtual money to your friends or whatsapp contacts so you can split the restaurant bill? Maybe someday you'll be using a cryptocurrency to do so.

Many people in the tech world have soured on cryptocurrencies and their accounting underpinnings, called blockchain. The New York Times reported Thursday.

Cryptocurrencies initially excited fans who wanted a new digital-era payment mechanism. but as the hype increases, investors hoping to see their value rise dominated the cryptocurrency domain. 2 billion members, the Times said.

Facebook's cryptocurrency project would likely involve a cryptocurrency, the Times said, corroborating an earlier Bloomberg report. That would be the value of the seminal cryptocurrency, bitcoin, to soar and then crash.

Facebook did not comment on the story's details, but it did not confirm its blockchain work.

"Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology, "the company said in a statement.

The Times report is shared with cryptocurrency exchanges, the online marketplaces where you can convert ordinary money into cryptocurrencies and vice versa.

Using cryptocurrencies to transfer money has long been one of the technology's supposed virtues. In principle, it could be used to lower transaction fees that are common with other payment services.

In practice, though, cryptocurrencies have not been enabled to search a frictionless money-transfer world. For one thing, their own transaction fees have increased. For another, the process commonly used to lock in a cryptocurrency transaction, called proof of work, is slow and requires large amounts of electrical power.

The leader of the Facebook project is David Marcus, formerly president of PayPal's online payment company, the Times said. The Block, a cryptocurrency tracking site, has been flagging Facebook's blockchain-related job openings.


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