Facebook plans to create its own cryptocurrency

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Facebook started studying blockchain nearly a year ago, when a member of its corporate development team, Morgan Beller, began looking at how the social platform could use the emerging technology.

Speaking with anonymous sources close to Facebook, Cheddar claims the social media giant is considering the release of its own virtual token for electronic payments.

We don't know too many details about the rumored currency, but Facebook has supposedly been looking into blockchain, the technology behind secure digital transactions, for the past year.

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Blockchain can counter the menace of fake news and help Facebook in clamping down on people peddling false narrative. Headed up by Messenger chief David Marcus, the new team will be exploring how blockchain technologies could be used to improve Facebook. At the time of writing, Facebook's market cap is around $540 billion United States dollars according to ycharts, nearly $200 billion more than the market cap of the entire crypto space.

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

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According to Cheddar, sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that the social media giant is now exploring creating its own virtual tokens.

According to him, the newly created "a small team will explore many different directions".

Facebook did not say what it plans to do with its blockchain unit, but Marcus said that the company would be "starting from scratch". "We don't have anything farther to share with you".

The new blockchain team would come under "New platforms and infra" run by Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mike Schroepfer, who will also take care of Facebook's AR, VR and Artificial Intelligence initiatives.

Facebook has over two billion users globally and launching cryptocurrency will allow them to make payments using a virtual currency like Bitcoin. As Cheddar, notes, the social network would have to make some major blockchain and cryptocurrency acquisitions before this was a viable idea.