- Facebook Messenger boss David Marcus announced that he's leaving his current role to start exploring how to best use blockchain technology at Facebook.
- Marcus didn't go into specifics. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that he's investigating how to best use the technology.
- Marcus also sits on the board of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
On Tuesday, Facebook Messenger head David Marcus announced that he's leaving his current role to explore the use of blockchain technology within the company.
"I'm setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch," Marcus wrote in a post published to his Facebook page.
Marcus' announcement comes months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was investigating how cryptocurrencies could be used at Facebook. Blockchain is the underpinning technology behind bitcoin and all of the very many other cryptocurrencies.
Marcus joined Facebook four years ago from PayPal, where he had been serving as President. Marcus himself is a big fan of cryptocurrency, and actually sits on the board of $1.6 billion cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
The news also comes as part of a broader shakeup at Facebook, as the company reforms itself into three new segments. Messenger will now fall into the new "Family of Apps" business, alongside Instagram, WhatsApp, and the core Facebook itself. Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox will lead that division overall, with exec Stan Chudnovsky taking over command of Messenger specifically.
Blockchain is the term for a decentralized digital ledger, and was originally created as the underpinning technology for bitcoin in 2009. It's the technology that enables all cryptocurrencies to function as they do - it doesn't require a central authority, like a bank, to establish that the data in the blockchain is accurate.
Marcus didn't reveal the type of applications for blockchain that he'll be working on At Facebook. However, given the current applications of blockchain technology, there are plenty of directions that Marcus and his team could go. At Facebook, the technology could be used in payments, gaming, the creation of digital art, and the swapping of collectible items - all applications for the blockchain that are currently being explored by the tech industry.