Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) declined to comment Friday on reports the social media platform is considering a cryptocurrency to enable electronic payments.
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “This new small team will be exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”
Facebook remarked only on its blockchain ventures, which were announced earlier this week, but did not confirm a Cheddar report on a more focused interest in financial applications.
“They are very serious about it,” Cheddar’s sources said of Facebook’s alleged cryptocurrency exploration.
Some speculated a cryptocurrency end goal after Facebook’s David Marcus announced his transition from heading Messenger to spearheading a new blockchain-focused team. Marcus is a former PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) president who now serves on the board of Coinbase, a crypto exchange.
A number of other worthy applications exist for blockchain at Facebook, according to an IBM Common Stock (NYSE: IBM) executive.
"So what they are grappling with is securing data, and making sure that if people want privacy or trackability of their data, they can actually secure that —whether it’s on the ad side or the personal side,” Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s senior vice president of global industries, platforms and blockchain, said on Fortune’s "Balancing the Ledger" show.
“It’s a technology that fits very well with some of the business model challenges that they’re actually facing, and I think they’re very right to take this very seriously.”
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