- Reuters / Stephen Lam
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he will research cryptocurrency in 2018.
- The goal is part of his yearly personal challenge, which is mainly focused on fixing Facebook’s problems.
- The head of Facebook Messenger is joining the board of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg says one aspect of his yearly personal challenge will be to study cryptocurrency and explore how it can be used within Facebook.
Zuckerberg published a Facebook post Thursday in which he outlined his personal goal for 2018. The main goal is, essentially, to fix the problems within Facebook that have caused controversy. “We won’t prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools,” Zuckerberg wrote. “If we’re successful this year then we’ll end 2018 on a much better trajectory.”
But further on in his post, Zuckerberg outlined two areas of technology that he wanted to research in 2018: encryption and cryptocurrencies. He said both technologies led to decentralised power, which Zuckerberg saw as a positive move.
Zuckerberg wasn’t explicit in his post about Facebook’s plans regarding cryptocurrencies. He didn’t say the company would add bitcoin as a payment option, for example. But it shows that one of the world’s most powerful companies is looking closely at the technology.
Here’s the portion of Zuckerberg’s post about cryptocurrencies:
“But today, many people have lost faith in that promise. With the rise of a small number of big tech companies – and governments using technology to watch their citizens – many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it.
“There are important counter-trends to this — like encryption and cryptocurrency — that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”
Zuckerberg isn’t the only Facebook executive with an interest in cryptocurrency. In December, it was announced that the Facebook Messenger boss David Marcus would join the board of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Marcus was formerly the president of PayPal before joining Facebook in 2014.
In a blog post published at the time, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said Marcus’ “experience will add breadth and depth to the Coinbase board and will help the leadership team as the company focuses on becoming the most popular and safest place to buy and sell digital currencies.”
Marcus said in the post: “I’ve been involved with, and fascinated by cryptocurrencies since 2012, and I’ve witnessed how Coinbase has started democratizing access to this new asset class. I’m convinced that what the company is working on has the potential to materially change the lives of people around the world, and I’m looking forward to working with Coinbase and its leadership team to help make this vision a reality.”