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June 19, 2018

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Facebook, Crypto, Blockchain and the GDPR

May 17, 2018

 Image courtesy wix.com

 

Sometime around May 11, 2018, unnamed sources told Cheddar.com that Facebook is exploring the creation of it's own cryptocurrency, and needs to make acquisitions in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space in order to develop its this virtual currency.

 

The social media giant began its examination of blockchain technology to see how it could also be used to help Facebook verify the identity of accounts and encrypt data.

 

David Marcus, VP in charge of the Messenger app, will lead a team of less than a dozen Facebook employees working on blockchain. No ICO is planned. Their digital currency could take 2 years to develop.

 

This puts Facebook into a curious position. That's because Facebook banned cryptocurrency-related advertising across its network in January, citing “misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” 

 

This ban was quickly duplicated by both Google and Twitter. Do not be surprised when these technology titans jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

 

 

 

The GDPR and the right to erasure

 

The bigger news, though, is not that Facebook is starting its own cryptocurrency

 

A few weeks ago, Facebook held its F8 conference. During which, Mark Zuckerberg Stated on Twitter, “Today at our F8 conference I'm going to discuss a new privacy control we're building called "Clear History."

 

In your web browser, you have a simple way to clear your cookies and history. The idea is a lot of sites need cookies to work, but end users should still be able to flush your history whenever you want.

 

"We're building a version of this for Facebook too," the company stated. "It will be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook -- what you've clicked on, websites you've visited, and so on.”

 

This announcement is not surprising, since it will allow the social media giant to continue to offer its social media platform to residents in the European Union.

 

Much of the past F8 was addressing the fall out of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), after Facebook's congressional inquiry and public opinions. 

 

 

Facebook cryptocurrency

 

Now onto the bigger announcement, Messenger app, blockchain and cryptocurrency.

 

According to Cheddar.com, people familiar with Facebooks plan are saying that Facebook is exploring the creation of its own cryptocurrency as a way for billions of people across the globe to make electronic payments. These people also expressed that Facebook is serious about this. This wraps up about all anyone in public knows about their cryptocurrency besides that it is speculated to be a few years away.

 

David Marcus who is a former President of Paypal, early Bitcoin investor, a board member of Coinbase and head of Facebooks messenger App is now heading up the blockchain research group at Facebook. Plans for blockchain have been omitted from announcements, and top executives have been secretive about any plans for crypto. Marcus states he would lead a new team to “explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”

 

Relevant information concerning blockchain development for Facebook is best summed up in various quotes from David through interviews and Facebook post:

 

“I'm setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”

 

“I'm excited about Messenger's upcoming redesign I've shared an early look at this year's F8. I think you're going to love it!”

 

"Payments using crypto right now is just very expensive, super slow, so the various communities running the different blockchains and the different assets need to fix all the issues, and then when we get there someday, maybe we'll do something,”

 

During an interview at a conference in February, Marcus said Facebook didn’t have plans to integrate cryptocurrency into its apps anytime soon.

 

People familiar with the Facebook endeavor said there aren’t expectations to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) by offering a limited number of virtual tokens for the public to buy at a set price.

 

............

 

Here is a quick list of announcements:

 

Virtual Reality:FB released its $200 VR headset, Oculus Go. Look for some integration into FB soon. Oculus VR is a VR headset that requires no Cell or PC for connection. Their expectation is for making a face-to-face environment. If you haven’t yet tried VR, you must. VR could possibly be the biggest change in personal technology to date. Expect people to escape reality unrealistically and social issues to follow. You heard that here first. On the other hand, it does have major advantages. No only with FB but across many applications. Coupled with AR (augmented reality), this is probably the biggest development this year.

Whatsapp:FB is changing this ap to allow group video calling and opening the platform for third party sticker apps.

 

Dating App:Yes, Tinder beware

 

Watch Party: This app lets you watch videos in small groups

 

Groups:Zuckerberg expects groups to me a larger part of the FB experience and there will soon be a “Join Group” button. The expectation is to be connected with “Brands” and to be able to integrate buttons into web pages and emails to build communities.

Safety Check:Besides marking yourself “Safe” on FB during a crisis or natural disaster, FB intends to prioritize information from people who are close to the event.

 

AI:FB is delving more into AI and gave a few examples such as Densepose, an AI bot that plays Go and their new system called MUSE (Multilingual Unsupervised and Supervised Embeddings) that is utilized for understanding language.

 

Instagram:Huge changes with video chat, GoPro integration and their camera effects platform.

 

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