In what’s Mark Zuckerberg’s now-traditional New 12 months speech, the Facebook supremo pledged to fix the social network’s many problems which bubbled up in 2017. Maybe understandably, that admission hogged the headlines however Zuckerberg additionally stated he plans to check encryption and the blockchain “see how best to use them in our services.”
That assertion comes amid a interval of crypto frenzy, with the cryptocurrencies themselves rising in worth considerably, and it’s already prompting some folks to take a position on what firms Fb should purchase. It marks a uncommon time that the CEO of a serious world tech firm has dedicated to even exploring the blockchain.
It’s actually a no brainer for Fb to look into these applied sciences since there may be severe potential to advance the present tech establishment in significant methods.
In his submit, Zuckerberg makes point out of worldwide censorship and, in idea, a decentralized service might circumvent such measures — such China’s blocking of Fb and Twitter, or Iran’s recent clampdown on Instagram and Telegram.
We all know that appeals to Zuckerberg. The Fb founder has lengthy believed his firm’s mission is to attach the world — to the purpose that he nonetheless makes much-mocked efforts to woo the Chinese government — and the blockchain is a know-how that, if utilized appropriately, might give Fb a platform to beat censors worldwide, even in China.
For instance, Steemit is a Reddit-like decentralized social community that operates on the blockchain. Past a extra sturdy place in opposition to censors, the service rewards its customers for good content material with small quantities of cryptocurrency and has penalties for spam and pretend content material. It’s an early effort with a small group that has struggled to achieve widespread adoption, however it would possibly give Zuckerberg some early clues.
However censorship is only one of many areas the place Fb might make the most of the blockchain and a decentralized community. It has invested closely in peer-to-peer funds — maybe within the hope of emulating the high level of user engagement WeChat sees in China — and fintech is a hotbed for blockchain-focused know-how and startups. Past launching its personal mission or shopping for one other, Fb might additionally piggyback any variety of decentralized fee platforms which might be at present in growth and geared toward making world funds cheaper (free?) and sooner.
Others much less apparent areas related to Fb that others are attacking with decentralized initiatives together with clear internet advertising platforms, native discovery platforms, synthetic intelligence platforms, music/video streaming platforms and extra.
Zuckerberg’s previous New 12 months’s resolutions have centered on his personal challenges akin to studying Mandarin, making his personal AI, and visiting all American states, however this time round it might affect Fb’s tech and merchandise.