Category Archives: David Marcus

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Facebook Unveils Digital Wallet Service ‘Calibra’

Facebook has left no stone unturned to make the most awaited crypto project, Libra, a success. The company officially announced a digital wallet service namely Calibra to take off in 2020.

Calibra is a subsidiary of Facebook that will help loop people into the Libra network and would perhaps serve as a stream to generate more revenue along the course of usage. Its immediate goal is to provide financial services throughout the world. And being backed by Facebook’s wide ecosystem, this does not seem very ambitious.

Calibra is registered with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency formed to combat domestic and international money laundering and other financial crimes. The digital wallet will be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and will come as a standalone iOS and Android app.

A sneak peek of Facebook's Calibra

Source – Facebook

Kevin Weil, the Vice President of product at Calibra, described dual primary functions of the wallet, that is, ensuring money is held securely for free and establishing money transfer almost as quick as a photo click at costs lower than the average international money transfer rates.

He told The Verge:

For us, WhatsApp and Messenger are great homes for Libra. A couple billion people use them. But it’s not just that they use them, but how they use them,

Messenger is to talk to close friends and family, and those are exactly the types of people you send money to. There’s a lot of overlap between the things you want out of a wallet for currency and the things you want out of a messaging app.

Although Libra is backed by some major payment processing companies like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal, Weil said that this transfer feature requires a credit card or a bank account, a financial commodity not available to about 1.7 billion people. Calibra comes as a savior to these people as all they require is a cheap smartphone to transfer money.

Weil said that the real goal was focused on achieving a vibrant economy to be built on top of Libra, perhaps by Facebook or any other company. This would be a key factor in magnifying adoption and creating a revolution in the true sense. He said that people who would have had used only hard cash will suddenly be seen accessing digital currency on their smartphones. He added that Calibra could be successful only if the Libra network really emerged victorious.

Not long ago, Facebook was involved in one of the biggest security breaches which ended up exposing about 50 million users’ information. However, Facebook claims to have taken firm steps to keep the money safe and ensure privacy protection for the new project. Users will have to go through the same series of verification and anti-fraud processes as those adopted by banks. The report claims that if a user’s account gets hacked, Facebook will claim responsibility and provide a refund for the Libra lost. Besides this, the user data will only be accessed to a certain limit which will, in turn, be used to secure the accounts and prevent criminal activities.

Facebook has about 2.38 billion monthly active users. This wide database comes with a rather detailed information pool. It has the potential to give birth to the largest platform not only in the crypto industry but the entire financial space. David Marcus, former head of Facebook Messenger, said that the idea of decentralization when combined with the rightful digital commerce and Facebook’s enormous user base forms the infrastructure to support the cryptocurrency to skyrocket.

Meanwhile, US Rep. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the United States House Committee on Financial Services has called for a moratorium on Libra development until the Congress and other regulatory bodies review the project and its potential implications.

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Facebook Needs to Expand New Blockchain Team

Facebook is continuing to expand its recently formed blockchain team under its head, ex-Coinbase director David Marcus.

A team of high profile players from the IT and blockchain/crypto environment is taking shape and with the latest position coming available, Facebook will be searching for some big shoes to fit the role. The latest position on the team is for a Global Brand Development Lead, as described in its rather vague job description:

“Our ultimate goal is to help billions of people with access to things they don’t have now – that could be things like equitable financial services, it could be new ways to save, it could be new ways to share information.”

Facebook mentions that its internal startup is “exploring lots of areas of interest across all facets of blockchain technology”, which appears to be leaving the door ajar for those that feel they might have the attributes to add to the social media’ giants blockchain aspirations at some stage in the future.

With David Marcus the former head of the Facebook messenger app, under whose guidance, its user base exploded to over 1 billion people, and Evan Chang as Blockchain Engineering Director, the company is clearly planning to stake a claim in the industry.

Other roles that need filling as part of Facebook’s blockchain push include a Head of Global Community & Media Director, Head of Brand, Product Marketing Lead, Head of Business Development & Partnerships, Strategic Planning & Operations Lead, Software Engineer, and finally a Software Engineering Manager to be based in Tel Aviv.

Marcus originally intended to create “a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain for Facebook”, when he made his plans known in May of this year, but Facebook is a big company and the positions advertised demonstrate just how technically unequipped it is for the intended job in hand.

 

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Facebook to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency?

Leading social media site Facebook, which has billions of users, may be on the path to launch its own cryptocurrency, indicates the recent tidings.

Earlier this year, Facebook created a blockchain research team led by David Marcus, with a goal of leveraging blockchain technology, and possibly cryptocurrency, across its social network platform. David Marcus is well known for taking Facebook Messenger from a relatively small app to one of the most widely used chat apps in the world. Also, David Marcus has deep ties in the cryptocurrency world, he was on the Coinbase Board of Directors. Coinbase is the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the United States.

Now David Marcus has stepped down from the Coinbase Board of Directors. One astute Twitter commenter, Gagan Jain, said “This is like Eric Schmidt stepping down from Apple’s board prior to Android’s launch”. Indeed, stepping down from Coinbase’s Board of Directors ensures no conflict of interest if Facebook launches their own cryptocurrency. Now Coinbase can add Facebook’s cryptocurrency when it launches, massively increasing the spread of Facebook’s cryptocurrency.

Further, according to anonymous sources, Facebook’s blockchain research team has met with Stellar to discuss about forking the Stellar blockchain to create the Facebook cryptocurrency, similar to how the Kik messaging app forked Stellar to create the Kin crypto tokens. These anonymous sources say Facebook’s blockchain research team has also met with other cryptocurrency projects.

Stellar would be the best choice for a social cryptocurrency, since Stellar has extremely low fees, far less than 0.1 penny per transaction, allowing for micropayments. Stellar is highly scalable, so Lumen or any cryptocurrency based on Stellar can handle tremendous amounts of transactions without a significant rise in fees. Therefore, Stellar based cryptocurrencies are excellent for micropayments, which is preferred on social media. People can send each other 1 penny of FacebookCoin, or whatever it will be called, without losing any to fees.

Due to the huge user base of Facebook, numbering over 1 billion, a Facebook cryptocurrency would become extremely popular and has the potential to become one of the top cryptocurrencies quickly. Perhaps the social media giant has finally decided to launch a cryptocurrency after its stock market cap declined USD 100 billion in one night recently, motivating them to try and make money in any way possible rather than ignore cryptocurrency. Launching a Facebook cryptocurrency would easily and quickly bring billions of dollars of profits to Facebook, something they need after the large hit to their stock.

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Facebook Reportedly Considers Own Crypto, but First Blockchain

According to online media company Cheddar, an anonymous source has reported that social media juggernaut Facebook is considering creating its own cryptocurrency in order to simplify online payments.

This consideration, apparently with little regard to its recent banning of cryptocurrency advertising, is surprising given that insiders have claimed that the company has no plans to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) and will almost certainly not launch any cryptocurrency in the coming year.

What is more likely though, given that large companies are adopting blockchain technology in increasing numbers, is that Facebook takes this direction long before it considers its own cryptocurrency.

Early Bitcoin investor, Messenger’s David Marcus, who has overseen Facebook development since 2014, in a shakeup at Facebook HQ, now heads up group tasked with exploring blockchain technology on behalf of the company. It was reported that an internal post this week announced the company’s blockchain initiative to employees, although it was non-specific.

When questioned, Marcus, who has now joined the board at giant crypto exchange Coinbase, refuted any immediate plans to integrate cryptocurrency into the FB machinery, commenting:

“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.”

Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s senior vice president of global industries, platforms and blockchain, suggests: “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.”

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week ordered major administrative changes to the social network, giving more responsibility to his chief product officer and launching the blockchain division.

 

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