"This new small team will be exploring many different applications", a Facebook spokesperson told Cheddar, without elaborating on the matter or confirming its ambitions to launch a new cryptocurrency.
It's not exactly news that Facebook has been investigating the potential uses for blockchain tech in their business. The blockchain unit is part of Facebook's New Platforms and Infra (structure) group led by Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer and is presently said to consist of under a dozen employees who are exploring blockchain solutions.
"They are very serious about this", - quotes the words of one channel of his companions.
Facebook is now considering developing and implementing its own form of cryptocurrency on its social media networking site.
Facebook will reportedly design and build its own cryptocurrency to go with a new blockchain division under the guidance of David Marcus, a self-proclaimed "cryptogeek" and former head of Facebook Messenger.
Stan Chudnovsky, who has been Messenger's product chief, will succeed Marcus as head of the service, Facebook said.
Facebook is making the leadership changes after a broad review of all the company's products and their privacy holes, sparked by the revelation in March of a data leak that exposed personal information on tens of millions of users.
The self-confessed "cryptogeek" and cryptocurrency investor was also the former lead at online payment service PayPal prior to Facebook, and is now on the board of directors at the cryptocurrency exchange "Coinbase".
It's unclear how exactly Facebook (fb) would use its own cryptocurrency, but a possible Bitcoin-like coin could let people more easily sell goods internationally through the company's growing Marketplace online classified section.
According to Cheddar, sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that the social media giant is now exploring creating its own virtual tokens.
The social platform has experimented with virtual currency before. Facebook in the past offered Facebook Credits, a way to pay for games and other items electronically.
During an interview at a conference in February, Marcus said Facebook didn't have plans to integrate cryptocurrency into its apps anytime soon.