/Facebook is launching a new New Blockchain Research Unit.

Facebook is launching a new New Blockchain Research Unit.

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Social media giant Facebook is launching a team dedicated to exploring blockchain technology.
David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s messaging app Messenger, announced that the social media site is exploring possible applications for blockchain technology, CNBC reported May 8.

“After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge. I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch,” Marcus wrote in a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

the team will have fewer than a dozen people, it will feature engineering and product staff from Facebook’s Instagram unit as well.

Although it remains unknown at this stage the exact work to be carried out by the new team, the news marks a notable move by the social media giant.

Marcus has been leading Messenger for almost four years. In December, he joined cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase as a board member. Facebook, however, hasn’t revealed how interested it is in applying blockchain.

It also follows a remark made by the ex-PayPal president – who joined the board of directors of crypto exchange Coinbase last year – that Facebook Messenger is open to the idea of embracing cryptocurrency payments once the blockchain community can “fix all the issues.”

In January of this year, Facebook initiated a blanket ban on ads for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The ban came as a surprise to some, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had previously expressed interest in cryptocurrencies. Zuckerberg reportedly wanted to study how the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency could empower individuals and “how best to use them in our services.”