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In the wake of Cambridge Analytica improperly acquiring the data of up to 87 million Facebook users, the social media giant is exploring how blockchain could decentralize its network to protect user data or even possibly create a cryptocurrency. A new report published today has experts speculating about what Facebook is developing.

‘Counter-Trends’

CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed in his New Year post that Facebook was exploring “counter-trends” to centralized networks, including encryption and cryptocurrency. In the post, Zuckerberg said:

A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people’s hands.

Now, it appears Facebook is, indeed, making moves into blockchain technology, a digital, decentralized ledger which allows secure, encrypted transactions confirmed by peers on the network instead of a central server or authority.

Earlier this month, Facebook appointed David Marcus, the executive previously in charge of Messenger, to helm a team developing blockchain technology for the social network.

“I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new…

Posted by David Marcus on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Facebook has been tight-lipped, but in a new report out of The Financial Times, experts are weighing in on what the social media giant could be up to.

These experts say Facebook could leverage the blockchain to protect user data, verify identities, or even create its own cryptocurrency for transactions on the network.

Sheila Warren, head of blockchain at the World Economic Forum, said that Facebook’s foray into the tech was a “really smart move.” A cryptocurrency could facilitate micropayments and an “explosion of applications” from developers.

It could also give users more control over their data by letting them set specific permissions about what kind of data the network can store from the blockchain-based transactions.

Warren explained:

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