Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to study cryptocurrencies and decentralized technologies in order to improve his social networking platform.
Zuckerberg, in a long Facebook post on Thursday, listed some of his New Year resolutions. He wrote that he wanted to improve his site by fixing the many issues that emerged in 2017 and mentioned his plans of deeply studying blockchain technology and using it in his services.
He believes that many people have lost trust in technologies and internet because it has become too centralized, with bigger companies having all the power at their hands. Zuckerberg says that now people have lost faith that “technologies can be a decentralized force”. According to him, the decentralized blockchain technology can distribute power among people, rather than having it concentrated at one specific place.
“But today, many people have lost faith in that promise. With the rise of a small number of big tech companies — and governments using technology to watch their citizens — many people now believe technology only centralizes power rather than decentralizes it.”
“There are important counter-trends to this – like encryption and cryptocurrency – that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services,” he wrote.
In his post, the Facebook chief also mentioned the international censorship his sites are going through in different countries including China and Iran. In addition to his many efforts to court the Chinese goodwill and bring Facebook back in the country, Zuckerberg is now trying to utilize blockchain technology to fight against censorships.
Ending censorship is one of the many advantages that blockchain technology would offer to Facebook. The technology will be remarkable in a number of other fields of operations too.
WeChat is a Chinese chat app that allows peer-to-peer payment transfers along with online payments. The app is a total hit in the country with a massive user engagement. Facebook has already invested heavily in peer-to-peer payments. In an effort to copy WeChat and increase user volume, the company can create its own decentralized payment platform, acquire an already established one or even back a developing one. And with decentralized blockchain technology, things might get pretty easier for Facebook.
Other than these major benefits, Facebook can use the technology for transparent online advertisement platforms, AI platforms, local discovery platforms and many more.
Although Mark Zuckerberg labeled these challenges as his “personal challenges”, all of them were focused on his company and products rather than on his personal life. Last year, his challenges included: reading 25 books, making his own AI system for his home, visiting every state of U.S.A and learning Mandarin (a move that is believed to be a part of his China-pleasing effort).