This week, Facebook Messenger head David Marcus announced that he's leaving his current role to explore the use of blockchain technology within the company.
"I'm setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch,"
This presents huge opportunities across multiple verticals but could profound impact upon the sports and entertainment markets, particularly across sports betting, athlete data and broadcast strategy.
The announcement comes months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was investigating how cryptocurrencies could be used at Facebook. Blockchain is the underpinning technology behind bitcoin and all of the very many other cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain is the term for a decentralized digital ledger, and was originally created as the underpinning technology for bitcoin in 2009. It's the technology that enables all cryptocurrencies to function as they do — it doesn't require a central authority, like a bank, to establish that the data in the blockchain is accurate.
Marcus didn't reveal the type of applications for blockchain that he'll be working on at Facebook. However, given the current applications of blockchain technology, there are plenty of directions that this could go. At Facebook, the technology could be used in payments, gaming, the creation of digital art, and the swapping of collectible items — all applications for the blockchain that are currently being explored by the tech industry.
With the rapid evolution of the esports industry, alongside increasing competition and innovation in global and decentralised fan engagement, the results of this research group could redefine the sports and entertainment industry.