Tech 10 July 2018Erik Gibbs
Facebook taps director of engineering to lead blockchain development
While the company still remains relatively quiet on what it’s planning for blockchain and cryptocurrency, social media giant Facebook continues to take steps that indicate a movement into something big. In its latest advance into the crypto ecosystem, the company has appointed a director of engineering to now head the engineering department for its blockchain division.
As reported by TechCrunch last week, Evan Cheng will now lend his engineering strengths to support blockchain development in the company. The transition was confirmed by both Facebook as well as Cheng, who updated his LinkedIn profile to affirm the new position.
Cheng has been with Facebook for about three years, as the engineering mastermind behind the company’s Programming Languages & Runtimes division. Prior to joining the firm, he was with Apple for around 10 years in various positions. He first served as the senior manager for the company’s LLVM Backend department before being appointed to the same position for Apple’s Compilation Technologies arm. He then spent four months as the Senior Manager, Low Level Tools at the company and made the jump to Facebook in November 2015.
In addition to his tasks at Facebook, Cheng will also lend his expertise to several projects outside of the company. He is said to be assisting Singapore-based Zilliqa, a blockchain company developing a decentralized application (Dapp) marketplace, as well as ChainLink, a decentralized middleware provider that emphasizes security features in its applications.
There have been a number of rumors circulating since Facebook recently relaxed the ban on cryptocurrency advertising on its platform. The ban was first introduced in January, around the same time other companies like Twitter and Google were implementing their own bans, and partially cancelled last month after the company began allowing certain types of ads. Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) are still forbidden, but Facebook has said that it was able to properly investigate the crypto space to determine how best to proceed with its advertising policies.
Prior to the ban being partially lifted, there was talk that Facebook could be considering a launch of its own cryptocurrency. This idea was enhanced further by the ban reversal, but there has still not been any definitive word from the company regarding its true plans. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a strong proponent for blockchain technology and has repeatedly said that the company would explore ways to integrate the technology into its operations.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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