Cryptocurrency News

Mark Zuckerberg Considers Blockchain Login Services for Facebook

February 25, 2019
Saad Mohammad


Mark Zuckerberg Considers Blockchain Login Services for Facebook

Facebook has already ventured into the crypto and blockchain space, but it is set to expand further and establish itself as a significant player in this emerging industry. The CEO of the social media giant, Mark Zuckerberg, has revealed that he is currently considering blockchain technology for logins, a move that could eliminate third parties such as Facebook Connect in the process.

Zuckerberg Considers Blockchain Logins

Mr. Zuckerberg has revealed that he is seriously considering blockchain’s potential to create a service that would allow internet users to log in to various services using a single set of credentials without having to rely on third parties. He disclosed this during an interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain on Wednesday, where he admitted that using blockchain technology in such a scenario would provide a compelling alternative to services such Facebook Connect, the social media giant’s single sign-on (SSO) application.

He explained by saying “A use of blockchain that I’ve been thinking about, though I haven’t figured out a way to make this work, is around authentication and granting access to your information to different services…replacing the notion of what we have with Facebook Connect with something that is truly distributed.”

Zuckerberg added that with a blockchain login, users could take their information, store it on a decentralized system, and have the option to log into places without going through an intermediary. This service would appeal most to software developers who don’t like to rely on corporations that can cut off user access at any time. The Facebook CEO noted that despite the numerous benefits that such a service could offer, there are a few downsides to it since it would prevent companies from dealing with offenders.  

He cited a scandal that affected Facebook last year, stating that “basically, people chose to give their data that was affiliated with Cambridge University and (that person) sold that information to Cambridge Analytica, which was a violation of our policies. We cut off the developers’ access.”

The lesson, in this case, is that for a distributed system, while it greatly empowers individuals, it also comes with the issue of consent, as most people don’t really know when they are giving their permission to other users or institutions to use their private date. Zuckerberg said he was not sure if there is any need for such a service at this time though, stating that, “The question is, do you really want that? Do you have more cases where yes, people would be able to not have an intermediary, but there’d be more instances of abuse and recourse would be much harder?”

He further pointed out the vast technical challenges created by blockchain’s decentralization. Zuckerberg stated that running a decentralized system is computationally intensive and at this time, it is something that Facebook cannot do due to their existing high computational resource requirements. However, he believes that it could be done eventually since the company has the resources to deploy blockchain tech across the organization.

Facebook Making Strides in Blockchain Development

In related developments, it has been noted that Facebook has been making moves to launch blockchain products over the past few months. In May 2018, the company opened a unit dedicated to the exploration of the technology. They also announced in December 2018 that they are developing a stablecoin that will allow users to exchange funds via WhatsApp. To boost its efforts in the blockchain space, Facebook recently hired staff from Chainspace, the startup behind a smart contracts platform.

Facebook’s intensification of its efforts in the crypto and blockchain sectors is good news. For a long time, crypto has been used by individuals, but for Bitcoin and other digital tokens and assets to go mainstream, they need to be adopted by large companies such as Facebook. The bear market is predicted to end this year, and that end starts with institutions entering the crypto space far and wide. From all indications, Facebook is already making a push to be an early leader in the industry and we’ll track the social media giant’s forays into this space very closely.