Social media conglomerate Facebook denied reports that its blockchain task force is considering launching a cryptocurrency project through a partnership with Stellar.
Citing a Facebook spokesperson, financial news outlet Cheddar reports that the company will not be building on the Stellar protocol, nor has its cryptocurrency division held discussions with the project about forking Stellar to create an independent Facebook blockchain.
“We are not engaged in any discussions with Stellar, and we are not considering building on their technology,” the spokesperson told the publication.
Last week, a Business Insider report citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter had claimed that Facebook’s crypto division, led by former Messenger czar David Marcus, was eyeing the Stellar protocol as a basis for its still-mysterious blockchain plans, which earlier reports have suggested could include launching a proprietary cryptocurrency.
David Marcus (Flickr)
It wouldn’t have been the first time that Stellar helped a social media company fork its blockchain. Kin, the cryptocurrency released by chat app Kik, operates on a Stellar fork.
Soon after, the news broke that Marcus had resigned his post on the board of directors at cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase, citing the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“Because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain, I’ve decided it was appropriate for me to resign from the Coinbase board,” Marcus told Cheddar said in a statement. “I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the talent and execution the team has demonstrated during my tenure, and I wish the team all the success it deserves going forward.”
The timing of the move — Facebook announced that Marcus would head the company’s blockchain division in March — led to speculation that the firm is preparing to unveil its plans for the task force, whose operations have largely remained shrouded in the five months hence.
So if they’re not building on Stellar, what are they planning? That remains unclear.
We are still in the very early stages and we are considering a number of different applications for the blockchain,” a company representative told TechCrunch. “But we don’t have anything else to share at this time.”
Stellar’s lumens token, incidentally, does not appear to have been negatively impacted by the report that Facebook will not be building on Stellar. The token is currently up one percent for the day, even as the majority of other large-cap cryptocurrencies have posted declines of more than five percent and the ethereum price has plunged by nearly 11 percent.