Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has revealed his intention to study decentralized technologies, specifically cryptocurrencies, as a part of his pledge to ‘fix’ Facebook in 2018.
On his Facebook page, Zuckerberg published a message detailing his ‘personal challenge’ – similar to a resolution – for the new year, accompanied by a pledge to study technologies “like encryption and cryptocurrency.”
“My personal challenge for 2018 is focusing on fixing these important issues,” Zuckerberg wrote, referring to individuals’ rights being impeded by nation states and other concerns brought on by media, government and technology. “[O]ne of the most interesting questions in technology right now is about centralization vs decentralization,” the influential billionaire added, revealing his own reasons to get into technology was its potential to “be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people’s hand,” particularly after the internet era began in the 90s.
“But today, many people have lost faith in that promise,” Zuckerberg added, pointing to a centralized control of data and technology a small but elite group of big tech companies, Facebook included, and governments who routinely engage in surveillance.
He went on to pledge his time and efforts into understanding decentralized technologies, or ‘counter-trends’ to the concerns stated above.
“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.”
Zuckerberg is only the latest mainstream figure to publicly laud decentralized blockchain technologies and it remains to be seen how he plans to ‘fix’ Facebook, the world’s biggest social network with an estimated 2 billion individuals, by adopting peer-to-peer, secure, decentralized technologies.