A person that needs no introduction, Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman, CEO and founder of Facebook has posted details of his annual challenge on the website. The post is generally a summary of things that happened in the year gone past as well as a look on things to happen in the upcoming year. Zuckerberg’s post this time is interesting as he has declared that he plans to reduce dependence on centralized systems by making use of encryption and cryptocurrency.
According to Zuckerberg, the biggest challenge tech companies face in 2018 is the choice between being centralized or decentralized. On his post, dated January 4th, Zuckerberg also took a hard look at the obstacles faced by the company, as well as commented about his personal endeavour to learn something new every year.
“A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people’s hands. (The first four words of Facebook’s mission have always been “give people the power”.) Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force.”
He reminisced about the challenges he as well as his company faced in 2009, which was the year of the Great Recession. At that time, Facebook was still unprofitable, with investors getting impatient about its future. Today, the company boasts of more than 2 billion users on its platform, ranking third in the Global Website Index.
Zuckerberg feels that today’s world has become too divided and anxious. He feels that the company has a lot more to do, mostly in terms of preventing misuse of their tools and application of their policies. He also feels that today’s tech companies have lost trust among the general public, helping governments to snoop over their people and keep a close watch instead of the core promise of allowing people to stay connected.
Mark Zuckerberg thinks that the possible answer to this dilemma would be an embrace towards secure technologies like encryption as well as cryptocurrency, which would help put back power in the hands of the people. He says that he wants to study and research about the positive as well as the negative aspects of these technologies and how to incorporate them in his products.
Zuckerberg’s comments, while thoughtful, do not give us substantial information. It has been rumoured earlier that Zuckerberg has been involved in some cryptocurrency initiatives but nothing has been confirmed. It would be interesting to see Facebook’s stance towards cryptocurrencies in 2018.