Facebook Hires Ex-Coinbase Staffers For Blockchain Projects

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Facebook has hired two former Coinbase staff to work on blockchain compliance, as the social media giant continues to explore possible applications of blockchain technology.

With the team now further strengthened by the latest additions, Facebook looks well positioned to accelerate its work around cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

While as yet unconfirmed, plans for the Facebook Coin could catapult cryptocurrencies to a new audience of users worldwide.

After leaving Coinbase in March, Jeff Cartwright joins Facebook as its new policy and compliance manager, while Mikheil Moucharrafie becomes Facebook’s compliance officer for blockchain after three years at Coinbase.

There are few details available about the nature of the work the new hires will be undertaking. However, Facebook is known to be working on a series of blockchain projects, including a possible Facebook Coin that could ultimately be used for payments on Facebook platforms.

A lawyer by profession, Cartwright has also worked in compliance roles at Goldman Sachs and American Express, as well as advising KPMG on matters relating to anti-money laundering processes.

Moucharrafie also brings extensive experience of compliance, anti-money laundering and risk management to the role, after serving at Coinbase since 2016.

The hires come at a time when Facebook is under increasing pressure to disclose the details of its plans around cryptocurrency and blockchain.

In the past week, the Senate Banking Committee in Washington wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking for more details about the projects, with a particular emphasis on issues around consumer privacy.

The hires are expected to bolster the compliance and legal end of Facebook’s blockchain project, dubbed “Libra.”

Facebook has been building a blockchain development team in recent months to work on the secretive project, headed up by former Coinbase vice-president David Marcus.

The firm has also expressed interest in raising capital for a stablecoin project, with as much as $1 billion of external investment sought as collateral for the so-called Facebook Coin project.

With access to billions of users worldwide, the social media platform’s embrace of cryptocurrencies in particular is expected to introduce cryptocurrencies to a global mainstream audience, and many for the first time.