Facebook had been working on Blockchain for quite some time, after moving a few executives around and taking Messenger's head, David Marcus, and putting him in charge of Facebook's Blockchain efforts. Now, it appears that one of Facebook's most senior engineers, Evan Cheng is joining Marcus in the new group. As Cheng has updated his LinkedIn profile to be "Director of Engineering, Blockchain at Facebook".
Cheng had been, what you would call a "low-level" engineer at Facebook. Previously he had been in charge of Programming Languages and Runtimes at Facebook, for the past three years. Cheng also worked at Apple for nearly a decade, before coming over to Facebook. Cheng worked on compilation technology and some other back end engineering. Which makes him a great fit for Facebook's Blockchain efforts, seeing as it is essentially all back end engineering. On top of that Cheng is also an advisor to a number of Blockchain startups, these include Zilliqa and ChainLink. So he clearly has a voice in the industry and does know what's going on with Blockchain.
Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that Cheng is indeed now Director of Engineering, Blockchain at Facebook, so it's no longer just a LinkedIn profile update. What this means is that Facebook is no longer just "exploring" the world of Blockchain, but are looking to make it another product under the Facebook umbrella. Also, by bringing Cheng into the Blockchain group, it signals that this new group is going to be pretty important moving forward. Blockchain is the next big thing, and a lot of marketers are now using it as a term to get people hype about projects and such. But essentially, Blockchain is a "digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or other cryptocurrency are recorded." Now where Facebook is looking to make its own cryptocurrency, it definitely makes sense why it is focusing heavily on Blockchain right now.