Facebook is speaking with several crypto projects as it explores ways it can use blockchain technology.
In recent months, Facebook's blockchain team, led by the former PayPal executive David Marcus, has met with the open-source payments-technology company Stellar about some of those opportunities, people familiar with the talks told Business Insider.
While the talks were early-stage and there is no indication they will lead to a partnership, they could shed light on Facebook's ambitions to push into finance and take on big banks.
For example, if Facebook wanted to rival the big banks' payments networks, it could leverage blockchain technology to do so, said a person familiar with the firm's talks with Stellar.
The speed of certain blockchains over traditional financial pipes-and-plumbing is one of the most cited benefits of the red-hot technology. A JPMorgan research note said a transaction on Ripple's network took four seconds versus three to five days for traditional banking systems to process a transaction.
Facebook already appears to be taking other steps to break into banking, reportedly considering showing users their bank balance or fraud alerts.
A Stellar insider told Business Insider it would make sense for Facebook to record payment trans...