05 Feb 2019 Josphat Kariuki
Facebook Hires Blockchain Startup Chainspace’s Top Researchers
The biggest social media giant to date, Facebook, announced the acquisition of Chainspace. The blockchain startup company was funded by researchers of the University College of London (UCL). Chainspace specializes in payments through blockchain via planetary scalable smart contracts.
Facebook’s first significant attempt to enter the blockchain realm was made clear when two of Chainspace’s core researchers – George Danezis and Alberto Sonnino, have updated their LinkedIn profiles. From now on the two are also blockchain researchers under Facebook’s employee list.
Facebook’s “acqui-hire” actually gave blockchain tech specialists a reason to consider that Chainspace will be the first of many blockchain startups acquisitions by the social media giant. The team at Facebook also negotiated with Algorand, a similar blockchain payment services provider, but apparently, Facebook opted for the UCL proposal.
And although Facebook is making its first massive step towards defining and building blockchain products, the blockchain interest by the social media giant has been evolving over the past year. The earliest significant sign of Facebook’s interest in deploying a blockchain-based payment system was David Marcus becoming the team lead at Facebook’s newly-developed blockchain group.
Facebook also experiments using virtual currency in real life. WhatsApp, Facebook’s latest grand acquisition, deployed its cryptocurrency as an exchange method inside the app. Tests are now conducted in India. Facebook plans to issue a stablecoin-like currency for in-app purchases.
The social media giant is also under a massive blockchain-related recruitment phase, which could indicate more and more blockchain startups could be “acqui-hired” like Chainspace. For now, Facebook is on the hunt for product managers, legal experts, academics, and engineers with a background in creating and deploying blockchain-related software solutions.
Facebook remains silent about their blockchain plans though. Asked by journalists, a Facebook spokesperson commented positively about the media giant hiring 4 out of 5 Chainspace researchers, but Facebook will not get any of Chainspace’s technology.
Facebook’s moves toward adopting more and more blockchain products in its portfolio is a sure sign that the media giant is trying to expand its influence in the tech world. Experts are expecting a Facebook-driven cryptocurrency.Blockchain Cryptocurrency Blockchain Development Blockchain Development Company