A few sources at Cheddar have confirmed that Facebook has entered into the blockchain space by making its first acquisition with Chainspace. The social media giant has quietly acquired a blockchain startup company, called Chainspace.
The blockchain startup that Facebook had its eyes on for some time was founded by a group of researchers from London’s University College. Chainspace was in the process of creating a decentralized smart contracts platform to enable payments through blockchain technology and other services.
The blockchain industry is new and booming at a rapid pace. Facebook has hired the Chainspace team for the skills and expertise of the staff. This move clearly indicates the intention of Facebook to be a big player in the blockchain space. Last year, David Marcus, earlier serving as an executive of Facebook and former president at Paypal, was leading the blockchain group of Facebook.
One of Chainspace white paper dated August 2017 reflected on the project’s technological and academic aspects. The team of the firm wanted to build a “distributed ledger platform for high-integrity and transparent processing of transactions within a decentralized system.”
This pretty much implies that one of the objectives of Chainspace was speeding up the transactions with the help of blockchain technology. Currently, the payment actions are processed at a comparatively slower pace via traditional financial networks like Visa.
The creators of Chainspace were also considering other solutions apart from the fast payment that blockchain technology and decentralization can contribute to, like polling.
Of the five researchers who contributed to the startup’s white paper, four are recruited by Facebook’s blockchain group, as revealed by the people familiar with the situation.
The LinkedIn profiles of two of the white paper’s authors (namely George Danezis and Alberto Sonnino) were already mention that they are working in Facebook’s London branch as blockchain researchers.
As per a report by Cheddar, the blockchain startup’s website displayed a message saying that they are excited to announce that their team is “moving on to something new”. They also mentioned specifically that the documentation and code of Chainspace will remain open source and all the academic works published in the past will continue to be available.
The folks familiar with the proceedings made it quite clear that most of the startup’s staff was hired in the Facebook’s blockchain division and that Chainspace will soon shut down.
A spokesperson of Facebook also confirmed that they have hired a certain number of employees from Chainspace. However, he did not mention any of the names specifically. Shredding the rumors, the spokesperson commented that Facebook does not intend to acquire any of the Chainspace’s technologies.
Referring to a past statement by the company over its blockchain efforts, he said, “We have nothing more to say other than the fact that Facebook is looking for ways to explore the nascent blockchain technology and leveraging its power. The small team hired by us is exploring a lot of applications.”
As per the last year’s report by Cheddar, the social media giant was seeking to create its own cryptocurrency. In the same matter, a recent Bloomberg report says that the cryptocurrency of Facebook will be backed by fiat or will be in the form of a stablecoin.