- This is Facebook’s first significant blockchain acquisition
- Other crypto startups should be cautious of the moves Facebook is making in the crypto space
This week, Facebook quietly hired the team behind Chainspace, a small blockchain platform encompassing researchers from the University College London, Cheddar reports. In this move, also referred to as an ‘acqui-hire’, Facebook hired the team in a bid to achieve its ambition of making a mark in the crypto space. The report says that four out of the five researchers from Chainspace joined the Facebook blockchain team but the social media giant will however not be acquiring any of their (chainspace’s) technology.
Chainspace Previous Projects
Before the acquisition, chainspace was working on building a decentralized system of smart contracts that are capable of facilitating payments and other services through blockchain. Chainspace’s white paper released in August 2017 outlined details about the project, both academic and technological, where the team wanted to build a ledger platform for transparent processing and high integrity transactions in a decentralized system. Simply put, the goal of chainspace was to improve transaction speeds via blockchain technology, which are currently a lot slower compared to other payment methods like Visa and MasterCard. Another major goal of the team was to see how decentralization and blockchain can be applied to other areas besides payment such as polling.
The company was also working on building smart contracts programming in any language, proof of stake protocol leveraging sharding and a lot of other cutting edge features for incorporation into blockchain. The Chainspace platform was elegant, simplistic and a lot of diligent work went into creating it to produce the final product that was good on all fronts: speed, scalability, and privacy.
Facebook quietly entering crypto
Facebook has been actively trying to explore blockchain technology and the power it yields in today’s markets. It has explored the creation of its own cryptocurrency, as previously reported by blockchainreporter. To this end, Facebook has actively been recruiting researchers and academics, product managers, legal experts and engineers with experience in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, with at least forty people hired already.
The enormous resources Facebook holds, access to a tremendous and extinguished talent pool especially on software and will continue to acquire smaller blockchain companies to expand its power in the field. As it continues to hire personnel aggressively, obtain companies and proprietary software to gain a foothold in the blockchain sector, other companies, especially the smaller startups, may need to be wary of the competition Facebook presents in the crypto space.