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Facebook acquires blockchain technology startup

blockchain technology

Facebook continues making strides into the blockchain technology industry, with their newest acquisition of Chainspace.

The tech giant reportedly hired the team behind Chainspace, “a planetary scale smart contracts platform”. Chainspace is a small blockchain startup company which was founded by University College London’s researchers. What may interest Facebook is the startup’s focus on building a smart contract system that can enable payment services through blockchain technology.

Facebook’s acquisition of the Chainspace team, known as “aqui-hire” in Silicon Valley lingo, is significant news for 2-billion strong network. It is said that Facebook could still be acquiring more blockchain companies. There has been a connection with Algorand, which is also a payment platform based on blockchain tech. However, it is possible that discussion fell through which is why Facebook opted for Chainspace.

The match between the companies has been made LinkedIn official. Two of Chainspace’s researchers and whitepaper authors, Alberto Sonnino and George Danezis, have updated their LinkedIn profiles showing their affiliation and employment by Facebook as “blockchain researchers”.

However, Cheddar reports that while Facebook has hired Chainspace employees, Facebook is not acquiring the startup’s technology. A Facebook spokesperson referred to an earlier statement about the company’s blockchain developments in regards to this case: “Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”

This is not Facebook’s first move in the blockchain space, or even in the development of a native payment system. We know that Whatsapp, which operates under the Facebook umbrella, is developing a stablecoin as a native currency with which payments can be sent internationally. The trial is on the remittance market in India.

Furthermore, Cheddar reports that Facebook has been “aggressively recruiting academics, product managers, engineers, and legal experts with experience in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.” Towards the end of last year, Facebook began building a blockchain team, headed by Coinbase’s David Marcus. Marcus had resigned from Coinbase in order to avoid a conflict of interests. It was only a few days after that news came out that Whatsapp’s native cryptocurrency system was being developed.

After years of radio silence by the social media megacorporation in regards to blockchain, things are now moving fast. What we can expect from Facebook is a native currency, and most likely a stablecoin. What is also interesting is that through a Facebook cryptocurrency, we may be looking at a significant move towards mass adoption of blockchain technology.

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A journalist and writer interested in crypto from a social, cultural, political and philosophical point of view. Let decentralization transform societies to have more empowered individuals.