Facebook acquires team behind blockchain startup Chainspace

04 Feb, 2019
by Joeri Cant
Facebook acquires team behind blockchain startup Chainspace

Facebook has hired four out of the five researchers behind the blockchain startup Chainspace, a smart contract development platform. They will join Facebook's blockchain team in London, UK.

According to Cheddar, Facebook made a acqui-hire move and quietly hired the team behind Chainspace, a small blockchain startup founded by researchers from University College London.

A Facebook spokesperson told Cheddar that the company had hired the four employees from Chainspace but made it clear that the social network isn’t acquiring any of Chainspace’s technology.

'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.'

The acquisition of the Chainspace’s team is seen by the overall cryptocurrency universe as a clear sign of Facebook’s ambition to become one of the bigger, if not the biggest, player in the blockchain industry.

Read more: Why Facebook is the most important crypto company according to Anthony Pompliano

Two of the four researchers, Alberto Sonnino and George Danezis, already list their employment as blockchain researchers in Facebook’s London office on LinkedIn.

The Chainspace website currently says that the team behind the startup is moving on to something new. Cheddar was apparently told that the website will shut down now that Facebook has hired most of its employees.

All throughout 2018, Facebook has been hiring academics, product managers, engineers, and legal experts with experience in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Currently more than 40 people work in Facebook’s blockchain team, and it is clear that Facebook shows continued interest in hiring other teams behind cryptocurrency and blockchain-related projects like Chainspace.

Read more: Will Facebook's new cryptocurrency be built on Zilliqa?

In December 2018, Chepicap reported that Facebook had announced that it is developing its own cryptocurrency designed for use within the popular messaging application WhatsApp.

As of yet, no details have been released in regards to Facebook’s cryptocurrency.

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