Facebook has secretly been working on a blockchain or cryptocurrency project for a while now, and now it has made its first acquisition for the same, hiring the major part of the research team from London-based Blockchain startup, Chainspace Tech, developed by University College researchers.
The startup that specializes in small contracts defines its project as “a planetary scale smart contracts platform” utilizing a “distributed web of blockchains for scalability, speed, and privacy.” And now, one of the website’s top banners read, “We’re excited to announce that the team is moving on to something new. Chainspace code and documentation will still be open source, and all previously published academic work remains available.”
A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed that former blockchain employees are working for the social media giant, stating, “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.”
News outlet Cheddar reports that this hire is an acqui-hire since Facebook is more interested in the research conducted by the Chainspace employees than the technologies used by them. While Facebook continues to maintain its silence on what may come of its efforts being put into crypto-currency, speculations suggest that it will express itself in the form of fiat-backed “stablecoin” that may then be integrated into the linked messaging platform, WhatsApp.
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Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, headed by David Marcus, former head of Messenger and former Coinbase board member, currently has forty employees. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, also stated researching cryptocurrency as one of his personal challenges in 2018.