Facebook Expands Its Secretive Crypto Division Onboarding Smart Contract Pros from Chainspace

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by Darya Rudz · 3 min read
Facebook Expands Its Secretive Crypto Division Onboarding Smart Contract Pros from Chainspace
Photo: Sarah Marshall / Flickr

The social media giant hired employees from Chainspace but declined to comment on specific hires, stating that the company isn’t acquiring any of Chainspace’s technology though.

Social network giant Facebook has acquired its first company in the blockchain sphere. This company is Chainspace, blockchain startup that is focused on smart contract protocol development and research.

Chainspace was founded by well-credentialed researchers from different universities, including Dave Hrycyszyn, George Danezis (the former head of the Information Security Research Group at UCL), Ramsey Khoury, Alberto Sonnino, Mustafa Al-Bassam, Shehar Bano.

Chainspace is described as “planetary scale smart contracts platform” that “delivers on modern expectations of processing power, making it the platform of choice for complex real-world applications”. Chainspace is agnostic to the smart contract language, or identity infrastructure, and supports privacy features through modern zero-knowledge techniques.

Its features include fast, leaderless consensus, sharding execution, sharding verification, proof of stake, privacy applications and zero-knowledge proofs, directory and governance, and smart contracts in any language.

In September 2018, a member of the team behind Chainspace said:

“It’s not just a Blockchain, it’s a bloody good one backed with outstanding thinking on how to address issues like scalability, capacity and speed.”

After the acquisition, Chainspace explained:

“We’re excited to announce that the team is moving on to something new. Chainspace code and documentation will still be open source, all previously published academic work remains available.”

As Cheddar has reported, four of the five researchers behind Chainspace’s academic white paper are joining Facebook’s blockchain group. Two of the white paper authors, Alberto Sonnino and George Danezis, already list their employment as blockchain researchers in Facebook’s ($FB) London office on LinkedIn.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the acquisition:

“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.”

According to those familiar with the matter, the social media giant hired employees from Chainspace but declined to comment on specific hires, saying that “Facebook isn’t acquiring any of Chainspace’s technology.”

The amount of money paid for the acquisition has not been revealed as well, however, it is known that Chainspace was in the process of raising an initial funding round of less than $4 million.

Facebook to Enter Crypto Space

At the beginning of 2018, the social media giant had quite mixed relationships with blockchain, banning all advertisements relating to crypto, blockchain and initial coin offerings (ICOs). But things have obviously changed, and Facebook seems to make steps toward developing in this sphere.

Last year, the company formed its blockchain unit and partnered with the former president of PayPal David Marcus, who became the head of the blockchain team. In December 2018, Facebook was actively looking for fresh talents to welcome to growing blockchain team. The work of the unit was kept in secret.

Later, it was disclosed that Facebook was working on developing its own stablecoin. The coin will initially be focused on the remittances market in India where it will enable users to transfer money via a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency on WhatsApp. When asked for comments, the company was unwilling to confirm or deny its plans to develop a stablecoin. The news was breaking and provoked some speculations about the company’s plans.

In January this year, the giant reported robust earnings and revenue that handily surpassed Wall Street expectations for the final quarter of 2018. Facebook will not definitely stop at this and bring more news that may spill the beans about further plans.

Altcoin News, Blockchain News, Cryptocurrency News, News
Darya Rudz
Author Darya Rudz

Darya is a crypto enthusiast who strongly believes in the future of blockchain. Being a hospitality professional, she is interested in finding the ways blockchain can change different industries and bring our life to a different level.

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