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Facebook ramps up blockchain division with new hires

Tue, 05 Feb 2019, 10:54 am UTC

Social media behemoth Facebook has acquired the team behind blockchain startup Chainspace, Cheddar reported.

Founded in 2018, Chainspace is a Gibraltar-based company that describes itself as “a planetary smart contracts platform.” Although the startup has not made any official announcement on its acquisition, the official website currently displays the message:

“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 academic work remains available.”

The LinkedIn profiles of Chainspace co-founders George Danezis, Alberto Sonnino, and Shehar Bano confirm that they have joined Facebook as Blockchain Researchers this month. Sources familiar with the matter told Cheddar that a four of the five researchers behind Chainspace’s academic white paper are joining Facebook’s blockchain initiative.

Facebook ventured into the blockchain universe last May when it launched a blockchain division. The new division is led by David Marcus who left his position as the head of Messenger to explore this emerging technology.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the hiring of the Chainspace team and clarified that the company is not acquiring Chainspace’s technology.

Previous reports suggested that Facebook has been aggressively hiring various crypto and blockchain experts. Its blockchain division reportedly has more than 40 employees. CoinDesk reported that the company is currently seeking 11 blockchain experts in various roles.

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