Facebook is making a big push into blockchain technology with some new hires, according to reports.
The company recently hired four people who were instrumental in the blockchain startup Chainspace, and has also been investing a lot of money and resources in the technology.
Chainspace is a “planetary scale smart contracts platform,” according to its website, and in a note, it said that its team was “moving on to something new.”
“Chainspace code and documentation will still be open source, and all previously published academic work remains available,” the note said.
Chainspace’s August 2017 whitepaper, which summarized the details behind the endeavor, said the team wanted to build a “distributed ledger platform for high-integrity and transparent processing of transactions within a decentralized system.”
The hires include Chainspace Co-founder George Danezis, who now lists his job as a blockchain researcher at Facebook, and Co-founders Shehar Bano and Alberto Sonnino.
Chainspace was in the early stages of development, and was in the process of raising between $2.5 and $3 million in seed funding, when the team got snatched up by Facebook. Previous backers of the company included Lemniscap, MW Partners and KR1.
Facebook, for its part, has been open about its desire to delve into blockchain technology. In May of 2018, David Marcus, the former lead on Messenger, said he was joining a new group “to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” That team, according to reports, is the one that the former Chainspace founders are joining.
In December of 2018, it was reported that Facebook was working on its own cryptocurrency to enable WhatsApp users to send and get money.
“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,” Facebook said to the reporting publication.