Feb 5 / 2019
Latest News / Blockchain news

Breaking: Facebook acquires its first Blockchain startup

Social media giant Facebook has reportedly acquired Chainspace in its first blockchain-related acquisition, according to a report released on Monday.

As per the report by news outlet Cheddar, Facebook acquired the small blockchain startup primarily for the expertise of its staff, rather than the service or products provided by the firm.

Four of the five researchers that worked on Chainspace’s whitepaper are set to join Facebook. A spokesman told Cheddar that while the social media giant hired researchers, it hadn’t acquired any of Chainspace’s technology.

Initially, the startup was founded by researchers from the University College London, and where working on blockchain scalability issues by applying sharding techniques to smart contracts.

While blockchain enthusiasts laud the technology for its security and trustless capabilities in transaction processes, the technology is not yet scalable to the level of traditional payment systems like Visa, Paypal. In fact, the current number of transactions per second (tps) on the Bitcoin network oscillates between two and eighteen – which is a far cry from Visa’s 2,000 tps, and Paypal’s 115 tps.

In a nutshell, sharding runs on parallel processing power of many networked machines that split the workload of transaction verification. It divides networks into smaller units, or “shards,” each of which runs a smaller-scale consensus protocol.

Processing in parallel allows the network to process hundreds of transactions per second per shard, which would in theory increase blockchain-based processes dramatically.

In late 2018, Facebook listed five new blockchain-related jobs on its careers page: two software engineer roles, a data scientist post and a data engineer, all at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

In May 2018, the head Facebook Messenger, David Marcus, revealed that the company had formed a group “to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” Marcus was a former board member of major United States crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase.

Find out what top minds in the industry like Scott Stornetta and Tim Draper had to say about Facebook’s alleged move into the crypto space here.

By Christopher Attard
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