Social media giant Facebook is growing its blockchain efforts by hiring staffers from Chainspace, the startup behind a smart contracts platform.
The news of the hires – first reported by Cheddar – demonstrates that the social media company is moving ahead with its blockchain ambitions, which were first revealed last May with the announcement of a new, dedicated blockchain unit.
The researchers behind Chainspace may be well suited to help Facebook scale blockchain across a range of applications. According to its website, Chainspace uses sharding – the process of breaking a database into smaller units – to alleviate the scaling problems faced by blockchain networks.
Four out of the five researchers behind the academic paper on which Chainspace is based will be joining Facebook, according to Cheddar. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk that the startup itself or its technology weren’t acquired, but that some of its staffers had joined Facebook’s internal blockchain group.
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” Facebook said in a statement. “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”
The social media giant is currently hiring for 11 blockchain roles, according to Facebook’s careers site. That’s up from five last December. According to job-description boilerplate, Facebook’s blockchain team operates as “a startup within Facebook,” adding:
“Our ultimate goal is to help billions of people with access to things they don’t have now – that could be things like healthcare, equitable financial services, or new ways to save or share information.”
The Chainspace website currently lists 11 staffers and four advisors on its team page. Currently sitting atop the site’s homepage is a message teasing Monday’s news: “We’re excited to announce that the team is moving on to something new.”