Despite the prolonged bear market, interest in blockchain technology continues to soar. Acquisitions are growing and now, a common practice called “acquihire” sees companies targeting blockchain startups for either both tech and expertise or to simply recycle their expertise. The latest finds social media giant Facebook in a move to acquihire a small blockchain-startup Chainspace, reports news outlet Cheddar yesterday.
Facebook’s serious endeavors towards developing its own blockchain from scratch have made a new stride. This move is apparently the first scaled interest beyond the research exercise it was into for the most part of 2018.
The Chainspace team are reported to be researchers from the University College London and have been specializing in the sharding techniques with blockchain technology to scale transactions through decentralized smart contract systems. They were also exploring applications of decentralization in polling systems.
No figure has been disclosed as of yet, and it remains unknown what price tag the multi-billion-dollar company placed on the startup’s team. However, the team was in the process of crowdfunding USD 4 million to execute their project. The figures may have been worthwhile as they have announced that the project will be “moving on to something new”, according to its website.
Last year, Facebook had shown interest in making its own cryptocurrency but said it would explore blockchain first. Its idea of a cryptocurrency appears to have taken the form of a stablecoin that will be used on its mobile messaging app WhatsApp.
In May of 2018, Facebook formed a blockchain exploration group led by David Marcus who was a former board member of Coinbase. The group was tasked with seeking applicability of blockchain in the company’s business and later that year, blockchain-related job listings appeared on its career page.
Now, more than 40 people are reportedly working in Facebook’s blockchain division, and the company continues to talent hunt for experts in the fields of engineering, product and business development, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and legal.
In yet another acquisition spree, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has revealed that it has made a 9-figure move (while undergoing a seed funding round of USD 100 million) to acquire Crypto Facilities, a British trading firm that specializes in derivatives.
This deal for Kraken ranks it first to offer both spot and futures trading in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, in an attempt to attract institutional investors.
Both acquisitions, as well as many others, demonstrate a healthy crypto and blockchain ecosystem and affirms that blockchain isn’t going away anytime soon.
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