In what would be its first apparent blockchain-related acquisition, Social media network Facebook has reportedly acquired Chainspace, a small blockchain startup.
According to Cheddar reports posted on Feb. 4, sources have reported that Facebook had acquired Chainspace, in an ‘acquihire,’ i.e acquisition of a company majorly for the skills or expertise of its staff, rather than the service or products the company provides.
The report further adds that four of the five researchers that worked in Chainspace’s academic whitepaper will be joining Facebook. Apparently, Facebook has had hired the researchers, but have not acquired any of Chainspace’s technology, a spokesperson for the social media giant told Cheddar.
According to the startup’s website, it was founded by researchers from University College London and the firm is currently working on blockchain scalability problems, notably by applying sharding to smart contracts.
Still, in its baby phase, the Blockchain technology is applauded for the technology for its security and trustless capabilities in processing transactions. However, currently, the technology is not scalable to the level of traditional payments systems like Visa or PayPal. Where Visa is capable of 2,000 transactions per second (tps) and PayPal can process 115 tps, the current Bitcoin (BTC) network fluctuates between two and 18.
Sharding is basically, employing parallel processing power of multiple networked machines that split up the workload of verifying transactions. The “shards,” divides the networks into smaller sections, where each runs a smaller-scale consensus protocol. Such a network is capable of processing hundreds of transactions per second per shard, when processing in parallel. This would dramatically increase the scalability of blockchain-based processes.
Facebook on the Blockchain front
Facebook has had a love-hate relationship with the technology. While it has banned any form of advertisement for Cryptocurrencies on its platform, it has reportedly adopted the blockchain technology.
If we go by the listing for new blockchain-related jobs on its careers page, Facebook has been on a recruiting spree for its blockchain arm for a while now. It was reported that the social media giant is planning to a cryptocurrency for Whatsapp transfers, that will particularly target the Indian Markets for starters.