Facebook has made its first acquisition in the blockchain space, hiring the team behind Chainspace, hinting at an increasing interest in the payments market.
The acquisition is according to sources that spoke to Cheddar.
Chainspace is a blockchain start-up specialised in smart contracts and was founded by researchers from University College London.
Long-time Facebook executive and former PayPal president David Marcus was tasked with leading Facebook’s blockchain group earlier last year.
The researchers behind Chainspace were also looking at how blockchain and decentralisation could be applied to areas outside of payments, like polling.
Alberto Sonnino and George Danezis, Chainspace employees, already list their employment as blockchain researchers in Facebook’s London office on LinkedIn.
Rumours have been going around about Facebook’s intention to create its own cryptocurrency, which was later reported to take the form of a stablecoin, or cryptocurrency backed by a fiat currency, in WhatsApp, as reported by Bloomberg.
Chainspace was in the process of raising an initial round of funding of under $4 million, Cheddar reports. Early backers of Chainspace include Lemniscap and MW Partners.
Facebook has also held talks with Algorand, a blockchain-based payments platform, which has raised about $66 million to date.