Facebook buys London blockchain startup Chainspace

Mark Johnson's picture

Global social media giant Facebook has reportedly bought London blockchain startup Chainspace in what is thought to be its first acquisition in the blockchain space. 

Facebook made the acquisition in order to hire the firm’s talented five co-founders, a process known in Silicon Valley as an ‘acqui-hire’.

Chainspace is a blockchain start-up specialising in smart contracts and was founded by researchers from University College London. 

The Chainspace website was recently updated to say that the team behind the startup is “moving on to something new," and people familiar with the startup told Cheddar.com that the startup would be closing following the hires.

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Cheddar quoted a Facebook spokesperson as confirming the company had hired employees from Chainspace but declined to comment on specific hires. 

Moreover, the site said Facebook wasn’t acquiring any of Chainspace’s technology.

The London startup had been in the process of raising $4m in initial funding, according to Cheddar, when Facebook swooped in. Early backers included Lemniscap and MW Partners.

The move will address long standing rumours about Facebook’s interest in the cryptocurrency world and its blockchain ledger technology.

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