Facebook Enters Blockchain Space With Chainspace Acquisition

It was recently reported that Facebook has acquired Chainspace, its first company in the blockchain space. Chainspace is a smart contract protocol development and research firm.

Facebook blockchain space
Simon / Pixabay

This acquisition comes as no surprise as within the last year, Facebook had been rapidly expanding its blockchain space competencies by hiring software developers, engineers, and academics who are well versed in the technology. The company currently has over 10 job openings with the term ‘blockchain’ in the title, with an estimated 35-55 employees total working in the division.

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This shift is indicative of what is happening in the larger blockchain space. The recent 2018 LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report names Blockchain as one of the leading job markets and skill sets on the rise, with a 33X increase since the previous year.

Casey Kuhlman, Co-founder and CEO of Monax, A blockchain-native SAAS company on a mission to change the way people consume and manage their legal agreements, said:

The recent news on Facebook’s acquisition of the smart contract platform Chainspace is indicative of blockchain’s ability to transform industries such as legal, banking, healthcare – the list goes on! In particular, we have seen the focus shift towards use-cases as people continue to gravitate towards projects working to solve real-world problems. Smart contracts simply make business contracting more efficient – offering a more fluid, inclusive, and customised service than existing technology can. From a business perspective, smart contracts can answer the question “where are we within our contracts?” The fact that Facebook is leveraging experts in blockchain and smart contracts shows they’re one step closer to reaping the benefits of the technology when it comes to efficiency, collaboration, and the streamlining of processes.”

Elias Haase, Co-founder and Community Manager of B9lab, the world’s leading provider of blockchain education and training, said:

“With hindsight, it was inevitable that big companies would get involved with blockchain – both Amazon and Pfizer have obvious use cases in supply chain. But there are other, less obvious and more sophisticated applications that an injection of large company money can accelerate.  Their real impact on the community as a whole will depend on what they eventually choose to build and on what protocol. Hopefully the ICO and crypto hype is largely passing and real use cases will have the chance to be funded. Now the demand has shifted to truly qualified, multi-protocol professionals who need to be able to build, rather than write specs for whitepapers. Those people are harder to come by.

Even though the technology isn’t yet mature, the job market is maturing in the space. This time last year, the space was littered with disgruntled executives who had either employed people who didn’t have the skills they claimed or had demanded impossible results from skilled workers who obviously could not deliver. We’ve had a hard year of repairing the damage – for both sides.  It’s looking good for qualified, trained developers and executives because let’s not forget, the executives need to understand the space too! All and all, it’s a positive move for the industry as we seem to be setting ourselves up to create for the long term rather than react to FOMO.”

Rutger van Zuidam, Founder and CEO of  Odyssey, an Open Innovation Program connecting innovative ideas with governmental, corporate, and non-profit partners to address complex societal challenges using blockchain, AI, and other emerging technologies, said:

“The impact of major players such as Facebook, Amazon, and Pfizer entering the blockchain space completely depends on their perception as to why blockchains exist in the first place. We have learned that the players who are building open markets and open data ecosystems that enable all possible stakeholders to contribute to collective success, are the ones who are well placed to leverage blockchain.

We have seen demand for blockchain-based jobs skyrocket, however the question is not whether the supply of talent meets the needs of the industry, but whether the industry is able to ask the right questions of the market in order to draw the right talent.

Of course big salaries attract ambitious talent, but we have learned that the most ambitious and best quality talent in this space wants to change the way we organize our society and economy. They want to work on challenges that are not solvable by one organization, but only through enabling many different stakeholders to collaborate through open digital public infrastructure. This infrastructure can’t be owned by government or a corporation as this lacks the trust needed to drive adoption.

Organizational challenges are a walk in the park compared to engineering the complex systems supported by these new types of protocols. The best talent don’t want to increase the level of surveillance capitalism, they want to create a better alternative that enables everybody to contribute and collaborate.”

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