We’ve been writing about blockchain technology and ‘smart contracts’ for a while now, in the context of how they might be used to automatically divide music royalties between musicians, collaborators and team members. But smart contracts could have applications in other industries too.

Here’s an interesting bit of news, then: Facebook has acquired a startup called Chainspace, which was working on its own smart-contracts system.

News site Cheddar describes this as an ‘acqui-hire’ – so Facebook has snapped up the team itself, which was working on a “distributed ledger platform for high-integrity and transparent processing of transactions within a decentralised system”.

Facebook confirmed the hires while remaining carefully vague about the implications. “Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share,” said a spokesperson. Cheddar added that Facebook now has more than 40 staff exploring blockchain technology. Since May 2018, the executive in charge has been David Marcus, formerly VP of Facebook’s messaging products (i.e. a very senior figure internally).

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