Blockchain Report — 12/11/2018

Summary: UNICEF Invests In Six Blockchain Startups; Facebook Is Hiring Blockchain Engineers And Researchers; Bitmain Closes Israel-based Development Center Due To Bear Market

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UNICEF Invests In Six Blockchain Startups

According to Forbes, The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is planning on investing in six different blockchain startups . UNICEF will invest in these startups through the organization’s Innovation Fund, which invests in tools and products in emerging industries.

Innovation Fund has $17.9 million dollars in total that it can invest, and has invested in 33 startups so far in emerging industries ranging from data science, machine learning, drones, and blockchain.

Each of the six blockchain startups that UNICEF is investing in will receive $100,000 to develop an open-source prototype next year. According to a blog post by UNICEF, the startups will focus on solving problems such as “transparency in health-care delivery, affordable access to mobile phone connectivity, and the ability to direct finances and resources to social-impact projects.”

Chris Fabian, Principal Adviser of the UNICEF Innovation Fund, explained why UNICEF is investing in blockchain:

“Blockchain technology is still at an early stage — and there is a great deal of experimentation, failure, and learning ahead of us as we see how, and where, we can use this technology to create a better world…That’s exactly the stage when UNICEF Innovation Fund invests: when our financing, technical support, and focus on vulnerable populations can help a technology grow and mature in the most fair and equitable way possible.”

Facebook Is Hiring Blockchain Engineers And Researchers

According to The Next Web, Facebook is recruiting for new talent to help with expanding its blockchain team. Facebook’s career page lists that it is looking for a data scientist, a data engineer, and two software engineers to add to the company’s blockchain team. The posting states:

“The blockchain team is a startup within Facebook, with a vision to make blockchain technology work at Facebook scale…It’s a small, fast-growing, but talented group of people who are passionate about changing the world.”

Facebook is also looking for a product marketing lead who can help with managing and marketing the project. The description of the job post states:

“Our blockchain team is fundamental to that mission and we are seeking an experienced leader to build and manage a new product marketing team focused in exploring the opportunity the blockchain will bring.”

The fact that Facebook is seeking to recruit employees to join its blockchain team shouldn’t come as a surprise to many — Facebook reportedly already has at least a dozen people in the company working on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology since May.

Bitmain Closes Israel-based Development Center Due To Bear Market

Image result for bitmain

According to The Next Web, various blockchain and cryptocurrency startups have been forced to shut down or layoff staff as a result of the cryptocurrency bear market. The latest company to do so is Bitmain,the world’s largest manufacturer of ASIC mining devices. Bitmain is closing its Israel-based development center.

The development center, known as Bitmaintech Israel, was setup two years ago. This week it will shut down and lay off its entire staff of 23 people. Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmaintech Israel and VP at Bitmain, will leave the company also. Glikberg told Bitmain Israel employees:

“The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with he current situation.”

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