Facebook spoke to Basis, Algorand and Keybase about possible acquisitions

Last week Facebook announced its first blockchain acquisition with Chainspace, but the deal actually followed a series of discussions with at least 12 startups in the space, The Information reported.

Other firms in the social media empire's sights last year included now-defunct stablecoin project Basis, MIT-professor run Algorand and encrypted messaging app Keybase. Facebook's far-reaching blockchain acquisition hunt, which began in early 2018 and was likely geared around hiring talent in the engineering field, reinforces rumours that it plans to launch its own cryptocurrency for WhatsApp.

Conversations with Basis are believed to have been brief and began in December following the announcement that the company was closing down its $133 million stablecoin project.

The company did not disclose the sum for which it acquired Chainspace, but The Information reported that Facebook was "contemplating deals worth tens of millions of dollars." Facebook also declined to comment on the details of any deals.

Its blockchain team is now made up of around 40 people and headed up by David Marcus, former president at PayPal and Coinbase board member.