Facebook promotes senior engineer to its Blockchain project

Social media network’s development group takes on some heavy-hitting know-how. 

If there was any doubt that Facebook is very, very serious about its Blockchain working group then the placement of Evan Chang as its director of Engineering, working alongside long-time Messenger main-man David Marcus, probably puts it to one side forever.

Amid much-discussed rumours, repeated in a June 2nd article in The Economist, that the social network was considering buying the popular crypto exchange, Coinbase, Chang’s move on to the project is appears to be a sign that things are developing quickly for the relatively new spin-off from the main Facebook development team.

Already a director of engineering, responsible for Programming Languages and Runtimes according to TechCrunch (which broke the story), Chang is also a former 10-year Apple employee. While there, he won a share of the 2012 Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) software award for his work the LLVM compiler toolset, alongside its creators Vikram Adve and Chris Lattner. Chang is also currently an advisor to blockchain projects Zilliqa and ChainLink.

Sources cited by TechCrunch, though not named, assert that his appointment “means it’s not just an exploratory project,” because Chang’s skill-set – which focuses on the low-level nuts and bolts of how systems work, including issues of performance and scalability, and his Blockchain kn0w-how – hint at the importance of the project. It could also hint that the project is well developed enough to need a person with such skills to get it to a level that ensures it can perform at the kind of volumes Facebook integration would demand.

Chang’s move comes a couple of months after the Blockchain team was announced as part of a wider reshuffle of staff. David Marcus’ move from Messenger to Blockchain was the headline of those movements, though the importance of the team – which includes former Instagram vice president Kevin Weil, and operates under the oversight of chief technology officer Mike Mike Schroepfer has only seemed to become more and more obvious as time has moved on since then.