Counterparty Community Update

October 21, 2014

There’s no doubt that the last few weeks have been very exciting for both Counterparty and Bitcoin as a whole. As the price of BTC slowly simmers away from mainstream attention, the crypto community is laying the groundwork for the next phase of blockchain adoption.

Expanding beyond our initial collective focus of the bitcoin token as a method of exchange, a unit of speculation, and a store of value, the narrative is now shifting to the blockchain technology itself. While this tale is inherently more abstract and complex, we believe that within it lies the true potential of this technology to profoundly affect society for the better. In fact, my peer at Medici, Mark Smith, calls Bitcoin a “value transfer network”. Not only is this an insightful observation, it is also an indicator of the trends to come.

When Evan, Adam, and I created Counterparty, we consciously decided to focus on finance, due to our strong belief that the blockchain could lend more transparency, stability and honesty to the markets. We did not know exactly how Counterparty would be used, but we believed that by putting it out there as an open-sourced and collaborative project, we would attract the visionaries, makers and thinkers that also see the ability of the blockchain to revolutionize this crucial aspect of our lives.

This mindset is starting the bear fruit in a major way, as evidenced by our recent partnership with Overstock for the Medici project, as well as the several venture capital and/or angel-backed businesses already building on Counterparty. So what’s next for Counterparty over the upcoming months?

Evan and I will be spending most of our time working with Mark Smith (formerly of MathMoneyFX) to architect and build the Medici platform, on which actual stocks and more may trade, on top of Counterparty and Bitcoin. Our vision with Counterparty has always been to extend the technology to use beyond our core Bitcoin community, into the mainstream capital markets, and Medici is a significant step in that direction.

To clear up earlier confusion, Medici will be built on Counterparty proper, not a fork or derivative. And, despite speculation to the contrary, Evan and I will not be leaving Counterparty, and will still be involved (albeit at a reduced level) moving forward. Moreover, Adam Krellenstein (the third founder, and the creator and lead maintainer of counterpartyd itself) will be staying on Counterparty full-time, to oversee the continued development of the protocol and offerings. Counterparty itself will continue to mature as an open project, free for anyone to adopt and use, and our role in Medici will not impact our position on this.

Counterparty Foundation
With the development of a healthy user base and industry around Counterparty, we have been receiving requests (from several Counterparty-based businesses especially) for enhanced structure and services. Whereas Counterparty to this point has been funded out of our own personal savings, many of these businesses are willing to contribute funds that would allow for the long term sustainability of the project, along with a more democratic and inclusive process moving forward.

As a response to this, we are in the process of creating a non-profit foundation to help ensure the continued growth of the platform that is in the best interest of everyone involved. The primary goal of this foundation will be to ensure the long-term viability of the protocol, to preserve its open and community-driven nature, and to encourage further development of the already rapidly-expanding ecosystem of services surrounding it. We are currently working with the leading law firm in cryptocurrency, Perkins Coie, to make this a reality.

Upon the creation of the foundation, we will be assigning all Counterparty-related intellectual property rights over to it. The board of this foundation will include elected representatives from both the community and the businesses that are rapidly organizing around the platform. This foundation bylaws and management structure will be publicly available for all to inspect, and it will generate revenue through consulting services, as well as an industry partner membership program. As stated earlier, our goal with this is to provide a method for both sustaining the technology, as well as opening up the high level direction of the platform to additional voices and oversight.

In other news, our team is growing.We have recently hired a Ivana Zuber as General Manager. Ivana Zuber is a strategic, multidisciplinary software developer and project manager with a passion for innovation and technology. Ivana has worked on various projects during her 8 years career in IT. Ivana’s greatest expertise is in agile project management, .NET development, social media and content creation. Ivana holds a master’s degree in Software Engineering and has been recognized as an influencer in online marketing. Her wish is to combine her knowledge and experience in these areas and help Counterparty become the main platform for free and open financial tools on the Bitcoin network.

As General Manager, Ivana’s responsibilities include:

  • Business development tasks such as handling inbound requests, and answering questions about Counterparty from interested parties
  • Developer support, as in creating tutorials and podcasts, enhancing developer documentation, and working with the support team to improve the support resources
  • Social media management, such as maintaining the Facebook/Twitter, etc. pages, responding to comments, and creating periodic blog posts
  • Product management, where she will serve as the Counterwallet/counterblock product owner, and post updates concerning development direction and progress

We’re quite pleased to have Ivana onboard, and look forward to working with her as Counterparty continues to mature.

Beyond this, we are looking to fill several positions. Over the next few months, expect a number of new hire announcements as we fill-out the team.

Upcoming Big News
We have another major announcement that we will be making sometime over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Thank you to all the members of our community, working with us to help pioneer peer-to-peer, blockchain-based finance!

-Robby and the rest of the Counterparty team