Blockstream

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Blockstream
Corporation
Industry Cryptocurrency software
Founded 2014
Founders
Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
Key people
  • Adam Back (President)
  • Gregory Maxwell (CTO)
Number of employees
10–50[1] (2014)
Website www.blockstream.com

Blockstream is a blockchain technology company co-founded and led by Adam Back and Gregory Maxwell.

Company

The company is focused on developing bitcoin applications specifically sidechains, as well as other applications.[2][3] Blockstream has raised $76M to date from investors including Horizons Ventures and Mosaic Ventures.[4] [5][6] Blockstream employs several prominent bitcoin developers, including Adam Back (President, Blockstream), Gregory Maxwell (CTO, Blockstream), Mark Friedenbach (Co-founder, Blockstream), Pieter Wuille (Bitcoin Core developer), and Christopher Allen (co-author of IETF Transport Layer Security.[7][8] Blockstream is one of the largest contributors of funding for Bitcoin Core.[7]

Products

Liquid sidechain

On October 12, 2015, Blockstream announced the release of its Liquid sidechain which could allow for the transfer of assets between the sidechain and the main blockchain.[9][10][11] Blockstream produces software that facilitates interoperability between the main chain and the sidechain.[12][page needed] Blockstream claims that Liquid reduces the delays and friction involved in a normal transfer of bitcoin. Blockstream asserts participating exchanges–Bitfinex, BTCC, Kraken, Unocoin and Xapo can make near instant exchanges between their accounts and orderbooks.[13][8] The company has proposed that the Liquid sidechain, which is a pegged sidechain, be added to the bitcoin protocol.[14][15][16] The source code for sidechains has been released on an open source basis.[17]

Initiatives

In addition to its corporate initiatives, blockstream is also involved in a number of community steering and open source programs.

Bitcoin Core

Blockstream is one of the largest contributors of funding for Bitcoin Core.[7]

Lightning Network

Blockstream hired Rusty Russell, a well-known developer famous for his work on Linux kernel, to develop an implementation of the Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN). Russell has a four-part LN explanation on his blog.[8] The Lightning network proposes to reduce transaction costs by allowing nodes to hold some transaction data in the cache before submitting it to the chain.[18]

In May 2016, Blockchain.info announced Thunder, which claims to be an implementation of Lightning.[19]

Elements Project

Blockstream released an open source codebase and testing environment for its sidechains product to public under open source license.[20] The Elements Project is a community effort to create and test new extensions to the Bitcoin protocol, whose early contributions include Confidential Transactions by Gregory Maxwell, and Segregated Witness by Pieter Wuille.[21]

Hyperledger

Blockstream participates in Hyperledger as a general member.[22] The Hyperledger project is a cross-industry collaborative effort to create block chain based open standard for distributed ledgers for globally conducted business transactions.

Controversy

Bitcoin's block size debate has caused some to question the company's incentives. Blockstream employs five developers who contribute to Bitcoin Core: Pieter Wuille, Jorge Timón, Gregory Maxwell, Mark Friedenbach, and Matt Corallo.[23] Some have claimed that Blockstream intends to control the Bitcoin protocol through its employment of Bitcoin Core developers. Separately, Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn quit the Bitcoin project over a dispute involving a failed block size increase, which Hearn claimed was being opposed by Maxwell of Blockstream.[24]

However, Wladimir van der Laan, the Chief Maintainer of Bitcoin Core, is funded by MIT's Digital Currency Initiative and only merges pull requests to Bitcoin Core that have widespread technical consensus.[25]

References

  1. "Crunchbase: Blockstream Company Profile". Crunchbase. Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Evans, Jon (31 October 2015). "Liquid Bitcoin". TechCrunch. AOL.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Das, Samburaj (14 October 2015). "The First SideChain for Bitcoin Exchanges". CryptoCoinsNews. Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Our Investment in Blockstream". Mosaic Ventures. Retrieved 2016-05-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Bitcoin startup blockstream raises 55 million in funding round". Wall Street Journal. 4 February 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Rizzo, Pete (18 November 2014). "Blockstream: $21 Million Funding Will Drive Bitcoin Development". CoinDesk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Rizzo, Pete (5 April 2016). "Blockstream Adds Another Marquee Developer in Security Pioneer Christopher Allen". CoinDesk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Blockstream". WeUseCoins. Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Casey, Michael J. "BitBeat: Blockstream Unveils Much-Awaited First Sidechain Prototype". WSJ (Blog).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Vigna, Paul. "BitBeat: Blockstream Releases Liquid, First 'Sidechain'". WSJ (Blog). Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Chishti, Susanne; Barberis, Janos (February 29, 2016). "Application Stacks". The FINTECH Book: The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors ... Wiley Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 978-1-119-21887-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Swan, Melanie (January 1, 2015). Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-1-4919-2049-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Blockstream to Launch First Sidechain for Bitcoin Exchanges". CoinDesk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Allison, Ian. "Blockstream announces Liquid movement of Bitcoin quickly and securely between exchanges". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Evans, Jon. "Liquid Bitcoin". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Blockstream Jumps Into Liquid – PYMNTS.com". PYMNTS.com. Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Blockstream to Release First Open Source Code for Sidechains". CoinDesk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Poon, Joseph; Dryja, Thaddeus (14 January 2016). "The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Scalable Off-Chain Instant Payments DRAFT Version 0.5.9.2" (PDF). Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Announcing the Thunder Network Alpha Release". Blockchain Blog.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Higgins, Stan (9 June 2016). "Blockstream to Release First Open Source Code for Sidechains". CoinDesk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Dale, Martin (12 April 2016). "Announcing the New Elements Project". Elements Project (Blog).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Palmer, Daniel (12 March 2016). "Meet the Technical Minds Behind the Hyperledger Blockchain Project". CoinDesk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Learn from the top people in the Bitcoin world". weusecoins.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Popperjan, Nathaniel (14 January 2016). "A Bitcoin Believer's Crisis of Faith". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Wladimir van der Laan". weusecoins.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links