Ron Gross becomes Executive Director of the Mastercoin Foundation

David asked me to post this on his behalf, due to time considerations:

I just wanted to drop a note here congratulating Ron Gross (ripper234) on volunteering to commit his full time efforts as the Executive Director for the Mastercoin Foundation (unanimously confirmed by the Board).

As many of you know and J.R. has stated here before, the Mastercoin Foundation has been searching for someone to take the Executive Director role for the last 70 days since the Exodus Address period finished.

This emerged organically as Ron began spending more and more of his time on the Mastercoin Project, after having participated in the Exodus Address and being very active in the community. I’ve witnessed first hand Ron passionately spread the word to many early adopters, host the very first Mastercoin meetup, actively recruit additional developers, advocate for improvements to the protocol including the Proof of Stake system / Contracts For A Difference, and get the Mastercoin protocol officially up on Github.

Thanks Ron for committing your time, energy and talents to this extremely important project for all of us in the Bitcoin / Mastercoin community.

David A. Johnston – Executive Director of and Board Member of the Mastercoin Foundation


This is my reply:

Ron Gross becomes Executive Director of the Mastercoin Foundation

The Heat is On! Bitcoin Economy Decentralization More Important Than Ever.

Just when we thought things were going smooth we heard about another piece of news that will send shock waves through the Bitcoin community. BitFunder, rather than just closing its doors to US residents, is shutting down permanently. And, let us not forget, yet another wallet service and its users became the latest victim of virtual bank robbers.

The Mastercoin protocol, which uses the Bitcoin network, for specialized transactions such as stock transfers, will fill the void.  This is great news for Bitcoin owners, because each time a Mastercoin transaction occurs Bitcoin Miners get paid.  The Bitcoin network is providing value added services were previously financial benefits went to site owners rather than Bitcoin network operators.

For a quick recap on this subject check out this video:

So, what does all that mean for Mastercoin and all of the work we are doing on distributed BTC-MSC exchange and smart properties?

It means the stakes just got a lot higher. The good news is that the evolutionary cycles created by market forces are pulling  for more decentralization.

In this week’s update we will focus primarily on the progress in the Distributed Exchange Code Contest, and developments in the Mastercoin Protocol and related proposals.  The post may be a bit more technically oriented than others, but the goal is to ensure that anyone working on developing is aware of all of the changes that have taken place.

If you are looking for a review of the technical structure of Mastercoin and how it relates to and utilizes Bitcoin then Vitalik Buterin of Bitcoin Magazine  kindly wrote this great article published earlier this week: Mastercoin: A Second-Generation Protocol on the Bitcoin Blockchain.  If you have not got your hands on any MSC yet, please help test the MSC faucet; report any issues to the bitcointalk forum. All you need is a Bitcoin address (from bitcoin-QT or

And lastly, if you are in the Tel-Aviv area (or perhaps want to escape from cold northern latitudes), Ron Gross, one of Mastercoin Foundation’s board members, is organizing the second Mastercoin meet up in Israel.

New Mastercoin Job Postings

Smart Property Lead

Produce a Video for the homepage

 Website for Mastercoin Foundation Budget

Mastercoin Protocol & Proposals

The protocol master is on GitHub. Below are the current changes that have been made with a brief description.

Proposal: Proof of Stake Voting

Proof of Stake is meant to provide a voting mechanism for stakeholders in Mastercoin and in particular currencies and smart properties developed utilizing the protocol.  Please provide input.

Below is the proposed spec change enabling voting for v 1.2:

  • Mastercoin websites will have a “voting” section for each currency and smart property.
    • Owning a currency or property allows you to vote on issues related to how that currency or property should be run.
  • The voting section will list issues which are available to vote on, as well as feature requests, in descending order of popularity, and the current vote tally for each
  • Mastercoin messages needed for voting are:
    • Create new issue (title and what the options are, such as YES/NO or A/B/C/D)
    • Vote on issue (address X votes NO on currency Y issue Z)
      • Weight of vote is proportional to the amount of currency or property owned by that address (proof of stake)
    • Create a new feature request (title and description)
    • Vote on feature (address X supports feature Z on currency Y) – also weighted by ownership
      • A single address may only support one feature, and may only vote in one direction, however . . .
      • A user may split their vote by using multiple addresses
  • When some or all property is transferred out of an address which has voted, the votes of the transferred property are invalidated (this allows the owner of the new address to vote again)
  • Votes are advisory votes only, and are enforced by social contract, rather than by the protocol itself

Social Media and Press


Mastercoin meet up in Israel

Please let us know if you would like to sponsor a meet up anywhere else.

Press & Blogs

Mastercoin: A Second-Generation Protocol on the Bitcoin Blockchain

Bitfunder Closing + Mastercoin / Colored Coins + Theft

Ron Gross Joins Mastercoin: So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish


MyMastercoins A new explorer site from Bitoy

Market Update

MSC Price Chart as of 09-NOV-2013 :


(X-axis: time; Y-axis: Price of 1 MSC in BTC)

Note that trading is manual at this time, a list of contacts is in the Order Book spreadsheet.

Mastercoin Foundation


Current Balance: 4439.9910979 BTC

More details available at the Mastercoin Fund Ledger.  There is also now a new website at


News for week 45.2013

The Heat is On! Bitcoin Economy Decentralization More Important Than Ever.

Programming, Testing and More Testing of Mastercoin

News for week 44.2013.

There is a lot of excitement building up around Mastercoin and some important milestones have been set since last week’s blog.  But we have a lot of hard work cut out for us.  The developers are working hard on the next code contest and always looking for more folks to join the effort. Take some of your  spare time to check out the tutorial (see bottom) for conducting exchange transactions.

We now finally have a price graph of the MSC/BTC trades that have occurred, the Board has decided to engage a PR firm, we have a new addition to the Mastercoin repo’s on Github, there is a bounty open for building an MSC faucet, and a new proposal for enabling the limiting of spending of MSC on addressed that have been identified to have this feature enabled.  And if you are interested in the current economic distribution of Mastercoins here are the Top 50 MSC wallets.

Coding Contest Update: Distributed Exchange

Recall the applications being built for this 300 BTC contest announced last week:

  1. Minimum one PC wallet (for both Linux and Windows) which can generate simple sends and the buy/sell messages required for the distributed exchange, using agree-upon multi-sig format
  2. Minimum two websites parsing such messages, and the resulting balance transfers
  3. Minimum one website showing BTC/MSC price charts derived from these messages

There is now an Order Book on Mastercoin-Explorer where sell and buy offers as well as transactions between MSC and BTC are presented.   Progress is being made on item #3, the price charts and initial code has been uploaded to GitHub (see Repo Updates).

1st  Exchange Using The Mastercoin Protocol

In a major milestone earlier this week one of the developers, Tachikoma, for the first time exchanged Test Mastercoins for Bitcoins.  If you are interested in seeing the transaction go check out the Order Book on Mastercoin-Explorer.

Now, technically, that exchange did not happen between two people with real Mastercoins, so it seems the window is still open for anyone to be a part of the first two-person trade of MSC and BTC.  Exciting stuff, right?!  But, you might be a little hesitant to try this out with real MSC and large amounts of BTC (not recommended at this time as development is in progress). So, we have put together a step-by-step tutorial for how to test this new functionality for yourself and help our developers move the project forward.  Scroll to the bottom for the tutorial.

Repo Updates
1. MasterChest Library (Github) – changes on October 26:
  • Code adjustments to apply the transaction processing rules as defined in the amendment
  • Support for decoding the new Class B obfuscated keys
  • Support for encoding the new Class B obfuscated keys
  • Support for ECDSA point validity checking
  • Various bugfixes

Protocol & Proposals

We have a proposal for Mastercoin Limited Accounts which would feature limiting the rate at which a particular address can send Mastercoins.

MSC Faucet Bounty

Don’t have any Mastercoins but want to get some?  We need your help.  The Mastercoin Foundation Board approved a bounty of up to $850 to build a Mastercoin faucet.  If you have experience with some of the existing open source faucet software out there you may find this an interesting project and will get surely be appreciated by the many faucet users.

Check for details on the bitcointalk thread.

Social Media & PR

Earlier this week JR announced that the Mastercoin Foundation has engaged with a PR firm to help spread the word about Mastercoin to the greater technology and financial communities.
If you are wondering how to connect with others in the Mastercoin community beyond we have a few places:
If you happen to understand Chinese some of our community members have been kind enough to start a Mastercoin forum for Chinese speakers on
There is also a Mastercoin page on Reddit.

Market Update

MSC Price Chart as of 02-NOV-2013 :

MSC Price History  02nov2013

(X-axis: time; Y-axis: Price of 1 MSC in BTC)

Note that trading is manual at this time, a list of contacts is in the Order Book spreadsheet.

Mastercoin Foundation


Current Balance: 4521.9910979 BTC

More details available at the Mastercoin Fund Ledger

Tutorial: Test MSC – BTC Distributed Exchange Transactions

Start the tutorial…

Please post your questions or issues on the main development thread on bitcointalk.

Programming, Testing and More Testing of Mastercoin

Tutorial: Test MSC – BTC Distributed Exchange Transactions

(please note this is a work in progress, do not test with amounts that you cannot afford to lose)

Broadcasting a raw transaction via the reference Bitcoin-QT client

Note that if you are using you will need to use bitcoin-qt to sign the raw transaction.  Keep in mind that this process is for testing purposes and is not the final end-user / consumer process.


  • Bitcoin-QT client
  • positive BTC balance (to buy and sell MSC)
  • positive MSC balance (to sell MSC)

How to: MSC Sell Offer

  1. Open the Bitcoin client and navigate to help->debug window and press on the ‘console’ tab
  2. First we will verify the transaction. Type decoderawtransaction and paste the raw transaction string you got.
  3. Make sure the values are correct and check that at the bottom your Mastercoin address is visible also make sure it doesn’t say ‘”type” : “nonstandard”‘ somewhere. In the future we will make sure the Mastercoin data itself is encoded correctly as well. But for now these are the checks you should do.
  4. If you are happy with the result sign the transaction using your private key. Begin by unlocking your wallet; type walletpassphrase 15. This will unlock your wallet for 15 seconds.
  5. Type signrawtransaction and paste the raw transaction string in again.
  6. If all goes well you should see something that says: {hex: , completed: true}. Copy the part after hex.
  7. Broadcast the transaction over the network by typing sendrawtransaction and paste in the latest string.
  8. If all went well you should have gotten the transaction hash as output.

How to: MSC Buy Offer

  1. Go to and find a sell offer, click on “Buy” under msc step 1
  2. The form requires a public msc step 1.5
  3. To obtain your MSC public key open Bitcoin-QT click on “Help” followed by “Debug window”, and in the window that comes up click on “console”.  Input “validateaddress {somebtcaddress}”  where {somebtcaddress} is the Bitcoin address you wish to use to receive your MSC and has some BTC balance. Copy and paste the “pubkey”. 

    buy msc step 2

  4. Now take the “pubkey” and input it into the form.  And change the amount of MSC that you wish to purchase if it is not the same as the amount offered. Click “Create raw transaction”.buy msc step 1.5
  5. Now copy the string of text from the resulting msc step 3
  6. Decode the string to ensure that the transaction looks correct.  You can decode the transaction by pasting the the raw transaction string here: Make sure the values are correct and check that at the bottom your Mastercoin address is visible also make sure it doesn’t say ‘”type” : “nonstandard”‘ somewhere.
  7. Now go back to Bitcoin-Qt and sign the transaction using your private key. Begin by unlocking your wallet; type walletpassphrase {yourpassphrase} 30. This will unlock your wallet for 30 seconds.

    Blockchain users: currently does not offer a utility to sign a raw transaction, however there may be a work around but it requires exporting a base58 private key and using Bitcoin-QT.  Specifically, for step 8:

    signrawtransaction <hex string> [<privatekey1>,…]

  8. Now enter “signrawtransaction {rawtransactionstring}” where the {rawtransactionstring} is the string you copied in Step msc step 4The following text should appear if all went well: {hex: , completed: true}. Copy the long string after hex.
  9. Broadcast the transaction over the Bitcoin network by typing “sendrawtransaction {outputstring}” where {outputstring} is the output string from Step 8.
  10. If all went well you should have gotten the transaction hash as output.  Copy the output string.
  11. Note that after you send this purchase offer and it’s accepted by the site you will have to send the proper amount in Bitcoin from your MasterCoin address. Make sure your address is funded and that you send the coins from this address.
Tutorial: Test MSC – BTC Distributed Exchange Transactions