Some of you might already know me via the Bitcointalk forums where I’m know as Tachikoma. I’m a Dutch developer based out of Amsterdam. A few months ago when I read the Mastercoin paper I decided to build a little web-application that could show you how many Mastercoins you bought via the Exodus fundraiser. This is what got me started on Mastercoin development and I never stopped since. This app is now known as Mastercoin Explorer. I also proposed the transaction type now known as Class B transactions based on Bitcoin’s multisig. Continue reading “Introducing the First Two Full-time Mastercoin Developers”
First, before you proceed, you should read David Johnston whitepaper that defines a Decentralized Application (DA). There are several examples of DAs – Bitcoin and Mastercoin are such examples. Bitcoin is a decentralized application for sending money over the Internet. Mastercoin is an application for implementing various finance and security features.
However, Mastercoin is more than that – it is also a “DA for creating your own DA”. It wasn’t always.
Our first development call took place today to discuss outstanding issues, progress, support, updates and other items. If you have a chance head over to the wiki to see the current block explorer and distributed exchange implementations as well as Mastercoin Wallet implementations which currently as in development and testing phases.
Nothing caps the last two weeks better than USA Today writing about two of our very own Board members, Brock Pierce and David Johnston, at the Inside Bitcoin conference in Las Vegas with Ron Gross, Mastercoin Foundation’s Executive Director. Now if I were a gambling man I would definitely place some bets using Mastercoin, of course.
It’s been a couple long, fruitful weeks with a lot of happening so this update is packed with information, and shows just how much progress and growth the community around Mastercoin has achieved since August.
I am delighted to announce the hiring of our first full-time scientist/developer. Peter Todd is a heavy-hitter with a deep knowledge of the bitcoin network and a long track-record of doing great theoretical work on crypto-currencies. He initially had some very harsh words for the Mastercoin project, but like many of you, he forms his opinions based on data and logic, and is willing to change them when the data and logic change. I’m proud to say that after further review and seeing our progress to date he is now excited to be involved with this project.
After completing our first three hires (Taariq, Dominik, and our yet-to-be-announced Chief Scientist), I want to let you all know that our focus, and my personal focus as Executive Director, is on hiring 6 full-time developers to start building this damn thing.
This is what we had in mind: We will hire two Lead Developers ASAP. These two leads will be Role Based Bounties with everything that implies. Their salary will be a monthly $6,000, with an added bonus of MSC each month, all calculated by the formula and terms described on github. Then, following our hiring plan, they will be tasked with building their teams – each of them is expected to hire two additional developers as full RBBs (same salary and conditions apply to all hires).
We will not micro-manage these teams and Lead Devs. The developers are expected to be self-sufficient, team players, and actively work towards building the Mastercoin infrastructure, clients, and whatever code is needed to make this vision come to life. You can come to us to ask for directions, but don’t rely on us – be independent and just do what you feel is in the best interest of Mastercoin. Some interesting projects up the pipeline is coding up a reference implementation AKA mastercoind, finishing the distributed exchange, and then following up to work on Smart Property and other advanced features. The developers are expected to cooperate with each other, with the lead scientist who will guide the evolution of the protocol, and with the relevant business needs like other organization requesting various features.
A quick note about outstanding bounties – any RBB will not qualify for outstanding bounties from the time he starts working as an RBB, but his team may still compete on such bounties. If a team wins a bounty, the team leader may allocate that bounty towards future developers / growth of the team / outsourced worked to 3rd party contractors. Any existing work that team members may have done before signing up as RBBs does count, and relevant bounties for that past work will be granted (e.g. as part of the 300 BTC contest).
We are looking everywhere – to existing developers, and newcomers – to come and join this effort. If you know of a world class developers with a passion for Bitcoin, please help us by recruiting him! Your participation and help will assist us to drive this process. Also feel free to post this job offering on various dev forums.
Please sent your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and CC email@example.com (we are working on setting up a firstname.lastname@example.org email address, but it’s not ready yet and I don’t want to wait). Also you should just put a meeting request on my meetme.so/RonGross page and ping me on skype (ripper234). Sadly my availability for the next two weeks will be very low, because of the SF and Vegas conferences, but please don’t let that stop you. Ping me after the conference if I haven’t replied to you, and just use meetme.so.
I’m so excited to this ramp up in hiring. Just 4 weeks ago we had zero full time employees, then I cam along, now we have 3 other employees, and hopefully within a month we’ll have at least 6 more employees. This project is really picking up speed!
Done is better than Perfect (I thank Yoni Assia for that quote).
Our new forum isn’t done. We still have many features we want to add to it. But it’s working, and it’s ours.
We’re happy to invite you to join https://talk.mastercoin.org/ and discuss Mastercoin with us.
Some of our next plans for this forum:
- The new user registration mechanism is still being tested. If you’re having problem joining, please email Dominik Zynis <email@example.com> or Aric Fedida <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- We want to switch to all SSL. Right now we support SSL, but if you accidentally use HTTP instead of HTTPS to access us, your login won’t be secure and private.
- We want to move it to a dedicated domain, for several reasons. The designated domain for it is mastercointalk.org.
- We want you feedback! We plan on integrating a user feedback system such as UserVoice so you will have the ability to vote on features and submit bug reports.
- Customization – we haven’t had time yet to dedicate to making the forum beautiful – we just made sure it’s working. We’re planning some upgrades here as well.
If you have anything at all you want to change, let us know on the forums and/or at email@example.com
See you around talk.mastercoin.org
Following Mastercoin developments on bitcointalk.org or watching some of the github repositories associated with various bounties shows just how much great work our developer community has been putting in since September 2013 to develop applications for the Mastercoin protocol.
Looking into the near future Mastercoin Foundation will need a person to actively take on the role of Support Lead so that as developers in the community release code that is intended for use by non-technical users there is an organization and processes in place to support our community.
Mastercoin is a combination of new concepts (networked p2p value transfer systems and smart contracts) with old (stocks, bonds, contracts for difference, betting, etc). We’ll need clever ways to ensure that users from all backgrounds and among many languages can get support.
On the developer community front all of the Mastercoin repositories are on Github. The Support Lead should also lead support strategy and put into action operations that enable the growth of our developer community, and provide technical support to partners (i.e., an exchange, a smart property issuer, etc) wishing to implement the Mastercoin protocol applications for their services.
We are currently developing our Wiki via a Documentation Contest, have forums software installed, and will likely implement a solutions such as uservoice for support forums and knowledge base for end users. If this is something you are interested in we generally work on a trial basis with individuals who show initiative and self-direction.
Introduce yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org
And answer the question on Quora:
Newfination interview with Mastercoin Executive Director, Ron Gross http://ow.ly/roR8X
So, we’ve seen how bounties work for Mastercoin. We are awarding them for completed tasks, and we are working on decentralizing them.
Bounties are good and well. We have an outstanding bounty of 300 BTC, which has attracted a lot of developer attention. However, these kinds of bounties can only go so far.
This is why I’m happy to announce a new type of bounty – a Role Based Bounty or RBB.
An RBB is our equivalent to a job. It is a bounty that is voted on by the stakeholders via a Proof of Stake system, just like normal bounties. The bounty awards its recipient with a “fixed wage” in BTC and MSC, and is not tied to a specific measurable goal, but rather to a time commitment by a specific individual filling this role. The reason for the existence of RBBs is to help provide these people with some degree of safety and predictability, and get them to leave their high paying lucrative jobs and focus 100% of their working hours on Mastercoin.
Until the spec for RBBs is written and implemented, the Mastercoin Foundation will decided on RBB allocation (“hire”).
Right now we have authorized our first three role based bounties:
- Taariq Lewis, who is currently heading Smart Property but is actually doing a lot more than that in the Bizdev department.
- Dominik Zynis, who is maintaining our blog, social channels, and will now take on answering incoming direct communications as well.
- A yet unnamed person who will be announced soon, who will research, maintain, and develop to Mastercoin Spec.
The terms for the engagement of all these RBBs is detailed in github. If any of the people filling these RBBs, or anyone else for this matter, has an issues they want to raise, they can just submit a pull request. Imagine that … an employee submitting a pull request to discuss the terms of his engagement … even his salary!
I’m super excited to have formalized the 0.1 RBB spec and closed the engagement of these individuals. They are the first of many.