Mastercoin is a Decentralized Application for building Decentralized Applications

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.

The next step is where true decentralization began. We realize that the Foundation, in the long run, should be stripped of its power, and the power should be transferred directly to holders of mastercoins (MSC). Instead of us rejecting or approving pull requests, we are planning to implement a Proof of Stake system for voting on changes to the spec. Every MSC holder will have the right to decide what the Mastercoin protocol looks like. When J.R. Willett wrote the original Mastercoin Whitepaper back last summer, none of us saw this recursive action. Over the last few months, we started picking centralized parts of Mastercoin, and stripping that centralization away. At first, Willett wanted to manage all the funds stored at Exodus by himself, so the first step was setting up the Mastercoin Foundation to manage that. We moved the Mastercoin specification from Google Docs to github.

Another major power we have is funds – we direct funds towards various bounties and projects. This is temporary. In the long run, we plan to move all project funds to be directly controlled by MSC holders, by a similar Proof of State system. In fact, MSC holders will even be able to do hire/fire decisions via the Role Based Bounty mechanism. After these are implemented, the Foundation will truly be just an information aggregate without any power or authority whatsoever.

After we build all of this for our own benefit, the obvious conclusion is that we can provide the same decentralization capabilities to every Decentralized Application built on top of Mastercoin. Instead of hard-coding these and other DA features, you can focus on writing your business logic, and let us build the platform for you. DAs are going to be an enormous force in the financial world, and we are positioning ourselves to support any and all DAs that have use for things like decentralized kickstarter, voting, fund management and more.

That is the high level road-map, and still needs a lot of work to implement. We are currently focusing on other more “down to earth” tasks, specifically on building up our team and completing the decentralized exchange. Still, it is important for me to share this vision with you, so you know where we’re heading – into a world full of Decentralized Applications. FYI, our roadmap regarding DAs is maintained in another Trello board.

Mastercoin is a Decentralized Application for building Decentralized Applications