We are very happy to report that as of block 290630 04:54:22 GMT March 15, the Master Protocol distributed exchange is live and open for business!
Get the wallets!
To get a piece of the action, head over to www.mastercoinwallets.org, choose your wallet, and start trading!
Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- If you want a fast Web wallet or don’t use Windows, masterchain.info is your wallet (videos tutorials are available here).
- If you are a Windows user, we recommend using the Masterchest wallet. Installation is still a bit clunky, and a full install of bitcoin-qt is needed (see this tutorial).
- If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can help us test the new Web wallet we are developing – the Omniwallet. Note that this is a test release which is not yet meant for production use – please only use tiny amounts of BTC and MSC on Omniwallet! (Here is a test server). If you are interested in hosting your own white-label version of Omniwallet, please be in touch!
Please report any bugs you find on the relevant github projects.
How to use a distributed exchange?
This probably deserves a whole post of its own, but we would like to issue a preemptive warning. The distributed exchange is a new type of exchange, that doesn’t quite behave like the exchanges you are used to. When buying MSC, there is a two-phase process. First, you claim a particular batch of coins up for sale, and then (typically in another block), you send BTC to finalize the purchase of MSC. Before committing large transactions on the DEx, we advise you to study it and understand how it works. Feel free to direct any questions to mastercointalk or email@example.com.
It is also worth mentioning that there is a small fixed fee attached to each operation on the DEx. The key advantage of using a distributed exchange is secure trading (you don’t need to trust any central exchange with your funds!), which may lead to higher liquidity, especially for larger orders.
In order to view the orderbook, we recommend masterchest.info.
Status and roadmap of the Master Protocol
The last six months have been an amazing journey.
We started off by raising 4,740 BTC in a public kickstarter (worth about 600,000 USD at the time), and doing contests for bounties in order to get developer attention. We got some excellent developers to kick in and start developing four different wallets, and saw the “Bitcoin 2.0” ecosystem built up from scratch around us.
At present, we have several wallet options detailed above, each with unique characteristics. As a strategic decision, we have decided to use this milestone as a stepping stone, and to only keep funding one Web wallet, and one desktop wallet, instead of the two of each we are developing right now. (This decision will take effect from April 1st, after the current monthly bounties are finalized). In addition, we are consolidating our parsing and state engine into one reference implementation – mastercoin-tools. Going forward, in order to check the balance of a Mastercoin address, you will only need to check with mastercoin-tools. Any so-called “consensus issues” with other engines will defer to mastercoin-tools output. mastercoin-tools is already the basis for the Masterchain and Omni wallets, and we plan to investigate integrating it into Masterchest as well.
Finally, I’d like to say a few words about our future roadmap.
In Q1 2014, we released Mastercoin wallets and the BTC <–> MSC decentralized exchange, and watched the BitAngels Fund form; 150,000 mastercoins ready to be invested into 3rd layer protocols developed on top of the Master Protocol.
In Q2, we will see the release of the first user currencies on top of the Master Protocol, among them some of the winners from the Austin Bitcoin 2.0 hackathon. We have plenty of user interface, integration, and documentation improvements planned out during this quarter.
Q3 is when the fun really starts. We will see more investments into user currencies, the Metacoin distributed exchange, as well as additional smart property and protocol features being implemented. And Q4? That’s a bit too far into the future, six months is already forever in Bitcoin terms!
As always, we’d love to hear any feedback you have. You can reach us via mastercointalk, firstname.lastname@example.org, and other channels. May we all have a great decentralized 2014!