Mastercoin Foundation Compensation

With our current hiring spree, it seems prudent to try to give a picture of our unusual, experimental pay structure.

Since our pay model is experimental, it is under constant revision, but it basically comes in three parts:

  1. For full-time employees, called “role-based bounties” (RBBs), we supply a minimum guaranteed monthly payment of at least $6000 per month.
  2. Anybody contributing to our development work (full time or not) is eligible for a share of $100k/month in milestone bounties. RBB salaries are deducted before payout (no double-dipping). These bounties are awarded by peer-review (everybody grades each other).
  3. An additional bonus of “dev mastercoins” (dev MSC) are paid in proportion to the bounties earned in #1 and #2

Here is what our compensation looked like for the Month of February for ten people who did the bulk of the dev work:


Holy cow! Person D earned a lot of money that month! It turns out our weighting formula made this too lumpy, because we divided the bounty into two milestones, and person D was the only one who ended up doing much work on one of those milestones. Oops!

For March, we simplified our grading system, and consequently got numbers much more proportional to the work done:


Unfortunately, the average salary for our full-time devs is lower than we would like in this particular month. This is because we had a LOT more people outside the foundation contributing in the month of March, which spread out the $100k monthly milestone bounty a lot thinner.

To fix this, starting in May, 75% of that $100k monthly bounty is reserved for RBBs (compared to 58% they got in March). I expect May compensation to be a lot more favorable to RBBs.

Also, the dev MSC portion going forward also changes – we are increasing it by a large margin (almost doubling Dev MSCs), and using it as a retention bonus for RBBs (vesting after a six month cliff, and every three months thereafter), instead of paying it immediately as shown above.

Consequently, we expect future RBB pay to be quite lucrative, and hopefully quite proportional to the amount of work each person contributes. Plus, you get a large vesting stake in the Mastercoins that you are making more valuable! Also in the future we may re-evaluate and possibly increase the total $100,000 amount given each month as the team grows.

Lots of details and current rules can be found here:

Our full-time people get to work from home and completely choose their own hours and level of effort. Our team tends to be wonderfully cordial and cooperative, since everybody knows that their co-workers have a big say in the distribution of milestone bounty funds at the end of each month. Our aim is to give people enough security to pay their basic bills, and complete control over how hard they work, with the potential to capture a huge paycheck if their peers value their work.

Did I mention the work consists of tinkering with a machine aimed at upending the world economy? It doesn’t get more fun than this.

Care to join us? See our open positions here, and send your CV + the job ID you are interested at to

Mastercoin Foundation Compensation

4 thoughts on “Mastercoin Foundation Compensation

  1. An interesting model, but having fixed reward ($100k/month) for variable work is just stupid. I’m sure your accountant loves it, because as usual you’re sharing the people who do the work by loading them with all the risk while those holding “equity” will rap the rewards.

    Of course the two camps overlap, but it didn’t make sense because the distribution of equity is bound to be so inequitable.

    I wouldn’t join this project on that basis. And prioritising employees just amplifies the risk/burden placed on outsiders.

    I like the everyone grades everyone else aspect.

    1. DominikZ says:

      With all due respect if you look at the work being done some people are getting way better than market rate for remote positions and very little management oversight. I actually think the foundation is being too generous, and companies who run bounty systems as their primary business have given us the same assessment that we are over paying by a lot.

      I say this as someone who has very little Mastercoin since I was enjoying summer last August when the Exodus happened.

      1. You don’t address my point.

        If these workers rewards are currently “too high” the “risk” is for now working in their favour, but the risk is still *theirs*.

        The company board and accountant have approved the $100k/month and they know what the progress is being made when setting it, so it must be good value for the company or they wouldn’t set it so high, but you leave the workers with the risk.

        We have the same shit going on in the UK right now, with “zero hours contracts” where workers are employed, often on an exclusive contract, have to be available to work at short notice every day, and yet have no guarantee of work – not a single hour – and if they don’t work, then no pay. This is corporatism. It is exploitative, designed by and for companies (through corruption of democracy by money in politics). By and for companies – whose interest is profit and not people – and this way of running the world is totally screwing most people and planet to enrich those who are already rich enough to sit on the boards or get into seed funding rounds of companies. The rich get richer, use their influence to corrupt democracy and the destructive cycle continues with ever more repressive practices and laws.

        If some developers are getting well paid for a while, good for them. I hope they leave if the rewards reduce.

      2. DominikZ says:

        Well I get paid under this contract and I am quite happy with it, so I suppose I don’t get your negativity. Also, please no need to use such vulgar language and pollute our shared space with that. Namaste…

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