Technology Update: What are we building?

Hello, Masterminds!

This summer has been a whirlwind for the development team at the Mastercoin Foundation. We’ve made a monumental shift from disparate systems that all demonstrated the value of the concept – towards a single reference implementation that is being integrated into cryptocurrency projects and businesses around the world.

We’ve learned a lot – not only about how to manage or coordinate decentralized teams of geniuses with varying talents across many time zones (try it sometime), how to incentivize and reward the work that’s being accomplished (on a fixed budget), how to deal with the haters (who sometimes actually demonstrate extremely helpful lessons), but also why we’re doing what we’re doing, where we see this technology going, and what it is exactly that we’re building.

Mastercoin is an idea – an idea that says when we can rely upon an unmodifiable history structure of transactions, we can facilitate interactions and transactions between individuals in a way where outcomes are guaranteed based upon the conditions that we can invent. It’s a platform that allows you to dictate business logic, and have all participants interpret the end result the same way.

We’ve been working with a variety of innovators and experts who want to create amazing new decentralized systems, from the very beginning of their idea, through gaining the support of the community, to acting on their ideas, and towards seeing the realization of their concepts in practice.

Asset-backed tokens. Reward-backed tokens. Reputation-backed tokens. Idea-backed tokens.

All while gutting the old way of doing things and starting fresh. And then re-integrating it, of course…

So what are we building? An infrastructure for innovators.

The past few weeks have brought us the first public release of Master Core beta for integrators and continued improvement in Omniwallet.

Omniwallet is already relying on Master Core, while Omni gets a better database back-end and updated UI as well.

We’ve built an automated test environment, and are now working on adding more test plans.

We found big number precision issues that have been unaddressed within Bitcoin Core (alt-coins with lots of tokens: you’ve got a problem), and we’ve addressed it within Master Core.

We’ve been speaking with subject matter experts on exchange functionality, and are building in what they need for the MetaDEx.

We’ve got new features such as ongoing issuance and smart property administration already queued up, and the draft UI of Master Core is coming together.


There’s a lot going on, and we’re firing on all cylinders. We are always looking for contributors and partners, so if you’ve got an idea and want to discuss it, please reach out.

The more masterminds, the better!

Craig Sellars

CTO, Mastercoin Foundation

Craig (at)

Technology Update: What are we building?

Progress Update: Road Map, Communications, and Partners


In my first post on the 5th of August when I took over the role of Chairman, I set out three immediate priorities for the MSC Foundation.

1. Establish a Clear Road Map:

2. Open Communications:

3. Streamlining of spending and partnerships.

On each of these topics I’d like to offer a quick update and invite the community to continue actively engaging as they have done so the last few weeks on how to improve the MSC Protocol, the Foundation, our community, and the open source software.

Road Map:

Firstly on the Road Map, I want to thank everyone for the helpful comments and input on the direction of the Foundation and its priorities. You can find the most updated version of the Foundation’s Road Map at:

As for the milestones for the August and September period I’m happy to report the team has completed 10 out of the 17 items on the list and the others are in progress. Completed items include; partnering with industry expert on best practices for order book of decentralized exchange, engaging our best developers and increasing the bandwidth of the MasterCore team with more testers, announcing points of contact for MasterCore, OmniWallet, and so forth.

Open Communication:

Secondly, on “Open Communications” in addition to making regular posts on the blog, being available on Reddit, and the forums, Shannon Code is working to weave together all the different channels of the MSC community so that users can see updates on progress, developer discussion, and so forth easily without having to log into a proprietary program such as Skype and find a invite based chat room.

Shannon will be posting soon about his efforts on this front to open up all of the communications.

Streamlining Spending and Partnering:

Thirdly, on Spending I’ve been reaching out to the community to get input on how to improve the Role Based Bounty and general bounty system that has been in place since the beginning of the Foundation’s work. One point of consensus is to move from a generalized bounty system which is currently paid on a monthly basis, to that of a deliverable based bounty system, where the milestones are clearly defined, prioritized, and set at the beginning of each month and paid out at the end of each month. This way the priorities of the community for the development of the MSC open source software clients will come first in focusing contributing developers time and energy.

As for “Partnering”, serious new projects with the potential of engaging new demographics and users have announced they will be developing on top of the MSC platform including the recent post about the Merchant Coin project.


All in all, I believe we have the right team members working with the Foundation to encourage the development of the MSC protocol and make its open source clients the standard for reliability for major projects who have large user bases and will transact significant value on top of the protocol. I’ll continue doing everything in my power to encourage the continued development of an engaged and authentic community of users and developers extending the capabilities of the bitcoin blockchain to include smart property, decentralized exchange and much more.


David A. Johnston

Chairman of the MSC Board

David (at)

Progress Update: Road Map, Communications, and Partners

Omni: There and back again for Data

For the past few weeks the code changes and updates Omniwallet has been publishing have been mostly maintenance oriented. The team has been cleaning up existing code, refining the functionality of the interface and trying to clean out some of the back logged issues. But this is far from all that has been happening. Behind the scenes we’ve been preparing and working on a brand new back end. Originally, the code was built around data from a series of flat files generated by the reference client parser. While functional and usable, it posed certain limitations to future growth. With the recent development efforts put into Mastercore we have been focusing on revamping our back end structure. With a brand new parsing engine centered around Mastercore we are going to be leveraging a proper database.

So what does this mean for you, our users? Once the database integration is complete here are just a few items we will be able to start leveraging / working on:

  • We should see significant performance improvements as well as more reliable data integrity.
  • Previously data could appear to be lagging behind by several blocks but now we’ll be as current as Mastercore.
  • Foundation to enable integration of other Altcoins
  • Full Bitcoin history support for wallets.
  • We can start offering Wallet enhancements ex. Address tags, notifications.

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks. We’ll have more information and futher progress reports as development continues.

Omni: There and back again for Data

MerchantCoin Partners with Mastercoin

Hello Masterminds,

My name is Martin Schaeferle, and I’m the CIO of MerchantCoin, the first self-sustaining, marketing centric crypto-currency that incentivizes consumers, advocates and businesses to acquire and use Bitcoin. I am writing this blog from Raleigh, NC at the Cryptolina Bitcoin Expo where we are exhibiting along with many others in the Bitcoin ecosystem. The energy in the convention center is palpable and driving many excellent sessions and panel discussions. Also in attendance here is Shannon Code, one of Mastercoin’s very talented developers and evangelists, who will be presenting a session this afternoon—a must attend.

So why did MerchantCoin partner with Mastercoin? There are several key factors we considered which ultimately led to what has become a very successful enterprise.

Master Protocol

MerchantCoin needed to launch its coin and considered various options including the possibility of creating its own blockchain. What attracted us to Mastercoin is the commitment to supporting the Bitcoin community, to drive further adoptions, and strengthen the Bitcoin network and miners. That is a position that aligns perfectly with MerchantCoin. We, too, are also about the promotion of Bitcoin and the need to strengthen the ecosystem that surrounds it. The joining of companies and foundations to a common cause can only strengthen one another and everyone benefits.


MerchantCoin will be launching its wallet shortly which is a joint effort with Mastercoin’s Omni Wallet. We needed to get a wallet released quickly to meet our aggressive schedule and after meeting the Omni Wallet team: David, Craig, Judith, Marv, Adam, Shannon and Faiz, it was clear that by leveraging their hard work and teaming together that we could not only meet our goals, but have a powerful, state-of-the-art wallet as well. Our wallet will be available soon from our Website at

Rapid Launch

MerchantCoin needs to hold a crowdsale and history has shown many examples of poorly executed events. Crowdsales are critical to the success of any crypto-currency and we needed to make sure it was smooth and engaging. Mastercoin with their Master Protocol provided us not only the tools for a successful crowdsale but also the coaching and mentoring so we can focus on getting our message out to the street and educating merchants and investors on our vision.


Mastercoin was the brainchild of J.R. Willet who launched his whitepaper over 30 months ago. Since then, Mastercoin has been an influential player in the Bitcoin community and has spearheaded many new innovative technologies including its revolutionary work around extending the Blockchain. With legacy comes wisdom; and with all the successes and failures surrounding crypto-currency launches, MerchantCoin could not afford to go it alone. Through our relationship with Mastercoin we are confident in our infrastructure and look forward to successful launch in late September.

Well I’ve almost missed my lunch break and the afternoon sessions are about to start. Signing off for now…




Martin Schaeferle

CIO | MerchantCoin


MerchantCoin Partners with Mastercoin

Security in the Blockchain: Past, Present and Future

This weekend I went to my first Bitcoin Expo here in Raleigh NC. It was pretty exciting. I got to meet a bunch of local enthusiasts, discovered I had a few friends from other circles that overlapped into Bitcoin. I also got to meet face to face with some of the Mastercoin team and network: Sam Yilmaz  , Brian Deery from the team & the entire Merchantcoin team.

One of the reasons I was attending the Cryptolina Bitcoin expo was to present a talk about security. Security is important to me and the entire Mastercoin group. Many of our decisions come from thinking about security early in the requirements and design phase of development. I followed CrowdCurity CEO Jacob Hansen who spoke also on security. I would like to point out that here at Mastercoin we utilize the services of CrowdCurity to offer ongoing crowd based security audits on Mastercoin products.

I’d like to offer a condensed version of my security talk for you today:

Security in the Blockchain: Past, Present and Future

One early mistake discovered was the use of an un-random source of entropy to generate key pairs for wallets or sign transactions. Attackers were able to scan the blockchain looking for collisions of public keys. Details of this heist can be seen here.

Another exploit as seen on was when an an XSS was placed into a transaction by running hex on the outputs of the transaction potentially resulting in code execution on user’s browsers. Details can be read about here

This next story is a warning to anyone who is thinking about using a brain wallet: Don’t
When I decided to get back into bitcoin ~8 months ago I decided I’d buy some bitcoin and transfer it to a wallet, I had read about brain wallets and liked the idea, I used the following string because for some strange reason I still remember it from high school “IWentToTheWoodsBecauseIWishedToLiveDeliberately“. Within seconds of my transfer into the generated wallet my coin was transferred out. I was hooked. After researching and testing with a few other transfers I discovered a huge network of brain generated addresses that were being monitored. It’s fair to assume that if it’s been written down in any language, ever it’s not safe to derive a wallet address from.

The most common vulnerability seen by Bitcoin heists these days is the old fashioned SQLInjection attack, Un-sanitized inputs result in the ability for bad guys to modify the sql statements used to display custom information on a page. This type of attack is easily mitigated through testing and crowdsourced security testing.

The ideas of meta layers on top of the Blockchain, self generated assets & decentralized applications, while not new are only now becoming technologically possible, experimented with and deeply thought through. Because of the fast movement of the technology and the rate at which new features are developed, often security is forgotten. An issue I have seen is bestowing some incorrect level of trust to things within the Blockchain. We have to remember things are in the blockchain because someone asked and ultimately paid a miner to persist it there. That being said, with meta coins they will most often include things like a description, name, more information url. This information is delivered to users in their wallets, exchanges, explorers, often as sanitized strings.

A coin titled “ExploitCoin'<scrip t>Alert(‘doing bad things now’)</scrip t>” might allow the execution of JavaScript on users’s devices. As developers remember to sanitize both inputs and outputs.

A potential attack that I made known to the Bitmain representative at Cryptolina describes how, using a search engine that indexes hardware or “The internet of things” one can find over 550 AntMiner Bitcoin miners publicly available on the internet. It’s probably the case that some of these devices did not change their default username and password.

Bitcoind instances should always be upgraded, I showed another query that identified over 2000 Bitcoind instances vulnerable to the HeartBleed vulnerability.

My Slide deck can be seen here:  and anyone can ask me anything Mondays on Reddit (Here’s Today’s AMA)

Security in the Blockchain: Past, Present and Future

Mastercoin is celebrating one year since its inception-by Judith-BizDev

Dear Masterminds
Mastercoin is celebrating one year since its inception – Happy Birthday Mastercoin!
Our community is rapidly growing, we are only one year old, but have already more than 1030 members on our Mastercoin FB – thank you Masterminds.
The Master Protocol is driven by community and uses the Bitcoin Network to encode the transfer of tokens, smart properties, user currencies, etc.,
We already know that there is a global shift towards decentralized applications and I would like to introduce you to one of them – MerchantCoin.
MerchantCoin with the Master Protocol Technology is about to fundamentally change the applications used today. MerchantCoin are aiming to be the first self sustaining marketing centric crypto-currency that incentivizes consumers, advocated and businesses to acquire and use crypto currency. This is how MerchantCoin wants the community to be a part of the cryptocurrency revolution

Great things are happening to the Master Protocol

Point of contact for companies and organizations who want to issue a token (Judith Jakubovics) Judith (-at-) and on Skype: Judith.Jakubovics

Mastercoin is celebrating one year since its inception-by Judith-BizDev