MSC Open Communications Update – Next Steps

Masterminds,
 
Thanks to everyone who participated in kicking off our open communications for the MSC Foundation with your blog posts, AMAs, questions and comments the last week.
 
The energy level in the community has visibly increased with a 132 comments on 9 posts that were made to http://www.reddit.com/r/mastercoin/ One of the first outcomes has been new developers coming in to help with OmniWallet, who saw the AMA’s and want to get involved in the project.
 
Going forward the plan is to keep up this weekly posting of blogs and Reddit threads, which Shannon Code will cross post to all of the other MSC channels (Twitter, Facebook, IRC, Skype Chat, MSC and BTC forums, etc)
 
To keep things on a consistent and daily basis, 7 of us from the MSC Foundation will have 1 day each week we will posting to the blog and Reddit thread that day on different topics. Including new projects launching on the Master Protocol, updates on MasterCore and Omni Wallet, bounties available for the community, guest posts by technical thought leaders in the crypto ecosystem, and a lot more.
 
Communicating openly with the community about our progress, challenges, ideas, and so forth is the primary way for the MSC community to grow and empower everyone to add their value to this great endeavor to extend blockchain technology and decentralize the corrupt financial institutions of our day.

I’m excited about where we are headed. Lets pull together as a community and make it happen.

As my old friend Christopher Orem used to say, Go Team!

Best Regards,

David A. Johnston

Chairman of the MSC Foundation Board
David (at) Mastercoin.org
MSC Open Communications Update – Next Steps

Sam Yilmaz – Board Member at the MSC Foundation- AMA

HELLO MASTERMINDS,

I’m exited to introduce myself to the MSC community and work with many of you in the near future.

Some of you will know me as the Executive Director of BitAngels. During my tenure there, I had the opportunity to meet fantastic entrepreneurs, invest in Bitcoin companies, as well as purchase MSC during the genesis period. Likewise, to help build out additional features and capacities to our crypto-world, I volunteered to become a board member of the Mastercoin Foundation.

As of May 2014, I have shifted my focus from the BitAngels group to the Decentralized Applications Fund and am now serving as the Managing Partner for the fund. I have the privilege of working with David Johnston and other visionaries in the space, as well as extremely gifted developers and entrepreneurs whose enthusiasm, passion and persistence are building the crypto-powered share economies of our future.

If you’re an entrepreneur or a developer and would like to have input on monetization, product vision, product roadmap of your decentralized application, or crowdsale best practices, I’d love to field any questions in my AMA , Wednesday Aug 13th, 2014, on Reddit. You can also email me at Sam@Mastercoin.org

I look forward to offering input on all the exciting decentralized projects this community is developing.

Sam Yilmaz

Sam Yilmaz – Board Member at the MSC Foundation- AMA

An AMA with Adam – Omniwallet Development Lead and Mastercoin Infrastructure Admin

Hello Masterminds,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Adam Chamely and I am the Omniwallet Development Lead. This means I have the privilege of working with some extremely gifted developers on the Omniwallet project as well as other Mastercoin projects. In addition to contributing code I am responsible for coordinating the development decisions Omni takes with our product manager Marv, running our daily standups where we discuss the current issues being worked for the Milestone, reviewing/updating new/existing issues in github, reviewing proposed code changes and ensuring they are merged correctly.

I have also been responsible for assisting 3rd party integrators who are looking to integrate with the MasterProtocol using the reference client or Omni API. Beyond just Omni responsibilities I am also one of the Foundations Infrastructure Admins responsible for overseeing the Foundations services and assets.

Want to know more about Omni, The Foundation, My Coworkers or Me,

Then come join my AMA on Reddit, Tuesday Aug 12th 2014.

 

An AMA with Adam – Omniwallet Development Lead and Mastercoin Infrastructure Admin

Omniwallet Milestone v0.15

Another two weeks down and another Milestone complete. As Milestone v0.15 (Bushwhacked) comes to a close we want to take a moment and acknowledge some recent changes. Ron Gross has spent the past year building up and guiding the development of the MasterProtocol. He has been chiefly responsible for some of the new ideas that were brought into Omni. As he moves on to his next project we want to recognize the difficult but amazing job he held and the professionalism with which he carried it out. We are now looking forward to working more closely with the new supreme overlord leadership, David Johnston 😉 . He has already started laying the ground work for a more involved community facing presence. So, to that end we will also be adding a fortnightly status update about Omni development or the milestone status in addition to these Milestone completion summaries.

Milestone Summary (See the full list of details on Github):
  • Fixed Critical bug in how we encoded sale price for Distributed Exchange
  • Distributed Exchange Accepts now validate how much is left
  • Updated balance checker results on homepage
  • Crowdsale page updates, clarifications and data validations (Deadline picker and EarlyBird Bonus estimation)
  • Leveraging Google for more relevant analytics and stats
  • Updated search engine optimizations for omni homepage (seo)
Constantly Ongoing
  • UI/UX updates
  • Constant rapid deployment of updated code
  • Crowd-sourced Security Testing
On the Horizon:
  • New Database design in the works
  • Additional SP token values in USD
  • Continuing integration of Master Core features

Take a look and let us know what you think, we’re always happy for user feedback.

Next up, Milestone v0.16

Omniwallet Milestone v0.15

Notary Chains and Scaling MSC Transactions

Guest Post by Paul Snow Lead Developer and Founder | NotaryChains.com

NotaryChains

NotaryChains is a deceptively simple yet critical technology for leveraging the power of the Bitcoin block chain.  The goal of the project is to build a protocol stack, beginning with a proof of existence layer, and ending with a layer providing proof of process.  All of which is secured with the Bitcoin block chain, without adding a significant number of transactions to the Bitcoin block chain, nor requiring any changes to the Bitcoin protocol.

Proof of Existence

The lowest layer in the NotaryChains protocol stack implements Proof of Existence.  This is done by collecting the unique fingerprints (hashes) of digital artifacts (financial transactions, documents, pictures, media files, etc.) into what we refer to as a notary block.  The unique fingerprint (hash) of the notary block is then placed into the Bitcoin block chain.  In this way, an unlimited number of digital artifacts can be secured by a single entry in the Bitcoin block chain.

Each entry submitted by a user to the Proof of Existence layer is time stamped, and added in order of receipt to the current notary block.  An intermediate hash can be provided to the user at submission as proof of its position in the current notary block.  Periodically the notary block is completed, and sealed by adding its hash to the Bitcoin block chain.  

The hash in the Bitcoin block chain provides a rough time stamp of the entire notary block, and the time stamps internal to the notary block provide a finer time stamp of each entry.  All the notary blocks are shared to all interested parties using one or more platforms for sharing data.  Initially we will share them over BitTorrent, but in the future we may share over the SAFE network, Storej, or other technologies.

Proof of Existence only requires the document, the appropriate notary block, and the Bitcoin block chain to prove a document’s existence at a point in time.  Proof of Existence does not require the continued running of NotaryChains, nor can anyone alter the notary blocks after the fact to remove or modify an entry without breaking the hashes stored in the Bitcoin block chain.

Entries and Meta Data

The next layer in the NotaryChains protocol is to add information about documents, and perhaps link documents with other documents within an entry.  An entry is a structured data representation (such as XML or JSON).  Such a structure can include a document’s URL, its hash, perhaps a database key, or any other information useful for tracking with the document.  It can even include multiple document hashes and information, tying documents together.  Notary chains hashes the entry, and records the hash in the current notary block (picking up a time stamp and type).

Again, all that is required for proof of an entry will be the documents referenced, the entry, the notary block, and the Bitcoin block chain.  

Notary Chains: Chains of Entries

Finally, entries can be managed in chains.  Each chain gets its own type, and the first entry represents the genesis entry for the chain.  The first entry defines the rules by which the chain is audited.  Any attempt to add an entry that does not conform to the rules of the chain is disregarded.  The first entry will generally provide an link to the documentation for the rules for the notary chain.  This should include a text description as well as a reference application that performs an audit of the chain.  Constructed in this way, any entry must past the audit in order to be a valid entry in the chain.

NotaryChains will provide support for some basic types.  These types will likely include:

  • Logs — periodic logging of data streams, such as security cameras, building access, computer access, etc.  
  • Accounts — documents the use of a resource.  Can allow for limited access (like limited numbers of views of a movie, limited visits to a gym, etc.).  Allows for a business to sell so many units to a user, and allows a user to document their use of those units via signed access.
  • Coins — Provides for the trading of tokens.  Configuration choices will include specifying conditions for the generation of coins, arbitrary creation of coins, authority to reverse transactions or not, and other coin features. 
  • Versions — Allows the updating of software versions.  Binary and Source can signed and the signatures placed in a notary chain.  updates can be validated by signatures and by being part of a version chain.  Particularly useful to manage generic notary chain types, so that bugs and security issues can be addressed in a way that can be validated against the appropriate notary chain.

Federated Servers

NotaryChains will use a set of independently managed and controlled federated servers.  Each of these servers will be responsible for performing real time audits of the other servers.  If a server fails a dead man switch test, another server of the federated set will pick up responsibility for processing submissions to that server.  

This architecture allows for much more rapid clearing of submissions.  Furthermore, the centralized processing of transactions insures no double spends are possible, as the server handling the transaction is responsible for managing race conditions on a first come first serve basis.  Other features of the protocol (not discussed here) insure proper ordering of submissions even if they do not arrive at the server in order. Notary Chains also allows the audit particular notary chains with partial information (not all notary blocks, not all entries are required for a cryptographically secure audit).

The MSC Protocol and NotaryChains

NotaryChains is using the MSC Platform to issue the digital token associated with the NotaryChains protocol.  Upon completing all the layers, NotaryChain tokens will be converted to native coins running on NotaryChains.  In fact, we may even be able to help improve the speed and reduce the cost of MSC transaction by running synced MasterCore nodes on the NotaryChains platform.

The advantages to running MasterCore on NotaryCains include:

  • The NotaryChains system of record secured by the Bitcoin block chain  Because the notary blocks are hashed into the Bitcoin block chain, they are just as secure as Bitcoin transactions themselves. 
  • Reduced load on the Bitcoin block chain  Unlimited MSC transactions can be performed on NotaryChains for each entry NotaryChains places in the block chain. 
  • Fast transaction processing  Centralized servers allow for millisecond processing of MSC transactions that currently take quite a long time on the Bitcoin block chain.  
  • Secure transactions  All transactions of MSC will require cryptographic signatures.  This means even if the centralized servers wanted to misdirect MSC transactions, they could not.  They will not have the private keys to do so.
  • Simplified protocols  The flexible entry format means that MSC transactions (as well as many other applications) can clearly add all the data and entries required to support the Master protocol.  NotaryChains allows the flexibility to construct transactions exactly as required by the application rather than force them into an awkward encoding scheme.

We are looking forward to working with MSC core developers and delivering the NotaryChain protocol to the Bitcoin ecosystem.

To find more information see our website, whitepaper, and GitHub at these links:

 
I look forward to community feedback on this topic.
 
Paul Snow
Lead Developer and Founder | NotaryChains.com
NotaryChains@gmail.com
 
Notary Chains and Scaling MSC Transactions

Judith – BizDev at Mastercoin – hosting AMA session today on Reddit

Dear Masterminds,

Today I am hosting an AMA on our subreddit for anyone interested in discussing ideas that can be built on the Master Protocol.
I will be here the whole day waiting for your questions and ideas.
Please ask the questions here:
http://www.reddit.com/r/mastercoin/comments/2d7td9/hello_masterminds_i_would_like_you_to_join_me_on/

In my new role as BizDev at the Mastercoin Foundation I aim to facilitate and assist new or existing initiatives that plan to build upon and take advantage of the capabilities offered by the Master Protocol. Whether you, dear entrepreneur, organization or company, have a clear vision of how this can be achieved, or you need further guidance and ideas, feel free to contact me and allow me to be your focal point. I am very responsive and will make sure you get all the answers to your questions.

Waiting for you
Judith

Judith – BizDev at Mastercoin – hosting AMA session today on Reddit

Shannon Developer Evangelist – Ask Me Anything

Hello Masterminds,

I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Shannon Code. My position here at Mastercoin is an exciting one. I have been named the Developer Evangelist. In an attempt the pool resources and tighten integration within the team I am also going to be taking on many of the responsibilities we were looking for a communications director to fill. I started off my adventure here at Mastercoin as head of Security and will continue to triage security issues as they arise.

I’d like to welcome everyone to join me on Reddit today for an Ask Me Anything Session

What is a “Developer Evangelist”?
Wikipedia defines a technology evangelist (Which I’m going to use for the purpose of discussion) as a person who builds a critical mass of support for a given technology. Promoting the use of the technology through talks, blogging, user demonstrations, or the creation of small projects. I like this definition because it embodies much of what I’ll be doing with Mastercoin and the Crypto Currency  community.

Who is Shannon Code?
I’m Shannon Null Code, I’ve been a software developer since I can remember. (apparently before that too but I don’t remember) No kidding I would bang away at my IBM PC that would boot into Basic. I knew from an early age that this is exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I have worked with a number of startups over the years and excelled at the task of “Someone said this is impossible, can you take a crack at it” type tasks. At one place of employment I co-developed software that would play the game of World of Warcraft Autonomously. (Gold Farming, Power Leveling)

These positions allowed me to build up a large catalog of knowledge that many people in traditional jobs to not have the opportunity of obtaining. I also developed a love for API’s and Mashups. I really enjoyed taking a few API’s and inventing something new. As the years progressed I was introduced to the concept of Agile & Extreme programming, testing and automation. Circle all the way around back to today. I find myself telling people all the time that the secret to success it to do what you love. No seriously, it’s cliche for a reason. If you really do what you love for a living, you will love what you do.

So how about that name?
My wife and I, both lovers of technology, both in the software community agreed on the name change of code when we got married. (Later we issued this Announcement that we were pregnant in code) This was after a bunch of involvement from twitter, voting by all the members of the family (My kids came up with some cool names, notably “Maya Hacker Johnson” ) The tester / hacker in me wanted to have more fun and decided we should change our middle names also. So I became Shannon Null Code and my wife, Dawn Test Code. (Yes drop tables was a strong contender)

Moving forward
I plan on working closely with Craig Sellars, David Johnston, Judith Jakubovics, Adam Chamely & Faiz Khan to reach out and communicate with the community, to represent the users to our team and to represent the team to the community. Together we will work  to hear your needs. I will listen and ask questions. I will help with integrations, I will participate in group brainstorm sessions. I will be available to talk over the communication network of your choice. My plan largely involves helping inspire the developers who are not working with the Mastercoin Protocol. To offer them the support that they need, even if it’s not directly related to Mastercoin.  I plan on releasing tutorials and blog posts  regularly about my adventures experimenting with the technologies that Mastercoin releases along with crypto currency technology in general here: http://mastercoin.io

Follow us on Twitter, Youtube, Google+, Facebook, Reddit. IRC and any others I might not be thinking about right now. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help, ask for guidance, ask me anything.

Starting today on Reddit and continuing through the other networks as well.

(Name Change) http://www.agileconnection.com/interview/one-expert-another-dawn-and-shannon-code
(IBM Basic) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_BASIC#mediaviewer/File:IBM_BASICA.png
(Wow Bot) https://github.com/genecyber/Cerebrum

 

Shannon Developer Evangelist – Ask Me Anything