Mastercoin is for B̷̡̍̑ͬ̈̓̊̋̾̐̓ͫͮͣ̚͝U̶̵̷ͩ͑ͤ͛͏R͆̓ͪ͒ͣ̒͗͟͝N̡̈ͯ̿ͧ̋ͬ͆̿ͩͤ̑ͧ̅͢Į̸͑ͪ͐͌ͣͮͮ̿̌̋̽͟͞Ņ̶͗̓̈̿͋̿ͩ̓͒ͣ̎Gͤ̉͒̇̋͜͠

Note: This article is out of date. We are still considering methods of rewarding Omni holders through upgraded functionality but have not yet decided upon the proper course of action.

One question I hear over and over in our community is “Why will Mastercoins have value when there are so many coins in the Master Protocol ecosystem people could use?”

Up until now, our answer has always been a combination of 1) Preferential treatment for Mastercoin when using advanced features combined with 2) burning Mastercoin for anti-spam fees. Unfortunately, these answers always felt a bit . . . insufficient.

Today I am excited to share a MAJOR improvement to how we will increase the value of Mastercoin. When you use our advanced features (fundraisers, betting, distributed exchange, etc) you will never pay a fee when using Mastercoin. If you use another coin (for instance, a USDCoin pegged to the U.S. Dollar), a small fee (0.3%) will be deducted by the protocol. You might assume that the fee will go to the Mastercoin Foundation, but you would be wrong. The fee will be automatically sold on the distributed exchange . . . for Mastercoin . . . which will be BURNED.


That’s right. The protocol will automatically buy up Mastercoins using these fees, and destroy them forever.

Credit for this idea goes to Dominik (I first heard it from Ron, but Dom came up with it first), and the idea is pure, elegant, simple genius.

Take a moment to appreciate how genius this is:

  1. Users don’t actually have to hold any Mastercoins. They can exclusively use other coins, and still be burning Mastercoins.
  2. No extra weight in the bitcoin block chain (the fee, sale, and burning happens automatically in our system as we process transactions)
  3. People have a small incentive to use Mastercoin, but Mastercoin holders benefit no matter which currency people use
  4. We don’t have to encumber our features with Mastercoin favoritism
  5. Mastercoin supply decreases the more other coins are used in our ecosystem
  6. Once the metacoin distributed exchange (metadex) is live, this fee will automatically be charged to every other currency using advanced features in our ecosystem, including fundraisers accepting bitcoin!
  7. The size of the fee (0.3%) is not a “magic number”. It can be changed in the future by a vote of MSC holders, hopefully using a voting feature in our protocol which will allow voting on parameters such as this.

Some transactions are exempt from the fee:

  1. Simple sends (so you can still move your coins around for free).
  2. Any advanced transaction which directly uses Mastercoin, for instance:
    1. Trading Mastercoin against MaidSafeCoin on the distributed exchange
    2. Accepting Mastercoins when crowd-funding
    3. Placing a bet denominated in Mastercoin

Examples of transactions subject to the fee:

  1. Trading USDCoin against MaidSafeCoin on the distributed exchange
  2. Coins sent to fundraisers in currencies other than Mastercoin (including bitcoin)
  3. Placing bets denominated in USDCoin or MaidSafeCoin

Mastercoin has ALWAYS been designed to be “insanely deflationary”, and this is a HUGE step in that direction. So in the future, when you see people asking why Mastercoins will be valuable, please point them to this blog post!

You can follow progress on this change on github here:

We have some wonkier text about why Mastercoin will have value in the future here (work in progress):

Speaking of being on fire, huge props to our team, which has been making blazing fast progress lately on a universal, cross-platform, exchange-friendly Mastercoin implementation. News coming about that soon.

Also, props to Zalgo for the b̹̫̞͛͗͑̚u̯̖ͨ̇ͮͅr̪̘̫͗n̝͈̠ͮ̆̏ï̝͆̌n̰̠̘̦̿ͭ͑͒g̫̦͇̲̣ͅ text, and photofunia for the burning Mastercoin symbol.

edit: Ron asked me to mention that some details of this mechanism are not considered final, and may change based on internal discussion and community feedback.

Mastercoin is for B̷̡̍̑ͬ̈̓̊̋̾̐̓ͫͮͣ̚͝U̶̵̷ͩ͑ͤ͛͏R͆̓ͪ͒ͣ̒͗͟͝N̡̈ͯ̿ͧ̋ͬ͆̿ͩͤ̑ͧ̅͢Į̸͑ͪ͐͌ͣͮͮ̿̌̋̽͟͞Ņ̶͗̓̈̿͋̿ͩ̓͒ͣ̎Gͤ̉͒̇̋͜͠

Major Improvement to Crowdsales!

We just had a breakthrough this morning, which I just can’t keep to myself. We have SOLVED the exchange rate issue which so publicly marred the Maidsafe crowd-sale!

Future crowd-sales will be able to accept BTC, MSC, MaidSafeCoins, and any other currency in our ecosystem they wish to accept, simultaneously!! Furthermore, the exchange rate for each currency will be update-able throughout the duration of the crowd-sale. This means if you are getting too much of a currency, you can lower the exchange rate to discourage it’s use, including lowering the rate to zero.

The most beautiful thing is, this requires no changes to the format of the crowd-sale in our protocol (TX51). Instead, we are changing the rules and interpretation of TX51 to allow this type of usage. Cancelling a crowd-sale will affect all currencies being collected.

We’ve been discussing different ideas to improve crowd-sales for weeks, but this one hit me out of the blue this morning, and everyone I talked to on the Master Protocol team is extremely excited about it, and I wanted to share our excitement with all of you.

In hindsight, it seems so obvious – this is the way it should have always worked. With that in mind I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to the wonderful folks at Maidsafe. We really let you down by having such a primitive crowd-sale mechanism in the first iteration, and we’re really, REALLY sorry for the pain, financial distress, and critical press you received as a result. And thanks for not throwing us under the bus. Your positive words about us are a lot of what is drawing so many other projects to use Master Protocol.

The best amends I can offer is to make your large stake of Mastercoin a fantastic investment, I commit myself to doing so, in every way I can. You guys rock. Future crowd-sales will have a MUCH better experience due to the lessons learned from your being our guinea pig.

We’re always making improvements to our spec, but this was a breakthrough I just had to share. 🙂


Major Improvement to Crowdsales!

Upcoming Crowd-Sales Worth Tens of Millions of Dollars!

I am so SO excited to share with you our list of all crowd-sales we know of coming up.

I am proud to announce not one, not two, but NINE more crowd-sales coming in the next few months:

The list is maintained by the community as a wiki so please be sure and add your own projects to the list.

Folks this is the benefit of having big projects building cool technology on top of your protocol. It attract other great projects to join the protocol.

The goal for the Master Protocol is to become the default choice for digital token issuance of this sort, and as more issuers use our system, more issuers will WANT to use our system, because that is where the money and liquidity will be.

If you are planning a major crowd-sale using the Master Protocol, add your project to the wiki page above – this is the official list, and investors will be looking at it. Don’t get left out!



Edit: Sweet! This list of upcoming crowd-sales was mentioned on! (see the very end of the article)

Edit2 (Legal Disclaimer): None of the upcoming crowd-sales mentioned above are owned or operated by us (the Mastercoin Foundation). They are all completely independent of us, and we have no control over any of these projects or how they may use our crowd-sale technology. If some project doing a crowd-sale on our platform offends some government entity, we can’t do anything to stop them. Please respect the laws of your jurisdiction when using our software!!

Also edited to remove some Mastercoin price speculation, which was apparently not kosher to our lawyers :-/

Upcoming Crowd-Sales Worth Tens of Millions of Dollars!

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:


Continue reading “Mastercoin Foundation Compensation”

Mastercoin Foundation Compensation

MasterDoge – Mastercoin moving to Dogecoin!


We’re proud to announce that the entire Mastercoin team has caught the Dogecoin fever, and we have migrated the Master Protocol to run on top of Dogecoin exclusively, effective immediately. WOW! You can try our new web wallet here:

The new UI, while not completely finished, is already far better than any Mastercoin wallet we’ve released. Very soon we plan to add the features you crave:

  • Colors: Such Neon
  • Buttons: Very Dogespeak
  • Font: Many Comic-Sans

In exchange for this move, the Dogecoin team has agreed to expand the coin supply, granting us new coins which will total 90% of Dogecoins in existence.

So profit! Much exploit. Very bag-holders.

You may be asking yourself: what was wrong with the bitcoin block-chain, that you left it behind? I think our Executive Director Ron Gross said it best: “Much 2012. Such Outdated.”

Further, every possible distributed currency from every block chain is immediately trade-able in the new wallet, from Litecoin to BBQCoin, right on top of Mastercoin, right on top of Dogecoin. How? I’m glad you asked: Very merkle. Such protocols. Amaze!

Of course, we did have to make one small concession to the Dogecoin developers to bring you all this Doge wonderfulness. We’ve released some new MSC to them, so that they now have only 80% of the MSC in existence (which I think we can all agree is less than 90% they gave us). So math! Very suckers!

We look forward to bringing you every imaginable feature within a few days, and I think it’s safe to say that if another meme-driven fadcoin takes off, we’ll drop Dogecoin like last week’s lolcat and jump on the new chain, modestly inflating coin supplies again as we go. Very plan! Excite!

In the meantime, prepare to be much wealthy.

-The Master Protocol Team

MasterDoge – Mastercoin moving to Dogecoin!

Should the Master Protocol do Scripting?

Vitalik Buterin, whom I now consider the father of Turing-complete financial scripts, has no less than two features in our spec which were his suggestions. He suggested both the Contract-for-Difference (CFD) bet and the rate-limited wallet.

When we asked Vitalik to look at my proposed implementation of his CFD idea, he came back a few days later with a proposal for a general purpose scripting engine, which he was very excited about, as it would allow Master Protocol users to implement features we haven’t even dreamed up.

Of course, bitcoin itself originally had a number of general purpose scripting capabilities, which have been disabled by the developers. The obvious problem with Turing-complete financial scripts is that hackers will find endless ways to exploit them.

It is instructive to look at the history of HTML and JavaScript. The Master Protocol is currently a lot like HTML. It has powerful functions which are heavily desired by a lot of people. We’re engineering the protocol for the most common use cases. JavaScript is an insanely powerful addition to HTML with endless uses, but it comes with a heavy price – JavaScript engine developers are engaged in a perpetual game of cat-and-mouse with hackers looking for JavaScript exploits.

Imagine how much more intense that battle will be when the prize is not control of a browser, but control of money worth millions or billions of dollars. Financial scripting engines allow lots of interesting niche use cases, but they present a mammoth attack surface to malicious actors.

Still, some very smart people (including Vitalik) are tackling these problems, and I think it is quite possible that the end result will be something useful. Once the painful lessons have been learned, and a battle-hardened scripting engine emerges, that would be a great time to add a similar scripting engine to the Master Protocol.

When Vitalik brought us his scripting engine, I told him that the Master Protocol may very well add scripting someday (citing my logic above), but we needed to get our basic functions in place before we took on something that ambitious. He decided to wade in right away, starting his own initiative on a new block chain.

I have no doubt that his initiative (and many others) who are tackling these huge problems will raise vast quantities of money. Developers are fascinated (for good reason) and investors are salivating. Once they’ve got the kinks worked out, you can bet that the best of their work will show up in the Master Protocol, built right on top of the bitcoin block-chain, which I expect to be the back-bone of the future of finance.


Should the Master Protocol do Scripting?

J.R. Coming Full Time

Greetings my fellow Masterminds.

I’m delighted to announce as of February 6th I will be joining the Mastercoin Foundation full-time as Chief Architect. I’ve raised enough USD to quit my day-job, and I am looking forward to devoting every ounce of my professional energy to the success of the Master Protocol and the Mastercoins which use it. Like our Executive Director Ron Gross, I will not be taking any salary from the Mastercoin Foundation, but will be paying my own living expenses while devoting my time to making Mastercoins more useful and more valuable. Continue reading “J.R. Coming Full Time”

J.R. Coming Full Time

First full-time scientist/developer hired: Peter Todd

I am delighted to announce the hiring of our first full-time scientist/developer. Peter Todd is a heavy-hitter with a deep knowledge of the bitcoin network and a long track-record of doing great theoretical work on crypto-currencies. He initially had some very harsh words for the Mastercoin project, but like many of you, he forms his opinions based on data and logic, and is willing to change them when the data and logic change. I’m proud to say that after further review and seeing our progress to date he is now excited to be involved with this project.

Continue reading “First full-time scientist/developer hired: Peter Todd”

First full-time scientist/developer hired: Peter Todd