Programming, Testing and More Testing of Mastercoin

News for week 44.2013.

There is a lot of excitement building up around Mastercoin and some important milestones have been set since last week’s blog.  But we have a lot of hard work cut out for us.  The developers are working hard on the next code contest and always looking for more folks to join the effort. Take some of your  spare time to check out the tutorial (see bottom) for conducting exchange transactions.

We now finally have a price graph of the MSC/BTC trades that have occurred, the Board has decided to engage a PR firm, we have a new addition to the Mastercoin repo’s on Github, there is a bounty open for building an MSC faucet, and a new proposal for enabling the limiting of spending of MSC on addressed that have been identified to have this feature enabled.  And if you are interested in the current economic distribution of Mastercoins here are the Top 50 MSC wallets.

Coding Contest Update: Distributed Exchange

Recall the applications being built for this 300 BTC contest announced last week:

  1. Minimum one PC wallet (for both Linux and Windows) which can generate simple sends and the buy/sell messages required for the distributed exchange, using agree-upon multi-sig format
  2. Minimum two websites parsing such messages, and the resulting balance transfers
  3. Minimum one website showing BTC/MSC price charts derived from these messages

There is now an Order Book on Mastercoin-Explorer where sell and buy offers as well as transactions between MSC and BTC are presented.   Progress is being made on item #3, the price charts and initial code has been uploaded to GitHub (see Repo Updates).

1st  Exchange Using The Mastercoin Protocol

In a major milestone earlier this week one of the developers, Tachikoma, for the first time exchanged Test Mastercoins for Bitcoins.  If you are interested in seeing the transaction go check out the Order Book on Mastercoin-Explorer.

Now, technically, that exchange did not happen between two people with real Mastercoins, so it seems the window is still open for anyone to be a part of the first two-person trade of MSC and BTC.  Exciting stuff, right?!  But, you might be a little hesitant to try this out with real MSC and large amounts of BTC (not recommended at this time as development is in progress). So, we have put together a step-by-step tutorial for how to test this new functionality for yourself and help our developers move the project forward.  Scroll to the bottom for the tutorial.

Repo Updates
1. MasterChest Library (Github) – changes on October 26:
  • Code adjustments to apply the transaction processing rules as defined in the amendment
  • Support for decoding the new Class B obfuscated keys
  • Support for encoding the new Class B obfuscated keys
  • Support for ECDSA point validity checking
  • Various bugfixes

Protocol & Proposals

We have a proposal for Mastercoin Limited Accounts which would feature limiting the rate at which a particular address can send Mastercoins.

MSC Faucet Bounty

Don’t have any Mastercoins but want to get some?  We need your help.  The Mastercoin Foundation Board approved a bounty of up to $850 to build a Mastercoin faucet.  If you have experience with some of the existing open source faucet software out there you may find this an interesting project and will get surely be appreciated by the many faucet users.

Check for details on the bitcointalk thread.

Social Media & PR

Earlier this week JR announced that the Mastercoin Foundation has engaged with a PR firm to help spread the word about Mastercoin to the greater technology and financial communities.
If you are wondering how to connect with others in the Mastercoin community beyond we have a few places:
If you happen to understand Chinese some of our community members have been kind enough to start a Mastercoin forum for Chinese speakers on
There is also a Mastercoin page on Reddit.

Market Update

MSC Price Chart as of 02-NOV-2013 :

MSC Price History  02nov2013

(X-axis: time; Y-axis: Price of 1 MSC in BTC)

Note that trading is manual at this time, a list of contacts is in the Order Book spreadsheet.

Mastercoin Foundation


Current Balance: 4521.9910979 BTC

More details available at the Mastercoin Fund Ledger

Tutorial: Test MSC – BTC Distributed Exchange Transactions

Start the tutorial…

Please post your questions or issues on the main development thread on bitcointalk.

Programming, Testing and More Testing of Mastercoin

Making History With Distributed Exchange

News for the week 43.2013.

Last week we discussed the fantastic results of the 1st code contest. Throughout this week a few key exciting events took place.

J.R. Willet, the person behind the Mastercoin protocol, announced the 2nd code contest which aimed at enabling distributed exchange transactions between two currencies (BTC <-> MSC); this ambitious contest is giving away 300 BTC and will need support not just from those who will be developing the wallet and website applications, but support from those who are willing to test the developed applications. So, take a look and get involved. Your contributions will be rewarded.

We also saw an important decision take place with the Bitcoin code base.  According to Gavin Andresen a Bitcoin pull request which allows for the association of up to 80 bytes of arbitrary data in a transaction will make it into Bitcoin’s 0.9 major release; this will enable Class C Mastercoin transactions (more information below).

Lastly, earlier this week the Mastercoin Foundation Board had its first meeting. Scroll down to see the minutes.

Mastercoin Websites

Looking for a MSC transaction or address? Check out some of the websites that were created for the last code contest:

Mastercoin Explorer


Mastercoin Giveaway

If you did not get your hands on some Mastercoins a couple months ago, the giveaway is back up and running.  Help promote Mastercoin. Go get some coins!

Announcing the 300 BTC Coding Contest: Distributed Exchange

A few days ago J.R. Willet announced the next coding contest centered on building the distributed exchange and Smart Property capabilities of the Mastercoin protocol layer (see the latest protocol specification) which uses the Bitcoin network for data communications, storage and transactional security. With the completion of this contest we all will be able to buy and sell Mastercoins for Bitcoins, and soon other Smart Properties, by utilizing Bitcoin’s distributed peer-to-peer network as the exchange host.

We’re making history here! Join the effort as there are many roles (developers, code review, testing, bug reporting) that need to be filled and share in the 300 BTC prize.

Here is a brief on the contest requirements which can be met as part of a group effort and by using already open sourced code. Jump in by joining the development discussion thread on bitcointalk.

Acceptance criteria:

  • Minimum one PC wallet (for both Linux and Windows) which can generate simple sends and the buy/sell messages required for the distributed exchange, using agree-upon multi-sig format.
  • Minimum two websites parsing such messages, and the resulting balance transfers
  • Minimum one website showing BTC/MSC price charts derived from these messages
  • Minimum 10 days of real-world usage with no major problems
  • High bar for usability.

Repo Updates

If you are looking to contribute to the next contest or want to try out a Mastercoin wallet have a look at the MSC repositories on GitHub.

mastercoin-tools update

    • parse multisig_long and disable multisig_simple
    • change send multisig to compressed+obfuscated pubkey format
    • change to obfuscation using sender address
    • give change address in BIP11 as uncompressed pubkey

Market Update


Market Depth: BID 8,641 MSC || ASK 3,336

BID MSC 275 * 0.0800 BTC || ASK MSC 100 MSC * 0.1000 BTC

Note that trading is manual at this time. Offers are available at Maxmint’s Mastercoin Order Book

Protocol & Proposals

Bitcoin 0.9 & Mastercoin Transaction Classes

Earlier this week Gavin Andresen published Core Development Update #5 for Bitcoin outlining some of the source changes which will be making it into Bitcoin’s 0.9 major release. A key decision announced in this update will have a positive impact for Mastercoin development because it approves the merge of Bitcoin Pull request #2738 that allows for the association of up to 80 bytes of arbitrary data transactions.

Basically, this merge gives Mastercoin developers another way to encode Mastercoin data into the blockchain.  Thus, we have three transaction classes available (many thanks Tachikoma for summarizing what this means). If you would like a more in-depth explanation of Class A & B transaction types Zathras has created an appendix document to the MSC protocol specification entitled “Storing Mastercoin data in the blockchain” which details the transaction rules for these two types.

Class A

Hiding the data in an Bitcoin address. The downside to this method is that these addresses can never be spent since no private key exists and bloat the Bitcoin blockchain.

Class B

Multi-signature transactions. By supplying a public key to be used when spending the output we thus ensuring every output created is spendable.

Class C

Add 80 bytes of arbitrary data to each transaction.  A way to encode data in the most benign way since outputs are ‘Provably Prune-able’ and can safely be ignored when parsing the blockchain.

Mastercoin Transaction Example

If you are wondering how a Mastercoin transaction is encoded in the blockchain Zathras has prepared this graphic explaining how a simple send transaction appears along with Class B obfuscation:

Mastercoin Foundation

The Mastercoin Foundation is now a Silver Member of the Bitcoin Foundation.


Current Balance: 4521.9910979 BTC

More details available at the Mastercoin Fund Ledger

Board Meeting Minutes

Earlier this week the first Board Meeting of the Mastercoin Foundation took place. The board meeting agenda is available online. Outlined are the items discussed and the results.

  • Are our meeting minutes public?

We decided that the meetings are public.

  • How to engage in Press Relations?

We haven’t decided on that, waiting to hear a marketing plan from Social Circle.

  • Update on blog, social channels

Updated the board about our blog. We do also plan to review our Twitter & Facebook channels.

  • We need a roadmap. Revive our Trello board? We need someone to be in charge of the roadmap / project management, whatever the medium.

No Trello for now.

  • Do we start paying all bounties as 50%/50% BTC/MSC ?

It was decided that bounties are paid in whatever currency the developers/bounty collectors wish.

  • Share the news of Nxt

Updated the board briefly about the Nxt alt currency

  • Protocol specification

J.R. – Goal – get next revision of the spec into github.

Have something exciting to talk about?

Use this form to tell us what you are working on related to Mastercoin. We will include it in the next weekly update.

Making History With Distributed Exchange

Hello, Mastercoin World


News for the week 42.2013.

We would like to welcome you to the first issue of the Mastercoin blog.

Each week, right here, rather than having to wade through hundreds of forum posts you will find a summary of the most relevant developments related to Mastercoin.  The focus of the blog initially will be on summarizing project developments, service announcements, exchange market updates, and Mastercoin Foundation financials and developments.  If you have any important news scroll down to the form at the bottom and let us know about what you are working on.

The first two weeks of October brought us some exciting news with more code releases coming out for the $25,000 Code Contest and the final awards going to four developers.  Check the repositories out on GitHub, install them and test them so our community of developers can get your feedback and thoughts!

We also have a proposal for a voting mechanism for changes to Mastercoin, a fund ledger is now tracking expenses, we have an opening for a Communications Officer.  The current BID price for MSC is 0.02 BTC.

$25k Code Contest Complete!

On October 15, 2013 the final awards were announced on for the contest participants.  The winners will share in a prize of 180 BTC. Click on each name to take you to a list of each of their contributions.

Tachikoma: 48% Grazcoin: 26% Zathras: 24% Bitoy: 2%

A big congratulations to everyone who participated!

Repo Updates & Announcements

  • Zathras announces the alpha release of Masterchest Engine on GitHub – new functionality in this release enables the scanning of the Bitcoin blockchain to check for MSC transactions, the validation of transactions, and the updating of balances for MSC addresses. Check out a live instance at

Market Update


BID MSC 500 * 0.0300 BTC || ASK MSC 270 MSC * 0.0200 BTC

Note that trading is manual at this time, therefore bids may be higher then some asks. Market depth is available at Maxmint’s Google Doc: Mastercoin Order Book

Protocol & Proposals

Proposal: Voting

Join the discussion about formalizing a distributed voting mechanism for changes in the Mastercoin protocol.

Protocol 1.1

Last month, J.R. Willet published the latest update to the Mastercoin protocol which includes a new section on Smart Property, improvements for easier parsing and better escrow fund health.

Mastercoin Foundation Financials

A Google Drive ledger of expenses, Mastercoin Fund Ledger, has been created.

Current Balance: 4549.5710979 BTC

Job Openings

Mastercoin is seeking a Communications Officer, see details on the thread.

Have something exciting to talk about?

Use this form to tell us what you are working on related to Mastercoin. We will include it in the next weekly update.

Hello, Mastercoin World