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Backed by $5 Million in Funding (4,700 BTC), Mastercoin Is Building a Flexible, New Layer of Money on Bitcoin

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - Dec 4, 2013) - Developers of Mastercoin (www.mastercoin.org), a programmable money layer on the Bitcoin blockchain created by J.R. Willett, today announced that they have officially launched the Mastercoin Foundation (www.mastercoinfoundation.org) to help build a distributed exchange and facilitate smart property transactions for Bitcoin powered by the Mastercoin Protocol.

The Mastercoin Foundation is backed by just over 4,700 Bitcoins (approximately $5 million USD) raised by Mastercoin and Willett in its initial sale to investors, led by David Johnston of the BitAngels, in August 2013. Ron Gross was named as executive director of the new foundation. Previously, Gross was CEO and co-founder of bitBlu, a cryptocurrency portfolio management platform startup. It already boasts a branch in Israel with others soon to come in China and the United Kingdom.

Though still experimental, in just a little more than 90 days of operation on the blockchain (trading commenced September 1, 2013), Mastercoin overall is trading at a market cap of $132 million USD, or slightly higher than one percent of all Bitcoins. Over this time, Mastercoin has also seen its individual value increase from 0.01 BTC (approximately $1 in August) to 0.2 BTC (approximately $220), representing a 220x increase in value in just a little more than 90 days.

"Bitcoin is not only proving to be a sturdy foundation to support all kinds of commercial activities, but to also support a secondary layer such as Mastercoin," said Willett. "While Mastercoin is still at a high-risk stage and we expect the usual setbacks, we are confident it will continue to grow in usefulness as we build out its service properties through the foundation. That, in turn, will also help the Bitcoin ecosystem as a whole expand."

As part of its official launch, the Mastercoin Foundation is also creating a new distributed exchange where traders can buy, sell and trade Bitcoins through the Mastercoin layer, as well as conduct other smart property transactions and activities like sales and fund transfers. The foundation supports the open-source development of the distributed exchange software but will not have an operational role in the exchange itself.

"While Mastercoin itself is decentralized, the Mastercoin Foundation will be instrumental in helping to continue to make Mastercoin the conduit through which people can practically apply and use Bitcoin," added Gross. "Whether it's personal money transfer, payment fulfillment, issuing user currencies and future event triggers, or simply conducting and recording Bitcoin transactions, Mastercoin is the perfect operational unit, and its continued growth will proceed to drive the overall value of Bitcoin at large."

The primary features of Mastercoin (MSC) include:

  • A decentralized exchange: the Mastercoin network itself serves as a fully functional exchange between any two currencies in the Mastercoin network. Anyone can place an order on the blockchain to trade a quantity of one currency for another, and anyone else can match the orders and have the trade complete automatically without the order poster's further involvement.

  • On-blockchain price feeds: trusted organizations can publish price data (e.g. the value of one ounce of gold in USD), which can then be used in Mastercoin scripts to essentially create digital currency that tracks gold, silver or other precious commodities.

  • Savings addresses, providing an additional level of security for high-value savings accounts.

About Mastercoin - The Bitcoin Currency Layer
Mastercoin (MSC) is a crowdfunded, Bitcoin blockchain currency layer that allows for a plethora of new digital currencies and property sales to be created through the Bitcoin blockchain. The Mastercoin Protocol removes the typical broker level (and fees) from financial transactions, restoring trust as the keystone element in trade. The principles of Mastercoin were first developed in J.R. Willett's Jan. 6, 2012, white paper, The Second Bitcoin Whitepaper. To learn more about Mastercoin, please visit http://www.mastercoin.org.

About the Mastercoin Foundation
The Mastercoin Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enable and accelerate innovation worldwide by building a technological crowd-sourcing platform for community projects, coupled with a rich financial-exchange system and liquidity layer. Members use the Mastercoin Open Source Project and Protocol precedents as benchmarks for their enforcement standards. For more information, please visit http://www.mastercoinfoundation.org.