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Blockstack Community Update - Recap of Q4 2017

Blockstack Quarterly Update: Q4 Recap

To all Blockstack community members:

This is the first of many quarterly community updates. We’ll cover the last few months of developments across the Blockstack ecosystem and provide a lookahead for the months to come.

For the longtime Blockstack enthusiasts, we hope you enjoy this new tradition. For the newcomers, including many who participated in our token sale, we welcome you. See the full community update below.

If you’re interested in how you can help, the #1 way is to help us grow the core team by referring friends to the list of open positions. Second, if you know developers who could benefit from building on Blockstack or are looking for funding, send them to our funding page.

All the best,
Ryan, Muneeb & the Blockstack PBC team

Contents

  • Token Sale
  • Hiring
  • Engineering & Product
  • Apps & Funding
  • Community & Events
  • Q1 Lookahead

Token Sale

In December, you received our recap of the Blockstack token sale. View the full announcement or read a summary below.

In the Blockstack token sale, $50M was closed and allocated. Over 800 individuals and funds purchased tokens and over 8000 people received vouchers for potential future purchases (more opportunities to receive vouchers will be coming soon). Notable participants include Union Square Ventures, Foundation Capital, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, Kevin Rose, & Michael Arrington. 20% of the funds are available to Blockstack Token LLC in year 1, with 40% released upon completion of milestone 1 and the last 40% released upon completion of milestone 2. We strongly believe in a governance structure that provides checks & balances and contributes to protocol development.

Hiring

This may be hard to believe, but over most of Blockstack PBC’s history, the team kept itself very small. Over the past several months we’ve already expanded the team to 15 people and we’re expecting to grow rapidly in 2018. We’re hiring world-class talent and if you know someone who would be a great fit, we’d love a recommendation. Please find the top roles we’re hiring for below. Full List of Positions

Please note that this list is constantly evolving and we sometimes hire people for roles we haven’t explicitly spelled out, so don’t hesitate to apply if you don’t see something that fits your talents.

Engineering & Product

The Public Alpha of the Blockstack Browser
While it is still early days, we are proud to open the doors for users of the decentralized internet with our first public alpha release of the Blockstack Browser. Many more features and tools will be added for both users and developers over the next several years.

Blockstack Enables Multiplayer Storage for Decentralized Apps
We released an important update to the community - multiplayer storage for decentralized apps. Multiplayer storage remains an open challenge or future work for many projects, but at Blockstack we’ve successfully shipped a version that enables users to not only control their data but also share it with others without third parties. Such a storage system didn’t exist until now. It’s hard to overemphasize how critical multiplayer storage is as an enabler for decentralized apps across the blockchain ecosystem.

Apps & Funding

App Store Listings
Today there are 17 user-ready apps listed and 12 more that are listed as “coming soon”. These apps include Graphite (a decentralized document editing platform), DotPodcast (a decentralized podcasting platform), and Coins (a private token portfolio app).

Encrypted Token Portfolio Bounty Recap
We put out a challenge to the Blockstack Community to create an Encrypted Token Portfolio app on Blockstack to give users ultimate privacy and control when tracking their token holdings. We received 14 app submissions, and selected Coins as the winner of the $25,000 first prize.

$50,000 Signature Bounty to Decentralize Communication
Our next app bounties are centered around secure, global, decentralized communication. The first bounty will award $25,000 to the best fully decentralized and encrypted P2P chat app. The second will award $25,000 to the best slack replacement for crypto communities.

Community & Events

Blockstack Berlin: A Signature Fund Event
The Blockstack Signature Fund and the folks who brought you Blockstack Summit 2017 are excited to announce Blockstack Berlin, the first in a series of worldwide events and demo days around Blockstack. The event will be taking place on March 2, 2018 in Berlin at the Axica Convention Center and will feature Edward Snowden and Nick Szabo as keynote speakers.

Blockstack Meetups & Hackathons
Today there are 30 Blockstack meetups around the world with 14,641 members. And in 2018, we’ll be taking Blockstack events to the next level with an increased focus on Blockstack hackathons.

Blockstack Mailing List
The Blockstack mailing list is the primary channel through for news throughout the Blockstack community. And over the period of Q4, the list experienced its greatest subscriber growth to date - from 15,000 to 38,000.

Q1 Lookahead

Over the next few months we'll focus on the following:

#1: We'll bring the Blockstack community one step closer to Milestone 1 of the Blockstack token, which is going live with the Blockstack blockchain. We'll produce a design document for the blockchain and release a basic test net.

#2: We'll continue progress on the Blockstack browser and developer tools and begin work towards enabling Blockstack on mobile. Both iOS and Android will be extremely important going forward and our first step will be to release a developer preview for one of the two platforms.

#3: We'll grow the Blockstack ecosystem by helping developers build apps and receive funding and by growing the Blockstack user base. Our north star metric is active users across the ecosystem and we’ll work on the best way to measure this in a privacy preserving way.

Look out for many exciting updates in the months to come.
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