Symbiont and Counterparty

August 20, 2015

At our recent press-event, we issued a number of smart contract-based financial instruments onto the Bitcoin blockchain. This is the culmination of over half a year of hard work by our development team, and a major milestone towards our overarching goal of rapidly developing a platform for the issuance, management and trading of blockchain-based securities.

We had a precise business goal in mind when we started Symbiont, and it was clear that our vision for our securities platform required the full expressiveness of a smart contract implementation. As several realities became abundantly clear to us on both the regulatory and technical fronts, we developed technology based on Counterparty, but which differs from Counterparty itself in a number of key ways, being optimized for a private network with known participants. This technology (layered on the Bitcoin blockchain) was at the root of the demonstration we provided.

Symbiont as a business is, as it has always been, a separate entity from Counterparty. We build products to match our clients’ needs, and Counterparty (as an open, public platform) cannot service all use-cases. However, Counterparty is a core part of the Symbiont “tech stack”, with entirely complementary technology to the other systems we are developing. In cases where public network on public blockchain (Bitcoin) solutions are most appropriate, Counterparty is the prime tool in our toolbelt.

Effectively, nothing has changed with respect to our enthusiasm for the potential of Counterparty, and permissioned ledgers will augment Symbiont’s platform offerings, not compete with the many market uses for Counterparty. We will continue to support the Counterparty ecosystem by providing development resources, funding Ivana Zuber in her position as Executive Director of the Counterparty Foundation and handling incoming business development inquiries. However, as we onboard more clients and partners, and develop more products, we will not be able to discuss if, why or how that client product uses or does not use Counterparty. (Determining use of Counterparty should be clear to anyone via a Counterparty block explorer.)

These are exciting times for blockchain-based technologies, as we stand at the beginning of replacing the core archaic, error-prone banking and securities technology in use today. We thank you all for your interest, and will continue to issue announcements on the relevant blogs (Symbiont or Counterparty) as things develop further.