Crypto 2.0 Roundup: Kickstarting Colored Coins and a Public Policy Push

NEWS
Pete Rizzo
Jan 15, 2015 at 23:32 UTC  |  Updated  Apr 30, 2015 at 12:59 UTC

At a time when many bitcoin sectors are struggling, 2015 began with an outpouring of interest and show of strength for the crypto 2.0 community.

CoinDesk profiled a number of the promising projects, naming 19 to watch in the year ahead, but as our readers showcased, there remain many more that have garnered enthusiastic communities for their efforts.

However, while development continues on many exciting projects, a few notable names have so far used 2015 to turn the page. In this week's roundup, we focus on projects that are reenergizing for new objectives in the year ahead.

Breaking ground on 2.0 policy

MIT Media Lab

One of the more contentious applications of cryptographic tokens has been in the field of distributed fundraising and crowdfunding, a space that saw Swarm emerge as one of its leading voices in 2014.

Amid this backdrop of uncertainty, the startup is holding a collective workshop at MIT Media Lab that will propose solutions to the public policy issues that are prohibiting development in the wider crypto 2.0 space.

Swarm CEO Joel Dietz told CoinDesk that the event, being held from 15th to 18th January, will attempt to provide new clarity, specifically to developers in the space who may be unsure of whether they can pursue certain ideas.

Dietz said:

"The goal that I have is to give entrepreneurs a green light in certain areas to innovate in, to say here are the yellow light areas where we don't know and here are the red light areas where you, probably at least, shouldn't be doing this stuff until there's more regulatory clarification."

The event will see four working groups discuss topics including cryptographic tokens, smart contracts, crypto-equity and intellectual property. Participants include DATA's Constance Choi, ID3's John Clippinger, Harvard's Berkman Center's Primavera de Filippi, bitcoin-focused policy group Coin Center and noted US law firm Perkins Coie.

The working groups are set to present their findings during a livestreamed event to be held at 2pm EST on 18th January.

A new start for Colored Coins

Colored Coins

The bitcoin ecosystem is now inundated with a number of ambitious crypto 2.0 projects. But one of its oldest concepts (dating back, some say, to 2012) is that bitcoin's protocol could be used for asset transfer via colored coins.

Advocates would argue it's also still the simplest. Rather than using a unique token like mastercoin (MSC) or counterparty's XCP on top of bitcoin, colored coins is a layer on top of bitcoin that augments or 'colors' bitcoins to signify assets by adding to their metadata.

However, for a long time, the colored coins movement has struggled to gain traction, even as companies like ChromaWallet, CoinPrism and CoinSpark entered the market.

To long-time enthusiast Amos Meiri, this was due to the fact that, while many found the idea of colored coins compelling, the movement had no "father" to watch over its development.

Meiri told CoinDesk:

"There was no standard, this was like the main thing that was frustrating for everyone that wanted to work with colored coins, you had different implementation and no tools to know how to work with the others, and there was also no one to manage this domain."

As a director at the open-source, non-profit Colored Coins organisation, however, Meiri is looking to change this narrative by bringing all of the existing entities in the ecosystem together to address standardization in 2015.

"The goal is basically quite simple, what we want is, if you issued a coin in Coinprism, your ChromaWallet would know how to read it and people would be able to use different tools being developed on the ecosystem," he said.

Meiri indicated that the Colored Coins organisation has purchased the colored coins domain, coloredcoins.org, and that it will now manage that platform. A revamped version of that website is expected to launch on Sunday.

Still, Meiri acknowledged that the group has work ahead to counter the momentum of market-leading crypto 2.0 projects like Counterparty, and he promised more updates ahead.

"This is something that we're going to do, and it will have the money and effort behind it to create a community around it," he concluded.

Behind GetGems' rebranding

GetGems

Long one of the most-watched product plays in the crypto 2.0 space, Gems abruptly announced this past week that it would rebrand as GetGems.

The abrupt change is, according to lead developer Daniel Peled, a necessary one, as when it recently attempted to upload the GetGems app to the Google Play store as "Gems Messenger", problems persisted.

"It was hard for people find the app because there are a lot of apps starting with the word Gems," Peled explained, adding that he believes there are many benefits to making the change now while the project is still in its infancy:

"GetGems is easier to find on the store, it gives the user more information about the product and is also our domain name."

Peled indicated that no copyright issues initiated the change.

MIT Media Lab image via Wikipedia

For further information on cryptocurrency 2.0 projects download our research report.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Colored CoinsMITSwarm