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The technology is being touted as a way to make finance more efficient, resilient and transparent. The fundraising comes as Blockstream's principals are embroiled in a feisty, high-stakes debate in the bitcoin community over when and how to scale the network.
Blockstream, a developer of distributed-ledger and smart-contract software, plans to use the funds to expand operations and bring blockchain innovations to the finance industry through its sidechain technology, it said in a press release set for release Wednesday. Sidechains allow companies to trade assets across multiple blockchains — public and private — with bitcoin's public ledger as the "parent chain. In October it launched its first commercial sidechain offering, called Liquid.
Last week it announced a partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers to bring the technology to the consulting giant's clients. Mike Hearn, the bitcoin core developer who very publicly quit the project last month, accused Maxwell and other programmers employed by Blockstream of stonewalling what he characterized as desperately needed changes to the protocol.
The Blockstream camp has cited security concerns and the risk of further centralization in resisting proposals to quickly increase the permitted size of transaction " blocks ," currently capped at one megabyte.
But bitcoiners on the other side of the debate say the company has a vested interest in limiting bitcoin's volume, since doing so would drive transactions to the sidechains. In response to such claims, Maxwell has noted that Blockstream uses time-locked bitcoins , which cannot be accessed before a specific future date, as incentive compensation for its employees, giving them a stake in bitcoin's long-term success.
It's especially relevant in the block size debate because the people behind the Bitcoin Classic [proposal] want to increase the block size with a hard fork " — a change to the software that would require all users to upgrade. Existing investors in Blockstream — including Yahoo! Corrected February 3, at 1: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Austin Hill and Adam Back as core developers of the bitcoin protocol.
The other founders of Blockstream mentioned in the article volunteer as core developers of the open-source software. Video Making smarter small business lending decisions Learn about the new datasets and capture methods we are exploring to enhance the predictive scoring of small business. Partner Insights Sponsor Content From: Small business lending July 1. Comment Start the Conversation, Login. More from American Banker. Who stood out, who stumbled.
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