Bitcoinist | May 13, 2014 | 23:59




Bitcoinist | May 13, 2014 | 23:59

Open Assets” protocol lets anybody issue their assets on the Blockchain

May 4th 2014 (Dublin, Ireland) – The Irish company behind the Bitcoin prediction market Predictious is unveiling the new Crypto 2.0 platform Open Assets, as well as Coinprism, a Bitcoin wallet that can leverage Open Assets.

Open Assets is based on the concept of colored coins, and is their first successful implementation. Colored coins are about taking a fraction of a Bitcoin, and tagging it with a secondary, user-defined value. That value can then be stored on the Blockchain, and transferred simply by transferring the underlying Bitcoins.

This opens a wide range of possibilities. An interesting use case is the ability for a company to issue shares in the form of colored coins, which can then be traded in a purely decentralized way on the Bitcoin Blockchain. This allows companies to run IPOs on the Blockchain in minutes, and for the price of a Bitcoin transaction.

As another example, Bitcoin exchanges could let users withdraw their fiat money in the form of colored coins. That would allow users to store their dollars, euros, and any other fiat currency right in their Bitcoin wallets. The traditional banking system would no longer be needed for withdrawing or depositing fiat currency onto an exchange, as everything would happen on the Blockchain. This would also make arbitrage between exchanges a great deal simpler than it is today.

Many other applications will be enabled by Open Assets, such as storing precious metals, as well as “smart properties” on the Blockchain.

Open Assets is the first truly open Crypto 2.0 platform. First, like most other platforms, Open Assets has an open protocol specification. However, Open Assets goes one step further, and is the first that can be used directly on the Bitcoin Blockchain, without having to buy a “gateway coin”. Mastercoin, for instance, requires users to buy units of the Mastercoin currency (MSC) before they can issue, send or even simply use the protocol. While this is an interesting property for investors, this is akin to a tax for people simply wanting to use features of the protocol.

Platforms like Ethereum and Ripple are even more constraining as they require users to move off from Bitcoin to a separate, smaller and much less secure network.


Openness is the key driving principle behind Open Assets, and this is why it uses only Bitcoin as the underlying currency. Bitcoin is the most secure Blockchain, and has the most liquid market by far. Assets can be issued and transferred with a simple transaction, and the only cost is the miner’s fee (ranging from free, to a few dollar cents).

“Imagine how the Internet would be like if you could only access it from machines sold by the company who invented it”, said Flavien Charlon, Founder of Coinprism, “this is the state of Crypto 2.0 protocols today. Gateway currencies are entirely unnecessary, and make the system more closed and centralized than it needs to be. We already have a widely adopted crypto-currency, and it’s called Bitcoin”.

Another key difference between Open Assets and alternatives such as Mastercoin is that they try to support many features (saving accounts, peer to peer betting, contract for difference, etc…). While this may seem like a good idea at first, in practice, this makes the protocol overly complex, leading to various issues, like different wallets showing different balances. Open Assets takes the opposite approach, with a minimalistic and well documented protocol.

Open Assets is also expected to disrupt the alt-coin landscape. Every day a new alt-coin is created, but most of them feature no technical innovation. Often they are created for a specific community. As an example, CraftCoin has been created in order to give Minecraft players their own crypto-currency. However, in most cases, those communities are too small to be able to maintain a secure Blockchain. Being able to create their own coin as an asset on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain is a great value proposition for them.

A few companies have started lining up to leverage Open Assets. Signatur, a hardware cold-storage wallet startup, has already planned to raise crowdfunding capital through Coinprism.

Coinprism is a user-friendly web-based implementation of Open Assets, and is launching to the general public on May 13th, 2014. It allows users to create issue, store, send and receive assets, and can also be used as a normal Bitcoin wallet. Coinprism has a strong focus on security, and private keys are always encrypted on the client before being transmitted to the server.


Pixode is a startup founded in 2010 and based in Dublin, Ireland. Pixode is in the social and mobile application space, it released several Facebook games and applications for business pages (Forum for Pages), as well as mobile games (Warp for Windows Phone 8, YouTube DJ for Windows 8/RT). More recently, Pixode launched Predictious, now the number one prediction market operating in Bitcoin.

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