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Founded 2014
Headquarters Mountain View, California
Key People Adam Back, CEO and co-founder; Austin Hill, co-founder; Neil Woodfine, Marketing Director
Products Develops sidechains for blockchain applications
Twitter @blockstream
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook Page
Website Blockstream home
Blog Blockstream blog

Blockstream is a blockchain developer. The company primarily develops sidechains for blockchain applications.


Founded in 2014, Blockstream has raised $101 million in three rounds of venture capital funding.[1]

Blockstream is using its funding to focus on a number of long-term bitcoin development projects in an attempt to address issues like scalability and security.[2]

On January 18, 2018 Blockstream and Intercontinental Exchange Group Inc., the parent of both the New York Stock Exchange and Bakkt, announced that they were partnering to provide a bitcoin and other cryptocurrency data service.[3] Including data from Bitbank, Bitfinex, BitMEX, Bitso, Bitstamp, BtcBox, CEX.IO, Coinfloor, Coincheck, ItBit, Gopax, Huobi, OKCoin, OKEx, SurBTC, The Rock Trading, Unocoin, Vaultoro, and Zaif, the service launched on March 29, 2018.[4] By mid-October, the data feed included 25 exchanges, 17 fiat currencies and 15 cryptocurrencies.[5]

Woodfine weighs in on bitcoin culture debate[edit]

In May 2019, cryptocurrency users on Twitter became engaged in a broad debate about the nature of the bitcoin community. Specifically, the debate questioned whether the culture within the bitcoin community was "toxic" - that it encourages those involved with it to think and behave in ways that are overly cynical and non-constructive. Certain Ethereum developers even said that they had chosen to leave the bitcoin community and begin programming for Ethereum due to the toxicity of bitcoin's community. Blockstream's Marketing Director Neil Woodfine said over Twitter that bitcoin "deals with money" - specifically, "separating money from the state." He said that it involves managing people's livelihoods, but that the "vast majority" bitcoin's community has seen many fraudsters and scammers, and has grown to be "necessarily one of extreme skepticism, cynicism, rigorous review, and forthright language," and that bitcoin "is better for it." He also said that those who disagree with this stance are "not good under pressure," "too sensitive," and "lack conviction." While many praised his argument, some like the director of MIT's Digital Currency Initiative Neha Narula accused Woodfine of gaslighting critics of bitcoin's culture, saying, "Always question, never settle, and know that there are lots of us who try to debate, criticize, learn, and improve without being jerks." Chaincode developer John Newbery made similar criticisms, saying that bitcoin's culture is still developing, is not set in stone, and can and should be improved.[6][7]

Products and Services[edit]

Blockstream Sidechains[edit]

Blockstream set out to build technology that would develop bitcoin sidechains between which bitcoins could be transferred using a native token that could always be transferred back into bitcoin. With transactions occurring on and between the sidechains, the expense and delays associated with bitcoin transactions could be avoided.[8] Blockstream builds sidechains on the bitcoin blockchain because the bitcoin blockchain is the most widely used and tested. In a 2016 phone call, then Blockstream CEO, Austin Hill, said, "I think innovation in the space is great and that it is happening because it is hard to update the Bitcoin blockchain. But it is hard to update by design."[9]

On October 10, 2018 Blockstream announced that its Liquid Network, a platform built on a bitcoin sidechain, had launched. The Liquid sidechain, which is meant to facilitate and accelerate confidential transactions both for individuals and businesses, launched with a number of major bitcoin industry partners on September 27, 2018.[10]

In January 2019, the Japanese company Crypto Garage announced that it had received permission to establish a pilot program within the parameters of a Japanese regulatory sandbox program. Crypto Garage will test its new SettleNet platform by inviting local exchanges to issue stablecoins and settle crypto-to-crypto transactions on SettleNet. SettleNet uses a sidechain on Blockstream's Liquid Network. Crypto Garage says that the platform will provide increased regulatory transparency.[11]

Security Tokens[edit]

On May 15, 2019, Blockstream announced the launch of a security token platform. The announcement said that the platform will allow Blockstream to issue tokenized securities.[12]

Key People[edit]

  • Adam Back - CEO and co-founder
  • Austin Hill - co-founder
  • Neil Woodfine - Marketing Director