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Archive for November 2013

Trello Gold is fun

I just got Trello Gold by inviting someone to join.

As an obvious & immediate result, Our Trello now looks like this:

What is a Feature Owner

Several years ago, back at Delver (Sears Israel nowadays), I learned from the great Moti Karmona the term Feature Owner (I think it was him, could have been Oren Ellenbogen as well, memory is fuzzy). One useful term I learned for Feature Owner. We’re using this quite extensively in Mastercoin, and I’d like to elaborate what this means.

A Feature Owner is just what it sounds – one person that owns a particular feature. The same can be extended to Product Owner, Release Owner, Domain Owner etc., but I’ll focus on Feature Owner in this post.

Features need love and attention to grow. They start off as an idea, and then go through some process of development, going through brainstorming, spec, implementation, debugging, deployment etc.

For progress on a feature to happen, someone needs to push that feature onward through the above stages. There are various walls to tackle – some of them are technical (how do we scale this to 1 billion people), some of them are political (how do we get head of Ops to approve it), and there are other types. The point is there has to be someone that cares enough about the feature to make it happen.

In Mastercoin, everything is done via Feature Owners. Sometimes they elect themselves in order to win a bounty. Other times, we actively seek out someone to own a particular feature. Even if a coding contest is not happening, you can just create your own feature and own it. In Mastercoin and other DACs, you can just decide on a feature, get approval for its funding if needed, and get paid when you deliver.

We’re shutting down Bitblu

The details can be found here.

I’m moving on to become the Executive Director of the Mastercoin project, which is a form of Decentralized Autonomous Corporation.

Exciting and insane times!

Using social credit to facilitate true p2p Bitcoin exchange

Someone (Mr. X) just posted on our Facebook group:

“This is a gentlemen’s agreement between me and Mr. Y that I owe him this amount of bitcoins, and he owes me that amount of ILS.”

Mr. Y then answered to this post by saying he agree.


This simple protocol is based on the concept of social credit. People care what people think about them, and wouldn’t want anyone to claim they are cheaters. This sort of protocol could easily be automated into a distributed exchange like Localbitcoins. All it requires is Facebook/Twitter integration, and thus the ability to prove that a certain real person is committing to an exchange with certain terms.

You can often validate in Facebook that a profile you’re trading with is indeed a real person, simply by checking your mutual connections. This is not a 100% guarantee of course, but it’s a good way to set the price in advance for a short while, until a proper meeting where the different currencies can be exchanged.

Is it the time to buy Bitcoin? Isn’t the price too high?

The simple answer – do dollar cost averaging.

Decide on an amount you wish the purchase, and just split the amount on a per-week or per-month basis. This way you’re protected from strong fluctuations – you buy more currency when it’s cheaper, and buy less of it when it’s expensive.