This blog is now an archive. Find content from Hiro here and Stacks news and announcements here.

Announcing the Blockstack Public Benefit Corp

Blockstack is an open-source project and a decentralized network. For the past years, one company, Blockstack Inc, has taken the lead on protocol development. We plan to have many independent individuals and companies operating on the network and taking on greater roles in the protocol’s development. We will release more details on governance structures and potential independent entities that can provide a degree of neutrality and balance to the protocol development in the long run.

As we’re building towards a larger ecosystem, we want to better align the structure of our for-profit corporation with our mission of enabling an open, decentralized internet. We’re doing that today by transitioning to a Public Benefit Corporation.

Blockstack Inc is no more. We’re a Public Benefit Corp now. A Public Benefit Corp (PBC) is a for-profit company that is obligated to uphold certain commitments for the public good and not just stockholder interests. Kickstarter and Patagonia are two well-known Public Benefit Corps, and you can read more about them on this FAQ.

The mission of Blockstack PBC is to enable an open, decentralized internet. Blockstack PBC is committed to:

a) keeping the core Blockstack software open-source, and
b) supporting the decentralization of the Blockstack network.

Commitment to open-source:

When a for-profit company develops open-source software, there is always a fear that business incentives might take precedence over commitment to open-source. With a Public Benefit Corp structure, we’ve incorporated our commitment to open-source into our core values. Blockstack PBC will ensure that the core software needed to connect to the Blockstack network, specifically the Blockstack Core software, will always remain open-source and free to use for everyone.

Supporting decentralization:

The primary reason why we started building the new Blockstack internet is that a handful of companies consolidated too much power on the traditional internet. All this effort will be for nothing if any single company, including Blockstack PBC, ends up becoming a centralized power player in the ecosystem. We’re committing to always support the decentralization of the Blockstack network and ensure that we build the network in a way that we don’t have control over it.

Our goal is to grow the entire ecosystem of decentralized apps built on the new Blockstack internet. Blockstack PBC will play a major role in kickstarting that ecosystem, and we need other companies and developers to join us in our mission. By always upholding our commitment to open-source and decentralization, we’re making it easier for everyone to join this ecosystem.

An open, decentralized internet will require a lot of work from all of us. Blockstack PBC is ready to lead this effort in the near future and handoff protocol development to the broader ecosystem in the coming years. With a mission-aligned corporate structure in place, we’ll ensure that we always protect the interests of the larger ecosystem and not just the for-profit company.

We’d like to thank Blockstack PBC’s existing investors and shareholders for their support for the conversion to a Public Benefit Corp; they believe in our mission and share our belief that a public-benefit structure will benefit the entire ecosystem in the long run.

Ryan & Muneeb

Ryan & Muneeb

Muneeb Ali is a distributed systems PhD from Princeton and gives guest lectures on cloud computing there. He went through Y Combinator and was awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship.

Before Blockstack, Ryan Shea co-founded a software-as-a-service startup called GraphMuse and worked in an operations role for OmniActive Health Technologies. He received a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University with a minor in Computer Science.