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IndustryCryptocurrency software
  • Adam Back
  • Gregory Maxwell
  • Pieter Wuille
  • Matt Corallo
  • Mark Friedenbach
  • Jorge Timón
  • Austin Hill
  • Jonathan Wilkins
  • Francesca Hall
  • Alex Fowler
Key people
  • Adam Back (CEO)
Number of employees
50-100[1] (2014)

Blockstream is a blockchain technology company co-founded by Adam Back, Gregory Maxwell, Pieter Wuille and others, and led by Adam Back. Blockstream is one of a number of institutions that provide funding for the development of Bitcoin Core, the predominant network client software.


The company is focused on developing bitcoin applications: specifically sidechains, as well as other applications.[2][3] Blockstream has raised $76M to date from investors including Horizons Ventures and Mosaic Ventures.[4] [5][6] Blockstream employs several prominent cryptographers, bitcoin developers, and industry veterans,[1] including Adam Back (CEO, Blockstream), Pieter Wuille (Bitcoin Core developer), and Samson Mow (CSO).[7][8][9] Blockstream is one of the largest contributors of funding for Bitcoin Core.[10]


The Liquid Network[edit]

On October 12, 2015, Blockstream announced the release of its Liquid sidechain prototype which could allow for the transfer of assets between the sidechain and the main blockchain.[11][12][13] On October 11, 2018, a production-ready implementation of the sidechain was officially launched, called the Liquid Network.[14] Blockstream produces software that facilitates interoperability between the Bitcoin main chain and the sidechain.[15][page needed] Blockstream claims that Liquid reduces the delays and friction involved in a normal transfer of bitcoin. Blockstream asserts participating exchanges–including Bitfinex, BitMEX and OKCoin[14]–can make near-instant exchanges between their accounts and orderbooks.[16] The company has proposed that the Liquid sidechain, which is a pegged sidechain, be added to the bitcoin protocol.[17][18][19] The source code for sidechains has been released on an open source basis.[20]

Blockstream Satellite[edit]

In 2017 Blockstream announced the availability of one-way satellite broadcasting of the full Bitcoin blockchain.[21] The company plans to earn fees for value-added services on the network.[21] In 2018 Blockstream extended the Bitcoin satellite network[22] to four satellites across six coverage zones, adding Asia and Pacific region coverage, and released API specifications to allow users to send data over its network. The network as of 2019 is only a one-way network and the user still needs a connection to the Bitcoin network to send transactions, which can include SMS gateways [23] or higher cost internet which would be expensive for receiving full Bitcoin block data, but is cost effective to send a single transaction.


In addition to its corporate initiatives, Blockstream is also involved in a number of community steering and open source programs.


Blockstream is one of the largest contributors of funding for Bitcoin Core.[10]

Lightning Network[edit]

A Lightning Network overview.

Blockstream hired Rusty Russell, a developer well known for his work on the Linux kernel, to develop an implementation of the Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN). Russell has a four-part LN explanation on his blog.[24] The Lightning Network proposes to reduce transaction costs by allowing nodes to hold some transaction data in the cache before submitting it to the chain.[25]

In May 2017, Segregated Witness activated on Litecoin, enabling the Lightning Network to be used.[26] In May 2017 Christian Decker of Blockstream sent the first microtransaction using Lightning on Litecoin.[27]

Blockstream's implementation of the Lightning Network is called c-lightning and is used to power Bitcoin payment processing on the official Blockstream e-commerce store.[28]


In June 2016, Blockstream released an open source codebase and testing environment for sidechains to the public under an open source license.[29][unreliable source] Elements is a community effort to create an open source, sidechain-capable blockchain platform, whose early contributions include Confidential Transactions by Gregory Maxwell, and Segregated Witness by Pieter Wuille.[30][non-primary source needed][31][non-primary source needed]

Issued Assets[edit]

In April 2017, Blockstream released a paper on Confidential Assets,[32] an extension of Confidential Transactions (which is itself derived from an Adam Back proposal for homomorphic values applied to Bitcoin[33]). Confidential Assets was later adopted in both the Liquid Network and Elements, and is now known as Issued Assets.[34][unreliable source][35][non-primary source needed]

Among other contributions:

We begin by describing an efficient rangeproof for Pedersen commitments over the interval [0, mn − 1], which has total size proportional to 1 + nm, using a variant of a folklore bit-decomposition based rangeproof, in which numbers are expressed in base m and each digit is proven to lie in [0, m − 1] using a ring signature.

The range proofs are implemented in ElementsProject/secp256k1-zkp.


  1. ^ a b "Blockstream Crunchbase Profile". Crunchbase. December 20, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Evans, Jon (31 October 2015). "Liquid Bitcoin". TechCrunch. AOL.
  3. ^ Das, Samburaj (14 October 2015). "The First SideChain for Bitcoin Exchanges". CryptoCoinsNews. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Our Investment in Blockstream". Mosaic Ventures. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  5. ^ "Bitcoin startup blockstream raises 55 million in funding round". Wall Street Journal. 4 February 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  6. ^ Rizzo, Pete (18 November 2014). "Blockstream: $21 Million Funding Will Drive Bitcoin Development". CoinDesk.
  7. ^ Higgins, Stan (2016-10-03). "Adam Back Appointed Blockstream CEO in Leadership Shake-Up". CoinDesk. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  8. ^ WeUseCoins. "Pieter Wuille". Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  9. ^ Torpey, Kyle. "Mow Plans to "Make Bitcoin Great Again" at Blockstream". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  10. ^ a b Rizzo, Pete (5 April 2016). "Blockstream Adds Another Marquee Developer in Security Pioneer Christopher Allen". CoinDesk.
  11. ^ Casey, Michael J. "BitBeat: Blockstream Unveils Much-Awaited First Sidechain Prototype". WSJ (Blog).
  12. ^ Vigna, Paul. "BitBeat: Blockstream Releases Liquid, First 'Sidechain'". WSJ (Blog). Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  13. ^ Chishti, Susanne; Barberis, Janos (February 29, 2016). "Application Stacks". The FINTECH Book: The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors ... Wiley Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 978-1-119-21887-6.
  14. ^ a b "New Crypto Consortium Seeks to Alleviate Liquidity Problems". Bloomberg. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  15. ^ Swan, Melanie (January 1, 2015). Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-1-4919-2049-7.
  16. ^ Hertig, Alyssa (2018-10-10). "Liquid Goes Live: Blockstream's First Bitcoin Sidechain Has Finally Arrived". CoinDesk. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  17. ^ Allison, Ian. "Blockstream announces Liquid movement of Bitcoin quickly and securely between exchanges". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  18. ^ Evans, Jon. "Liquid Bitcoin". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  19. ^ "Blockstream Jumps Into Liquid –". Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  20. ^ "Blockstream to Release First Open Source Code for Sidechains". CoinDesk.
  21. ^ a b "Blockstream Is Using Satellites to Beam Bitcoin Down to Earth". CoinDesk. 15 August 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  22. ^ "Who Needs Verizon? Blockstream Broadcasts Entire Bitcoin Blockchain From Space". Forbes. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  23. ^ Rusnak, Pavol. "Simple PushTX server to push Bitcoin transactions via SMS (using Nexmo)". github (Blog). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Blockstream". WeUseCoins. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  25. ^ Poon, Joseph; Dryja, Thaddeus (14 January 2016). "The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Scalable Off-Chain Instant Payments DRAFT Version" (PDF). Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  26. ^ Blockstream [@Blockstream] (10 May 2017). "Blockstream's Christian Decker @Snyke completes first Lightning network payment on Litecoin. See. Blog post soon!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  27. ^ Suberg, William (12 May 2017). "Blockstream Sends First Litecoin Lightning Microtransaction". Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  28. ^ Sundararajan, Sujha (2018-01-17). "Blockstream Launches Micropayments Processing System for Bitcoin Apps". CoinDesk. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  29. ^ Higgins, Stan (9 June 2016). "Blockstream to Release First Open Source Code for Sidechains". CoinDesk.
  30. ^ Dale, Martin (12 April 2016). "Announcing the New Elements Project". Elements Project (Blog).
  31. ^ "Elements". Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  32. ^ Andrew Poelstra, Adam Back, Mark Friedenbach, Gregory Maxwell, and Pieter Wuille. "Confidential Assets" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ "ignopeverell/grin". GitHub. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  34. ^ "'To Production': Blockstream Hails Issued Assets on Liquid". Bitsonline. 2018-07-03. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  35. ^ "Issued Assets". Retrieved 2019-01-07.

External links[edit]