Advancing Privacy & Interoperability: Blockstream Welcomes Christopher Allen
by Adam Back, Ph.D.

We are proud to welcome Christopher Allen to Blockstream. He will be working with us on a number of strategic initiatives, including the company’s participation in the Hyperledger cross-industry collaboration, as well as future technical efforts with international standards organizations such as W3C, IETF, and Oasis.

"Standards groups," said Christopher, "will enable members of the larger blockchain community to manifest shared visions, to grow their markets, to participate in the public good and commons, to align their investments, and to find mutually supportive roles. That is the true goal of ecosystem leadership. I am excited to join Blockstream to make this possible."

Blockstream is committed to creating an inclusive industry consisting of many interoperable blockchains, in many different configurations. By participating in cross-industry collaborations, we are working toward common, open protocol standards, as well as creating a positive feedback loop between commercial applications and the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Several members of Blockstream’s team have been long-standing contributors to the Bitcoin Core project, which is one such technical collaboration among developers of the Bitcoin protocol and code base. We’re excited to see interest growing in the Elements Project, where developers and companies are working with sidechains to create interoperable blockchains and explore new features and configurations. We see the advent of technical standards groups like Hyperledger as an important new forum for a rapidly emerging group of developers from enterprises to explore applications of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. In all of these efforts, our objective is to share our deep operational and technical experience and working code, as well as establish Bitcoin as the most mature, robust and proven platform for both R&D and commercial applications.

This is where Christopher comes in. He is familiar with facilitating technical standards and industry collaboration. He co-authored the TLS standard and produced the first commercial SSL and TLS toolkits. If you’ve ever made a secure purchase through your web browser, it’s because of his pioneering work. Christopher has been creating course material for and co-teaching at Blockchain University as well as developing decentralized identity standards for Oasis XDI and W3C’s Verified Credential efforts. He also recently brought together a group of leading security and privacy professionals to Rebooting the Web of Trust in a two-day design workshop.

"We seek to be a member of a developer community that is resilient and has fair and equitable processes for bringing the best science and technology to the world without favoring one set of actors or interests," added Christopher. "Everyone should participate in the production of new goods and services of value to the ecosystem. Grow the pie, not slice it."

Welcome Christopher! We look forward to your contributions to technical standards groups and projects that expand what is possible in the future of crypto finance.

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