J.R. sold $600,000 worth of Mastercoins for Bitcoins in the first ever “crowdsale” in the summer of 2013. By the end of that calendar year, they had appreciated 74x in value. Investors rejoiced. But not all was well in the world of Mastercoin. Instead of full-time developers crunching away in hope of some future event, founders weren’t working full time and most people were employed via “bounties.” All of the best developers interested in the idea were quietly drifting away from the project. These notably included Vitalik Buterin and Adam Krellenstein, both of whom would attempt to solve the same problem in their own way.
What is the Nu model in comparison?
As Vitalik recently noted, Ethereum also has a problem of having a dual purpose “product” offering and an “investment” offering, something Swarm founder Joel Dietz called misaligned incentives in an early piece on economics of Ethereum. It is problems like these that have probably caused two out of three Counterparty founders to begin working for a private corporation (Overstock), presumably with some additional equity-based incentivization in addition to the base counterparty unit. In this case, the Counterparty ecosystem now has participants both in categories (4) and (2), with potential conflicts of interest between the participants in area (2), but also the possibility for larger ecosystem growth presuming that those conflicts can adequately be mediated.