Blockstream has hired online security pioneer Christopher Allen as its standards and identity practice specialist, a role that will find him taking the lead on the company’s work with the open-source Hyperledger blockchain project, among other efforts.
The venture-backed startup, best known as a provider of enterprise tools focused on the bitcoin blockchain, was among 10 new firms to join Hyperledger last week, a move that followed more informal work with its members to discern its technical vision. Blockstream is notably one of the largest contributors of funding for Bitcoin Core, the ecosystem’s largely volunteer development community.
In statements, Allen struck an inclusive tone, noting that he hopes to position Blockstream as a leader in an ecosystem that has increasingly embraced other blockchain protocols and technologies.
“Standards groups 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.”
Blockstream’s hire, announced today, adds yet another veteran coder to the company’s already deep pool of talent that includes hashcash inventor Adam Back, Confidential Transactions author Greg Maxwell and Segregated Witness author Pieter Wuille.
Allen is perhaps best known as the co-author of IETF TLS Internet-draft, which underpins much of the existing e-commerce security on the Web. He is also the co-founder of Consensus Development, which in the late 1980s helped Netscape develop SSL, a widely used communications security protocol.
The company said his mandate at Blockstream would include all technical standards work, decentralized identity and strategic initiatives with international standards organizations such as W3C, IETF, and Oasis.
Blockstream has raised a total of $76m venture capital from LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Khosla Ventures, Real Ventures, AXA Group and others. In January 2016 the company announced a strategic partnership with “Big Four” accounting firm PwC to build blockchain services for its clients.
Michael del Castillo contributed reporting.
Image via Christopher Allen