Counterparty founders have joined with MathMoney f(x) and its founder Mark Smith as co-founders of the new fintech company Symbiont. Symbiont will focus on fostering the symbiotic relationship between traditional financial markets and cryptographic blockchain technology.
“Since we founded Counterparty over a year ago, our focus has consistently been on the creation and positioning of this technology as a solution for structural issues in the larger financial markets,” said Robby Dermody, co-founder of Counterparty and now President of Symbiont.
“Symbiont is the next step in achieving that goal,” Dermody said.
“We’re excited about the positive impacts blockchain adoption will have in the systems that power modern finance, and we look forward to seeing this technology put into use in a way that increases transparency, liquidity and the overall functioning of capital markets,” added Evan Wagner, co-founder of Counterparty and now Managing Director of Operations at Symbiont.
“I founded MathMoney f(x) (a SenaHill Partners portfolio company) to address the severe infrastructural problems associated with the emerging math-based currency trading ecosystem,” said Smith, CEO of Symbiont. “After studying the intricacies of [the blockchain] it became clear that blockchains in general, and Counterparty specifically, could solve long-standing, previously intractable problems that exist in modern financial markets. This epiphany made the decision to join forces with the Counterparty team a logical one.”
“Mark has over twenty years of experience in finance, and was one of the core people behind the creation of several large-scale trading platforms,” say the Counterparty founders on their website. “We’re all very excited about the potential positive impacts not only to Counterparty, but to the blockchain’s adoption in the systems that power modern finance.”
Symbiont will be using Counterparty and other blockchain-based technologies to solve specific, identified issues in several segments of the multi-trillion dollar securities market.
Symbiont’s technology platform will be based on Counterparty, but the Counterparty technology itself will remain open source. The Counterparty Foundation will remain unchanged, with both community and third-party industry voices being represented, and Counterparty co-founder Adam Krellenstein will continue to serve as chief scientist of the foundation besides his new role of Symbiont chief technology officer.
Counterparty made multiple headlines in 2014. Its technology was selected as the main software backbone for a new independent stock exchange operating in bitcoin and powered by Bitcoin technology.
The new stock exchange, developed by Overstock and codenamed Medici, could sidestep traditional stock exchanges such as NYSE and NASDAQ and issue corporate stock directly over the Internet.
It was later revealed, however, that the Medici project will include a wider variety of Bitcoin technologies, protocols and blockchains.
In November, Counterparty announced the implementation of Ethereum’s programming language on the Counterparty platform, enabling users to save and execute Turing Complete Ethereum code on the Bitcoin blockchain, without having to go through external blockchains and altcoins. In the near future, Symbiont’s team plans to upgrade Counterparty’s port of Ethereum, and make it ready for operational production.
The Counterparty software suite has matured rapidly with more than 180,000 Counterparty transactions made, often constituting a significant fraction of daily bitcoin transactions. In addition, there have been three comprehensive security audits performed on the codebase.
Symbiont already has raised significant interim funding, which will be followed by a formal Series A round investment of preferred stock.