Bitcoin legend Jed McCaleb is seeking funding and alpha testers for a secretive Bitcoin project. Here's what we know about this mysterious man and his plan.
1. The Project Is Very Hush-Hush
— David Nettey (@DaveNettey) February 12, 2014
"When I sold Mt. Gox a few years ago, Bitcoin was trading at less than a dollar. Today Bitcoin exists in a new environment. Mt. Gox is struggling to keep up. Now, I am building something that will be better for Bitcoin and better for you.
I’m looking for alpha testers.
TechCrunch adds that McCaleb is something of a Bitcoin legend, having "transformed Mt. Gox (short for Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange) from a card-trading platform into what became the world’s one-time leading Bitcoin exchange."
2. McCaleb Created Mt.Gox
Mt. Gox creator (sold year ago) Jed McCaleb working on SECRET NEW BITCOIN project. http://t.co/6d8n72OYPr
— Russ Glenn (@russglenn) February 13, 2014
Mt. Gox has been in the news quite a lot recently. The Bitcoin exchange infamously suspended withdrawals earlier this month, which sent Bitcoin's value plummeting. Despite founding the Bitcoin exchange, McCaleb is no longer involved with Mt.Gox.
3. McCaleb Also Created Ripple
— Steven Zeiler (@stevenzeiler) February 5, 2014
Last year, Wired wrote an article about McCaleb about his new project, Ripple. Wired explains Ripple thusly:
"Like Bitcoin, Ripple comes with its own digital currency — called the XRP — and its own peer-to-peer money-moving network.
But there’s a twist: Ripple makes it easy to move any type of money — you can trade dollars for Yen or Euros or even Bitcoins — and instead of exchanges, Ripple uses a set of independent operators, called gateways, who handle the business of taking and delivering the fiat cash.
The company’s ambitious plan is to build a network of open-source servers that can move money around the world at a tiny fraction of the cost of a bank or a company such as Western Union."
4. McCaleb Was an Early P2P Icon
Jed McCaleb: eDonkey2000 -> Bitcoin -> Ripple. This guy is a doer! http://t.co/If8qGnXJcB
— Fernando Nieto (@fnietom) May 10, 2013
McCaleb has a long history of working on technology projects that skirt the edge of the law. He created the file-sharing program eDonkey 2000, which was shut down in 2005.
5. The Secret Project Has Unusual Funding
"I see programming as the ultimate form of leverage." – Jed McCaleb, cofounder of OpenCoin https://t.co/j3mlBOj2wq
— Winnie Lim (@wynlim) April 17, 2013
In their reporting on McCaleb's secret Bitcoin project, TechCrunch noted that the project has already scored some funding from supporters. The funds came through thanks to "instant messages and Skype."