For nine years, the Black Duck Open Source Rookies of the Year awards have recognized some of the most innovative and influential open source projects launched during the previous year. We sat down with Founder and CMO Masha McConaghy to hear the exciting story of one of this year's rookies: BigchainDB.
How Did BigchainDB Get Started?
We started as ascribe, a service to help creators get compensated, leveraging the Bitcoin blockchain. It allows creators to lock in authorship, create authentic limited digital editions, and to securely share and easily transfer the rights of their work. We began running into issues of scalability and high costs, so we built BigchainDB, which brought scalable database technology to the world of decentralized blockchains.
What Makes BigchainDB Special?
We merge the functionality of a traditional database (scalability and querying), with blockchain technology (decentralized, immutable, and assets). Our business helps companies that are building blockchain applications that run into scalability issues and companies looking for a database that spreads control.
How Did You Build Your Community?
We’ve built software for developers that works simply and effectively, and our community responds well to that. We offer straightforward onboarding, thorough documentation, blog posts, tutorials, and drivers in several languages to help developers get the most out of BigchainDB.
In traditional databases, it doesn’t take a month to learn to use the software; it takes minutes. We believe it should be the same when learning blockchain technology. Beyond our focus on developer usability, we also engage with the community by hosting our own Meetups and conferences in Berlin, speaking at industry events, and helping develop technical standards like COALA IP and Interledger protocol.
How Did BigchainDB’s Team Assemble?
Our founding team has known each other for years and have studied a variety of topics that range from engineering to art. We continue to expand our team with talented individuals from all over the world.
What Is the Next Step for BigchainDB?
We released BigchainDB Version 1.0, which includes text queries and JS driver. Our focus for 2.0 is combining decentralization, security, and scale simultaneously. We’ve recently announced a data exchange protocol called Ocean, which builds on BigchainDB. With IPDB, we’re organizing our first conference this October, 9984 >> Summit 2017: Blockchain Futures for Developers, Enterprises & Society.
What Doors Have Opened for BigchainDB? What Challenges Are You Tackling?
Scalability is priority one. With scale, BigchainDB helps realize the potential of blockchain technology: to equalize opportunities for society at large. It’s being used for global challenges from sovereign personal data to supply chain. In Ghana, BigchainDB has powered the creation of a digitized land registry, which enables people to verify rightful ownership of land. On a more global scale, Resonate is giving power back to musicians with a “stream to own” service using BigchainDB technology. The application possibilities across verticals are endless.