Factom Inc. has been on an incredible journey. From the early 2014 beginnings where David Johnston and I discussed what could be done in the blockchain space to energize the development of distributed applications, to the current company with over 30 employees, we could not have asked for a more interesting journey. In 2014, you could quickly count the number of blockchain projects and thought leaders in the space, especially because we all knew each other either in person or online. Five years later, the industry is estimated to be worth well over billions and is only growing.
When you think of a project as “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim,” I will admit in the very early days, I really thought Factom was going to be a 6 month project. Once we set out, saw all the problems with systems and processes that were not transparent and could see how much transparent blockchains could bring them, we could never go back to our previous realities.
In those early days, with few companies in an emerging industry, it was evident that the ecosystem needed a blockchain built for data, not just the recording of financial transactions. We chose to build Factom because we wanted to solve problems other blockchains didn’t and many still don’t. Where other blockchains are slow, clunky, and difficult to use, we set out to build our own blockchain that could handle high transaction volume, complex data, and was not dependent on a wildly fluctuating cryptocurrency prices in order to write entries.
To build a data platform was the practical thing to do when looking at the needs of the blockchain ecosystem as a whole. Data alone is not only the lifeblood of business but a valuable commodity, especially when you are able to check if it’s correct by matching it with a cryptographic proof. This means that applications using data can validate information in Factom from the perspective of their own application, unlike smart contract platforms that validate transactions from the perspective of the information and data within Ethereum.
In the real world, data is valid because it meets the requirements of real world processes and standards. In essence, Factom is set up in a pragmatic way to handle real world data, while Ethereum is set up in an idealized way to handle data defined and validated by the Ethereum blockchain.
Since the Factom blockchain is scalable to handle enterprise level applications and processes, we chose to focus on data. We decided to build applications like Harmony Connect™ and Harmony Integrate™. After all, Factom is the best platform for digital identity.
One of the key challenges that users face when attempting to authenticate blockchain data is to verify the source of that data. Public blockchains allow anyone with an internet connection to add entries. The permissionless and anonymous nature of these networks means it can be difficult to separate the messages important to your application from noise coming from other blockchain users or malicious actors. Implementing a robust identity system is a simple way to navigate these challenges. Properly done, this will allow your users and applications to ensure that they’re only reading what matters to them. To make sure that Harmony Connect supports a safe operating environment, we’ve baked a robust identity system into the API. Each Connect user will have access to calls that create identities and can sign content as simple as a single line of code.
The strides that the Factom Inc team has been making for our Harmony Suite is something I couldn’t be more proud of. It has been a privilege building and growing a team that understands the value of data that is then enhanced by the blockchain.
While this all sounds very business-y, we have had many fun moments as well. There was a series of pranks by Brian Deery that would startle me so much that I would scream, our marketing department once traveled to a conference with 8 suitcases between only 2 of them, there have been many trips to trips to Torchy’s Tacos, an Austin staple, and our Slack channels are a hoot.
Our mission is to become the leading industry provider of data integrity and data provenance solutions, and I’d say we’re well on our way to doing just that. The future looks pretty amazing!
2014 – The year of whitepapers
Very first Factom conference presentation by Brian Deery.
2015 – The year of the Genesis Block
Paul presents Factom at the North American Bitcoin Conference
Genesis Block Launched!
Factom was featured in the Economist.
2016 – The year of progress
Won Austin A-list hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Paul spoke to congress. Link
Laurie Pyle joined the team and was recently awarded a 2019 MBA Tech Allstar.
2017 – The year of Harmony
With the release of Factom Harmony kicking off our Blockchain-as-a-Service offerings.
Closed an extended Series A with over $8 million in funding.
2018 – The year of decentralization
We achieved M3, the fully autonomous and decentralized Factom Protocol!
Made moves in the Mortgage industry: integrated our blockchain into EquatorPRO®️ and won a HousingWire Tech100 award.
Announced the expansion of the Harmony suite with the release of Harmony Connect™.
2019 – The year of growth
Latest team picture, 2019
Thank you to the entire Factom team for your hard work and dedication. To the Factom community, and our business partners, thank you for believing in us and supporting us. We couldn’t have done it without you! We’re looking forward to a bright future.