Bison Trails newsletter 001 • Feb 2020

Welcome to the inaugural Bison Trails newsletter!

Bison Trails newsletter 001 • Feb 2020

By Mark Forscher · Feb 27 2020

Bison Trails is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service company, based in New York City, specifically focused on blockchain participation. We built a platform for anyone who wants to run nodes to participate in new chains—like Cosmos, Tezos, Edgeware, NuCypher, Celo, Polkadot and more!—without having to invest time and resources into developing any of the engineering, protocol, DevOps, or security competencies required to run nodes responsibly at scale. Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure that secures these emerging networks for the pioneers of tomorrow.

About once a month, we will share brief highlights of our work with new protocols, progress on our company’s initiatives like the Libra Association, updates on our pioneering infrastructure technology, notable media mentions, as well as interesting and relevant links curated by our team. If you have any feedback on this newsletter, we’d love to hear what you think! Feel free to reply directly or contact us.

Thanks for reading!

—Mark Forscher / Head of Brand & Design, Bison Trails


1. We’re very excited to share the news that the Bison Trails platform will support Polkadot when the network launches. We wrote an in-depth post on our experience with Kusama—the innovative canary network—from running one of the first Kusama validators while avoiding slashing on our customers’ accounts, to preparing for the eagerly anticipated Polkadot mainnet launch. Read our post and check out coverage of the news on Decrypt.

2. Edgeware is the first Proof of Stake mainnet to launch in 2020. We believe the smart contract platform is well-positioned to become a parachain that will empower the Polkadot ecosystem by leading innovation of on-chain governance. We are thrilled to help our customers run Edgeware nodes on the Bison Trails platform to secure the network. Learn more

3. We recently announced a partnership with the Ontology Foundation (ONT) to integrate Triones Node infrastructure onto the Bison Trails platform. This strategic integration will allow enterprises that are testing and deploying on Ontology to launch nodes effortlessly without compromising technical standards or service levels. Learn more


1. What does our CEO, Joe Lallouz, think of the Bitcoin halving? “In perfect markets or rational market scenarios, you would imagine a world where the crypto economy has already somewhat adjusted to the fact that Bitcoin will halve this year. But people don’t act rationally and markets aren’t perfect.” —Joe provides perspective.

2. “Joe and his team @BisonTrails [have] built the gold standard for Proof of Stake infrastructure.”—Garry Tan, Feb 13

3. On the Base Layer podcast with David Nage, Joe breaks down what Infrastructure-as-a-Service really means for participatory blockchain networks and how we can encourage more founders to join the growing blockchain and digital asset industry. Listen to the Baselayer Podcast (Ep. 107) to learn why David is convinced Bison Trails is “one of the most important companies in digital assets going forward.”



Our Protocol Specialist, Viktor Bunin, is also an organizer of the ETHDenver event. In this post, Viktor reflects on what makes ETHDenver so special, some of the challenges organizers faced using DAOs for judging the hackathon, the bZx event, and his favorite moments from the conference. Read our Q&A with Viktor


1. Several exciting moments occurred since January when Joe was elected to the newly-formed Technical Steering Committee (TSC) of the Libra Association, governing the project’s technical development. Notably, within the last week, both Tagomi and Shopify announced that they joined the Libra Association. Shopify powers over 1M merchants globally. This is a strong signal that the Association's work is gaining momentum.

2. In other news, Coinbase Custody and Bison Trails recently joined the Proof of Stake Alliance (POSA) alongside Tezos, the Interchain Foundation, Web3 Foundation, and others to advance public policy discussions. Read the announcement. “Joining POSA reflects our commitment to working with partners across the industry to further the adoption of Proof of Stake blockchain technology.”—Joe Lallouz

Evan Weiss

Watch Evan Weiss, Chief of Staff of Bison Trails, discuss the critical work he's doing with POSA to engage regulators in dialogue.


1. The Consensys + Skale partnership is major news for the ecosystem. “Proof of Use” (requiring purchasers to programmatically stake funds) will help align incentives & secure the network from the time of launch. We hope to see more protocol teams adopt this approach. Learn more

2. The Celo team introduced the Celo SDK building on their vision “to create more inclusive systems through intuitive abstractions of cutting-edge technical innovations, and to do all of this mobile first for greatest access.” They also announced a new challenge category in their Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition focused on peace and prosperity (registration closes today!) Learn more



1. From Arthur, DevOps Engineer at Bison Trails: the “Block Header Commitments” Decred Change Proposal offers a practical explanation of Merkle tree with nice visuals.


2. From Arti, Software Engineer: the recent statement from SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce on a safe harbor period for crypto token sales is worth a read.


3. From Erin, Senior Product Designer: this segment from “The Simpsons” is not only funny, but a surprisingly helpful piece to share with friends who don’t know a thing about blockchain!

And from Evan, our Chief of Staff: “Cryptocurrency Economics and The Taxation of Block Rewards” is the most detailed analysis of staking taxation he’s seen to date written by UVA Law Professor Abraham Sutherland.


We're looking for a Protocol Specialist to join us at Bison Trails! You'll research and own protocol information, help drive strategic decision making, publish content (some for this newsletter!), build community, and empower our team with information. The learning curve is steep, and the impact is massive. Check out our careers page to view all open positions.

Thanks for reading! Questions? Comments? Anything you'd like to see in upcoming newsletters? Let us know!

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