Blockstream was founded in 2014 to build financial infrastructure and applications based upon Bitcoin. Blockstream was founded by CEO Adam Back, the creator of bitcoin precursor Hashcash, Bitcoin Core developer Gregory Maxwell and 9 others including Pieter Wuille, Erik Svenson, Jonathan Wilkins, Austin Hill, and Jorge Timon. Other notable figures that have worked at the company include Andrew Poelstra, Samson Mow, Lawrence Nahum, Christopher Allen, and Matt Corallo.
Blockstream has historically been a contentious organization within the crypto community. Critics have asserted that Blockstream could be a threat to Bitcoin’s decentralized nature, while others have argued that it is necessary as it provides a source of funding for its bitcoin developers.
Blockstream offers several products including sidechain settlement network Liquid, bitcoin wallet Blockstream Green, a data feed for crypto trades, a Block Explorer, and Blockstream Satellite allowing access to the blockchain without internet. Blockstream has also contributed to the development of ‘layer two’ (meaning a protocol layer on top of bitcoin) scaling technologies, including the Lightning Network, which is intended to facilitate speedier bitcoin transactions while retaining its decentralized nature.