From DOUG to Burrow to Marmota Prime…Monax loves marmots

Monax = Marmot...we often get asked by folks to 'explain the marmot' so we wrote a blog about it.

Yesterday was Groundhog Day so here’s a blog all about groundhogs, or marmots as they are known around here…

The Tao of the Marmot

For those of you not familair with Monax, you might be wondering why we sometimes refer to oursleves and fellow team members as ‘marmots’, and more to the point, why have we named the company after the furry creatures? Hint - it’s not just because they’re cute.

It all started way, way back in 2014, when the company was known as Eris Industries and comprised of the three original founders, Casey, Preston and Tyler.

I asked Casey to explain the origin of the marmot to me:

“…there were the marmots. Lots and lots of marmots. We’ve long had an affinity for these fuzzy creatures. Marmots are natural ecosystem engineers, a keystone species that provides critical balance to the environment as a whole. Diligent burrowing transforms their mountain landscape into habitat that provides a framework for them and other species to thrive. Marmots bring order out of chaos, relishing planning, execution and tidiness. They are the engineers of their ecosystems. As we move away from our chaotic beginnings into a long-lasting framework, we embrace the tao of the marmot.

So that was that, they promptly rebranded the company with a distinctly marmoty origin. And then along came DOUG…

Let’s talk about Doug

DOUG is pretty well-known in internet circles, as you can see from this tweet just a few days ago:

It was pretty neat, just days before our favourite marmot holiday, to know that the creator of Etheruem himself was re-reading our old DOUG blog.

Our Chief Scientist, Dennis McKinnon, created DOUG to resolve a major obstacle when he began writing smart contract libraries. As soon as the library was populated, he encountered the issue of how to find things - just as you would struglle in a regular library before Dewey came into play. To restore order, he needed a DOUG - a Decentralised Organisation Upgrade Guy. DOUG was a seriously useful tool and eventually took on marmot form also, as it were - our logo is lovingly named `Doug, the rock n’roll marmot.’

Curious to learn more about the tech version of DOUG? Dennis’ blog is here and gives a more detailed explantion of DOUG, and here’s a shot of our current repo:

We named Hyperledger Burrow (a permissioned smart-contract application engine, donated to the Linux Foundation in 2017) after the marmot’s homestead. Burrow is one of the frameworks currently on Hyperledger.

Last but by no means least, yestrday marked the very last day of the game our developers created to show a part of how our tech works in practise. Marmota Prime has been played by folks all over the globe for the last 52 days. The overall winner will be announced on Monday and Monax is donating a prize to a children’s charity of their choice. It was a simple game backed by powerful technologies. In fact, the Monax Platform technology powering the game was the same we use to turn cumbersome legal processes into Active Agreements, software-based legal products that work for you, throughout the lifecycle of your legal relationships. Head here to learn more about the tech behind the game.

In February the Monax Platform enters public beta, and there’s lots more in the pipeline, the most significant being the launch of the Agreements Network later this year. Interested to hear how the platform can save you time and money, and give you complete oversight of your buisness contracting? Monax CCO Nina kilbride gives the lowdown in this video from her recent appearance at CES in Las Vegas. Our packages are laid out here and we open to Beta customers early February - be one of the first to try this innovative software.

Happy contracting!

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