20 January 2018:

I've got some good news and some bad news. First for the bad news:

1) My NSF proposal for getting money to send students to the Applied Category Theory conference in Leiden was rejected. So, right now, I don't know how to get any of you there.

Okay, now we need some good news.

2) My former student Mike Stay has a startup company called Pyrofex that's using serious category theory - like Graph-enriched Lawvere theories - to design distributed computing systems. Here is his news:

> We just closed on a deal that makes my startup worth millions! :D

> It's all just on paper at the moment: because one party paid a certain amount for shares of stock, we can claim that the rest of the shares have the same price. Similarly, we did a token swap, which essentially makes the rest of our tokens be "worth" as much as theirs. So if someone wanted to buy us, we'd have a good argument for why they should pay us millions. Now we have to work hard for the next year to meet our obligations and turn these tokens into liquid assets.

> In the meantime, next month I get a salary that's about half of what I was earning at Google instead of the third I've been living on for a couple of years. Hooray!

Here is a more formal announcement. Christian Williams should be especially
interested, since it involves blockchain technology:

> 8 January 2018 — The RChain Cooperative and Pyrofex Corporation today announced strategically important service contracts and an equity investment intended to deliver several mutually beneficial blockchain solutions. RChain will acquire 1.1 million shares of Pyrofex Common Stock as a strategic investment. The two companies will ink separate service contracts to reinforce their existing relationship and help to align their business interests.

> Pyrofex will develop critical tools and platform components necessary for the long-term success of the RChain platform. These tools are designed to leverage RChain’s unique blockchain environment and make blockchain development simpler, faster, and more effective than ever before. Under these agreements, Pyrofex will develop the world’s first decentralized IDE for writing blockchain smart contracts on the RChain blockchain.

> Pyrofex also commits to continuing the core development of RChain’s blockchain platform and to organizing RChain’s global developer events and conferences.

> **Comments on the News**

> “We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the RChain Cooperative in 2018. Their commitment to open-source development mirrors our own corporate values. It’s a pleasure to have such a close relationship with a vibrant open-source community. I’ve rarely seen the kind of excitement the Coop’s members share and we look forward to delivering some great new technology this year.” — Nash E. Foster, Cofounder & CEO, Pyrofex Corp.

> “Intuitive development tools are important for us and the blockchain ecosystem as a whole; we’re incredibly glad Pyrofex intends to launch their tools on RChain first. But, Ethereum has been a huge supporter of RChain and we’re pleased that Pyrofex intends to support Solidity developers as well. Having tools that will make it possible for developers to migrate smart contracts between blockchains is going to create tremendous possibilities.” — Lucius Greg Meredith, President, RChain Cooperative Background

> Pyrofex is a software development company co-founded by Dr. Michael Stay, PhD and Nash Foster in 2016. Dr. Stay and Greg Meredith are long-time colleagues and collaborators whose mutual research efforts form the mathematical foundations of RChain’s technology. One example of the work that Greg and Mike have collaborated on is the work on the LADL (Logic as Distributed Law) algorithm. You can watch Dr. Stay present the latest research from the RChain Developers retreat.

> Pyrofex and its development team should be familiar to those who follow the RChain Cooperative. They currently employ 14 full-time and several part-time developers dedicated to RChain platform development. Pyrofex CEO Nash Foster and Lead Project Manager Medha Parlikar have helped grow RChain’s development team to an impressive 20+ Core devs with plans on doubling by mid 2018. The team now includes multiple PhDs, ex-Googlers, and other word class talents.

There are more technical details further down the page I got this from: