Catalyst Network
Aug 19 · 6 min read

Who we are, what we do, and why we do it

At Atlas City, we are working to empower decentralisation of the web. Sounds fancy right, but what do we actually mean by decentralisation, and why should you care?

To understand it better let’s look briefly at today’s centralised system and its major flaws. The current client-server model means the server will always occupy the central position in the system. This makes it the single point of failure. A server’s limited capacity can be overwhelmed by simultaneous requests and is vulnerable to data breaches and attacks.

And, while there’s more content and services online than ever before, control over the hosting and distribution of these services, together with our data, is concentrated in the hands of a group of giant and relatively unaccountable companies. Tim Berners-Lee, the de facto father of the web, has spoken frequently about the need to actively resist web centralisation so as to keep his creation in the hands of the people for the benefit of all. We, and many others, agree with him.

But while many people are looking to Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology to solve these problems, mainstream adoption has been held back by problems of scalability, slow performance, high cost and complicated integration within existing systems. Until now.

Solving the issues that have held others back

Designed as an open source, fast, light, secure and scalable network, Catalyst works in the real world and rewards all its supporters fairly. Initially, it will provide the framework for decentralised applications (dApps) for use in sectors including energy, supply chain management, finance and healthcare.

It is so light it can run on small IoT devices making decentralisation and scalability easy, while its Distributed Ledger Technology delivers the convenience of the cloud and the trust and security of blockchain without the weight and speed penalties others have experienced. In short, the Catalyst Network is a full stack of technologies designed to enable secure and private decentralised computing and data storage, the basis for the new web3.0 world.

A unique approach to funding- try before you buy

While Atlas City is funding the development of the Catalyst network from its own resources, it will hold a Token Generating Event in the fourth quarter of 2019 to coincide with the opening of the network to the development community. This unique Day Zero approach will allow users to experience the fully viable mainnet, not a testnet, before they decide whether to take advantage of the token sale. This differs from the usual model where users buy the promise of future utility. Instead, users will be buying compute on an already established and validated network making rapid development of the network possible.

A truly democratic network: privately built but publicly owned

Over the course of 2020, Catalyst will be further developed and strengthened to ensure maximum stability and functionality. Once this is achieved, Atlas City will transfer governance of Catalyst to a newly established Swiss foundation together with an endowment to support its growth across the entire developer ecosystem.

The genesis of Atlas City

Back in 2012, Darren Oliveiro-Priestnall was working on EU Commission projects involving smart water meters to guard against fraud and pollution. It quickly became apparent to him that the blockchain technology was immature and could not realise its huge potential without re-engineering using an enterprise mindset. To address this, Darren assembled a distinguished team of engineers who had worked in blockchain-related companies and projects. These included people from the Bitcoin Cash core developer team, nChain, Stratis Platform, BTL, and Kodak, among others. In addition, business people and advisors were brought onboard from Janus Henderson Investors, BlueCrest Capital, Baring Point, Lombard Risk Management, Linklaters, and others. And so, Atlas City was born.

Meet our team

As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” At Atlas City we recognise that none of us is as smart as all of us, and we are proud that the Catalyst Network is being developed by a great team of tech and business veterans. So, let’s meet the core team.

Chris Justice- co-founder of the Catalyst Network and Chief Operating Officer — has 30 years of experience in finance and entrepreneurship. He believes in the power of the blockchain and its ability to not only benefit businesses by lowering costs and increasing efficiencies but also to help individuals regain control of their personal data and online activities.

Chris began his career in the U.S. with Bankers Trust, and then spent 25 years in Asia investing and launching new businesses such as, a regional on-line media and advertising network. Through his leadership as CEO he helped raise $125 million in venture capital, leading the company from start-up to its IPO debut on NASDAQ.

Prior to co-founding the Catalyst Network, Chris was COO and Head of Europe for Janus Capital International and then Head of Distribution Initiatives for Janus Henderson Investors, an investment management firm with USD 390 billion AUM.

Darren Oliveiro-Priestnall- co-founder of the Catalyst Network and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer — has over 20 years’ experience in software engineering and the technology sector. He is a passionate privacy advocate, ethical hacker and a true technologist.

Before Catalyst, he specialised in the development of enterprise-grade systems for organisations such as Deutsche Borse, Microsoft and Microsoft Partners, UK government agencies, BAE Applied Intelligence and a group digitally delivering movies to cinemas for film companies such as Disney/Marvel. Darren is a Chartered Professional Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS CITP) as well as a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Network Defence Architect (CNDA) and Certified Blockchain Professional (CBP). When he’s not in the office he regularly speaks at conferences, private events and at universities such as the University of Oxford.

Joseph Christopherson- co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of the Catalyst Network — has an innate passion for technology and through his understanding of finance, technology and human behaviour he has recognised the great potential blockchain will have across multiple areas of society.

Joseph obtained a Masters degree in Architecture and Urban Design from Aarhus Architecture School in Denmark. His dissertation “The Digital Divide: The case for fracturing urbanism and emergence of technological mutability” provides an in-depth study of how technological advancements in urban environments can influence behaviours, and how innovation will continue to affect the way we inhabit the planet.

Joseph was first exposed to cryptocurrencies in 2014 after attending a Value Investing event. After the event, he entered and won runner-up prices for numerous Hackathons and was a top 10 finalist for Europe’s largest Blockchain Hackathon in 2017.

Dr. Pauline Bernat- Research and Development Manager at Atlas City — has over 10 years of experience in R&D for cutting-edge technology. She is passionate about justice and social rights enhancement through technological progress.

Pauline completed her PhD in Particle Physics at Paris University, where she studied the prospects for discovery of the Higgs boson at LHC, CERN. In 2010, she moved to London to pursue academic research and teaching before turning to project management in software development for financial services. Pauline has published numerous academic papers and submitted patent applications for blockchain-based solutions. Her research focused on smart contracts, anonymity and scalability improvement at the network level and group management solutions.

James Kirby- Head of Engineering at Atlas City — is an experienced software engineer for blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology and Virtualisation. He has mastered a wide range of programming languages, such as NodeJS, PHP and C# and is EC-Council certified ethical (most of the time #1337) hacker.

Prior to joining Atlas City, James worked as a system engineer for global companies such as Sony Music, BP, Aviva and Fidelity Asset Management, as well as a blockchain consultant for Kodak. His degree in Computer Science from London South Bank University has provided him with a great understanding of all aspects of product development, from system administration to system architecture, API development and mobile application development.

Individual effort is important, but it is teamwork that makes the dream work. And that’s our dream team, that’s Atlas City and Catalyst.


Empowering decentralisation on the web: Light, fast, secure, scalable & democratic. A fully functional decentralised stack that works in the real world.

Catalyst Network

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Empowering decentralisation on the web: Light, fast, secure, scalable & democratic. A fully functional decentralised stack that works in the real world.


Empowering decentralisation on the web: Light, fast, secure, scalable & democratic. A fully functional decentralised stack that works in the real world.

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