The work on Open Assets started end of 2013. At the time, Bitcoin 2.0 technologies were really nascent. Colored coins had been around for some time, but there was no good way to use them, no standard, and therefore no traction. This is how Open Asset (and Coinprism) got born.
Open Assets was first presented publicly in March 2013 at CoinSummit, though it was not yet called “Open Assets”, and was not finalized.
The design goal was to build a protocol that is flexible, and with consensus rules as simple as possible. In crypto-currency, the consensus is a set of rules that all of the participants obey to. The consensus rules for Bitcoin itself are quite extensive. It is often said that the specification of these consensus rules are the Bitcoin Core code itself. One of the core driving principle when designing Open Assets was for the consensus rules to be so simple that they could easily be described in a plain-English specification without ambiguity.
In May 2014, the specification of Open Assets got finalized, and the consensus rules have not changed since then. The specification is about 7 pages long, and can be implemented in 300 lines of code. This is a very big advantage of Open Assets compared to alternatives, as this allows everyone to build on a robust base.
Last Monday, NASDAQ announced that they are starting to use Open Assets for their NASDAQ Private Market Platform. This is a huge milestone, as it is clear now that Open Assets has become an industry standard.
The emergence of Blockchain Technology and its adoption by the industry as a whole is very positive for Bitcoin as Bitcoin acts as the “fuel” required to power those transactions (through the fees), and this gives Bitcoin a very real value.