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The big news of the month is the Politeia mainnet launch on October 16th, when decision-making power over the future direction of the project and Treasury funds was handed over to the stakeholder community. Congratulations to everyone and thanks to the Politeia team for the countless hours of work.
In a blog post to mark the occasion, @jy-p shared some insights from his experiences as a custodian of the Decred Treasury. He expressed optimism and interest in seeing what the Decred community would do with this power, but also cautioned about some pitfalls to be avoided and ways in which this grand governance experiment could go wrong.
New software version 1.3.1 was released to allow everyone to participate in Politeia. It adds Governance page to Decredition for GUI users, and introduces a new
politeiavoter tool for CLI users. Get the downloads on GitHub and don’t forget to verify signatures.
dcrd: Another big step towards multipeer downloads entered testing. It optimizes chain reorganization logic for the typical case and makes reorganizations use less memory. Regression network (regnet) was resurrected and several unit tests were migrated to it. This allowed to separate concerns and optimize simnet setup. This change simplifies setting up dcrd on a separate machine. New getblockchaininfo RPC provides useful chain-related information that was previously unavailable. Go Report Card was added to README and as of writing it is showing A+ rating for the project. Various RPC, testing and infrastructure improvements.
A lot of mining-related improvements are in the pipeline.
dcrwallet: bug fixes.
Decrediton: Version 1.3.1 reveals SPV and Politeia functionality to all users. It also adds first batch of translations that include French, Spanish, German, Japanese and Chinese (simplified). If you are a long standing community member and notice any incorrect translations you can open an issue on GitHub or contact the team on the slack/matrix chat platforms. To ensure high quality translations, some reputation with the project is currently required to submit translation issues. At the same time, the procedures to allow input from more users are being formalized.
Politeia: ability for admins to specify voting parameters (quorum, pass threshold and vote duration), ability to lock accounts that are abusing the system or for security reasons, ability to revoke proposal vote authorization. Multiple bug fixes and UI improvements. Many community members joined testing and submitted dozens of issue reports after launch.
Up next is adding notifications and other missing features. Longer term plan is to scale Politeia and develop smart contracts for the Treasury.
Android: dcrandroid gained a PIN security option in addition to the existing password option for spending security. Another security feature is full wallet encryption and requiring the PIN/password to access the wallet. Android 9 support was added. The testnet version is now available to beta testers on Google Play, and they will automatically receive updates. A new testnet version is being pushed now. Several bugs and priority enhancements were done based on feedback from the last testing round. Testing for the mainnet release is being done.
iOS: all crashing issues are resolved, and effort will be focused on getting it out to a larger testing audience and targeting a release after the Android release is out the door.
dcrdata: work to speed up initial sync (751, 754, 752), disapproved blocks page, Insight API documentation by @s_ben, new visual blocks home page by @itswisdomagain, time grouped block listing. The newly merged features will be deployed in future releases.
Trezor: Decred support was merged into Model T firmware repository. Decrediton integration can be merged after the next firmware release. This is all for normal transactions. Buying tickets will require more work and changes to dcrwallet.
Politeia documentation is nearing completion, SPV documentation is planned next.
Did you know there are several Decred packages in Arch User Repository?
There was a small interruption on GitHub that had a minor impact on work, but the developers are keeping an eye on GitHub.
Dev activity stats for October: 310 active PRs, 297 master commits, 65K added and 22K deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 4-9 developers per repository. (chart)
Another warm welcome to new people contributing for the first time: SergeyMikhlevskiy (dcrandroid), ademuanthony and buck54321 (dcrdata), ggoranov (dcrd), gallexis (dcrwallet), ZeroASIC (dcrweb), szpasztor and faelv (decrediton).
(the list above may be incomplete, looking for help to automate the collection of info from repositories)
We had a total of 8 proposals on Politeia between Oct 1 and Nov 9 (covering the beginning of Nov to avoid confusion with proposal statuses).
1. Decred Open Source Research submitted by @richardred on Oct 16.
This proposal seeks funding for open source research and will be open to contributions from anyone with relevant skills who applies them productively to approved research projects. Discussion focused on the method of approving research projects and deciding which work is eligible for payment. $10,000 was requested as an initial budget for a few months.
Status: Approved. Voting finished on Nov 5 with 90.2% Yes votes.
2. Change language: PoS Mining to PoS Voting, Stakepool to Voting Service Provider submitted by @richardred on Oct 19.
The proposal asks that changes be made to some common terminology related to Decred’s Proof of Stake system.
Status: Approved. Voting finished on Nov 5 with 94.1% Yes votes.
3. Decred Contractor Clearance Process submitted by @jy-p on Oct 19.
The proposal describes a formal process for clearing new contractors to bill for their work on the project. It is motivated by the need to maintain high standards in the project’s software development and other subdomains. Individual new contributors will have to be approved by 3 established contractors in the relevant subdomain before being cleared to bill for their work. DCCs can similarly be revoked with the agreement of 3 contractors within the domain. Disputes can be escalated to an all contractor vote, wherein each contractor would vote with a weight based on the amount of time they bill for on the project. The estimated project cost is $25,000, for work on a system for tracking contractors within domains and who has vouched for who.
Status: Author has not yet authorized the start of voting.
4. Testing of the funding-request mechanism by a non expert submitted by hashfunction8 on Oct 20.
Author is asking for 0.1 DCR to reimburse their proposal fee, in exchange they would document how to use the proposal submission form.
Status: Author has not yet authorized the start of voting.
Two professional PR companies submitted proposals to provide communications services for Decred, both proposals had multiple revisions based on community feedback.
5. Wachsman Communications Proposal for Decred submitted by tomcurranlevett on Oct 19.
Proposal for a range of professional communications support services from Wachsman, $20,000/month for 6 months with 30-day out clause.
Status: Rejected. Voting finished on Nov 5 with 27.6% Yes votes.
6. Ditto Communications Proposal for Decred submitted by blainr on Oct 22.
Proposal for a range of professional communications support services from Ditto, $25,000/month for 6 months with 30-day out clause.
Status: Approved. Voting finished on Nov 5 with 62.3% Yes votes.
7. Premium Listing for Decred on Easyrabbit submitted by easyrabbit on Oct 30.
Easyrabbit has already listed DCR and is offering a “premium listing” for 30 DCR - with promotions like no/low trading fees and feature placement on the site and in social media.
Status: Author has not yet authorized the start of voting.
8. Sweepstakes submitted by geraldoneto on Nov 5.
This proposal describes a raffle system and some example configurations, but does not propose a specific plan for building it.
Status: Author has not yet authorized the start of voting.
The monthly format of the Decred Journal is not well suited for timely updates about proposal activity on Politeia. To address this need, @richardred started a weekly Politeia Digest. It covers all proposals that were added or changed within a week, and provides some analysis. First, second and third issues were posted on Reddit, Medium and GitHub.
Hashrate: nearly doubled in October, starting the month around 80 and ending around 156 PH/s. The low was 73 and the high was 193 PH/s. BeePool’s share varied between 20-50%, F2Pool 25-35%, Luxor 3-5% and Coinmine 3-4%. Unknown hashrate held between 20-30% with several spikes to 60%. Pool distribution numbers are approximate and cannot be accurately determined.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price was 99.8 DCR (+1.8). The price varied between 96.5 and 102.6 DCR. Locked amount was 3.94-4.06 million DCR, which corresponded to 46.0-46.6% of the available supply.
Third most tickets purchased in a 24 hour period in 2018 was noticed on Oct 3.
Nodes: as of Oct 31 there are 202 public listening nodes and 323 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 6% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+1%), 45% on v1.3.0 (+15%), 28% on v1.2.0 (-14%), 14% on v1.1.2 (-1%), 5% on v1.1.0 (-1%).
Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. Batch 1 has shipped, Batch 2-5 production is expected to begin shortly and will take about 6 weeks to build and ship, Obelisk pledged to mine no more than 2% of network hashrate (down from 20%), an article detailing compensation policy was posted, firmware update v1.2.0 was released. DCR1 owners will be able to purchase SC1 upgrade boards and convert their units into Sia miners.
Meet StrongU, a new mining manufacturer who released two units:
@i2Rav on behalf of i2 Trading offers Whatsminer D1 machines for purchase. Additionally they can host the units in their facility in China. DCR is accepted for both services. Reach out to him on Slack for details.
Iterative and their Chinese partner Mega Pool started a Megapool VSP and are soon to launch a PoW pool. They are hoping to provide a full suite of services for Decred stakeholders, from mining equipment and pools, all the way down to liquidation services of DCR into fiat or BTC.
Welcome three new voting service providers, making a total of 20:
Decred is live on Living Room of Satoshi. It allows one to pay any bill or to pay money into any Australian bank account with Decred. Established in 2014, the service helped to pay over 140,000 bills.
Hi guys, just want to let you know that Decred is now live on livingroomofsatoshi.com . LRoS is a platform that Australians can use to pay any bill with cryptocurrency. We were getting quite a bit of interest from Decred users so we’re happy to now have you onboard for Australians to use. (@RoomOfSatoshi in #general)
Brazilian presidential candidate Fernando Haddad registered his government plan on the Decred blockchain to prevent distortion and possible vote manipulation by fake news. Link to document certification is here. The story got covered by outlets like criptomoedasfacil, criptonoticias and cointelegraph (mention of Decred omitted). Discussion on r/decred.
October was an exciting month for Decred, in large part due to the launch of Politeia. The press release was viewed by 2,615 unique addresses in 53 countries, and was used to publish dozens of stories on Decred’s launch. Brady Dale of CoinDesk was granted an exclusive on the launch, and his article can be found here.
Decred was a platinum sponsor at the Texas Bitcoin Conference in Austin on Oct 27-28. A strong mix of presenters converged to deliver some dynamic presentations on governance, Politeia specifically, staking, mining, and many other topics. Videos of the presentations can be viewed here.
Much of the remainder of the month focused on vetting PR firms and facilitating proposals on Politeia.
The right PR firm will help achieve our communications goals and protect our Treasury. The firms have the experience, discipline, and domain expertise to get us in the right places. Many people have commented positively about events. These typically cost $50-$100k per large scale event. Given the level of investment, it makes sense to be certain that we’re in the right places and then optimizing our presence through media outreach to schedule interviews for Decred community members on the right topics with the right media outlets.
There have been concerns about ceding control-messaging or content creation. That will not be the case. Both firms have agreed to work with us as team members in the writers room, and at the end of the day, the Decred community is the client with the final say. There will be a weekly conference call, and I think that all community members should have access to the call.
On that note, I’ll explain the process to this point because I think it’s demonstrative of what it will look like if a firm is selected to proceed. I suggested to @jy-p that the right PR resource would be of value for the aforementioned reasons. I researched and reviewed dozens of firms-crypto specific firms, fin-tech B2B firms, and bulge bracket firms. Quickly, I concluded that only crypto specific firms would possess the technical knowledge to help us in fewer than six months. Next, I interviewed six crypto PR firms and reduced the set to two. I coordinated multiple conference calls with no fewer than eight core community members to vet and question the firms. Collectively, we all agreed that these two firms would be capable of accomplishing our objectives, and we decided to have both of them submit proposals in Politeia so the community could decide. (@Dustorf in #proposals)
The work to vet the PR firms will soon be detailed further in a blog by @Dustorf. Now that a PR firm has been approved (early Nov), work will begin to gain consensus within the community on messaging, and plans will begin on significant website updates and an integrated communications plan for 2019. Much more to share in November.
@zubairzia0 has taken on the LinkedIn page:
The Decred page was there for a while but it was low in activity. I am currently helping on LinkedIn to increase presence on that platform as there is potential to attract professionals and firms that can become productive stakeholders. The Politeia page is a showcase page (like an extension page for spotlighting a part of the business), that started this Oct. Updates are vetted through a small group of contributors much like Twitter updates. I have made a GitHub repository where we can collaborate on plans and activities, and I intend to store the analytics data there as LinkedIn limits export to the last 6 months. LinkedIn Learning is also on the radar where Decred courses can be offered (currently has Etheruem and Bitcoin courses). However, this requires that I or any interested individual apply to get on the LinkedIn Learning platform first. Recent stats for Decred page are 593 page views (+90%) and 276 unique visitors (+51%), and for Politeia page 78 page views and 16 unique visitors.
Targeted advertising report for October was posted by @timhebel. Politeia campaign is planned soon using some of the new graphics. Read more here.
Comm systems news:
Twitter: how Decred and Dash differ merely in implementation details and suffer from plutocracy; on-chain governance and plutocracies again; more bashing of plutocracy; diminishing the power of committees; the point of on-chain governance is not to create a democracy and give everyone a vote, but to make sure the network is being maintained and upgraded properly; internal vs external funding and concerns about Decred “team’s” holdings.
Reddit: whether Decred will fork like Sia; concerns about end of emission and stakeholders making good long term decisions; plans on advanced multisig, Schnorr and MuSig; privacy vs auditable supply; Wachsman and Ditto proposal discussion; collecting questions to ask of people running the infrastructure.
I’ve visited a lot of other communities and IMO the Decred community seems quite strong. I haven’t found many where you have such access to the developers and where you can watch the changes being made on a daily basis. (@sumiflow in #trading)
DCR was trading in the range of USDT 35-56 / BTC 0.0058-0.0085. The USDT base is used instead of the usual USD because as October has shown, the two can go out of sync in dramatic ways.
On Oct 15 a huge dump of USDT sent it below $0.8 on some exchanges and caused a corresponding spike of BTC up to USDT 7700. On Poloniex, panic sells of USDT reached USDC 0.51, and on Bittrex it went down to $0.87. The price held below $0.9 for around 12 hours, recovered to $0.97 by Oct 19 and to $0.98 by Oct 27. Media coverage is here and here.
A 40% jump to USDT 56 / BTC 0.0085 happened after the announcement of DCR listing on Binance.
Numbers are from Poloniex and Bittrex.
A new paper suggested that Bitcoin can be heavily influenced by China. It was not peer reviewed yet. Note how the paper titled “An Analysis of Chinese Influence on Bitcoin” was played by the media as “China has the power to destroy Bitcoin”.
Bitcoin celebrated 10 years since Satoshi posted his original whitepaper on a cryptography mailing list.
Sia forked to brick all ASIC units except Obelisk. More details in the FAQ, a blog post by David Vorick, and an extensive Reddit AMA with the developers. Part of the community who disagreed with the fork established SiaClassic and declared independence. Reddit AMA is here. InnoSilicon replied and supported SiaClassic Foundation. But that’s not all: another fork to emerge from the algorithm change is Sia Prime. Together with Hyperspace, there are 4 projects now. Thankfully, someone explained the differences. Let’s learn from this, try to avoid conflicts of interest and keep the community together.
A Reddit user offered to livestream an 51% attack on a small PoW coin for educational purposes. Ethics of this were discussed here and here. It is worth noting that Decred was nearly impossible to 51% attack from the start.
Speculation circulates around vote buying in EOS.
Recent issues around Cardano Foundation show us that it is important to keep the structure flat, to carefully vet any entity before giving them money and to track their progress.
BitMEX group posted an article on Bitcoin implementations which argues that Bitcoin Core software repository has less influence than people seem to think.
ShapeShift, a service that pioneered accountless exchanges where one didn’t need to compromise privacy or worry about securing a centralized account, is adding mandatory accounts and KYC.
When shipping some MacBooks, Apple forgot to disable “Manufacturing Mode” of Intel ME. This is all pure accident and not a backdoor intent. Make sure your coins are safe.
Which parts of the Journal do you find most and least useful? Which deserve more or less effort? Is it getting too large?
Please let us know in the comments as we are looking to optimize efforts.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Credits (alphabetical order): bee, davecgh, degeri, Dustorf, Haon, jholdstock, oregonisaac, raedah, richardred and zubairzia0. Special thanks to DZ for translations.