April saw the launch of Lightning Network on Decred’s testnet! This is a great time to check it out, do some testing, and start building on Decred’s LN.
LN will become available on mainnet when DCP0004 activates on May 9 (block 342,784), but it will take some time before it is established and stable enough for use on mainnet - testnet is the place to try Decred LN for now. It is also important for all nodes to upgrade before May 9 to avoid being forked off the network!
Politeia software saw a significant round of performance improvements and new features (like diff viewing for proposal versions) deployed on the live proposals site. The contractor management system is ready to go in a basic form and will be used for collecting and processing contractor invoices for April.
This month’s edition of Decred Journal has been a more decentralized production than usual, with @bee stepping back from the pivotal role they have played thus far (but keeping a steady supply of notes coming) and other contributors doing a bit more than they usually would.
The successfully voted in rule change DCP0004 (updating sequence lock rules to enable LN) will activate on May 9 (block 342,784). Once someone makes a transaction that relies on this rule change, any nodes that are still following the old rules (i.e. any software version before v1.4.0) will cease following the legitimate Decred chain. It is therefore important that all nodes (miners, voters, users, merchants, service providers) upgrade their Decred software to v1.4.0 before May 9. Don’t be forked off the network on May 9!
dcrd: Refactoring continues, with cleanup of unused functions and conditions, improvements to mining code and a revamp of the
chaincfg module. Careful code upgrades without breaking things are now possible due to previous work on versioned modules, which are now available and in full use.
dcrwallet: Code cleanup and improvements to ticket purchase code. Work started to add optional authentication for gRPC API, which allows users to omit the private passphrase in API calls that require an unlocked wallet. This will mitigate issues that arise when unlocked wallets are isolated via physical and networked segmentation.
Decrediton: Work on making Decrediton’s design more responsive (so that it is more usable on smaller screens) continued, with responsive designs completed for almost all of the views in this master issue. The new responsive design was implemented in Create New Wallet view. A pull request to add an embedded LN wallet UI to Decrediton was opened; this initial version will allow Decrediton users to perform actions like open/close channel, add/withdraw funds, create invoices and send payments.
Politeia: An upgrade was deployed on the live proposals site which brings significant performance improvements, adds a diff viewer to the proposal version history viewer drop-down, and changes the default ordering of comments to show top scoring comments first. The Contractor Management System is ready for use and will be used by contractors to submit their invoices for April.
dcrlnd: Decred’s Lightning Network (LN) is live on testnet! After months of hard work and several changes across the whole software stack, Decred’s official port of the original lnd daemon, dcrlnd, has been released and is ready for testnet usage. All unit and integration tests from the upstream Lightning Network project are passing, and an initial integration with Decrediton is close to completion.
Work is underway to prepare LN for mainnet, and Lightning will be technically possible on mainnet after the
fixlnseqlock agenda activates in block 342,784 around May 9. It will take time to build up the network and improve the user experience. Use of Decred’s LN should for now be considered experimental and not involve large sums of DCR. Testnet is where the LN action will happen for some time. You can follow the growth of testnet LN with this network graph.
dcrandroid: Minor bug fixes and language optimizations continue. Optional biometric authentication option is in progress and will be released in the next version, adding an extra layer of security on top of entering the wallet passphrase.
dcrios: dcrios beta saw continued testing by community members and refinements to the UI. Only a few outstanding bugs remain, and developers continue working through the formal process of getting the app approved by the Apple Store.
dcrdata: v4.1.0 was released and deployed on explorer.dcrdata.org. This version adds live tracking of on-chain votes for consensus rules changes, along with a number of performance and development improvements listed in the release notes. Voting charts for Politeia proposals have been added on the alpha site and are being iterated upon.
docs: New pages: Premine describes Decred’s airdrop and launch (a common source of misconception), Verifying Votes describes how to verify ticket votes, Hardware Wallets provides basic info on hardware wallets that support DCR. The Introduction to Decred Governance page has been overhauled to better explain ticket voting and Politeia’s role in decision-making.
dcrtimestamptweet: A new Twitter bot was started in late March. Mention @dcrtimestampbot in a comment and the bot will store the thread in IPFS, use dcrtime to anchor the data on the Decred blockchain, and message the user who invoked it.
Dev activity stats for April: 326 active PRs, 509 master commits, 96K added and 55K deleted lines spread across 10 repositories. Contributions came from 1-9 developers per repository.
Congratulations to 5 contributors listed on decred.org:
1 inactive designer removed from decred.org: Kärt Koosa (@kart, Illustrator)
The consensus vote to implement DCP0004 completed on Apr 11 with almost 100% approval and 54.5% of tickets actively participating by voting Yes. The new rules will activate on May 9, see note above about upgrading node software.
In April the Treasury received 15,460 DCR and spent 13,943 DCR. Using April’s daily average DCR/USD rate of $24.22, this is $374K received and $338K spent. As these payments were for work completed in March, it is also informative to consider them in the context of the March average daily rate of $18.14 - in which case the USD received/spent figures are $280K/$253K. As of May 7, Treasury balance is 610,200 DCR (15.4 million USD at $25.20).
Below is proposal status as of May 7.
4 new proposals were submitted:
Decentralize Treasury Spending by @moo31337, a proposal to hold monthly on-chain votes to approve Treasury spends. This proposal attracted a lot of discussion and was featured in the news. Some implementation details were omitted by design:
the reason is that in the many years of software development we have learned to only plan two steps ahead and evaluate where we stand after achieving set goals. Planning too far ahead pretty much always ends with reality colliding with the plan. So, yes it is hand-wavy but by design. Once the technical realities become apparent we can let them dictate the process. (@moo31337)
A lot of questions were answered and the voting started on May 6.
Fiat Pairs integration on EXMO Exchange by @vadymprykhodko requests ~$23,800 to integrate DCR on EXMO exchange with BTC and 2 fiat pairs (DCR/RUB, DCR/UAH). This proposal was approved with 62.6% Yes votes.
Amendment to Decred Constitution by @richard-red proposes a set of edits to the Decred constitution to bring it up to date, and clarifies the constitution’s status within the project. Voting finished with 99% Yes among 12K votes. Thanks to everyone who provided input in this process.
A Journey to the Future of Work- Telling the DCR story through Politeia by @jer979 requests 40 DCR to write an article about the experience of submitting a proposal and going through the review and voting stages - with another 60 DCR to be paid if the article is featured in a “Tier 1” outlet.
Voting concluded for 3 further proposals:
For a more detailed overview of Politeia and related action check out Politeia Digest issue 14.
Hashrate: April’s hashrate opened at ~377 Ph/s and closed ~530 Ph/s, bottoming at 276 Ph/s and peaking at 676 Ph/s throughout the month. Pool hashrate distribution as of May 1: Poolin 21%, lab.antpool.com 20%, F2Pool 18%, BTC.com 10%, UUPool 9%, Luxor 2.9%, CoinMine 0.37%, BeePool 0.09%, suprnova 0.04% and others 18.8% per dcrstats.com. Pool distribution numbers are approximate and cannot be accurately determined.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price was 117.2 DCR (+4.9) on May 1 per dcrstats.com. The price varied between 105.4-127.7 DCR. Locked amount was 4.51-4.76 million DCR, which corresponded to 47.0-49.1% of the available supply.
Nodes: As of May 7 there were 180 public listening nodes and 201 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: v1.5.0 dev builds: 6.9% (+0.6%), v1.4.0: 61% (+6%), v1.4.0 dev and rc builds: 6.1% (+1.1%), v1.3.0: 11% (-6%), v1.2.0: 7.9% (-1.6%), v1.1.2: 4.3% (+0.3%), v1.1.0: 1.4% (-0.3%).
CoinZark added Decred swaps against 25+ supported currencies.
Warning: the authors of Decred Journal have no idea about the trustworthiness of any of the services above. Please do your own research before trusting your personal information or assets to any entity.
April was a very busy month coordinating outreach, planning meetups and events, and getting setup on various platforms to begin executing the marketing plan. @anshawblack took admin reign of Decred DCR in Telegram, and has been facilitating excellent discussions by sharing quality Decred content. Here’s a brief update on progress of the marketing plan approved on Politeia.
Decred Assembly: @Dustorf & @jy-p did a practice session, then came back two weeks later to tape the first episode of the DA revamp. It was decided that rather than record a single show, segments would be recorded separately in order to generate a greater number of more digestible videos. For April, we filed a Deep Dive with @jy-p on the DEX, a Decred Distributed edition with @elian talking about Mexico and Latin America, and a Decred Debunks segment with @richardred shooting down Boaty McBoatface and the idea that stakeholders won’t make good decisions. Some administration work remains in order to post these videos on a weekly basis, which we hope to accomplish by the time this is published. The May edition has already been scheduled.
Decred Newsletter: We have decided to use an open-source service, phpList, which has caused some delay. The construct has been set and tests have been sent successfully. Currently, the design team is building out a template to make it look pretty, and they are working to incorporate a signup link into decred.org. Once that is done, we will share that to get people signed up and we expect to send the first emails in May.
Website Updates: The architecture is set and a first draft of the copy is written for most of the additional subpages. Additionally, a second version of copy has been written for the new introductory video, which will be broken into three parts: Secure. Adaptable. Self-Funding.
Decred in Depth Podcast: @anshawblack is traveling to New York for Blockchain Week beginning on May 11 and plans to record episodes with @jy-p, @jz, Murad Mahmudov, Joel Monegro, Permabull Niño, and Trey Ditto. He will then edit and trickle out the episodes over the coming weeks and months.
Community Organizers: The volume of Decred meetups and the number of events attended below highlights the success we’ve had mobilizing communities across the world. A meetup guide and tools to execute meetups will be part of the website updates. Until then, assets can be found in the Design Repository on GitHub. A reminder that if you would like a meetup in your neighborhood, start one! Decred community members take the lead on everything, there is no one dictating what happens where, simply community enablement.
Decred was V Label Verifiied on Binance. To become verified, an official member of the project (someone with a Decred email and KYC’d identity on Binance - @s_ben) reviewed and verified the information on Decred’s profile page. This allowed us an opportunity to update the project description to be more accurate and incorporate new marketing messaging, as well as correct some erroneous information about Decred’s launch (a common task).
Community stats as of May 2:
Comm systems news:
Selected Reddit discussions:
In April DCR was trading between USD 19.97-26.68 / BTC 0.0045-0.0052 as per coinmarketcap. The average daily rate was $24.22.
Bitcoin broke the USD 5,000 barrier on Apr 3 and most other crypto assets reacted as usual with an increase against USD but a decrease against BTC. Bitcoin tested USD 5,500 multiple times over the month, but ultimately was hovering between USD 5,000-5,500.
@richardred has collected and shared comprehensive proposal voting datasets for Decred, Dash and Aragon, and tweeted some basic statistics like average voter participation for each project. At the time of writing (Apr 6), based on proposals that had finished voting, Decred had an average ticket participation of 76% for on-chain votes and 31% for Politeia proposals; Dash had an average masternode participation of 19% in its Treasury proposals; Aragon had an average ANT token participation of 4.5% voting on Aragon Governance Proposals (this is not directly comparable to Decred/Dash where only tickets/masternodes can vote).
The second round of Aragon AGP voting concluded its 2 day voting window on Apr 27. Nine proposals were voted on, with a mean participation rate of 3.8% of circulating ANT tokens. 6 proposals were accepted, 3 rejected.
Three of the Aragon’s proposals concerned Polkadot in some way, after the leaders of Aragon One had stated that they are considering developing a second Aragon application on Polkadot. A proposal to buy some DOTs with the Aragon Association’s ETH (with a view to maintaining a parachain and participating in Polkadot governance) was firmly rejected by ANT voters, with just 7% Yes votes. A proposal to affirm Aragon’s commitment to Ethereum and stop Aragon One working on Polkadot related development was more narrowly defeated (with 31% Yes votes). This proposal would have caused significant friction between Aragon One and the ANT holder community had it passed, with Luis Cuende stating in an interview that he would have submitted a counter-proposal in the following round of AGP voting. In the third Polkadot-related proposal, 72% of voting ANT approved the Aragon Association to participate in a “lockdrop” for tokens on the forthcoming Edgeware parachain, leaving considerable discretion for the AA to decide how many tokens to lock and how long to lock them for. Another interesting proposal saw the Aragon Association asking for authority to arrange security audits directly (rather than going through the AGP process to vote on these decisions). This was approved with 93% Yes votes, while a proposal from the group that currently performs security audits for continued funding was rejected with 35% Yes votes.
It has been noted that the outcome of several AGP votes was altered by one whale (7th largest ANT wallet, holding 2% of tokens) voting very close to the end of the voting period.
The Dash sporking upgrade process completed to enable Deterministic Masternode List (which is a requirement for chain locks that will deter PoW majority attacks) and Auto InstantSend. The activation of this spork caused Treasury proposal votes to be reset, and for most of the month it looked as though only a few proposals would reach the required level of votes to be funded. When superblock voting closed on Apr 29 voter participation rates were back to within their normal range and 15 proposals met the requirement. 660 DASH remained to be spent in the superblock, and is now lost to the Dash Treasury, but this level of underspend is not particularly uncommon. Among the proposals were two from rival PR firms, Wachsman and Shift; until this point Dash Core Group had arranged such services directly at their discretion, and had been retaining the services of Wachsman. The Shift proposal, costing $10K per month as a retainer, passed with 536 Yes votes (90% Yes, but only 52 votes over the quorum requirement), while the Wachsman proposal was rejected with a score of -206 (more No votes than Yes votes).
The EOS constitution has been replaced with a new user agreement, proposed on chain by EOS New York and approved by the 21 Block Producers. This change had been put to EOS holders in a referendum. The referendum has a long duration (3 months) and is not due to finish until May 8, there is strong support for the proposal (98% Yes) but voter participation is very low (1.7%). EOS referendums had a notional quorum requirement of 15%, but in light of the fact that none of the polls are even close to reaching that level of participation, it seems like the BPs have decided to bypass the formal referendum process and move forward with some of the proposed changes. The EOS BPs also approved the deployment of REX (Resource Exchange), but it failed execution on chain and will have to be re-proposed.
Aeternity is planning to hold its first on-chain governance vote May 7-14. The proposal to be voted on is establishing a “Block Reward Initiative (BRI), through which ~0-20% of miner rewards will be allocated to development”. The announcement post references Aeternity’s ICO funds as being sufficient to fund development for years to come, and positions the BRI as a transition to a self-sustaining platform. BRI funds would be given to a charitable foundation registered in Liechtenstein, and administered by a technical council. AE token holders will vote for 0, 5, 10, 15 or 20% of the block rewards to go to this foundation - as long as more than 50% of AE votes for a share greater than 0%, the percentage will be set using a weighted average of the votes for options greater than 0%. This will leave some AE holders who don’t want the block reward funding with a difficult choice of whether to vote for 0% and hope to be in the majority (and otherwise be ignored) or to vote for 5% to lower the weighted average in the case that the proposal is approved.
Ycash, a “friendly fork” of Zcash, was announced. Ycash will build off a snapshot of the Zcash chain, and will diverge in two ways (replacing the current 20% Founders Reward with a perpetual 5% reward going to a newly created Ycash foundation, and switching the PoW mining algorithm to something more conducive to mining on commodity hardware) while aiming to incorporate future improvements from Zcash. Zooko Wilcox wrote a blog post about “A Future Friendly Fork” in 2017, and this appears to have inspired the positioning of Ycash as a friendly fork. Zooko has also commented on the Ycash post to say that he sees Ycash as a positive development for Zcash.
The Zcash Foundation announced funding for a research project with KZen Networks to enable private n-of-n multisig transactions for Sapling Zcash without requiring a consensus change. The effort is related to KZen’s work on threshold signatures, which are similar to multisig but are indistinguishable from regular signatures.
“Maker DAO” was the subject of some controversy this month, initially with an ongoing issue with the DAI peg to USD (with frequent stability increases lately failing to restore the peg) and then with some leaked information about conflict within the Maker team. Zandy’s story provides an interesting look into the history of Maker and the origins of the Maker Foundation as a last-minute move to avoid a hefty tax bill, and a subsequent falling out of the parties involved, with secret communications channels, a “purple pill” roadmap to try and resolve the conflict, board members being fired and having to relinquish their private multisig keys, and a leaked letter that exposed the whole thing.
Zcoin announced a vulnerability with the Zerocoin protocol that allowed forged coins to be created (“not exceeding 1% of the circulating supply”). Details are to be released later, once other projects exposed to a flaw with the cryptography of Zerocoin (PIVX, Veil and Gravity Coin) have had a chance to mitigate the issue. The Zcoin team called for Zerocoin spends to be disabled on Apr 9 when they detected the issue, and in this post on Apr 26 confirmed that it will remain disabled for Zcoin as they are working on a replacement (Sigma) which is nearly ready.
In part 4 of the 0x Roadmap ZEIP-31 was proposed, which would add incentives for market makers to hold the ZRX token. This is in response to a lack of correlation between users of 0x and ZRX token holders. ZRX is designed to be used to govern the protocol, which is unlikely to work well in a scenario where the main users do not hold any ZRX. The proposal is at the start of a long process to develop and audit the new smart contracts then hold a tokenholder vote to approve/reject the integration of the changes.
Bitcoin (Cash) Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) has been delisted by a number of exchanges as part of an ongoing feud between Craig S Wright and some members of the Bitcoin community. Ironic that the poor behavior of a very visible front man is causing so much trouble for BSV.
Bitfinex encountered some trouble from the New York Attorney General’s office, in the form of a request for a court order to investigate transactions between certain legal entities relating to Bitfinex and Tether. Specifically, the NY AG alleges that Bitfinex lost some $850 million held by Crypto Capital (they claim it has been frozen), and borrowed from Tether reserves in order to keep Bitfinex operational. Tether updated their terms on Feb 26, adding that it may now back USDT by assets other than USD and delay the redemption or withdrawal because of poor liquidity or unavailability of the assets.
QuadrigaCX declared bankrupt after months of uncertainty.
A critical flaw was discovered in Switzerland’s Internet Voting System (missed from March), which is scheduled to be used in elections this year. The flaw would allow someone to alter votes undetected. Cory Doctorow wrote about this as exposing issues with Internet voting around the auditing process and NDAs which cover code and silence criticizm from security researchers.
The G20 members will meet in Japan in June and plan to agree on a framework to combat crypto-enabled money laundering and terrorism financing - with the main aim being anti-anonymity and the identification of individuals transacting in crypto-assets at the moment of transaction.
Researchers have shown that a testing utility bundled with Intel chips (Intel VISA) can allow an attacker to capture data from the CPU.
Former Mozilla exec accused Google of sabotaging Firefox for years - through a long series of “mistakes” which led Google products to have issues in Firefox browser.
When it comes to privacy, New York Times has a good sense of humor - stuffing the “Privacy Project” homepage to the gills with third-party tracking scripts.
This is issue 13 of Decred Journal. Index of all issues, mirrors and translations is available here.
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, degeri, Dustorf, elian, guang, Haon, issedjur, liz_bagot, lukebp, lustosa, matheusd, richardred, s_ben, saender, sambiohazard.