Image: Icyhedron by @saender
Happy New Year! Decred highlights for December:
The final v1.5 release occurred on Dec 16, thanks to everyone who helped out by testing release candidates.
The PoS and PoW upgrade thresholds to trigger the headercommitments consensus rule change vote have already been met. The voting period will begin around Jan 16 when the new Rule Change Interval begins.
Decred Lightning Network is live on mainnet! Check out @jholdstock’s network explorer. So far @matheusd is winning with 11 channels open. Remember: Lightning Network is still considered unstable, experimental, maybe even dangerous! Even experts like Matheus are only playing with a couple of credits.
Stakeholders approved a $30K budget for funding the ongoing development of TinyDecred, an open source Python toolkit.
v1.5.0 release is out after about 5 weeks of testing and polishing. The new version brings many improvements covered in October issue. For full release notes and downloads visit the release page on GitHub. As always, verify the downloads before installing.
If you’re mining and haven’t upgraded, it is recommended to upgrade to avoid potentially having a block rejected due to being an old version.
Finally, don’t forget to set voting preferences for the
headercommitments agenda in your VSP accounts and solo voting configuration.
dcrd: Checkpoint logic simplified to pave the way to support checkpoints based on headers alone. Checkpoints are now also configurable by the caller. Orphan handling decoupled and moved from blockchain to block manager. In the bigger picture, these changes will help to decouple the connection code from the download logic, as required for multi-peer parallel downloading.
Memory usage of conditional execution logic in txscript optimized by replacing the condition stack with two integers.
Memory leak fixed that was especially relevant for setups that involve wallets with a very large number of addresses.
dcrwallet: createrawtransaction method implemented directly in dcrwallet so it may be called in SPV syncing mode or when the wallet is not syncing. It was previously only available in RPC syncing mode and required running a dcrd instance.
txsizes package was exported for reuse by dcrdex and dcrdata.
Decrediton: Numerous bugs squashed, including a bug in Trezor wallet that could be triggered if the Trezor wallet received funds from a non-dcrwallet sender that did not set the Sequence field properly.
Politeia: The main focus of Politeia development for December was fixing an issue where status change signature was not saved, and another where start vote signature was only a signature of the proposal token while it should be a signature of the entire Vote structure (which also includes vote params and options). The issues had no impact on users. The fixes are not backwards compatible so they required versioning the metadata. Since versioning of the start vote metadata was required anyway, the second fix also adds changes that will make supporting RFP proposals easier.
Backend work to support CMS continues, CMS UI redesign is in progress.
dcrlnd: Map of the Decred LN on mainnet is live. Note that while LN has been integrated into Decrediton, it should still be considered as in alpha form. If looking to use LN on mainnet, it is recommended to start on testnet, make sure you’re comfortable with operations you want to do on mainnet, and not use large amounts.
Port selection modified to make integration tests more robust. Docker build added to Github actions. Removed decred prefix. Work continues on Docker examples to automate simnet environments with all you need to run a LN cluster.
Remaining tasks for the DEX are:
dcrandroid: Major redesign of the user interface is finally merged after many months of work. This big change also included multi-wallet support (running more than one wallet concurrently). Remaining Java code and files have been converted to Kotlin. On the backend, multi-wallet support was added to dcrlibwallet, which uses a modified version of dcrwallet’s SPV module to sync all wallets in one process.
decred.org: Minor content updates, dependency upgrades.
Dev activity stats for December: 41 active PRs, 242 master commits, 55K added and 45K deleted lines spread across 15 repositories. Contributions came from 1-5 developers per repository.
Welcome to new first time contributor with code merged to master: vdg0 (tinydecred).
Congratulations to the new contributor listed on decred.org:
Community stats as of Jan 3:
In December the Treasury received 14,406 DCR and spent 10,106 DCR. Using December’s daily average DCR/USD rate of $18.32, this is $264K received and $185K spent. At November’s average daily rate of $19.97, the USD figure billed for work completed in that month is $202K. As of Jan 1, Treasury balance is 643,836 DCR (10.9 million USD at $16.87).
December was an unusually quiet month for Politeia, with no new proposals submitted. Two proposals from November were voted on in December:
Ditto has submitted their phase 3 communications proposal on Jan 7, discussion is ongoing.
Following analysis of the public orderbooks which raised questions about the level of liquidity provision, i2 Trading have provided full trading history logs that will allow for their performance to be scrutinized in detail. Company 0 are working on a set of tools for auditing i2’s performance in relation to the criteria specified in their proposal.
Politeia Digest has been taking a break while the level of Politeia activity is low, it will return when new proposals are submitted.
Hashrate: December’s hashrate opened at ~370 Ph/s and closed ~400 Ph/s, bottoming at 275 Ph/s and peaking at 522 Ph/s throughout the month. Pool hashrate distribution as of Jan 2: Poolin 32%, UUPool 24%, lab.antpool.com 12%, F2Pool 2.2%, BTC.com 1.8%, BeePool 0.09%, CoinMine 0.09%, suprnova 0.02%, Luxor 0.02% and others 28% per dcrstats.com. Pool distribution numbers are approximate and cannot be accurately determined.
After staying between 400-450 Ph/s in November, in December the hashrate declined further and briefly went below 300 Ph/s (last time it visited this level during a short dip in Apr 2019).
Staking: 30-day average ticket price was 137.5 DCR (+2.7) per dcrstats.com. The price varied between 123.1-158.76 DCR. Locked amount was 5.37-5.61 million DCR, which corresponded to 49.75-51.90% of the available supply.
Once again the ticket price made a new high of 158.76 since the sdiff algorithm change, while 51.9% is the new all-time high of stake participation.
Nodes: Throughout December there was an average of 175 public listening nodes and 391 normal nodes per dcr.farm. On average, versions were distributed as: 56% use dcrd v1.4, 10% use dcrd v1.5, 8.8% use dcrd v1.5 dev and RC builds, 6% use dcrwallet v1.4, 1.9% use dcrwallet v1.5.
On Dec 12, 16.1% of all DCR in circulation participated in CoinShuffle++ mixing.
Decred mainnet LN map shows 11 nodes and 13 channels as of Jan 8.
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.
Outreach in December featured v1.5.0, with @davecgh educating about consensus changes on both Decred Assembly and Decred in Depth. The additional episodes of Decred in Depth and Decred Assembly featured @matheusd on Lightning Network. The copy for the website update was put into GitHub and submitted to the #web_ops team for assembly. The new site is expected to publish in January.
Much of the rest of the month focused on reflection, discussion, and planning for 2020. @bee’s post on marketing strategies prompted a vigorous discussion in #proposals, as Ditto and @Dustorf look to prepare their next proposals. @Dustorf followed up with a survey soliciting community input on priorities regarding geographies, market segments, and possible applications. He will also publish a summary of marketing expenditures prior to his next proposal.
Ditto’s December achievements:
Decred bullish sentiment hit a yearly high, according to LunarCRUSH.
Selected Reddit posts:
Selected Twitter action:
In December DCR was trading between USD 15.61-20.77 / BTC 0.0023-0.0029. The average daily rate was $18.32.
A spec for the Stratum V2 mining protocol was published by Braiins in November, following the summer announcement. The new protocol addresses many issues in V1 and provides more efficient and secure communication between the hashing miners and the pool. A big feature of V2 is a new mode where miners choose transactions and version bits to include in the block, removing this power from the pool. This mode will be optional and will not be the default to avoid harming adoption. Joined by Matt Corallo and Peter Todd, Braiins hosted a comprehensive AMA on Reddit.
VTC suffered another 51% attack and a 600 block reorg, but this time it appears that the attackers probably failed to profit from the attack as Bittrex (the likely target) disabled trading as soon as it was detected.
The Wharton Cryptogovernance Workshop launched cryptogov.net, which includes “Governance Assessments”, self-assessed answers to a standard set of questions about blockchain governance, compiled by members of the different projects. Decred was one of 3 projects to have its answers uploaded ahead of the launch. @akinsawyerr attended an event at Wharton in Jul 2019 where the project was instigated, and also took the lead on preparing Decred’s answers, with some assistance from @richardred.
The results of the Zcash community sentiment polling were released. Participants were the community advisory panel and forum users, none of the PoW miners chose to signal using the polling method offered to them. Voters could signal support for all 13 proposals by voting Yes/No on each one.
There was very little support for proposals that did not continue to dedicate 20% of the block reward to development funding.
48 of the 62 Community Advisory Panel members responded to the poll. Options #12 (60% split between EFF/Zfnd, 40% to a major grants program with extra advisors) and #10 (The “grand compromise”, similar distribution to #12) did well with close to 75% support. Option #13 (“Keep it simple”, 50% split ECC/Zfnd) also got >50% approval.
77 forum users (of 104 eligible) voted on the proposals (accounts created after March 2019 were not eligible). #12 did the best among this group with 70% approval, #13 also did well with over 50% support.
1% of all the circulating ZEC voted in the unofficial stake-weighted poll, the most popular options within this constituency were #10 and #8 (just 2 more years of 20% funding for ECC).
The Zcash Foundation decided to develop option #12 with some improvements, then rolled back on most of the improvements in response to pushback. The final slightly amended version of the proposal will be put to another community panel and forum user vote to confirm it.
ZIP 1012, as it has become, involves extending the block reward for 4 years at 20%, with 35% going to ECC, 25% to Zfnd, and 40% for additional “Major Grants”. Changes to the proposal involve making it more directly controlled by Zfnd, and removing a restriction that would have excluded ECC from receiving any funding as part of “major grants”. Another change added to the proposal by Zfnd is to “Call for, and incentivize, development of decentralized voting and governance”.
IOTA got itself in a tangle and was halted for 15 hours due to a bug with the Coordinator.
Jack Dorsey of Twitter announced that Twitter would fund research into a decentralized version of its platform.
Moocowmoo, a Dash Core advisor and provider of a custodial master node shares service, disappeared while in the process of winding down the service, leaving some clients waiting for their DASH back for an extended period. After the increase in attention, Moocowmoo re-surfaced and the DASH began to flow back to its rightful owners within a week.
Bitfinex announced that it would begin supporting Lightning Network deposits and withdrawals starting Dec 3.
Etherscan.io, a popular Ethereum block explorer, was blocked by the Chinese Great Firewall. No reasons were given, other block explorers remain accessible.
Google banned Metamask, a browser app for interacting with Dapps, from its Play Store, for allegedly doing covert mining. While their appeal was initially rejected, the ban was overturned a few days later.
Google also purged a lot of crypto-related videos on YouTube, before reinstating them after deciding it was an error. The incident apparently left many affected YouTube content producers looking at the decentralized alternatives available to them.
A Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report from CipherTrace mentioned Decred as a cryptocurrency with privacy features.
The Stellar airdrop on Keybase has been ended prematurely due to a sharp increase in junk sign-ups, with 100,000 accounts being excluded and the final allocation of Lumens being divided between 282,000 users.
The /r/ethtrader donuts experiment continued with the launch of a special membership where members can pay a monthly subscription of 5,000 donuts to unlock features like name badges and the privilege to post gifs in comments.
The Maker Foundation sold 5.5% of the total MKR supply to Dragonfly Capital and Paradigm for $27.5 million in a bespoke arrangement that will see MKR put more emphasis on the Asian market.
Months after launching a custodial staking service for Tezos, the Coinbase exchange is now the #1 baker on the XTZ network.
“MetaCartel”, an effort to create a for-profit investment DAO in the mold of the original and infamous DAO but built on the complexity-averse Moloch, released a white paper. Moloch DAO announced an update to v2 which facilitates pairing Moloch with a legal entity without violating securities regulations.
Algorand relay nodes voted to accept an amendment to the vesting schedule of the tokens they received as grants from the Algorand Foundation. This amendment increases the number of Algo tokens relay nodes will receive by 25%, but extends the vesting schedule from 2 to 5 years, with a mechanism to speed it up if the Algo price rises. This concludes an episode which started and was missed in Sep, with relay nodes voting to suspend their own rewards until a change to the vesting schedule could be agreed.
There are around 81 Algorand relay nodes and these proposals were approved with yes votes from around 55 nodes (plus many abstentions and a few no votes). The Algorand nodes have completed KYC/AML checks and entered into a legal agreement with the foundation, such that part of the voting process for these proposals involved using DocuSign to sign and return copies of the amendment to the Foundation. KYC/AML checks are also mandatory for Algo holders who wish to participate in staking and receive rewards.
A new attack on SHA-1 hash function published early January has a practical application of impersonating PGP/GnuPG users and signing any document in their name. The attack cost is estimated $45,000 and will decrease as computation gets cheaper. If you use GnuPG, configure it to not use SHA-1 for signatures or upgrade to 2.2.18+. Signatures for Decred v1.5.0 release are not affected since they use SHA-256.
This is issue 21 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):