Image: Event Horizon by @saender
Highlights for January:
There is still around 1 week to go. If you have a preference please configure it in your solo and/or VSP voting wallets.
Release v1.5.1 fixes bugs found in v1.5.0 and adds a few features.
dcrd: fixed minor memory leak with authenticated RPC WebSocket clients on intermittent connections. This is especially relevant for setups that involve wallets with a very large number of addresses.
dcrwallet: fixed address reuse bug that could be triggered by restart of the network sync (e.g. when losing link to dcrd), a bug in ticket buyer that could send change to a wrong account, and a few other bugs. New features include the
auditreuse command and the ability to use
createrawtransaction in SPV syncing mode (i.e. without running dcrd).
Decrediton: fixed incorrect display of active tickets, gap exhaustion during change generation, and several UI issues. QR codes have been sexed up with blue/green Decred logo in the center.
dcrd: Service script for OpenBSD rc.d was added in addition to the existing systemd and SMF configs. HTTP seeder support was added to dcrseeder and to dcrd.
chainec package was removed because of the practical issues encountered with this generic crypto API. Nonce generation was improved and optimized by specializing the implementation specifically for secp256k1 and modifying it in such a way that signing can no longer fail in the extremely unlikely event a returned nonce results in an invalid signature.
dcrwallet: Multiple bug fixes for the v1.5.1 release.
Decrediton: Lots of bug fixes and UI enhancements for the v1.5.1 release.
Work continues to refactor startup to utilize a hierarchical state machine.
Politeia: The Decred Contractor Clearance (DCC) component of the CMS has launched and started processing DCC issuances. CMS received a bunch of fixes and UI enhancements.
Work continues on the CMS UI redesign and adding dark mode to Politeia.
dcrstakepool: v1.5.0 was released. This release contains all development work completed since v1.2.0 (Sep 2019). Since then, 7 contributors have produced and merged 37 pull requests. Changes include minor GUI enhancements, improved HTTP request logging, streamlining of existing code, and various bug fixes. For the full list of changes and upgrade path see the release notes.
A new high level design was proposed for removing VSP accounts that also removes fees from VSP ticket transactions, making it possible for both solo and VSP stakers to purchase mixed tickets in the same anonymity set.
dcrlnd: Bug fixes and documentation improvements. Docker examples finished that automate the deployment of simnet environments with docker-compose. A beginner’s guide to testing the Decred LN was published on Medium.
dcrdex: More building blocks completed. Highlights: client DCR exchange wallet, client bbolt-based database, client web server to enable client access via browser, initial client core application, client application skeleton, client registration of new DEX account through the web interface, server app config and asset drivers system, implementation of 64-bit Mersenne Twister PRNG.
It was another busy development month: a total of 27 pull requests merged adding 22K and deleting 4K lines.
The dcrlibwallet mobile library shared between Android and iOS apps received a bunch of bug fixes and was upgraded to v1.5.0 release of dcrd and dcrwallet.
dcrios: UI enhancements and performance optimizations. Overview page UI cleanup and sync improvements, multi-wallet optimizations, preliminary migration to dcrlibwallet’s multi-wallet feature, switched to dcrlibwallet’s config storage. A new UI was implemented for the password/PIN setup, seed backup and restore from seed features.
dcrdata: Small fixes and UI improvements.
tinydecred: RPC client was added with most commands implemented by now. Added a button to revoke missed and expired tickets. Database was redesigned to support custom encoding, batch insertion, namespaces, and more. Improved test coverage to ~73%. Restructured the project to make it packageable.
docs: dcrlnd commands and arguments for the CLI have been documented. Setup instructions for Trezor on Decrediton were added. Reading list was added to the Getting Started section containing curated selection of articles, podcasts, video and other materials (based on Ditto’s Educational Resources Repository). BLAKE-256 page has been significantly extended to explain why this function was chosen. Two new definitions (Coin Type and HD Wallet) were added to Glossary.
Dev activity stats for January: 246 active PRs, 210 master commits, 58K added and 25K deleted lines spread across 17 repositories. Contributions came from 3-6 developers per repository.
The following people were removed from the list of active contributors: Leslie Ankney, Elizabeth Bagot, Margaret Huang, Milvian Prieto, Denys Zayets, Tim Hebel, Phillip Conrad, Justin Santoro, Bill Xing. Thank you for all the good work and don’t hesitate to drop by!
The contributors page is regularly updated to list people who are currently building Decred. The consequence of this is that when inactive contributors are removed, no record is left on the website that they have worked for the project. To address this it has been proposed to create a list of past contributors and/or hall of fame.
Historical charts of Twitter, YouTube, Reddit and GitHub stats are now available at dcrextdata.
In January the Treasury received 14,121 DCR and spent 15,560 DCR. Using January’s daily average DCR/USD rate of $18.00, this is $254K received and $280K spent. At December’s average daily rate of $18.32, the USD figure billed for work completed in that month is $285K. As of Feb 1, the Treasury balance is 642,082 DCR (12.2 million USD at $18.96).
There were 6 proposals submitted in Jan, 5 have already been voted on and 1 is still under discussion.
Politeia Digest issue 26 has more detail on all of the proposals and the Market Maker auditing. Auditing tools have been developed which process i2’s order open/close history to calculate uptime on a percentage basis. If uptime is less than the 90% quoted in i2’s proposal, their fees for the month will be reduced proportionally.
Also in January, CoinDesk published an article which referenced Decred Treasury spending figures. Some additional figures were calculated for the article at that time (end of Nov 2019). The Treasury had paid out the equivalent of $6.55 million, with 54.7% being paid to developers. Since Politeia launched in Oct 2018, more than 10% of Treasury spending has gone to projects proposed and passed via Politeia. By geographical region, 30% of Decred’s developers are in Central/South America, 25% in the US, 20% in Europe, 15% in Africa, and 10% in Asia.
Hashrate: January’s hashrate opened at ~396 Ph/s and closed ~435 Ph/s, bottoming at 315 Ph/s and peaking at 528 Ph/s throughout the month. Pool hashrate distribution as of Feb 1: Poolin 26%, UUPool 18%, lab.antpool.com 10%, F2Pool 2%, Luxor 1.78%, BTC.com 1.46%, BeePool 0.08%, CoinMine 0.07%, suprnova 0.01%, and others ~40% per dcrstats.com. Pool distribution numbers are approximate and cannot be accurately determined.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price was 138.3 DCR (+0.8) per dcrstats.com. The price varied between 128.1-150.4 DCR. Locked amount was 5.55-5.71 million DCR, which corresponded to 50.83-51.96% of the available supply.
Nodes: Throughout January there was an average of 137 public listening nodes and 323 normal nodes per dcr.farm. Average version distribution for Jan: 50.8% use dcrd v1.4, 21.1% use dcrd v1.5, 9.0% use dcrd v1.5 dev and RC builds, 3.1% use dcrd v1.6 dev builds, 2.2% use dcrd v1.5.1, 5.6% use dcrwallet v1.4, 3.4% use dcrwallet v1.5, 0.6% use dcrwallet v1.5.1.
dcrextdata got a refreshed design and enabled mempool and block propagation charts. Some of them are a bit slow but already show interesting information. Feedback is welcome in the issue tracker or in the #planetdecred room.
Data from a node that has been running since block 0 shows that the Decred mainnet chain has had 2517 reorgs of depth 1, 25 reorgs of depth 2, 3 reorgs of depth 3, and 0 reorgs of depth greater than 3.
The Decred mainnet LN map shows 14 nodes and 31 channels with a total capacity of 6 DCR, as of Feb 6.
It turns out that the dcr.farm VSP runs a bunch of useful services without due advertising:
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.
On February 8th, Decred turned four, and the community celebrated the event with #DecredGlobalMeetup. Events took place in at least a dozen cities all across the world to celebrate the community and technology Decred has built.
In January, the new subpages of the website were completed and submitted for translations, and all languages are expected to go live at once in February. This offers a visual refresh to the site, and aligns with the current project messaging. The website has been simplified, and all future updates will be achievable in no longer than three months start to finish.
Various proposals for marketing and PR have been submitted, and more are on the way, as well as a report detailing a summary of 2019 efforts and expenses, and a call to action for 2020 to decentralize, break the bubble, educate, and empower the individual.
The Decred in Depth podcast released two episodes: @matheusd on Decred’s Lightning Network, and @permabullnino on “Block Subsidies + Ticket Pool VWAP + HODLer Conversion Rates”. Don’t forget to subscribe and rate the podcast.
Decred was featured in the new Our Network weekly newsletter issues #2 and #6, with @Checkmate providing charts and insights about Decred on-chain data and @richardred providing one chart about Politeia. Each week the newsletter includes 5 graphs and comments for a number of different blockchain projects.
Checkmate made the bear case for Ethereum as part of an intended “crypto rumble” in the Bankless newsletter. Vitalik Buterin responded to some comments about the write-up on Reddit, and there are now 3 responses on the Bankless substack from prominent Ethereum community members.
We were equally as excited to see the engagement sparked by the CoinDesk article last weekend! It was certainly interesting to see various projects discussing who ended up being mentioned in the article, with only Decred and a handful of others making the cut. This type of coverage is the result of months of communication with reporters: education, timely responses, interviews, supplying information and statistics, etc. Stories like this don’t happen overnight or of their own accord - and the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” does apply to media. (@liz_bagot)
Comm systems news:
Selected Reddit posts:
Selected Twitter discussions:
In January DCR was trading between USD 16.24-22.44 / BTC 0.00195-0.00257. The average daily rate was $18.00.
The price movement of Bitcoin from ~6500 to the ~9000 range spurred the price increase of a number of altcoins including Dash, Zcash and a number of Bitcoin forks.
Bitcoin celebrated its 11th anniversary. Since Jan 3, 2009, the Bitcoin network has operated with 99.9848% uptime.
December’s mining report from CoinShares notes a 80% Bitcoin hashrate increase since Jun 2019, from ~50 to ~90 Eh/s (Exahashes per second). 70% of the added ~40 Eh/s is speculated to come from China, while China’s share in the total hashrate is estimated to be 65%. The “breakeven” and “miner capitulation” prices are estimated at ~$6,100 and ~$3,900, respectively. Check the highlights and the full linked report for more interesting numbers.
State of the Network 2019 Year in Review by Coin Metrics compared the performance of the largest 18 cryptoassets (including DCR) across a set of market and chain metrics.
Monero announced RPC-Pay, a new scheme for instant and private microtransactions where clients pay with mining hashes for using a compliant server, such as a Monero node. “Hashes received as payment are used by the server to earn income, and because of Monero’s RandomX the mining hashes can be calculated efficiently using most popular CPUs. Paying with just hashes instead of Monero itself means that RPC-Pay does not burden the Monero network or leave a record. With RPC-Pay, mining hashes become a new stealthy smallest unit of payment in the Monero universe.”. Primo project is the first external application of the concept to implement paid website content delivery.
Nakamoto, a new cryptocurrency-themed journal, launched on the 11th anniversary of Bitcoin’s genesis block with a selection of articles from prominent blockchain personalities. The journal describes itself (and contributors) as being “pro-Bitcoin”, but this caused quite a lot of controversy with some Bitcoin maximalists who took exception to articles which were about cryptocurrency projects other than Bitcoin. Many people listed as contributors have not yet published articles in the journal, but listing names like Roger Ver and Brendan Blumer (Block.one CEO) seems to have been enough to have other contributors like Tuur Demeester withdrawing their name.
DigixDAO is to be wound down following a vote in which 58 stakeholders voted overwhelmingly (97%) to liquidate its funding pool and reclaim their ETH. DigixDAO was formed to support an ecosystem around the Digix gold token (DGX) and promote it. Digix conducted an ICO in 2016 and raised 466,648 ETH, worth $7 million at the time, and currently holds 380,000 ETH (worth $71 million at Jan 2019 prices). After the DAO platform launched in March 2019 to administer the fund the founders began to hear dissatisfaction from DAO members and requests for dissolution. They introduced Project Ragnarok as an option to dissolve the DAO and allow members to reclaim their ETH, and members took that option. Of the DAO token (DGD) circulating supply of 2 million, 1 million was staked to participate in DAO governance. Casual inspection of the proposals on the DigixDAO community site suggests turnout in proposal votes was regularly lower than 10% DGD represented, with around 20-30 voters on most proposals. The liquidation proposal had much higher participation, with 66% of circulating DGD voting to shut the whole thing down. This article has further details, including the pivotal role played by 4 DGD whales thought to be founders of the project.
Another ICO project to wind down and return unspent funds this month was TruStory.
Decentraland are putting their Agora governance platform to use again with two more votes to determine ecosystem parameters. MANA holders voted on what the marketplace fee should be (fees are collected in MANA and burned), with 90% voting to increase the fee from 1% to 2.5% (the other options were for larger increases). MANA holders also voted on how much weight to give LAND ownership in governance, having previously voted to indicate that LAND owners should also be able to vote, in this poll the MANA holders voted to give each LAND the equivalent voting power to 2K MANA (the lowest option available). Participation in these governance polls was around 3.5-4% of circulating MANA supply and around 50 individual addresses.
The Zcash development funding saga seems to finally be over, for this epoch. However, not before having to resolve some final disagreements. The first of these was about whether the ECC’s funding should be capped in USD terms (limiting ECC’s exposure to ZEC upside). The ECC published a post about the importance of ZEC-denominated incentive packages for attracting and retaining talented workers, with a 4-year vesting schedule on these to encourage long service. The post argued against a fiat-denominated cap on ECC’s earnings, as it would break this incentive alignment by reducing ECC’s exposure to ZEC upside.
This was one of the questions put to long-standing forum members in a poll on the Helios voting platform, the results of which indicated that 56 did not want a cap while 18 did. Voters also opted to limit ECC’s share of rewards to 35%, the smallest of the options presented. All that remains is for the Zcash Foundation and ECC to finalize the details of the agreement, and 20% of the ZEC rewards will be going to the ECC (35%), Zcash Foundation (25%) and major grants (as decided by a panel selected by the Foundation, 40%) - until the next halvening epoch, when the dance begins anew.
A related disagreement as part of this final round of polling was about the importance of holding a coin holder vote. This involved two comprehensive discussions on the ZEC forum (nice to see Decred mentioned, there seems to be a contingent of the ZEC community who would like to move to a Decred-style approach). In the end, the coin vote turned into more of a discussion, as can be seen in this dashboard (warning: Google Drive link).
Round 4 of the Gitcoin Quadratic Funding experiment happened, and this writeup by Vitalik Buterin gives an account of how it went. This round added a Media grants stream, with a smaller matching budget ($75,000) than the main Tech grants stream ($125,000). In the early stages @antiprosynth, a prominent Ethereum Twitter personality, was in line to receive $20,000 in matching funds, but after some campaigning about this other initiatives received more donations and the share of matching funds for this Twitter account was reduced to $11,393. There was some further controversy in the Media grants category as one of the projects involved a private group that would get privileged access to the outputs. The main beneficiary in the Tech grants category was Tornado.cash, a smart-contract based ETH mixer.
Jiang Zhuoer revealed a plan to fund development of Bitcoin Cash software with 12.5% of the BCH block reward. This would be enforced for all miners by a majority of mining power, and in its initial form would have channelled all funding to a specified company. After receiving pushback from some people in the BCH community a revised version of the plan was published. In this new version miners will choose which of a set of pre-approved development projects to donate the 12.5% of their block rewards to. If a miner does not like any of the available options they can choose to burn that portion of their rewards instead of donating. The post also seems to suggest reducing the donation rate from 12.5% to 2-3%, and makes it clear that the details of the plan are still open to discussion. There will be a round of hashrate voting before implementation, and an interim Foundation to receive donations from miners and others, who will have votes in proportion to their donated funds.
After years of delays to Dash Evolution (a suite of usability changes like user names and address books), a version of this now called Dash Platform was released on a public testnet. This is to be the first of many testnet releases ahead of any mainnet release.
A European Central Bank working paper has indicated that the ECB would need to control the volume being used of any Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). One analysis of the paper suggested that unattractive rates would be set for large holdings to discourage heavy use of the digital currency. One concern about heavy use of a CBDC would be that holders could move their funds outside the ECB’s jurisdiction more easily in times of crisis.
Perpetrators of the PlusToken scam are still churning and selling the ill-gotten 180,000 BTC from their Ponzi scheme. Although 6 people have been arrested in connection with PlusToken, the funds are still moving and being sold through OTC trades on Huobi apparently - possibly affecting the BTC price. The scammers’ tokens are being tracked despite their use of mixing and 24,000 transactions involving 71,000 addresses to try and make this difficult - because they re-used an address. While an estimated $185 million worth of the BTC has been sold, 790K ETH of a total 800K remains untouched.
The custodial bitcoin wallet provider Bottle Pay shut down in December, citing the AMLD5 EU regulation coming into effect Jan 10, 2020. From the announcement: “The amount and type of extra personal information we would be required to collect from our users would alter the current user experience so radically, and so negatively, that we are not willing to force this onto our community”. Standing by the principles and shutting down is the opposite of doing whatever it takes to keep the business afloat. The case can serve as a yet another signal to focus efforts on improving self-custodial crypto software.
Kraken Security Labs disclosed a critical security flaw in both Trezor One and Trezor Model T that allows to extract the seed within 15 minutes of physical access to the device. “The attack takes advantage of inherent flaws within the microcontroller used in the Trezor wallets. This unfortunately means that it is difficult for the Trezor team to do anything about this vulnerability without a hardware redesign.”. The recommended protections are to not allow anyone physical access to the device and to enable the Passphrase feature in the Trezor Client software.
$500 billion being pumped into the overnight money (repo) market by the Fed has drawn the attention of Colin Harper of Bitcoin Magazine, in a good article that introduces the subject and asks what is going on.
This is issue 22 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):