Decred Journal – March 2020

abstract art

Image: Expand Vector by @saender

Highlights for March:


Unless otherwise noted, the work reported here has the “merged to master” status. It means that the work is completed, reviewed and integrated into the source code that advanced users can build and run, but is not yet available in release binaries for regular users.


A vulnerability was disclosed that allowed a potential multi-day memory exhaustion attack that could lead to a node crash in dcrd v1.4.0. On Mar 13 the network forked to new consensus rules implemented in dcrd v1.5.0 which means all nodes on the network are required to run that as a minimum version. Since this and later versions contain a fix for the vulnerability, it is now mitigated.

dcrd has less than 16% code overlap with btcd meaning that 84% is the new development work, according to an analysis by @davecgh confirmed that the numbers look plausible given how much new code has been written and noted that the divergence is even more pronounced in dcrwallet (which was not analyzed).



In development:


tlog integration has begun and is projected to take ~2 months. In July 2019 we’ve inaccurately reported the start of tlog integration but that work was actually a reference implementation to serve as a proof of concept and demonstrate that Google’s Trillian data store can replace existing Git backend. It was merged in August and contained a client/server with basic functionality for storing documents. This experience gave enough insight to know that it will work. The next step is to write a Politeia backend that uses Trillian.

The major advantage of the tlog backend is it will make Politeia more scalable and allow censoring content after it’s been made public while keeping the audit trail of all data ever submitted. It will also allow a proper fix of the duplicate comments bug.


Behind the visual updates, redesign of the CMS concludes the process of migrating politeiagui code from snew-classic-ui to pi-ui library. Back in 2018 snew allowed to get Politeia out quickly with Reddit-style look and feel, but it quickly became hard to develop with. Building pi-ui and switching to it improved code modularization and gave flexibility to compose and style the UI components the way it was required to match the design specs, as well as performance gains.




In development:

SPV mode is a requirement for mobile LN wallets. It’s likely SPV will be the dominant sync mode even in desktop wallets, so it’s essential for dcrlnd to support SPV mode. It’s also the last item of the “immediate work” section of my “roadmap” of sorts that I outlined in the announcement post for LN, so this concludes the majority of the porting effort from lnd to dcrlnd. Concluding SPV means we can start exploring more exotic changes that are available in Decred (such as PTLCs which depend on the Schnorr work that @davecgh is also concluding). (@matheusd)


A major milestone is the completion of match negotiation. This is the last big piece of the client that finally lets it execute a swap. The PR specifically makes the client go through the entire swap process (match negotiation), communicating with the server, performing necessary auditing of counterparty transactions, and creating and broadcasting the client’s own contract and redeem transactions as required by the swap process.

A total of 19 pull requests merged from 6 contributors adding 11K and deleting 3K lines of code (commit summary here).

Congratulations to the dcrdex team for coordinating the first order-driven atomic swap on testnet!


Testnet version of the next release is available here.


Testnet version of the next release is available here.



A total of 56 pull requests merged from 3 contributors adding 11K and deleting 6K lines of code (commit summary here).



Plans for v1.6

The rough plan is for v1.6 to get released at end of Q2. We’re planning to include: decentralized treasury consensus change, Decrediton staking and non-staking CSPP support, ticket-based VSP support, and a myriad dcrd improvements. (@jy-p on 2020-03-20)


Welcome to new first time contributors with code merged to master: @unimere (decrediton).

Community stats:


In March the Treasury received 13,713 DCR and spent 17,153 DCR. Using March’s daily average DCR/USD rate of $13.40, this is $184K received and $230K spent. At February’s average daily rate of $20.48, the USD figure billed for work completed in that month is $281K. As of Apr 3, Treasury balance is 640K DCR (7.41 million USD at $11.58).

This month saw the publication of 4 new proposals.

The new proposal from the DCRComic team requested an increased budget of $16,200 for 12 more comics plus supporting activity, with an extra $150 per comic added for extra time spent adapting the assets for social media use. The proposal was put on hold to reformulate the cast of characters, after some criticism that Stakey was being over-used in representing many different roles in the Decred ecosystem. On Apr 6 the proposal was edited to add new characters that will join the line-up alongside Stakey, and on Apr 9 voting opened.

The US Marketing proposal was, after being edited down to $177,800 to remove the community organizing of events in light of COVID-19, approved with 74% support and voter turnout of 31%.

The Brazilian marketing proposal, which requests $108K for the rest of the year was also approved, with 65% support and turnout of 34%. This proposal was edited to say that events will not be organized or billed for while the COVID-19 situation persists, but the item was not removed from the budget and some of this activity may take place later in the year.

Two further proposals were submitted and are under discussion. A proposal from PolisPay App seeks $5,000 to support DCR. There is also a proposal to fund the Decred Daily twitter account for 6 months and make a website for it (total budget $5,280). The Decred Daily proposal started voting on Apr 9.

Shortly before publication on Apr 9 another proposal was published, requesting $24,450 for a billboard marketing campaign.

The Market Making proposal from i2 Trading is nearing the end of the six months of market making activity, this commenced in late October 2019 and so will come to an end in late April 2020. i2’s trading logs continue to be audited monthly by Company 0 and performance has been found to be satisfactory. i2 are planning to submit a proposal to continue MM activity for Decred, but it will be scaled down to reflect the current market conditions.

For more detail on the month’s Politeia activity see Politeia Digest issue 29.


Hashrate: March’s hashrate opened at ~359 Ph/s and closed ~309 Ph/s, bottoming at 274 Ph/s and peaking at 556 Ph/s throughout the month. Pool hashrate distribution as of Apr 1: UUPool 55%, Poolin 18%, 17%, Luxor 2.5%, 2.2%, F2Pool 1.5%, BeePool 0.13%, CoinMine 0.08%, Suprnova 0.02% and others ~3.8%. Pool distribution numbers are approximate and cannot be accurately determined.

Staking: 30-day average ticket price was 141.9 DCR (+9.8). The price varied between 130.9-166.8 DCR. Locked amount was 5.50-5.75 million DCR, which corresponded to 49.05-51.27% of the available supply participating in PoS.

The ticket price topped at 166.82 which is again a new high since the stake difficulty algorithm change.

Block size: This month, the blockchain size grew by 129 MB. Blocks had an average size of 14.5 KB. The smallest block had a size of 1.62 KB and the largest one, 374.98 KB. So far the major source of nearly full blocks is the Treasury: this month the payouts created a range of 9 full blocks on Mar 16.

Transactions: In March, Decred users made 49,078 regular transactions and bought 44,149 tickets. 43,791 tickets were rewarded for voting and 728 were revoked. On average, there were 1,583 regular DCR transactions and 1,424 new tickets per day.

Nodes: Throughout March there was an average of 146 public listening nodes and 246 total nodes per Average version distribution for Mar: 28% dcrd v1.5.1, 20% dcrd v1.4, 15% dcrd v1.5, 8% dcrd v1.5 dev and RC builds, 5% dcrd v1.6 dev builds, 5% dcrwallet v1.5.1, 5% dcrwallet v1.4, 2% dcrwallet v1.5. On Mar 13 the new consensus rules activated and after that dcrd v1.4 can no longer follow the chain.


Probit added support for DCR/KRW and DCR/USDT pairs to their exchange. had a sudden DCR outage a few days after the Mar 13 fork, the services resumed the next day. Currently, Exmo is the only integration funded by stakeholders.

NOWPayments payment processor that was launched in 2019 by ChangeNOW supports DCR among 40+ other assets.

ChainRift announced in Feb that they will be shutting down exchange operations and pivoting to a software development company.

DCR was added to FTX PRIV-PERP index future contract that tracks a basket of 9 privacy coins. Index calculation can be found here.

User AGspearo was not able to access their funds due to the VSP shutting down without notice and them not having access to their redeem script. AGspearo spent a lot of time on support trying to resolve this issue but ultimately they were unable to get their funds. @davecgh broke down the issue as a comment and also said a possible consensus change might solve these issues. If you are reading this and do not have your redeem scripts backed up please take this a warning and do a backup and store then along with your seed.

Some VSPs that had broken signup pages/out of date/returning errors had been put on notice that they will be removed from the listing. Some of them have responded and fixed the issues.,, and have been removed since they failed to respond.

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.


Decred in Depth released two new episodes in March and one in early April, while Rough Consensus also released 2 episodes (see Media below).

@Dustorf posted that he will be operating in a reduced capacity for the next couple months and that the cost of the proposal will be reduced accordingly. The executions affected include: newsletter, original content generation, Decred Assembly, PR, and release coordination, and update work. This specifically means that the DEX release will have to be managed by the developers and the community at large.

@dezryth posted a second update about his operation of Decred’s Facebook account for the month of February. This one is more detailed and includes stats for each post, comparison to competitors, and shares some ideas about next steps. @dezryth acknowledges that current stats are not great and that organic following is hard to build, but on the good side active posting brought a 30% increase in daily views.

@bee has extensively (really) commented on the 2019 Marketing Report and shared his vision for moving forward.

A comprehensive compilation of common misconceptions and criticism of Decred was added to decredcommunity wiki, along with responses to them. Feedback/contributions welcome, discussion is here.

Monde PR’s achievements for March:

News coverage secured by Monde PR:





Postponed until further notice:

Media is a new single-page directory to explore all things Decred. Suggestions are welcome here.

Selected articles:

The Brazil Marketing and Events proposal was covered in the media from an interesting “investment in Brazil” perspective (in Portuguese):




Community Discussions

Comm systems news:

Selected Reddit posts:

Selected Twitter discussions:


In March DCR was trading between USD 8.68-19.78 / BTC 0.0017-0.0021. The average daily rate was $13.40.

On Mar 7 BTC/USD started its decline from $9,100 mark down to $7,800 on Mar 11. On Mar 12 it joined the global COVID-19 panic and tanked below ~$4,500 (and even lower in some markets). Most cryptoassets lost around 40% that day, demonstrating their mostly speculative price levels and persisting dependence on BTC. This dump took DCR/USD with it down to ~$8.

Fred Wilson noted that “in panics, all assets are correlated”, but when the panic settles cryptocurrency fundamentals might start kicking in.

Relevant External

Markets everywhere had a very bad time as the severity of the COVID-19 situation became clear and nations began to lock down. Cryptocurrency prices declined as much or more than most other assets, all Decred meetups and events are canceled or moving online, and some contributors have more childcare to do than before, but those seem to be the only changes that are directly relevant to Decred. Nevertheless, the situation obviously has an effect on all of us and the broader macroeconomic environment and outlook. Stay safe.

It was a challenging month for DeFi, as a sharp drop in the price of ETH strained the stability of the DAI stablecoin. When ETH price moves too much some DAI loans will be liquidated in auctions if their holders do not add more ETH to reach the required collateralization, but on this occasion, the price appears to have moved too quickly for the liquidation auctions to keep up. This article explains how $8.32 million worth of DAI was liquidated for $0, as unforeseen conditions in the auction process (including ETH chain congestion) resulted in 36% of all liquidation auctions going to the highest bidder at $0.00. “The greatest Vault has lost ~35,000 ETH whereas the most successful liquidator has had a profit of 30,000 ETH”. This left the Maker Foundation and community in a difficult position, considering changing the rules on the fly or triggering an emergency shutdown. The Foundation decided not to use its power to intervene directly by triggering a shutdown, and moved to introduce proposals that modified risk parameters and set up an auction of newly printed MKR tokens to pay the protocol debt and “refund CDPs that lost funds”.

The Steem-Sun conflict began last month when the Steemit company (and its “ninja mined” STEEM tokens) was acquired by Justin Sun - Steem (DPoS) witnesses adopted a hard fork to nullify those tokens, then Sun mobilized exchange support to oust the established witnesses and replace them with puppets that would not adopt the fork, preserving his STEEM tokens. In March the strategy of the Steem community changed, as an influential group decided to migrate away from the Steem blockchain to a new one called Hive. Exchanges Binance and Huobi are said to be supportive of this move, in a remarkable turnaround from their actions last month when they voted with Sun. Prominent members of the Steem community thanked community members for withdrawing their STEEM from exchanges, to put pressure on exchanges to backtrack on supporting the Sun-powered witnesses. It seems the exchange operators were also misled about the significance of their votes in that context, believing that they were voting for a regular protocol upgrade.

Hive is the same as Steem in most regards, with 1 STEEM being exchangeable for 1 HIVE - the main difference is that Sun’s Steemit STEEM tokens will not be redeemable on the HIVE chain, effectively cutting them out of the ecosystem. When this story was written the price of HIVE was almost double that of STEEM, but as of Apr 4, the two tokens are trading for similar prices. This case should be of interest to those who say coin voting is plutocratic, as it shows what can happen when whales try to use their coins to impose their will on an unwilling community.

It has been a good month for people who like to buy, hold or sell cryptocurrency without being considered a criminal. The governments in South Korea and supreme court in India made moves to nullify previously imposed restrictions on cryptocurrency trading.

Since Mar 18 Tether has issued over $400M USDT in batches of $60M and surpassed the $6 billion mark. On Mar 25 USDT held on exchanges has set a new ATH of $1.2 billion. The timing is interesting as it comes quickly after the market crash of Mar 12. Use USDT with caution, because even its co-founder believes “it doesn’t really matter” if it’s backed by an equal amount of dollars.

U.S. government approved an exceptionally large $2 trillion “stimulus” plan attributed to COVID-19. Discussion of the source of funds is still rare in the media. One politician argued that the bill creates even more secrecy around the Fed that is already not auditable.

U.S. Fed made multiple unprecedented moves attributed to COVID-19, succinctly summarized by Bloomberg. Most of that means creating money out of thin air without any labor, and then loaning out that money to people and businesses who will need to work to pay it back. Among the measures are swap lines built to “pump USD out across the world to ease access to the world’s most important currency”.

President of one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks openly admitted in an interview that “there’s an infinite amount of cash at the Federal Reserve”.

ECB announced a EUR 750 billion “Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme” and noted “There are no limits to our commitment to the euro. We are determined to use the full potential of our tools, within our mandate”. The bank is ready to further increase the size of asset purchase programmes and revise any self-imposed limits.

Happy Birthday DJ!

24th issue marks the second anniversary of Decred Journal.

Retrospective and a bit of trivia from @bee:

About This Issue

This is issue 24 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.

Your feedback and contributions are always welcome.

Credits (alphabetical order):