Image: The Perfect Storm by @Exitus
Highlights of July:
Votes on the two consensus changes (PoW hash function and PoW/PoS subsidy split) concluded with near unanimous support, the changes will activate in late August (so upgrade to v1.8).
Cypherpunk Times launched its rebranded site (formerly Decred Magazine), and onboarded its first project besides Decred to contribute content, Firo.
Discord is now bridged to the Matrix rooms again with a new improved bridge that allows Matrix users to block individual Discord users, the approval procedure for new members on Discord has also been improved.
Both changes have been approved with 99%+ Yes votes and 60%+ voter turnout. Changes are now locked in and will activate in block 794,368 around August 29. Remaining time can be tracked at the Voting Dashboard or at dcrdata Agendas.
The work reported below has the “merged to master” status unless noted otherwise. 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.
dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.
The following work has been merged in
master towards future releases:
GetBlockHeader commands to show the new proof of work hash. For blocks after DCP-11: Change PoW to BLAKE3 and ASERT activates, the proof of work hash will be the new BLAKE3 hash. For blocks prior to DCP-11, the block hash and the proof of work hash will be identical. This update enables consumers like dcrdata to easily access the new hashes.
Developer and internal changes merged in
go install, which has the benefit of reducing potential security risks from supply-chain attacks. Also, cached the binary for faster future runs.
dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.
The following work has been merged in
master towards future releases.
The primary improvements users may notice are related to purchasing tickets through a VSP:
Errors.Join feature that was made available by updating to Go 1.20, which is discussed below.
Developer and internal changes merged in
Go 1.20 unlocked better error handling, which inspired a few changes:
Errors.Join function from Go 1.20’s standard library. This new function is a simple way to wrap several error messages together. In Go 1.19 and previous, it was somewhat possible with the
As functions, but wrapped errors could be hidden, which made error tracing quite difficult.
Errors.Join is a much better solution.
dcrctl is a command-line client for dcrd and dcrwallet.
The following work has been merged in
master towards future releases:
Decrediton is a full-featured desktop wallet app with integrated voting, StakeShuffle mixing, Lightning Network, DEX trading, and more. It runs with or without a full blockchain (SPV mode).
In July, @norwnd proposed a 2FA storage for Decrediton based on simple 2-of-2 multisig. The idea is to provide a more secure solution for storing DCR by using a second device to sign transactions, initially an Android smartphone. This should protect from threats like a weak wallet encryption password or a stolen laptop. As a bonus it could make multisig features more accessible to regular users who don’t have skills to program a multisig solution themselves. It is currently in early discussion and feedback phase but some effort has been made to test multisig features in dcrwallet and test how much data can be passed in QR codes.
vspd is server software used by Voting Service Providers. A VSP votes on behalf of its users 24/7 and cannot steal funds.
Changes that were included in the v1.2.1 release:
dcrlnd is Decred’s Lightning Network node software. LN enables instant and low-cost transactions.
DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.
Backported fixes to be included in the next v0.6 patch release:
Below are changes merged in
master towards future releases.
Client, internal changes:
Bitcoin, internal changes:
MultiTrade function, which is in not in production use yet.
Highlights of work-in-progress:
Image: Reworked app setup flow in DCRDEX
Image: Dock menu in macOS will list all DEX windows
dcrdata is an explorer for Decred blockchain and off-chain data like Politeia proposals, markets, and more.
GetBlockHeader command to obtain the PoW hash faster.
Timestamply is a free service for timestamping files powered by Decred blockchain. A timestamp proves that a certain file has existed at a certain moment of time. This has a range of applications in protecting data integrity.
Bison Relay is a new social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.
GUI and CLI apps:
syncfreelist config option to tune the bbolt database used by the internal Lightning Network node. Setting it to
false improves running performance at the cost of startup performance.
/help filters add and
/help filters addrule to learn how it works. Currently, it is only exposed in the CLI app but the low level parts can be wired to GUI app in the future.
Community stats as of Aug 1 (compared to Jul 2):
In July the new treasury received 7,859 DCR worth $121K at July’s average rate of $15.40. 4,943 DCR was spent to pay contractors, worth $76K at same rate.
A treasury spend tx was approved with 5,274 Yes votes and 37% turnout, and mined on July 25. This one got 9 No votes, becoming the second TSpend out of 15 mined so far to have non-zero No votes. It had 32 outputs making payments to contractors, ranging from 1.5 DCR to 1,692 DCR. Most of this DCR was likely paid for May work, at its billing exchange rate of $17.13 the TSpend is worth around $85K.
Image: Lower DCR/USD contributes to higher treasury outflows
Image: Treasury balance USD equivalent
There were 4 proposals that finished voting in July:
Hashrate: July’s hashrate opened at ~52 PH/s and closed ~55 PH/s, bottoming at 49 PH/s and peaking at 69 PH/s throughout the month.
Image: Decred hashrate
Distribution of 55 PH/s hashrate reported by the pools on Aug 1: F2Pool 58%, Poolin 32%, BTC.com 8%, AntPool 3%.
Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by Aug 1: F2Pool 52%, Poolin 38%, BTC.com 7%, AntPool 3%.
Image: Historical pool hashrate distribution
Staking: Ticket price varied between 196-277 DCR.
Image: Ticket price stabilizing
Image: Total locked DCR retesting its ATH
Image: Monthly missed tickets went down after a small uptick in June
VSP: The 14 listed VSPs collectively managed ~6,150 (-480) live tickets, which was 15.1% of the ticket pool (-1.4%) as of Aug 1.
Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs
Nodes: Decred Mapper observed between 162 and 170 dcrd nodes throughout the month. Versions of 164 nodes seen on Aug 1: v1.8.0 - 84%, v1.7.x - 11%, v1.9.0 dev builds - 1.2%, v1.8.0 dev builds - 0.6%, other - 4%.
Image: Most of the network is running v1.8.0
Image: Node operators have been quick to upgrade to v1.8.0. The red area before Jan 2023 indicates incomplete data we had at that time.
Image: DCR StakeShuffle volume
Image: Transaction volume has taken a summer vacation. The metric is defined by Coin Metrics.
Decred’s Lightning Network explorer has seen 219 nodes (+7), 445 channels (+18) with a total capacity of 188 DCR (-3), as of Aug 1. These stats are different for each node. For example, @karamble’s node reported 220 nodes, 464 channels and 191 DCR capacity on same day Aug 1.
Image: Decred’s Lightning Network node count growing slowly
Image: Decred’s Lightning Network capacity stabilized around 200 DCR
Voting Service Providers:
EXMO announced on July 6 that they will delist DCR and 3 other tokens by July 20 due to low liquidity. EXMO was the only exchange to list DCR via a non-expensive proposal that got approved in May 2019 and fulfilled in June 2019.
#trading members discovered on July 9 that DCR was trading around $20 at Indian Bitbns while it was around $16 on other exchanges. As of July 31 DCR was still trading at a premium and with significant 24-hour volume of $68K making DCR/INR a top 10 pair at Bitbns (if we trust reported volumes of course). DCR price chart suggests it was listed in May 2022.
Public access to Twitter has been mostly unavailable between June 30 and July 5. Browsing Twitter required login and was subject to rate limits even for paid accounts. According to Elon Musk it was a temporary emergency measure to combat AI bots which were pulling so much data from Twitter that it effectively became a denial of service attack. Public API restrictions also broke Nitter, a lightweight alternative for browsing @decredproject and other accounts. Login requirement was removed on July 5. Despite all problems and revelations Twitter remains Decred’s main outreach platform with 53.3K followers as of Aug 1.
The two-way bridge between Matrix and Discord is back! It was made possible by the new user verification flow that is much better at preventing spam. The new bridge allows blocking individual Discord users on the Matrix side without affecting other Discord users, this was not possible with the old bridge. Also, message editing should propagate in both directions. New bridge is hosted by t2bot.io, a free service providing bots and bridges for Matrix communities. It is operated by a single person and is supported by donations. As of writing the following Matrix rooms are bridged to Discord: #101, #dex, #marketing, #media, #memes, #proposals, #showerthoughts, #support, and of course #trading.
In May both @StakeShuffle_ and @dcrtimestampbot announced that the bots are “down until further notice due to recent twitter-api changes”. The bots have been developed by @cli_query and sponsored by a total of 3 low-budget proposals. It appears that developer time is limited to maintain these projects, but the Python source code of StakeShuffle_ and dcrtimestampbot is available on GitHub for contributors to pick up and improve.
Join our #ecosystem chat to get more news about Decred services.
Warning: the authors of the 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.
First iteration of the new multi-coin publication Cypherpunk Times is live! It is a continuation and a rebrand of Decred Magazine, approved and funded by Decred stakeholders in July 2023. The new social media handle is
@cypherpunktimes on Twitter, Facebook, and Spotify podcasts. Any support is greatly appreciated.
@decredmagazine was renamed to @dearcryptopunk. Moving forward its scope will be extended from supporting Cypherpunk Times to general Decred outreach, and it will move under the umbrella of Decred Vanguard proposal. Twitter account @decredmagazine will keep running for now to support Decred-only content.
Cypherpunk Times engagement stats for July:
Totti from BTC-ECHO has collected two rounds of feedback posted across Politeia and the #writers chat and incorporated it in the first German article. BTC-ECHO suggested to wait through the lower seasonal activity and publish the first article in mid-August. The delay was used to add mentions of hardfork resistance and on-chain governance which are key to Decred consensus.
Monde PR’s achievements:
Secured the following media placements:
Art and fun:
Image: DCR top tier list by @Void
In July DCR was trading between USDT 13.70-19.75 and BTC 0.00047-0.00064. The average daily rate was $15.40.
Image: DCR performance compared to other privacy coins by @saender
Image: Decred Pricing Metrics by @bochinchero
Image: DCR/BTC in June-July
Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD does not like summer time
DeFi lending platform Curve, a pillar of DeFi on Ethereum, has been hacked. The hack involved using a malfunctioning reentrancy lock in certain versions of Vyper which made certain pools but not others vulnerable to being drained. Similar protocols Metronome and Alchemix were also affected, and together the 3 projects lost $61.7 million worth of assets. The attacker was only able to drain some of the affected pools because when the action started many white hat hackers stepped in to rescue their funds. By Aug 7 a reported 73% of the assets had been recovered, some from the white hats but also significant amounts from the attacker. Curve offered a 10% bounty for voluntary return of funds until August 6, but with over $18 million still in the hacker’s possession at the deadline the chance to end the matter there was lost and the bounty opened up to public investigators who could help to secure recovery.
Gitcoin has launched an Ethereum Layer 2 called Public Goods Network (PGN), it uses the Optimism stack and a proportion of the sequencer fees will be collected in a pot to fund public goods.
Arkham Intelligence has launched a crypto identity data marketplace or “doxx to earn program”, where users can place bounties on the identity of certain crypto wallet addresses and eager researchers attempt to discover who owns the wallet for a pay day. Arkham also showed casual disregard for its own users by generating referral links using an easily reversed algorithm revealing the email addresses of the promoters.
Sam Altman’s Worldcoin launched its eyeball-scanning orbs in 1,500 locations around the world, allowing people to scan their iris to set up a wallet and receive 25 free WLD (worth ~$50). The prospect of an AI company founder sending orbs out into the world to scan peoples’ eyes for small handouts has been decried as dystopian by many in the crypto space, Worldcoin is not a popular project. However, Vitalik Buterin has recently published a blog post about biometric proof of personhood where he seems to find quite a lot of merit in Worldcoin’s approach, suggesting it protects privacy better than most of the alternative approaches to proof of personhood, although still having some negative aspects. A day after Worldcoin’s launch, the UK data watchdog was reported to be looking into whether it complies with data protection regulations. In Kenya, where Worldcoin had been in communication with the Office of Data Protection Commissioner since April, it was thought to be operating legally but its scanning operations were suspended and it’s not clear if this was self-imposed by Worldcoin to improve on “crowd control” issues with long lines at the sign-up stations, or if the authorities changed their mind about its legality.
FedNow, the US government’s instant payments system, launched with 35 financial institutions set up to use the service which allows for 24/7 instant settlement. This is seen as bridging a gap where the US is quite behind other jurisdictions that already have such instant bank transfer facilities. It is anticipated that it will take some time for uptake of FedNow by institutions to make the service broadly available to end users.
The Token Engineering Commons (TEC) has completed the first round of its new grants program, using Quadratic Funding (like Gitcoin grants) to distribute a funding pool of $25,000 and drawing donations of $6,162 to augment this and determine where the grants would go. TEC have added to the usual Quadratic Funding model (in which a greater number of individual donations to a project means a larger slice of the matching pool) by adding a mechanism for the expression of “Subject Matter Expertise”. Contributors who had TEC tokens and/or NFT knowledge attestation certificates in their wallet were considered to be “experts” and a stronger weight was applied to their donations when determining the matching amount - this was done to tackle a perceived issue where projects that are good at mobilising community support do the best in Quadratic Funding rounds.
Legislation concerning stablecoins has made it out of committee in the US Congress for the first time, meaning that should soon be voted on and if approved passed to the Senate. The bill had bipartisan support for some of its life but Democrats withdrew that support late in the process over a failure to negotiate a resolution to some points of conflict, lessening the bill’s chances of making it all the way into law. One key point of dispute seems to be the role of a federal regulator to oversee stablecoins licensed at the state level, with Democrats pushing for this kind of oversight and Republicans rejecting it.
The much-hyped round of Bitcoin ETF applications from major financial institutions incorporates a new feature, Surveillance Sharing Agreements (SSAs) with Coinbase as a provider of market intelligence where the ETF providers and regulators can pull data directly including the capacity to request personally identifiable information from Coinbase where this is deemed necessary to investigating or preventing market manipulation. In previous ETF filings the market provider would push information to regulators about suspicious activity, the SSAs turn this around to give more oversight. SSA with Coinbase was first introduced by BlackRock but has been copied by the other applicants in this round of ETF applications.
A European Commission document about its Metaverse strategy was leaked ahead of its publication. The document describes the potential of virtual worlds to being “unprecedented opportunities in many societal areas”, and the need to remove barriers to new organizational forms such as DAOs to realise their benefits.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has revealed that shortly before suing them the SEC demanded that they drop all assets except Bitcoin, which made it an easy choice for the company to take the matter to court because that would have meant the effective end of their business in the US.
Binance’s Australian headquarters has been raided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), in an investigation into unlawful derivatives dealings that involved mislabelling retail and institutional customers. Binance also withdrew its application for a license in Germany, after being told that it was not going to be granted in its current form. After Binance US lost its banking partner BTC has been trading at a discount, something similar happened in Australia in May.
Binance has completed integrating Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.
The LBRY company has shut down after losing its case against the SEC, having its LBC token sales defined as unregistered securities offerings and being restricted from doing any more of this without first “registering with the SEC”. The LBRY protocol lives on, it was never the target of the litigation, and the LBC token’s status remains ambiguous as to whether it is now a security, since the SEC have bankrupted the incorporated “common enterprise” that token-holders were deemed to seek profit from.
Richard Heart, mastermind and primary beneficiary of the Hex and PulseChain projects, has been sued by the SEC for securities fraud violations. Although the Heart/Hex ecosystem is widely regarded as a scam, it has been suggested by several crypto legal personalities that the case doesn’t seem very strong. The HEX terms referred to sacrificing money into a black box mechanism and Heart himself was very clear that he was spending a lot of the proceeds on designer clothes, portraying this as part of a marketing strategy which was going to help pump the price of the related tokens.
Alex Mashinsky, former CEO of Celsius, has been arrested and charged with a number of crimes including wire fraud and market manipulation. The Chief Revenue Officer was also charged. The filing indicates that Celsius was actively manipulating the price of CEL tokens while lying about key aspects of its performance, pumping and dumping the tokens to cash our large sums, $42 million allegedly in Mashinsky’s case.
A report by Elliptic researchers has identified Russian (Garantex) and Australian crypto exchanges as key intermediaries in facilitating the trade in Fentanyl precursors. They identified and communicated with over 100 sellers who were ready to ship Fentanyl or its precursor chemicals, and followed the crypto payment addresses to find out about their other transactions. In this way they uncovered addresses receiving $19M in Bitcoin and $13M in USDT, mostly from certain centralized exchanges.
Bittrex has reminded its US customers to withdraw crypto assets from the bankrupt platform, they have until August 31st but Bittrex suggests doing it sooner rather than later for fear of “unforeseen issues”.
Blockchain technology broke new ground again in the realm of gambling, with the world’s first live hamster racing platform launching, where users can deposit ETH, BNB or BUSD and gamble it away betting on which hamster crosses the line first. Based on observation of several races (which are streamed on Twitch) the hamsters don’t so much race as wander around (or not), showing very little interest in the finish line or motivation to get there first.
That’s all for July. Suggest news for the next issue in our #journal chat room.
This is issue 61 of Decred Journal. Index of all issues, mirrors, and translations is available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from the source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of the Decred Journal cannot verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Credits (alphabetical order):