December 2018 Community Update
December ended a highly productive 2018 for the Skycoin project. There was strong growth in software development, hardware development and community engagement.
For an in-depth summary of the 2018 milestones, read Part I and Part II of Charles Bivin’s excellent two-piece coverage ‘The Year in Review for Skycoin.’ To hear Skycoin December updates directly from Synth, listen to his chat with Coin Interview or CryptoRich (Part I & II).
Work on the Skywire mainnet continues. Skywire mainnet represents a substantial feat of software engineering — it is not a proxy or VPN layered on top of the existing internet, rather it is an entirely new networking protocol.
The mainnet debut will mark the beginning of the software development for Skywire, as it will be improved through continuous debugging and software updates. In time, Skywire will feature a zero-configuration setup that will allow the Skyfleet plug-and-play deployment of their Skyminers to immediately begin supporting the network with resources and earning coins.
Meanwhile the testnet continues with payments to support the Skyfleet members who are running Skyminers. December testnet rewards saw 16,000 and 24,000 SKY distributed to DIY and Official Skyminers, respectively. As of December 31st there were 9432 Skywire nodes online! This compares to the 10,340 Bitcoin and 5,100 Lightning nodes currently running. Watch the growth of the Skywire nodes here and check your testnet uptime here.
Everyone in the Skyfleet community are encouraged to build DIY miners as soon as possible and not to wait until mainnet. When the mainnet launches, nodes will be re-flashed to enable direct bandwidth metering and rewards based on packets provided vs consumed.
Obelisk achieves network consensus between nodes based on a Web-of-Trust and public broadcast channel. This represents a completely new paradigm in blockchain consensus beyond Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake. Synth has continued to provide more insights into the technical workings of the consensus mechanism:
“We have a network of nodes identified by public keys and they publish messages. Anyone subscribed to a particular public key will connect to other people subscribed to the public key and they replicate the messages peer-to-peer like Bittorrent…
If you have a war or all the submarine cables are cut and someone sends a message over HAM radio from California to Australia and one person in the country gets it, and there are wires within the country, the message will replicate…You can have satellite of only 200kbps of bandwidth they can provide the global network consensus state to that whole country and it will replicate across land…we put a lot of work into the robustness of this messaging protocol…”
This functionality of Obelisk integrates with CXO, our immutable object system, and Skywire, our peer-to-peer wireless mesh networking protocol, to create an incredibly resilient distributed system for the transfer of Skycoins and encrypted internet traffic packets.
With the prolonged bear market and disappearance of many imitation coins, we are finally ready to implement the completed version of Obelisk which will come online in 2019 after the Skywire mainnet has been deployed.
The first complete edition of the CX programming guide has been released, and covers all features of CX up to implementation v0.5.18. The programming guide can be downloaded here. Big thanks to Amaury Hernandez-Aguila for his hard work in compiling this guide and his ongoing efforts with CX.
The next big development milestone for CX will be blockchain integration. Developers will soon be able to prototype CX programs on their own Skycoin blockchain and begin to build decentralized exchanges, online poker games, video games and other applications within the Skycoin ecosystem.
We are also working on partnerships with Chinese universities where we will see CX taught as a programming language in blockchain university courses.
As other crypto projects are imploding, Skycoin development continues apace. GitHub contributions were strong throughout December. Work in the publically viewable repositories of Skycoin Core repo, the Skycoin hardware wallet repo and the CX repo show solid progress as we move into 2019.
The Skywallet is the main focus of the Skycoin hardware incubator, as we aim to create a low cost yet high-quality metal-finish hardware wallet that improves the availability of secure coin storage for anyone. Hardware wallet manufacturing is complete, however software development to integrate with the desktop wallet is ongoing. Once this is complete, Skywallets will begin shipping from the Skycoin merchandise store.
Synth was extremely active in communicating with the Skyfleet throughout December. Synth can now be followed directly on twitter @NotSkycoinCEO, where he provides constant insight and entertainment.
Synth did an epic five-hour interview/AMA with Alex from icocountdown and Christian from Coin Interview where they discuss a range of topics including design rationale of key components of Skycoin, geopolitical trends, Synth’s background, and updates on the project Watch the entire unedited version here, or the edited version for ease of viewing.
Synth also checked in with CryptoRich (Part I & Part II) for another pleasant and informative conversation. They discussed Skycoin progress, Obelisk, and the exciting ‘triple mainnet’ launches of 2019 including Skywire, CX and the Obelisk consensus algorithm.
Telegram continues to be Synth’s preferred platform for sharing updates. Thanks to MacSkyver on the Skyfleet YouTube channel and Skyfleet Medium page, these voice messages have been packaged into short clips for your listening pleasure or transcribed for convenient reading.
Hear Synth speak on CX and Obelisk, the state of crypto markets and whether you should buy Skycoin, exposing sh*%coins and meeting McAfee (transcript) as well as crypto market suicide and exposing scammers (transcript). Synth also shared his opinion on his favorite coin (Skycoin, of course) in this CryptoFriends written interview.
The Skycoin team solidified their friendship with software legend John McAfee throughout December with a visit to his personal residence. The Skycoin team and the McAfee team became closely acquainted over boat rides, grilled meats and deep discussions on building the decentralized future.
Progress on the development of CX was detailed in the article Developing CX. It explains the basics of Skycoin’s feature-rich programming language based on Golang, which is built to address the growing needs of Skycoin’s ambitious ecosystem of projects that can’t be satisfied with any other available language.
The design and production journey of the Skycoin hardware wallet has been documented in Designing Skywallet, the $30 Trezor killer. It gives a fantastic close-up into the challenges and progress of manufacturing a low-cost hardware wallet intended for mass adoption.
If you are a software developer, the Skycoin Call for Developers is a must-read. It outlines the different components of the Skycoin ecosystem and the vision for development. Eager software devs can get in touch through the relevant Telegram group or email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skyminer: A New Backbone for a New Internet rounded out the month of official articles, providing an overview of the necessity and function of the Skyminer device, the hardware backbone of the new Skywire internet.
The stunning SkyCity graphic debuted in the “Find the Cats” Competition. This diagram beautifully depicts each component of the Skycoin ecosystem and subtly conveys the depth of the project.
There were some exceptionally strong community articles released in December from the Skyfleet stalwarts.
CryptoDiscipulus presented a great explanation of the security features of Obelisk, Skycoin’s new consensus algorithm, as it compares to Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work. It is a great read for those seeking to understand how Obelisk (and the design of Skycoin) maintains the security of the Skycoin blockchain without hashing.
Charles Bivins was unstoppable in December. He previewed the new Skywallet with Skycoin’s Skywallet is here. He took readers through the injustice of digital colonialism in detailing how Skywire can help to solve this problem. Charles made a compelling case for buying Skycoin in his article Is this the best time to buy Skycoin?. Finally, he summarized the entire year of Skycoin progress in two part series called The Year in Review for Skycoin (Part I & Part II). It is an excellent in-depth summary of the Skycoin milestones for 2018!
In the same vein, Juan Pablo gave a fantastic summary and commentary on Synth’s telegram message ‘Should you Buy Skycoin?’ in his article Synth builds the Bull case for Skycoin, which outlines the bullish market prospects for Skycoin moving into 2019.
The Skycoin Wiki is slowly taking shape, built by the Skyfleet under the watchful eye of Telegram user Caribou. The Skycoin Wiki will be the definitive resource on the Skycoin ecosystem. It will soon include many details of the project which have been buried amongst various obscure blog posts and GitHub repositories for the past 8 years of Skycoin’s existence. Apply to add your valuable contribution here.
John McAfee also stopped in with Free Four All again, chatting to Larry and Joe about a range of topics including Skycoin. McAfee had this to say about Synth and the project:
“…Synth is one of the best programmers and computer architects that I know. I think Skycoin is going to be the major winner in the next couple of years. They are not offering a replacement for the internet, it is alternative. If you are using crypto and get connected up to the Skywire network, which is worldwide, then basically you have a distributed network of users of crypto that can transact things completely outside the control of anyone, other than us the crypto community…”
In addition to his work transcribing Synth’s voice messages, MacSkyver contributed to the Skyfleet community with his video summary of the November community update. He was also interviewed by CryptoRich and Free Four All, providing a unique perspective on Skycoin development.
Skycoin was discussed by MountainCrypto Shane Ripley on a recent podcast. Skycoin was also the subject of an excellent review by Adam Hole with a great guitar riff introduction in Skywire the Future is Here.
Skycoin once again proved it has the best memers of any coin in an incredibly creative month for our talented Skyfleet. There were several future viral hits from Best Crypto Channel including Skycoin and McAfee, the hypnotically compelling Synth monologue Skycoin Skycoin Skycoin (Brainwashed Edition), and Skycoin World Tour 2018.
Blenvec Agbanou continues to spread knowledge about Skycoin throughout French West Africa with community education sessions in Benin.
The Skycoin meetup presentation material has now been translated into French. All francophones can now give presentations about Skycoin in their native language. Access the material here.
There were several exciting community competitions in December. ‘Find the Cats’ saw people compete to identify the 25 hidden cats in the SkyCity graphic. There were 25 winners who each won 50 SKY and a brand new Skywallet. Congratulations to the winners!
And that’s all folks, from a highly productive December and a massive 2018 for Skycoin. We leave you with this excellent image made by Telegram user Moses Narrow that outlines all the ways you can contribute to the Skycoin Project. 2019 is shaping up as the most exciting year ever for Skycoin — keep up the good work as we continue to change the world through decentralization.