Development update September 2019
Still moving forwards, not quite as smoothly as we’d like.
This month’s news is not the best but at least we’re still making news and still releasing development updates. The ongoing altcoin bear market is putting existential pressure on everything that’s not called Bitcoin. Crown is one of the few coins still under active development but the low price unfortunately means it will slow down this month. Even top 30 coins like Litecoin (CMC rank #5) and ZCash (CMC rank #28) are struggling to fund development so Crown is fortunate that some funding is still available every month from the superblock.
The superblock creates up to 54,000 CRW each month to be distributed according to the wishes of the community and the decentralised governance system. A year ago the development portion of the superblock was 30,000 CRW and funded 5 developers. Last month the development portion of the superblock was 40,000 CRW and it only barely funded 2 developers.
We are fortunate that Artem and Ashot have been very accommodating in reducing the fiat equivalent value of their monthly ask while continuing to work full time on Crown. They have both been working at way below the market rate for experienced software developers for several months now. Yet the development percentage of the superblock has been rising to pay for them, squeezing other activities out of consideration. Some community members have expressed concern about the level of development spending versus other activities. Infrastructure, marketing and design have all suffered. Discretionary items are all but impossible to get funded. This is damaging to the community because it disincentivises contributors from participating.
Responding to community concerns, Artem and Ashot have agreed to request only 50% of the next superblock for development funding. That’s 13,500 CRW each. At current market price that’s about $675 each, or less than 10% of what they could be earning elsewhere. Obviously this is unsustainable for them and it means they can no longer afford to work full time on Crown. They have committed to finishing their current projects, but will be seeking additional work elsewhere to make ends meet. Until they have secured that work they won’t know what percentage of their time they will be able to devote to Crown.
Unavoidably the delivery dates for our active projects are going to slip.
On the positive side, that does mean there is a larger percentage of the next superblock available for other activities than we have seen recently. With the next superblock due in only 10 more days we hope contributors will take advantage of this and get their proposals in soon. To facilitate proposal submission there is now an easy to use tool available at CrownCentral.
The registration and API aspects of the NFT framework are proving to require more work than Artem originally anticipated. Add to that he is now unable to commit full time to working on Crown and the estimated release date for v0.14 (“Emerald”) has slipped. This is hugely disappointing, not least because we were looking forward to releasing the NFT framework in mainnet ahead of Crown’s 5th anniversary on 10 October 2019. His current best estimate is sometime around early November 2019. Unfortunately, given the current market conditions the delay can only be avoided if someone steps in with additional funding.
The NFT framework is currently only available in testnet. We are keeping tabs on use-cases under development in the #use-cases channel of our Discord server. If you’re interested in developing your own use-case you could jump straight in with the simple generator built by contributor Andy D (defunctec). It’s so easy to use you probably won’t even need to read the technical doc.
Ashot has made enormous progress on the codebase update. He estimates there is about 1 month of full time work left to complete the initial merge and until he’s ready to begin testing. Given the financial constraints mentioned above that estimate will have to be revised.
As a reminder, the update involves remapping all the unique stuff that makes Crown Crown onto the Bitcoin v0.17 codebase. This will bring security, speed and stability enhancements. It will also make it easier to keep up to date with critical Bitcoin changes and ease maintenance into the future.
We are still waiting for Trezor to release updated firmware with Crown support. When they do it will be possible to store Crown on a Trezor hardware wallet. We hope soon afterwards to fork the Dash masternode tool to support Crown and enable users to manage their masternodes and systemnodes with their hardware wallet.
They actually released a new beta test version today and announced it includes Bitcoin-specific enhancements. Some Crown contributors, willing to live at the bleeding edge, are testing to see if the update also included Crown support. We should know the answer in a day or two and will be sure to announce it if so.
Would you like to know more?
It seems there has been more project chatter on Telegram than on Discord lately. You can ask questions and make comments and suggestions on either platform (or any of the other social platforms where we have a presence).
However, Discord is the preferred platform for development related topics so please join us there if you have any questions or feedback following this update.