Decred Journal — April 2021

Richard Red
May 12 · 11 min read
Point Integral by @saender

April’s highlights:

  • Decred’s 6th consensus vote has passed with unanimous approval and high voter turnout.
  • Politeia v1.0 is now live with more scalable and future-proof infrastructure.
  • Politeia’s first proposal is being voted on to formalize the development roadmap and budget.
  • DCRDEX is heading towards v0.2 update with several backend and UX improvements, as well as the foundations for future exciting features.
  • Initial DCRDEX integration has been merged in Decrediton.

Contents:

· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Events
· Media
· Community Discussions
· Markets
· Relevant External
· About

Development

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

  • codebase converted to use the new package. Code that deals with addresses now supports different script versions and is one step closer to being able to cleanly introduce new scripting language versions. As common for large changes, to make review easier this one was split into a series of individual commits such that everything builds and passes all tests each step of the way.
  • introduced UTXO database. It paves the way for a specialized UTXO database implementation that can be made more efficient in terms of both processing time and memory usage.
  • added median time over the last 11 blocks to verbose and results (used by DCRDEX)
  • allow to specify network interfaces to listen by their names in addition to exact IP addresses

Initial chain sync comparison between dcrd v1.4.0 and latest shows how all the improvements have accumulated into a big difference in performance. Despite there now being ~70% more blocks, the latest version takes almost the same time to sync while allocating way less memory.

dcrwallet

  • a new method that returns wallet’s sync status
  • handle ticket status when the VSP has received its fee tx but has not yet broadcast it
  • fixed bugs found when used by DCRDEX

Decrediton

  • initial DEX integration
  • a form for funding the DEX account from the registration view
  • allow to use an existing wallet account for the DEX instead of making a new one
  • added QR code generation to export active tickets (for tracking with the Decred Address Scanner app)
  • remember ticket auto-buyer settings
  • added a migration to initialize account passphrases with the wallet passphrase. Also, some operations (send, purchase ticket, mixing, revoke) switched to only unlock a single account instead of unlocking an entire wallet.
  • lock new accounts after creation
  • allow restoring hex seeds up to 128 characters (including BIP0039 seeds)
  • updated design of Transactions, Proposals and Purchase tickets views
  • many smaller design tweaks
  • switched to a strict Protobuf generation without and restricted to only access external servers via in production builds using the CSP header
  • refactoring of state management, separation of concerns, dependency upgrades
  • increased test coverage
  • ~24 bug fixes

Release v1.6.3 is being prepared including many of the above changes.

Politeia

Politeia v1.0.0 has been released with the new storage backend, streamlined API, new plugin architecture, and 5 plugins. Read the release notes for full details on each feature. The new version has been deployed at proposals.decred.org.

2FA support tried hard to escape our attention and is now live. Users can set it up in account settings. Don’t forget to backup the key.

Merged in April:

  • list proposals from proposals-archive.decred.org on proposals.decred.org for convenience
  • verify comment and vote bundles with the new tool
  • list registration fee in the history of purchases
  • ~24 bugs discovered in the new version have been fixed

One notable change is the addition of timestamps to cast votes. In Git backend precise timestamps were not stored to improve voter privacy, and as a result, it was only possible to determine if a vote was cast within a ~60 min period. In tstore backend timestamp is already being recorded by Trillian and this cannot be changed without writing a custom Trillian implementation. Because vote timestamp is now public data anyway, adding it directly to the vote structure allows dcrdata to obtain it much easier (e.g. to build its vote graphs). But it also means a bit lower privacy for people casting all their votes at once. People who want to protect their privacy are strongly advised to use ’s trickling feature.

@lukebp talked about Politeia development, latest releases, and future directions on Decred in Depth podcast (starts at 12 min).

Politeia’s own first proposal is now live (and voting), formalizing its development roadmap and budget until the end of 2021.

dcrpool

dcrlnd

  • support unlocking a specific account (for Decrediton)

DCRDEX

An update on Phase 2 development was posted in May with the following key points:

  • v0.2 release has finished beta testing, expect binaries and server update soon
  • v0.2 brings many improvements, including support for the upcoming Decrediton integration
  • SPV wallet support for both Decred and Bitcoin are planned in next releases this year
  • ETH development is in progress and is expected to release toward the end of Phase 2
  • for more exciting features read the update and the linked release notes

dcrandroid

dcrios

  • show Politeia proposals and notify on certain events (new proposal, vote started, vote ended)
  • database upgraded to BadgerDB

godcr

dcrdata

docs

People

Get to know Decred contributors in the new interviews with @lukebp and @phoenixgreen.

Community stats as of May 1:

  • Twitter followers: 44,391 (+763)
  • Reddit subscribers: 10,987 (+190)
  • Matrix #general users: 434 (+27)
  • Discord users: 1,566 (+157)
  • Telegram users: 2,645 (+51)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,500 (+40), views: 182K (+3K)
  • GitHub dcrd stars: 591 (+2), forks: 254 (-1)

See the April report for notable social media stats updates.

Governance

In April the Treasury received 10,949 DCR and spent 984 DCR. Using April’s average DCR rate of $198.60, this is $2.17M received and $195K spent. At March’s average rate of $161.01, the USD billed for past work is $158K. As of May 2, the Treasury balance is 672,768 DCR (140 million USD at $208.13).

The consensus vote to enable the new treasury has passed with 99.9% approval and 83% voter participation. This is the second highest voter turnout in Decred’s history after the stake difficulty vote in 2017 (88%).

Proposal news:

  • A new proposal for funding Politeia development accompanied the deployment of v1.0.0. This proposal requests a maximum budget of $118K to cover a range of new features, expected to be delivered over a six month period. The features on this roadmap include another upgrade to the plugin architecture, user API overhaul, email-free accounts, extra metadata for proposals, proposal life cycles, and proposal author updates. The vote started on May 11.
  • The video production phase 3 proposal was approved with 98% approval and voter participation of 40%.
  • The Design domain proposal for the remainder of 2021 was approved with 97% approval and voter participation of 28%.

See Politeia Digest issue 42 for more details on the month’s proposals.

Network

Hashrate: April’s hashrate opened at ~464 Ph/s and closed ~429 Ph/s, bottoming at 219 Ph/s and peaking at 587 Ph/s throughout the month.

Distribution of hashrate reported by the pools on May 1: Poolin 35%, Antpool 28%, F2Pool 18%, Easy2Mine 4%, BTC.com 1.8%, Luxor 1.3%, UUPool 0.09%, Coinmine 0.06%, Huobipool 0.02%, others 12%. This time the reported hashrate closely matched the distribution of 1,000 actually mined blocks.

A sharp hashrate drop around Apr 15–20 has been attributed to a major power outage in China.

Staking: Ticket price varied between 163.5–204.1 DCR, with 30-day average at 185.8 DCR (+7.8).

The locked amount was 7.11–7.51 million DCR, meaning that 55.4–58.5% of the circulating supply participated in proof-of-stake.

VSP: On May 1, 7.1K (+0.5K) live tickets were managed by vspd servers and 2.2K (-1.8K) by the listed legacy dcrstakepool servers. Collectively the 15 legacy and 13 new VSPs managed 23% of the ticket pool. The 2 recently delisted legacy VSPs still had 105 live tickets.

Nodes: Throughout April there were around ~210 reachable nodes according to dcrextdata.

Node versions as of May 1 snapshot (257 total, dcrd only): v1.6.0–26%, v1.6.2–24%, v1.6.1–22%, v1.5.2–7%, v1.5.1–7%, v1.7 dev builds — 7%, v1.6 dev builds — 4%, v1.5.0–2%.

The share of mixed coins has slightly declined from 44% to 42%. Daily mixed amount varied between 150–300K DCR.

Bison’s presence has been spotted on LN as a node called “El Gran Bisonte ⚡🐂⚡”.

Ecosystem

Welcome the new vspd server from stakey.com with 0.3% fee — lowest on the market as of writing. Its legacy VSP server has been removed from the listing but is still operational with 80 live tickets as of May 7.

dcr.farm’s legacy VSP was observed with a 30% fee, possibly to discourage new registrations. Pay attention to the fees to not buy a high-fee ticket by accident. dcr.farm’s vspd server has a normal 0.95% fee.

Baap ATM tweeted that their ATMs and agents will help to buy DCR for CAD in some locations in Canada.

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 anyone.

Join our #services chat to follow Decred ecosystem updates.

Outreach

A new process has been set up to broadcast important project announcements on multiple platforms. The “ANNs” are issued only for important updates and have much lower traffic compared to Decred’s Twitter. Matrix room #dcr is the newest addition, the other destinations being: Twitter, Telegram, Discord, Reddit, CoinGecko, Blockfolio, and Gab.

Supporters on Reddit have made the case for Decred in multiple relevant conversations on r/CryptoCurrency (one, two, three, four, five, six). Thank you all for spreading awareness.

Monde PR’s achievements for April:

  • created/pitched 2 stories to finance and crypto publications
  • secured 2 media interviews
  • responded to 1 request for comment

News coverage secured by Monde PR:

Events

Attended:

  • Apr 21 — Blockchain Land — Internet. @adcade talked about “Opinions on cryptocurrencies” and the future of crypto as part of Decred participation in Blockchain Land by Talent Land. The panels were streamed in virtual worlds Decentraland and Cryptovoxels.

Media

Selected articles:

  • Decred makes consensus change to further decentralize $128M treasury (banklesstimes.com)
  • What is Decred and DCR? by Ivan on Tech (ivanontech.com)
  • Q1’21 currency sector review by Mira Christanto (messari.io) — Messari tweeted that DCR is second biggest mover after DOGE in Q1 2021

Videos:

  • Luke Powell interview Decred in Depth (live) by @elima_iii (youtube)
  • Decred Society interview Decred in Depth (live) @elima_iii (youtube)
  • Decred’s proposal platform Politeia: The decision-making force behind the ~$125M Decred DAO by @Exitus (youtube)
  • The evolution of money — Decred fundamentals by @phoenixgreen (youtube)
  • Interoperability for digital cash by @phoenixgreen (youtube)
  • Decred Price Analysis — 27th April 2021 by Josh Olszewicz of Brave New Coin (youtube)

@karamble has mirrored all Decred YouTube channel videos at tube.decredcommunity.org. It is powered by PeerTube — an open-source, self-hosted, lightweight alternative to YouTube that can connect to the Fediverse. Here is a list of tools for regular users. Admins running PeerTube instances can help to make the content even more resilient by setting up following and redundancy.

Audio:

Translations:

  • Decred Blockchain Analysis — Part 2 PoW wow — in Spanish by @francov_
  • Decred Journal March 2021 was translated to Arabic (@arij, @abdulrahman4), Chinese (@Dominic), and Spanish (@francov_). Thank you all!

Other non-English content:

  • @Dominic talked to Mable Jiang on 51% Podcast episode 20 titled “On Decred’s Hybrid Consensus and Collective Wisdom”, hosted by Multicoin Capital (apple, simplecast.com)

Community Discussions

Comm systems news:

  • a new flavor of scammers are DMing people as they join #support. Please be warned, no admins or devs will ever DM you, or ask you for money!

Selected Reddit posts:

  • r/decred now has weekly Trader Talk Thursdays and Many Musings Mondays to host content that would otherwise be removed as duplicate price talks or off-topic
  • a marketing idea to run Decred-funded mail service

Selected Twitter discussions:

For people who believe that “the market” makes the best decisions, Bitcoin may be the right choice. During any contentious change, the network may split into two or more forks that will compete (fight) for the financial and social support of PoW miners, developers, investors, and exchanges.

For people who believe in collaboration, who aspire to pursue the common good, and who are willing to align themselves behind the general will of the decentralized voter collective, Decred may be the right choice.

Bitcoin and Decred are different social contracts. They can coexist. (@overthrowy)

Markets

In April DCR was trading between USD 169.50–243.70 / BTC 0.0031–0.0040. The average daily rate was $198.60.

Relevant External

The Fei “stablecoin” was launched in early April but defied expectations by trading at significantly lower than the target of $1. This left many investors in a position where they were unable to exit their FEI position without taking heavy losses, due to the complex and unpredictable behavior of the novel incentive and burn mechanisms. FEI did eventually attain its $1 target after about 1 month after launch.

The Yearn Finance community have been discussing YIP-61 “Governance 2.0”, which extends the multisig arrangement put in place temporarily by YIP-41, and approving it with 99.97% yes votes. This proposal also delegates certain powers to a set of Yearn contributor teams (“yTeams”), and “clarifies” the role of YFI holders as being primarily about delegating powers to these teams and approving YIPs.

The NFT sub-community is crowdfunding its own new media platform (NFTs WTF), via the mechanism of selling 100 NFTs that confer voting rights in a DAO that will support the platform. It is interesting to note that the post announcing the first phase of the crowdsale, in which 51 of the 100 controlling tokens were sold, only 3 were sold to Venture Capitalists, and only as individuals and not representatives of their organizations.

Coinbase started selling shares on the Nasdaq, unlike an IPO this did not involve creating new shares but instead the existing shareholders bringing some of theirs to market.

That’s all for April. Submit your stories here or simply share your feedback. We’re always looking for contributors to improve DJ!

About

This is issue 37 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 the Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.

Credits (alphabetical order):

  • writing and editing: bee, degeri, l1ndseymm, richardred
  • reviews and feedback: chappjc, davecgh, jholdstock, lukebp
  • title image: saender
  • funding: Decred stakeholders

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