Politeia Digest 66 — December 13 2023 — February 15 2024

https://medium.com/decred/politeia-digest-66-december-13-2023-february-15-2024-65e3d91f4097?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Politeia Digest 66 — December 13 2023 — February 15 2024

Image credit: @sænder

Treasury balance: 867,985 DCR (approx +6,864 DCR/month) — $15.2 million (+$120K/month) based on $17.48 DCR price

New Proposals

Cryptopower Phase 2: Golang Native Desktop & Mobile Wallet — Long Term Support

Published Jan 29 by dreacot | last edited Feb 6 | 25 comments

This proposal requests a budget of $70,000 (but estimates it will use $34,500) for one year of maintenance and bug fixing for the Cryptopower multi-coin (DCR, BTC, LTC) wallet which was funded in a previous proposal. Of the previous proposal’s budget of $61,600, 98% was spent, and progress was made with adding DCRDEX support (still beta), multi-recipient transactions, export options, UI improvements and a new instant exchange (Trocador), while the mobile apps (incorporating most desktop features but with some disabled due to usability constraints) were added to the Google and Apple stores.

The proposal will fund a year of improvements to the software and promises more frequent releases with patches every month addressing existing and new user feedback. The Gio framework will be updated to the latest version, DCRDEX will be made ready for mainnet use in the app, and the remaining time will be spent fixing bugs and making general improvements. For major additions to the app, specific proposals will be submitted requesting additional funding.

The proposal originally incorporated work on a number of new features, like virtual prepaid cards (budget $17,600), Trezor support (budget $8,800) and Ledger support (budget $8,800) — but was edited to remove these features and reduce the budget from $81,000, focusing on support of the software only, following community feedback.

Cryptopower is based in the Go language and uses Gio to produce a graphical interface natively in Go for desktop and mobile/touch displays. During the last proposal some upstream issues were encountered with Gio and the Cryptopower team began sponsoring the Gio team with $500/month to facilitate resolving these issues, an arrangement which was expected to last for 4 months. This sponsorship will continue but only in months when the Cryptopower team needs some prioritisation of issue resolution.

The Apple Store raised concerns about the DEX and CEX exchange options of the app and whether these required KYC duties to be performed, as a result the exchange options were removed from the iOS version of the app to speed up approval, and a resolution will be sought which allows the exchange features to be added back in.

Decred Content and Asset Translations 2024

Published Feb 4 by kozel | 19 comments

This proposal requests a budget of $37,000 to fund a year of translation work, the last year’s proposal had a budget of $33,000 and spent $18,955. The translation index maintained by @bee lists articles which have been translated and most of those listed for 2023 will have been funded by the previous proposal, along with work that doesn’t show up on a list like this, such as software product text translations, although the proposal states that this kind of work was relatively scant in 2023.

The most significant change for the new phase of this proposal is a change in policy towards translations which are contributed for languages that aren’t well read by any established team or community members. There has been an issue with contributed translations sitting unreviewed for extended periods, preventing the translator from becoming a contractor billing for their work — so the decision was taken to relax the review requirements and settle for AI-assisted checking when it is not possible to obtain a review from a knowledgeable community member.

Comments on the proposal question the value of translating content like Decred Journal and Cypherpunk Times articles to languages like Polish, because potential readers of such technical material are likely to also be comfortable with English, and may prefer it for technical subjects. The other side of this is questioning the lack of translations for content like docs.decred.org, certain pages of the decred.org website and parts of the Decrediton user interface.

Decred Status platform

Published Jan 29 by peter_zen | last edited Feb 5 | 11 comments

This proposal requests a budget of $3,320 to build out a status page for Decred that will show whether certain Decred related services are online or offline, and be able to flag issues like DCRDEX going out of sync with the network. A proof of concept page has been created at https://is.decred.online/ using Uptime Kuma, a platform made for this purpose running on a VPS operated independently from Decred infrastructure. The status page monitors services like the Decred website, Matrix server, block explorer, proposals site, mixer servers, network seeders, and more — allowing users to determine whether issues they perceive are a result of a problem with the service or on the user’s end.

The proposal would fund custom CSS to make the page follow Decred branding, configuration of probes that will allow for more detailed and useful reporting than the PoC site, and setting up notifications when outages are detected or certificates are about to expire. The deliverable is a GitHub repository with a Docker container that anyone can use to create their own instance of the status page, and the proposal also budgets $2,360 for running and maintaining an instance for a year. The work would be completed by @peter_zen and @jholdstock.

Comments on the proposal are all very positive.

Decred Website Refresh 2024

Published Feb 4 by exitus | 7 comments

This proposal seeks approval from Decred Stakeholders to deploy a refresh of the decred.org website, and $3,250 compensation for the design and implementation work which has already been put into the refreshed website — which can be previewed at https://dcrweb.jholdstock.uk/ . The motivation for changes was to make the site more outreach friendly, more suited to people who may have seen an ad for Decred and have little other context coming in. Changes include new intro text and features section with graphics, key stats pulled from dcrdata, a new background image and quotes from Placeholder and Ark.

Comments on the proposal are positive about the refreshed website.

Decred Vanguard 2024

Published Feb 4 by exitus | 10 comments

This proposal requests a budget of $78,640 for a second year of Decred Vanguard funding, reporting expenditure of $20,953 in phase 1 which was 45% of the requested budget of $46,784. Decred Vanguard is a way of rewarding and empowering community members who promote the project on social media. In the second year it will have 3 tiers of contributor with maximum monthly billing of $100 (7 slots), $400 (5 slots) or $1,500 (1 slot), for a total annual budget of $46,200 to pay contributors. The tier 3 member will be @exitus, who will also be responsible for running the new X Promoted Posts advertising campaign, a new addition to the Vanguard’s effort that has a budget of $11,000. The program will also continue to pay for X premium for members (budget $1,320) to improve their effectiveness, as well as $120 for a Midjourney AI subscription. The proposal incorporates $20,000 discretionary funds, which will be used to fund giveaways (focusing more on Decred software this time, moving away from meme creation) and new unplanned initiatives. All of the budget figures are maximums, and it is anticipated that only around half of the budget will be used.

All of the comments are positive, some asking for more detail about what was learned during phase 1 and others offering suggestions for new modes of outreach and ways of tracking performance.

Approved Proposals

Bug Bounty Program 2024

Published Dec 8 by jholdstock | 6 comments (+3)

Final voting figures: 98% Yes Votes, 74% turnout of eligible tickets.

Recap: This proposal requested a budget of $105,000, split between $100,000 for bounty payments and $5,000 for administrative costs. In the last 18 months covered by the previous proposal there has been $415 paid out for bounties and operating costs of $1,750. The bug bounty program has been running for almost 5 years (since Jan 2019), and in that time 24 security vulnerabilities have been identified and fixed, and corresponding bounty payments worth $10,569 have been made to the people who found them. There is up to $30,000 available for vulnerabilities considered critical using the OWASP Risk Rating Methodology, so the requested budget is ample to keep the program going even if the rate and severity of bug reporting increases significantly.

Decred Video Content 2024

Published Dec 8 by phoenixgreen | 13 comments (+11)

Final voting figures: 85% Yes Votes, 64% turnout of eligible tickets.

Recap: This proposal requested a budget of $71,000 for the creation and dissemination of video content for 2024, it comes from the same team who have delivered the previous video content proposals. The requested budget is increasing to $5,920/month from $3,800/month, for 2023 the proposal billed a total of $39,847 ($3,321/month). Although the number of views and viewing time continued to grow steadily in 2023, growth in new subscribers is acknowledged as disappointing, with a net of just 27 new subscribers gained. The proposal considers a number of possibilities for improving the growth in subscribers: coordinating with Vanguard group to promote the content, Twitter livestreams, additional Twitter spaces, promoted ads for featured content on Twitter and Youtube, incentivising influencers to participate in livestreams and try Decred software. The proposal is open for new contributors, current team members are @phoenixgreen, @exitus, @karamble and @tivra — @exitus was the proposal owner previously.

About this issue

Content for this edition was authored by @richardred with review from @bee.

Image credit: @sænder


Politeia Digest 66 — December 13 2023 — February 15 2024 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — November 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-november-2023-6cf92a09dbcb?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — November 2023

Image: November cover by @Exitus

Time was a big challenge for me in December and we are releasing this very late. Sorry for the wait! [@bee]

Highlights of November:

  • Proof of concept mesh network design has been proposed for DCRDEX.
  • Private testing of Android and iOS builds of Cryptopower has begun.
  • Decred’s Lightning Network received a massive update to the upstream lnd v0.13 codebase.
  • Poloniex and HTX got hacked and disabled DCR withdrawals for weeks. Bittrex announced that it is closing and urged users to withdraw.

Contents:

· Development
· People
· Governance and Finances
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

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

dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.

Developer and internal changes:

  • Fixed a bug that was introduced in October with the new ability to handle concurrent messages from peers. dcrd would hang if a peer disconnected after having sent multiple messages. This bugfix allows dcrd to respond gracefully when peers disconnect.
  • Updated the Docker image to build with Go 1.21.4.
  • Peers should not be sending each other nil messages. In an effort to preemptively find and debug cases where this might happen, dcrd will now panic if a nil message is queued (“panic” means dcrd will terminate and alert the user of a problem). This change includes a handy error trace to help inform devs about which bit of code caused the panic.

In progress:

Decred was started as a fork of the btcsuite project. When asked how dcrd code has diverged over the years, @davecgh replied:

dcrd is significantly improved over btcd. It’s pretty night and day really. I don’t just mean in the ways that DCR improves over BTC either. I mean in pretty much every aspect. e.g. APBFs, much improved network code, the entire way the chain code allows for headers first semantics, how overall syncing is handled, support for block invalidation and reconsideration, the way peers with old chains are handled, way faster crypto, 50x (at least) improvement to sync time, essentially a full rewrite of the underlying script semantics (e.g. stdscript, stdaddr, proper versioning support, etc), and a bunch more. [@davecgh in chat]

dcrwallet

dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.

Many of the user-facing changes this month are focused on optimizing SPV mode, which is where the wallet can operate without having to download the full blockchain. This is a great choice for wallets with limited hardware performance, esp. mobile devices. Decred’s SPV mode uses advanced crypto tech to enable light clients with a high level of security and decentralization.

Optimizations of the initial SPV sync — part of SPV wallet’s startup routine when it catches up with the chain:

Other SPV mode optimizations:

  • Eliminate having to calculate block hashes multiple times. This results in a faster sync time and reduced memory use. During SPV operation, the time spent calculating block hashes is reduced by ~72%.
  • When connected in SPV, disconnect from straggling peers. During initial sync, it might be useful to connect to a peer for earlier block ranges, but that peer may later get overtaken by the wallet due to the wallet discovering more up-to-date blocks from other peers. If a particular peer doesn’t send any headers after the wallet has received several newer headers, it probably means that the straggler peer has poor connectivity to the network and should be disconnected in favor of attempting to find a better peer.

Developer and internal changes:

  • If the user tries to spend a multisignature UTXO that contains one or more invalid signatures, indicate that the transaction is not ready to send, and return signing errors. This is a step towards improving the UX for advanced users and developers working with multisignatures, which are currently possible but are not widely used nor well-developed in Decred.
  • Added unit tests for the semantic versioning of the chain package.
  • Other code refactoring.

Decrediton

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).

Merged in master for the next release:

  • Upgraded to Electron v26 to enable the new Ledger integration. This was made possible by hunting down a tiny breaking change in Electron v21.3.0 that broke DCRDEX window, and adding a workaround for it.
  • A newer version of Electron means Windows 7/8/8.1 will not be supported in the next Decrediton release. Cryptocurrency security enthusiasts don’t store their private keys on those insecure operating systems anyway, right?
  • Bumped a few Go and web dependencies.
  • Fixed wrong password error not being shown when attempting to purchase tickets using a wrong password.
  • Fixed the inability to remove peer host from the SPV Connect field in Settings.

vspd

vspd is server software used by Voting Service Providers. A VSP votes on behalf of its users 24/7 and cannot steal funds.

Changes included in November’s v1.3.2 release:

  • Added logic to retry broadcasting the ticket’s parent transaction if it failed due to referencing unknown outputs. There is a good chance that missing ancestor transactions will propagate through the network and show up in the local mempool after a few seconds.
  • Reverted to the previous VSP fee calculation algorithm that does not consider the activation of DCP-12. This resolves an issue where Decrediton sometimes fails to pay VSP fees because it calculated the fee differently from the server.

dcrpool

dcrpool is server software for running a Decred mining pool.

User-facing changes:

  • Fixed several bugs in payment fee calculation that caused paying extremely large fees in some cases. The associated tests have been reworked and extended to test more cases.

Internal refactoring (changes that don’t add features or fix bugs, but that untangle the code, make bugs easier to find and fix, and make the code easier to change in the future):

Lightning Network

dcrlnd is Decred’s Lightning Network node software. LN enables instant low-cost transactions.

  • dcrlnd codebase has been synced with changes made in upstream lnd between v0.12.1 and v0.13.4 (released Nov 2021). Around 140 out of 170 upstream pull requests have been ported, bringing 451 new commits, including about a dozen of Decred-specific commits to adapt upstream changes and simplify future porting efforts. Full list of ported and skipped pull requests can be found here. All notable changes are documented in lnd release notes: v0.13.0, v0.13.1, v0.13.3, and v0.13.4. dcrlnd has been tested with these changes applied in production on a few mainnet hubs.
  • Updated several Go libraries.

Note that while Anchor Outputs became the default channel type for Bitcoin in lnd v0.13, they are disabled on Decred LN mainnet for extra safety against attacks such as the replacement cycling vulnerability disclosed in October 2023.

DCRDEX

DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.

General client changes:

  • Disable the Place order button on various conditions, such as insufficient balance.
  • Moved the Sign Out button to the end of the hamburger menu.
  • Tuned colors: added some variation in element background colors in both light and dark modes, added slight background transparency behind active modals, and tuned down background color in light mode to use a softer white color.
  • Removed the font weight change effect on mouse hover because it didn’t look consistent on various browsers and font settings.
  • Changed the login flow to not force users to register on the server. After the local login, the user will be redirected to the Wallets page instead.
  • Fixed the staking panel not updating after wallet creation.
  • Fixed the prompt to create missing wallets on the Markets view.

Desktop app:

  • Fixed the opening of external links; they will trigger the operating system’s default URL handler (which may launch a default browser or show a dialog).
  • Fixed dark mode preference not saving on Linux. The fix is to save it in WebView’s local storage instead of a cookie, because cookies are not persistent between app launches in the Linux version of the WebView component.

Account trading tier, bonds, and reputation:

  • Exposed more bond and reputation data in the registration and settings views. When the user enters a tier number, a new preview form will show the amount that will actually be locked for bonds, trading limits, and their USD equivalents. The trading form on the Markets view will show how many lots can be used for the current trading tier. Multiple help strings have been added to explain bonds, trading tiers, and penalties for bad behavior.

Market maker bots:

  • Updated the Market Maker Settings UI to have a more responsive layout and explain bot strategies (there are 5 strategies currently).
  • Added a bot strategy combining market maker and simple arbitrage. Based on a CEX order book, it places orders on the DEX order book, and when there is a match on the DEX, the opposite order on the CEX is immediately executed for a profit.

Decred:

  • Added general infrastructure for mixing funds and implemented the low-level bits for DCR (no GUI yet).

Bitcoin:

  • Store transaction history for Bitcoin SPV wallets. Although the underlying SPV wallet implementation (Neutrino) stores transaction data already, using that storage leads to unreliable and confusing code. Storing transactions in a separate database fixes this and also unlocks more accuracy, such as differentiating regular sends and swap transactions.

Zcash:

  • Extracted Zcash code into its own wallet implementation. This is needed to untangle it from Bitcoin code, because the Zcash wallet is very different from Bitcoin’s. The change allows Zcash wallets to be shielded by default and resolves some internal issues.

Ethereum:

Internal and developer changes:

  • Updated the client’s web dependencies, which fixes one critical vulnerability in the Babel compiler.

In progress:

  • A proof of concept toy mesh network implementation called Tatanka has been submitted for discussion. This is work towards the DCRDEX mesh proposal approved in June 2023. Readers are advised to watch a short video to understand what Tatanka really is (try Invidious if the video is restricted in your location).
  • An implementation of private atomic swaps with Schnorr adaptor signatures has been submitted for review to the atomicswap repository. The atomic swap method currently used by DCRDEX leaves the same unique value on both chains, allowing anyone to link buyer’s and seller’s transactions. Adaptor signatures allow users to fix this privacy vulnerability at the cost of some additional off-chain communication required between the parties. However, there is some criticism of this approach due to its dependency on Taproot (which introduces non-trivial issues) and elliptic-curve cryptography (so this code would break should Decred upgrade to post-quantum cryptography). Note that atomicswap is a command-line tool separate from the DCRDEX project, but the code pioneered in it could be applied to DCRDEX as well.
Image: Market Maker Settings UI in DCRDEX
Image: DCRDEX will better expose the bond math and trading limits
Image: Improved bond information in DCRDEX Settings

Cryptopower

Cryptopower is a multi-coin desktop GUI wallet for DCR, BTC, and LTC. It runs in a privacy-preserving light SPV mode without needing full blockchains, supports Decred staking, mixing, voting, and other unique features.

Design implementation of the top-level Home subpages:

Design implementation of Wallets subpages:

  • Added new cards to wallet Info page to show mixer status, recent transactions, and recent staking activity.
  • Implemented new layout on wallet Settings page.
  • Updated layout of wallet Staking page sections: general Staking Info, Statistics, and Tickets.

Mobile adaptation:

Coin conversion:

Fixes:

Internal and developer changes:

Private testing of mobile app builds has been set up in Google Play Store and Apple Store (TestFlight). If you’d like to participate please ask in #cryptopower Matrix chat (see how to join Matrix).

Follow @cryptopowerWlt on Twitter to support the project and get more updates.

Image: Overview tab in Cryptopower
Image: Updated Settings in Cryptopower
Image: Updated wallet overview in Cryptopower
Image: Mobile layout in Cryptopower (work in progress)

Documentation

dcrdocs is the source code for Decred user documentation.

Bison Relay

Bison Relay is a new social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.

Work listed below has been merged to master towards the next release.

Changes in both GUI and text apps:

  • Filter unwanted content when reading saved chat history. Previously content filtering handled newly received messages only.
  • Replaced Bittrex with MEXC as a source of exchange rates.

User-facing changes in the GUI app:

GUI app adaptation to mobile devices:

  • Various mobile fixes and UX refinements, including: replace Menu button with Back button in some pages, font size tweaks, onboarding tweaks, overflow fixes, and Android build fixes.
  • Increased spacing in chats based on user feedback.

Internal changes in the GUI app:

  • Consolidated font size declarations and usages for consistency and greater control of fonts based on which OS or platform the app is running.

In progress:

  • Users reported various LN channel issues when interacting with the Oprah bot. The root cause of some of them was found in dcrlnd and is being worked on.

Other news:

  • Decred Journal archives are now published on Bison Relay. Contact @karamble for usage instructions.

Cake Wallet Integration

Completed work merged in the intermediate integration tree:

  • Added a stub for libwallet to move forward with higher-level code while the real libwallet is being written. Also, removed a lot of unnecessary code left from earlier experiments.
  • Continued investigation of the best ways to call Decred’s code written in Go from Cake’s high-level code written in Dart/Flutter.
  • Three developers configured build environments and got working builds of Cake Wallet showing dummy Decred views on iOS, Android, and macOS. Just getting a working build is a notable milestone considering how complex and confusing the build process is.

In progress work for Cake Wallet:

  • First change adding initial Decred screens has been submitted to the upstream repository’s integration branch called decred_main. Working Decred code will be tested and polished in that branch before being added to Cake Wallet’s main branch.
  • Integrating libwallet built as a C library, including any necessary glue code in Kotlin and Swift, and build code for various OSes and CPU architectures.
  • Scripts and how-to guide for building Cake Wallet on macOS. This documents the missing knowledge of the complex build process that was quite hard to discover.

Merged work for libwallet:

In progress work for libwallet:

  • A wrapper layer for building libwallet as a C library that could be called from Cake Wallet’s high-level app code.
  • A package for managing wallet sync and reporting sync progress for DCR, BTC and LTC wallets.

libwallet is a multi-coin library implementing light (SPV) wallets for Decred, Bitcoin and Litecoin. It was originally created to integrate Decred in Cake Wallet, but it has potential to become a platform for building Decred and multi-coin software. The second app to use libwallet will likely be the Cryptopower wallet. This will be similar to how the now-discontinued dcrlibwallet was shared by GoDCR and Android/iOS Decred apps, but will support more assets than just Decred. C interop layer will be added soon which will allow libwallet to be used by any programming language that can call C code, facilitating Decred integrations in a wide array of existing and new crypto software (this was one of the goals of the TinyDecred v2 effort).

Wallet apps built on libwallet will have much better privacy compared to many existing apps on the market, where it is common to use central servers that can track users’ funds. Unfortunately, Cake’s Bitcoin wallet is one such case because it relies on their Electrum server which is not good for privacy. Under the hood libwallet uses dcrwallet for Decred and Neutrino for Bitcoin, which connect directly to full nodes and fetch data privately without revealing owned funds and transactions.

Other

People

Welcome the new first-time contributors:

Community stats as of Dec 3 (compared to Nov 2):

  • Twitter followers: 53,939 (+464)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,773 (+11)
  • Matrix #general members: 833 (+7)
  • Discord members: 1,862 (+24), verified to post: 769 (+7)
  • Telegram members: 2,319 (+22)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,660 (+20), views: 244.7K (+2.3K)

Governance and Finances

In November the new treasury received 7,060 DCR worth $101K at November’s average rate of $14.35. 8,471 DCR was spent to pay contractors, worth $122K at same rate.

A treasury spend tx was approved with 7,346 Yes votes and 57% turnout, and mined on Nov 21. It had 50 outputs making payments to contractors, ranging from 3 DCR to 1,411 DCR. Most of this DCR was likely paid for September and some October work. Using an estimated billing exchange rate for the mix of two months of $12.98, the billed amount in this TSpend is around $110K.

One of the considerations around the timing and structuring of treasury payments to contractors for these months is to stay within the limit of 150% of monthly inflows as dictated by DCP-7. The lower DCR/USD exchange rate and decline in block reward subsidy over time means that hitting the limit is a realistic concern for the first time, especially if there is a backlog of older invoices accumulating. In this case invoices that were already submitted for October were sent for payment at the same time as those for September rather than waiting another month, which would have been more usual.

As of Dec 1, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 871,828 DCR ($12.5 million USD at $14.39).

Image: Treasury inflows and outflows in DCR
Image: Treasury monthly balance in USD; note that it heavily depends on the exchange rate

There were no Politeia proposals submitted, approved or rejected in November.

It has been reported on November 23rd that one user was unable to register and submit a proposal. Apparently Politeia did not detect the registration fee payment. As of December 1st this has not been resolved.

Network

This section tracks key health metrics of the fundamental infrastructure.

Mining

November’s hashrate opened at ~13.7 TH/s and closed ~5.5 TH/s, bottoming at 5.0 TH/s and peaking at 15.9 TH/s throughout the month.

Image: Decred hashrate is seeking a new equilibrium after the initial influx of GPU miners

Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by Dec 3: miningandco.com 41%, losmuchachos.digital 8%, pooltronic.tech 3.6%, and 47% of blocks were not identified by miningpoolstats.stream.

Image: The reduction of unique mining addresses suggests it is getting more centralized again

Staking

Ticket price varied between 224–324 DCR.

Image: Ticket price has stabilized pretty quickly

The locked amount was 9.27–9.85 million DCR, meaning that 59.4–63.1% of the circulating supply participated in proof of stake.

Image: DCR locked in tickets is staying near its ATH
Image: Among the other things, percentage of staked DCR indirectly shows how much of new emission is re-staked

VSP Staking

The 14 listed VSPs collectively managed ~5,850 (-1,350) live tickets, which was 14.3% of the ticket pool (-2.5%) as of Dec 1. Note: these figures exclude around 400 tickets managed by 123.dcr.rocks which was delisted due to closing.

The only gainer of November was 99split.com (+136 tickets or +32%), the other 13 saw outflows of tickets.

Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs
Image: Missed votes are back to low numbers

Nodes

Decred Mapper observed between 150 and 158 dcrd nodes throughout the month. Versions of 147 nodes seen on Dec 1: v1.8.0–67%%, v1.8.1–23%, v1.9.0 dev builds — 3%, v1.7.x — 2%, v1.8.0–0.7%, other — 3%.

Image: Nodes are upgrading to v1.8.1. The red area before Jan 2023 indicates incomplete data we had at that time.

StakeShuffle

The share of mixed coins varied between 62.1–62.3%. Daily mix volume varied between 0–1,032K DCR.

Image: Second big dip and recovery of daily DCR mixing
Image: More than 62% of circulating supply prefers privacy

Lightning Network

Decred LN Explorer saw 220 nodes (+0), 420 channels (-28) with a total capacity of 206 DCR (+3), as of Dec 3 (compared to Nov 1).

Image: Some LN channels got closed
Image: LN node count stayed the same while the capacity increased a bit

Thanks to @bochinchero for providing and improving these charts. About 40 other charts not used in this Decred Journal issue are available in the dcrsnapshots repository; everyone is welcome to share them on social media.

Ecosystem

Voting Service Providers

  • vspd v1.3.2 release came out with fixes that should resolve issues with ticket status errors and VSP fee payment failures. 9 out of 14 VSPs have deployed these fixes as of December 1st.
  • The VSP list page has been updated to show all-time Missed ticket stats. As of the December 1st snapshot, the 14 active VSPs between 6 months and 3 years old reported a total of 1,108 revoked tickets, of which 1,101 expired normally and only 7 missed their votes. The low missed count shows that vspd deployments are much more reliable compared to the old dcrstakepool which had higher miss rates. Note: bass.cf has been excluded from these numbers because it has not yet upgraded to report missed tickets.

Mining Pools

Staking Services

  • BisonPool reported that with the activation of DCP-10 earnings rose from ~2.8%/year to ~7.8%/year, and now with DCP-12 up to ~8.6%/year. Current returns are shown on their home page, note that it is not fixed and depends on ticket prices. BisonPool was launched in July 2022 by two IT security enthusiasts who were anonymously participating in Decred since 2018. The service allows staking and earning rewards with less than a full ticket. Bear in mind that it is a custodial service that takes full control of users’ funds.

Exchanges

  • Poloniex was hacked on November 10th for an estimated loss of $118 million in Ethereum assets, Tron assets, and BTC. As DCR was not mentioned by Poloniex, Justin Sun, or the Lookonchain tweet about the stolen assets, it is unknown if any DCR was stolen during the hack. In any case, DCR users were affected by the suspension of all withdrawals. On-chain researchers of the #trading club noticed a transaction sending around ~60K DCR from a Poloniex address to Binance around 12 hours after the hack became public and ~7 hours after Poloniex was said to be “restored”. The speculation has been that it could be either Poloniex saving the remaining funds or the hacker liquidating them on Binance.
  • Poloniex was slow at recovering from the hack. Trading was resumed on the next day, but no withdrawals have been enabled by Nov 30 and their support Twitter has been silent. At the same time there was no shortage of promotion, hype, or even coin listing tweets. As a consequence of withdrawals and cross-exchange arbitrage not functioning, DCR price went down significantly compared to the other markets.
  • HTX exchange (formerly Huobi) and its HECO Chain Bridge lost around $117 million worth of assets to a hot wallet compromise according to the official support article and PeckShield. Justin Sun and HTX promised to fully compensate users for the losses. DCR was not mentioned as a stolen asset and was likely never integrated in the HECO Chain Bridge. However, DCR users were hit by the suspension of all withdrawals.
  • HTX has been recovering faster compared to Poloniex. By Nov 30 withdrawals for BTC, ETH, TRX and about a hundred other assets have been restored (including USDT and USDC), but based on official updates and DCR/USDT slippage on HTX, DCR was not so lucky.
  • Bittrex Global announced that they are winding down operations. All trading activity will end by December 4th, and from there customers will only be able to withdraw. Any remaining USD will be auto-converted to USDT. It’s been a bad year for Bittrex: $29 million in fines in October 2022, having to wind down U.S. operations in March 2023 due to unwelcoming regulatory and economic environment, charges by U.S. SEC in April for securities violations, and a bankruptcy filing in May.
  • DCR withdrawals from Bittrex have been suspended for 9 days (judging by this address), as a result the price of DCR went down and some smart traders picked it up for as low as $5. Withdrawals resumed on November 29th however, and one user reported it worked for DCR with no issues.
  • KuCoin announced that DCR/USDT trading pair will launch on November 24th while DCR/ETH pair will be closed. The same change was made for 8 other coins.
  • Bitvavo.com may be staking customers’ DCR according to on-chain findings of #trading researchers. Bitvavo’s support has confirmed that the exchange can collect rewards generated from holding the assets on behalf of its users, according to their User Agreement. DCR is currently missing from the “reward-eligible” assets, so there is no way for the users to opt-in to receive DCR staking rewards. Staking DCR without sharing the rewards with customers received mixed feedback from the community, ranging from it being highly unethical, to it being more secure (against theft or misuse by the exchange itself), or even being a “selling point” to get DCR listed on more exchanges.
  • Changelly has been removed from decred.org Exchanges page because DCR doesn’t work since September.
  • MEXC.com and XT.com have been tested: DCR trading works over VPN and without KYC. DCR withdrawals are working at MEXC, help is needed to test withdrawals at XT.
  • Trocador launched new prepaid virtual cards that can be purchased with crypto and used as normal credit cards. A test run for DCR has uncovered some issues: a backend error (devs fixed it), automatic email with card details didn’t work (support request resolved it), it worked with Google Pay but not with contactless NFC payments, and there was roughly an 8% markup to use the service. Despite those issues, it works and allows sending DCR and getting a prepaid VISA card that can be used to buy real world things.

Other News

  • Decred Vanguard became active in testing and pursuing new integrations for Decred, check their report below.
  • Anyone can help to improve Decred’s presence in the crypto ecosystem. Even little things like emailing or tweeting to an exchange/wallet/service/influencer can make a difference.

Join more than 100 members of our #ecosystem chat to get detailed news about Decred services. Volunteers who can help with testing withdrawals are welcome in the #ecochat work group as well.

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.

Outreach

Decred Vanguard

Updates:

  • Ran a Meme Contest with $100 in DCR as rewards.
  • Attempted contacts with cryptocurrency exchanges Kraken, CEX.IO, and M2 for listing guidance.
  • Filed a listing application for TradeOgre.com.
  • Tested out altcoin exchanges MEXC.com and XT.com to ensure deposits and withdrawals work.
  • Tested out Trocador prepaid cards bought with $DCR.
  • Spoke to Trocador about possible partnerships. This led to Cryptopower integrating Trocador’s swap service into their wallet, qualifying them as a partner and thus listed on Trocador’s main website.
  • Spoke to BTCPay Server devs and confirmed that they are open to merging an altcoin integration if it’s done correctly.
  • Reached out to thought leader Justin Bons to have a conversation.
  • Spoke on Cake Wallet Twitter space about working in the Decred DAO.
  • Ran a poll on what marketing effort the community would like most. Influencer collaboration was most popular at 46%. 106 votes were cast.
  • Completed a $100 Decred giveaway with easy effort entry. Giveaways with low barriers always get more likes, views, and retweets.

Decred Vanguard is a community-based marketing effort with the goal of increasing Decred’s outreach and social media presence.

Are you a meme creator, artist, strategist, or just someone passionate about the Decred Project? We’re expanding our community-driven marketing program, and we want YOU!

What’s in it for you?

  • Earn $100 in DCR every month just for participating.
  • We’ll cover the cost of your X Premium.
  • No strict rules on participation. Contribute in your own unique way, whenever you can.
  • Win potential prizes for contributions.

We are always testing out new giveaways and running meme contests with prizes!

Interested? Contact @Exitus on Twitter/Matrix/Discord.

Cypherpunk Times

Engagement stats for November:

  • Total number of articles on CT: 588
  • Newsletter subscribers: 112
  • New CT posts and newsletters sent: 23
  • Social media followers across all platforms and accounts: 1,181
  • @decredsociety Twitter: followers — 985, posts — 16, tweet impressions — 17.1K, likes — 350, retweets — 51, comments — 51
  • @cypherpunktimes Twitter: followers — 196, posts — 154, tweet impressions — 19.3K, likes — 439, retweets — 107, comments — 88
  • Posts by project for November: Firo — 5, Decred — 7, Other crypto projects / news — 11

Events

Attended:

Media

Articles

Decred:

General crypto:

Videos

Live streams:

Shorts:

Audio

  • @Exitus gave an overview of the Decred DAO/Treasury and how contractors contribute early on in the space in Cake Wallet’s Twitter Space dedicated to working in crypto.
  • Check the Cypherpunk Times podcast on Spotify for the audio versions of Decred videos.

Non-English content

  • A video about Timestamply by @arij
  • Decred Journal September got a total of 3 new translations to Arabic (@arij), Chinese (@Dominic) and Polish (@kozel). Thank you friends!

Random

I never planned to use the #DCRDEX, because I didn’t need to, but over time I realized it added value. It wasn’t until the only exchange (@BittrexExchange) I use to buy #Decred stopped operating in the US…. thats when it really hit me! It wasn’t a want, it was a need! [@longtermdaily]

Art and Fun

Images: Trapped Bitcoin users looking at the cure, by @yourkingroyal
Image: An old Decred Moon Fuel art on @wumudidi’s cup

Markets

In November DCR was trading between USDT 12.33–16.50 and BTC 0.00036–0.00046 on Binance. Using the weighed daily close data from Coin Metrics the price ranges were USD 13.11–15.50 and BTC 0.00037–0.00043. The average daily rate as calculated for contractor payments was $14.35.

Brian Beamish of The Rational Investor made a technical analysis of DCR (jump to 1:15:10).

Image: Recent DCR/BTC, data from Coin Metrics
Image: All-time DCR/BTC, data from Coin Metrics
Image: Recent DCR/USD, data from Coin Metrics
Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD
Image: “A better long-term chart than a lot of people realize” by @cburniske

Relevant External

Bitcoin mining pool f2pool has admitted to censoring transactions from OFAC-sanctioned addresses. This behaviour was discovered by Bitcoin developer 0xB10C by analyzing transactions which should have been included by f2pool but weren’t. Initially f2pool denied the behavior, but they subsequently admitted it and said they would pause it until community consensus could be established — but they have deleted the various posts about it since.

Monero chain sleuths Moonstone Research have analyzed the transactions made by the attacker who drained the Community Crowdfunding System (CCS) wallet and discovered some transactions they are fairly sure represent the attacker sending funds to an exchange or counterparty. This caused some controversy in the community because Monero is known for its privacy, but this is a “worst case scenario” for privacy where the wallet’s private keys and metadata have been shared with the investigators, and the attacker appears to have made an unusual transaction (using the Monerujo’s “PocketChange” feature) and some other missteps (sweeping the wallet) which have made the job of the investigators easier.

There are various proposals for a new Monero CCS system design which avoids the pitfall of having a large sum of XMR under the control of some core member(s) who can be targeted. One of these is a “cypherpunk proposal” which would remove the custodian role by having people donate directly to the wallets of the project owners once they are greenlit for funding — so removing the centralized oversight and release of funds.

Fluffypony has proposed disbanding the “Monero Core Team” in favour of 6 workgroups whose membership is determined by community consensus, with a cutover date of Jan 1 2024. The proposal is partly driven by recent issues with the CCS funds, but the Core team is also seen as having too much control in general, and some of the roles, like those dealing with service providers, require “individuals in those particular roles to not be abrasive, and to be warm and understanding and friendly with the individuals they deal with at those service providers”. The workgroups he proposes relate to the General Donation Fund, the Community Crowdfunding System, Intellectual Property holding, Servers and CDN hosting, Git maintenance, and Community Channels moderation. The proposal calls for a straw poll consensus mechanism to be decided to select members of the workgroups, but stipulates that only participants with several years of contributions should be considered for membership of a workgroup.

Jae Kwon, the Cosmos founder, has called for a chain splitting hard fork after a proposal to decrease ATOM issuance was approved by the community against his wishes. The proposal to drop the issuance rate from 14% annually to 10% was passed with 41.1% yes votes and 31.9% no votes from the voting power that participated — the rationale for the change was that Cosmos Hub was paying too much for security. Kwon’s chain split proposal would form a new chain that has its own token but would also allow the original ATOM token to be used in some way. This may also resolve some tension in the community around a vetoed plan for “Cosmos 2.0” which had significant levels of support but was deemed too risky by the leadership.

The Aragon Association has announced that it intends to disband, returning 95% of the assets held by the organization to ANT token holders and retaining 5% to settle obligations. ANT holders will be able to redeem ANT for ETH at a rate of 0.0025376 ETH per ANT until Nov 2 2024, at which point any unclaimed funds will revert to the newly formed “Aragon Shield”, where they will be put towards some loosely defined continuation of product development. Although Aragon’s software tools were used by successful DAOs such as Lido and Curve, the team decided that it was not possible to derive any value for ANT holders from this kind of usage, and they have acknowledged that ventures like “Aragon Court” were not viable.

Some of the ANT token holders are not happy with the Aragon Association plan, specifically the retention of $11 million plus all unclaimed funds after a year for Aragon Shield, and they have backed a proposal to go after Aragon Association for more money via a “highly conditional grant” to Patagon Management LLC, a trading company specializing in this kind of legal action to recover funds.

A fake “Ledger Live” app made it into the Microsoft app store and as a result whoever released it was sent 38 transactions worth $588K as it stole the BTC of people who thought they were using the proper Ledger Live software to access their hardware wallet.

KyberSwap was subjected to a hack and urged users to withdraw their funds if able, but the attacker was able to get hold of around $55 million of users’ funds by performing a sophisticated sequence of actions that allowed them to exploit a vulnerability to manipulate prices. The KyberSwap team offered a 10% bounty for return of the funds and the attacker replied in an on chain message that negations would begin in a few hours when they were rested. Front running bots were able to join in the exploit and get $5.7M of user funds before the attacker, the operators of the bots are returning funds for a 10% bounty.

There have been four major hacks in two months targeting exchanges and a bridge operated by Justin Sun. HTX exchange (formerly Huobi) suffered two hacks for $8M and $30M, while Poloniex was hit for $100M, reportedly due to a private key compromise. HTX’s HECO Chain bridge, used to move funds between the exchange and various chains, was the other casualty, with $87M making its way to suspicious addresses.

LBRY Inc. is winding down after the SEC sued it into bankruptcy, all of its assets will be sold off to pay creditors. Odysee will continue using the LBRY network to provide its video sharing service, by some measures one of the most highly used Web3 platforms with 5.3 million unique monthly users.

The SEC sued Kraken with operating a securities exchange illegally because they failed to register, similar to the cases brought against Coinbase and Binance in June.

SafeMoon’s CEO and CTO have been arrested by the US Department of Justice in a fraud investigation, with a complaint that they misled investors by spending $200M on luxury goods while telling them it was locked in a liquidity pool. The SEC piled on with charges of securities violations related to the SFM token being unregistered and the price being manipulated, the token tanked in the aftermath of the charges being published.

The SBF trial concluded with guilty verdicts on seven charges and sentencing to come in 2024 and SBF facing a maximum 115 years in prison. The question of whether to pursue the political donations element was to be made at a later date — spoiler alert, they decided not to expose the extent of that crime and all of the politicians who were involved to media scrutiny, in December.

The FTX Bankruptcy advisors have been providing FBI offices with access to customer trading data.

Chinese courts have affirmed legal protection of NFTs as property, with a commentary that clarifies some previous contradictions. NFTs are seen as having both use value and exchange value, their scarcity means they conform to the characteristics of online virtual property. Recognizing property rights for NFTs means that people can be prosecuted for stealing them.

The US Federal Reserve is coming after Bitcoin Magazine for making fun of their FedNow service in a way which they allege infringes on their copyright and trademarks. Bitcoin Magazine has published an open reply declining to comply by removing the offending t-shirt, which contains the Fed’s trademark, from their store.

Bittrex Global has finally wound down its operations and ceased trading. Since they announced the closing date there were intermittent issues with withdrawing DCR and the DCR pairs started behaving unusually with low liquidity and some concern about whether people would be able to withdraw any DCR they bought there.

Attendees at the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s annual ApeFest were subjected to UV light exposure, with over 20 people who were located too near a UV light reporting severe pain and burning sensations in their eyes, likely caused by photokeratitis or sunburn of the cornea.

That’s all for November. Suggest news for the next issue in our #journal chat room.

About

This is issue 65 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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, karamble, kozel, phoenixgreen, richardred, zippycorners
  • title image: Exitus
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — November 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Politeia Digest 65 — September 27 — December 12 2023

https://medium.com/decred/politeia-digest-65-september-27-december-12-2023-984c12c31091?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Politeia Digest 65 — September 27 — December 12 2023

Treasury balance: 874,704 DCR (approx +7,072 DCR/month) — $13.1 million (+$106K/month) based on $14.98 DCR price

New Proposals

Bug Bounty Program 2024

Published Dec 8 by jholdstock | 3 comments

This proposal requests a budget of $105,000, split between $100,000 for bounty payments and $5,000 for administrative costs. In the last 18 months covered by the previous proposal there has been $415 paid out for bounties and operating costs of $1,750. The bug bounty program has been running for almost 5 years (since Jan 2019), and in that time 24 security vulnerabilities have been identified and fixed, and corresponding bounty payments worth $10,569 have been made to the people who found them.

There is up to $30,000 available for vulnerabilities considered critical using the OWASP Risk Rating Methodology, so the requested budget is ample to keep the program going even if the rate and severity of bug reporting increases significantly.

Decred Video Content 2024

Published Dec 8 by phoenixgreen | 2 comments

This proposal requests a budget of $71,000 for the creation and dissemination of video content for 2024, it comes from the same team who have delivered the previous video content proposals. The requested budget is increasing to $5,920/month from $3,800/month, for 2023 the proposal billed a total of $39,847 ($3,321/month). Although the number of views and viewing time continued to grow steadily in 2023, growth in new subscribers is acknowledged as disappointing, with a net of just 27 new subscribers gained.

The proposal considers a number of possibilities for improving the growth in subscribers: coordinating with Vanguard group to promote the content, Twitter livestreams, additional Twitter spaces, promoted ads for featured content on Twitter and Youtube, incentivising influencers to participate in livestreams and try Decred software. The proposal is open for new contributors, current team members are @phoenixgreen, @exitus, @karamble and @tivra — @exitus was the proposal owner previously.

Approved Proposals

Cake Wallet Integration Again

Published Sep 12 by joegruff | last edited Sep 13 | 6 comments

Final voting figures: 88% Yes votes, 59% turnout of eligible tickets.

Recap: This proposal requested a budget of $80,000 to add Decred support to Cake Wallet, the work would be completed by approved Decred developers and there would be no charge from Cake Wallet to integrate the support in their releases. There is a relevant video where @tivra and @phoenixgreen discuss the prospects for the relationship with a Cake Wallet representative. Cake Wallet is a popular multi asset wallet with a built in exchange function, it was mobile only until Feb 2023 and since then has desktop versions for Linux and MacOS. The Decred integration would be using SPV mode to process blocks directly on the device so no privacy-compromising third party is required, and the team have expressed a willingness to support other advanced features in future. The original version of the proposal failed to reach a quorum because of problems with the voting system caused by the activation of consensus rule changes. See previous issue for more details

Rejected Proposals

Decred PR Proposal Phase Five

Published Sep 15 by lindseymmc | last edited Sep 28 | 51 comments (+24)

Final voting figures: 53% Yes votes, 55% turnout of eligible tickets.

Recap: This proposal requested $48,000 for another year of Public Relations provision at $4,000/month. @l1ndseymm has been providing these services to Decred for four years, and her last proposal was approved with 66% support at a budget of $48,000. The proposal originally requested $60,000 because @l1ndseymm’s team has been expanded to 5 to include “two crypto media relations experts and two support-level PRs” — the edit reduced the budget to the same as previous year and also introduced the new team members, likely in response to comments on the proposal. The transition from solo outfit to structured team is expected to bring increased efficiency and result in better number and quality of media placements.

Odaily Content Proposal

Published Aug 10 by conniej | last edited Oct 16 | 12 comments

Final voting figures: 30% Yes votes, 28% turnout of eligible tickets.

The proposal’s dates were edited before authorizing the vote, as the proposal had been sitting inactive for some time the original time window was already well underway.

Recap: This proposal requests $15,000 for the writing and publication of two articles about Decred over the span of a six month period during which the editors will be contactable. Odaily is a Chinese language crypto news site that claims 1.5 million unique monthly users. The content of the articles would be approved by a Decred representative, @Dominic, and metrics like number of pageviews would be shared after 2 weeks.

About this issue

Content for this edition was authored by @richardred with review from @bee.

Image credit: @sænder


Politeia Digest 65 — September 27 — December 12 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — August 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-august-2023-6b539b82057b?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — August 2023

Image: Untitled by @Exitus

Highlights of August:

  • Two consensus changes activated on Decred mainnet to reduce mining rewards and change the mining algorithm. These changes disrupt ASIC mining cartels and make GPU mining more accessible.
  • Cryptopower’s first mainnet release is out. It is a new wallet building on the legacy of GoDCR, and adding BTC and LTC wallets, instant coin exchange, and more. Initially available as a desktop app but mobile apps are in development.
  • Bison Relay v0.1.8 has been released with chat history loading after app restart, initial e-commerce features, and numerous UX improvements in the graphical and text apps.
  • Full node wallet support for Dash and Firo has been merged in DCRDEX. Advanced users can try it out.

Contents:

· New Consensus Rules Activated
· Cryptopower v1.0.0 Release
· Bison Relay v0.1.8 Release
· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

New Consensus Rules Activated

Consensus changes Change PoW to BLAKE3 and ASERT and Change PoW/PoS Subsidy Split To 1/89 have activated on Decred mainnet at block 794,368 on August 29. It took roughly 5 months since the Politeia proposal was submitted in March to implement these changes and activate them with a vote.

The chain was paused for almost 3 days until CPU miners found the first blocks and everything got running again. We will cover early CPU and GPU mining developments in the next issue. As of writing everything looks stable again and more upgrades are in the pipeline.

Old software will not follow the chain past the Aug 29 fork. To use Decred, make sure to upgrade to the latest core software release, standalone DCRDEX app, Cryptopower or any other wallet you’ve been using.

Congratulations to the Decred community for activating our 12th consensus change!

Cryptopower v1.0.0 Release

Cryptopower is a new self-custodial wallet for DCR, BTC and LTC. The first public mainnet release packages a year of development work and new features added since GoDCR was discontinued in August 2022. Highlights:

  • Multi-coin wallet for DCR, BTC and LTC — all working in light (SPV) mode without needing to download full blockchains
  • Decred staking, mixing, and governance — voting on consensus changes, treasury spends and Politeia proposals
  • Coin conversion via centralized exchangers like Flyp.me, Godex.io, ChangeNOW.io and others
  • Custom coin selection for extra control
  • Custom gap limit
  • Runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD
  • Potential to build mobile apps for Android and iOS from the same codebase

Download the app for your operating system here. Make sure to verify the files as explained in the release; the builds are signed by Cryptopower with key fingerprint 5C26BFEC6C2466A528D5551CD05AC74F68976E52.

Android APK builds are experimental and not yet recommended for real wallets but testers are welcome.

Bug reports and feedback are welcome using GitHub Issues or the #cryptopower Matrix chat.

Learn more:

Image: Cryptopower wallet selection page in dark mode
Image: Cryptopower’s send page
Image: Cryptopower supports advanced Coin Selection for extra control
Image: Cryptopower lets you convert coins without touching the browser

Bison Relay v0.1.8 Release

This is a big release with new features and UX improvements made over the last 4 months.

Major changes in both GUI and text apps:

  • Loading of chat history after app restarts
  • Pages with hyperlinks (similar to web pages)
  • Improved reliability of key exchanges and tipping
  • Numerous bug fixes

GUI app highlights:

  • Address book with searching and filtering
  • News Feed with images and improved sorting
  • Improved notifications UI
  • Improved responsiveness on smaller screens

brclient text app highlights:

  • Initial e-commerce features
  • Client-side content filtering
  • Client data backups

The initial e-commerce infrastructure called “simplestore” is designed for selling digital-only goods such as images, videos, audio, and files. Supported payment methods are DCR Lightning Network, on-chain DCR transfers, and custom/manual processing. Simplestore is only available in the text-based brclient app in this release.

GUI and text clients have different features now. Changes for each app are listed on the release page; please pay attention to the upgrade notice if migrating from v0.1.7 on Windows. For a complete list of changes with explanations see Decred Journal issues from April to July 2023. See the README file for instructions on verifying the files.

Image: Bison Relay v0.1.8 helps you find new comments faster

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

dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.

The majority of the work this month was developer-focused, and not necessarily user-focused. However, it’s always interesting when a new Go version is supported, because it unlocks potential new features and improvements from the coding language itself (check the dcrwallet updates from the July issue for examples of this).

The following work has been merged in master towards future releases:

  • Dropped official support for Go 1.19, and added support for Go 1.21 (Go 1.20 is still supported as well). This included updates to the GitHub Actions build workflow. Building against Go 1.19 is still possible, and it is highly likely to work fine, but it is no longer being actively tested.
  • Updated the Docker image to build the dcrd binary with Go 1.21.0.
  • Optimized the GitHub Actions build workflow to reduce duplicate cache entries and cache spam. This involved removing the Go module and build cache from the GitHub build workflow, since the latest setup-go action caches them by default, and this was creating duplicate cache entries. The linter is still cached separately, and this update also included a small filename change to produce significantly fewer cache objects.
  • Added a test scenario to the ASERT tests that ensures the difficulty adjusts appropriately when block times are speeding up.
  • Added a duplicate-word linter, and used it to tidy up comments in 44 different files.
  • Removed unused parameters from a few blockchain functions. These functions are internal, so this change has no impact to clients or users.
  • Added an error linter, and updated multiple errors so that they can be wrapped with useful context. This allows them to be unwrapped by function callers to identify the source of the error. This update allows the errors to work nicely with errors.Is and errors.As.

The DCP-11 document specifying the change to BLAKE3 and ASERT has been reviewed and released. Here are some interesting facts we found:

  • The document explains the new proof of work hash, new ASERT difficulty adjustment algorithm, and the difficulty reset at the activation block, all in great detail with formulas, diagrams, and guidance for implementations.
  • Block header stayed exactly the same; it is a compact 180-byte structure that holds important metadata about the block and allows syncing and navigating the chain very quickly.
  • Block hash remained unchanged too; it is the same BLAKE-256 14-round hash of the block header. Most Decred software uses block hash to identify blocks and needs no modifications.
  • Proof of work hash changed to BLAKE3; it is created by hashing the block header. Only mining software (and hardware) needs to adapt to this new hashing algorithm.
  • Research into difficulty algorithms has shown that ASERT is one of the best performers in the space. Side note: Bitcoin’s DA got the worst rating in the 9th category after all others. Based on that and other research, Bitcoin Cash adopted a variation of ASERT in November 2020.
  • A new ASERT difficulty must be calculated for every block, which is 144x more frequent than the previous EMA algorithm. However, the ASERT algorithm can be calculated ~16x faster, so overall dcrd will spend ~9x more time running ASERT code. Fortunately, this is on the order of microseconds per block and does not make any practical difference. Read more here.
  • DCP-11 is the biggest DCP so far, when measuring by the length of text, file count, and overall size. It is very well-made and all Decred enthusiasts are advised to read the full thing.

Voting results have been added to all 12 DCP documents to record at which historical blocks the voting started as well as when consensus changes locked in and activated. Implementations of Decred consensus may use these block numbers to optimize their chain verification logic and avoid tallying historical votes.

Image: The ASERT difficulty formula is rather simple. If our processors could just run this beautiful math directly…
Image: But come down to Earth and face the brutal reality of binary computers with limited precision. This adjusted formula is optimized to run fast on real hardware, with minimal error.

dcrwallet

dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.

June-July changes backported for the next v1.8.x release:

  • Warn users about VSP fee payment errors caused by the wallet being locked. This will allow users to react if a locked wallet blocks VSP fee payments. Upon seeing the error, the user should unlock the wallet and try again to prevent missed tickets.
  • Fixed broken retrying logic for errored VSP ticket purchases. This issue affected many users. Any ticket purchases which worked first time were unaffected, but any purchases which ran into an error were not being retried, which would lead to tickets not being added to the VSP and votes being missed. Thankfully, re-registering the ticket with a different VSP was a workaround, but it was poor UX.
  • Fixed a bug where the fee payment status check could be unreasonably delayed. The VSP client delays actions by some random duration in order to help protect privacy. With this incorrect delay calculation the wallet would report fee payments as being unconfirmed for up to 2 hours until the next check happens, when actually the fee has been sent and confirmed. Now the user wallet will update sooner.
  • Require VSP clients to wait for the VSP to confirm fee payments before considering a VSP ticket fully purchased. This eliminates multiple problematic edge cases caused by users broadcasting their own fee transactions, such as paying too low of a fee or sending payment to the wrong address. It is a preventative fix for extremely unlikely cases which have not been seen in the wild.

New changes merged in master and backported for the next v1.8.x release:

  • Fixed another bug where confirming a VSP ticket fee transaction took longer than necessary, caused by ticket’s live and expiry block heights not getting updated after the ticket was mined. It happened with the majority of VSP tickets. The fee would eventually get confirmed if the wallet was left running. Restarting the wallet would sync it straight away. There was no risk of votes being missed. Backported change is here.

User-facing changes merged in master towards future releases:

  • Added logging of transaction changes the wallet notices during rescans. This is off during the initial rescan (during reseed or after restarting dcrwallet) because it would be too noisy. Any other rescans are typically done to fix a problem, and dcrwallet will log when it finds new wallet transactions inside an old block, or wallet transactions which were previously unmined, but are now mined. Rescans aren’t fun for users, and rescans are really just a bandaid to sync wallets that got out of sync. Having the hashes of missed transactions will be helpful to debug why a wallet had a problem syncing them, and will hopefully result in some bugfixes that reduce user’s need to rescan.
  • Added a cancellation check to non-mixed ticket purchases before publishing the purchase. Mixed ticket purchases already check for cancellation, so this may solve an edge-case bug.
  • Fixed processing of a batch of VSP tickets if one of them failed. When adding multiple tickets to the VSP client if one of them were to fail, the remaining ones would not be attempted. It is unlikely that this caused any issues in the real world. This change also added some missing logging to make users aware that some VSP tickets failed and may need investigating.

Developer and internal changes:

  • Moved the logic of finding VSP-managed tickets out of the VSP client and into the main wallet code. This is part of the continued effort to refactor VSP and wallet logic.
  • Added official support for Go 1.21 and updated the GitHub Actions build workflow.
  • Replaced all non-generated uses of interface{} with any in the codebase. While any is just a new alias, it makes the code easier to read.

dcrctl

dcrctl is a command-line client for dcrd and dcrwallet.

Decrediton

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).

Packaging contributions:

  • Decrediton v1.8.0 has been added to Homebrew Cask repository for macOS users.
  • Decrediton v1.8.0 has been added to winget, a package manager installed by default in Windows 10 and 11.

Other news:

  • Decrediton 2FA concept from @norwnd has been put on hold in favor of exploring a general-purpose multisig solution for Decrediton if there is demand. Currently, there is no GUI for multisig in Decred.

vspd

vspd is server software used by Voting Service Providers. A VSP votes on behalf of its users 24/7 and cannot steal funds.

Functional changes that VSP admins may notice:

  • Wait until all other startup tasks have been completed before listening to notifications from dcrd. There was no problem with connecting to dcrd earlier but it was unnecessary and created messy logs.
  • Changed discovery of voted and revoked tickets from using dcrwallet’s TicketInfo call to using GCS filters from dcrd. Golomb-coded Sets (GCS) enable very efficient detection of transactions, this feature is a key element in Decred’s privacy-preserving light wallets (SPV). The new method is more robust, and as a result VSP admins may notice that vspd detects some historic voted/revoked tickets which TicketInfo never detected.
  • Added a new integrity check that updates revoked tickets in the database to be either expired or missed. Initial version of vspd was unable to distinguish between expired and missed tickets and reported them all as “revoked”. Knowing how many tickets were missed by the VSP is useful for evaluating its reliability. This update uses a clever heuristic to guess ticket outcome based on how long it took to revoke it. It is not 100% accurate but is good enough for the purpose of reporting VSP stats.

Developer and internal changes:

  • Added a test to ensure the hard-coded error string returned from securecookie will not change unexpectedly when vspd is upgraded to a newer version of the library.
  • Replaced uses of interface{} with any, similar to dcrwallet.
  • Updated to Go 1.21 and newer GitHub Actions. Testing with Go 1.19 has been removed.
  • Removed client-side VSP fee payment logic from vspd repository. The idea to migrate all VSP client code from dcrwallet to vspd repository was found to be problematic, it created a circular dependency between vspd and dcrwallet which is cumbersome and not worth the maintenance burden. Most VSP client code has been removed from vspd and will continue to live in dcrwallet repository. Eventually it should become an exported package which can be reused by software seeking to add VSP staking features. What remains in the vspd repository are the absolute basics which will be useful for any consumer of the vspd API: the data types and a basic HTTP client for communicating with vspd, including signing requests and verifying signatures of responses for two-way accountability.
  • Simplified shutdown code. It was inherited from dcrwallet and was a bit more flexible and complex than required for vspd.
  • Various refactoring to allow more code reuse and improve integrity checks.
  • Refactored how data is passed internally to remove duplication and prepare for future changes.
  • Fixed a bug with processing new block notifications from dcrd (it did not affect any released version).
  • Removed contexts from structs as recommended by standard library documentation. Added linters to prevent this and other issues that came up during code review.

Lightning Network

dcrlnd is Decred’s Lightning Network node software. LN enables instant and low-cost transactions.

  • Ported changes made in the upstream lnd between v0.11.1 and v0.12.1 (released Feb 2021). 541 commits distributed across 220 upstream PRs have been ported, of which 53 commits were needed to adjust the codebase to Decred. Full list of ported pull requests can be found here.

DCRDEX

DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.

DCRDEX v0.6.2 is now available in Decred’s Umbrel app store.

August changes included in the v0.6.3 release (out in September):

  • Fixed a possibility of showing incorrect order book in some order cancellation scenarios.

The remaining changes below are merged in the master branch towards future releases.

Client:

  • Improved app seed display on the backup page, it will be shown in groups of 8 characters.
  • Implemented configuration restrictions for wallets controlled externally. This can hide settings like password change if the DEX GUI is embedded in Decrediton and not running standalone. In this scenario any changes to the trading wallet must be done from Decrediton, and blocking them in the DEX UI should prevent users from breaking the wallet.
  • Update browser tab/window title when changing markets. Also provide instant visual feedback when the user clicks on another market, such as clear the depth chart, order book and recent matches.

Server:

  • Only send penalize notification when user’s tier changes, avoiding unnecessary notifications.

Decred:

Bitcoin:

  • Fixed crash when attempting to reconfigure a missing or corrupted BTC wallet.

Dash:

Firo:

  • Implemented Electrum light wallet support for Firo, including test harnesses with automated Firo’s chain daemon, ElectrumX server, and wallet client.

Market maker and arbitrage bots progress:

  • Implemented balance segregation which limits the amount of funds available to each bot.
  • Implemented simulation of sideways, trending, and volatile markets. This will be used to test bot behavior. For the curious, available market simulations are documented here.
  • Updated the basic market maker strategy to place multiple orders at various distances from the basis price instead of just one.
  • Take into account the possibility of refunds in market making balance calculations.

Documentation:

Developer and internal changes:

Other:

  • A rough plan of development for fall 2023 has been published for review and discussion, including some ambitious ideas like fiat onboarding.
Image: Footgun protection will prevent accidental changes that might break the wallet when using DEX inside Decrediton
Image: Simulated sideways market for testing market maker bots’ performance

Cryptopower

Cryptopower is a multi-coin desktop GUI wallet for DCR, BTC, and LTC. It runs in a privacy-preserving light SPV mode without needing full blockchains, supports Decred staking, mixing, voting, and other unique features.

Last time we wrote dev logs for this project was in August 2022, when it was called GoDCR. Here’s a quick recap of project’s history so far:

  • In September 2018 Raedah Group began experimenting with GUI libraries suitable for building a Decred wallet in pure Go. A pure Go app has potential to have higher security, better performance, and reach more platforms.
  • Five prototype interfaces were built: command line, text-based terminal UI based on tview, web browser UI based on Stimulus, desktop GUI made with immediate mode nucular toolkit, and another desktop GUI made with retained mode Fyne toolkit. These prototypes and screenshots are now archived here.
  • As a result of this research another library called Gio was chosen as a winner and a new app GoDCR was started in Jan 2020.
  • First GoDCR development proposal was approved in Nov 2020 with 92% Yes.
  • First functional testnet build was released in Sep 2021.
  • Second proposal was rejected with 49% Yes in Oct 2021.
  • First mainnet release came out in May 2022.
  • Third proposal combining GoDCR and existing mobile wallet development was rejected with 20% Yes in Jul 2022.
  • Commits in the godcr repository stopped in Aug 2022 but only 2 weeks later the work continued in a private fork.
  • After a full year of private development, a rebrand to Cryptopower, a v1.0.0 release, and a new proposal have been revealed.

This August was relatively quiet in terms of development while the team was focused on shipping the initial v1.0.0 release and working on the proposal to get this project funded.

Changes merged in master towards the next release:

  • Fixed issues preventing DCR ticket purchasing. If paying the VSP fee has failed, it can be resubmitted by opening ticket details page.
  • Fixed app crash when clicking on the Vote button to vote on a proposal.

instantswap library:

  • Added a function to verify that an address has received the specified amount.
  • Cryptopower wallet uses the instantswap library to convert between coins through centralized services like Flyp.me, Godex.io, ChangeNOW.io, and more. It also provides utilities for inspecting addresses and transactions via different block explorers.

The plan from here is to fix bugs found in the initial release, and build out the features outlined in the proposal while reusing as much as possible from DCRDEX and other Decred projects.

Developers and testers interested to contribute can join the #cryptopower and #cryptopower-dev chat rooms. See this guide for how to join our Matrix chats.

Image: Cryptopower’s LTC wallet
Image: Cryptopower’s wallet creation UI on Android, design is work in progress
Image: Experimental Cryptopower Android build tested on a real device

Documentation

dcrdocs is the source code for Decred user documentation.

  • Several pages have been updated for DCP-12. Overview, Glossary, and Constitution pages now have correct block reward split. Additionally, Issuance page now documents all three historical splits (60/30/10, 10/80/10, and 1/89/10), and has an updated issuance chart.
  • Updated Material theme for MkDocs to v9.2.6, which adds new validation for internal links and navigation menu items. There was an issue with one plugin but the maintainer has fixed it and released the fixed version in just one day.

Taking into account the initial block reward splits for the first 794,367 blocks and the modified split starting with block 794,368, the effective final split of the total mined coins is:

  • 40.34% to PoW miners
  • 49.63% to PoS voters
  • 10% to the Decred Treasury [DCR Issuance]

decred.org

dcrweb is the source code for the decred.org website.

Bison Relay

Bison Relay is a new social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.

August changes included in v0.1.8 release for both the GUI app and text-based brclient:

GUI app changes included in v0.1.8 release:

  • Bison Relay’s data directory on Windows will be moved to a new location due to issues with MSIX and an updated certificate. The user will be shown a warning and advised to make a backup before proceeding.
  • List active chats in the address book. Previously, if a chat is already open it would not be shown in the address book and users could be confused that some contacts are missing.
  • Fixed app name shown in Windows Task Manager.

brclient changes included in v0.1.8 release:

Changes listed below have been merged in master towards a future release, likely v0.1.9.

Common changes in both GUI and text apps:

  • Automatically unsubscribe idle users and remove them from group chats. If a peer client is idle for 21 days an automatic handshake is sent to test if it will respond. After 60 days, if there is still no response, idle peer is forcibly unsubscribed from local user’s posts and removed from any group chats where the local user is the admin. Both time intervals can be configured or disabled by the user.

GUI app changes:

  • Fixed link opening returning error instead of opening link in the web browser.

brclient changes:

  • Generate stub simplestore files if the configured store directory exists but is empty. Previously an existing empty directory prevented this.
  • Expand environment variables and ~ in the /backup command.

Internal and developer changes:

Other

  • A concept of Monero atomic swap with BTC or BCH has been proposed in the atomicswap repository. Monero does not have primitives like hashing or timelocks needed for conventional atomic swaps, but the proposed scheme requires only one of the two chains to have sufficient scripting capabilities. There is significant interest in this research with projects like xmr-btc-swap from COMIT Network and BasicSwap from Particl exploring how to swap Monero with Bitcoin-like currencies.

People

Welcome the new first-time contributors:

Community stats as of Sep 2 (compared to Aug 1):

  • Twitter followers: 53,306 (-22)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,751 (+4)
  • Matrix #general users: 805 (+8)
  • Discord users: 1,661 (+72), verified to post: 677 (+34)
  • Telegram users: 2,303 (-52)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,640 (+0), views: 234.6K (+2.1K)

Governance

In August the new treasury received 7,155 DCR worth $99K at August’s average rate of $13.89. 5,961 DCR was spent to pay contractors, worth $83K at same rate.

A treasury spend tx was approved with 7,163 Yes votes and 56% turnout, and mined on Aug 28. It had 26 outputs making payments to contractors, ranging from 7 DCR to 2,036 DCR. Most of this DCR was likely paid for June work, at its billing exchange rate of $14.25 the TSpend is worth around $85K.

As of Aug 2, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 865,779 DCR (11.1 million USD at $12.81).

Image: Treasury inflows and outflows in DCR
Image: Treasury balance in USD

There were 3 new proposals submitted:

  • Proposal requesting $61,600 budget for Cryptopower, a multi-asset version of GoDCR revival, written in Go to be cross-platform and mobile friendly. In addition to Politeia many comments have been posted in #proposals chat.
  • Proposal requesting $80,000 budget to integrate initial basic DCR support in Cake Wallet. Chat comments start here.
  • Proposal requesting $15,000 for the writing and publication of two articles about Decred on the Odaily Chinese language crypto news site.

See Politeia Digest issue 63 for more details on the month’s proposals.

Network

Hashrate: August’s hashrate opened at ~59 PH/s and closed ~0 PH/s, bottoming at 0 PH/s and peaking at 65 PH/s throughout the month. The drop to almost zero hashrate is due to the activation of DCP-11 which removed all existing hashrate from the network and caused ~3 days without new blocks being mined. Eventually the difficulty adjusted and normal operation was restored, we will cover this in greater detail in the next issue.

Image: Decred hashrate

Distribution of 54 PH/s hashrate reported by the pools on Aug 29 (last valid data from the pools): Poolin 46%, F2Pool 44%, BTC.com 7%, AntPool 3%.

Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by Aug 29: Poolin 44%, F2Pool 40%, BTC.com 6%, AntPool 3%, unknown 7%.

Image: Historical pool hashrate distribution

Staking: Ticket price varied between 236–244 DCR.

Image: Ticket price has been unusually stable in August

The locked amount was 9.76–9.81 million DCR, meaning that 63.2–63.7% of the circulating supply participated in proof of stake.

VSP: The 14 listed VSPs collectively managed ~5,900 (-250) live tickets, which was 14.5% of the ticket pool (-0.6%) as of Sep 1.

The biggest gainers of August are dcr.farm (+220 tickets or +193%) and bass.cf (+183 tickets or +25%).

Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs

Nodes: Decred Mapper observed between 157 and 167 dcrd nodes throughout the month. Versions of 157 nodes seen on Sep 1: v1.8.0–88%, v1.7.x — 5%, v1.8.0 dev builds — 2%, v1.9.0 dev builds — 1.3%, other — 4%.

Image: The majority of nodes are running dcrd v1.8.0. The red area before Jan 2023 indicates incomplete data we had at that time.

The share of mixed coins varied between 62.45–62.50%. Daily mixed volume varied between 0–497K DCR. The low of 0 is due to no blocks being mined in the last 2 days of the month.

Decred’s Lightning Network explorer has seen 213 nodes (-6), 431 channels (-14) with a total capacity of 186 DCR (-3), as of Sep 1. These stats are different for each node. For example, @karamble’s node reported 217 nodes (-3), 453 channels (-11) and 192 DCR (+1) capacity on same day Sep 1.

Image: Decred’s Lightning Network node count has stabilized

Ecosystem

Vendor readiness for Decred’s August 29 hardfork:

  • Binance announced on Aug 25 that deposits and withdrawals will be suspended until the chain stabilizes after the fork, while trading will not be affected.
  • Poloniex made an announcement on Aug 25 which is very similar to Binance’s. It was also posted on their Telegram.
  • The only communication from Bittrex we could find was a generic “stay tuned”-like response on Twitter. Bittrex Global’s support sites has no mentions of “Decred” and only 2 old pages for “DCR” search queries.
  • F2Pool announced on Aug 25 (mirror) that they will terminate DCR mining services on the day of the network upgrade. DCR payouts will be completed during the week following the network upgrade. Users can fetch their mining reward history until 2023–09–29.
  • Poolin announced the closure of DCR mining pool on Aug 28 and kindly reposted it in Decred’s Telegram chat. The notice warned pool users to configure or shut down their miners because earnings will be greatly reduced after the fork, and called to withdraw DCR from the pool ASAP. An unusual detail here is, unlike the other vendors, Poolin has totally missed the change of the mining algorithm to BLAKE3, and planned to run the pool for 1–2 days after the fork “so that you will have more time to configure your miner(s)”.
  • This list only covers updates that have surfaced in Decred chats. If you know more news don’t hesitate to share in #ecosystem!

Communication systems:

  • stakey.net has launched a Nostr relay at wss://nostr.stakey.net and a web client at citadel.stakey.net, powered by snort. Nostr web client replaces the Mastodon server which was hosted on the same domain previously. Mastodon was used for stakey.net’s announcements. It was also open for Decred community members to register and post but has seen little use, and was eventually shut down in favor of Nostr. Nostr users can follow stakeynet for service updates about the VSP.

Other news:

  • Two Decred community members have requested Kraken to list DCR via their listing form and Twitter. This has been done many times in the past, the chances are low but doesn’t hurt to keep trying. Additionally, multiple #trading members have rated DCR in the Coinbase app, hoping that more searches and ratings will make a difference.

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.

Outreach

Monde PR

Monde PR’s achievements in August:

  • Pitched one news update to target crypto publications
  • Pitched four story ideas to target crypto publications

Secured the following media placements:

  • An article in BeInCrypto on how blockchain can expose fake news and help improve democracies. The piece looks at how Decred has been used in Brazil’s elections and talks about the role social media can play, featuring details about Bison Relay, with quotes from @jy-p. The article was syndicated to eight publications including Bitcoin Linux and Trading View.
  • The article was also posted in Spanish version of BeInCrypto, which was syndicated to Cryptocity.press.
  • An article in ZyCrypto featuring commentary from @jz on the fall of 3AC. The article was syndicated to three publications including Bitcoin Crypto.
  • An article in Cryptonews.com about the Bison Relay v0.1.8 release, including details about the new features, Simplestore infrastructure, and quotes from @jy-p. The article was syndicated to three publications including Globe Echo World News.
  • An paragraph in CoinDesk’s “Protocol Village” news roundup about the Bison Relay release, with links back to the Decred website and GitHub.
  • An article in The Currency Analytics about the Bison Relay release, including details about the new features and how the upgrade is “Paving the Way for Decentralized E-commerce”.

In a discussion about recent marketing proposals @l1ndseymm commented on the differences between marketing and PR:

It is beneficial to have both a PR and marketing strategy, as they can complement each other and amplify results overall. And marketing is by nature more expensive than PR. Businesses tend to spend about 10% of their revenue on marketing.

I gave feedback on the Cointelegraph proposal that the ideal situation would be to have a marketing person who has managed ad spend before. There are so many options out there — we could sponsor/advertise on newsletters, podcasts, billboards, social media, in addition to paid content opportunities like these. This person could suggest a budget and then advise on which platforms and mediums will garner the best results based on our audience/goals. They could then track results and tweak the strategy as we go. They often have access to special rates and know what’s fair in terms of pricing. [@l1ndseymm]

Decred Vanguard

We’ve been testing several engagement tactics in a small scale, like the recent DCR giveaway ($100 prize pool, 15 participants, 2 winners) which required entrants to prove a real wallet install.

Other than that we’ve slowed down as we try to think about the best ways to navigate through a bear market where interest and volume are considerably lower than normal. While the Vanguard marketing method focuses around trying to talk about Decred a lot, at this time, we’d prefer to be realistic and remain grounded as we configure new strategies.

Decred Vanguard is always looking for new, eager members to help us promote Decred. The benefits are straightforward — $100 a month in Decred for participation and your Twitter Blue account paid for! Organization is done in a Discord server. If you have any unique ideas for promoting Decred, like making memes, art, or just want to be a contributing member, please contact @Exitus or @Tivra.

Cypherpunk Times

Engagement stats for August:

  • Total number of articles on CT: 517
  • Newsletter subscribers: 105
  • New CT posts and newsletters sent: 20
  • Active social media campaigns: 80
  • Completed social media campaigns: 9
  • Social media posts: 192
  • Social media followers across all platforms and accounts: 1,575
  • @decredsociety stats: followers — 967, tweet impressions — 12.8K, likes — 311, retweets — 79
  • @decredmagazine stats: followers — 481, tweet impressions — 15.4K, likes — 450, retweets — 144
  • @cypherpunktimes stats: followers — 127, tweet impressions — 31.0K, likes — 550, retweets — 170

Other

Image: “When I compete in a triathlon, I become a billboard for #decred” [@wanbihou]

Media

Selected articles:

NOTE: Here in Decred Journal we only list selected articles about Decred but Cypherpunk Times has more quality content about other coins, finance, and social media. Check it out!

Videos:

Live streams:

Translations:

Non-English content:

Art and fun:

Image: “How do you identify?” — “I’m so upper-right quadrant that it’s off your chart” by @Tivra
Image: “Was looking to re-up my supplement stack and came across this. Now it’s a must buy, don’t you think?” by @kozel
Image: Proof-of-Shoe

Markets

In August DCR was trading between USDT 12.42–15.73 and BTC 0.00040–0.00058. The average daily rate was $13.89.

Image: DCR is at a “long time” low vs XMR
Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD

Relevant External

Coinbase’s new Ethereum layer 2 network using the Optimism stack launched, it is called Base. This is the first time a publicly traded company has launched its own blockchain, and Coinbase hopes to earn revenue from transaction fees and dapps in the future.

An early success/hype story for Base came in the form of friend.tech, a social app where users can buy “shares” (soon renamed to “keys”) in other users, and owning such keys allows one to send messages to them. When the hype kicked in friend.tech quickly hit 126K transactions and 4,400 ETH volume, more than the entire NFT ecosystem for that period. friend.tech is a rebranding of “stealcam”, and from someone best known for “Tweet DAO eggs”, NFTs that allowed holders to tweet from a certain account, until the account was suspended and the website taken down. By the end of the month activity was already substantially down on all metrics, with transactions and fee revenue dropping by 80% from the initial peak.

In a bid to capitalize on the hype around friends.tech, a new meme token was launched on Ethereum — FrensTech. It was rugged by its founder when the price started to explode, AzFlin withdrew all his tokens from the liquidity pool and cashed them in, cratering the price. After a Twitter sleuth exposed the identity of the rug-puller as a Uniswap employee, he got fired.

The Horizen blockchain announced the intention to remove the on-chain “shielded pools” privacy feature of ZEN at the consensus level via hard fork. The reasoning for the decision is to avoid regulatory backlash against “privacy coins” by no longer qualifying for that category. Horizen’s privacy pools were based on Zcash’s “Sprout” technology, which Zcash has long since replaced, and so this is being taken as an opportunity to replace outdated tech with something based on sidechains or another method that will allow ZEN to get back to being listed on exchanges. The change is included in a new Horizen update which should activate in September for the mainchain.

Gitcoin announced a controversial partner for the latest round of quadratic matched funding, the Shell (oil) company sponsoring a climate solutions matching pool. There was a significant backlash from Gitcoin supporters on Twitter, who were disappointed to see the brand tarnished (in their view) by the association with Shell, who were exploiting the public relationship with Gitcoin as cost effective greenwashing. The backlash led someone who was involved in the decision making to post an apologetic tweet explaining how the decision had been arrived at and acknowledging the problems with such a relationship. One of the main criticisms, from founder Owocki, was that not only was the brand being sold for greenwashing, the amount Shell were paying in as grant funding was just $500K, so they were getting a very good deal for such a large and well resourced corporation. Gitcoin approved this partnership because the relevant council members had faith in the quadratic matching concept to steer the funds to worthy recipients regardless of where the money was coming from, in a sense that they were above the suspicion that would commonly surround outcomes from a “climate solutions” call sponsored by one of the big oil companies.

The SEC lost a court decision about the Grayscale ETF currently under review, with the court agreeing with Grayscale’s case that it was being treated unfairly because two substantially similar futures funds had been approved. This decision sparked a rally in the BTC market as the prospect of an approved ETF was seen as more likely, but by the time the SEC announced it was delaying decisions on all Bitcoin ETFs the retrace was complete.

Republicans on the SEC oversight committee in US Congress have demanded that Gary Gensler explain what is going on with Prometheum getting approval as a special crypto broker suddenly when all of the more well known crypto exchanges that actually have working products have found this to be a long and painful process that goes nowhere. 23 members of the committee signed a letter outlining their suspicion, which is that Prometheum’s sudden appearance in Washington and unheralded approval of their license to operate came at a very convenient time for Gensler — because the total lack of approved crypto broker dealers to that point was weakening his argument that the regulations are fine the way they are written (and he is enforcing them). The letter also references Prometheum’s connections to Wanxiang and the CCP as cause for concern.

The SEC went after its first NFT project for securities violations, the Impact Theory project had raised around $30 million from the sale of NFTs which was described as funding the company’s operations. Impact Theory made the SEC’s job easier by issuing statements saying they “will make sure that we do something that, by any reasonable standard, people got a crushing, hilarious amount of value” and describing the tokens as “the mechanism by which communities will be able to capture economic value from the growth of the company they support”. The company agreed to buy back and destroy the tokens, eliminate the royalty sharing feature, and find a way to return the rest of the money they raised through the sale. There is speculation that this could be the first of many enforcement actions targeting NFTs, as “funding a roadmap” was a common purpose given for the minting events.

Binance’s SEC woes have been added to by a sealed court filing, where the contents of 35 exhibits are not being publicly disclosed for some unknown reason, possibly having to do with a concurrent criminal investigation by DoJ, but in any case highly unusual.

Coingecko has added a category of “tokens the SEC considers to be securities”, which is a handy way to list all of the various altcoins that have or had enforcement actions against them by the SEC.

The US Treasury Department has released proposed rules which would introduce a new tax reporting obligation for crypto asset brokers, and would define these very broadly in a way which includes decentralized exchanges and operators of websites that communicate with wallets. A new form would be created (1099-DA) which brokers must complete and send to both the IRS and the individual users, calculating how much they likely owe in taxes. The rule is planned to be effective for brokers in 2025 for the 2026 tax filing season.

In the US the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) has released a clarification on how staking rewards (from PoS blockchains) are to be taxed. The recipient of staking rewards should declare them as income at the point when they gain “dominion” over the tokens (can sell them), based on the fair market exchange value of the tokens at that time.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has fallen victim to an address dusting attack and sent $50,000 of seized crypto to a scammer by mistake. DEA staff seized some USDT by transferring to their own Trezor hardware wallet, and in preparation to transfer this to the US Marshals they sent a small test transaction, a scammer spotted this transaction and then sent an airdrop to the DEA account so that it looked like the test transaction was successful, but swapping in their own very similar address. When the DEA staff came to make the real transfer they copied the (scammer’s) address from a block explorer erroneously, possibly checked that the first and last few characters matched what they expected as the Marshals’ address, and hit send.

An early victim of a Bitcoin “clipboard hijack” hack through the Electrum Atom wallet in 2018, Andrew Schrober, began an investigation and has been pursuing the alleged attackers in the courts since 2021. The hacked software would monitor the user’s clipboard and when it detected something like a Bitcoin address it would generate a replacement address which looked similar but actually was controlled by the attacker’s wallet, and then the user would mistakenly send their BTC to the substituted address. Some of the filings in the case provide a detailed account of how the BTC was moved and sent to Bitfinex, where they connected a used IP address to a residential UK address where one of their suspects lived. The account also details Monero transactions which are thought to be linked because of specific amounts going in/out with implausible decoy ring members, and the use of vanity addresses for ShapeShift transactions.

Lastpass has been identified as the most likely compromise vector for the mysterious crypto thefts that have been documented since April by community developer/sleuths but apparently ongoing since Dec 2022. The thefts are distinctive because they happen in certain time windows and have commonalities like exchanging tokens for ETH within the wallet before sending out, or sometimes sending tokens to another victim’s address until the ETH amount is large enough that they transfer to their own address. These funds are moved to centralized swapping services where they are exchanged to BTC, victims are often losing other assets like LTC, XRP, XMR, and they all go to the same places to be changed to BTC which then gets mixed. @tayvano_ on Twitter now seems convinced that the common detail reported by almost all victims is that they stored their private key on Lastpass, often for many years under the protection of a secure encryption password. Lastpass was hacked in mid-2022 but the scope is unclear and the hackers should not have been able to access data that users had stored with strong encryption passwords, but that is seemingly what is occurring to result in these thefts from many “Crypto OGs”.

CoinDesk has retracted two articles, a rare occurrence according to them. The first concerned Chainalysis, reporting that the head of investigations was “unaware” of any scientific evidence for the accuracy of its Reactor software, while being questioned as part of a court hearing which seeks to use the outputs of this tool as evidence. The article was retracted in July but the author was not informed and did not discover this until August, when they complained about CoinDesk’s ethics and suggested that the retraction was due to CoinDesk’s parent company DCG owning a stake in Chainalysis. The second retracted article concerned Justin Sun, comparing him to SBF and Do Kwon and then speculating about the scale of collateral damage if Sun’s empire collapses. CoinDesk used the same rationale to explain both retractions, that they should not have been published because they are written by pseudonymous authors and attack specific individuals in a defamatory way.

Tether has announced that it will stop supporting USDT on the Bitcoin Omni layer, the first transport layer used by Tether since 2014 — support will also be cut for Kusama and Bitcoin Cash networks. While USDT started on Omni much of the volume has migrated to smart contract chains, of $82 billion USDT outstanding only $240 million are circulating on Omni, and considerably less on the other two networks to lose support. Redemptions will continue to be available for 12 months from Aug 17.

That’s all for August. Suggest news for the next issue in our #journal chat room.

About

This is issue 62 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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, karamble, kozel, l1ndseymm, phoenixgreen, richardred, zippycorners
  • reviews and feedback: davecgh, jholdstock
  • title image: Exitus
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — August 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — July 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-july-2023-e972352272e9?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — July 2023

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.

Contents:
· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

Upgrade for the Coming Fork!

Voting has concluded for two consensus changes Change PoW to BLAKE3 and ASERT and Change PoW/PoS Subsidy Split To 1/89 which were originally proposed on Politeia in March 2023.

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.

All users are recommended to upgrade to latest core software, standalone DEX app, or any other wallets being used. As always, we recommend to verify the files before running.

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

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:

  • Updated GetBlock and 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 dcrddata to easily access the new hashes.
  • Updated the Docker image to build the dcrd binary with newer Go and Alpine Linux. Node admins can consider Docker a good security option as opposed to using a virtual machine which has a much bigger attack surface.
  • Updated the RPC server to dynamically reload new RPC certificates without shutting down and restarting. This is a quality-of-life improvement for node admins, since it enables them to hot-swap the server certificate/key pair, as well as any potential client certificates. For example, a certificate update is required when the RPC server is exposed publicly and its IP address or domain name changes. Another example is when client certificates need to be modified to revoke clients, add new ones, or allow existing clients to change their private keys. This update is robust, minimizes disk access, does not require platform-specific dependencies, and is resilient against user-errors to avoid breaking a working config.
  • Explicitly configured RPC clients connecting to dcrd via HTTP to use TLS v1.2 or higher. This was already the implicit minimum, but now it is more clear.

Developer and internal changes merged in master:

  • Updated the comments detailing the ASERT calculation coefficients in the mining code so that they match the consensus code comments.
  • Added a new linter, addressed some linter complaints, and moved linting logic to its own script outside of the testing script.
  • Updated Github Actions, and ensured that the continuous integration actions happen in the correct order.
  • Updated golangci linter, and changed its method of installing from curl to go install, which has the benefit of reducing potential security risks from supply-chain attacks. Also, cached the binary for faster future runs.
  • Current versions of Go have a confusing way of handling loops. Both “for loops” and “range loops” treat internal loop variables ambiguously, which has led to code which is difficult to read and tricky to debug. Devs have had to treat loops with an abundance of caution, yet still potentially deal with annoying errors. A full explanation of the problem can be read here, especially the section which talks about the rationale. Future versions of Go (likely 1.22) will introduce a breaking change to how loops are handled. While the new loop semantics will be less confusing and error-prone, projects will have to set a very high minimum supported Go version to avoid bugs when compiled with older Go. To ensure the dcrd code will work correctly with Go 1.22, as well as remain backwards-compatible and compile correctly with older versions of Go, all necessary loops were updated. This will avoid any potential issues before they even have a chance to arise.

dcrwallet

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:

  • Fixed broken retrying logic for errored VSP ticket purchases. This issue affected many users. Any ticket purchases which worked first time were unaffected, but any purchases which ran into an error were not being retried, which would lead to tickets not being added to the VSP and votes being missed. Thankfully, re-registering the ticket with a different VSP was a workaround, but obviously it was poor UX.
  • Fixed a bug where the fee payment status check could be unreasonably delayed. The VSP client delays actions by some random duration in order to help protect privacy. With this incorrect delay calculation the wallet would report fee payments as being unconfirmed for up to 2 hours until the next check happens, when actually the fee has been sent and confirmed. Now the user wallet will update sooner.
  • Require VSP clients to wait for the VSP to confirm fee payments before considering a VSP ticket fully purchased. This eliminates multiple problematic edge cases caused by users broadcasting their own fee transactions, such as paying too low of a fee or sending payment to the wrong address. It is a preventative fix for extremely unlikely cases which have not been seen in the wild.
  • Fixed a bug where some VSP tickets could be skipped and not updated during various stages of the VSP ticket management lifecycle. No users have reported any issues caused by this bug. The improved error handling code uses the new Errors.Join feature that was made available by updating to Go 1.20, which is discussed below.

Developer and internal changes merged in master:

Go 1.20 unlocked better error handling, which inspired a few changes:

  • Removed an unused variable and a confusing custom error function from dcrwallet’s internal errors definition.
  • Dropped support for Go 1.19, and bumped support to Go 1.20 and 1.21.0-rc3. This is because Go 1.19 doesn’t have Errors.Join.
  • Added the new 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 Errors.Is/As functions, but wrapped errors could be hidden, which made error tracing quite difficult. Errors.Join is a much better solution.

Additionally:

  • Updated the LRU cache to use Go Generics and accept multiple variable types. LRU a standard caching schema which removes the Least Recently Updated values once the cache is full. The main advantage of a generic LRU cache is to reduce code duplication and unlock easier code reuse. This has the added benefit of more explicit code by specifying the types for each new LRU cache instance, as well as better code verification by the compiler. Generics were added in Go 1.18 (March 2022), and are relatively controversial, but only because they have tradeoffs that devs must consider. Ideally, the Go compiler would treat generic functions the same as it would treat functions with specific variable types, and each would be equally as optimized. In practice, this isn’t always the case. The benefits of generics sometimes come at the cost of more complexity and slightly slower performance. In this case, dcrwallet currently makes minimal use of generics, so the performance impact is minimal.
  • Improved and polished wallet tests, including removing redundant code.

dcrctl

dcrctl is a command-line client for dcrd and dcrwallet.

The following work has been merged in master towards future releases:

  • Removed stale dependencies from the main module, and updated the dcrd and dcrwallet modules to their latest versions. Notably, this makes dcrd’s new verbose results of getblock and getblockheader available.
  • Updated the README to recommend that developers use local Go Workspaces when working with development versions of dcrd and dcrwallet.

Decrediton

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 progress:

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

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:

  • Fixed transaction broadcasting logic to not generate an error when the transaction already exists (which is not a problem). This missing error condition was noticed when investigating the broken retry issue in dcrwallet’s VSP client. It’s a preventative fix, there have been no reported issues caused by this bug.

Lightning Network

dcrlnd is Decred’s Lightning Network node software. LN enables instant and low-cost transactions.

  • Improved tracking of closed channels. It’s been observed on Decred LN mainnet that some channels that have been closed on-chain are still being announced on the network. While the root cause has not been determined, this change reduces the amount of invalid channel announcements and their negative effects, specially for nodes running in SPV mode (such as Bison Relay clients). This is implemented by saving channel IDs that are known to be closed and using that information to skip invalid updates or avoid expensive operations.

DCRDEX

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:

  • Server: Increase order limits as users lock more funds in bonds and ensure accounts with positive tier always have a positive order limit, big enough for at least a single lot. This should fix inability to submit orders for some users.
  • Client: Ensure the server is aware that the client has completed the trade. In certain cases the client would fail to inform the server of a completed match, which could negatively affect account’s reputation. With this fix the client will keep retrying the message until the server receives and acknowledges that the client has redeemed (received) the funds.
  • Client: Updated btcwallet and neutrino dependencies to fix crashes in the built-in BTC wallet. Developers normally avoid upgrading dependencies in released versions to not introduce new bugs. This case is an exception however, considering the trouble caused by the bug, and that the next major release of DCRDEX is still quite far away.

Below are changes merged in master towards future releases.

Client:

  • Improved app setup flow. After setting app password the user will be shown Quick Configuration page that allows to enable DEX servers and select which wallets to activate. After that, a new page will remind the user to back up their app seed. Landing page shown after the setup has been changed to Wallets.
  • Switched from WebView to MacDriver library on macOS. This enables native macOS behavior like: keeping the app running without windows, creating new windows, and having a dock icon menu.
  • Disallow making transactions if the wallet is not synced and has no peers to sync from. This avoids transactions that never get mined and confuse users.
  • Fixed misleading “Action required to trade” startup message asking the user to add more bonds. It could happen when bond transactions have not been sent yet and the user just needs to wait without taking any action.
  • Fixed a bug where green triangle markers for own orders were not always shown on the depth chart.

Client, internal changes:

  • Implemented function to place multiple orders in one go for Decred, Ethereum, and Ethereum token wallets. This will be used by the market making bots and may unlock trading optimizations.
  • Refactoring and test code improvements.
  • Updated npm dependencies to fix security warnings (affected packages were not used by the DEX at runtime).

Bitcoin, internal changes:

  • Fixed bug in coin selection logic. It was not critical as it only affected the MultiTrade function, which is in not in production use yet.

Ethereum:

  • Added fiat values to the token approval form. A one-time approval is required to allow the swap contract to handle tokens (such as USDC) on behalf of the user. Both granting and revoking this permission requires a small ETH transaction.

Highlights of work-in-progress:

Image: Reworked app setup flow in DCRDEX
Image: Dock menu in macOS will list all DEX windows

dcrdata

dcrdata is an explorer for Decred blockchain and off-chain data like Politeia proposals, markets, and more.

  • Added the new BLAKE3 proof of work hash to the block details page. If dcrdata is running with a fairly new version of dcrd, it will make use of its newly updated GetBlockHeader command to obtain the PoW hash faster.

Timestamply

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

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:

  • Added 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.

GUI app:

CLI app:

  • Added basic /backup command.
  • Added content filtering system which can block messages from being displayed to the end user at the client level. To create a filtering rule the user needs to specify in what context it will work (direct chats, group chats, posts, post comments, or all) and what content it should match (can be simple strings or regular expressions). Try /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.

Other

  • All legacy VSPs (called “stakepools” back then) have been removed from dcrwebapi, the service that powers Decrediton and the VSP list at decred.org. Legacy VSPs have been deprecated with the release of vspd in 2020 and all known public servers have shut down by around 2022.

People

Community stats as of Aug 1 (compared to Jul 2):

  • Twitter followers: 53,328 (-230)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,747 (+9)
  • Matrix #general users: 797 (+10)
  • Discord users: 1,589 (+3), verified to post: 643 (+8)
  • Telegram users: 2,355 (-7)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,640 (+0), views: 232.5K (+1.4K)

Governance

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.

As of Aug 6, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 865,895 DCR (12.6 million USD at $14.56).

Image: Lower DCR/USD contributes to higher treasury outflows
Image: Treasury balance USD equivalent

There were 4 proposals that finished voting in July:

  • A proposal to fund development of the Decred.club website with Chinese language content and grow a community around it for $2,400 was rejected with 28% Yes votes and 26% turnout.
  • A proposal to rebrand Decred Magazine to Cypherpunk Times and continue producing it for another year with an increased budget of $44,000 — was approved with 95% Yes votes and 47% turnout.
  • A proposal to produce 90-second videos of people in ski masks talking about Decred in 12 languages at a cost of $23,650 was approved, with 75% Yes votes and 42% turnout.
  • A proposal to produce a promotional website for DCRDEX at a cost of $2,000 was rejected, with 30% Yes votes and 34% turnout.

Network

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

The locked amount was 9.73–9.87 million DCR, meaning that 63.3–64.2% of the circulating supply participated in proof of stake.

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.

The biggest gainers of July are bass.cf (+96 tickets or +15%) and decredcommunity.org (+37 tickets or +8%).

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.

The share of mixed coins varied between 62.0–62.3%. Daily mixed volume varied between 351K-486K DCR.

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

Ecosystem

Voting Service Providers:

  • New VSP at vote.dcr-swiss.ch has voted its first mainnet tickets and applied to get listed in Decrediton wallet and the VSP page. DCR Swiss has a low fee of 0.25%. Out of 14 existing VSPs this is the third lowest fee after dcrhive.com (0.1%) and vspd.bass.cf (0.2%).

Wallets:

  • Android and iOS Decred wallets will stop syncing in late August when new consensus upgrades activate. The apps have been removed from Google Play and Apple Store to prevent users from installing apps that are no longer maintained. If you have used Android or iOS Decred wallets feel free to comment in a Reddit survey.

Exchanges:

  • 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.

Communication systems:

  • 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.

Other news:

  • 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.
  • Cypherpunk Times is live. See the Outreach section below for more details.

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.

Outreach

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.

Firo is the first project to contribute content to Cypherpunk Times. In July Firo has onboarded 3 content and published their first article.

TikTok account @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:

  • Total number of articles on Cypherpunk Times: 497
  • Newsletter subscribers: 104
  • New CT posts and newsletters sent: 18
  • Active social media campaigns: 68
  • Completed social media campaigns: 2
  • Social media posts: 128
  • Likes: 496
  • Re-tweets: 120
  • Social media followers across all platforms and accounts (including @DecredSociety and the old @decredmagazine): 1,440

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:

  • Pitched two commentary opportunities
  • Pitched three story ideas to target crypto publications
  • Secured one media interview

Secured the following media placements:

Media

Selected articles:

Videos:

Livestream:

Audio:

Art and fun:

Image: DCR top tier list by @Void

Translations:

Discussions:

Markets

In July DCR was trading between USDT 13.70–19.75 and BTC 0.00047–0.00064. The average daily rate was $15.40.

#trading members observed a $1 million sell wall on Binance DCR/USDT. Also, trading volumes across all markets were unusually low on some days, possibly due to summer time.

Image: DCR performance compared to other privacy coins by @saender
Image: Decred Pricing Metrics by @bochinchero

The chart above is based on same Staked Realized Value model we showed last month but with price instead of market cap.

Image: DCR/BTC in June-July
Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD does not like summer time

Relevant External

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.

About

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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, karamble, kozel, l1ndseymm, phoenixgreen, richardred, zippycorners
  • reviews and feedback: davecgh, jholdstock
  • title image: Exitus
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — July 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — June 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-june-2023-1e6532f40ee6?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — June 2023

Artwork by @Exitus

Highlights of June:

  • Decred core software v1.8.0 was released, unlocking new consensus voting options and features.
  • DEX v0.6.2 was also released, preparing for the new consensus votes and deploying many other improvements.
  • Voting started for the two new consensus proposals (change subsidy split and proof of work hashing function) once the upgrade process had progressed sufficiently in early July.
  • Funding for development of decentralized mesh architecture for DCRDEX was approved.

Contents:

· Upgrade and Vote on New Consensus Changes!
· Core Software v1.8.0 Release
· DCRDEX v0.6.2 Release
· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Events
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

Upgrade and Vote on New Consensus Changes!

Everyone is encouraged to upgrade to the latest core software version to be able to vote on the two new consensus changes and follow the chain after they activate, if approved. To stay synced with the network, it is important to upgrade even if you don’t intend to vote in favor of the agendas.

For a refresher on Decred governance, consensus changes, and hardforks that don’t split the network, check out the docs.

You can learn about the latest consensus changes in the following documents:

Additional details, code implementation, and code review and testing results can be found in GitHub pull requests #3115 and #3092 which implement the changes.

The voting has started on July 4 and will run until around August 1 (block 786,303).

Vote progress can be tracked at the Voting Dashboard or dcrdata’s Agendas page.

Core Software v1.8.0 Release

Highlights of the v1.8.0 release aka “The Forkening”:

dcrd: Two new consensus upgrades (which will hardfork the chain if approved), BLAKE3 CPU mining, low fee transaction rejection, numerous optimizations resulting in the reduction of initial sync time by about 20% and better runtime memory management, improved vote times, and many other updates.

dcrwallet: Support for the two new consensus changes (e.g. when validating blocks or creating votes), mixed ticket buying with trickling support for extra privacy, fetching of treasury spends in SPV mode (needed for TSpend voting in SPV mode), new gRPC methods for use by GUI apps, and multiple bug fixes.

Decrediton: Ability to vote on individual TSpend transactions, updated DCRDEX module, updated layouts and styling, numerous bug fixes and refinement across all pages/tabs.

Visit the GitHub release for the full list of changes and downloads. As always, we recommend to verify the files before running.

DCRDEX v0.6.2 Release

It is important to update to DEX v0.6.2 to stay on the chain after any possible hardforks in the coming months. If you don’t use the built-in (aka native) DCR wallet older DEX versions might work but updating is still recommended.

Highlights of the new release:

  • Support for Decred 1.8 consensus changes
  • More accurate fee estimates for built-in SPV wallets for BTC, LTC, and BCH (be sure to enable “External fee rate estimates” in the wallet settings)
  • The suggested BTC amount for the registration bond has been significantly reduced
  • Fixes and optimizations

Check the updated client guide for step by step instructions.

Get the latest DEX client as a standalone app, or as part of Decrediton, or install it from Decred’s custom Umbrel App Store. As always, we recommend to verify the files before running.

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

dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.

First let’s look at June changes included in the new 1.8.0 release.

The biggest user-facing changes are the incentives to upgrade full nodes:

Next are some major parts implementing the DCP-11 consensus upgrade, “Change PoW to BLAKE3 and ASERT”:

  • Made the block hash and proof of work hash separate and independent so that each hash can be modified without changing the other. A great practical consequence is that block hash consensus will remain unchanged with DCP-11, meaning that all software which handles block hashes will need no modification. Smaller, focused upgrades mean minimal downstream effects for consumers.
  • Added support for the BLAKE3 hash function and split methods for computing the old PowHashV1 (BLAKE256) and the new PowHashV2 (BLAKE3). Notably, it is not possible to completely remove PowHashV1 and other old-consensus code. Even when blockchain consensus changes, it must remain possible to validate the old chain. Therefore, legacy concensus code is maintained to be able to validate the entire Decred blockchain prior to newer consensus changes. The third party dependency chosen for BLAKE3 is lukechampine.com/blake3 — an implementation that balances performance and code readability, hoping to eventually land in Go standard library. In addition to pure-Go version, the package also provides AVX-512 and AVX2 routines for increased performance. Another added dependency is cpuid — a Go package for detecting available CPU features.
  • Updated the getwork command and notifywork websocket notification. These are used by the mining code to fetch new data for hashing.
  • Implemented ASERT difficulty calculation in consensus code that validates the chain, and separately in block generation mining code. Normally code duplication is avoided but in this case two copies were created intentionally. The main reason is to use one copy for catching bugs in the other, a principle known as dissimilar redundancy. The other reason is to implement different optimizations in consensus and mining code in the future. For those who love fast math and bit tricks, make sure to read the ASERT code here.
  • Implemented the DCP-11 consensus vote. It will show up as blake3pow in voting software.

In addition to the BLAKE3 PoW hash change which will make current Decred ASIC miners useless, the new ASERT algorithm will adjust the difficulty with each new block instead of every 144 blocks (the current adjustment frequency). For reference, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty is updated every 2,016 blocks, or roughly every two weeks. ASERT stands for Absolutely Scheduled Exponentially weighted Rising Targets.

The ASERT algorithm is also exponential, and can handle surging hashrate much better than the existing algorithm. This will greatly disincentivize “hit and run” miners who are only looking for a quick reward at a low difficulty. Large drops of hashrate which cause slow blocks and poor user experience as a result are also handled much better. The network is stronger when miners are consistently creating new blocks and maintain the target block time of 5 minutes. See also the relevant discussion on Matrix.

To illustrate the new difficulty adjustment speed, we asked @davecgh how the new algorithm would perform in a hypothetical scenario where the hashrate suddenly drops from 100 PH/s to 20 PH/s. The improvement is massive: restoring the target block time of 5 minutes would take ~75 hours (~3.1 days) under the old algorithm versus 20–30 mins under the new ASERT algorithm.

If DCP-11 is approved, after the 1-month upgrade period the difficulty will be reset to a hard-coded value which equates to an initial target hashrate of about 1.45 TH/s. This number does matter much though because it will very quickly adjust due to the new difficulty algorithm.

Image: Simulation of the ASERT difficulty algorithm reacting to stable, rapidly increasing and rapidly decreasing hashrate.

For reference, the work for DCP-12 “Change PoW/PoS Subsidy Split to 1/89” was completed and discussed in the April issue. The DCP itself has been reviewed and published in June, it is now available in the DCPs repository.

Like all previous consensus changes, the consensus code will remain dormant and only activate if the respective voting agendas pass.

Two hard-coded values have been updated as part of the release development cycle: AssumeValid block and MinKnownChainWork.

For reference, as of May 2022, AssumeValid has replaced the legacy “checkpoints” method to optimize initial blockchain downloads. With AssumeValid, very old blockchain forks are rejected, and some validation checks are skipped for blocks which are ancestors of the assumed valid block. This can significantly speed up initial blockchain downloads. The updates to AssumeValid and MinKnownChainWork are externally verified and hardcoded by the devs, and used by default without any action required by node admins. Note: It is possible to change this behavior using the flags –allowoldforks and –assumevalid as described in dcrd –help or in the code, but this is not recommended for typical node admins.

MinKnownChainWork has replaced the legacy checkpoints as a better way to determine if the blockchain is current. Unlike AssumeValid, it cannot be disabled and there is no reason to since this value cannot be invalidated by a chain reorganization. While a certain block may or may not become part of the main blockchain, minimum known chain work can never go down.

Finally, below are v1.8.0 changes relevant for developers:

Image: Optimized memory allocation in dcrd v1.8.0. Less allocation is better, it translates to lower CPU usage and faster sync times.

The following work has been merged in master towards future releases:

  • Updated the Docker image to build the dcrd binary with newer Go and Alpine Linux. It’s noteworthy to mention that the dcrd Docker template does not persist the Alpine Linux OS. After building the binary, the OS is removed, and dcrd runs in a scratch Docker container by itself. No OS, no root user, not even a shell. A lightweight container with maximum security.
  • Added release notes for v1.8.0.
  • Improved test flag handling, especially in cases where default home directories are inaccessible (such as with NixOS) and need to be changed. Additionally, a DCRD_APPDATA environment variable can now be used to override the default directory. Environment variables are generally the preferred approach for overriding defaults in containers.

Developer and internal changes merged in master:

  • Updated to use latest dcrtest, and excluded unused modules from regular builds.
  • Cleaned up database test logic.
  • Added release notes templates.
  • Added CI support for test and module caches, which will result in faster CI runs. CI is Continuous Integration, a service that continuously builds and tests the code to ensure all changes integrate well. Faster CI runs reduce developers’ wait time to see if their changes pass all tests. The cache cuts CI run time from ~10 to ~1 minute.
  • Updated module hierarchy diagram to accurately reflect module dependencies.

Changes merged in the dcrtest framework:

  • Updated the voting wallet to support DCP-12 block reward split semantics on simnet.
  • Updated the voting wallet to support DCP-11 proof of work semantics on simnet.
  • Updated to use latest released Decred module dependencies and latest main dcrd module.

dcrwallet

dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.

Changes that were included in the new 1.8.0 release:

  • Ensured that the wallet can correctly validate blocks mined with either the original BLAKE-256 or the upcoming BLAKE3 proof of work hashes, and updated the vote version.
  • Mixed ticket purchases now have a random 20–60 second delay before the wallet publishes each transaction to the mempool. This trickle effect will improve privacy by making it much harder for anyone surveilling the mempool to link tickets together based on published timestamp.
  • Updated dcrd and cspp modules to their latest versions. dcrwallet v3.0.0 module has been released for consumers like vspd, DCRDEX, or Politeia.

The following work has been merged in master towards future releases:

  • Updated the README for people building from source.
  • Bumped the major module version of the in-dev dcrwallet module to v4 to prepare for future changes.
  • Removed a deprecated option from the internal wallet config which enabled automatic AddressReuse in some functions like the auto ticket buyer. The option was originally deprecated in v1.5 and removed from the main package in v1.6 because reusing addresses is bad for privacy. The wallet stopped using the AddressReuse option, but it was left deprecated in the internal package to preserve code compatibility at the time.
  • Maintenance: tweaked logging, code cleanup, test code updates for Go 1.21.

Work done to consolidate VSP code into the vspd repository:

  • Brought dcrwallet up to date with vspd, and reduced dependencies between the VSP client and dcrwallet.
  • Moved the logic of selecting unmanaged tickets out of the VSP client module and into the wallet module.
  • Internal refactoring, cleanup, added more tests.

The end goal of these changes is to extract the VSP client out of dcrwallet and into vspd so that it can be reused in DCRDEX, enabling DCRDEX to purchase tickets and register them with a VSP. VSP client will allow DCRDEX to provide Decred staking and voting features in light (SPV) mode without requiring full blockchain download. Other wallets written in Go can benefit from this as well.

dcrctl

dcrctl is a command-line client for dcrd and dcrwallet.

  • Updates for the v1.8.0 release: use the latest released dcrd and dcrwallet modules so that all their new functionality can be accessed.

Decrediton

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).

Changes that were included in the new v1.8.0 release:

  • Updated DCRDEX module to the v0.6.1 release.
  • Removed staking pages for hardware wallets, since they can’t participate in staking. Also added warnings to not use hardware wallets to receive staking or treasury funds, since hardware wallets can’t spend those funds.
  • Added in-app release notes for v1.8.0.
  • Updated the Polish translation.
  • Fixed an error that occurs when people break the connection between Decrediton and the DEX wallet. The default behavior when using the DEX from Decrediton is that there is only one wallet controlled by Decrediton and the DEX module simply uses that. However, it’s possible for users to break that connection and force the DEX wallet type to “SPV”, which creates a brand new wallet fully managed by the DEX. Decrediton’s main wallet will still work, but it can no longer control the new wallet created by the DEX and will throw errors in certain cases. The error is fixed by not allowing Decrediton to attempt to change the password on the DEX wallet it no longer controls. However, users should still avoid this uncommon configuration and not change the wallet type from within the DEX module.
  • Other minor updates and fixes including some typos, and bumping dependencies.
  • Updated app metadata for official publications, as part of the work done to add Decrediton to the winget package repository.

The following work has been merged in master towards future releases:

  • Updated DEX module to v0.6.2, which is required to follow the Decred 1.8.0 hardforks due to consensus changes. In addition, this fixes the “response buffer too short” error reported by some users.
  • Updated the Arabic translation.
  • Fixed placeholder text in the intro tutorials. This also adds proper release artwork for v1.8.
  • Updated web dependencies.
  • Updated to Electron v23 from v18. Among other things, this allows Decrediton to communicate with USB devices, which is required for some hardware wallets like Ledger. Since WebUSB is built-in to the newer versions of Electron, it means devs don’t have to use external dependencies, which is good for security.

In progress:

  • As mentioned last month, work is ongoing to add Ledger support, particularly the Ledger UI. The most interesting new developments for June have been work to add the Ledger backend functions so that the UI can actually interact with the Ledger itself. The primary difficulty isn’t simply verifying that the functions work as intended, but rather removing as many dependencies as possible to reduce the massive risk of dependency supply chain attacks. Ledger software uses numerous dependencies, and if any of those dependencies were to be compromised by a bad actor, it could put wallet security at risk. Therefore, the Decred devs are taking great care to get this integration right.

Politeia

Politeia is Decred’s proposal system. It is used to request funding from the Decred treasury.

  • Fixed a bug where the Politeia webserver would crash when trying to process a new user’s registration payment if the transaction couldn’t be found. Now, if the transaction cannot be found, the server will simply respond that the user hasn’t paid yet.
  • Internal dev updates: require either Go 1.19 or 1.20; improved linting and logging.

vspd

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 v1.2.0 release:

Changes merged to master towards future releases:

  • Updated the admin web UI to show human-readable fee transactions instead of just raw bytes. This quality-of-life improvement for VSP admins also included some extra features like a nicer ticket search input and better JSON formatting.

dcrpool

dcrpool is server software for running a mining pool.

  • Updated CI config and dependencies to use Go 1.20, PostgreSQL 15, dcrd and dcrwallet modules from v1.8.0 release, newer third party dependencies, and enabled additional code checkers (aka linters).

Lightning Network

dcrlnd is Decred’s Lightning Network node software. LN enables instant and low-cost transactions.

  • Updated to use latest dcrd and dcrwallet modules from v1.8.0 release.
  • Improved startup time of dcrlnd and ported a few upstream changes to make it easier. The optimization is based on providing fast access to in-flight payments and skipping the expensive scan of all historical payments on startup.
  • Updated output of dcrlncli –version to be consistent with other Decred software.
  • Updated CI configs for normal builds and Docker builds.
  • Bumped version to v0.4.0 to reflect breaking changes since v0.3.8.
  • Switched tests from the old rpctest package from dcrd repository to use the new dcrtest framework.

cspp

cspp is a server for coordinating coin mixes using the CoinShuffle++ protocol. It is non-custodial, i.e. never holds any funds. CSPP is part of StakeShuffle, Decreds privacy system.

  • Changed mix server’s send and receive timeouts to be calculated ahead of time based on the start of the mix. This implements a more robust schedule of deadlines of each step of the mixing protocol. Client-side timeouts have been greatly increased. Clients don’t need to precisely track protocol deadlines because they are coordinated by the server. Bigger client-side timeouts allow flexibility to adjust deadlines on the server without having to update client software.
  • Added StartSolver function which allows RPC clients to start the solver background process and detect its startup issues earlier before beginning a mixing session.
  • Updated dependencies.

DCRDEX

DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.

Changes included in the v0.6.2 release:

  • Improved help text explaining bonds in the registration flow. This is based on feedback from the community and other users new to Decred.
  • Significantly reduced the initial deposit required for bonds, from 0.056 BTC ($1,500) to 0.0035 BTC ($100). This will make it easier to onboard new users. Note that bonds can be funded with DCR too.
  • Updated to latest dcrd and dcrwallet modules from the v1.8.0 release.
  • Enabled use of external fees information for SPV wallets such as built-in DEX wallets or Electrum wallets. This works for BTC-based assets: BTC, LTC, and BCH. Before this change it was possible to pay unreasonably high fees in some scenarios.
  • Optimized loading of static GUI assets in the browser. CSS, JavaScript, images, and font files will now load faster.
  • Fixed a bug where registration flow could proceed without waiting for sufficient bond funds to be deposited.
  • Fixed a bug where the Settings page was using incorrect fund amounts for bonds.
  • Added a workaround for a Badger database truncation error which may happen on Windows after a crash. The Badger database aims to be crash-resilient without any data loss, and one way it does this is by aggressively saving all data to memory-mapped files and recovering from them after a crash. Windows handles memory-mapped files differently from other operating systems and Badger has to overallocate a huge chunk of the file upfront. After a crash, Badger needs to truncate (remove) the excess allocation before resuming normal operation. On Unix-based OS the need to truncate the file might indicate data loss, but on Windows it is just how it works and there almost zero risk of data loss in this scenario.

All changes reported below are towards the next release.

Client:

  • Added support for HTTPS connection between client’s front-end (browser UI) and back-end (the dexc process). When dexc is running on a public network HTTPS will be enabled by default, otherwise it can be forced with –webtls flag. The browser will show a scary warning about a self-signed certificate but it can be overridden.
  • Added tooltips to explain various wallet balances (Available, Locked, Immature, Bond Reserves).
  • Added a system tray option to keep the DEX running even after all windows are closed.
  • Updated the Client Installation and Configuration wiki page to make it clearer, more concise, and up-to-date with the latest release. One notable addition is a table summary of wallet types supported for each asset.
  • Added release notes for v0.6.1.
  • Fixed a bug where Accelerate button was showing for revoked (canceled) trades.

Bitcoin:

  • Recycle unused redemption and refund addresses. DEX generates new Bitcoin addresses to be used for redemptions (trade completed normally) and refunds (trade was canceled and refunded). Many addresses end up being unused. In Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) wallets this may create gaps between used addresses that are bigger than the gap limit, which may cause problems with discovering funds and restoring wallets from seed. To avoid exceeding the gap limit, generated addresses that were not used for redemptions or refunds will be saved and used for future trades.
  • Fixed a crash of the built-in BTC wallet when syncing. Testing DEX walllets revealed a crash in the upstream btcwallet code. DEX developers contributed to investigating and fixing it.
  • Implemented a function to place multiple orders in one go. This will be used by the market making bots and may unlock trading optimizations.

Polygon (MATIC):

  • Implemented several low-level primitives and a test harness to aid in developing Polygon support. The harness was able to sync balances and send funds on simnet and testnet. Existing Ethereum code has been refactored to be more generic and reusable by Polygon code.
  • Extended the test harness to create two nodes, connect them together, and mine blocks.

App packaging:

  • Added packaging scripts to build a DMG installer for macOS.
  • Created a DCRDEX package in Arch User Repository (AUR). On Arch or Arch-based Linux distributions like Manjaro it can be installed with an optimistic command like $ yay dcrdex. Documentation has been updated with a list of existing and upcoming packages for various packaging systems.

Server:

  • Changed order limits to be based on bond strength. Increasing the bond tier by locking more funds will unlock bigger order sizes. Order limit is also reduced by bad behavior like not completing the swaps. This change should fix inability to submit orders for some users. The penalty and reward system is still a work in progress.

Developer and internal changes:

  • Updated simnet blockchain with new proof of work.
  • Added scripts to automatically update cache busters.
  • Enabled caching of Go build outputs produced by GitHub Actions. This avoids unnecessary recompilation and speeds up builds and tests, which run for every pull request. As a result, it takes less time to see if a change being developed breaks any tests.
Image: Improved intro to bonds in DCRDEX
Image: Wallet types supported by DCRDEX

dcrdata

dcrdata is an explorer for Decred blockchain and off-chain data like Politeia proposals, markets, and more.

  • Updated to use latest dcrd modules released in v1.8.0. This makes dcrdata and its clients like Decrediton aware of the new consensus votes, and also adds them to the Agendas page.
  • Updated block rewards math to be aware of the DCP-12 activation date, as well the new block reward split.
  • Fixed a bug where TSpend transactions were included in coin supply data shown on Charts page. Combined with a fix for coin supply reporting in dcrd this fixes supply discrepancy between dcrdata’s Home and Charts pages.
  • Updated CI build config, Docker config, and linters.

Timestamply

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.

Documentation

dcrdocs is the source code for Decred user documentation.

Bison Relay

Bison Relay is a new social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.

All work reported below is merged to master towards the next release.

GUI and CLI apps:

  • Create new group chats version 1 by default. This is the latest version that supports multiple admins in one group chat.
  • Persist received but not fully processed group chat messages. This helps to show messages in the correct order, especially after app restart.
  • Reduced max number of idle HTTP connections from 100 to 2. HTTP connections to the “normal web” are used to fetch DCR/BTC and BTC/USD exchange rates.
  • Made server reconnection loop faster.
  • Fixed some issues with key exchanges (KX). Improved reporting of completed KX in direct and group chats. Avoid multiple KX attempts with same user when joining multiple group chats. Added automatic KX attempts when sending messages to group chat members, this should fix message delivery issues due to missed KX with target user.

GUI app:

  • Added Address Book that lists all known users and group chats. Recent chats list was optimized to hide empty chats and show newer chats on top. Hidden empty chats can be brought back from the address book.
  • Added search and filter function to the Address Book page.
  • Added ability to hide non-empty chats. Hidden chats can be shown again via the address book.
  • Create config directory if it is missing.
  • Store and load invoices to better track tip status across app restarts.
  • Improved sorting of Feed posts to take recent comments into account.
  • Improved post commenting UX to better visualize if the user is adding a top-level comment or a reply to another comment.
  • Refined chat list UX.
  • Optimized vertical space on inbound and outbound channel pages.
  • Updated Flutter dependencies.
  • Fixed loading of history for contacts that have not completed a key exchange.
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent errors from being properly shown on the onboarding page.
  • Fixed a bug where the Chats page was not aware of hidden chats and would erroneously show “Funds Needed” or “Invite Needed” pages.
  • Fixed Suggest KX action not working properly. This also adds hidden users to the dropdown.
  • Fixed possibility to open multiple file pickers in places like creating posts or generating invites.

CLI app:

Stores implementation:

  • Added a page to see information about one order.
  • Allow store admin and customer to add comments to the order, and show them on both admin and customer order pages.

Preparations for mobile app builds:

  • Configured the embedded dcrlnd to not include IP or hostname in generated TLS certificates. This is needed to make the Android version compile.
  • Updated gomobile library.
  • Fixed compilation of golib with gomobile. golib is an adapter for the low level Bison Relay code in Go for reuse by the high level GUI code, which is written in Dart and Flutter.
  • Moved and adapted some desktop code to a shared location to enable reuse on mobile.
  • Made multiple changes specific to iOS and Android builds.
  • First pass of making views responsive and usable on smaller screens and mobile platforms. A more thorough design implementation will be done in the future once UX specs are finalized.

Developer and internal changes:

Other

  • Testnet coin faucet updated to Go 1.20 and Decred modules released with v1.8.0. Faucet is used by developers to obtain testnet DCR.
  • gominer was updated for latest Decred modules, linters, and GitHub Actions build config.
  • Voting Dashboard: updated for Go 1.20 and newer Decred and third party dependencies, added display of consensus voting agendas in v1.8.0, fixed voted versions for testnet3.
  • dcrinstall, an automatic installer/updater for command-line apps, has been updated to v1.8.0. Latest version can be downloaded on the Releases page.
  • dcrseeder, a service for bootstrapping Decred node discovery, has been updated for Go 1.20 and Decred modules from v1.8.0 release.

People

Community stats as of ~Jul 2 (compared to Jun 2):

  • Twitter followers: 53,558 (+450)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,738 (+15)
  • Matrix #general users: 787 (+13)
  • Discord users: 1,586 (-4), verified to post: 635 (+1)
  • Telegram users: 2,362 (-108)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,640 (+0), views: 231.1K (+1.5K)

Governance

In June the new treasury received 7,760 DCR worth $111K at June’s average rate of $14.25. 4,604 DCR was spent to pay contractors, worth $66K at same rate.

A treasury spend tx was approved with 7,456 Yes votes and 52% turnout, and mined on Jun 13. It had 20 outputs making payments to contractors, ranging from 4 DCR to 1,308 DCR. Most of this DCR was likely paid for April work, at its billing exchange rate of $20.22 the TSpend is worth around $93K.

As of July 9, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 863,788 DCR (13.9 million USD at $16.06).

Image: Decred Treasury balance in DCR
Image: Decred Treasury balance in USD

There were 4 proposals published in June, and one from May which finished voting:

  • A proposal to fund development of the Decred.club website with Chinese language content and grow a community around it for $2,400.
  • A proposal to rebrand Decred Magazine to Cypherpunk Times and continue producing it for another year with an increased budget of $44,000.
  • A proposal to produce 90-second videos of someone in a ski mask talking about Decred in one of 12 languages at a cost of $23,650.
  • A proposal to produce a promotional website for DCRDEX at a cost of $2,000.
  • The proposal to fund exploration of Mesh architecture for DCRDEX with a budget of $164,000 was approved with 94% Yes votes and 44% turnout.

See Politeia Digest issue 61 and issue 62 for more details on the month’s proposals.

Network

Hashrate: June’s hashrate opened at ~66 PH/s and closed ~63 PH/s, bottoming at 69 PH/s and peaking at 46 PH/s throughout the month.

Image: Decred hashrate

Distribution of 64 PH/s hashrate reported by the pools on Jul 1: F2Pool 49%, Poolin 30%, AntPool 16%, BTC.com 5%.

Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by Jul 1: F2Pool 46%, Poolin 31%, AntPool 18%, BTC.com 5%.

Staking: Ticket price varied between 175–328 DCR.

Image: Ticket price making more swings
Image: Ticket price swings naturally correlate with volatile ticket purchasing activity

The locked amount was 9.34–9.77 million DCR, meaning that 61.2–63.8% of the circulating supply participated in proof of stake.

Image: Percentage of coins locked in proof of stake is a good indicator of holder conviction

VSP: The 14 listed VSPs collectively managed ~6,630 (-20) live tickets, which was 16.5% of the ticket pool (-0.3%) as of Jul 1.

Biggest gainers of June are dcrhive.com (+652 tickets or +58%), stakey.net (+182 tickets or +59%), and ultravsp.uk (+131 tickets or +37%).

Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs

Nodes: Decred Mapper observed between 144 and 172 dcrd nodes throughout the month. Versions of 170 nodes seen on Jul 1: v1.8.0–77%, v1.7.x — 14%, v1.8.0 dev builds — 3.5%, other — 6%.

The network has been quick to deploy v1.8.0 and start mining new blocks as shown on the next two charts.

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: Block version 10 quickly took over to unlock consensus voting

The share of mixed coins varied between 61.8–62.1%. Daily mixed volume varied between 298–699K DCR.

Image: Spikes in daily StakeShuffle volume
Image: Biggest monthly StakeShuffle volume so far

Decred’s Lightning Network explorer has seen 212 nodes (+1), 427 channels (+4) with a total capacity of 191 DCR (+15), as of Jul 1. These stats are different for each node. Compare this to Litecoin LN stats reported on same date: 95 nodes, 170 channels and a total capacity of 35 LTC. In USD terms the capacity was $3,010 for DCR and $3,710 for LTC.

Image: Decred’s Lightning Network node count growth has stopped
Image: Decred’s Lightning Network capacity crawling up

Ecosystem

Voting Service Providers:

  • VSP operators have been upgrading quickly to support the upcoming consensus upgrades. 7 out of 14 VSPs have upgraded in just 3 days after new vspd was released. By Jun 30 all VSPs have been running v1.2.0.
  • New VSP at vote.dcr-swiss.ch has started their testnet and mainnet testing to get added to the VSP list.

Wallets:

  • DCRDEX has been added to decred.org Wallets page as a “multi-coin light wallet with DEX support”.
  • Atomic Wallet has been compromised around June 2–3. Losses are estimated between $67 million and over $100 million by third party researchers, while Atomic Wallet prefers to measure it as “less than 0.1% of users”, that is less than 5,000 users based on the 5 million users claimed on the website. The root cause has not been identified as of June 20. Estonia-registered Atomic Wallet has DCR support since August 2018. DCR was not in the list of affected coins posted by ZachXBT on June 4 and we have not seen any loss reports from DCR users. If you know any please share in the #ecosystem chat.
  • Ledger Live users may want to set a password because until it is set, Ledger Live may leak an unencrypted extended public key to the file system. This single key allows to find all addresses and transactions used by the wallet.

Exchanges:

  • A brief outage of DCR deposits has been observed at Binance on June 14 with a notice about “undergoing maintenance”. This was likely due to a misunderstanding about Decred’s forking process and the v1.8.0 release which came out on June 13. The issue was resolved in less than 12 hours.
  • Binance has reverted its decision to delist DCR in France, Italy, Poland, and Spain starting June 26. Customers received an updated list of coins that do not allow to “fully monitor transactions” with only 5 out of the 12 coins originally planned for delisting. DCR is not in the updated list, possibly due to its privacy system being opt-in.
  • Binance and CZ have been sued by U.S. SEC for violating securities laws. The charges are similar to those filed against Binance by CFTC in March. The news has triggered massive withdrawals from Binance and Binance.US. DCR is still not in the updated list of 50+ assets mentioned as “securities” by the SEC at different points in time. Binance is still the biggest market for DCR if the reported traded volume can be trusted.
  • Other Binance news include deregistering in Cyprus, leaving Netherlands, an order to stop services from a Belgian regulator, and an upcoming change of the SEPA banking provider. The latter may require users to accept new terms and update their banking details after September 25, 2023.
  • KuCoin is adding mandatory KYC for all users starting July 15, 2023. Their first verification level called “Basic Personal Info” may be sufficient but it needs testing — reports are appreciated! This change may have an unfortunate effect of ending support for U.S.-based users who were allowed previously as long as they remain unverified, according to Forbes and a couple of user reports we have seen. KuCoin is based in Seychelles and has DCR trading pairs since September 2018. As of July 7 the DCR/BTC market reported a $20K 24-hour volume.

Communication systems:

  • Decred’s Discord was saved from death and continues to operate with stricter rules. On May 1 it has been announced that chat bridges to Discord were disabled and that Discord is likely to be shut down due to the difficulties of preventing and removing bad content. @tothemoon stepped in to fix that, resulting in the new user verification flow that is much better at preventing spam. New rules require users to link a social media account like Reddit, Twitter, or GitHub, or request a special manual approval from the admins. All existing members went back to unverified state if they did not meet the rules, which affected ~300 out of 900 members.
  • Telegram and Discord support channels have been removed from the Community page to reflect the recent changes. All support requests are now redirected to Matrix chat.
  • Decred announcements are now available on Bluesky. As of July 4 Bluesky is still in the invite-only beta and you need an account to follow Decred. Bluesky source code was made public in May 2023.
  • Decred Twitter community has been created. Twitter Communities allow to have dedicated, moderated spaces where only members can tweet and reply, while the activity is visible publicly. Communities compete with Reddit and Facebook Groups.

Other news:

Services discovered but not tested by the community yet:

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.

Outreach

BTC-ECHO has shared drafts of the 2 articles secured by their approved proposal. German speakers are welcome to help improve the articles before they are published.

Monde PR’s achievements:

  • Pitched 1 commentary opportunity
  • Pitched 2 story ideas to target crypto publications
  • Secured 2 media interviews
  • Secured 1 media opportunity

Below is an update from Decred Vanguard team.

The Vanguard strides forward, brainstorming new ideas, creating art, and looking for opportunities to push the Decred Protocol.

@Tivra has been experimenting with recruiting new members from Reddit. These individuals give us interesting perspectives on how outsiders, new to Decred, view Decred’s value proposition and overall tech stack. They are eager to learn, and some have already done a commendable job promoting DCR on their own.

We have been discussing the best ways to handle the monthly prizes, which total $400, and we think doing some giveaways with prize money will be an interesting way to help promote DCR.

$100 prize winners for June:

  • @PubPete — Exceptional activity
  • @TallAmericano — Exceptional activity

We then decided to spend the remaining prize money on contests:

Decred Vanguard is recruiting! Participants get a flat stipend of $100/month and their Twitter Blue paid for by the Decred DAO. See the proposal for more details and contact @Tivra or @Exitus about joining.

Events

Attended:

  • @arij and @khalidesi attended GITEX Africa Digital Summit in Marrakech, Morocco. There was no Decred stand due to high cost, instead @arij and @khalidesi represented the project less formally by networking with the visitors and made some valuable contacts. Here is the report.

Media

Selected articles:

Decred Magazine engagement stats for June 2023:

  • Total number of articles on DM: 479
  • Newsletter subscribers: 101
  • New DM posts and newsletters sent: 19
  • Active social media campaigns: 66
  • Completed social media campaigns: 44
  • Social media posts: 160
  • Likes: 1,070
  • Re-tweets: 256
  • Social media followers across all platforms and accounts (including @DecredSociety): 1,410

Videos:

Live stream:

Audio:

Art and fun:

Translations:

  • Decred Journal March-May got a total of 3 new translations to Arabic (@arij, @abdulrahman4), Chinese (@Dominic) and Polish (@kozel). Thank you folks!

Discussions:

Selected non-Decred articles posted on Cypherpunk Times:

Image: Leading the DAO pack by @OfficialCryptos

Markets

In June DCR was trading between USDT 12.01–17.84 and BTC 0.00046–0.00067. The average daily rate was $14.25.

Community’s DCR price analysis posted in the #trading chat:

Image: DCR/USD accumulation zones analysis by @saender
Image: Market Valuations (USD) based on Decred-specific Staked Realized Value metric from @bochinchero
Image: Decred-specific SASRV/RV Ratio metric by @bochinchero provides a lagging indicator of the direction that the market is trending

And one new chart from @bochinchero:

another interesting one I had been tinkering with before, estimating what the realized value would be without tickets/votes (e.g. RV-SRV), it looks a lot like the BTC RV does… and seems to indicate local bottoms pretty well

obviously given the manipulated markets a lot of this can be taken as a grain of salt, trying to read rigged tea leaves

Image: Realized Value minus Staked Realized Value by @bochinchero
Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD

Relevant External

Bittrex US was allowed to re-open customer withdrawals, these would usually be frozen during liquidation but Bittrex argued to allow customers to withdraw their funds and a judge agreed, although stating that this did not make a determination that the customers (still) owned the assets and there may be clawbacks as the liquidation process continues.

The SEC has sued Binance and CZ in a long-anticipated move which declares a number of the assets Binance lists as securities and alleges that they were allowing US citizens to trade on the platform, even encouraging the whales. The SEC’s complaint lists 10 crypto tokens with a page or more of explanation about its origins and why the SEC considers it a security. The tokens listed as securities are: SOL, ADA, MATIC, FIL, ATOM, SAND, MANA, ALGO, AXS, and COTI.

In the day or so following the suit being brought by SEC, both Binance ($1.43 billion) and Coinbase ($1.18 billion) saw significant net outflows of assets, with customers withdrawing much more than they were depositing, in response to the news.

Some of the consequences of the SEC pursuit are transfer of control of assets to staff of Binance US, such that staff of Binance Holdings no longer have any access to crypto assets or internal systems. This was part of a deal reached to avoid a freezing of all Binance assets in the US, which threatened Binance US’s ability to process dollar transactions.

There was more bad news for Binance, with the loss of its EUR banking partner after pulling out of Netherlands after failing to acquire a license, giving up on licenses in UK and Cyprus and being ordered to stop offering crypto services in Belgium.

Binance has reversed its decision to delist several privacy-oriented crypto-assets for users from some European countries to comply with the new MiCA regulations. After listening to user feedback and from the communities for those projects, they decided they could continue to support them as they have transparent public ledgers.

Binance is also working to integrate Bitcoin Lightning Network for deposits and withdrawals.

The SEC’s long running suit against Ripple has brought to light behind the scenes feedback to Bill Hinman’s (in)famous speech in which he said that Ether did not look like a security and declared that networks which are “sufficiently decentralized” didn’t have to worry about securities law, going on to list some things the SEC would look at in making such a determination. The emails surrounding the speech reveal that Bill ignored concerns from colleagues about some aspects of it, including the freedom with which he was adding new factors and using Ether as a named example, which they cautioned would make it difficult to pursue ETH related securities violations in future.

The SEC also sued Coinbase for operating as an unregistered securities exchange, to which Coinbase has responded arguing that the SEC has no jurisdiction over the assets on its platform, because Coinbase only hosts secondary markets and does not offer any cryptos for sale directly from their issuer.

While the SEC has been going after many established crypto exchanges for alleged securities violations, a new player has emerged, Prometheum, which appears to be on a fast track to getting the sorts of approval that the likes of Coinbase have been trying to obtain for years. The Prometheum co-CEO turned up on Capitol Hill to testify before Congress and what he said was widely seen as parroting the SEC’s position, raising questions about where this new unknown entrant was coming from and why they were getting along so well with the SEC. The company claims to have been working on its regulatory approvals for years but has remained largely unknown because its “crawl-walk-run-approach” means it doesn’t actually offer any BTC or ETH trading yet. It has been suggested that hiring insiders from FINRA and the SEC is the key to why Prometheum got approved and then started showing up to hearings with pro-SEC talking points.

One of the two Chinese entities with links to and an ownership stake in Prometheum is Wanxiang, an organisation which lists Vitalik Buterin as one of its co-founders. Vitalik’s relationship to Wanxiang dates back to Ethereum’s early days in 2015 when then-CEO made an investment of $500,000 in ETH, which helped to cover some developers’ salaries.

The “Electric Coin Company” (ECC) has announced (in May) that it is restructuring to serve Zcash in different ways, with a much smaller team (13 staff, 50% are being made redundant) and focused on core specialisms like the transition to proof of stake consensus. Many of the functions of the ECC will be transferred to other entities within the ZEC community.

MakerDAO has voted to remove the USDP stablecoin provided by Paxos from its reserves, these currently include $500 million of USDP and that is half of the token’s supply.

Payment processor Mastercard has set up a testbed dubbed the “Multi-Token Network” (MTN) for tokenizing bank deposits, turning them into digital tokens on blockchains which are programmable like crypto tokens. A beta version of MTN will be available to industry partners in the UK from summer 2023 and they are setting up an innovation spring where selected teams will be given access to MTN so they can develop use cases. Mastercard plans to experiment with stablecoins and CBDCs on MTN also.

Watchers of CRV noted on Twitter that over 30% of its circulating supply had been deposited as collatoral for loans in the AAVE protocol by one user, the founder, prompting concern that if the position were liquidated the market would be flooded with CRV and the Aave protocol would end up with a lot of bad debt. The CRV price did decline further but the borrower in question repaid some of the debt and decreased the liquidation risk.

Many users of Atomic Wallet had their assets stolen in an apparent hack on June 3, with early estimates of $35 million and later $100 million of the losses incurred by users. However, it remains unclear what the cause of the hack was, and a blog post from the wallet’s developers on June 22 left a lot of unanswered questions — they offered four possibilities for how users funds were stolen but weren’t sure which one was the real cause. They suggested that all of the thefts occurred on June 3, but they are just going from user testimony and reports the same as the community researchers who have been looking into it and giving more timely updates.

Users of the web 3 betting platform Polymarket have drawn attention for gambling on the outcome of the lost Titan submersible, with several hundred thousand dollars worth of cryptocurrency being wagered, making it the site’s most active market at the time. The Polymarket event betting on whether the Titan submersible would be found by June 23 went to dispute resolution after resolving to “Yes” when pieces of the submarine were indeed found, but several stories about the event reference people making money from “betting that the Titan submersible would not be found”. It has not been possible to locate the dispute resolution outcome on Polymarket itself.

There is a long-running court battle between ConsenSys, the Ethereum development organisation led by Joe Lubin, and employees of its original Swiss entity (ConsenSys AG). The dispute is about a transfer of assets (ConsenSys owns several major Ethereum infrastructure providers like Infura) in 2020 to a new US based entity which JP Morgan invested in — the employees of ConsenSys AG held equity in the company, and claim that the assets were given an absurdly low valuation ($47 million) so that they would receive very little of the money coming from JP Morgan (indirectly) for those assets. This month, ConsenSys held a shareholder vote to retroactively approve the transfer — something they were instructed to do by a Swiss court, which will allow the employees to proceed with the next step of their multi-year legal proceedings.

The IMF has decided that banning crypto “may not be effective in the long run”, after previously suggesting this as an option all the way back in Feb 2023. They now suggest addressing demand for digital payments in other ways to decrease demand for crypto, but not to ban it because that stops the country from gaining any benefits.

The SEC has reduced the financial penalty imposed on LBRY from $44 million to $111,000 — but rather than a change of heart this reflects acknowledgement that the entity is now defunct and being wound down, not capable of paying millions of dollars in fines. The marathon case against LBRY by the SEC dragged on for years until it was resolved in November 2022 with a loss for LBRY and the judge establishing precedents that cast a wide net in terms of securities violations. LBRY sold tokens before their network was operational, and so the courts decided that any sale of LBRY tokens by the organisation would constitute an illegal securities offering, even for a $5 transaction to tip some video creators — a primary intended purpose of LBRY tokens.

The Israeli government has seized $1.7 million in crypto from wallets linked to the Iranian military and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon. Chainalysis assisted in tracking the USDT on the Tron network to 40 different addresses, which were frozen on the authority of the Defence Minister. In May Israel reported the freezing of 190 Binance accounts associated with Hamas and Daesh since 2021.

The European Commission has published its legislative plans to underpin a digital Euro, identifying some advantages like facilitating transactions between people at higher data protection standards than banks, and making free access to payments available everywhere including remote locations. While the Commission wants a privacy-preserving digital Euro it is down to the European Central Bank to issue one, and there remains much opposition to the idea within banking circles. The proposals have been criticised as being significantly more prone to surveillance than cash.

A newly declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has revealed that the federal government is buying data about Americans in bulk, secretly amassing a “large amount” of “sensitive and intimate information” on its own citizens. Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, was informed about this a year ago after commissioning a panel of experts, but the report has been kept secret until now.

A new crypto exchange has emerged, backed by major financial markets players Citadel Securities, Fidelity and Charles Schwab. The exchange is unusual in that it is noncustodial, the marketplace allows traders to agree on trades but then the firms move crypto and cash between them directly to settle the trade — although EDX plans to launch a clearinghouse later in the year to facilitate this process (though still without touching the assets directly, using other service providers for this). As such, EDX will not serve individual investors directly, but retail brokerages may send orders to its marketplace for fulfillment.

That’s all for June. Suggest news for the next issue in our #journal chat room.

About

This is issue 60 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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, karamble, l1ndseymm, phoenixgreen, richardred, zippycorners
  • reviews and feedback: davecgh, jholdstock
  • title image: Exitus
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — June 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — May 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-may-2023-6221b5da61e7?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — May 2023

Image: Cyberstorm by @Exitus

Highlights of May:

  • DCRDEX v0.6.1 has been released, with DigiByte support and important fixes for LTC and ZEC.
  • The Decred Vanguard proposal was approved and the community-driven social media outreach program has already started.
  • Bison Relay has been making progress, with a first version of pages being merged as well as the merchant tools for Stores.

Contents:

· DCRDEX v0.6.1 Release
· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Events
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

DCRDEX v0.6.1 Release

This DEX release features:

  • Initial DigiByte (DGB) support (requires a full node wallet running alongside)
  • Important fixes for Litecoin (LTC) and Zcash (ZEC)
  • Rate of an order in Your Orders table is easier to see now
  • Chart candle size is now remembered and the default size changed to 1 hour

Get the latest DEX client as a standalone app, or as part of Decrediton, or install it from Decred’s custom Umbrel App Store. As always, we recommend to verify the files before running.

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

dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.

Changes merged in master towards future releases:

  • Cleaned up several functions by removing error states which no longer occur.
  • Last August, in order to combat ASIC attacks on the testnet and ensure CPUs will always be able to mine new testnet blocks, the testnet was updated so that the testnet mining difficulty is throttled by a maximum value. This month, the mining template generator and CPU miner were updated to remove the old testnet logic that no longer applies, since all new testnet blocks enforce difficulty throttling.
  • Removed a deprecated internal method which listed subscribed clients waiting for blockchain updates. Since this method was internal, it never needed to be shared outside of dcrd.
  • A bug was discovered via dcrdata where the total coin supply calculation returned from the dcrd RPC server did not include the new TreasuryBases – the part of each block’s reward that flows into the new decentralized treasury. The total coin supply calculation has now been updated, which also included an update to the database. It should be noted that this bug was only a minor error with the RPC coin supply calculation, and did not affect consensus in any way.

In progress:

  • Implementing DCP-11 PoW hash consensus vote.

dcrwallet

dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.

Backported changes ready for the next v1.7.x release:

  • Respect proxy config for SPV and P2P seeder connections. This is to prevent leaking internal network details.

Changes merged in master towards future releases:

Decrediton

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 progress:

Other:

  • Decrediton has been added to the winget package repository. Windows user can now install it with winget install Decred.Decrediton.

vspd

vspd is server software used by Voting Service Providers. A VSP votes on behalf of its users 24/7 and cannot steal funds.

  • Copied and adjusted automatic VSP fee payment from dcrwallet to vspd repository. This code was private in dcrwallet but in vspd it can be consumed by other software, which will be utilized by DCR staking integration in DCRDEX.

Lightning Network

dcrlnd is Decred’s Lightning Network node software. LN enables instant and low-cost transactions.

  • Added support for custom connection for dcrwallet. It allows LN code to configure dcrwallet to connect to SPV peers using a proxy server.

cspp

cspp is a server for coordinating coin mixes using the CoinShuffle++ protocol. It is non-custodial, i.e. never holds any funds. CSPP is part of StakeShuffle, Decreds privacy system.

  • Prevent duplicate inputs earlier in the mixing process. Before this fix double spends would trigger an error when sending the mix transaction, it could fail a mixing session and avoid blame assignment.
  • Improved logging of mixing sessions to always capture session ID, run number, and denomination value of mixed outputs.
  • Prevent CoinJoin transactions from exceeding mempool size limits. This may exclude some peers from a mix, if that happens the server will attempt to pair them in the next mixing epoch. A check has been added to retry the session if the number of peers drops below the minimum setting.

DCRDEX

DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.

Changes included in v0.6.1 release:

  • Set high enough Zcash transaction fee rate. DEX calculates fees based on transaction size, but Zcash is an exception as it currently uses a standard fee of 1,000 zats or 0.00001 ZEC per transaction, regardless of size. This will change when ZIP 317 activates, resulting in higher fees. To ensure DEX transactions are always relayed and mined, this change bumps fees to be around 0.0002–0.0003 ZEC. A hard-coded fee rate of 84 zats/byte is used as a workaround for Zcash not having an easy way to estimate fees.
  • Added DigiByte trading support with full node wallets.
  • Added block explorer links to ZEC transactions.
  • Added compile time option for the interval at which DEX server polls for new blocks of Bitcoin-like assets. It allows to use slower polling for remote nodes where the default 1-second interval would be too fast.
  • Fixed failure to reconfigure a disconnected Bitcoin-like wallet in certain circumstances.
  • Fixed Bitcoin-like wallets always requiring a restart and not having a chance for live reconfiguration.
  • Fixed full restart not being triggered in some scenarios of changing RPC connection config.
  • Fixed incorrect transaction ID shown when sending ZEC.
  • Fixed several issues with bonds for ZEC and non-SegWit assets.
  • Backported ~22 fixes and improvements made in master before May.

All other changes below are merged in master towards future releases.

Client:

  • Added expected refund time to the Matches card. Previously it could show a confusing for hours.
  • Automated more wallet enable/disable steps. Disabling chain’s primary asset wallet will also disable all token wallets for that chain. Enabling a token wallet will also enable chain’s primary asset wallet.
  • Optimized request handling by minimizing expensive calls to load user information.
  • Restored colored logging of HTTP requests to stdout.
  • Utilize external fee rate sources in SPV mode. Before this change it was possible to pay unreasonably high fees when sending from an SPV wallet.
  • Removed requirement to enter a password when canceling an order.

Bitcoin:

  • Fixed issues: simnet wallet could attempt to connect to mainnet, Bitcoin-like wallets always require a restart, reconfiguring a disconnected wallet could fail in certain circumstances.

Ethereum:

  • Made token approvals a separate manual step instead of an automatic part of the first swap. In order to trade tokens (such as USDC) the swap contract must be approved to handle tokens on behalf of the user. Making it a manual action allows users to be aware of what is happening and not be surprised by the high fee of their first swap. An approval can be later revoked in wallet settings.

Firo:

App packaging:

  • Introduced a new executable dexc-desktop that wraps the DEX web app in a WebView component to look like a desktop app. The app will keep running in the background if there are active orders (but can be force-closed using the –kill switch on the command line).
  • Added script to build Debian packages.

Developer and internal changes:

  • Updated npm dependencies.
  • Moved the market making bot logic out of the Core package into its own package. This is needed to improve architecture and add more bot strategies in the future.
  • Enabled the makezero linter to detect more bugs in memory allocation.
  • Updated build and test workflow to add Node.js v20 and remove v16. Node.js v16 will reach end-of-life in September 2023.
  • Changed chain tip and peer tracking goroutines to shutdown more cleanly.
Image: DEX’es swap contract requires a one-time approval to swap your tokens.
Image: Solar setup running Umbrel with DEX market maker + arbitrage. By @busyLightz.

dcrdata

dcrdata is an explorer for Decred blockchain and off-chain data like Politeia proposals, markets, and more.

  • Fixed numbers being slightly off on the address balance charts due to not filtering out sidechain and invalid outputs.

Bison Relay

Bison Relay is a new social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.

All work reported below is merged to master towards the next release (likely v0.1.8).

GUI and CLI apps:

  • Implemented initial version of the Pages feature. Pages allow to browse static content from a remote user. Only Markdown pages are supported. Pages can link to other users’ pages using br:// links. Limitations of the first iteration are listed in the pull request. Pages is a big feature that will need rounds of improvements in response to user feedback.
  • Improved tip retry strategy. Instead of making multiple parallel attempts at paying tips for one user, only a single one is tried at a time. This should help avoid problems with tip payments failing due to LN nodes with low capacity. Also tip attempts failed for having no LN route will be retried (this error may be temporary). CLI app can list running tip user attempts with the new /runningtips command.
  • Added ability to connect the embedded dcrlnd through the configured proxy server (such as Tor) to both the CLI app and the GUI app. New circuitlimit config parameter allows to limit the number of open connections when using proxy.
  • Added handshake feature that allows users to test that their encryption ratchets are still working.
  • Implemented persistent chat history that remembers last 500 messages and shows them after restarting the app. All chats are stored in log files but accessing history from the app itself is better UX and has been a frequent feature request. The plan is to eventually add on-demand loading of history as the user scrolls back in time.
  • Fixed possible broken ratchets when two users simultaneously attempt to exchange keys with each other. This could happen when two users are added to two different group chats where the other user already exists, which initiates two key exchanges at the same time.

GUI app:

  • Added context menu to individual chats and group chats.
  • Added a floating button to jump to recent messages.
  • Restricted size of embedded images shown in chats and posts. Bigger image is shown if clicked. This fixes issues with scrolling and different image sizes.
  • Fixed some issues with text selection, added height limit to code blocks and made code blocks scrollable. Two Flutter widgets have been forked and patched to work around the issues, but double click (select word) and triple click (select paragraph) still don’t work.
  • Fixed scrollbar issues on LN management views.
  • Smaller fixes for scrolling and overflow behavior.

CLI app:

  • Enabled brclient to delegate Pages and Store requests to another program via the clientrpc API, and forward its responses back to requesting BR users. This flexibility will enable useful features in the future.
  • Enabled brclient to delegate requests to a HTTP or HTTPS website. This allows BR users to access HTTP/HTTPS resources through another BR user who acts as a proxy.
  • Sort posts by most recent activity. Also unread posts will be highlighted with a different color.
  • Allow to use the /closechannel command with a short prefix of the channel ID (full ID is 64 characters long).

Stores progress:

  • Implemented merchant-side foundations for simple Stores. Unlike Pages, Stores are dynamic resources that can present product items for sale. Store has a front page and individual product pages that are generated from local files. Store is reloaded automatically when its files change. BR client running the store can serve product pages, maintain shopping carts, handle order placements, and create invoices. Prices will be shown in USD but paid in DCR. Exchange rate is fetched from dcrdata. DCR amount to be paid is locked for 60 minutes while the order is valid. CLI app only supports on-chain payments.
  • Implemented simple forms. Forms can be viewed, filled and submitted by store customers to add items to the shopping cart or to place an order.
  • Added shipping details to orders. Some products may require to fill shipping info.

Other:

  • Added end-to-end performance tests.
  • @JC made an onboarding event in #trading with a giveaway of 20 prepaid invites with 0.05 DCR each.

People

Community stats as of Jun 2 (compared to May 3):

  • Twitter followers: 53,108 (+31)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,723 (+22)
  • Matrix #general users: 774 (+11)
  • Discord users: 1,590 (+17), verified to post: 634 (-287) — Discord was unbridged and got stronger verfication rules
  • Telegram users: 2,470 (-38)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,640 (+10), views: 229.6K (+1.5K)

Governance

In May the new treasury received 8,088 DCR worth $139K at May’s average rate of $17.13. 3,591 DCR was spent to pay contractors, worth $62K at same rate.

A treasury spend tx was approved with 6,722 Yes votes and 52% turnout, and mined on May 20. It had 23 outputs making payments to contractors, ranging from 4 DCR to 1,464 DCR. Most of this DCR was likely paid for March work, at its billing exchange rate of $20.69 the TSpend is worth around $74K.

As of June 17, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 858,136 DCR (12.1 million USD at $14.08).

Proposals approved in May:

  • Decred Vanguard proposal was approved for a budget of $46,784 to fund growth of a community driven outreach program, with 94% Yes votes and turnout of 39%.
  • BTC-ECHO proposal was approved for a budget of $9,500 for a three month trial with German crypto site BTC-ECHO.de during which they produce two sponsored articles, with 69% Yes votes and turnout of 32%. Prior to the vote it was edited to include additional promotion on their social media and a 2-week ad on their podcast. Second edit clarified that they do not require upfront payment and agree to wait for the payment for up to 60 days after the campaign has ended, in line with how most existing proposals and contractors operate. After the proposal was approved they posted an update about next steps and the timeline.

Proposals submitted in May:

See Politeia Digest issue 60 for more details on the month’s proposals.

Network

Hashrate: May’s hashrate opened at ~74 Ph/s and closed ~66 Ph/s, bottoming at 61 Ph/s and peaking at 88 Ph/s throughout the month.

Image: Decred hashrate

Distribution of 67 Ph/s hashrate reported by the pools on Jun 1: Poolin 40%, F2Pool 40%, AntPool 16%, BTC.com 5%.

Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by Jun 1: F2Pool 40%, Poolin 35%, AntPool 17%, BTC.com 8%.

Image: Historical pool hashrate distribution

Staking: Ticket price varied between 173–334 DCR.

Image: Ticket price made another swing

The locked amount was 9.38–9.90 million DCR, meaning that 61.7–65.1% of the circulating supply participated in Proof of Stake.

VSP: The 14 listed VSPs collectively managed ~6,650 (-310) live tickets, which was 16.8% of the ticket pool (0.3%) as of Jun 1.

Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs

Nodes: Decred Mapper observed 147 dcrd nodes on Jun 1 of the following versions: v1.7.7–25%, v1.7.1–21%, v1.7.5–18%, v1.7.2–10%, v1.8.0 dev builds — 9%, v1.7.0–7%, v1.7.4–3%, other — 8%.

Image: Historical dcrd version distribution, data from nodes.jholdstock.uk. Data before Jan 2023 was incomplete.

The share of mixed coins varied between 61.8–61.9%. Daily mixed volume varied between 143–497K DCR.

Image: Monthly StakeShuffle volume in USD

Decred’s Lightning Network explorer has seen 211 nodes (+15), 423 channels (+24) with a total capacity of 176 DCR (+13), as of Jun 1. These stats are different for each node. For example, @karamble’s node reported 210 nodes (+17), 446 channels (+17) and 182 DCR (+9) capacity on same day Jun 1.

Image: Decred’s Lightning Network capacity

And a few new charts from @bochinchero:

Image: Average block time remains stable at 5 minutes
Image: Decred chain is adding ~180 MB per month
Image: The full Decred blockchain can fit in modern smartphone’s storage
Image: Monthly DCR issuance in USD — rewards shifted from miners to stakers and will shift more soon
Image: Total monthly fees — Decred is still cheap to use

There are more charts now than it is feasible to show in the Journal. The above and other charts can be found here — reuse on social media is highly encouraged!

Ecosystem

New services:

  • ZEC/BTC and ZEC/USDC pairs have been launched at dex.decred.org.
  • DGB/BTC market went live. DEX client version 0.6.1 or higher is required, it can be obtained as a standalone app or with Decrediton v1.8.0. Only full node-based DGB wallet is supported initially, but built-in light wallet may become possible when DigiByte v8.22 is released.
  • Decred’s Matrix chat logs can now be viewed archive.matrix.org — a new chat archive browser replacing view.matrix.org. The service works without JavaScript and does not require a Matrix account.

Services lost:

  • Binance is leaving Canada in response to recent crypto regulations that prohibit registered exchanges from accepting stablecoin deposits or selling them to the customers without approval from CSA. Other restrictions include a ban on margin trading and investor limits. According to #trading chat customers were asked via email to close any open positions by September 30, 2023.
  • Binance plans to delist 12 privacy coins in France, Italy, Poland and Spain. Starting from June 26, residents of these countries will no longer be able to trade DCR. Binance has recently acquired appropriate licenses in the affected jurisdictions. The move came soon after the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) has passed in the EU on May 16.
  • Hotbit announced it is shutting down operations and asks to withdraw all assets by June 30. DCR trading was available on the main hotbit.io since October 2019 and on its Korean branch since November 2020. According to some community members DCR was delisted some time ago and no DCR users should be affected. Reasons to sunset the exchange included: losses from the criminal investigation, outflow of funds from CEXes, unsustainable business model of trying to list too many coins of which many get hacked, and difficulties to comply with regulation. Quoting the goodbye announcement: “either embrace the regulation or become more decentralized”. We’re on it!

Other news:

  • Apparently Huobi did not delist DCR as it planned to in September 2022. The announcement page has been removed but an archived copy is available. USDT trading pairs for DCR and 6 other privacy coins from that list are still live and report good-looking volumes on CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap as of May 12. Observers from the #trading chat said that DCR has never stopped flowing back and forth between Huobi and Binance.
  • Bittrex has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. and Malta, 3 weeks after it was charged by the SEC for operating an unregistered securities exchange. Both arms have been processing withdrawals since April.
  • Ledger announced an upcoming Ledger Recover service. Recover allows to register your ID (CA, EU, UK, US) and backup the wallet seed at trusted third parties. The seed is split into 3 fragments, the fragments are encrypted with a symmetric key and sent to 3 different backup providers. It can be later rebuilt on another Ledger device by verifying ID and getting 2 out of 3 fragments from the providers. Only Ledger Nano X is supported currently. DCR users may want to evaluate the risks of using Ledger in light of this new feature, which has been added in firmware version 2.2.1 and should be inactive until explicitly enabled.
  • See more detailed coverage in #ecosystem.

New services discovered but not tested by the community yet:

  • DCR payment option has been spotted at fxDreema — a graphical builder of trading bots compatible with MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
  • CryptoWallet.com features a mobile app that allows users to buy and sell crypto, supports VISA/MasterCard/SEPA transfers, and plans to launch own card product. The company is licensed in Estonia. Research and testing help is much appreciated.

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.

Outreach

Decred Vanguard has been approved and started its outreach operations. Vanguard has its own Discord server where members coordinate, develop best approaches and evaluate results. Members make use of Midjourney AI to generate advanced art to help get Decred’s message across. Several members acquired Twitter Blue and it seems to be working quite well. Key challenge at this point is recruiting members who are active and productive, this is why the initial monthly stipend is set low at $100. Another challenge is marketing in the bear market. In May no prizes for big/notable engagements have been allocated.

Anyone interested in joining Decred Vanguard should contact @Tivra or @Exitus. If you are new to Decred it’s OKAY — you just need to be willing to learn and help out where you can.

Vanguard really feels like something we needed for years. [@Exitus]

Image: Vanguard’s War Room

Monde PR’s achievements:

  • Pitched 1 commentary opportunity
  • Pitched 7 media opportunities
  • Secured 1 media interview

Secured the following media placements:

  • @jy-p was interviewed by Authority Magazine discussing many aspects of Decred including: Decred’s origin story, Bison Relay’s offering as a sovereign internet, upcoming support for pages and e-commerce stores, Politeia, and Decred’s use in Brazil’s election.

Events

Attended:

  • @arij and @khalidesi attended EMEC EXPO in Casablanca, Morocco, a big 9K people event dedicated to digital technologies. The team had a stand where they explained Decred features to visitors from various fields, interacted with several Moroccan companies, and met some people who were already familiar with the project. See the full report here.

Media

Selected articles:

Decred Magazine engagement stats for May 2023:

  • Total number of articles on DM: 460
  • Newsletter subscribers: 100
  • New DM posts and newsletters sent: 16
  • Active social media campaigns: 57
  • Completed social media campaigns: 41
  • Social media posts: 172
  • Likes: 1,180
  • Re-tweets: 302
  • Social media followers across all platforms and accounts (including @DecredSociety): 1,350

Videos:

Livestream:

Audio:

Art and fun:

Image: Decred shedding the ballast. By @OfficialCryptos.

Translations:

Markets

In May DCR was trading between USDT 15.19–20.59 and BTC 0.00056–0.00075. The average daily rate was $17.13.

Community’s DCR price analysis posted in the #trading chat:

Image: Odd price wicks on DCR/USD seem to happen during low correlation with BTC/USD price action. Analysis by @saender.
Image: Market Valuations (USD) based on Decred-specific Staked Realised Value metric from @bochinchero
Image: DCR/USD accumulation zones analysis by @saender
Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD

Relevant External

Ethereum’s Beacon chain has been experiencing some issues with finality, two episodes where validators mostly stopped proposing attestations for about an hour and nobody is sure why. Transactions on the Ethereum network have been able to continue and so users may have noticed no issues, but behind the scenes the beacon chain which finalizes everything was not working so these transactions were more susceptible to reversion than would have ordinarily been the case. Ethereum core developers released patches for the two clients affected by the issue (Go-based Prysm from Prysmatic Labs and Java-based Teku from ConsenSys), which had been caused by exceptionally high load on the nodes running these clients.

The Dash network and chain stalled on May 22 for 16 hours, due to a glitch caused by the upgrading the BLS threshold cryptography to an industry standard in v19. The core team produced a quick patch (v19.1) to halt deployment of v19 and this allowed the network to resume after 16 hours of downtime. A fix for the issue and another attempt to deploy the changes will be included in v19.2.

Halborn has documented several issues discovered while auditing the Dogecoin codebase, but which also apply to a number of forks of the same Bitcoin lineage, including Litecoin and Zcash. They refer to these as “The Rab13s Vulnerabilities”, and the most exploitable ones would allow attackers to take nodes offline, with others allowing remote code execution but only with valid credentials, making exploiting the issue more difficult.

The new BRC-20 token standard for Bitcoin inscriptions (NFTs) which was launched in March has reached a combined (notional) market valuation of $1 billion. This milestone was reached after ORDI, the first BRC-20 token, was listed on some major exchanges.

Bitcoin has set a new record in daily transactions. The trend of minting fungible tokens with the BRC-20 standard is spreading to Litecoin and Dogecoin chains, similarly raising their transaction activity levels.

There has been some criticism of the inefficiency of storage of the BRC-20 data on-chain, suggestions that not spending the time to encode data as binary is costing 4x as much in transaction fees. The choice was apparently made due to a desire to have the on chain data be human-readable, but there are suggestions that using a lot more block space may have been deliberate on the part of the designers.

Taproot Assets v0.2 was released, adding a set of tools that developers can use on testnet to issue, transfer and discover assets on the Taproot Assets Protocol (formerly Taro). Taproot Assets Protocol is aiming to provide a more scalable way to handle assets on the bitcoin chain by handling most transactions off-chain, as opposed to Ordinal inscriptions which use block space in an inefficient manner and cause a material increase in fees for all users of the network. Version 0.2 adds support for “virtual Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions” (vPSBTs), which will allow developers to more easily handle Taproot Assets. Lightning network support for assets and stablecoins is one of the big targets for a future release, geared towards use in emerging markets.

Richard Heart’s Pulsechain (an Ethereum fork), which is a long anticipated part of the HEX ecosystem, launched, along with “PulseX” decentralized exchange (a Uniswap fork). These launches have been much anticipated by the HEX community, since years before they pivoted to become forks of Ethereum software. However the aim of lowering fees for HEX users does not seem to have been met, because of the lengthy sequence of transactions required to bridge assets to and from Pulsechain. Furthermore, significant liquidity issues made it difficult for users to obtain PLS that they could use to pay gas fees, resulting in many users being stuck without the right kind of tokens to use the network at all and these only being available at extortionate mark-ups. The prices for all the related tokens have been in a steep decline.

DeFi lending protocol AAVE approved and deployed a change to its smart contracts on Ethereum, Polygon and Avalanche networks, the change was intended to adjust interest rate calculations but, due to a function formatting error, broke the protocol on the Polygon chain. User funds worth around $120M were unavailable while a proposal to fix the error worked its way through the governance process, taking around a week to resolve the issue.

The DAO for development of OFAC-sanctioned ETH mixing service Tornado Cash was taken over by a hacker who granted themselves 1.2 million TORN tokens and used these to approve spends from the DAO’s Treasury fund. The code to allow the hack was recently passed within a legitimate-looking proposal which was approved by the usual Tornado DAO governance process. The hack did not affect the Tornado Cash mixer itself, but rather the smart contracts associated with the DAO. After a few days the attacker made a proposal to reset the changes they had made and return the unspent tokens they had granted themselves, returning control to the DAO after pocketing around $900,000 of ETH mixed through Tornado Cash.

Binance has been compiling lists of “no-progress projects” which it has listed for trade, and has started adding them to the “Innovation Zone”, on a pathway to delisting if they don’t start demonstrating some progress. CZ has already realized that this may necessitate a re-naming of the “Innovation Zone”.

Bittrex filed for bankruptcy in Delaware but with a plan to reimburse all customer asset deposits, with the global Bittrex entity seemingly unaffected.

Silvergate Capital has been delisted from NYSE and gone into liquidation. It is the parent company of Silvergate Bank, once the largest crypto banking partner. Silvergate bank was wound down in March after a rush of customer withdrawals following the collapse of FTX meant they made a loss of $1 billion in the last quarter of 2022.

Ledger hardware wallet has been recovering from a PR fail of the messaging around a new seed backup feature, Ledger Recover. The ex-CEO added fuel to the fire when he addressed concerns about seeds being exported by the new firmware by stating that users were already trusting Ledger to not deploy this kind of backdoor seed-exporting firmware, so he couldn’t see the big deal.

The finance ministers of the EU’s Council have signed off on the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA), meaning that its provisions will come into force in June or July 2024. MiCA will require crypto firms to seek licenses to operate in the EU, and sets requirements like reserve holdings for stablecoins. Alongside MiCA some new measures were agreed to mandate sharing of information about crypto holdings of EU citizens with tax authorities.

A supply chain attack from 2022 with a tampered Trezor device has been documented. The user bought the device from an online marketplace and their crypto disappeared about a month after they started using it. Upon inspection some dodgy firmware had been installed which would cycle between 20 pre-set seeds rather than generating a random seed, and would only use the first character of any password set — so that the device could only generate 1,280 different private keys, a manageable number for the attackers to watch.

Ishan Wahi, the Coinbase manager accused of insider trading to profit from new listings was sentenced to 2 years in prison after pleading guilty. Wahi provided the information to his brother and another man, who made over $1 million trading on the information. Wahi’s brother pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

That’s all for May. Suggest news for the next issue in our #journal chat room.

About

This is issue 59 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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, karamble, l1ndseymm, phoenixgreen, richardred, zippycorners
  • reviews and feedback: davecgh
  • title image: Exitus
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — May 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — April 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-april-2023-c4e9bcaadb60?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — April 2023

Image: Untitled by @Exitus

Highlights of April:

  • Decred DEX saw a major new release shipping around 8 months of dev work, including ETH and USDC trading.
  • v1.7.7 of the core Decred software has been released, featuring optimizations and bug fixes as well as ta feature allowing Decrediton users to vote on individual TSpends.
  • Another new Bison Relay release deployed many of the improvements to UX and onboarding.

Contents:

· Core Software v1.7.7 Release
· DCRDEX v0.6.0 Release
· Bison Relay v0.1.7 Release
· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Events
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

Core Software v1.7.7 Release

Highlights of the v1.7.7 release:

  • dcrd got a few optimizations to use a bit less bandwidth and CPU in certain scenarios.
  • dcrwallet got many bug fixes and performance improvements for SPV mode, ticket buying, and mixing. In particular, this benefits heavily-used wallets that contain many transactions.
  • Decrediton gained voting for individual TSpend transactions, redesigned launcher views that educate the user while the wallet is loading, redesigned Trezor views, an upgrade to DCRDEX v0.6.0 with ETH and USDC trading, and a number of bug fixes.

Visit the GitHub release for the full list of changes and downloads. As always, we recommend to verify the files before running.

Image: New launcher views — learn about Decred while the wallet is syncing

DCRDEX v0.6.0 Release

The long-awated v0.6 has shipped around 8 months of development work. Major changes since v0.5:

  • ETH and ERC-20 wallets and trading
  • Built-in light wallets for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) allow to store and trade funds without running full nodes
  • Registration fee is replaced with fidelity bonds, time-locked funds that can be returned back to the user
  • Ability to connect to a DEX server in view-only mode
  • Restyled Markets and Wallets pages with different layouts for various screen sizes
  • Experimental market maker bot

Other notable changes:

  • Manual peer management controls
  • Fee estimates on Send pages
  • Ability to disable an existing wallet
  • Archiving of older order data
  • Snappier order placement
  • Recent matches shown on the Markets page
  • Numerous improvements and fixes in Electrum support, Ethereum support, order tracking and presentation, error reporting, fee estimation, translations, and more

There are 3 ways to obtain DCRDEX:

  • As part of the Decrediton wallet (all integrated, no separate app to run, signed by Decred Release key)
  • Standalone dexc app from core software release (more CPU and OS options, signed by Decred Release key)
  • Standalone dexc app from DCRDEX’s own release (has a more Windows-friendly build with a system tray icon and no terminal window, signed by DEX developers)

Please take the time to read Important Notices to learn about specifics of non-custodial P2P trading.

Tips:

  • Check new video guides on setting up the DEX in Decrediton and setting up light built-in wallets for LTC, BCH, and BTC, and more on @DecredTV.
  • Built-in LTC wallet can be slow to get started as it searches for a node that supports compact block filters. Users can go to DEX wallet page, click Litecoin -> Settings -> Manage Peers, and manually add one peer from this list to help boostrap the process.
  • Market maker bot can be enabled by running DEX client with –experimental flag and selecting “Market Making” from the hamburger menu. Be sure to turn up the “oracle weight”. The bot helps to add liquidity but should be used with care while it is considered experimental.
Image: Updated trading view in DCRDEX v0.6.0
Image: Updated wallet view in DCRDEX v0.6.0

Bison Relay v0.1.7 Release

New release has landed just 4 weeks since v0.1.6 RC1. Notable changes in v0.1.7 final:

  • Improved onboarding flows thanks to new pre-funded invites, prepaid server-based invites, and automated wallet setup
  • Right-clicking a username opens a menu, making tipping much easier
  • Button to suggest a user to exchange keys with another user (i.e. introduce one to another)
  • UI notifications for new posts and new comments to existing posts
  • Send and receive DCR on-chain (can be used to withdraw DCR from Bison Relay)
  • Improved and fixed scrolling behavior
  • Listing of all own posts
  • Better UX for adding files to posts
  • Received files can be opened directly from BR
  • Improved macOS installer, the app is signed and notarized
  • More details in the Bison Relay Development section below

Get the latest release binaries on GitHub. Bison Relay downloads can now be verified thanks to the added signatures made by the same key that signs Decred releases (Decred Release with fingerprint F516ADB7A069852C7C28A02D6D897EDF518A031D).

Check the install guide and the tipping guide to avoid common issues with receiving tips. Find more Bison Relay video guides at @DecredTV.

Image: Bison Relay v0.1.7
Image: Oprah’s tipping in action in Bison Relay

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

dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.

Past changes backported to v1.7.7 release:

  • Increased minimum Go version to 1.17 for peer and addrmgr modules to enable Go toolchain optimizations like module graph pruning and lazy module loading. peer and addrmgr modules provide a solid foundation for building software that talks to the Decred network.
  • Increased version of the peer-to-peer protocol used by the peer module to no longer use the reject message (we explained it in the November issue).
  • Fixed caching of other peers’ inventory (small traffic optimization).
  • Optimized peer address selection and mitigated excessive CPU usage in testnet scenarios.
  • Updated code formatting, build scripts and README for Go 1.20.
  • Updated to latest sys module (low-level interaction with the operating system) to support building on OpenBSD with 64-bit RISC-V processors.
  • All backported changes have been added to the release branch as opposed to just increasing module version numbers in the go.mod file. This makes building from the release branch easier for some developers.

Changes merged in master towards future releases:

  • Added definitions for the upcoming consensus votes to change the proof-of-work hashing to BLAKE3 and to reduce PoW block rewards. These changes will be documented more formally in Decred Change Proposals DCP-11 and DCP-12, respectively. The definitions only add basic information like vote description, choices, and validity dates. Code implementing the real changes will be added separately.
  • Implemented the DCP-12 consensus vote. If it passes, block reward split will change to 1% PoW, 89% PoS, 10% Treasury.
  • Added a function for generating a private key using a custom source of entropy. Having such a function in dcrd allows to remove duplication from other Decred packages.
  • Code refactoring and cleanup.
  • Versions of several modules have been bumped to enable Go’s module graph pruning across the codebase.

dcrwallet

dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.

Changes backported to v1.7.7 release:

  • Added watchlast option to limit initially watched addresses, which benefits large wallets with many old addresses.
  • Removed needless balance calculation when using the ticket auto buyer. This improves performance for more active wallets.
  • Fixed an edge case where ticket purchasing is cancelled due to a change of the ticket price, leading to some wallet’s transactions not being discovered.
  • Implemented a faster way to select random UTXOs (aka “coins”) used to create new transactions.
  • Avoid creating small mix change so that the unmixed account is not filled with these outputs that are too small to mix, and too tempting to spend together. “Mix change” are special outputs of mix transactions that are created when the DCR amount sent into the mix does not divide evenly by the mix denomination. For example look at this mix: 3.2189 DCR goes into the mix and the outputs include 17 outputs of the standard mix denomination of 0.1678 DCR (totalling 2.8521 DCR) and 7 “change” outputs of smaller size (totalling 0.3666 DCR). According to mix.decred.org, mix change is not anonymous and can be used to damage the privacy of mixes. dcrwallet can anonymize such change by carefully mixing it, but this cannot be done for change outputs smaller than 0.00264314 DCR (smallest mix denomination of 0.00262144 DCR plus default fee). Instead of creating such small outputs that should not be used anyway, their value is rolled into the transaction fee.

Changes merged in master towards future releases:

  • Cleaned up and simplified public API of internal VSP code. This is part of consolidating VSP code in the vspd repository for easier maintenance and code reuse.
  • Removed ticket revocation support from the VSP client. This removes a significant dependency from the VSP code, and it is unnecessary anyway because revocations are automatic since DCP-9.
  • Fixed max VSP fee set in the config not being respected and always overridden with the hard-coded value of 0.2 DCR. Also, VSP config validation has been moved to startup code so that invalid options are reported earlier.
  • Code maintenance and 1 concurrency fix.

dcrctl

dcrctl is a command-line client for dcrd and dcrwallet.

  • Updates for the v1.7.7 release: switch to latest GitHub build code, Go 1.20, and latest dcrwallet code.

Decrediton

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).

Changes backported to v1.7.7 release:

  • ~34 commits with all fixes and improvements made since November 2022.
  • Updated to include DCRDEX v0.6.0.
  • Fixed a bug on the Send form that caused wrong DCR amount to be reported or sent in some scenarios.
  • Fixed delay when opening wallet by removing the unnecessary fetching of VSP info.
  • Fixed loading status on Process Managed/Unmanaged Tickets views and added tests for them. These views help to ensure that all tickets are registered with VSPs and their fees are paid.
  • Fixed ETH showing as not supported in the DEX window. Release binaries were quickly rebuilt to include this fix.

See the release notes for a summary of all changes since v1.7.6.

vspd

vspd is server software used by Voting Service Providers. A VSP votes on behalf of its users 24/7 and cannot steal funds.

  • Updated to latest Decred modules from dcrd and dcrwallet.
  • Code maintenance.

Lightning Network

dcrlnd is Decred’s Lightning Network node software. LN enables instant and low-cost transactions.

  • Backported a change from upstream lnd to bring account-related functions (import account, import a single public key, list accounts, etc.). On top of that a few more features have been added: creating additional wallet accounts, exporting individual private keys, and spending specific UTXOs. The goal for these changes is to allow users to create an account from which individual private keys may be extracted and then spent. This is used in Bison Relay for funding prepaid invites.
  • Updated to latest Decred modules from dcrd and dcrwallet.
  • Added RPC request for getting information about a transaction that belongs to LN wallet.

cspp

cspp is a server for coordinating coin mixes using the CoinShuffle++ protocol. It is non-custodial, i.e. never holds any funds. CSPP is part of StakeShuffle, Decreds privacy system.

  • Project Lead Jake Yocom-Piatt reports peer-to-peer mixing will eventually replace the central server that coordinates mixes currently.

DCRDEX

DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.

Client changes included in v0.6.0 release:

  • Do not put web server’s address to Content Security Policy (CSP) HTTP header if it is an IPv6 address. This is a fix for a workaround for a Safari bug that resulted some in icons not loading properly.
  • Fixed potential integer overflow when calculating Ethereum transaction confirmations.
  • A few smaller fixes.

All other changes below are merged in master towards future releases.

Client:

  • Show a notification when failing to connect to a wallet.
  • Default to using 127.0.0.1 IPv4 address when it is not specified in the config. This helps to satisfy the Content Security Policy protocol in a way that also work-arounds a bug in Safari. The new default avoids an issue where some icons are not loading properly because of CSP failures.
  • Always show market’s recent matches. Previously the Recent Matches list was cleared in some situations like restarting the client.
  • Show order rate even if the order box is collapsed. Rate (price) is important info that must be visible without having to click to expand order details.
  • Removed excess trailing zeroes from some UI elements and improved overall consistency of number formatting.
  • Remember last selected candle size across page reloads. Default candle size changed from 5 min to 1 hour.
  • Track confirmations for the redeem transaction and retry it if necessary. This is addressing an edge case when the mempool is so full that transactions paying lower fees are purged and never mined. Such transactions must be retried later, possibly with a higher fee.
  • Added release notes for v0.6.0.
  • Fixed market prices on the left sidebar getting out of sync.
  • Fixed handling of server notifications that may come before client’s markets are initialized.
  • Fixed error during shutdown when running in Decrediton.
  • Fixed ~2 smaller UI bugs.

Ethereum:

  • Show more meaningful Walle Types such as “RPC” for ETH wallets powered by 3rd party data providers and “Ethereum token” for USDC wallets.
  • Updated docs: Removed ArchiveNode.io provider which is shutting down, advised against using Flashbots.net, added Wallet Recovery tips.
  • Refactored code for rotating bonds to integrate ETH bonds more easily.
  • Changed to broadcast transactions to all RPC providers instead of only one preferred provider. This should help ensure the transactions quickly propagate and are mined.
  • Added config guide link to forms related to wallet setup. Also two input fields will be shown for RPC providers instead of one. It is important that users understand that provider’s failure may lead to loss of funds, and configure 2 or more providers to always have a fallback.
  • Added a developer tool for getting gas estimates for DEX-critical operations on Ethereum. It will help to add new tokens or new contract versions.

Litecoin:

Zcash:

  • Replaced usages of deprecated address methods for Zcash. This requires zcashd v5.4.2 or newer.
  • Added initial infrastructure for shielded pools, a Zcash feature enabling private balances and transactions. First stage of Zcash privacy integration will be limited to shielding/unshielding own funds, and sending from own shielded to arbitrary shielded or transparent addresses. Only transparent addresses will be involved in swap activity initially.
  • Fixed spelling of Zcash across the codebase.

DigiByte:

  • DigiByte swaps have been tested on mainnet, DGB support has been merged and is planned for the upcoming v0.6.1.
  • Running a DigiByte full node is currently the only option since it is based on Bitcoin Core v0.17 and has no compact filters support (so DEX cannot implement a light built-in wallet for DGB). A big upgrade to Bitcoin Core v22 features is in progress so this may change in the future.
  • For some background, DGB community members expressed interest back in November 2022 and have been active on Twitter and DEX’s GitHub. @chappjc created a patch that improves DigiByte node’s performance on testnet to facilitate the development. In March 2023 Decred stakeholders approved DGB integration as part of the latest DEX development proposal.
  • Note that this stage is just software support in DCRDEX, getting DGB markets up and running is a separate task.

Server:

  • Removed server startup requirement of having DCR registration fees configured, and removed code strictly tied to DCR fees. This old code was made obsolete by the ability to pay the registration fee in assets other than DCR. Now with the transition to fidelity bonds the multi-asset registration fee support is itself deprecated, but it will remain available for some time.
  • Fixed startup balance check bug that could erroneously unbook an order.

Other:

  • Many less exciting but necessary changes are made behind the scenes to add new assets more smoothly, such as code refactoring, cleanup, build code optimization, etc.
  • Some of the fixes listed above will be backported to the upcoming v0.6.1 release.
  • Umbrel integration has been completed. Decred’s Umbrel Community App Store has been updated with the latest Docker image including DEX v0.6.0 release. Umbrel installation links have been added to dex.decred.org. Finally, DEX v0.6 release on Umbrel has been announced on Twitter.
  • Litecoin node operators are advised to upgrade their nodes to v0.21 and enable compact block filters. Currently it is hard for the built-in SPV wallet to find its first peer because not as many public full nodes serve compact filters. DCRDEX users can work-around this by manually adding peers from this list.

In progress:

Image: DigiByte is coming to DCRDEX
Image: Umbrel is one more way to get DCRDEX

decred.org

dcrweb is the source code for the decred.org website.

Bison Relay

Bison Relay is a new social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.

New features have been first tested by the community in Release Candidate 1 which revealed a few bugs that got fixed in v0.1.7 final.

Common changes in GUI and CLI apps in v0.1.7:

GUI app changes in v0.1.7:

  • Added a menu command to suggest one user to do a key exchange with another user. This allows to connect two users together by mediating their key exchange.
  • Made received files interactive: each file has an icon indicating its type, and clicking the file opens it with a program as configured in the operating system.
  • Added tooltip explaining the Cost field when sharing content (it is the price users will pay to download content).
  • Added context menu when right clicking user name in various places like chat, user list, feed, or post comments. This provides faster access to tipping and other actions on users.
  • Improved UX for embedding files in posts. Several users failed to press the + button to add a file, resulting in posts without images. The confusing + button has been removed and files are now added in one action.
  • Added a page listing all own posts.
  • Added prepaid invites. When such an invite is imported its DCR will automatically fund the Bison Relay wallet of the invited user.
  • Added wallet account management (create and list accounts) and the ability to send and receive DCR with on-chain (not LN) transactions. With this BR can act as a simple DCR wallet, becoming a third actively supported GUI wallet after Decrediton and DCRDEX.
  • Added server-based invites (aka RV-based invites) which avoid the need for exchanging invite files. Instead the invite is pushed to the server and its download is pre-paid by the sender. Receiving user may fetch such invite without having any funds to pay the server. If the invite has any DCR in it, it can be redeemed to bootstrap new user’s wallet for using Bison Relay.
  • Added automated onboarding flow using server-based invites. It performs all wallet setup tasks if given an appropriate prepaid invite key. Tasks include: fetch the invite, redeem funds, open outbound and inbound LN channels, and perform an initial key exchange with the user who created the invite.
  • Fixed unwanted newline getting inserted when sending with the Enter key and the cursor is not at the end of the line. Also fixed sending of empty messages.
  • Fixed a few input forms not responding to Enter key, which normally submits the form.
  • Fixed and improved chat scroll behavior. New messages will no longer cause scrolling to the bottom and loss of scroll position. After leaving and returning to a chat it will scroll to the bottom like in Element. Scroll to first unread message has been added.
  • Fixed error message when using Query Route feature to check if there is a valid route to the LN node used by the Bison Relay server.

GUI app issues found in v0.1.7 Release Candidate 1 and fixed in v0.1.7 final:

  • Added notifications for new posts and new comments to existing posts. If there are unread items, icons on the main sidebar will change, Feed items will be tagged with “New Post” or “New Comments”, and new comments will show in bold until the user clicks away from the post.
  • Updated icons for macOS and Windows, changed app name from “bruig” to “bisonrelay”.
  • Fixed New Post button navigating to a wrong page.
  • Fixed icons being hard to see in dark mode.
  • Fixed Chats tab behaving like like the user has no contacts yet and showing the initial invite prompt, until the app syncs with the network. This has been replaced with loading animation while the address book is loading.

CLI app changes in v0.1.7:

  • Added an option to the /channels command to show additional info for LN channels.
  • Fixed attempt to load TLS certificate when its path is empty on the “Request receive capacity” view.
  • Updated the build script and removed leftovers from ZKC (Bison Relay’s predecessor).

Changes merged in master towards future releases:

  • Fixed possible crash of the CLI app when listing LN channel balances with /ln channels command.
  • Updated GUI app styles for new post and new comment notifications.

Other stuff:

  • Tipping bot Oprah will be sending messages to users when it fails to send a tip. This way, tip recipients will be notified of issues with their receive channels.
  • Existing public group chats will be upgraded to support multiple admins and utilize the new onboarding admin bot. Members of such rooms should upgrade to v0.1.6 or higher.
  • New admin bot will further streamline onboarding by helping new users discover public channels and inviting them automatically, removing the wait for a manual invite.
  • After the onboarding work developers plan to work on pages, stores and mobile apps.
Image: Bison Relay can now be used as a simple DCR wallet
Image: Tipping users in Bison Relay got much easier
Image: Friendly bot helps to discover public chats

Other

  • Decred’s own release build tool gained build flavors which will be used by DCRDEX builds with Windows system tray integration. Support for OpenBSD on 64-bit ARM has been added. Windows on 64-bit ARM was explored but removed due to one dependency not supporting it yet.
  • decred-release automatic installer has been updated with hashes and signatures for v1.7.7 release.
  • dcrtest integration test framework has been updated to latest Go modules from dcrd.
  • During the reproducible building session for v1.7.7 release developers encountered a mismatch in go-ethereum builds for DCRDEX, which turned out to be “a doozy of a compiler bug” (it is quite an achievement to hit a compiler bug!) and another bug in Go building code. Investigation has delayed the release by a few days, eventually both bugs got fixed and the fixes will ship in Go 1.21 and Go 1.20.4.

People

Welcome the new first-time contributors:

Congratulations to @norwnd for getting the Decred Contractor Clearance!

Community stats as of May 3 (compared to Apr 3):

  • Twitter followers: 53,077 (-112)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,701 (+23)
  • Matrix #general users: 763 (+2)
  • Discord users: 1,573 (+17), verified to post: 921 (-2)
  • Telegram users: 2,508 (-111)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,630 (+0), views: 228.1K (+1.6K)

Governance

In April the new treasury received 7,958 DCR worth $161K at April’s average rate of $20.22. 3,087 DCR was spent to pay contractors, worth $62K at April’s average rate.

A treasury spend tx was approved with 6,900 Yes votes and 54% turnout, and mined on Apr 16. It had 23 outputs making payments to contractors, ranging from 7 DCR to 1,102 DCR. Most of this DCR was likely paid for February work, at its billing exchange rate of $24.03 the TSpend is worth around $74K.

As of May 9, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 856,305 DCR ($14.5 million USD at $16.96).

Image: Decred Treasury balance in DCR
Image: Decred Treasury balance in USD

There were 2 new proposals submitted in April:

  • Decred Vanguard is a new initiative to fund a community-driven outreach team with a budget of $46,784. There will be up to 25 paid positions for participants to receive $100/month, as well as $100 prizes for good contributions from inside and outside the Vanguard team.
  • BTC-ECHO, a German crypto news site, submitted a proposal requesting $9,500 for 2 sponsored articles and related promotion, running over a period of 3 months.

@jy-p’s proposal to change the reward distribution so that PoW miners get just 1% and the hashing algorithm changes was approved with 97% Yes votes and turnout of 62%. @bee has compiled the most common questions and answers from the highly active comments on the proposal. The development work needed to implement the DCP-12 change has already been merged to master.

A proposal from @joegruff to develop Decrediton support for Ledger hardware was approved with 89% Yes votes and 39% turnout.

See Politeia Digest issue 59 for more details on the month’s proposals.

Network

New ATHs in April:

  • Staked DCR: 9,882,748.69 DCR
  • Mixed and unspent DCR: 9,380,774.51 DCR
  • LN nodes: 192
  • LN channels: 392
  • LN capacity: 163.63 DCR

Hashrate: April’s hashrate opened at ~94 Ph/s and closed ~76 Ph/s, bottoming at 62 Ph/s and peaking at 94 Ph/s throughout the month.

Image: Decred hashrate

Distribution of 72 Ph/s hashrate reported by the pools on May 1: Poolin 64%, F2Pool 30%, AntPool 6%, CoinMine 0.3%.

Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by May 1: Poolin 63%, F2Pool 28%, AntPool 6%, BTC.com 2.5%, CoinMine 0.2%.

Image: Historical pool hashrate distribution

Staking: Ticket price varied between 236–253 DCR.

Image: Ticket price has been unusually stable in April

The locked amount was 9.75–9.88 million DCR, meaning that 64.6–65.3% of the circulating supply participated in Proof of Stake.

Image: DCR locked in tickets is crawling up

VSP: The 14 listed VSPs collectively managed ~6,960 (-240) live tickets, which was 17.1% of the ticket pool (-0.5%) as of May 1.

Biggest gainer in April was vspd.bass.cf (+165 tickets or +27%). Two VSPs got delisted.

Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs

Nodes: Decred Mapper observed between 163 and 171 dcrd nodes throughout the month. Versions of 166 nodes seen on May 1: v1.7.5–28%, v1.7.1–21%, v1.8.0 dev builds — 13%, v1.7.2–12%, v1.7.7–11%, v1.7.0–5%, v1.7.4–4%, other — 7%.

Image: Historical dcrd version distribution, data from nodes.jholdstock.uk. Data before Jan 2023 was incomplete.

The share of mixed coins varied between 61.0–61.8%. Daily mixed volume varied between 303–502K DCR.

Image: Mixed supply is on the rise
Image: Uptick in “adjusted transaction volume” as defined by Coin Metrics, in both DCR and USD

Decred’s Lightning Network explorer has seen 196 nodes (+21), 399 channels (+45) with a total capacity of 163 DCR (+34), as of May 1. These stats are different for each node. For example, @karamble’s node reported 193 nodes (+18), 429 channels (+53) and 174 DCR (+39) capacity on same day May 1.

Decred’s LN has surpassed Litecoin LN in node count and channel count, and is getting close in capacity according to Litecoin LN data from 1ML.com.

Image: Decred’s Lightning Network is seeing more nodes

@bochinchero created charts showing balances of top mining addresses against DCR’s price history and key events like ASIC launch dates and CEX listings. While not providing much analysis or commentary on its own, it contributes to the collective research of miners’ participation in malicious suppression of DCR markets, which is the key argument of the recent proposal to reduce mining rewards to 1% and change the mining algorithm.

Image: Combined balance of top 22 mining addresses vs DCR price history

Ecosystem

Services gained or listed:

  • New DCR/USDC, BTC/USDC and ETH/BTC pairs are live at dex.decred.org. DEX client version 0.6.0 or higher is required to create ETH and USDC wallets and trade.
  • Bison Relay has been added to Community links at decred.org.
  • Trocador.app has been added to Exchanges, it is a meta exchanger that finds quotes from various services and then fronts it for the user via their APIs. It works without JavaScript and over Tor (they even have an Onion URL). A useful feature of Trocador is it rates the probability of each backend provider forcing KYC/AML after the fact. This is the biggest risk with instant exchanges other than outright scamming. Additionally, Trocador may reimburse some of the exchanged amount if for some reason the backend provider fails to send funds or provide some proof of a legal order justifying it. DCR was listed in February 2023.
Image: Trocador.app finds best rates, isolates from vendors, and warns about KYC risks

Services lost or delisted:

  • VSP dcrpool.ibitlin.com has been removed from the VSP list after being offline since Feb 28, last time it reported 4 live tickets. This VSP had been serving since Jan 2021 and voted ~1,200 tickets with a miss ratio of 0.75%. The fee was 1% of the ticket reward.
  • VSP dcrvsp.dittrex.com has been removed from VSPs, it was last seen online on Apr 04 with 2 live tickets. The owner clarified on GitHub that the VSP is being retired. It had been serving since Apr 2021 and voted ~500 tickets, missing only 0.6% of them. This one had a 5% fee.
  • Metal Pay was removed from Exchanges, it disabled buy orders for DCR as reported in March issue.
  • GloBee was removed from Exchanges. A payment processor founded by Monero’s fluffypony and others, is now offline. We could not find any shutdown announcement on its Twitter or elsewhere. Last snapshot of the website was made in January.
  • dcrstats.com is offline since around early April, it was a network stats dashboard popular in the early years of Decred.

Other news:

  • Bittrex has been charged by U.S. SEC for operating unregistered securities exchange. This came shortly after the March announcement that Bittrex is leaving U.S. markets. So far we have not seen information suggesting it may impact non-U.S. users of Bittrex Global.

Coming changes to Decred’s chat platforms:

  • All chat bridges are being taken down except for the bridge between Matrix and Bison Relay.
  • Discord is likely going to be shut down completely. Without the bridged content it may become a ghost town, and without enough moderators watching it will be taken over by spammers or scammers.
  • Decred Telegram will continue to function as usual with the same rules but without the bridge (it was disabled in 2021 due to high amount of spam).
  • Decred Trading Telegram was renamed to Bison Time and Decred branding has been removed.
  • Decred Support Telegram has been unbridged, locked, and now just redirects to Matrix #support.
  • #trading on Matrix will become subject to same moderation rules as the other chat rooms.
  • #support on Matrix becomes the only chat that is actively monitored by developers. All support requests will be redirected to this Matrix chat.

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.

Outreach

Monde PR’s achievements:

  • Pitched 1 news announcement
  • Pitched 6 media opportunities

Secured the following media placements:

  • An article in Invezz about the launch of DCRDEX 0.6. The article was syndicated to 5 publications including Bitcoin Insider.
  • An article in CoinJournal about the launch of DCRDEX 0.6. The article was syndicated to 3 publications including Crypto News BTC.
  • @jy-p appeared on the Entangled Things Podcast talking about the threat of quantum computing to cryptocurrencies.
  • @jy-p appeared on the MineYourBiz Show talking about the current state of the Decred project and its new privacy features.

Events

Upcoming:

  • @arij and @khalidesi are going to GITEX AFRICA as both visitors and Decred representatives. This is a large tech event held in Marrakech, Morocco, from May 31 to June 2. If anyone plans to attend or has suggestions please join Matrix #events chat.

Media

Selected articles:

Whatever the outcome, the next year or so will be an interesting ride. If you’re here for cypherpunk ideals (innovation, decentralisation, non-custodial solution and development), it’s hard not to be enthusiastic for the future. [@OfficialCryptos]

Decred Magazine engagement Stats for April:

  • Total number of articles on DM: 444
  • Newsletter subscribers: 96
  • New DM posts and newsletters sent: 16
  • Active social media campaigns: 46
  • Completed social media campaigns: 38
  • Social media posts: 212
  • Likes: 1,230
  • Re-tweets: 260
  • Social media followers across all platforms and accounts (including @DecredSociety): 1300

Videos:

With Bison Relay, you are no longer the product. Your content and opinions have always had monetary value, but the main difference here is the value belongs to the creator, not the platform. [@phoenixgreen]

Livestream:

Audio:

Translations:

Non-English content:

Discussions:

  • Bison Relay post about how junk follower accounts on Twitter can be used to reduce visibility of the targeted account
  • A convo about coin centralization
  • Decred pitch by 0x69b9

Other:

Markets

In April DCR was trading between USDT 17.91–25.18 and BTC 0.00061–0.00089. The average daily rate was $20.22.

Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD

Relevant External

Bitcoin Ordinals continued to grow, with over 2.5 million being minted so far, with a peak of 223K in a single day, increasing the number of daily Bitcoin transactions to levels not seen since 2017. Much of the recent Ordinals activity is around a new BRC-20 standard for minting fungible tokens in a series.

Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade was activated on mainnet, allowing ETH holders who have been staking their ETH, some of it for years, to finally withdraw it from the staking contract.

The issuer of USDC stablecoin, Circle, has released details of a new method for transferring the asset between blockchains without “lock-and-mint” bridges which have proven to be a great target for hackers — they’re calling it “Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol” or CCTP.

Crypto exchange Bittrex has been charged with violating securities laws by the SEC. The charge names 6 tokens as securities which Bittrex should have registered to trade: OMG Network (OMG), Dash (DASH), Algorand (ALGO), Monolith (TKN), NAGA (NGC), and IHT Real Estate Protocol (IHT). The naming of DASH as a security has been viewed as reflecting a particularly aggressive stance, Dash development is funded by block rewards and it had no (official) pre-mine.

Coinbase has continued in its efforts to engage with the SEC and seek clarity on how they define crypto securities by suing the SEC in an attempt to force it to make its criteria public and clarify its decisions.

Gary Gensler has appeared in a congressional hearing in which he answered some questions about the SEC’s approach, but not whether ETH is classified as a security. He also released a new video comparing crypto securities to dogs impersonating goldfish, in his signature condescending style.

The European Parliament has voted in favor of the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) licensing regime with 90% Yes votes and turnout of 97%, paving the way for it to become law across the EU in 2024. While the regulations have been welcomed by the industry for the clarity they will bring, many crypto privacy enthusiasts are disappointed that use of mixing services will lead to funds being flagged as high risk. At the same time the parliament voted in favor of Transfer of Funds regulation which will require crypto operators to identify their customers as an anti-money-laundering step — final voting figures were 92% Yes votes with 98% of eligible MEPs voting.

James Zhong, the man who was found to have over 50,000 BTC which he fraudulently obtained from the Silk Road by making simultaneous withdrawal requests, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, and forfeiture orders were granted for all of the BTC and associated assets he had bought with it, including an LLC real estate holding company, gold, silver and Casascius coins.

That’s all for April. Share your updates for the next issue in our #journal chat room.

About

This is issue 58 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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, karamble, l1ndseymm, phoenixgreen, richardred
  • reviews and feedback: chappjc, davecgh
  • title image: Exitus
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — April 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — March 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-march-2023-72fa34fba8f8?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — March 2023

Image: Untitled by @Exitus

Highlights of March:

  • A proposal was made and approved to change the block subsidy payout from 10/80 PoW/PoS to 1/89, as well as change the algorithm to exclude specialised hardware.
  • Bison Relay v0.1.5 was released and v0.1.6 RC1 is already out as well.
  • DCRDEX 0.6 is being beta tested and release candidates are appearing.
  • Decred Journal was one of four proposals to be approved for the month, with three for specific aspects of DCRDEX development.

Contents:

· Proposal to change PoW algorithm and reduce PoW rewards
· Bison Relay v0.1.6 Release Candidate
· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Events
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

Proposal to change PoW algorithm and reduce PoW rewards

A major change is coming to Decred’s consensus and economics. A proposal has been submitted to further reduce the Proof of Work share of rewards from 10% to 1%, increase Proof of Stake rewards from 80% to 89%, and change the mining algorithm from BLAKE-256 to BLAKE3. This will remove all currently mining ASIC hardware from the network with the goal to fix the price discovery of DCR. As of writing the proposal has been approved. Next steps will be to implement new consensus rules in code, release a new version of core software, let the network install it and let the stakeholders vote to activate the new rules. All of it should take a few months and there will be more communication about each stage on Decred’s official channels.

Bison Relay v0.1.6 Release Candidate

Two releases came out in March focused on improving group chat experience.

Highlights of v0.1.5 release:

  • New Payment Stats page
  • QR codes for deposit addresses
  • Improved error messages
  • Fixed group chat member list getting out of sync
  • Fixed group chat message ordering
  • Other bug fixes and UI tweaks

Highlights of v0.1.6 Release Candidate 1:

  • New version of group chats with support for multiple admins
  • Sidebar notifications for new messages
  • Automatic group chat invites bundled in invite files
  • Highlighting of messages with user’s nick name
  • More visible New Post button
  • All post comments are directed to the original post, comments on relayed copies are disabled
  • Many bug fixes and UI improvements in both GUI and CLI apps

Get the latest release binaries on GitHub (as of writing the Downloads page at bisonrelay.org still shows v0.1.4). Bug reports and feedback are welcome in the GitHub issue tracker and the #br chat on Matrix or Bison Relay itself.

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

dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.

Hardening of consensus change voting code continued from last month:

  • Enhanced startup validation of deployment parameters to ensure they satisfy the assumptions that the vote tallying logic relies on. For example, it checks that each vote has exactly one Abstain and one No choice, that there are no duplicate vote choices, and that choices are properly encoded in bits. This allows to optimize and simplify code related to vote tallying.
  • Added validation to ensure consensus change vote parameters don’t use special bits reserved for approving or disapproving the previous block.
  • Added validation to ensure that bits used by different votes in the same voting batch do not overlap.
  • Added validation rejecting vote choices with empty IDs. IDs are short strings summarizing what the vote choice means, they are normally “yes”, “no” or “abstain”.
  • Reworked code determining consensus vote stage and vote tallying logic to optimize it and make it easier to reason about.
  • Changed internal representation of the winning consensus vote choice for improved readability and additional protections from misusing this code.
  • Reworked tests for consensus vote processing code to make them easier to understand, test more edge cases, and do so more reliably.
  • Note that the above changes are not breaking the consensus between versions in any way, they add more checks that allow dcrd to fail earlier if it detects that any assumptions made by the consensus code are violated.

Other changes:

  • Re-request blocks and transactions sooner if the peer which was queried for them disconnects. Instead of waiting for this data to be announced again later, it will be requested immediately from peers that are known to have it.
  • Fixed caching of other peers’ known inventory. It was a very minor bug with the potential to cause slightly higher traffic than is strictly necessary.
  • Refactoring and build config updates.

dcrwallet

dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.

  • Removed needless balance calculation when using the ticket auto buyer with balance to maintain unset or zero. On busier wallets this results in a significant performance improvement.
  • Migrated to VSP client provided by the vspd repository. It is mostly the same code borrowed from dcrwallet, but consolidating VSP code in one place allows for removal of duplication that may fall out of sync, such as error codes, data structures, etc.
  • Fixed data race in SPV mode.
  • Fixed possibility of missing relevant transactions in case the ticket purchase request is cancelled due to a change of the ticket price.

Decrediton

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 progress:

  • Decrediton Ledger integration effort has been kickstarted by @JoeGruff with an initial proof of concept and a follow-up proposal to make it production ready. Currently users are required to use Ledger Live software to send/receive DCR from/to their Ledger device, but historically there have been too many technical problems with that software. Having Ledger support directly in Decrediton will give DCR holders a better choice.

Other:

  • Staking DCR with Decrediton+Trezor is again blocked by changes required in firmware. A fix has been submitted to the Trezor firmware repository in December but has not been reviewed or merged yet.

vspd

vspd is server software used by Voting Service Providers. A VSP votes on behalf of its users 24/7 and cannot steal funds.

Changes to make vspd code easier to consume by other software (such as dcrwallet):

  • Removed ability to override server signature validation with a custom function. This feature was added to facilitate testing but turned out to be unnecessary and make the VSP client library harder to consume.
  • Removed the need to convert errors in the calling code. This was required to bump the major version of the module to v2.

Other changes:

  • Added rate limiting of admin login requests (max 3 attempts per second) and a sample Nginx config to support it.
  • Added new development tool for testing various steps of the VSP protocol: create VSP fee transaction, send it to the VSP, query ticket status, and change ticket’s vote choices. VSP operators can use this tool to verify that their VSP works correctly.
  • Increased test coverage.

dcrpool

dcrpool is server software for running a mining pool.

Lightning Network

dcrlnd is Decred’s Lightning Network node software. LN enables instant and low-cost transactions.

LN Liquidity Provider (LP):

  • Added client-side sanity checks to fail earlier when it is not possible to get an inbound channel from the LP. The client will use server’s policy to determine if the server can create a channel of the desired size, and if the client will be able to pay for it. This makes it possible to avoid fetching an invoice that will not be paid.
  • Capacity to configure LP server’s invoice expiration policy. Invoices are generated by the server to collect fees for opening LN channels to clients. Server operator can now configure how long invoices are valid for, and how long clients must wait before requesting a new invoice.
  • Updated dependencies.

LN Liquidity Provider is software that takes control of a normal LN node and adds one useful feature to it: client software can ask the LP to open a channel back to the client. This gives the client additional inbound capacity and allows them to receive more funds over the Lightning Network. In return the LP operator collects a small fee for the service.

Bison Relay is a major user of Decred’s Lightning Network and benefits from improvements in both the base LN software and the Liquidity Provider.

cspp

cspp is a server for coordinating coin mixes using the CoinShuffle++ protocol. It is non-custodial, i.e. never holds any funds. CSPP is part of StakeShuffle, Decreds privacy system.

DCRDEX

DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.

Internal pre-release testing of the big v0.6 release has started with one beta and two release candidates tagged in March. All changes reported below will be included in the v0.6 release.

Client changes:

  • Removed default Bitcoin node for getting compact block filters in SPV mode. It was added when there were few public Bitcoin full nodes supporting BIP-157. Now there are plenty and removing the default one may improve connectivity because it is often overloaded.
  • Improved error message when database failed to initialize, most commonly when attempting to start a second instance of dexc.

Client fixes:

  • Fixed empty gaps between candles on the price chart.
  • Fixed inconsistent decimal precision on different UI elements.
  • Fixed price not being updated in some places.
  • Fixed reorg indication for DCR and BTC in SPV mode to match dcrd and dcrwallet. Specifically, blocks that are not on the main chain (“orphaned” blocks) will be reported as having “-1” confirmations.
  • Fixed wallet birthday showing UTC date instead of system’s local date.
  • Fixed ~5 other UI bugs and ~1 concurrency bugs.

Ethereum, client:

  • Improved handling of poor connections to RPC providers while the DEX client is shutting down.
  • Added Ethereum wallet guide wiki page.
  • Added a 20% buffer to the fee estimates ensure sending ETH will succeed even if network’s base fee jumps right before sending.
  • Updated to Geth v1.11. This is required for the Shanghai network upgrade scheduled on April 12, 2023.
  • Fixed token’s parent asset balance not being updated when cancelling an order involving that token.
  • Fixed unconfirmed transactions not being reflected in the available balance.
  • Fixed error messages.

Ethereum, server:

  • Allow server operators to rank RPC provider endpoints by priority in the config file. The healthy connection with the highest priority will always be attempted first.

Fidelity bonds:

  • UI updates to replace registration fees with bonds, including integration of bonds into account import and export flows. Different cases are considered when restoring from same or new app seed, and when using existing or creating new DEX account.
  • Implemented bonds funding with BTC in both the client and the server. It will be possible to switch bonds to use a different asset, e.g. from DCR to BTC.

Other changes:

  • Added more strict server-side checks for addresses used in swaps.
  • Updated LTC dependencies to pull in a critical fix for handling large transactions.
  • Improvements in test infrastructure, build scripts, dependency updates.

Client changes on master towards the next release (likely v0.6.1):

Other stuff:

  • DCRDEX was rejected in the official Umbrel App Store because “for crypto-related apps, we’re exclusively accepting apps that solely focus on bitcoin”. Two weeks later they tweeted that censoring developers is anti-free market, which surprised some community members in context of the rejection. DCRDEX can still be installed via Umbrel by adding DEX’es own Community App Store. The difference is it requires more manual steps and exposes DCRDEX to fewer users compared to the central official Umbrel App Store.
  • First mainnet swaps with DigiByte (DGB) have been spotted on Twitter.
Image: UI updates in DCRDEX to replace registration fees with time-locked bonds. UI design is a work in progress. DCR amounts shown are not real.

dcrdata

dcrdata is an explorer for Decred blockchain and off-chain data like Politeia proposals, markets, and more.

  • Added an allowed hosts middleware to ensure that any Host value set in the request header is on a whitelist of hosts. This prevents invalid or unexpected Host values even if dcrdata is deployed without Nginx, which normally takes care of it.
  • Updated Decred and third party Node.js modules and Go dependencies to their latest versions, and moved builds to Go 1.19 and 1.20.

Documentation

dcrdocs is the source code for Decred user documentation.

  • Added syntax highlighting to fix issues with hard to read code syntax, particularly in dark mode.
  • Updated PoS reward numbers (30% to 80%) in the proof-of-stake Overview page.
  • Added a glossary entry for “Redeem Script”.
  • Updated VSP staking information on multiple pages. This includes removing most references to Redeem Scripts, removing “legacy” staking instructions, and simplifying the remaining staking instructions.
  • Consolidated the pros and cons of using VSP and solo staking.
  • Added a note to the Redeem Script page indicating they are no longer relevant.
  • The Buying Tickets With dcrwallet page has been optimized. It now clearly separates Purchasing and Voting tickets in two steps and removes any references to the outdated dcrstakepool system.
  • Optimized Docker build: switched to much smaller image based on Alpine Linux, fixed MIME type for RSS feeds, and updated scripts to fail on error.

Dev Docs

dcrdevdocs is the source code for Decred developer documentation.

  • Upgraded to MkDocs Material 9 with improved search. Also upgraded to Python 3.11, Nginx 1.22, and optimized the Docker build.

decred.org

dcrweb is the source code for the decred.org website.

Changes to the News page:

  • A more readable news outlet name is now displayed instead of website’s domain name.
  • Outlet and author are no longer displayed for software releases.

Bison Relay

Bison Relay is a new social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.

End user binaries have been released for Bison Relay v0.1.5 with all changes and fixes we reported in the February issue. Just one week later v0.1.6 Release Candidate 1 became available for download. Below are all changes in v0.1.6 RC1 and v0.1.6 final. The latter added very minor fixes and no binaries have been made for it.

Common changes in GUI and CLI apps in v0.1.6:

  • Implemented new version of group chats that introduces support for multiple admins. Admins can invite or remove members, and assign or revoke admin privileges. The permission to kill the group chat is still only possible by the special Owner role. Existing group chats will have an option to upgrade to new version.
  • Improved error handling and logging of failed payments (such as tipping).
  • Improved help text for adding LN receive capacity.
  • Disallow comments on relayed posts. Commenting on posts will require a key exchange with the original author. Also, once the original post is received from the author, all relayed copies will be removed in favor of the original.
  • Fixed bug preventing to accept multiple group chat invites at the same time.
  • Dependency updates and internal refactoring.

GUI app changes in v0.1.6:

CLI app changes in v0.1.6:

  • Added autocompletion of user names and group chat names to various commands.
  • Added Alt+V as a Paste hotkey.
  • Added a command to decode and inspect LN invoices, improved logging of LN events (such as channel opened or closed).
  • Display invite to group chat in a private chat with the inviting user.
  • Added an option to include a group chat invite in an invite file. Invite recipient will be invited to group chat automatically after completing the initial key exchange with invite author.
  • Fixed wrapping of multi-line text.

clientrpc automation API changes in v0.1.6:

Other stuff and what to expect:

  • Image attachments are now delivered between Bison Relay and Matrix in both directions.
  • Prepaid invites have been announced, they will help to onboard new users without requiring them to obtain DCR externally and fund their Bison Relay wallet.
  • Next important milestone is prepaid group chat invites, which combine prepaid invites and bundled group chat invites.
  • The tech behind Bison Relay GUI (Flutter) provides infrastructure to build mobile apps from the same codebase. Effort is still required to adjust the UI/UX to fit the mobile platform and fix the edge cases specific to mobile, but it’s much easier compared to building mobile apps from scratch in native Android and iOS stacks.
  • In the medium term developers plan to add pages and storefronts which will take quite some work to implement.

Other

People

Community stats as of Apr 3 (compared to Mar 1):

  • Twitter followers: 53,189 (+125)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,678 (+18)
  • Matrix #general users: 761 (+11)
  • Discord users: 1,556 (-1), verified to post: 923 (-9)
  • Telegram users: 2,619 (-137)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,630 (+0), views: 226.5K (+1.9K)

Governance

In March the new treasury received 8,388 DCR worth $174K at March’s average rate of $20.69. 4,271 DCR was spent to pay contractors, worth $88K at March’s rate.

A treasury spend tx was mined on March 13, it had 27 outputs making payments to contractors, ranging from 2.7 DCR to 1,264 DCR. At January’s billing rate of $22.05 the TSpend is equivalent to $94K.

As of Apr 13, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 852,332 DCR (17.8 million USD at $20.90).

There were 7 proposals submitted in March:

  • The Decred Journal and Politeia Digest proposal requested a budget of $40,000 and was approved with 86% Yes votes and turnout of 46%.
  • There were 3 proposals from the Decred DEX team which were all approved. The main proposal for client development asked for a budget of $182,000 and was approved with 94% Yes votes and 49% turnout. A proposal to fund work on packaging the DEX software as a desktop app was funded with a budget of $29,000, 91% approval from 43% turnout. A proposal to fund development of a market maker and arbitrage bot was funded with a budget of $73,000, gaining 89% approval from the 42% of tickets that voted.
  • A proposal from Cointelegraph for $50,000 worth of content was rejected with 41% Yes votes from turnout of 51%.
  • A proposal from @jy-p to change the PoW/PoS subsidy split to 1/89 and also change the PoW algorithm to BLAKE3, removing ASIC hardware designed to mine DCR from the network.
  • A proposal from @joegruff to develop Decrediton support for Ledger hardware at a cost of $20,500.

See Politeia Digest issue 57 and issue 58 for more details on the month’s proposals.

Politeia Digest is available on: Block Commons, Decred Magazine, Medium, and GitHub.

Network

Hashrate: March’s hashrate opened at ~71 Ph/s and closed ~73 Ph/s, bottoming at 64 Ph/s and peaking at 83 Ph/s throughout the month.

Image: Decred hashrate.

Distribution of 74 Ph/s hashrate reported by the pools on Apr 1: Poolin 54%, F2Pool 35%, AntPool 11%, CoinMine 0.2%.

Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by Apr 3: Poolin 44%, F2Pool 43%, AntPool 9%, BTC.com 3%.

Image: Historical pool hashrate distribution.

Staking: Ticket price varied between 223–254 DCR.

Image: Ticket price has stabilized.

The locked amount was 9.64–9.83 million DCR, meaning that 64.0–65.2% of the circulating supply participated in Proof of Stake.

Image: DCR locked in tickets keeps crawling up.

VSP: The 16 listed VSPs collectively managed ~7,200 (-210) live tickets, which was 17.6% of the ticket pool (-0.8%) as of Apr 1.

Biggest gainers in March were ubiqsmart.com (280 tickets or +155%) and dcrhive.com (+225 tickets or +25%).

Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs.

Nodes: Decred Mapper observed between 162 and 176 dcrd nodes throughout the month. Versions of 166 nodes seen on Apr 1: v1.7.5–36%, v1.7.1–21%, v1.8.0 dev builds — 13%, v1.7.2–13%, v1.7.0–8%, v1.7.4–4%, other — 7%.

Image: Historical dcrd version distribution, data from nodes.jholdstock.uk. Data until Jan 2023 was incomplete.

The share of mixed coins varied between 60.5–61.1%. Daily mixed volume varied between 317–495K DCR.

Image: Mixed supply has recovered from a brief drop.

Decred’s Lightning Network explorer has seen 175 nodes (+17), 354 channels (+49) with a total capacity of 129 DCR (+14), as of Apr 3. These stats vary depending on the LN node. For example, @karamble’s node reported 175 nodes (+0), 376 channels (-9) and 135 DCR (-33) capacity on same day Apr 3.

Ecosystem

Metal Pay has disabled DCR trading according to a user report. This is confirmed by their support site which no longer shows DCR in the list of assets available for trading. Assets supporting deposits and withdrawals do not include DCR either, and apparently never did. Other coins delisted in the same batch with DCR include BNB, BUSD, DGB, PAX and TUSD. In the bigger picture, Metal Pay delisted 13 assets in December including XMR, ZEC, DASH and BSV. Since November 2022 the list of tradeable assets reduced from 63 to just 15. Metal Pay first listed DCR in April 2020.

Bittrex’s Instant Buy feature did not work for DCR due to low liquidity, according to a user report. This did not affect limit orders on the full trading interface.

Ledger representative came to Decred’s Matrix chat room to share a status update. The summary is: Decred support in Ledger Live is broken for some users, it is taking a long time to fix, and Ledger would love to redirect affected users to third party services compatible with their devices in the situation where an integration is broken on Ledger’s side. Therefore Ledger will benefit from the upcoming direct integration in Decrediton.

Binance announced the delisting of DCR/BTC and DCR/USDT pairs from Isolated Margin. For context, NEBL and XVG were also part of this delisting batch. Regular (Spot) DCR trading is NOT affected by this. At the same time, personal quota in the Simple Earn product has increased from 300 to 10,000 DCR per person. As of Mar 27, Simple Earn showed 1.67% APR while staking DCR directly yields about 7%/year.

Bittrex made a big announcement about shutting down U.S. operations due to regulatory and economic challenges. Per their timeline, fiat withdrawals must conclude by Apr 24 and crypto withdrawals by Apr 29 (sooner is better). Bittrex Global is not (directly) affected and will continue operations for non-U.S. customers. The move came after Bittrex was fined in December for $29 million for violating sanctions and AML regulations. Despite closing U.S. operations Bittrex may be hit by another lawsuit from the SEC for operating an unregistered securities exchange.

Join our #ecosystem chat to follow Decred ecosystem updates.

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.

Outreach

Monde PR’s achievements:

  • Pitched 2 commentary opportunities
  • Pitched 8 media opportunities

Secured the following media placements:

  • An article in Cointelegraph featuring commentary from @jz on Trezor crypto wallet’s move into the semiconductor business. The article was syndicated to 14 publications including Ethereum Today and Bitcoin Insider.
  • An article in CoinDesk featuring commentary from @jz on the long term effects of the U.S. banking crisis on crypto. The article was syndicated to 3 publications including Yahoo! Finance and Markets Insider.

Events

Attended:

  • @arij gave a presentation at Technopark Casablanca on the theme “Blockchain and Entrepreneurship”. It started with an intro to blockchain tech use cases and history, followed by a demo of Decrediton and Politeia. The attendees were of different backgrounds including finance, energy and IT sectors. The majority came in response to a LinkedIn announcement.
  • Second event by the Decred Arabia team was co-organized by the sports association of Aïn Chock and the District Council of Aïn Chock Casablanca. @khalidesi presented an introduction to blockchains on day 1 and application of blockchains and the Decred example on day 2. The theme was to demonstrate how the blockchain can improve the way businesses operate and promote greater economic and social inclusion.

Upcoming:

  • @elian will present the latest updates from Decred in Monerotopia in Mexico City on May 5, 6, and 7. Decred will have a small booth.

Media

Selected articles:

Decred Magazine engagement stats for March:

  • Total number of articles on DM: 427
  • Newsletter subscribers: 93
  • New DM posts and newsletters sent: 18
  • Active social media campaigns: 35
  • Completed social media campaigns: 35
  • Social media posts: 127
  • Likes: 709
  • Re-tweets: 181
  • Social media followers across all Twitter and Facebook platforms and accounts (including @DecredSociety): 1,290

Videos:

Livestream:

Audio:

Art and fun:

Translations:

  • Decred Journal January-February got a total of 3 new translations to Arabic (@arij, @abdulrahman4), Chinese (@Dominic) and Polish (@kozel). Thank you friends!

Discussions:

Other:

Markets

In March DCR was trading between USDT 17.53–25.90 and BTC 0.00068–0.00102. The average daily rate was $20.69.

Image: Applesaucesome is bullish. Follow on Twitter for more.
Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD.

Relevant External

Three US banks failed in March, the largest of them being Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which was the second largest US bank failure of all time. One of the ripple effects was a temporary de-pegging of the USDC stablecoin as news emerged that ~10% of the funds backing USDC were stuck with SVB when the FDIC stepped in to take over before Circle’s withdrawal was processed.

The operators of the Tether stablecoin allegedly used falsified documents and shell companies to get bank accounts, in an article by the Wall Street Journal (non-paywalled link). WSJ reviewed a cache of emails from Tether staff which indicated a long-running effort to retain banking access by engaging in various schemes, including having someone in China making fake invoices and contracts to disguise deposits and withdrawals — a policy which was ultimately stopped when owner Stephen Moore wrote he “… would not want to argue any of the above in a potential fraud/money laundering case”.

Nic Carter has documented evidence for what he terms Operation Choke Point 2.0, a deliberate effort to restrict banking access to crypto firms by discouraging banks from dealing with them using various means.

Binance has been charged by the CFTC in a wide ranging complaint which covers a number of offences, including weak KYC/AML that allowed US customers to trade derivatives and securities which they were not registered to offer, allowed money laundering to occur, and traded against their own customers. The 74 page complaint includes quotes from messages sent between internal staff, including such gems as “I HAZ NO CONFIDENCE IN OUR GEOFENCING”, from the money laundering reporting officer. The complaint also mentions Bitcoin and Ethereum as commodities, in service to defining Binance’s activities as subject to CFTC’s jurisdiction. CZ reacted with “4” meaning “Ignore FUD”, and later with a longer response which recaps how much Binance has invested in compliance and cooperation with regulators. Some analysts are pessimistic about Binance’s chances against CFTC.

Coinbase has been threatened by the SEC of a possible legal action for violations of the federal securities laws. Coinbase representative went public about company’s frustration about SEC’s unclear selection of cryptoassets considered to be securities, and cited SEC’s denial to tell which specific assets traded on Coinbase platforms are securities.

Justin Sun and his companies Tron Foundation, BitTorrent Foundation and Rainberry have been sued by the SEC for violations including sale of unregistered securities (TRX and BTT) and manipulating the secondary market for TRX through extensive wash trading. A number of celebrities who were engaged to promote Sun’s projects have also been sued in the same motion for promoting TRX/BTT without disclosing the arrangement, they include Lindsey Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, and Lil Yachty. The period for which Sun is accused of wash trading covers April 2018 to February 2019, during which time Sun allegedly provided between 4.5 million and 7.4 million TRX and instructed staff to wash trade it using two of his accounts.

Do Kwon, of Terra/Luna infamy, was arrested in Montenegro for using forged documents. Both the US and South Korea have announced their wish to extradite and prosecute him.

The second Retroactive Public Goods Funding (RetroPGF) initiative by Optimism was completed in March, with 10 million OP being distributed to 195 different projects and people that had contributed something to the Optimism or Ethereum ecosystem. The funds were distributed to recipients in three different sections, Infrastructure (received 37%), Tooling & Utilities (32%) and Education (31%). To decide how the OP would be distributed, a panel of 90 community members was formed by selecting community members using a variety of different means. Each “badgeholder” ranked the nominated projects and funds were dispersed according to a weighted average of their votes.

Arbitrum, an Ethereum Layer 2, conducted its long-anticipated airdrop, and there has been controversy about how well anticipated the conditions were by airdrop hunters. Analysis of the airdrop indicated that, despite rules to avoid giving airdrops to Sybil users, as much as 48% of the airdropped tokens went to an address that was strongly associated with at least one other address which also received the airdrop — with 22% going to advanced Sybil users who had thousands of associated addresses receiving the airdrop.

Once the tokens were airdropped their holders (those who didn’t dump immediately) became Arbitrum’s governance decision-makers. In the first proposal (AIP-1) they would decide on whether to allocate 750 million ARB (worth $1 billion) tokens to the Arbitrum Foundation, and it turned messy. Community members objected to the Foundation having discretion to spend some of these funds without on-chain community approval, and when it was clear that the proposal was in difficulty the Foundation published a blog post explaining that the vote was to ratify something that was already happening, the Foundation already had the funds and had in fact started spending them. This appears to have been a miscommunication about the nature of the vote, but following the controversy which erupted the Foundation has taken steps to reassure the community that the remaining 700 million ARB will not be touched until a proposal has been approved by the community.

This month’s record breaking DeFi hack is a good news story, because it’s the largest ever recovery of funds, by the Euler Labs team. The Euler Finance protocol was exploited by a flash loan attack on March 13, the attacker was able to obtain $197 million, and causing the value locked in Euler contracts to drop as low as $10 million. Euler Labs tried to negotiate the return of 90% of the funds with the hacker and when the negotiations broke down put out a $1 million bounty for information about the attacker. Although a deal could not be reached the attacker began to sporadically return the funds, until eventually on April 4 Euler Labs announced that all the “recoverable funds” had been returned and the bounty was cancelled.

LinksDAO is seemingly on course to achieve its main objective and buy a Links Golf Club, specifically Spey Bay on the Moray Coast of Scotland. The Club was listed for $905,000 and LinksDAO’s representatives were the top bidders, with the sale to be confirmed and the final sale price as yet unknown. LinksDAO is still reported to be on the lookout for US golf properties, as presumably not many of its 5,400 global members have easy access to the Moray Coast to play a round.

The “Skull of Satoshi”, an art installation commissioned by Greenpeace as part of a campaign to highlight the impact of PoW mining, has been adopted by the Bitcoin community as its own. The artist has come to the realization that it is not a black and white issue, as they thought it was when they began creating the piece.

Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, has proposed legislation to ban the acceptance of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in the state. Doubts have been raised whether the legislation is workable, it is likely that a Federal push for a CBDC could overturn pre-existing state law.

Dubai has published new laws in February that ban issuance and use of anonymity-enhancing cryptocurrencies like Monero.

Two UK banks have restricted retail customers’ access to crypto. Nationwide introduced a daily limit of £5,000 on debit-card purchases, while disallowing to use credit cards to buy crypto. HSBC has also blocked crypto purchases with its credit cards.

Nigeria has been pushing its CBDC, when incentives like discounts on taxi fares didn’t work to increase adoption they restricted access to cash to force the issue, but people are protesting about the lack of cash and still adoption of the CBDC is at less than 0.5% of the population.

That’s all for March. Share your updates for the next issue in our #journal chat room.

About

This is issue 57 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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, karamble, l1ndseymm, phoenixgreen, richardred
  • reviews and feedback: davecgh
  • title image: Exitus
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — March 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — February 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-february-2023-bf7c93f2445d?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — February 2023

Image: Decred Birthday Cake

Highlights of February:

  • Decred passed the milestone of 7 years in operation.
  • Decred DEX saw a v0.5.9 bugfix and polish release, and there are extensive reports of heavy dev progress, v0.6 is getting close.
  • Bison Relay v0.1.4 was released, improving UX, and an Oprah tipping bot is now operating on BR.
  • The Timestamply redesign is now live.
  • The ticket price saw a sharp drop followed by epic upswing, which took it to a new all time high.

Contents:

· DCRDEX v0.5.9 Release
· Bison Relay v0.1.4 Release
· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Outreach
· Events
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

DCRDEX v0.5.9 Release

v0.5.9 was released with v0.6 just around the corner to enable automatically deployed Docker images for Umbrel. However, there are many other fixes in this release that were backported from v0.6 development:

  • Improved client database compaction to save disk space.
  • More accurate swap fee estimates.
  • Protections against zero fee swaps.
  • Improved performance.
  • Cleaned up logging.
  • Fixed about a dozen edge cases.

Full release notes and standalone DEX app downloads can be found here. Hashes and signatures are included that allow for verification that downloads have not been damaged or modified by third parties.

Bison Relay v0.1.4 Release

Bison Relay received another quality of life update with v0.1.4:

  • Everything works faster.
  • Adjustable font size.
  • Image and link attachments.
  • Right-side panel for easier access to actions on users and group chats.
  • More robust maintenance of key exchanges.
  • Tipping bot that rewards authors of valuable content.
  • Many other UX improvements.

Short video overview of new features is available here.

Get the latest release on the improved downloads page. Bug reports and feedback are welcome in GitHub issue tracker and the #br Matrix chat.

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

dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.

Most changes focused on making consensus deployment code more robust and easier to understand:

  • Reworked consensus deployment validation logic and tests to make it easier to modify and bring it more in line with the more modern coding practices used in the codebase. Terms “deployment” and “agenda” refer to consensus vote definitions that include description, vote choices, validity period, and other details.
  • Enforce globally unique vote IDs for different agendas. Technically it was not incorrect to reuse vote IDs, however various software in the Decred ecosystem implicitly assumes that IDs are unique across all agendas. This unwritten rule is now formalized to prevent confusion and simplify code dealing with it.
  • Simplified code that tracks the status of consensus rule changes.
  • Added a network parameter to force consensus votes to certain outcomes and activate their features accordingly. This has already been used on testing networks to quickly test features without going through an entire voting process. The way it worked though was found to be surprising behavior: “if deployment is not found in parameters for a given network, it is considered active”. Other issues included complexity of testing the voting process itself, and such implicitly forced votes being invisible in commands like getblockchaininfo. All these issues were fixed and it is now easier to locate forced rules in the code. A safety check was also added to ensure the forced vote choices cannot be used on the main network.

Docker:

  • Added the ability to build Docker images for a specific Git version.
  • Print the dcrctl version in addition to the dcrd version since they come from separate repositories now.

Other:

  • Switch to new atomic types in unexported modules thanks to Go 1.19. This makes the code less prone to human error and a bit less verbose. Exported modules are upgraded in a separate PR which will be merged later to not force the consumers to newer Go versions too soon.
  • Updated connection request tracking to prevent concurrency bugs.
  • Fixed building on OpenBSD on riscv64 CPU architecture.
  • Updated build infra and docs for Go 1.20 and dropped support for Go 1.18.
  • Dependency updates.

dcrwallet

dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.

  • Fixed a deadlock in address discovery that could be triggered by a poorly timed getnewaddress command.
  • Updated the addrmgr module from dcrd for performance improvements under SPV mode when few quality peers are available.
  • Updated golang.org/x modules, including newer x/sys to support building on OpenBSD running on riscv64 CPU.

dcrctl

dcrctl is a command-line client for dcrd and dcrwallet.

  • Updated dependencies to latest modules. This allows building on OpenBSD riscv64 and also significantly reduces the indirect dependencies.

Decrediton

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 progress:

vspd

vspd is server software for running a Voting Service Provider. A VSP votes on behalf of its users 24/7 and cannot steal funds.

  • Check if the VSP is closed much earlier, before dcrd/dcrwallet/database clients are initialized. This is more efficient and prevents possible errors.
  • Updated to Go 1.20.
  • Tests are now run as sub-tests to enable better reporting of test results and metrics.
  • Added tests for error handling that ensure vspd errors are correctly formatted, and non-vspd errors contain adequate information for debugging.
  • Removed dcrstakepool instructions from documentation as it is now defunct.

cspp

cspp is a server for coordinating coin mixes using the CoinShuffle++ protocol. It is non-custodial, i.e. does not hold any funds.

  • Updated CI to build on Ubuntu 22 with latest flint2 math library.
  • Added a solverrpc package as a drop-in replacement for existing solver. It allows to extract the interaction with C code (the flint2 math library) into a separate background process called csppsolver and talk to that process from pure Go code, which is more flexible.
  • Added build flags that allow to build an entirely standalone csppsolver executable with flint2 library embedded in it. Distributing such executable removes the need to install flint2.

DCRDEX

DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.

The v0.5.9 release was made to support the Umbrel integration, but it also includes many important fixes made in master since around December 2022:

  • Adjusted which swap fees are considered “best” for BTC and DCR. The best case fees occur when the entire order is consumed in a single match, i.e. 1 transaction and 1 output for the entire order. This affects fee previews shown when placing an order.
  • Automatically ignore very old notifications generated by old client versions.
  • Updated Docker config: optimized base images, switched DEX client to run as non-root user, removed unneeded files, and optimized Docker build for production. Among other things it helps to publish the DEX client in Umbrel app store.
  • Added GitHub workflow to build and publish release Docker images.
  • Updated dcrd’s address manager module to fix high CPU use when running testnet SPV wallet for longer than a day.
  • Fixed the number of deleted orders and matches that is reported by archive cleanup functions.
  • Fixed pointless reconnect attempts when a “not standards compliant” certificate error is detected on some macOS systems.
  • Fixed client trying to run when accounts database failed to load.
  • Dependency updates, including minor security fixes.
  • Backported ~14 other fixes from master made in December-January.

All other changes below are in the master branch towards the next v0.6 release.

Client changes:

Client, fidelity bonds progress:

  • Implemented main bond lifecycle machinery for the client, including automatic bond rotation. When current bond is about to expire, it must be replaced by another bond at correct time to continue using the DEX without interruption. A diagram was added to explain the lifecycle of bonds.
  • Implemented maintenance of bond funds reserves. A portion of wallet’s funds will be reserved for future bonds plus a buffer for transaction fees. When reserves are enforced, transactions like wallet withdraws or trading orders will be restricted to a lower available balance. Wallet balance report will show funds locked in existing bonds and reserved for future bonds. Bonds will use coin selection strategy that is different from one that funds trading orders. Orders try to consume fewer outputs to minimize fees (can spend more DCR and return excess as change), while bonds try to put an exact DCR amount into the time lock (and cannot rely on change output). Pre-sizing of inputs for swap transactions was enabled by default for DCR because it benefits bond management and DCR fees are cheap now. It will not be possible to disable accounts that have unspent bonds. Initial implementation supports only DCR bonds but the foundations have been added to allow bonds in other assets.
  • Changed registration UI flow to create a bond instead of paying a fee. User will have a choice how strong the bond should be. If account tier is below the trading level and there are pending bonds, Markets page will show bond confirmations required before the user can trade. Post Bond feature was added for manual bond posting.
  • Optimized coin selection algorithm to create bonds closer to the target DCR amount.
  • Completed, in progress, and remaining tasks for the bonds subsystem can be seen on this dashboard.
  • In the big picture, fidelity bonds are needed to transition from users paying fees to the server, to users locking funds while they use the server. Both approaches protect the server from spam and other undesired behavior. Bonds are more complex than fees but have advantages. Users can return locked funds when they no longer want to trade, and also bonds support the transition from standalone servers to a decentralized server mesh (with the fees system it would be unclear which servers should collect fees).

Client fixes:

Ethereum, RPC data providers:

  • Added ability for the DEX server to configure multiple Ethereum data providers and switch to another provider if active provider stops working.
  • Added monitoring of RPC provider health. Previously, ETH backend would only start if all configured providers could be connected to and had an updated blockchain. Now ETH backend will start if at least one provider connection works and reports a fresh block. After connection is established providers will be continuously monitored for healthy responses and the best providers will be used first.
  • Improved management of known and compliant RPC providers.
  • Fixed attempts to use RPC providers that have too old block headers, meaning they are not synced with the network.

Ethereum, swap fee optimization:

  • Made swap estimates aware of Ethereum block gas limit.
  • Attempt to use a lower gas limit for batched swaps (multiple swaps in one transaction) before giving up and failing with insufficient funds.
  • Adjusted fee estimates to lower and more realistic amounts.

Ethereum, other changes:

  • Clarified API versioning of ETH and its child token assets. For now token assets will use the same version as the parent asset. These version numbers will be used to determine if different clients and servers are compatible.
  • Removed the isRedeemable method from Solidity smart contracts for ETH and ERC-20 swaps, and disabled the use of estimateRedeemGas call. Both methods reveal a secret to the Ethereum node ahead of the redeem transaction. This was not a problem when the client was using a private node, but it becomes a vulnerability with public RPC providers, which DEX is forced to use since The Merge. Solidity compiler was updated to v0.8.18.
  • Build with go-ethereum code included by default. go-ethereum is popular Ethereum software that powers ETH and ERC-20 support in DCRDEX. Unlike the DEX, it is licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The burden of this license may be unacceptable for closed source software willing to use DCRDEX and so a flag was added to exclude go-ethereum from the build.
  • Enabled ETH and USDC on mainnet and adjusted gas limits. Reduced redeem transaction confirmations from 10 to 3 since reorgs are considered very unlikely after The Merge. Smart contract enthusiasts can find the new swap contract for for ETH here, for ERC-20 here.
  • @chappjc tweeted that new contracts executed many atomic swaps with ETH and USDC on mainnet.
  • Bug fixes.

Ethereum’s upgrade to proof-of-stake consensus (also called The Merge) happened to brick the light client used by DCRDEX, despite some expectation that it will work. This has delayed DCRDEX v0.6 quite a bit while a workaround had to be developed. Until light clients are fixed DEX users will have a choice of running an own full node or using centralized chain data providers like Infura, Ankr, and 8 others.

Umbrel app store integration:

  • New repository added to Decred GitHub organization for hosting Umbrel integration code. Umbrel users can follow the instructions to add this repository and install the DCRDEX package.
  • DCRDEX package was submitted to official Umrel app store for review. Unlike custom Community app stores it requires centralized approval.

Timestamply

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.

Documentation

dcrdocs is the source code for Decred user documentation.

Bison Relay

Bison Relay is a new social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.

Common changes in GUI and CLI apps in v0.1.4 release:

  • Added support for paying and sending multiple messages in parallel without waiting for server ack, which makes sending much faster.
  • Added support for sending and rendering of embeds (like images and download links) in private and group chats.
  • Improved tracking of encryption status and maintenance of key exchange (KX) resets. Added semi-automatic tools to detect and reset possibly broken key exchanges. Candidates for reset are users from which no messages have been received for a long time, or all users if own client has been offline for a long time.
  • Improved handling of new group chat messages received just after connecting to the server. This should show messages properly ordered by time, especially on slower connections.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented clean shutdown in some cases.
  • Fixed possible reconnect loops due to client trying to reuse the same payment.

GUI app changes in v0.1.4 release:

  • Added font size setting with 4 size choices.
  • Moved menu actions on users and group chats (List Posts, Pay Tip, etc.) to the right-side panel. This is similar to Element and easier to use.
  • Order of chat lists is saved across app restarts.
  • Use emoji font to render more characters and emojis.

Command-line app changes in v0.1.4 release:

Server and other changes in v0.1.4:

  • Added support for accepting multiple messages concurrently. By default a connected client can request up to 8 invoices for message sending before needing to pay for them. Server must detect the payment within 24 hours, otherwise a new payment will be required. Production server may use different parameters for this.
  • Store received messages so that clientrpc users may retrieve them. This prevents missed messages in bots and other automation tools.

Common changes in GUI and CLI apps merged in master towards the next release (v0.1.5):

GUI app changes in master:

  • Added a horizontal line marking the start of received unread messages. Removed display of avatar and username if subsequent messages come from the same author.
  • Added total DCR sent and received summaries to Payment Stats page.
  • Added QR codes for deposit addresses.
  • Hide advanced options by default on pages that prompt to open more LN channels.
  • Fixed loss of active chat selection when opening Chats section.

CLI app changes in master:

Other stuff:

  • Oprah is out! It is a tipping bot that follows users and rewards them for substantive posts or comments. Ask in the #br Matrix chat how to get tips from Oprah.

People

Community stats as of Mar 1 (compared to Feb 2):

  • Twitter followers: 53,064 (-204)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,660 (-3)
  • Matrix #general users: 750 (+8)
  • Discord users: 1,557, verified to post: 932 (+6)
  • Telegram users: 2,756 (-60)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,630 (-10), views: 224.6K (+2.3K)

Governance

In February the new treasury received 7,620 DCR worth $183K at February’s average rate of $24.03. 3,389 DCR was spent to pay contractors, worth $81K at February’s rate, or $67K at December’s billing rate of $19.79.

The treasury spend tx had 27 outputs making payments to contractors, ranging from 3 DCR to 1,084 DCR. Most of this DCR was likely paid for December invoices, there is now a persistent lag between the end of the month and the creation of the TSpend for that month, so that by the time transactions are approved by stakeholders it is typically two months after the month when work was conducted.

Image: Decred Treasury monthly inflows and outflows.

As of Mar 14, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 844,504 DCR (16.8 million USD at $19.88).

Image: Decred Treasury balance history.

There were no new proposals published in Feb, and the proposals which finished voting in the month were covered in the January issue of the Journal.

Network

Hashrate: February’s hashrate opened at ~73 Ph/s and closed ~71 Ph/s, bottoming at 60 Ph/s and peaking at 83 Ph/s throughout the month.

Image: Decred hashrate.

Distribution of 66 Ph/s hashrate reported by the pools on Mar 1: Poolin 51%, F2Pool 38%, AntPool 11%, CoinMine 0.4%.

Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by Mar 1: Poolin 54%, F2Pool 36%, AntPool 6%, likely BTC.com 4%.

Image: Historical pool hashrate distribution.

Staking: Ticket price varied between 207–496.5 DCR, with 30-day average at 263.8 DCR (+51.3).

After a dramatic drop to 140 DCR in January ticket price skyrocketed to set a new all-time high of 496.5 DCR. It returned to normal levels a week later and settled around 230 DCR.

Image: Ticket price made its biggest swing in history.

The locked amount was 8.76–9.69 million DCR, meaning that 58.5–64.9% of the circulating supply participated in Proof of Stake. This was also more volatile than usual.

Image: Drop and recovery of DCR locked in PoS.

VSP: The 16 listed VSPs collectively managed ~7,410 (-980) live tickets, which was 18.4% of the ticket pool (-0.4%) as of Mar 1.

The only gainers in February were dcrhive.com (+383 tickets or +74%) and vsp.decredcommunity.org (+202 tickets or +38%). The other 14 VSPs lost ~25% tickets on average, but the loss should be considered in context of the ticket pool size correcting from abnormal ~44,880 down to its target of 40,960 tickets.

Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs.

Nodes: Decred Mapper observed between 175 and 188 dcrd nodes throughout the month. Versions of 176 nodes seen on Mar 1: v1.7.5–34%, v1.7.2–22%, v1.8.0 dev builds — 13%, v1.7.2–11%, v1.7.0–10%, v1.7.4–3%, other — 7%.

Image: Historical dcrd version distribution, data from nodes.jholdstock.uk. Data until Jan 2023 was incomplete.

The share of mixed coins varied between 59.2–60.4%. Daily mixed volume varied between 206–865K DCR.

Since a large portion of mixed coins comes from staking, the drop of staked DCR has resulted in a drop of mixed volume as well. It went back to normal towards the end of February as stake participation recovered.

Image: Drop and recovery of mixed and unspent coin percentage.
Image: Daily mix volume varied more than usual.

Decred’s Lightning Network explorer has seen 158 nodes (+11), 305 channels (+44) with a total capacity of 115 DCR (+9), as of Mar 1. These stats vary depending on the LN node. For example, @karamble’s node reported 172 nodes (+12), 385 channels (+38) and 168 DCR (+9) capacity on same Mar 1.

Outreach

Monde PR’s achievements:

  • Secured 1 media interview
  • Pitched 3 commentary opportunities
  • Pitched 4 media opportunities

Secured the following media placements:

  • Bison Relay was featured in Blockworks as a “Web3 social media app to watch”.
  • A Decred Magazine article featuring commentary from @jz on the flaws in PlanB’s S2F model.
  • A Decred Magazine article featuring commentary from @jz on eliminating middlemen from the cryptocurrency space.

Commentary on Decred Magazine was originally drafted for a crypto publication but was not used. Instead of throwing it away it was repurposed and published on DM.

Events

Attended:

  • @arij organized a celebration of Decred’s 7th anniversary at Technopark Casablanca for around 60 guests. The event began with a presentation of the project and its major milestones over the years, followed by remarks from the project’s partners. New version of Decred Cake was spotted at the party. See more details in the report.
Image: Decred 7th birthday cake.

Media

Nostr users can now follow Decred announcements at: npub1decredzl29afqaalgw79kzz7cscrakzul00zgq9qymt4weqg03fsqmmnzd (preview). Post your public keys in this thread to help bootstrap a Decred community on Nostr.

Selected articles:

Decred Magazine engagement stats for February:

  • Total number of articles on DM: 409
  • Newsletter subscribers: 88
  • New DM posts and newsletters sent: 17
  • Active social media campaigns: 32
  • Completed social media campaigns: 32
  • Social media posts: 143
  • Likes: 678
  • Re-tweets: 148
  • Social media followers across all platforms and accounts (including @DecredSociety): 1,220

Decred Magazine has started building an audience on TikTok. Engagement with @decredmagazine is greatly appreciated.

Videos:

Livestream:

Audio:

Twitter Spaces:

Art and fun:

Decred is a true unicorn among the established cryptocurrencies. It’s commonly described as an extremely versatile creature, a symbol of crypto purity and grace.

Translations:

Non-English content:

Discussions:

Other:

Markets

In February DCR was trading between USDT 21.71–28.52 and BTC 0.00095–0.00121. The average daily rate was $24.03.

Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD.

Relevant External

Localbitcoins, the longstanding facilitator of person to person Bitcoin exchanges, is closing down. After 10 years in action Localbitcoins could not withstand the “ongoing very cold crypto winter”, and suspended trading on Feb 16, remaining online only for users to withdraw any balances.

Crypto exchange Kraken has settled with the SEC over “Unregistered Offer and Sale of Crypto Asset Staking-As-A-Service Program” and agreed to “Pay $30 Million to Settle SEC Charges”. This has been presented as part of a larger crackdown on exchange provided staking services, where exchanges generate revenue by staking users’ tokens and pay some proportion of this to the token holders. The stated motivation for these actions is to provide investors with reliable information about what custodians of their tokens are using them for, but as Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has tweeted, this is not as easy as filling in a form, and for companies that have tried to engage with the approval process it has not gone well.

The Oasis DeFi protocol was used to “counter-exploit” the hacker who stole 120,000 ETH from the Wormhole bridge in Feb 2022 and steal back funds they had deposited in the platform, after its developers were ordered to by a British High Court. After the Wormhole Bridge was exploited last year, Jump Crypto (its VC backer) stepped in to make users whole and has since been tracking the stolen funds with a view to retrieval. As reported by Blockworks, Jump Crypto likely played a key role in the retrieval, they provided funds to reclaim the collateral and close open positions and it is likely they are also the “Whitehat group” referenced in the Oasis blog post who provided a proof of concept on how the assets could be retrieved. The counter-exploit involved an upgradeable contract and adding a new signer to the 4-of-12 multisig that owns the Oasis contracts. It is not clear what the process was to generate the court order to perform the exploit.

Optimism, a layer 2 Ethereum chain, performed its second airdrop, sending 11.7 million OP tokens to over 300,000 addresses. This airdrop rewarded users who delegated their OP for governance, and users who spent more than $6 on gas fees, along with multipliers for delegating more for longer or using more gas. Optimism is committed to distributing 19% of its supply in airdrops, and the first one in May 2022 distributed 5%.

Facebook parent Meta reported losses of $13.7 billion in its Metaverse Division for 2022, and warned that the losses would accelerate further in 2023.

India is aiming to launch its CBDC by the end of 2023 and has two ongoing trials for a wholesale and retail facing CBDC which have been expanding, but not without difficulty. India already has a ubiquitous Unified Payments Interface (UPI) operated by banks which is widely used and exposes user data to the bank operators — the retail CBDC is seen as a way to offer a more cash-like and privacy respecting means of making payments without bank intermediaries.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) central bank announced plans to issue a CBDC for domestic and cross-border payments as part of a new project to accelerate digital transformation.

In January National Australia Bank became the second major Australian bank to create a stablecoin (AUDN) to allow business customers to settle transactions on blockchain technology in real-time using Australian dollars. They aim to launch mid-year and support transactions including overseas payments and carbon credit trading, and the stated purpose is to boost the digital economy. This comes 9 months after Melbourne based rival ANZ created a similar product (A$DC). The Reserve Bank of Australia is exploring use cases for CBDC and will choose some pilot projects in the first half of 2023.

That’s all for February. Share your updates for the next issue in our #journal chat room.

About

This is issue 56 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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, l1ndseymm, phoenixgreen, richardred
  • reviews and feedback: davecgh, karamble
  • title image: arij, Exitus
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — February 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Decred Journal — January 2023

https://medium.com/decred/decred-journal-january-2023-3aecc1e0e0f7?source=rss----894ef2a75543---4

Decred Journal — January 2023

Image: Decred Owl by @OfficialCryptos

Highlights for January:

  • A remake of the Timestamply site to facilitating timestamping on the DCR chain has been approved for funding and is already available to test.
  • 8 proposals were published on Politeia and by publication time voting has concluded for all of them, 5 were approved and 3 rejected.
  • Bison Relay received a quality of life update with many fixes and improvements, v0.1.3.

Contents:

· Bison Relay v0.1.3
· Development
· People
· Governance
· Network
· Ecosystem
· Outreach
· Events
· Media
· Markets
· Relevant External

Bison Relay v0.1.3

New v0.1.3 release has brought many bug fixes and quality of life improvements discovered during early community testing. AppImage builds are now available for Linux users.

Get the latest release at the new download selector or directly from GitHub.

Head to the Bison Relay section for a detailed list of changes in v0.1.3 and beyond.

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

dcrd is a full node implementation that powers Decred’s peer-to-peer network around the world.

  • Modified the method that prunes expired transactions from the mempool to accept the current best height as opposed to looking it up internally. This is part of a bigger effort to make mempool state easier to reason about by removing hidden assumptions.
  • Updated the Docker image to newer versions of Go and Alpine Linux.
  • Configured the Docker container to forward SIGTERM signal to the running dcrd instance so it shuts down gracefully when a container is stopped.
  • Improved and extended Docker documentation.
  • Optimized selection of peers in the address manager to mitigate high CPU use discovered by testing the DEX with an SPV DCR wallet.

dcrwallet

dcrwallet is a wallet server used by command-line and graphical wallet apps.

  • Added a watchlast option to limit initially watched addresses, which in turn improves startup resource usage and performance. This will benefit very large wallets with many old addresses that are not expected to be used again.

Politeia

Politeia is Decred’s proposal system. It is used to request funding from the Decred treasury.

All changes below are towards the GUI remake on the new plugin architecture.

Re-implemented pages:

  • User Details pages. All visual feedbacks, modals, and messages have been refactored, common UI elements extracted for reuse, several UI and responsiveness issues fixed, minor design improvements.
  • User session pages, including Signup, Login, Logout, Password Reset, and Verify Email.
  • Admin pages for Unvetted Proposals and Search for Users.
  • Proposal pages including Edit and Raw pages.
  • There is a master issue tracking which pages have been reimplemented.

Other changes:

  • Refactored the high-level Politeia app to use the new toolkit for wiring the plugins together.
  • Added validation to all forms on Politeia, including error messages, and form submission control.
  • ~5 other fixes in the GUI and the pi-ui library.
Image: User account page in the Politeia GUI remake.

cspp

cspp is a server for coordinating coin mixes using the CoinShuffle++ protocol. It is non-custodial, i.e. does not hold any funds.

  • Capture IP address and message type when sending to client fails.
  • Fixed a protocol bug which caused signature validation failures if the client and server used different sizes of the integer type, such as a 32-bit client connecting to a 64-bit server. This fix is a breaking change to the protocol (clients will need to upgrade to use the fix).
  • Updated to latest dcrd modules.

DCRDEX

DCRDEX is a non-custodial, privacy-respecting exchange for trustless trading, powered by atomic swaps.

Client changes:

Client fixes:

  • Fixed confusing sync progress jumps after losing connections with all SPV peers.
  • Improved detection and handling of refund transactions that have been broadcast manually by the user (outside of the DEX client).
  • Fixed launch failure on 32-bit systems.
  • Fixed directory paths that blocked built-in SPV wallets created in v0.5 from upgrading in the upcoming v0.6.
  • Fixed ~4 concurrency bugs.

Server fixes:

Ethereum:

  • Removed the recently added authrpc interface. It was found to be unnecessarily limiting by not having methods to inspect the mempool and calculate the most recent balance. At the same time not much was gained from using it in the DEX. For DEX use cases, it makes more sense to connect to Geth with either IPC or –http / –ws flags. In the future, authenticated RPC support may still be needed for getting Ethereum data from trusted third party RPC providers. This could greatly simplify testing because running an Ethereum full node is too difficult.
  • Always check block header timestamp to determine sync status. Since Ethereum’s “Merge” event, Geth will report the current block and highest block as the same number, so the difference between them can no longer be used to determine sync progress. Instead, DEX will compare last block header time to user’s system clock, and if the block is old enough the chain will be assumed as not synced.
  • Improved display of Maker Redemption in cases when the exact transaction is not known.
  • Added DEX server ability to connect to Geth over HTTP and WebSocket interfaces.
  • Added timeouts to RPC requests so that very long requests to RPC providers could expire and be cancelled.
  • Do not consider pending (unmined) transactions when calculating balance if the RPC provider lacks the required methods to do so.
  • Only check swap fees after they get some confirmations (speed optimization).
  • Fixed wallet config not being saved after the Reconfigure operation.
  • Fixed missing Settings button for ERC-20 tokens.
  • Fixed min/max fee estimates shown for swaps with “token” assets. Fees for swapping tokens are paid in base asset. For example, when buying DCR for USDC, fees for the USDC side of the trade are paid in ETH.

Other changes:

In progress:

Image: Improved fee estimation for tokens in DCRDEX.

Documentation

dcrdocs is the source code for Decred user documentation.

decred.org

dcrweb is the source code for the decred.org website.

  • Tidied up i18n language files by replacing escaped quotation marks to reduce the possibility of mistakes.
  • Updated Hugo version.

Bison Relay

Bison Relay is a new peer-to-peer social media platform with strong protections against censorship, surveillance, and advertising, powered by Decred Lightning Network.

GUI changes in the v0.1.3 release:

  • Added build scripts for Linux (AppImage and tar) and Windows (MSIX).
  • Subscribing and unsubscribing to posts made asynchronous. This properly handles the case where the target user is offline and will take long time to reply to the subscription request.
  • Added proper launcher icons for various operating systems.

GUI fixes in v0.1.3:

  • Error messages can now be copied and pasted in bug reports.
  • Opening new channels will be prevented while there are pending channels being opened. Improved error messages will better explain reasons why channels cannot be opened (it confused new users during onboarding).
  • Fixed server address on the new config page.
  • Fixed error when trying to transfer a large paid download.
  • Fixed missing autofocus on the Password field shown after app startup. Also the password can be submitted with the Enter key now.
  • Fixed unclickable links in post comments, context menu staying open, and images not showing in posts list.
  • Fixed odd trailing character after links.

Command-line app changes in v0.1.3:

  • Added /timestats command that reports timing statistics for LN payments and sending outbound messages.
  • Show advertised addresses for LN nodes queried with /svrnode and /queryroute commands.
  • Subscribing and unsubscribing to posts made asynchronous.

Command-line app fixes in v0.1.3:

Server changes in v0.1.3:

GUI app changes merged in master towards next release:

  • Improved unread indicators and sorting in the chat list.
  • Added Go back button to Advanced Settings and Restore views.
  • Upgraded to newer Dart and Flutter libraries and pinned their hashes for more reliable builds.
  • Fixed rendering of line breaks.

Command-line app changes in master:

  • Added an API for controlling brclient from third party tools. This allows for writing bots (such as the Matrix bridge bot) and other integrations. See API documentation and examples here.

bisonrelay.org website:

  • Added download wizard that guides users to correct downloads. It even works with JavaScript disabled.
  • Updated Hugo version.
  • Added a button linking to latest release notes.

Other stuff:

  • Two-way Bison Relay to Matrix bridge is live in #br, #random and #trading chat rooms.
  • @davecgh explained what happens when you “just” send a message on Bison Relay (how Rendezvous Points work, how server is unable to know who is talking to who, etc.)
  • @BisonRelay is a new Twitter account for announcements.
  • @BisonDigest is a new Twitter account for reposting the best content for Bison Relay.

Timestamply

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.

dcrtimegui was rebranded as Timestamply and the app received a full redesign. Some of the new features include:

  • New graphical design matching Decred design standards developed for Decrediton, Politeia and the last decred.org update.
  • Light and dark modes.
  • Multiple languages, including initial Portuguese translation.
  • Separate Timestamp and Verify pages.
  • Display of next anchoring time (it wasn’t clear that anchoring is done hourly).
  • Latest Hashes section.
  • Improved UX for downloading multiple proofs.
  • List of hashes timestamped and verified by the user.
  • Transaction confirmations progress for each hash.
  • Improved drop zone.

Timestamply redesign arrived soon after the app has received some attention from Brazilian politicians who timestamped PDF files with their governance plans, to combat misinformation spreading via fake versions of the files.

The proposal to fund the new version has been approved and it is awaiting deployment to timestamp.decred.org. Until then users can try the upcoming version on the test website. Be aware that the test website uses a different database and may not find hashes timestamped by the current version of the app.

Image: Timestamply’s new design.

Other

  • Bug Bounty program reported that 20 submissions have been processed in 6 months of the latest proposal led by @jholdstock. Only 1 was severe enough to warrant a payout.
  • Bug Bonuty website got an update for the Hall of Fame adding participants and correcting scores, and general housekeeping to cleanup unused code and simplify future updates.

People

Community stats as of Feb 2 (compared to Jan 4):

  • Twitter followers: 53,268 (-124)
  • Reddit subscribers: 12,663 (+15)
  • Matrix #general users: 742 (+4)
  • Discord verified to post: 926 (-3)
  • Telegram users: 2,816 (-56)
  • YouTube subscribers: 4,640 (+0), views: 222K (+1K)

Governance

In January the new treasury received 8,564 DCR worth $189K at January’s average rate of $22.05.

The treasury spend tx mined on Jan 3 had 24 outputs and was reported last month as making payments to contractors for (mostly) the November invoices, ranging from 5 DCR to 1,270 DCR. It was approved by 6,967 votes (all Yes) with voter turnout of 54%, out of the 12,909 tickets that had a chance to participate during the shortened 9-day vote. In total it spent 3,907 DCR worth approx. $86K at November’s billing rate of $21.92.

All spend transactions from the new treasury can be found here.

As of Jan 30, combined balance of legacy and new treasury is 840K DCR ($19.4 million USD at $23.03).

Image: Decred Treasury monthly inflows and outflows.

There were 8 proposals published on Politeia in January.

  • The Decred Video Content 2023 proposal requested a budget of $45,600 to continue producing video content, including @DecredSociety’s “Decred and the state of the market” livestream, @Exitus’ News Updates, @karamble’s video/gif animations, and @Tivra’s Twitter Spaces. It was approved with 83% Yes votes and 55% turnout.
  • The Decred Arabia Communications and Content 2023 proposal requested a budget of $13,000 to continue the team’s efforts for another year, it was approved with 75% Yes votes and 49% turnout.
  • The Decred Content and Asset Translations 2023 proposal requested a budget of $33,000 for a year of translation work, it was approved with 88% Yes votes and turnout of 44%.
  • The Timestamply proposal requested $17,300 for work done on a web application for the DCR Timestamp Service, it was approved with 88% Yes votes and turnout of 48%.
  • The DCRDEX integration on Umbrel proposal requested a budget of $1,960 for integrating DCRDEX with the Umbrel platform for self-hosting open source software, making it much easier for Umbrel users to install DCRDEX. It was approved with 84% Yes votes and turnout of 47%.
  • The Rick Red Revival: Research and assorted other tasks proposal requested a budget of $32,500 for a mix of contribution types by @richardred: research, testing, software write-ups, Politeia moderation, funny stuff and miscellaneous helping out. The proposal was rejected with 56% Yes votes and turnout of 30%.
  • The Alphaday Grant Application proposal requested $2,400 to build a dashboard which would gather various types of information about Decred in one place, it was rejected with 17% Yes votes and turnout of 25%.
  • The Sponsorship in Motorsports proposal requested $26,033 for full car sponsorship of a Honda Civic Type R in a series of race events, it was rejected with 9% approval and turnout of 22%.

See Politeia Digest issue 55 and issue 56 for more details on the month’s proposals.

Network

Hashrate: January’s hashrate opened at ~80 Ph/s and closed ~76 Ph/s, bottoming at 64 Ph/s and peaking at 93 Ph/s throughout the month.

Image: Decred hashrate.

Distribution of 81 Ph/s hashrate reported by the pools on Feb 1: Poolin 64%, F2Pool 30%, BTC.com 4%, AntPool 2%, CoinMine 0.4%.

Distribution of 1,000 blocks actually mined by Feb 1: Poolin 61%, F2Pool 31%, AntPool 4%, BTC.com 3%, CoinMine 0.4%.

Image: Historical pool hashrate distribution.

Staking: Ticket price varied between 140–298 DCR, with 30-day average at 212.5 DCR (-22.3).

Image: Ticket price went wild.

The locked amount was 8.93–9.71 million DCR, meaning that 59.9–65.2% of the circulating supply participated in Proof of Stake.

Image: Drop and recovery of DCR locked in PoS.

A sharp drop in ticket buying volume has sent the ticket price down to 140 DCR, this level was last observed in October 2022 during a similar drop. The amount of DCR locked in tickets reduced by ~780K DCR to 8.93 million DCR.

Such a low ticket price has triggered very high ticket buying which has sent the ticket price on the wildest price swing we have seen so far. 48,624 tickets have been bought in January — the highest monthly since the very first month of Decred, February 2016.

VSP: The 16 listed VSPs collectively managed ~8,390 (+1,270) live tickets, which was 18.8% of the ticket pool (+1.6%) as of Feb 1. At the time of the snapshot the ticked pool had ~44,670 tickets, a whopping 9% above the target 40,960.

Biggest gainers in January are vspd.99split.com (+419), dcrhive.com (+328) and vsp.stakeminer.com (+319).

Image: Distribution of tickets managed by VSPs.

Nodes: Decred Mapper observed 187 dcrd nodes on Feb 1: v1.7.5–33%, v1.7.1–21%, v1.8.0 dev builds — 13%, v1.7.2–13%, v1.7.0–9%, v1.7.4–3%, other — 8%.

Image: Historical dcrd version distribution, data from nodes.jholdstock.uk. NOTE: Data until Jan 2023 was incomplete.

We have discovered that the node counts we have been reporting since June 2022 were incomplete. A possible cause for this is that Decred Mapper was relying on the GetAddr request, and many nodes stopped responding to that request for some reason. GetAddr is part of the network gossip protocol, it is how nodes discover other nodes. Responding to it is optional, so getting no response is not a bug. Node counts reported by Decred Mapper were correct on Jan 26.

The share of mixed coins varied between 59.9–61.6%. Daily mixed amount varied between 140–611K DCR.

Image: Mixed and unspent DCR has dropped slightly.

Decred’s Lightning Network explorer has seen 147 nodes (+17), 261 channels (+28) with a total capacity of 106.1 DCR (+5.4), as of Feb 1. These stats vary depending on the LN node. For example, @karamble’s node reported 163 nodes (+19), 347 channels (+35) and 159.7 DCR (+5.7) capacity on same Feb 1.

Ecosystem

VSP list API now reports block height and estimated network proportion. Block height provides more certainty about the VSP being stalled or fully synced with the blockchain. Historical snapshots of API data are available here.

VSP stakey.com was delisted from the VSP list due to the problems with fixing its API. Voting wallets should not have been affected.

GoDCR SPV wallet was removed from the Wallets page. Download links are no longer working and this wallet is no longer supported/updated as result of the GoDCR proposal failing to pass. Source code is still available.

New Lightning Network node was launched by @kozel at ln.dcrhive.com (standard port 9735). To celebrate the launch his VSP offered a reduced fee of only 0.1% until Feb 8. In the future @kozel plans to add an LN Liquidity Provider instance, so anyone who wishes to receive inbound LN capacity to their node will be able to request it.

Join our #ecosystem chat to follow Decred ecosystem updates.

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.

Outreach

Monde PR’s achievements:

  • Pitched 2 commentary opportunities
  • Pitched 4 media opportunities

Secured the following media placements:

  • @jy-p was interviewed on CryptoSlate’s SlateCast podcast, talking about Decred’s approach to censorship and privacy, the project treasury and hybrid consensus model.
  • An article in Decred Magazine featuring commentary from @jz on how DeFi needs to be decentralized beyond name.

Events

Attended:

  • @arij was invited to DevFest organized by Google Developer Group of Settat and Women Techmakers Settat-Marrakech. She talked about the Power of the Blockchain and Decred as an example, and the importance of using self-hosted wallets and not centralized exchanges. Most of the audience was developers and computer science students, some asked questions about how to work for Decred or do internships. See more details in the report.

Media

Selected articles:

Decred Magazine engagement stats as of January 2023:

  • Total number of articles on DM: 392
  • Newsletter subscribers: 87
  • New DM Posts and newsletters sent: 21
  • Active social media campaigns: 26
  • Completed social media campaigns: 31
  • Social media posts: 132
  • Likes: 704
  • Re-tweets: 129
  • Social media followers across all platforms and accounts: 1,180

Please note that Decred Magazine generates much more content than @decredproject can retweet (a nice problem to have!), so follow it directly to not miss a story. There are many ways to follow DM: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, RSS feed, or just directly check decredmagazine.com or a specific category, News or Politeia Digest.

Videos:

Audio:

Tivra aka @WasPraxis organized 5 new Twitter Spaces:

Art and fun:

Image: “Time for a Decred hot chocolate” by @maitreludo

Other:

  • Educational thread by @toddfmaki about Decred Voting Service Providers

Translations:

Discussions:

Markets

In January DCR was trading between USDT $18.30-$24.90 and BTC 0.00097–0.00116. The average daily rate was $22.05.

While not on Decred Magazine recently, @Applesaucesome continues to post $DCR technical analysis and predictions on Twitter.

Image: DCRDEX monthly volume in USD.

Relevant External

The Ordinals protocol, for “inscribing” data on satoshis like a Bitcoin version of an NFT, debuted this month and received a mixed reaction from the Bitcoin community. Reactions were split between those who viewed it as an additional fun use case for Bitcoin, and those who saw it as spam invading the Bitcoin chain which should be discouraged or even censored. Adam Back was among those who immediately started thinking of ways that mining pools could mobilise to censor and prevent this use of Bitcoin, although later deleted and retracted the tweet.

In early Feb the largest ever Bitcoin transaction was mined and it was a “Taproot Wizard” Ordinal inscription, filling an entire block almost to the 4 megabyte limit. The transaction was mined by Luxor pool and paid for in a private arrangement with Udi Wertheimer, one of the Taproot Wizards. Ordinals rely on Taproot and also SegWit to work in their specific form on the Bitcoin chain, and they have some structural differences to how NFTs work on Ethereum and other chains.

Taproot itself has been billed as a privacy upgrade for Bitcoin, because it allows complex transactions, like those requiring multi-signature authorization or using time locks, to appear similar to normal transactions, in a way which does not reveal their nature. Taproot also allows some of these operations to be completed more efficiently, which means paying less for block space. Although Taproot has been live since a soft fork activated in November 2021, its usage remained low until recently, with only 0.37% of transactions using it in April 2022.

Polkadot is planning to transform its governance, aiming to improve the level of decentralization and community participation. Presently a Council is elected by token holders and appoints a Technical Committee of protocol experts, these bodies serve pivotal roles in Polkadot’s governance. The new system will dissolve the Council and Committee roles. Some of their functions will be performed by community members directly, proposals will be submitted to different tracks depending on what they do, and the tracks will have their own approval thresholds and time frames, with an automated process to determine when voting starts and stops and which proposals are activated first. A “Substrate Fellowship” will take on the responsibility for assuring code quality for upgrades, but at 100+ members this will be a much larger group than the Technical Committee. The new governance system will also enable more flexible delegation of voting power, on a per proposal type basis.

Polkadot’s Web3 Foundation has tweeted out its argument for why the DOT token is no longer a security, explaining the efforts they have taken to comply with US securities laws and announcing in Nov 2022 that DOT was able to morph into something which was no longer a security.

It looks like Ooki DAO is set to lose its case with the CFTC in a default judgment because nobody stepped up to represent the DAO by the deadline of Jan 11. So far CFTC has established that it can serve a DAO papers by posting it on their forum/Discord as long as they identify and serve at least one tokenholder as well, and has indicated that it considers anyone who participates in the DAO in any way to be jointly liable for its actions as an unincorporated partnership.

The SEC has piled on to Avi Eisenberg adding its own Mango market manipulation charges to those brought by the DoJ and CFTC already. As of early Feb Eisenberg was trying to negotiate bail, having been in custody since Dec 26.

The infamous 3AC co-founders are attempting a rebirth from the ashes of FTX, seeking funding to set up a company for trading the claims that crypto traders have on bankrupt exchange liquidations.

DeFi platform Moonwell on the Moonbeam chain has been figuring out how to compensate its users after a voter-approved parameter change caused all the collateral on the platform to lose 99.9% of its borrowing power and everyone got liquidated, paying 10% of their position size in penalties. 30% of the liquidation penalties went to a community fund and a proposal will be made to reimburse that portion directly, the other 70% will be covered by Gauntlet, a risk management partner of Moonwell.

Reddit has launched some new use cases for MOONs, the /r/cryptocurrency karmic rewards token. Moonplace is a series of 10,000 NFTs which each grant their holder control of a 10×10 array of pixels in a 2d public space. After 4 days all the NFTs had been minted, burning 1 million MOONs (worth ~$130,000) and causing a temporary spike in the price of MOONs. The Moonplace NFTs are on the Arbitrum Nova network, an L2 rollup scaling solution for Ethereum.

The first /r/cryptocurrency banner ad was also sold for MOONs (worth $3,350), to the 1inch decentralized exchange.

The largest ETH staking pools have been considering whether they should limit their further growth to avoid issues of centralization. Rocket Pool is on course to approve a proposal (RPIP-17) which would enshrine the objective for Rocket Pool to promote “healthy staking”, with a couple of mechanisms to limit the growth in its share of pooled ETH staking, of which Rocket Pool currently controls 1.66%. Lido, which controls a much greater share of ETH staking (29%), overwhelmingly rejected a similar kind of proposal in July 2022.

Vitalik Buterin has published a blog post about stealth addresses, describing privacy as one of the largest remaining challenges in the Ethereum ecosystem. Stealth addresses would be generated by the sender from a recipient’s meta-address, which only the recipient could control but which would not be associated with their on chain identity. In other words it would give the same kind of privacy as generating a new address for each receipt of assets, but without the hassle of having to generate the new addresses.

Uniswap’s governance has turned into a clash of VCs as a16z and Jump are both backing their own book in a choice of which bridge to integrate for Binance Smart Chain. Jump is supporting Wormhole, and a16z’s horse is LayerZero, but the twist is that a16z are technically unable to participate in the “temperature check” vote to decide which integration is coded up, but have asked that their 15M tokens be counted off the books as voting for LayerZero. Wormhole won the temperature check by 11M votes, so a16z’s votes would be enough to change the outcome. Failing that, a16z could attempt to block the deployment of the Wormhole bridge by voting against it in an on chain vote (presuming they will be technically able to).

Silvergate Capital is the bank which many crypto exchanges use, and its stock has plunged by 46% after it reported outflows of $8.1 billion in crypto assets in Q2 2022, and laid off 40% of its staff (about 200 employees) to cut costs. Silvergate was viewed as a possible casualty from the FTX/Genesis contagion, spurring the run of withdrawals. Silvergate also announced that it was writing off all $196 million of its investment in Diem (formerly Facebook Libra/Zuck Bucks), having apparently realised that open source code and a tarnished brand wasn’t worth much.

Aptos, which is led by former Diem developers but didn’t pay Meta/Silvergate anything for their assets and instead took $200M funding from a16z and other VCs, saw a surge in its price in January which took its market cap to $2.4B, as it became the “hot new coin” for a period.

Well known Bitcoin developer Luke Dashjr was hacked and lost a considerable proportion of his BTC stack, over 200 BTC. It appears that hackers were able to compromise the Linux system being used, which granted access to Luke’s PGP encryption keys as well as his BTC. The PGP keys were used to sign Bitcoin Core and Knots releases, so these should be distrusted by users until the situation is resolved and Luke Dashjr presumably publishes a new PGP key.

YouTube personality Logan Paul’s role in the CryptoZoo NFT project was documented by Coffeezilla, with the conclusion that he was chief among scammers for a project which over-hyped a game that they were not realistically going to deliver. Paul threatened to sue CoffeeZilla but then withdrew those threats and apologized. Logan Paul is now the subject of a class action lawsuit over his role in CryptoZoo.

That’s all for January. Share your updates for the next issue in our #journal chat room.

About

This is issue 55 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):

  • writing, editing, publishing: bee, bochinchero, Exitus, jz, l1ndseymm, phoenixgreen, richardred
  • reviews and feedback: davecgh, jholdstock
  • title image: OfficialCryptos
  • funding: Decred stakeholders


Decred Journal — January 2023 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.