Community

Decred Journal — February 2020

Decred | 03.11| 144

Decred Journal — February 2020

Image: Second known Decred Cake spotted in Morocco by @arij
  • The fourth anniversary of the Decred genesis block arrived on Feb 8, and was celebrated around the world as attendees in at least 11 cities participated in the first #DecredGlobalMeetup!
  • @Dustorf published a report on the project’s marketing efforts in 2019, giving an in depth account of what was done, how the DCR was spent, what went well and what didn’t — along with thoughts on how to advance in 2020.
  • Solid progress across all the major software repositories, with optimizations to dcrd, a big batch of DEX components completed, and the mobile apps ready to benefit from the new consensus rules and more efficient SPV.
  • The new decred.org site was released in early March, focusing on the key messages as determined by the community in 2019, and presenting them in a way which is accessible and aesthetically pleasing.

Upgrade Notice

Consensus vote to enable DCP-0005 has passed and is expected to activate around Mar 13. Please take the time to upgrade your software to stay connected with the network.

Development

dcrd: A lot of work in Feb was focused on reworking the secp256k1 package to introduce specialized optimizations:

  • secp256k1 package internals made independent of Go standard library crypto APIs to remove a lot of unnecessary expensive conversions and allow for more optimizations in the future
  • signature verification implemented directly instead of relying on standard library which will allow optimizations specific for the secp256k1 curve
  • introduced specialized code for fixed-precision field arithmetic which is significantly faster than arbitrary-precision big integers from the standard library and is also constant time
  • added optimized square root field calculation that is roughly twice as fast as using big integers

Because some optimizations are harder to review, great care was taken to introduce them in steps and thoroughly document all techniques used. If you love when math and fast bit-level computation come together this should be a delightful read.

In the big picture, the main benefits of the secp256k1 overhaul are improved speed and memory usage which play a large role in the overall software performance since signature verification is the primary dominating operation. Another important benefit is that once this is complete, secp256k1 operations will be constant time, which improves resistance to side-channel attacks. This is an important property for multiparty protocols that perform lots of signing, multisig Schnorr protocols being one example.

Other improvements:

  • consensus code made a bit more robust by being explicit about the script forms it requires instead of relying on standardness policy code (e.g. what is permitted to enter to the mempool and be relayed across the network), which may change without a consensus vote
  • allowed vote range tightened for mainnet to prevent an unlikely DoS vector
  • tickets with non-approved inputs are now tracked separately to make block template generation and fee estimation more efficient
  • added timeout parameters for TCP connections and peer inactivity
  • rpcserver made explicit about the units it accepts (atoms vs coins) in code, help messages and API docs
  • wire error types defined, work towards banning peers not following the wire protocol

dcrwallet:

  • added command to create unsigned tickets to facilitate offline staking and support Trezor staking in the future (Trezor firmware still needs to be modified to support Decred staking)
  • added command to create signature for a transaction input script
  • added discoverusage command to manually trigger the discovery of address and/or account usage without restarting the wallet
  • added RPC to start account mixing service which will be used by Decrediton
  • repository module structure simplified to reduce maintenance burden
  • added package for generating uniform cryptographically secure pseudo-random numbers
  • changed peer seeding to use HTTPS API
  • multiple clean-ups

Decrediton:

  • added generation of BIP-0021 links for DCR payments
  • added a warning to back up the redeem scripts
  • codebase updated to Electron 8
  • bug fixes and UI tweaks
  • large refactoring of the startup logic is merged after many months of work

Politeia: Backend changes:

  • sessions moved to userdb to allow manual invalidation of sessions and also as a step to run multiple instances of politeiawww (for scalability and fault tolerance)
  • proposal metadata necessary for RFP proposals added to the cache
  • StartVote v2 merged (described in December)
  • added backend route to retrieve proposals by a short token (this will allow shorter URLs in the GUI)
  • CMS received preliminary temporary contractor support and a few smaller fixes

Frontend changes:

  • added flat display mode for comments to help with spotting new comments without hunting them in the whole comment tree
  • UI tweaks and performance optimizations

dcrpool:

  • most of the new UI design implemented. The initial version was a rough pass made by developers to get something moving, while the new version was done properly by designers to match the rest of the Decred look and feel.
  • human-friendly time units in config
  • bug fixes and UI tweaks

dcrlnd: Huge porting effort of upstream changes up to the v0.9.0-beta release is complete.

cspp: Multiple fixes and improved error handling.

dcrdex: Development highlights:

  • client RPC server for command line / script client control
  • password-based key encryption package for secret storage
  • client-side epoch order queue and shuffle validation
  • client login and connect functionality, using an app-wide password
  • implemented a less gameable deterministic order matching algorithm where epoch queue is shuffled based on client cryptographic commitments, with preimages revealed to the matching engine on epoch close (spec change here)
  • added wallets page in browser-based client GUI allowing to create and control exchange wallets
  • client database backup
  • store all match/swap data in server database to allow the server to prove receipt of swap-related messages from clients
  • updated build and contributing instructions

A total of 25 pull requests merged from 7 contributors adding 12K and deleting 3K lines of code (commit summary here).

dcrandroid: Version 1.0.1 released on Google Play fixes several bugs and includes v1.5 modules to support the new consensus rules.

In development: implemented migration to multi-wallet format.

dcrios: Version 1.0.1 released on App Store fixes a bug and includes v1.5 modules to support the new consensus rules.

In development:

dcrdata:

  • attack cost estimation page finally merged. Work on this started 6 months ago by Raedah Group with primary contributions by @ademuanthony and @dmigwi using research from @zubair (which is based on the model from Proof-of-Activity paper adjusted by @jy-p, and also overlaps with the paper by @buck54321). The page is available for public testing here.
  • new charts for Mixed Coins and Privacy Participation
  • smooth mode for ticket charts
  • bug fixes and UI tweaks

tinydecred:

docs:

decred.org: Mentions of Slack removed, large design and content update (see Outreach section below).

Other:

  • Bug Bounty program posted an update: 97 submissions processed so far (+14 since Oct update), with 11 being eligible for a payout (+1).
  • Developers looking at how to start contributing can follow the @dcrgoodfirst Twitter account.

Dev activity stats for February: 309 active PRs, 274 master commits, 52K added and 28K deleted lines spread across 20 repositories. Contributions came from 2–6 developers per repository.

People

Welcome to new first time contributors with code merged to master: @mkingori (dcrdata).

Congratulations to new contractors granted the Decred Contractor Clearance via the new CMS process: @dezryth (marketing), @guisso (development).

Congratulations to new contributors listed on decred.org: Mike Winslow (@Exitus, Media Production).

Community stats:

  • Twitter followers: 40,901 (+41)
  • Reddit subscribers: 9,738 (+15)
  • Matrix users: 565 (+32)
  • Discord users: 1,087 (-1,583), verified to post: 450 (+17) (see Community Discussions about the purge)
  • Telegram users: 2,678 (-50)
  • YouTube subscribers: 3,990 (+40)
  • Facebook followers: 3,580 (+17), likes: 3,249 (+15)
  • LinkedIn followers: 719 (+30)
  • GitHub dcrd stars: 535 (+2), forks: 1,496 (+20)

Governance

In February the Treasury received 13,018 DCR and spent 12,622 DCR. Using February’s daily average DCR/USD rate of $20.48, this is $267K received and $258K spent. At January’s average daily rate of $18.00, the USD figure billed for work completed in that month is $227K. As of Mar 2, Treasury balance is 643,179 DCR ($11.6 million USD at $18).

Our Network issue 6 included a useful chart with Treasury inflows and outflows. As of Jan 30, the Treasury has received a total of 939K DCR and spent 299K DCR.

In February there were 4 new proposals submitted, and 5 started voting.

  • @Exitus’ video production proposal which requested up to $2,400 per month was approved with 92.5% approval and voter participation of 24.8%.
  • @Checkmate’s second research proposal was approved with an approval rate of 81% and voter participation of 21.5%. It requested a budget of $17,500 to continue @Checkmate’s research and other activities, including helping to get some charts from his and @permabullnino’s work onto dcrdata.
  • The proposal for European marketing and events from @Haon and supported by @jholdstock, @kozel, @jazzah, @mm and @karamble initially requested $75,000 but reduced the budget to $49,000 and removed the Web Summit event in response to feedback. The proposal was rejected on Mar 3, gaining only 38% support, with voter participation of 25%.
  • The Russian video production proposal was rejected with 21% approval and 20% turnout.
  • The Decred Creative Economy proposal from oscargamboae was rejected with 3% approval and became the first proposal to fail to meet the 20% quorum requirement, with just 15% of eligible tickets turning out to vote.

For more detail on the month’s Politeia activity see Politeia Digest issue 27 and issue 28.

Network

Hashrate: February’s hashrate opened at ~427 Ph/s and closed ~356 Ph/s, bottoming at 263 Ph/s and peaking at 578 Ph/s throughout the month. Pool hashrate distribution as of Mar 1: Poolin 32%, UUPool 27%, lab.antpool.com 12%, BTC.com 1.7%, F2Pool 1.5%, Luxor 1.3%, BeePool 0.1%, CoinMine 0.02% and others ~24% per dcrstats.com. Pool distribution numbers are approximate and cannot be accurately determined.

Staking: 30-day average ticket price was 132.1 DCR (-6.2) per dcrstats.com as of Mar 5. The price varied between 119.8–157.9 DCR. Locked amount was 5.40–5.65 million DCR, which corresponded to 48.49–51.19% of the circulating supply.

Since late Jan the amount of staked DCR experienced a ~30-day decline from approx. 5.65M to 5.40M, or 51.5% to 48.5% (-3%) of the circulating supply, followed by a recovery to ~50%. The ticket price went down as low as 119.8 DCR but then quickly shot up to higher levels than it has reached for years.

Nodes: Throughout February there was an average of 165 public listening nodes and 341 total nodes per dcr.farm. Average version distribution for Feb: 40.8% use dcrd v1.4, 18.2% use dcrd v1.5, 9.1% use dcrd v1.5 dev and RC builds, 12.3% use dcrd v1.5.1, 4.1% use dcrd v1.6 dev builds, 4.7% use dcrwallet v1.4, 2.6% use dcrwallet v1.5, 2.1% use dcrwallet v1.5.1.

The amount of mixed coins (anonymity set) reached 20% of the circulating DCR supply. Decred CoinJoin transactions mix between 50–100K DCR daily and on Feb 22 a new all-time high of 154K DCR was hit, equivalent of over $3 million. These and other metrics were published by @Checkmate in Our Network issue 10 (tweet). For current numbers, dcrdata alpha has deployed charts of percentage of mixed coins and the DCR amount mixed by day and by block.

Attack Cost Calculator is a new web tool allowing to estimate the cost of attacking the network based on a number of variables, currently available on dcrdata alpha.

Integrations

There has been a report of a DCR holder getting scammed by a Chrome extension for the Ledger wallet that asked for wallet seed. From the comments it looks like Google has removed it from the store but only after a few people got burned. Pay great attention to which software you entrust your seed to!

OKCoin decided to suspend DCR trading due to low trading volume, despite being enthusiastic about Decred initially and even hosting several joint events.

KuCoin announced on Feb 17 that it was going to begin staking its depositors’ DCR two days later, on Feb 19. KuCoin users who hold DCR on the exchange were informed that they were being opted-in automatically, and instructed to withdraw their funds immediately if they wished to opt out.

KuCoin will adjust the staking proportion of Decred every calendar day and calculate the daily revenue of the users (…) Users have to take note that due to the participation of the Program, there will be a potential risk that a user may not be able to withdraw his/her designated Decred in a timely manner or as he/she so expected although KuCoin will use its best efforts to avoid such inevitably delay.

As the staked DCR will be time-locked, KuCoin’s capacity to provide it to depositors will depend on enough of their tickets voting, to free up the deposited DCR so that they can process withdrawals.

A Separate Project: The Service provided by KuCoin herein will only affect the Decred withdrawal, and will not directly or indirectly affect: (1) the trading of Decred assets on our platform; and (2) the trading or withdrawal of any other digital asset on our platform. As such, in the event that any user is reluctant to follow the withdrawal sequence but are already lined up in the withdrawal queue, the said user may choose to exchange Decred with other tokens, and withdraw the exchanged tokens immediately.

This indicates that, in a scenario where too much of KuCoin’s DCR is staked to be able to meet withdrawal demand, users will still be able to trade that DCR on the market, e.g. in exchange for BTC. Any protracted delay in processing withdrawals is likely to depress the DCR price on KuCoin, if it becomes widely known that they are not able to meet withdrawal requests in a timely fashion.

The announcement does not specify any fee that KuCoin will collect for provision of this service. Whether this means they’re not taking a commission, or the commission percentage is just not stated, remains to be seen.

Warning: the authors of 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

On February 8th, Decred turned four, and the community celebrated the event with #DecredGlobalMeetup. Events took place in at least a dozen cities all across the world to celebrate the community and technology Decred has built. @Dustorf wrote a blog and a tweet thread summarizing Decred’s progress to date.

@Dustorf published a Marketing Report detailing all project marketing related expenses in 2019. The report includes an examination of what worked and what didn’t, as well as prescriptions for next year. The three high level recommendations include: imagine what can be achieved socially using the Decred technology stack, break the bubble to expand Decred beyond those currently in crypto, and leverage the power of every individual within the community. The report calls for a decentralization of marketing efforts by geography. To that end, Latin America has already passed a proposal. The European proposal was made, but was rejected. It is expected that proposals for Brazil, United States, Canada, and Australia will be made in March. Since Decred’s marketing has always been a subject of debates, anybody who is interested in this domain is welcome to study the report and share their ideas in the corresponding Reddit thread.

The decred.org website revamp was deployed in early March, with a new visual aesthetic, a new explainer video, and new subpages that feature Decred’s history and its three tenets: Secure, Adaptable, and Sustainable. The website reflects agreed upon messaging that positions Decred as a superior store-of-value based upon those three tenets.

Decred in Depth released two episodes in February, Decred, an Economic Breakthrough with @ammarooni and DCR in LATAM with @elian. Additionally, @mr.black worked with @Checkmate and @permabullnino to release a new, trading-focused podcast titled Rough Consensus.

DCR Comic launched the dcrcomic.org website hosting all work produced by the team, of which the latest comic explains Lightning Network.

@Checkmate published an extremely interesting piece about the ProgPoW debate in Ethereum describing the shortcomings of Ethereum’s governance system and how Decred’s tools and methodologies can be employed to solve them. It is an excellent example of inserting Decred’s points of differentiation into wider conversations, and was well-received by many in the Ethereum community, including David Hoffman, co-host of the POV Crypto podcast.

@dezryth posted the first update for his Facebook and Events proposal for the month of January.

Monde PR came on board and quickly established project public relations goals, target audiences, key messages, credibility bullet points, documented key topics, performed a competitor analysis, documented all spokespeople, created key stories to pitch, and even began outreach, yielding a number of valuable placements:

  • An article in Cointelegraph featuring @elian and @akinsawyerr’s commentary on the adoption of blockchain around the world.
  • An article in Finance Magnates featuring @jy-p’s commentary on the centralization of Bitcoin mining and consensus models.
  • An article in AMB Crypto featuring commentary from @richardred on Bitcoin building a nation.

Events

Attended:

  • Feb 4–6 — Africa Tech Summit — Kigali, Rwanda. @akinsawyerr and @beansgum attended this 600+ visitor event and Akin shared his experience of connecting with regulators, startups and VCs in a full report. “When Decred is ready to actively pursue use cases that build on our stack there will be a lot of open and able hands available to engage with”.
  • Feb 6 — Decred Global Meetup — Chicago, USA. (notes)
  • Feb 6 — Decred Global Meetup — Belo Horizonte — Brazil. (photo)
  • Feb 6 — Decred Global Meetup — Buenos Aires, Argentina. Hosted by @EspacioBitcoin. (photos)
  • Feb 6 — Decred Global Meetup — Mexico City, Mexico. Hosted by Bitcoin Embassy Bar. (photosvideo)
  • Feb 6 — Decred Global Meetup — Natal, Brazil. @guisso: “funny part of the t-shirts is that at the beginning they were displayed on the entrance table and nobody showed interest, but at the end of the event, when they got to know the project, everyone wanted to participate in the draw”. (photo)
  • Feb 6 — Decred Global Meetup — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There was no shortage of beer. (photo)
  • Feb 6 — Decred Global Meetup — São Paulo, Brazil. (photo)
  • Feb 6 — Discover Decred — Toronto, Canada. (photo)
  • Feb 8 — Decred Global Meetup — Salvador, Brazil. (photos)
  • Feb 8 — Blockchain and AI — Casablanca, Morocco. This event featured second publicly known Decred Cake. (photos: twittermatrix)
  • Feb 8 — Decred Crypto Hangout — Lagos, Nigeria. Five Decred contributors shared knowledge about various aspects of Decred. The event was attended by 25+ people and representatives of @yellowcardio, @HuobiAfrica and @Telos4africa. (report)
  • Feb 27–3er After UX Crypto — Santa Fe, Argentina. Decred was a sponsor. (photos)
  • Feb 27 — Decred and Stamping.io Meetup — Lima, Peru. @victorarubin presented Decred to Stamping.io and Life Leadership community in Lima, about 60 people attended. (video)

Upcoming:

  • Mar 12 — Women in Blockchain — Mexico City, Mexico. Hosted by Bitcoin Embassy Bar.
  • Mar 12 — Decred Meetup — Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Mar 12–13 — Blockchain Summit Latam — Panama City, Panama. Decred will be a silver sponsor.
  • Mar 17 — Decred Meetup — Bilbao, Spain.
  • Mar 18 — Decred Meetup — Barcelona, Spain.
  • Mar 18 — Campus Party Amazonia — Manaus, Brazil. Decred will have 2 talks and several other activities.
  • Mar 20 — BlockchainUA — Kyiv, Ukraine. Speakers are wanted to represent Decred at the biggest event in Eastern Europe. Contact @cryptotexty in the #events room for details.
  • Mar 20–21 — CIBTC Blockchain Summit — Motril, Spain. Decred will be a gold sponsor.
  • Mar 24 — Decred Meetup — Santiago, Chile.
  • Mar 24 — Decred Meetup — Madrid, Spain.
  • Mar 26 — Decred Meetup — Vigo, Spain.
  • Mar 27 — Decred Meetup — Valencia, Spain.
  • Mar 28 — DevOpsDays — Natal, Brazil. @guisso will present on what it took to implement a test environment for dcrlnd with docker-compose.
  • Apr 5 — Toronto Blockchain Week — Toronto, Canada. @ammarooni, @michae2xl and likely also @zubair are planning on being there.
  • Apr 9 — Bitcoin Road Trip — Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Apr 13–17 — Jalisco Talend Land — Guadalajara, Mexico. Decred is a Bronze sponsor.
  • Apr 24 — Decred Meetup — La Paz, Bolivia.
  • May 6 — Bitcoinference — Cancún, Mexico.
  • May 30–31 — Bitconf — São Paulo, Brazil. Decred will have multiple talks on various subjects.

Media

Selected articles:

  • Decred 2019 Marketing Report by @Dustorf gives an account of 2019’s marketing effort, in which 785K USD was spent (similar to the previous year). The report also has thoughtful reflections on how to evolve and decentralize the project’s marketing effort. (blog.decred.org)
  • Decred On-Chain: Ticket Funding Rates by @permabullnino (medium)
  • Decred On-Chain: Macro + Micro Outlook by @permabullnino (medium)
  • Decred, The Resilient Stronghold by @Checkmate, closing the 3 part series by looking at Bitcoin and Decred in terms of resilience, aggregate psychology, and user adoption (medium)
  • New issues of the Decred Drive continued to appear every Thursday courtesy of @DecredDragon — thanks also for your kind words about the Journal, from the team.
  • CryptoEQ gave Decred a Bronze rating, citing concerns with high USD cost to buy a ticket, relatively high inflation compared to other SoV coins, and the cost of a ticket becoming more volatile (cryptoeq.io)
  • The State of Blockchain: Experts Weigh in on Adoption Around the World by Joseph Birch — featuring @elian on LATAM and @akinsawyerr on Africa (cointelegraph.com)
  • After Four Years, is Decred Better than Bitcoin Yet? by Liam Kelly (cryptobriefing.com)

Translations:

  • Decred Journal January 2020 was translated to Arabic (@arij), Chinese (@Dominic) and Spanish (@francov_). Thank you all for spreading the word!

Videos:

  • “Why DEX”, put simply, illustrated quote from @moo31337 about the different motivations of bankers and FOSS developers, produced by @Exitus (youtube)
  • Decred Bi-Weekly News Update — February 25th, 2020 by @Exitus, this is the first bi-weekly update being delivered as part of the approved proposal (youtube)
  • @ivandecredfan has continued making educational Decred videos in Russian even after his proposal failed (youtube)

Audio:

  • Decred in Depth Ep. 18. @elian talks about life on the road representing Decred all over LATAM, different use cases in different places, and a strategy for accentuating the tropical contingent of the global Decred community. (libsyn, soundcloud)
  • Rough Consensus Ep. 1. @Checkmate and @permabullnino open a new show, talking about derivatives, alt season, and blockchain dynamics (libsyn)
  • Decred in Depth Roundup Ep. 1 (or Ep. 20 of Decred in Depth). Join @Checmkate, @permabullnino and @mr.black for a discussion of blockchain funding and security, 51% attacks, and their latest projects. (soundcloud)

Community Discussions

Comm systems news:

  • The Slack bridge to Matrix and Discord was decommissioned on Feb 28 and most of the channels shuttered. Issues that led to this decision include the disruptive shutdown of automatic invites in 2018, DMs and other history disappearing after about a week, and migration of most active moderators to Matrix. Those who wished to continue following and participating in the chats moved to Matrix and Discord, to the rest we say a fond farewell.
  • @Exitus purged inactive accounts from Discord, cementing his iron grip on power among the denizens of Decred Discord. The pruning removed accounts that were not verified and had not logged on in over 30 days. Any account removed is free to re-join and go through the verification process.
  • The DCRComic team added a pack of stickers on Telegram, they can be added by following this link or by clicking a sticker posted by someone else in the chat. Telegram users now have a choice of two Stakey themed sticker packs! The new set complement the existing set of Stakey stickers produced by @lustosa. Looks like it was a good call to not spend $1,400 on an additional set of Telegram stickers from that proposal 2 months ago!

Selected Reddit posts:

  • @Checkmate shared his Decred Wishlist, and others responded with their thoughts about @Checkmate’s suggestions, and some suggestions of their own.
  • The Decred Marketing Report saw 15 comments, some celebrating it, others taking issue with aspects of it.

Selected Twitter discussions:

  • @Exitus identified and extracted a clip from an Ark Invest video, where Cathie Wood mentions Decred as “promising”.
  • @degeri shared a screengrab from Altered Carbon Season 2 Episode 5, where prices are quoted on screen in a range of cryptocurrencies, including Decred. DCR is the only currency shown with two numbers, and this cued speculation about what that meant for the interpretation of this year 2400 price prediction for DCR.
  • @jy-p is back on twitter after a long hiatus, and he’s wondering what people who work on cc projects and aren’t actively engineering out oracles are doing.
  • @richardred thread about Decred DAO, prompted by a response by @rzs on Medium asking why Decred was not featured in a DAO update.
  • DCR Time artwork by DCR Comic.
  • Chris Burniske with a nice Joel Monegro quote from his Sovereign Cryptonetworks paper, about Decred being set up for long-term sovereignty thanks to its decentralized governance principles.
  • @Checkmate sums up the Treasury as the beating heart of the Decred project.

Markets

In February DCR was trading between USD 16.71–24.75 / BTC 0.0019–0.0024. The average daily rate was $20.48.

Relevant External

The Ethereum ProgPoW debate was re-ignited in style when it was approved to go into a hard fork on the core devs call, resulting in bafflement among many in the wider Ethereum community, where ProgPoW does not have as much support. This post from Hudson Jameson gives an account of the history of ProgPoW and comes to the conclusion that while the change is probably good, threats to maintain a contentious hard fork must be taken seriously and it is not worth forking the network over. The Ethereum community is using a variety of signalling mechanisms, including Twitter polls and EIP open letters with hashtag campaigns. As Hudson’s post details, there have already been extensive efforts to gauge Ethereum community sentiment about ProgPoW, and both a coin vote and miner vote were strongly in favor of ProgPoW. A variety of other methods have been used to gather signals from the community, including Kialo and likely a number of Reddit posts. @Checkmate has joined the debate with some observations on how this is being handled, informed by his experience with Decred’s approach. The problem with informal governance is that regardless of the amount of signal collection that takes place and whether everyone has a chance to speak, there will inevitably be a few people who have to make a judgment call and push forward to draw a line under it. It’s a messy process and in the end very few people feel satisfied with the outcome.

There are indications of significant strife at Tendermint, the company behind the Cosmos blockchain — with number two Zaki Manian resigning from Tendermint to form his own Cosmos focused company, saying the CEO (Jae Kwon) is making progress difficult by under-resourcing development and focusing on a new project (Virgo) and Twitter persona (@jaesustein). This update from Jae illustrates the unusual degree to which the concept of godliness has come into play in the spat. Cosmos collected $17 million in a 2017 ICO, worth some $1 billion a few months later, in Mar 2019 the project raised another $9 million when the first iteration of the network launched, but the signs now are that progress towards a functioning blockchain hub has been limited since then.

Block.one CEO Brendan Blumer woke up to find that the rules of the EOS network had been changed overnight, with 15 BPs proposing and passing the change to reduce issuance from 5% to 1%. That it happened is not exactly a surprise, because at no point has any significant effort been put into developing the planned “Worker Proposal System” described in the white paper. The unused 4% has been building up in an unused address, and the accumulated EOS has already been burned once. Why the WPF fund was finally shut down on this particular night 18 months later is a mystery that only the 15 EOS BPs involved know the answer to. Nobody even gave Brendan a heads up! He’s fine with it though, rules changing overnight is how decentralized governance works when there are only 15 parties involved.

The Bitcoin ABC developers have released details of their plan to implement a variant of the block reward funding proposed by Jiang Zhuoer of BTC.TOP. This implementation will alter the following details of the plan: amount reduced to 5%, funds can go to any whitelisted project, and the plan will only go into effect if triggered by miners via BIP9. There remains considerable opposition to the idea of any developer funding from the BCH block reward.

Binance has been engaged in a dispute with one of its users who had used the Wasabi wallet to CoinJoin mix their transactions and enhance their privacy. The mixing activity elevated the user’s risk score and their funds were frozen while Binance investigated. Eventually the user agreed to withdraw their funds, which were not welcomed by Binance, who referenced compliance with Singapore law to explain their actions. The user had to promise not to mix their coins any more before Binance would return them! So far there have been no reports of DCR mixers being flagged in this way.

The privacy implications of Ethereum Name Service (.ens) domains were considered by Tim Copeland in an article in Decrypt. Although many users were aware that they could damage their privacy by linking their domain address to their other addresses, the transaction they used to pay for their .ens could also be used to link them to their funds.

Blockstream is getting into banking, being named as a strategic technology partner of Avanti Financial Group, a new US bank dedicated to digital assets — covered by CoinSpice (with spicy illustrations). Terms were not disclosed.

Casa is winding down its node hardware product, of which it has sold 2,000 units, and also open sourcing its code. Casa will focus on its $10/month subscription service for key management.

Justin Sun of Tron had a busy month, buying the content website steemit.com which is built on (and the main use of) the Steem blockchain and immediately announcing that steemit.com would be moving to the Tron blockchain. This led the Steem witnesses (block producers) to enact a soft fork which would freeze the “Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake”, an unknown large quantity of STEEM held in a number of accounts by the company. On Mar 1, Justin struck back by recruiting exchanges (Binance and Huobi) to vote for a set of witnesses under his control that would revert the soft fork and free the Steemit STEEM. After backlash from users it appeared that both Binance and Huobi were going to unstake their STEEM and pull out of whatever arrangement they had with Sun.

There has also been some suggestion that Justin Sun used votes from the “Zion” account to interfere with community voting of Tron Apps — which he appeared to confirm, stating that it was temporary until 3 super representatives upgrade their software, to “prevent them from harming the network”.

IOTA’s coordinator was turned off, pausing the network, on Feb 13, to investigate claims of Trinity wallet thefts totalling $1.6 million. IOTA entered a state of elevated calamity when, after several days of down-time with the coordinator switched off, it was revealed that all the private keys of all users of the desktop Trinity client (maintained by the IOTA Foundation) had been compromised. 8.55 Ti of IOTA has been stolen, worth about $2.3 million at the time. Trinity was compromised by malicious code inserted in a 3rd party dependency of the MoonPay service that enabled users to buy IOTA tokens directly within Trinity. The latest is that there is a fixed version of Trinity and a seed migration tool and IOTA holders have 7 days to undergo the transfer procedure before the foundation re-starts the network between Mar 7 and Mar 10. IOTA has lost 30% of its value in USD terms at time of writing (Mar 5), but users who hold their own IOTA have been unable to move them since the network was paused.

Aragon Court launched, aiming to provide a digital jurisdiction for DAOs to operate in. In Aragon Court disputes are resolved by jurors who stake ANJ tokens and try to guess the decision that the majority of jurors will choose. 247 jurors signed up for the launch by collectively staking 1 million ANT (worth ~$1.3 million). To start with jurors are completing a “precedence campaign” (juror training exercise) with mock disputes.

The public beta of Colony opened. Colony is a platform for creating DAOs on Ethereum. Individual colonies are not publicly listed, so it is not clear how many there are so far or what they are being used for. Colony plans to become a self-sustaining public utility, governed through a “Metacolony”, which will have its own CLNY tokens in the future. As a precursor to that, a “Betacolony” was launched this month and funded with 10,000 DAI — contributors can earn DAI and BLNY tokens by completing tasks, ranging from fixing hardware wallet support to blogging or tweeting about Colony. There are no signs of decision-making tools in the Betacolony, instead admins can create tasks which are then completed by members and validated by admins, who process the bounty payments.

DeFi project bZx has been at the center of a number of stories about exploits this month, with its new “flash loan” feature being used in creative ways to set up series of transactions that manipulated price oracles and immediately profited from them. The novel aspect of these exploits is that the transactions are all processed in the same block, either there is a profit for the attacker or the transaction is not valid — making it very low risk for the attacker as they are not required to provide collateral. After the exploit, the master key was used to edit the smart contracts so that they could not be exploited in the same way any longer.

Another group came forward to say they had warned bZx about a different issue a month earlier and were not impressed with their response, including refusing to pay a reasonable bounty based on a technicality.

12 exchanges were hacked in 2019 for a total damage of almost $300 million and 510,000 user logins, according to a January report by Cointelegraph. This serves as a reminder to be cautious when selecting an exchange to send coins or sensitive documents to.

About This Issue

This is issue 23 of Decred Journal. Index of all issues, mirrors and translations is available here.

Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.

Your feedback and contributions are always welcome.

Credits (alphabetical order):

  • writing and editing: bee, degeri, Dustorf, guisso, l1ndseymm, richardred
  • reviews and feedback: ay-p, chappjc, davecgh, dnldd, jholdstock, lukebp, matheusd, raedah

Decred Journal — February 2020 was originally published in Decred on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Comment 0

delete

Are you sure you want to delete this post?