A cryptocurrency is a form of money based on cryptographic methods. This cryptographic system allows a series of individuals who do not trust each other to share a common database. When using particular cryptographic methods, this database is called the blockchain. The blockchain reflects the real state of affairs even though the database is shared between different parties who do not know each other. This is the power of the blockchain.
The first cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. Today there are many cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin, and these are referred to as a group as altcoins (alternative coins), deCRED is one such altcoin.
I sat with Dave Collins to understand more about what sets deCRED apart from altcoins.
deCRED Executive Summary:
Technology: deCRED uses a hybridized consensus system to strike a balance between miners and users to create a more robust currency.
Development: deCRED fosters a multi-stakeholder development ecosystem that welcomes and empowers participants who want to improve on existing features or build new tools.
Governance: deCRED is constructing a layered governance organization that extends beyond the miners and users to bring forward and represent insider and outsider voices in the community.
Interview with Dave Collins, on deCRED
Is it possible to describe deCRED in three sentences?
deCRED is an open, progressive, and self-funding cryptocurrency with a system of community-based governance integrated into its blockchain. The project mission is to develop technology for the public benefit, with a primary focus on cryptocurrency technology. deCRED , as a currency and as a project, is bound by a set of rules, which include guiding principles, a system of governance, and a self-funding mechanism.
What are your top three features of deCRED ?
A hybridized consensus system to strike a balance between miners and users to create a more robust currency. Typically, the miners who operate the infrastructure wield considerable influence while the users have relatively little sway. deCRED allows users to participate in the project directly without the need for expensive mining hardware.
Hard fork voting that lets stakeholders vote on major changes to the blockchain itself such as the block size or the algorithm used to determine Proof-of-Stake ticket prices. Allowing stakeholders to vote on all hard fork changes ensures interested parties have representation in major decisions that will affect deCRED , unlike most other cryptocurrencies. The ability to implement ongoing user-approved hard fork changes will give deCRED the ability to continuously adapt and evolve.
Self funded development through a 10% subsidy on block rewards allows deCRED to ensure the resources are available now and in the future to deliver the current vision of deCRED and allow it to adapt to future requirements. These funds are available to anyone who wishes to contribute towards development, not just a core team.
What have been the greatest achievements for deCRED so far?
There are several, but the most important recent achievement is that deCRED very recently shipped a crypto-currency first in the form of hard-fork voting using the proof-of-stake component. This is a core technology of deCRED that enables stakeholders to make governance decisions in a decentralized, transparent, on-chain, and democratic way. There is currently an ongoing demonstration of the technology on the deCRED test network.
Is it possible to know how many developers are working on deCRED ?
deCRED is an open source project with a wide variety of developers from diverse backgrounds. At the current time there have been more than 75 contributors across all software repositories.
How is the work from many different developers integrated into the system?
Work is integrated via a collaborative software development portal (Github). Each contributor maintains their own copy of deCRED and submits the code for review. The code review process allows other project members to review and provide feedback such as identifying bugs or suggesting more efficient code. The contributor can then address any comments and request another review. Assuming the contribution passes code review, it will be merged to the production code.
What is the marketing/branding strategy?
With the release of version 0.8.0 just a few days ago, deCRED has gone through a complete rebranding effort across its entire online presence. Using the funds from the development pool, members of the community with skills in marketing, communication, technical documentation, web, graphic and user experience design have been hired as contractors and their work is showing results with increased and sustained user engagement.
Two successful community puzzles with a significant prize in deCRED (worth over $2000USD) helped boost deCRED s profile. Crucially, interest in deCRED has been sustained after these events concluded and we have retained a significant number of new users.
What are the opportunities for investment in deCRED ?
deCRED provides a unique hybridized proof-of-work and proof-of-stake system in which it is possible to earn deCRED either via traditional hash-based mining or by participating in the staking system which also is fundamental to deCRED ’s decentralized governance model. Current returns from proof-of-stake are approximately three to four percent per month,
When will the last block be mined?
How will the project fund itself after the last block is mined?
The proof-of-work mining process will continue through the entire life of deCRED as it is the mechanism for inclusion of transactions into the blockchain. However, I think your question is probably asking what block will provide the final amount of the finite supply of coins, and the answer to that is block 2,463,744 which is expected to occur sometime in early 2039. The expected funding model at that point is transaction fees.
What are the most common uses of deCRED today?
Which communities, sites or network are using deCRED ?
deCRED has come a long way since its release a year ago, however it has only been around a month since we have really started to promote it. As such, its general use is currently limited, but we expect this to change later this year as lightning network support (fast, off-chain transactions) and payment integration support for business are added. We expect that using deCRED will one day be as simple and ubiquitous as a credit card with the advantages of it being accessible, cheap and usable worldwide.
Are transactions on deCRED anonymous by default?
Transactions are anonymous in the sense that a transaction can only be traced to an address, not the owner of the address. The official deCRED wallets use a new address for all transactions which makes it rather difficult to associate any given transaction to a specific user. There are enhanced privacy features planned as discussed in the 2017 roadmap which will make it even more difficult to track the transfer of funds across addresses.
Why has deCRED trebled from January 2017 to February 2017?
The market has reacted positively to the 2017 roadmap, increased awareness, and nearly a year’s worth of development necessary to lay the groundwork for several of the features discussed on the roadmap.
How can users get involved?
There are two main ways to get involved. Proof-of-work mining, as you may be familiar with in Bitcoin, where computing power is used to verify blocks is the first. Proof-of-stake mining is the second where users with deCRED can purchase tickets (the ticket cost is refundable) in a ‘lottery’ where winning the lottery means you get the chance to vote on issues in deCRED as well as earn part of the reward for solving a block. Unlike a regular lottery, any given ticket has a 99.5% chance of voting within 5 months (after which time the ticket expires and the purchase price minus a small transaction fee is returned). deCRED for staking can be purchased from many online cryptocurrency exchanges.
There are also some user projects that handle automatic ticket purchasing such as dcrstats.com and their Evolution platform. While we welcome user participation, it should be noted that anything not under the deCRED.com domain is not officially affiliated with the deCRED project. These services may require the sharing of private wallet keys which is not something that should be done under any circumstances.
On https://dcrstats.com/ I noticed a box called “Ticket Price”, can you explain more about this?
The ticket price is the current amount of deCRED that must be locked to acquire what is referred to as a stake ticket. These tickets are entered into a lottery and randomly selected to vote on any active agendas as well as the validity of the previous block and also receive a reward. In other words, stakeholders lock the specified number of coins for an average of 28 days in exchange for voting rights and an additional reward which is a percentage of the block subsidy.
How can those interested learn more about deCRED?
They can visit the website at https://deCRED.org/.
deCRED is also available at these exchanges:
We thank Dave Collins and also Justin Fainges for the interview.