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The Petro Is An ICO Scam, Hyperinflation Continues In Venezuela Unchecked
https://preview.redd.it/hpbr9fm4ot121.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=43c40634926ea46673deae81014e380e72711314 http://genesisblocknews.com/the-petro-is-an-ico-scam-hyperinflation-continues-in-venezuela-unchecked/ The cryptocurrency that is supposed to be backed by petroleum, gold, iron, and diamonds as well as the first cryptocurrency created by a government appears to be just a big ICO scam. There is no sign that the Petro actually exists. Currently the Venezuelan government is offering Petro certificates in exchange for major fiat currencies, but buyers do not receive any actual cryptocurrency. The Petro block explorer continues to be non-functional, with no transaction data or blocks viewable, and a fake block counter slowly increasing on the bottom of the page, with no relevance to reality. What’s worse than a shitcoin? A fake shitcoin. Ultimately, the Petro is no better than the Bolivar, since the Venezuelan government can print it at will. In-fact, it might be worse, since at least the Bolivar is a functioning currency, and the Petro cryptocurrency simply does not exist. The sad part about this story is that if Venezuela launched a real cryptocurrency with a limited coin supply it could save their country’s economy, or even if they just simply adopted Bitcoin. Venezuela is rich in minerals, petroleum, tourism, and natural resources, and the only reason they are having an economic crisis is because their fiat currency has been abused to balance the budget of an out of control and greedy government. The only thing holding Venezuela back is the lack of a stable currency, and a cryptocurrency could have filled that gap, but Maduro and the Venezuelan government is abusing the Petro in a last ditch attempt to make even more money off of Venezuelan’s before his house of cards burns up. Bloomberg created the Cafe Con Leche Index which measures Venezuelan inflation by purchasing a cup of coffee with a splash of milk at the same Caracas coffee shop at regular intervals. Since 29 October 2018, the day the Petro went on sale to the public, the Bolivar has experienced over 100% inflation, and the chart indicates this inflation is exponentially increasing. Obviously, the launch of the Petro, which is supposed to be backing the Bolivar according to the Venezuelan government, is not slowing down hyperinflation. According to the Cafe Con Leche Index, Venezuelan inflation is 200,000% per year. If people needed anymore proof that the Petro is a scam, look no further than the Venezuelan government demanding people buy Petro before 1 January 2019, or they will not be allowed to exchange it for any other currencies. Real cryptocurrencies cannot be banned from trading like this, since they are fungible, cryptographically secure and decentralized, and this ban for Petro purchased in 2019 and beyond proves that the Petro is just a non-fungible paper certificate at this point. It does not make any sense that the Venezuelan government did not launch an actual cryptocurrency. I create cryptocurrencies for $10 USD, the ad is at the top of the site. It is ridiculous that Venezuela cannot make their own cryptocurrency, when people have invested millions of USD, if I can do for it $10. Fortunately, Venezuelans do have the choice of purchasing actual Bitcoin to quench their desire for a relatively stable currency that holds its value, and there is no reason they need to buy into this government ICO scam. If the Venezuelan government was being honest, they would have just integrated Bitcoin in the first place, since Bitcoin is the best cryptocurrency by far.
Bitcoin Not Accepted: Burger King’s Crypto Foray Short-Lived
News by Cointelegraph: Julia Magas The German branch of Burger King has begun accepting Bitcoin (BTC) on its website and mobile app, as reported by Cointelegraph on Sept. 3. But has the initiative increased consumer demand for the company’s fast food, and is it really possible to buy the popular Whopper burger with Bitcoin? What difficulties has the restaurant faced in its three years of cryptocurrency experience?
Whoppers for Bitcoins
Burger King was one of the first international fast-food chains to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. For the first time, visitors were reportedly able to buy burgers with crypto back in 2016 when the Netherlands branch of Burger King started accepting Bitcoin, with the first restaurant offering burgers to crypto holders located in Bitcoin-friendly Arnhem. The announcement was made by the first Bitcoin embassy on Feb. 18, 2016. The Burger King Arnhem branch also announced that any customer who pays in Bitcoin will get a second Whopper for free and that the restaurant will host special meetups for those interested in digital currencies. However, on May 31, the Arnhem Bitcoinstad representatives announced that local Burger King restaurants have stopped accepting Bitcoin and the digital currency payment initiative was just a temporary promotional campaign:
“Unfortunately, Burger King no longer accepts bitcoins after 31 May. So you only have a chance this month to take advantage of their offer! If you pay Whopper with bitcoins, you will receive a second Whopper for free!”
You can’t use or trade WhopperCoin
Since that time, crypto burgers have reached Russia. Burger King Russia announced a new payment method and even released a WhopperCoin loyalty bonus. But has anyone heard anything about Bitcoin and Burger King since then? Hardly. On Aug. 25, 2017, 1 billion WhopperCoins (WHO) were issued using the Waves blockchain. The new cryptocurrency was intended for buying Whoppers or other burgers and sides. In particular, the company promised a free flagship Whopper to any customer who accumulates 1,700 coins. At the same time, Burger King Russia actively promoted its cryptocurrency, and the translated statement claims that “eating Whoppers today makes for a financially prosperous tomorrow.” One can find out whether WHO holders have gained financial success by looking at the trading charts on the YoBit exchange. To date, YoBit is the only exchange on which WHO is listed, although WHO-BTC trading volumes stand at zero. It’s not so easy to find a Russian Burger King restaurant where Bitcoin payments are accepted, nor is it possible to make an online order using crypto. This may be caused by the active interference of Russian authorities in the local franchise’s activities. Specifically, the Moscow prosecutor’s office repeatedly summoned representatives of Burger King Russia to explain the operation of WhopperCoins and confirm that the company hadn’t issued its tokens for general use, reminding them about the illegal nature of cryptocurrency operations in Russia.
“Wir akzeptieren Bitcoin”
After two years of silence, the Burger King-Bitcoin tandem reappeared in the media, with the German division’s announcement that it will now accept Bitcoin payments on its delivery site and mobile app. The news and subsequent user discussion quickly spread across the internet:
“BREAKING: Burger King in Germany now accepts Bitcoin in their app!\“Every day more than 11 million guests visit Burger King restaurants around the world. It’s the second largest fast food burger place in the world.“BTC accepted here, BTC accepted there, BTC accepted everywhere!”
To increase the volume of its retail sales, Burger King has created a mobile application. It was reported that San Diego’s Tillster, which seeks to adapt to the ever-growing customer base of a restaurant chain and the requirements for a well-scalable payment system, has become a partner in its creation. Perse Faily, CEO of Tillster, said:
“For consumers, they are able to utilize a convenient easy way to pay for their goods and opt-in to additional services that brands are developing, […] such as loyalty programs, exclusive coupons and other engagement tools.”
Notably, Burger King chose to remain silent about the new payment method, while a more detailed study showed that its restaurants have nothing to do with Bitcoin, although its partner does. So, can a burger be bought for BTC at a Burger King in Germany? Yes, but not in its brick-and-mortar restaurants. One can pay with Bitcoins and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) by ordering delivery online through the Lieferservice delivery service, which works with restaurants throughout the country. In other words, it’s akin to Apple announcing that AirPods have become available for purchasing online, but were actually sold on Amazon. As it appears, this is not Burger King’s own initiative. At the same time, Burger King Lieferservice redirects users to BitPay upon ordering products, which, in turn, generates a QR code for payment in Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.
Where can I really pay with Bitcoin?
Judging by interactive Coinmap statistics, the number of offline venues accepting Bitcoin today exceeds 15,400. From time to time, information appears on the internet that visitors of one establishment or another can pay with cryptocurrency. In May, United States-based payment service Flexa enabled Starbucks and 14 other retailers to handle Bitcoin transactions. In July, Singapore’s food chain KOPItech installed special stall-specific kiosks for customers to order food using cryptocurrencies. But does any of this really work? With Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) or Dash, one can buy burgers, street food, coffee, pizza, or sushi in the U.S., Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia and even Kenya. In the Estonian capital of Tallinn, the convenience of cryptocurrencies was much appreciated by coffee houses — clientele can pay with crypto at 10 venues. A cryptocurrency wallet can be used to buy pastries at Dublin’s Krust Bakery and sweets at Rom’s Steccolecco. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency payments are accepted at 94 restaurants to date in the U.S., according to BitcoinRestaurants.net. In most cases, small, private venues or local franchises of large chains are the ones taking the initiative. As for the latter, the idea of using cryptocurrencies as payment has usually come from a local restaurant owner and is an advertisement in nature. A popular example is when the Canadian branch of another fast-food giant, KFC, announced a temporary promotional campaign on Jan. 11, 2018 that included BTC payments. The restaurant owners decided to support the popularity of cryptocurrencies by adding “Bitcoin Basket” to the menu — i.e., a bucket of chicken wings. A competitor of KFC, Subway, has also been reportedly attempting to set up Bitcoin payments to attract customers. Emily Rossi from Ruder Finn, a PR agency claiming to work with Burger King, noted that, as a rule, such promotions are temporary:
“It seems that the one restaurant that was accepting bitcoin may no longer be accepting it. Again, though, it varies by restaurant since each is independently owned and operated, so it’s up to each franchisee, not headquarters.”
How to pay with Bitcoins?
In most cases, restaurants and cafes use a QR code to receive cryptocurrencies, and the role of processing is assigned to operators such as BitPay and Coincheck. Meanwhile, developing countries often resort to local mobile applications that are developed to order. By scanning the QR code, customers are able to transfer money from their cryptocurrency wallets to the ones belonging to venues. Transaction records are permanently stored on the blockchain, while account information remains private. Atila Ajdinovski, the owner of a Bitcoin-friendly restaurant in North Jersey, claimed that using cryptocurrency as a form of payment could be more secure than paying with a credit card:
“When they have your credit card, they have the expiration date. They have all the codes. They can turn around and rob your credit card without you knowing.”
Despite prohibitive cryptocurrency laws, many venues are forced to come up with backdoors. One of these is converting client funds into fiat money, while conducting internal accounting in the traditional currency. Many restaurants try to circumvent the law by calling their cryptocurrency “loyalty bonuses,” like Russia’s Burger King and Lavka-Lavka, a farm-to-table restaurant chain. The owners of both establishments have repeatedly attracted the attention of authorities and even dealt with lawsuits. Another problem faced by cafes wishing to accept cryptocurrency is the lack of widespread use of digital money. This question is especially relevant in developing countries. The venues have found a solution by installing crypto machines that exchange fiat for BTC, allowing everyone who wants to try something new but lacks cryptocurrencies to use the machine. Such an initiative was introduced in Prague, a unique project of a cafe and coworking center where payment is made exclusively with digital currency. That being said, when a restaurant doesn’t pay for the transaction fee, the client may encounter paying a rather high one in some cases. A customer of a Ukrainian restaurant paid around 21% for processing the payment, sharing his negative experience on the internet:
Good for promotion, but premature for large-scale use
Most often, Bitcoin is accepted by small local cafes or family restaurants. Many representatives of large chains are testing this feature in individual venues, but are not introducing it at a large scale. Some news regarding BTC acceptance can simply be attributed to PR campaign and a desire to make the headlines of the media amid the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies. In many respects, the reasons for the slow development of cryptocurrencies in the food and beverage industry are related to regulatory issues and ambiguity around the legal status of digital money, as well as consumer distrust in a new form of payment. Meanwhile, the prevalence of progressive Bitcoin-friendly cities like Arnhem, where locals pay with cryptocurrency as often as with bank cards, are indicative of a future cashless society.
dcrd: Several steps towards multipeer downloads completed: an optimization to use in-memory block index and a new 1337 chain view. Maintenance: improved test coverage, upgrading dependency management system and preparing for the upcoming Go 1.11 release. dcrwallet: A big change introducing optional privacy-preserving SPV sync mode was merged. In this mode dcrwallet does not download the full blockchain but only gets the "filters", uses them to determine which blocks it needs and fetches them from random nodes on the network. This has on-disk footprint of 300-400 MB and sync time of minutes, compared to ~3.4 GB and sync time of hours for full sync (these are rough estimates).
jy-p: the server side of SPV (in dcrd) was deployed in v1.2.0, the client side of SPV (in dcrwallet) is in our next release, v1.3.0. Still some minor bugs in SPV that are being worked out. There will be an update to add the latest features from BIP 157/158 in the next few months. SPV will be optional in v1.3.0, but it will become the default after we get a proper header commitment for it (#general)
Decrediton: besides regular bugfixes and design improvements, several components are being developed in parallel like SPV mode, Politeia integration and Trezor support. Politeia: testing started on mainnet, thanks to everyone who is participating. A lot of testing, bugfixing and polishing is happening in preparation for full mainnet launch. There are also a few missing features to be added before launch, e.g. capacity to edit a proposal and versioning for that, discussion to remain open once voting starts. Decrediton integration is moving forward, check out this video for a demo and this meta issue for the full checklist. Trezor: Decrediton integration of initial Trezor support is in progress and there is a demo. Android: app design version 2.0 completed. dcrdata: development of several chart visualizations was completed and is awaiting deployment. Specifically, voting agendas and historic charts are merged while ticket pool visualization is in testing. atomicswap: @glendc is seeking reviews of his Ethereum support pull request. Dev activity stats for July: 252 active PRs, 220 master commits, 34,754 added and 12,847 deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 6-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: the month started at 40.5 and ended at 51.6 PH/s, with a low of 33.3 and a new all time high of 68.4 PH/s. F2Pool is leading with 40-45%, followed by the new BeePool at 15-25% and coinmine.pl at 18-23%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 92.6 DCR (-2.1). The price started the month at 94.6 and quickly retreated to month's low of 85 until 1,860 tickets were bought within a single period (versus target 720). This pushed the pool of tickets to 41,970 (2.5% above target), which in turn caused 10 price increases in a row to the month's high of 100.4. This was the highest ticket price seen on the new ticket price algorithm which has been in effect since Jul 2017. Second half of the month there was unusually low volatility between 92 and 94 DCR per ticket. Locked DCR held between 3.75 and 3.87 million or 46.6-48.0% of supply (+0.1% from previous peak). Nodes: there are 212 public listening and 216 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 67% on v1.2.0 (+10%), 24% on v1.1.2 (-1%), 7% on v1.1.0 (-7%). Node count data is not perfect but we can see the steady trend of upgrading to v1.2.0. This version of dcrd is notable for serving compact filters. The increased count of such full nodes allows the developers to test SPV client mode in preparations for the upcoming v1.3.0 release.
Obelisk posted three updates in July. For the most recent daily updates join their Discord. New miner from iBeLink: DSM7T hashes Blake256 at 7 TH/s or Blake2b at 3.5 TH/s, consumes 2,100 W and costs $3,800, shipping Aug 5-10. There were also speculations about the mysterious Pangolin Whatsminer DCR with the speed of 44 TH/s at 2,200 W and the cost of $3,888, shipping November. If you know more about it please share with us in #pow-mining channel.
emiliomann: stakebrasil is one of the pools with the lowest number of missed and expired tickets. It was one of the first and has a smaller percentage than the most recent ones who haven’t had the time to do so. (...) The Brazilian pool should be the one with the more servers spread around the world: 6 to decrease the latency. This is to explain to you why the [pool fee] rate of 5% (currently around 0.06 DCR) on the reward is also one of the highest. girino: 8 voting wallets now. I just finished setting up a new one yesterday. All of them in different datacenters, 3 in europe, 3 in north america, 1 in brazil and one in asia. We also have 3 more servers, 1 for the front end, one for "stats" and one for dcrdata. (#general)
On the mining side, Luxor started a new set of pool servers inside mainland China, while zpool has enabled Decred mining. StatX announced Decred integration into their live dashboard and public chat. Decred was added to Satowallet with BTC and ETH trading pairs. Caution: do your best to understand the security model before using any wallet software.
Marina Silva is the first presidential candidate in Brazil using blockchain to keep all their electoral donations transparent and traceable. VotoLegal uses Decred technology, awesome use case! (reddit)
We continue to see institutional interest in DCR. Large block buyers love the concept of staking as a way to earn additional income and appreciate the stakeholder rights it affords them. Likening a DCR investment to an activist shareholdebondholder gives these institutions some comfort while dipping their toes into a burgeoning new asset class.
Targeted advertising reports released for June and July. As usual, reach @timhebel for full versions.
Big news in June: Facebook reversed their policy on banning crypto ads. ICO ads are still banned, but we should be OK. My team filled out the appeal today, so we should hopefully hear something within a few days. (u/timhebel on reddit)
After couple weeks Facebook finally responded to the appeal and the next step is to verify the domain name via DNS. A pack of Stakey Telegram stickers is now available. Have fun!
Meetup in Berlin, Germany hosted by BlueYard Capital. @jz_bz and @lftherios discussed open source incentivization, the value of governance and their respective projects @decredproject and @oscoin. See @issedjur's feedback here. (photos: 1, 2, 3)
O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, USA. @raedah's talk was "Decentralizing decision-making on the blockchain". Read his report here and see on the photos how the Big Stakey was entertaining the public. (photos: 1, 2, 3)
oregonisaac: many open source devs at OSCON were VERY interested in Politeia and it was probably the #1 hook that resulted in lots of long conversations about what makes Decred unique from the ground up. (#politeia)
Blockchain Meetup in Faro, Portugal. Marco Peereboom gave a talk "Decred 101" and answered questions.
Meetup in Lisbon, Portugal on Aug 2. @moo31337 and @mm will be presenting on Decred with talk "Decred 101 - Governance with skin in the game". Co-hosted by The Block Cafe. Free entrance.
Meetup in Taipei, Taiwan on Aug 5. @morphymore will give a short intro on Decred.
OKEx Global Meetup Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Aug 9. @joshuam will introduce Decred and on-chain governance and take part in a panel discussion.
Twitter: Ari Paul debates "There can be only one" aka "highlander argument". Reddit and Forum: how ticket pool size influences average vote time; roadmap concerns; why ticket price was volatile; ideas for using Reddit chat for dcrtrader and alternative chat systems; insette's write-up on Andrew Stone's GROUP proposal for miner-validated tokenization that is superior to current OP_RETURN-based schemes; James Liu's paper to extend atomic swaps to financial derivatives; what happens when all DCR are mined, tail emission and incentives for miners. Chats: why tickets don't have 100% chance to vote; ideas for more straightforward marketing; long-running chat about world economy and failure modes; @brandon's thoughts on tokenizing everything, ICOs, securities, sidechains and more; challenges of staking with Trezor; ideas how to use CryptoSteel wallet with Decred; why exchange can't stake your coins, how staking can increase security, why the function to export seed from wallet is bad idea and why dcrwallet doesn't ever store the seed; ticket voting math; discussion about how GitHub workflow forces to depend on modern web browser and possible alternatives; funding marketing and education in developing markets, vetting contractors based on deliverables, "Decred contractor clearance", continued in #governance. #dex channel continues to attract thinkers and host chats about influence of exchanges, regulation, HFT, lot sizes, liquidity, on-chain vs off-chain swaps, to name a few topics. #governance also keeps growing and hosting high quality conversations.
In July DCR was trading in USD 56-76 and BTC 0.0072-0.0109 range. A recovery started after a volume boost of up to $10.5 m on Fex around Jul 13, but once Bitcoin headed towards USD ~8,000 DCR declined along with most altcoins. WalletInvestor posted a prediction on dcrtrader. Decred was noticed in top 10 mineable coins on coinmarketcap.com.
One million PCs in China were infected via browser plugins to mine Decred, Siacoin and Digibyte. In a Unchained podcast episode David Vorick shared why ASICs are better than GPUs even if they tend toward mining centralization and also described Obelisk's new Launchpad service. (missed in June issue) Sia project moved to GitLab. The stated reasons are to avoid the risk of depending on centralized service, to avoid vendor lock-in, better continuous integration and testing, better access control and the general direction to support decentralized and open source projects. Luxor explained why PPS pools are better. @nic__carter published slides from his talk "An Overview of Governance in Blockchains" from Zcon0. This article arguing the importance of governance systems dates back to 2007. Bancor wallet was hacked. This reminds us about the fake feeling of decentralizaion, that custody of funds is dangerous and that smart contracts must have minimum complexity and be verifiable. Circle announced official Poloniex mobile apps for iOS and Android. On Jul 27 Circle announced delisting of 9 coins from Poloniex that led to a loss of 23-81% of their value same day. Sad reminder about how much a project can depend on a single centralized exchange. DCR supply and market cap is now correct on onchainfx.com and finally, on coinmarketcap.com. Thanks to @sumiflow, @jz and others doing the tedious work to reach out the various websites.
About This Issue
Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply. Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.
Obelisk posted 3 email updates in August. DCR1 units are reportedly shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design. Innosilicon announced the new D9+ DecredMaster: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15. FFMiner DS19 claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299. Shipping Aug 20-25. Another newly noticed miner offer is this unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR (which has now a page on asicminervalue).
www.d1pool.com joined the list of stakepools for a total of 16. Australian CoinTreeadded DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports. Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges page at decred.org. Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
Coinomiadded Decred to their Android and iOS wallets. In addition to the Apple App Store and Google Play you can download the APK directly. Coinomi features an integrated cryptocurrency exchange and is the first company to offer a mobile Decred wallet.
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?
Bit Dialsannounced DCR support via GloBee at their bitdials.eu luxury boutique. Their separate supercar and classic car shop bitcars.eu also accepts DCR, either via GloBee or with manual invoicing in case of privacy concerns.
Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here. Contribution to the @decredproject Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub)
Meetup in Puebla City, Mexico, organized by @elian. (photo, slides, missed in July issue)
@joshuam discussed Decred and decentralized organizations with Craig Laundy, Federal Minister for Small Business, the Workplace, and Deregulation with the Australian Government, at @YBFVentures. (photos)
Meetup at @TheBlockCafe in Lisbon, Portugal. @mm presented "Decred 101 - Governance with Skin in the Game" and @moo31337 talked about Decred's 2018 roadmap. (photos: 123)
Meetup in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore made a short intro of Decred and noted: "After the talk, many have approached to tell me that they literally don’t hear of Decred until today, and are interested in finding out more about the merit of a hybrid consensus system.". Longer report here, some photos and a video are here.
@eSizeDave introduced Decred to the SILC Undergraduate Program students at @YBFVentures. (photo)
OKEx Global Meetup Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. @joshuam gave a brief presentation covering the history of Decred, how the project functions, and the importance of governance. Afterwards he joined a panel discussion and spoke about Decred's incentives for long term viability. (video, video, photo)
Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, Canada. @zubairzia0 noted: "Devs and the community were held in high regard for the people who knew about decred ... one positive thing I remember was someone defending us saying 'Decred does not need a booth', I believe that comment was reflective of the quality of projects being showcased at the conference.". (photo)
Meetup at @YBFVentures in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam discussed Decred with Graham Stuart, U.K. Minister for International Trade. (news, photos)
Small meetup with Jackson Palmer in Melbourne, Australia. (photo)
Hawthorne Street Fair in Portland, USA. Raedah Group was out answering questions about crypto and Decred. (photos)
Blockchain APAC in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam joined a panel discussion with reps from banking, university and ISO/TC 307. @eSizeDave reports: "This enterprise conference was indeed a whole lot better than I expected. The presentations were actually full of very worthwhile information from credible people, articulated aptly to a very government, academic, and corporate crowd, who genuinely took on board valuable insights. Good to know some of these key people are Decred holders and stakers as well. I got to use the entire day to speak directly with some of the most pivotal personalities in this particular populace. Ongoing relationships have been built and strengthened.". (photos: 123)
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning) The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)
One private work channel was successfully migrated to Matrix.
Stylish room avatars were set.
@Haon has prepared a short guide to help new Matrix users get started and join the Decred rooms.
A thread was started to discuss changes to Decred jargon with the intent to make it more consistent and accessible to newcomers. The question whether changing "official" terminology requires stakeholder approval was touched in this thread and in #documentation.
Project fund transparency and constitution were extensively discussed on Reddit and in #general.
Pre-proposal to use Politeia to approve Politeia as a legitimate decision-making tool for Decred.
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons; ecosystem fund; a thread about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable is the Obelisk DCR1. Chats: cross-chain trading via LN; plans for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring dev activity; what if the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system in Go; security of allowing Android app backups; why PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts about NIPoPoWs and SPV; prerequisites for shipping SPV by default (continued); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses, spending other people's money; why Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued); overview of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes in vgo; why project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations and multilingual environment. An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading.
DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery. @ImacallyouJawdy posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.
StopAndDecrypt published an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs. The ongoing debates about the possible Sia fork yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky to have the treasury. Mark B Lundeberg, who found a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue) Medium took a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate to Ghost (that same project previously migrated away from Slack). Regulation: Vietnam bans mining equipment imports, China halts crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups. Reddit was hacked by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement explains the impact. Yet another data breach suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems. Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins. Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com.
About This Issue
This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are 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. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
I bought at 3k, sold at 15k and bought back in at 3.9k. AMA
History: - Put in 5k a month for 3 months between May 2017 - July 2017 evenly distributed between Ethereum and Bitcoin, total buy in $15k for about 1.7 Bitcoin at around $3500 and 30 Ethereum around $300 (all prices are averages of all my purcahses) - Sold in late January of 2018 at Around Mid $14k bitcoin and $900 ether for about $50k grossing about $35k and $25k after taxes - Reinvested all of the earnings + another $5kusd Between Dec 2018 - Feb 2019. I bought 3.8001 btc at an average price of $3947.26 and 119.586 ethereum at an average price of $125.48. I'm now in only $5k lifetime net fiat for those holdings. How did I know to sell at the top? I was sitting in a cafe right around new years 2018 and at one point I noticed that literally 4 out of the 5 tables around me were talking about Bitcoin. They were talking about it as if it were some magical money fountain. They clearly knew very little about cryptography, blockchain, or how this might be useful to the world. They sounded more like Bitconnect hawkers than people dicsussing technology. I knew at that point things were way overhyped and that it could not go on much further. Those people were dumb money and the smart money is going to cash out when things get over heated like that. So I wanted to share my philosophy because I see a lot of talk on here that makes me worry that people are going to lose a lot of money even in what I think likely is going to be a bull market coming up. Everything here is just my opinion and I don't claim to be any type of guru. I certainly don't have any kind of magic ball for price movements but what I do have is an extremely simple underlying compass for my decisions that has led me well. My main underlying philosophy: YOU CANNOT KNOW PRICE MOVEMENTS IN THE SHORT TERM. You don't know. The guy writing for CCN or CoinTelegraph doesn't know, Mike Novogratz doesn't know, Vitalik doesn't know. That guys on youtube doing technical analysis on might as well be posting about astrological charts, it's total nonsense. For every rule there is an exception but I believe this to be true 98% of the time and if you aren't some seasoned expert who has some extremely specialized reason why you are the exception, you are the dumb money. This philosophy basically says never swing trade and never trade short term price movements. It's a losing battle for all but the most savvy people and we aren't in that group (and a lot of them lose their shirts anyway). So if you can't trade on technical analysis wizardry, what can you trade on? Two things: 1) Based on the real world use value of bitcoin, is it undervalued or overvalued? That means you have to decide for yourself what is the real world value of bitcoin, ideally by comparing its current market cap to to what you think the market cap might be if it saw widescale adoption. In my mind, bitcoin is just like gold but better in almost every way. So look at the current value of gold used as a store of value. This should be a pretty good proxy for a potential value of bitcoin. The actual marketcap of bitcoin doesn't represent that value right now so it seems like a good buy. 2) Is it overhyped? Just because something is undervalued doesn't mean it's not overhyped. When people talk about crypto, are they talking about how it could provide real value to the world or are they talking about it like it's a magic money tree that sprouts lambos. When there are more people talking about lambos than scaling and custodial solutions it's likely that a lot of dumb money is pouring into the space. This is when things are getting over valued and when it might be smart to temporarily pull out. So am I saying not to HODL? Kinda. HODL but HODL with your intellect as opposed to treating it like a religion. If things feel dumb it's ok to get out for while. If you make the right call you stand to be able to buy back in at a much stronger position and in the end the game is to be holding as much crypto as possible right? No one ever lost their shirt selling at a profit. And for fucks sakes, don't invest in crypto if you don't know where rent and food are coming from. Gambling your last dollars is never smart money and will just cause you to make dumb trades when you need quick cash anyway. I've never thrown more then 20% of my networth into crypto, when things blow up that 20% will quickly be more than what you initially had anyway. AMA if you'd like
What is Ren? Ren is an open protocol that enables the permissionless transfer of value between any blockchain. Ren's core product, RenVM, brings interoperability to decentralized finance (DeFi). What makes RenVM unique is that it does everything in secret using zero-knowledge proofs over an sMPC based protocol that the team has pioneered. The state, inputs, and outputs of all programs that RenVM runs are kept hidden from everyone, including the Darknodes that power it. This allows RenVM to securely manage (ECDSA) private keys on different blockchains, making it possible to shift tokens between these blockchains in a trustless, permissionless, and decentralized way (i.e interoperability). Technically speaking RenVM is a byzantine fault-tolerant protocol (with 1/3 malicious nodes) that does ECDSA threshold key generation and signing via sMPC. RenVM is not a product or an application in and of itself but is a network (and an accompanying SDK) that allows developers to bring interoperability to their DeFi applications. Ren was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Singapore.
Darknodes Darknodes are the physical machines that power RenVM, where every machine contributes CPU time for compute power and its disk space for storage. These are that machines that form the P2P decentralized network (not a blockchain) that cooperate to run secret multiparty computations. It is important to note that programs executing on RenVM are hidden from the Darknodes that run the virtual machine. This guide will walk you through the installation of your Darknode. Before you begin, make sure that you have a MacOS, Windows, or Ubuntu machine available (i.e. home computer) and 100,000 REN. Guides: How to set up a Darknode The Team
What happened to the Republic Protocol? Republic Protocol was rebranded to Ren to reflect the project’s evolution towards interoperability (i.e. RenVM). Old posts and discussions can be found on the Republic Protocol Reddit
We truly appreciate our community, and this cannot be said enough. The level of technical understanding and subsequent assistance provided to our newcomers, speaks to the expertise and positivity in the community, and we couldn’t be more thankful. We look forward to collaborating with everyone as we make our next steps forward towards building a cross-chain DeFi ecosystem. If you are interested in working directly with the Ren Team we are always looking for developers so please do reach out via the below email. Need help or want to partner? [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
[Reference] Here's a raw list of ~300 retailers that accept BCH via Gyft & eGifter. It's fun to spendl both online & in your neighborhood!
Confused? Scroll to bottom. Gyft.com:
1-800-Baskets.com 1-800-Flowers.com 1-800-PetSupplies.com Adidas Aerie Aeropostale Allposters.com AMC Theatres American Airlines American Eagle American Frame App Store & iTunes Applebee's Aquarium Restaurants Art.com Athleta Babin's Seafood House Bahama Breeze Banana Republic Barnes & Noble Bass Pro Shops Bath & Body Works Bed Bath & Beyond® Belk Best Buy® Big Fish Seafood Bistro Bloomingdale's Boomerang Grille Brenner's Steakhouse Brinker Restaurants Brookstone Bubba Gump Shrimp Buca di Beppo Buffalo Wild Wings Build-A-Bear Workshop Burger King Burlington buybuy BABY® Cabela's Cadillac Bar California Pizza Kitchen Callaway CanvasPop Captain D's Caribou Coffee Casual Male XL Catherines CB2 Champs Sports CharityChoice Charleston's Restaurant Charley's Crab Chart House Chef'd Cheryl's Cookies Chili's Chipotle Christmas Tree Shops® andThat! Claim Jumper Cold Stone Creamery Columbia Sportswear Cost Plus World Market Crate & Barrel Crutchfield D'Angelo Darden Restaurants Dell Delta Air Lines Destination XL Domino's Dunkin' Donuts eBay EXPRESS Fandango Fish Tales Fisherman's Wharf Foot Locker FragranceNet.com Fruit Bouquet GameStop Gap Factory Gap Gilt.com Go Play Golf by Fairway Rewards Golden Nugget Google Play Great American Days Grotto Groupon Hal Smith Restaurant Hallmark Harlow's Food & Fun Hefner Grill Hollie's Flatiron Steakhouse Hollister HomeGoods Hot Topic Hotels.com Hulu IHOP JCPenney Jo-Ann Stores Kemah Boardwalk Kmart Kohl's L.L.Bean La Griglia Lady Foot Locker Landry's Landry's Seafood Lands' End Lane Bryant Legal Sea Foods Levy Restaurants Lighthouse Buffet Lobster Gram Logan's Roadhouse LongHorn Steakhouse Lord and Taylor Louie's Grill & Bar Lowe's Lucille's BBQ Macy's Magazines.com Maggiano's Little Italy Mahogany Steakhouse Mama Roja Kitchen Marshalls McCormick & Schmicks Microsoft Office 365 Home, 1-year subscription Microsoft Office 365 Personal, 1-year subscription Mitchell's Fish Market Morton's Muer Seafood NASCAR.com NFLShop.com Nike Nintendo Nordstrom Nordstrom Rack Old Navy Olive Garden Omaha Steaks On The Border One Kings Lane Overstock.com Panera Bread Papa Gino's Papa John's Pizza Peohe's Petco Pro Am Golf Rainforest Cafe Red Lobster Red Robin Red Sushi Redrock Canyon Grill Regal Cinemas River Crab/BlueWater Inn Rixty Rochester Big & Tall Romano's Macaroni Grill Rosetta Stone TOTALe Royal Caribbean Saks OFF 5TH Saltgrass Steak House San Jose Earthquakes San Luis Resort Sears Sephora Sheetz Shutterfly Simms Steakhouse SiriusXM Southwest Airlines Spa & Wellness by Spa Week SpaFinder Staples Starbucks Steak 'n Shake Stein Mart Steiner Sports Memorabilia StubHub T-Rex T.J.Maxx Target GiftCard TGI Fridays The Cheesecake Factory The Children's Place The Crab House The Flying Dutchman The Garage The Home Depot® The Oceanaire The Popcorn Factory The Red Door Salon & Spa ThinkGeek Toby Keith's Bar & Grill Tony Roma's Torrid Tower of America Uber - INCLUDING Uber Eats (food delivery from your local takeout restaurants!) Ulta Beauty Under Armour® Unleashed by Petco Uno Chicago Grill Upper Crust Pizza Vic and Anthony's Victoria's Secret Walmart Whole Foods Market Willie G's Wine Country Gift Basket Wine Enthusiast Wine.com Xbox LIVE Yak & Yeti Yard House Zappos.com
1-800-Flowers.com Abercrombie & Fitch Acorns Adidas Aerie Aeropostale Alamo Drafthouse AllPosters.com Amazon.com AMC Theaters Amella Caramels American Airlines American Eagle Outfitters American Frame Applebee's Aquarium Restaurants Athleta Babin's Seafood House babyGap Bahama Breeze Banana Republic Bar Toma Barnes & Noble Booksellers Bass Pro Shops Bath & Body Works Bed Bath & Beyond Belk Best Buy® Big Fish Restaurant BJs Restaurants Black Angus Steakhouse Bloomin' Brands Bloomingdale's Bonefish Grill Boscov's Boston Market Boxed Brenner's Steakhouse Bridge Bar Brookstone Bubba Gump Buffalo Wild Wings Build-A-Bear Burger King Burlington Coat Factory buybuy Baby Cabela's Cadillac Bar Cafe Spiaggia California Pizza Kitchen Callaway CanvasPop Captain D's Captain Morgan Club Caribou Coffee Carnival Cruise Lines Carrabbas Italian Grill Casual Male Celebrity Cruises Champs Sports Charity Choice Charleston's Restaurant Charley's Crab Chart House Restaurant Chef'D Children's Music Shop Chili's Chipotle Christmas Tree Shops Cirque du Soleil Claim Jumper Cold Stone Creamery Columbia Sportswear CrossFire Crutchfield CVS/pharmacy D'Angelo Darden Dell Delta Airlines Destination Maternity Destination XL Domino's Pizza Downtown Aquarium Dunkin' Donuts Ebay Express Facebook Game Card Fandango Fish Tales Fisherman's Wharf Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Foot Locker FragranceNet.com Fulton’s Crab House Fulton’s on the River GameStop Gap Gap Options GCodes® AT&T Prepaid Plans GCodes® Verizon Prepaid Plans Gilt Go Play Golf GoCash GolfThere Googie Burger Great American Days Grotto Groupon Guitar Center Gymboree Hal Smith Restaurant Group Harlow's Hefner Grill Hollie’s Flatiron Steakhouse Hollister HomeGoods HOOCHs Hot Topic Hotels.com Hulu IHOP IMVU IndieFlix iTunes JAGEX Jake Melnick's Corner Tap JCPenney Jiffy Lube Jo-Ann Fabric JumpStart School of Dragons Karma Koin Kemah Boardwalk Kingsisle Pirate Kingsisle Wizard Kmart Kohl's Krispy Kreme La Griglia Landry's Landry's Seafood Lands' End Lane Bryant Legal Sea Foods Lobster Gram Logan's Roadhouse Longhorn Steakhouse Lord & Taylor Louie's Grill & Bar Lowe's Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ Macy's Magazines.com Maggiano's Little Italy Mahogany Prime Steakhouse Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen Marshalls McCormick & Schmick's Microsoft Office 365 Home Microsoft Office 365 Personal MobileLocate Morton's The Steakhouse Muer Seafood Restaurants NASCAR.com Superstore Neopets NetDragon Universal Nike Nintendo eShop Digital Cards Nordstrom Nordstrom Rack O'Charley's Oak Street Beach Food + Drink Old Navy Olive Garden Omaha Steaks On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina Outback Steakhouse Overstock.com P.C. Richard and Son Panera Bread Papa Gino's Pizzeria Papa John's Peohe's Petco PetSupplies.com Portobello Princess Cruises ProAm Golf Rainforest Cafe ReallyColor Red Lobster Red Robin Red Sushi Redrock Canyon Grill Regal Entertainment Group REI Rixty ROBLOX Rochester Big & Tall Ruby Tuesday Saks OFF 5th Saltgrass Sears Sephora Sheetz Shutterfly Simms Steakhouse Simply Magazine Sirius XM Skype Sling TV Sony Playstation Southwest Airlines Spa and Wellness by Spa Week Spa Finder Spiaggia Stage Stores Staples Steak 'n Shake Stein Mart Steiner Sports Memorabilia Stitch Fix Stockpile StubHub Studio Movie Grill Swap.com T-Rex T.J.Maxx Target Texas Roadhouse TGI Fridays The Cheesecake Factory The Children's Place The Crab House The Flying Dutchman The Garage The Home Depot The Oceanaire ThinkGeek Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill Tony Roma's Torrid Tower of the Americas Tracer Pix Uber - INCLUDING Uber Eats (food delivery from your local takeout restaurants!) Ulta Unlimited eBooks Uno Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza Vic & Anthony's Vimbly Walmart Wargaming World of Tanks Wargaming World of Warships Whole Foods Willie G's Wine Country Gift Baskets Wine Enthusiast Wine.com Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe WWE Network XBOX Xbox Live Gold Yak and Yeti Yard House
For those who don't know, Gyft.com & eGifter.com sell gift cards online (Amazon, iTunes, BedBathBeyond, etc., like you see in the revolving rack at the corner convenience store). Both services accept BitcoinCash (via Bitpay). Instead of a plastic card, they send you a "virtual" card (an activation code). So you can buy stuff from all the stores above with BCH (& then replace your BCH so you don't later feel like you spent $500 on diapers :) I scraped and massaged the lists from both services for you because I find it easier to refer to than browsing their sites that make you scroll through logos instead. Many of the retailers are found on both services. Many are unique to one. The superset is probably about 300 (plus thousands of local restaurants that participate with Uber Eats). There's a lot more than Restaurants, Starbucks & Playstore! You'll find Uber, airlines (Southwest, American, Delta), Hotels.com, XBOX, Playstation, Dell, Microsoft Office, Hulu, Ebay, Wine.com, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, CVS Pharmacy, Marshalls, Panera, Nordstrom Rack, Nike, Adidas, Zappo, Foot Locker... You can literally live on BCH now (if only there were a way to pay utilities and rent/mortgage). You can have a super smooth experience buying a card while queuing for the register. When you tap to pay in BitcoinCash (or BTC) from the Gyft app, android prompts you to launch your wallet! The amount, fee, and receiving address is already filled in. Simply take a look to confirm and then slide to pay. In seconds (before the next register is open) the new gift card is in your Gyft app "wallet" and ready to be scanned by the cashier. You can also regift/send the gift card to a friend instead of activating/revealing the card's code. Note that Uber credit is how you pay for Uber Eats, so an Uber gift card can not only get you around town but also bring food to your door from restaurants in your neighborhood. Feel free to paste the lists into the weekly/monthly or any BCH updates, or to categorize it (i should have but I don't know them all). It's not my data obviously. I don't know how often the two services update the lists. (Not sure which are limited to regions. I can confirm that Uber gift card was credited when pasted in the Uber app, in Japan, but wasn't usable for rides in Japan. The balance was perfectly usable later, in USA.)
Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures. dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd. Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome. Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules. Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd. dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets. Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue) Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing. Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged. Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing. A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning. Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store. iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.". Nearest goal is to make the app crash free. Both mobile apps received new design themes. dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.". Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page. Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One). Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes. docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups. decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet. @Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories. Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus! Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply. Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.
Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example. A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1. Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks. Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
Atomic desktop wallet added Decred in version 0.1.31. The team answered many questions on Reddit.
AnyBit wallet added Decred. It features built-in price and news tracking. Notably, the source code is open for their Android and iOS wallets.
Coboadded Decred support into their Android and iOS wallets.
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets. Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.
The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.
Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed. Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)
Raedah Group went on the streets of Portland, USA with a pretty blue tent. (photos)
Meetup at Binzantin Cafe in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore: "There were 20-ish attendees, and about half of them have joined the Chinese FB group. Most of them don't hear about Decred before, but have expressed the interest in learning more about it after the event. Overall, it's a good exposure for Decred in the Taiwan community.". A report with photos was posted on Facebook, more photos are here and here.
@joshuam made a Decred Jacket appearance at Singapore Grand Prix. (photos)
NewTech PDX meetup in Portland, USA. Raedah Group presented Decred and reported "lots of new converts". (photos)
North Shore Bitcoin & Blockchain in Glenview, USA. @dustorf gave a five minute overview of Decred and noted: "There were only about 25 people, but about 1/3 of them were aware of Decred prior. (...) Our simple presence and explanation of the project moved opinion from 'another shitcoin they sold after mining' to 'an interesting and viable project worthy of further investigation'.". (photos: 12)
Bitcoin Meetup CDMX in Mexico City on Oct 6. @elian will be talking about Decred at the oldest Bitcoin meetup in Mexico.
SF Blockchain Week in San Francisco, USA on Oct 9. @lukebp will discuss DPoS vs PoS on a panel 9:30a-10:15a at the Titans of Tech Stage, Hilton Union Square.
Decred Meetup in Casablanca, Morocco on Oct 27. @butterfly will host the event and talk about Decred in French.
Texas Bitcoin Conference Austin, USA on Oct 27-28. @BAB: "The great thing about this is that it will also be a Decred Summit. We will have half of the conference dedicated to Decred topics, updates, etc."
Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov 5-8. @moo31337 will be on a panel discussing "2018: A Rollercoaster Year for Cryptocurrencies"
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)
August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ! Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit. September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom. Videos:
The underbelly of blockchain Governance - fiat licensing and our code with Marco Peerboom and Chris DeRose (youtube, tweet, decred, missed in August issue) Insightful dialogue about men's underwear, licenses, subtleties of GPL, BSD wars, tiling window managers and much more.
Introduction to Decred (Korean, youtube) @Killawhale collected a lot of feedback from the community and produced this video to spread the word in Korea.
Perspectives on Governance from Nathan Wilcox, Jonathan Zeppettini, Vitalik Buterin (z.cash)
Decred - an example of governance (Portuguese, youtube)
Decred, the crypto that wants to compete with Bitcoin (French, youtube)
Exodus.io Live with Marco from Decred! (youtube) Marco joins Exodus.io to discuss what makes DCR an asset that will stand the test of time.
Building Decred With Systems Development Lead Marco Peereboom - Governance, Politeia, Lightning (youtube) Topics: early days, Politeia, the structure of Decred, dcrtime, Lightning Network, attracting users and developers, future plans (DEX, Schnorr signatures, privacy, DAEs).
Decentralized autonomous funding of blockchain projects by @Richard-Red (medium, discussion on decred and dashpay)
The trouble with infrastructure, "thin" protocols in particular, is that someone has to build them at a cost. e.g. LN takes a ton of work, doesn't necessarily generate value itself, but it magnifies the value of BTC or whatever coin that uses it. I see the DEX in a similar light - whoever creates it is not going to make a bunch of money from it, but it will magnify the value of the underlying asset(s) that end up having a deep order book on the DEX. (@jy-p in #dex)
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure. Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins. Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels. #support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)
In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August. As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx) Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.
ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015. A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use. A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains. New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred) On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange. Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.". Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred) The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights. A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.
About This Issue
This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are 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. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
Money should be a good store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. There are a lot of barriers preventing bitcoin’s widespread use by the aforementioned criteria, let’s take a look and see how they might be solved.
Lack of Understanding
Bitcoin is complicated and unfamiliar. This is a huge barrier to entry because people distrust what they don’t understand, and ease-of-use and simplicity is what usually sells a new technology. If you have read this series from the beginning though, you may now see some potential upsides to such a drastically different system than what we are used to. Many resisted smartphones for a time (and a few still do). The benefits have to outweigh the costs of adoption, so we may see niche cases being the early adopters (like citizens of Venezuela or remittances payments). Also, when a new complicated technology rolls around, it sometimes takes a generation before it becomes widespread; young people are particularly adept at adopting new tech.
The tendency of bitcoin’s price to change rapidly or unpredictably is what comprises volatility. When you search for bitcoin you may find that most of the results you get (and the discussions happening on forums) are about it’s price. This is understandable, it has seen some crazy moves both up and down over the years facilitating the potential for huge gains (and huge losses). Still, over time the price certainly is increasing. Unless you bought in a single 2 month period in 2013, holding bitcoin for longer than 2 years at any point in its history would land you in a better position than when you started. And, when viewed on a logarithmic scale (used in long-term stock charts), the trend is quite clear: (Bitcoin Price 2012-2018, Logarithmic Scale (bitcoincharts.com)) There is a risk/reward to adopting new tech, and this is no exception. But, my goal is absolutely not to “sell” it to you as an investment by any means.
This is not financial advice. We’re simply looking at the pros and cons of this space, and I encourage everyone to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Never invest anything you aren’t prepared to lose.
This meteoric rising (and crashing) of the “price” (which, I’ll point out, might just as well be considered an exchange rate) understandably makes it pretty difficult to use bitcoin as a currency. If it moves a few percent in a day, and can move a few hundred percent in a month, purchasing a car or a house could cost you significantly more by the time your finished closing. That’s just not viable, and certainly not a good unit of account. However, I see the volatility in price simply as growing pains. It is the market that dictates the price of bitcoin, quite literally, it’s traded like a stock. This is referred to as speculation (“the purchase of an asset with the hope that it will become more valuable at a future date”). Speculation happens between national currencies already, but they are generally stable in comparison so it’s not lucrative. People are unsure of how this whole bitcoin thing is going to play out. It’s not like anything we’ve ever seen, it’s difficult to understand (and use), and it’s not accepted at every corner store or online business. Many in the space are just here for a quick buck, and they sell it when the price rises to get back “real” money we are used to, that is “stable” in price against other currencies, and can predictably buy goods and services. The way I see it, all of these will concerns diminish in time. Though Amazon or Target don’t yet accept bitcoin, Microsoft and Overstock.com do. Some cities and towns across the world are embracing it a lot more than others. It’s not surprising to see San Francisco accommodating the new technology. But, other cities like Portsmouth in New Hampshire with numerous cafes and shops accepting bitcoin (and “Dash coin”) might surprise you. There are maps available to see where crypto-currencies are accepted at locations near you, and the amount of them are increasing, albeit slowly. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, but that hasn’t stopped revolutions from happening before. Consider when cars first came about, roads were dirt and mud which cars didn’t do well with. It took building massive infrastructure before cars could ever become mass-adopted, but we spent the time, money, and effort because we saw the potential advantages. It will be trivial for businesses to accept bitcoin compared with pouring hundreds of millions of dollars in asphalt to connect our world. Other parallels include train tracks, phone lines, electricity lines, communication satellites, etc. Each of these replaced or iterated on previous functional technologies, and required massive upfront costs before the benefits were available. It’s clear now that we made some good choices there but there were doubts at the time. Despite some pretty major setbacks, bitcoin’s trend is up. Interest is growing and more businesses and individuals are actually using it. But due to the trading mentality, the uncertainty with regulations, uncertainty in the technology itself, uncertainty that the price will not drop, and other factors, emotion and greed encourages people to sell in flocks if the price climbs high enough. Furthermore, right now with a large enough stack of money one can influence this market in drastic ways, and cries of manipulation of the price are not unfounded. So-called “whales” can buy and sell huge amounts of coins and the price can jump a bit each time. Coupled with uncertainty in the space, and so many “investors” trying to time the markets, we end up with a pretty volatile landscape where the price is not stable. My argument is that this is diminishing as it gains in popularity, and it is gaining value because its utility is growing (see the network effect”) and the utility itself is slowly becoming more apparent.
Volatility is actually decreasing.
Bitcoin Volatility Over Time(bitvol.info) In the period from 2011 to 2014 bitcoin’s volatility often spikes into the 15% range. But from 2014 to the present, volatility has only just spiked above 7% twice, spending most of it’s time below 5%. Even the large boom and bust in price at the end of 2018 seems tame compared to the early years. The trends show the price going up over time, and volatility going down. The more actual use the coin has (people saving and buying with bitcoin), the percentage of people entering the space to use it the way it was intended increases, the percentage of “stock traders” declines. And as more capital enters the space, the less influence whales have (because the current against which they swim is getting stronger). And as the price stabilizes, traders will become less interested. There is a critical point where this becomes a negative feedback loop. I could be wrong, but the idea is at least founded in reality, and it would solve the unit of account issue if the price could stabilize to within a few percent per year. Similarly, as a store of value, bitcoin becomes more viable in this scenario. This is coupled with the fact that although bitcoin is somewhat inflationary now as the supply is increasing (bitcoins are “discovered” as rewards for mined blocks), the amount of discovered coins are cut in half every few years. This “halving” is logarithmic, meaning eventually the amount of coins discovered is infinitesimally small, and total supply will asymptotically approach 21 million coins (the maximum supply that we will ever see). This model of supply is actually meant to mimic gold because it’s a well-known store of value and monetary device throughout history (though it is not easily divisible, and not as portable as bitcoin). In both bitcoin and gold, mining is more fruitful in the beginning, and as we extract the low-hanging-fruit, mining requires greater effort and yields less return. World population is increasing which leads to bitcoin becoming deflationary in the future if demand continues (the supply won’t increase beyond 21 million). And, I argue that it will become more valuable in time due to the network effect as bitcoin use becomes more widespread (the value of being able to exchange with more people anywhere, any time, and without permission from anyone). This is a positive feedback loop, and shows how bitcoin is deflationary long-term. While deflation is generally considered negative by economists, the main reason is based around debt which isn’t possible in the same way with bitcoin because bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air like fiat currency. The discussion of deflation vs inflation is an important one, and bitcoin’s monetary policy is an outlier compared with national currencies which are typically inflationary. The US dollar for example averaged 3% inflation since the year 1900. That means that over the last 100 years, a dollar has lost over 95% of its purchasing power. You could buy 95% more stuff with $1,000 last century, or, saving $1,000 from 100 years ago would buy you 95% less stuff at present. Put another way, purchasing power is cut in half after about 25 years, a concern for anyone retiring for over 20 years with a fixed retirement sum. Some other national currencies have higher inflation rates, and there are numerous cases of inflationary spirals over the years. A few examples include Germany 1923, Hungary 1945, China 1947, Vietnam 1988, Peru 1990, Yugoslavia 1992, Zimbabwe 2008, and right now in Venezuela 2018. Entire countries of people have lost essentially all of their money, and it keeps happening over and over. A wise man would tell you it’s dangerous to say “it could never happen here”. *UPDATE: Turkey is also now in financial crisis. This is our money with which we hold and exchange value, our earnings, our savings, our livelihoods. Maybe it’s time we had, at least, another option outside of government control. An option that governments can’t destroy through mismanagement. A neutral option that ignores all borders, is open to everyone, and can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
The Fear of “Hacks”
It’s a very real threat to have all your money stolen, if your bank was robbed you are protected by FDIC (in most cases only up to $100,000). The vast majority of coins that have been stolen have come from hackers attacking “exchanges” and getting away with millions. These exchanges are websites where you can trade bitcoin for other crypto-currencies (or “alt-coins”). You can also buy and sell bitcoin on them, and subsequently people end up storing a lot of coins on these exchanges, and the exchanges hold the “private keys” so they can execute trades. Cryptographic private keys are analogous to a key that opens a door, or, a key that locks a message in a box before it is sent to the recipient. In our case the door opened allows you to sign your message and spend coins, and the message is your transaction on the bitcoin network. Anyone with your private keys can spend your coins. Exchanges are a honey pot of thousands of private keys that represent a lot of money. If a hacker can break into the exchange and steal the keys all at once, their work will pay off. This is why any crypto guru will advise you not to store large amounts of coins on exchanges, and rather transfer them in your own wallets where you hold the private keys. The mantra is “your keys, your money; not your keys, NOT YOUR MONEY!” Of course your own computer can be hacked, but you are not as big a target as an exchange which may hold vast sums of money. There are also some pretty safe ways to store your coins if done right. Centralized exchanges are a necessary evil for many people because they facilitate acquiring and trading coins easily. But decentralized exchanges are becoming more common because they allow you to trade while keeping your coins in your control at all times. They need some work and more users, but it’s a promising solution to this problem. Summarizing the above, the big hacks you read about are virtually eliminated if your keys are in your control and you keep them safe.
Transaction fees are generally negligible in a bitcoin transaction, but in many ways “fees” are holding us back. Interestingly, this is a symptom of being in the very early days. Firstly, there is a lot of work on “scaling” crypto-currencies (making fees even lower than they already are and increasing transaction speeds). This is just an engineering problem, and many people are working on solving it in many different ways. Other currencies like NANO or IOTA have different underlying tech and have zero fees and instantaneous transactions. In fact, most fees people encounter aren’t fees from bitcoin transactions; instead, they get hit with fees when exchanging between national currencies and bitcoins. In order to electronically trade USD($), EUR(€), or YEN(¥) with bitcoin, we need to hook into the closed-off for-profit banking network and we need third-parties to do so (and they take their cut). But even these fees could be avoided in time. For example, you can buy bitcoins with cash directly from a person (localbitoins.com). And, it might seem distant, but in the future you may end up receiving bitcoins as your salary, from a friend, or from accepting them in your place of business. Likewise you can spend your bitcoins directly to other bitcoin users. Getting coins directly eliminates all the exchanging and associated fees because once your money is on the bitcoin network, fees will be negligible (especially as these networks evolve).
Right now it’s easier than ever to acquire some bitcoin. People can download “Coinbase” or “Square App” on their smartphone and purchase some using a credit card in a few minutes. Depending on which service you use and how much you want to buy, you may need to send a picture of your license for KYC regulations. However, as I mentioned above, there are risks to storing all your coins on exchanges, especially with large amounts. I always recommend transferring them to a wallet where you control the private keys. But using wallets and storing private keys (and “seeds”) securely, is not as straightforward as we would like. This is a major factor holding back adoption, because if it’s not easy to use, people will consider it too much effort. The next post in this series digs into wallets and storing your coins.
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