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ISO 4217
Code DCR[lower-alpha 1]
 ​1100000000 atom
Date of introduction 1 February 2016; 3 years ago (2016-02-01)
User(s) Worldwide
Administration Decentralized
  1. Unofficial.

Decred (/ˈdi:ˈkred/, /dɪˈkred/, dee-cred) is an open-source, blockchain-based cryptocurrency, similar to Bitcoin.[1][2] Decred was launched in February 2016[3] by the bitcoin developers that engineered btcsuite,[4] an alternative full-node Bitcoin implementation written in the Go (golang) programming language and used by development projects such as Ethereum, Factom, BitGo, OpenBazaar, and the Lightning Network.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

On February 7, 2016 Decred was released by Chicago-based Company 0.[3]

Decred v1.0.0 was released on April 25, 2017.[6]

Decred developers executed an atomic swap between Decred (DCR) and Litecoin (LTC) in September 2017.[7][8]

Design[edit | edit source]

Architecture[edit | edit source]

Decred is a distributed public ledger which operates via a hybridized Proof-of-Work (PoW), Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain consensus protocol.[9][10]

Consensus Mechanism[edit | edit source]

Both Proof-of Work and Proof-of-Stake mechanisms are used to provide the consensus that confirms new blocks including transactions. Such hybridized Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake systems are also referred to as Proof-of-Activity (PoA)[11]. PoA is a consensus protocol introduced by the Proof of Activity: Extending Bitcoin’s Proof of Work via Proof of Stake whitepaper,[12] co-authored by Litecoin founder Charlie Lee. Critics of Proof-of-Activity have asserted that such a mechanism has the potential of being prone to the downsides of both Proof-of-Work (excessive energy usage) and Proof-of-Stake (lack of disincentive for violating consensus) simultaneously.[10]

Governance[edit | edit source]

Protocol Governance[edit | edit source]

In June 2017 Decred became the first cryptocurrency project to approve a change to its protocol through a binding on-chain vote. Much has been written about the governance of the Bitcoin protocol, wherein changes require agreement between a broad array of stakeholders but without a formal method of establishing that agreement.[13][14] Bitcoin is an open source project, and in principle anyone can contribute, but a small group of software developers control whether changes to the Bitcoin Core github repository are accepted.[13] For a change to be adopted it must also be accepted by miners of the currency, who must adopt a new version of the software, and ultimately merchants and users of the currency, who must also adopt this software and accept a new version or chain as having value in place of the old version. The loosely defined method of establishing consensus for a change to the protocol has been identified as a barrier to the speed and efficiency with which the Bitcoin protocol can be updated.[15][14]

The first change in the Decred protocol to be adopted using this method in June 2017 changed the Proof of Stake staking algorithm to simplify the process of buying tickets. This change was contentious in the sense that participants in Proof of Work mining were incentivised to reject it because it decreased the fees they could expect to receive, but stakeholders (i.e. PoS Miners) were able to enforce their decision that it should be accepted.[16]

Governance of the Project Subsidy[edit | edit source]

Ten per cent of the Decred block reward goes into a "project subsidy" wallet, to be used to fund development and promotion of the project. The project's 2018 roadmap includes a plan for decentralizing the control of these funds, whereby community members can submit proposals for how these funds should be spent and ticket holders will vote to decide which proposals are approved.[17] The foundation of this system, Politeia launched with a contest to develop use-cases for the platform beyond the role it will play in Decred's governance, and the winners were announced in February 2018.[18]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Digital Currency Divide: Bitcoin, Decred and the Virtual Finance Future". Security Intelligence. Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  2. "How Complex Bitcoin Politics Led to the Creation of Decred". Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Elahi, Amina. "Chicago developers launch Decred, a Bitcoin alternative". Retrieved 2017-10-24. 
  4. Cimpanu, Catalin. "Amid Bitcoin Centralization Worries, Developers Start New Currency Called Decred". softpedia. Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  5. "Decred launches decentralized voting process for blockchain protocol changes » Brave New Coin". Bravenewcoin. 2017-06-17. Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  6. "Decred Cryptocurrency Project v1.0 Released". Retrieved 2017-10-24. 
  7. "Decred Adds Atomic Swap Support for Exchange-Free Cryptocurrency Trading". 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2017-10-24. 
  8. "Developers Complete First-Ever Atomic Swap Between Litecoin and Decred". The Merkle. Retrieved 2017-10-24. 
  9. "Bitcoin Developers Are Creating a New Digital Currency Called Decred - CryptoCoinsNews". CryptoCoinsNews. 2015-12-16. Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "A (Short) Guide to Blockchain Consensus Protocols - CoinDesk". CoinDesk. 2017-03-04. Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  11. "A (Short) Guide to Blockchain Consensus Protocols - CoinDesk". CoinDesk. 2017-03-04. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  12. Bentov, Iddo; Lee, Charles; Mizrahi, Alex; Rosenfeld, Meni. Proof of Activity: Extending Bitcoin’s Proof of Work via Proof of Stake. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Filippi, Primavera De; Loveluck, Benjamin (2016-09-30). "The invisible politics of Bitcoin: governance crisis of a decentralised infrastructure". Internet Policy Review. 5 (3). ISSN 2197-6775. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Shin, Laura. "Why Bitcoin's Greatest Asset Could Also Spell Its Doom". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  15. "Bitcoin's Anarchy Is a Feature, Not a Bug". 2018-03-14. Retrieved 2018-03-19. 
  16. "Decred launches decentralized voting process for blockchain protocol changes » Brave New Coin". Bravenewcoin. 2017-06-17. Retrieved 2018-03-19. 
  17. Castor, Amy. "Decred Sets Its Sights on Decentralization in 2018". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved 2018-03-19. 
  18. Holmes, Jamie. "Decred's Politeia Challenge: An Overview of the Winners | BTCMANAGER". Retrieved 2018-03-19. 

External links[edit | edit source]