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October 16, 2018

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What is Decred?


What if Bitcoin truly was fair to all users? Decred believes that it is that version of Bitcoin and more. Upon visiting their website, the first thing that features prominently is the sentence, “Decred is an autonomous digital currency.”


What’s arguably the most important part of Decred, related to its differentiation, is this idea of autonomy. Some have termed it as simply Bitcoin with a fair governance system.


Why they’ve done this and how Decred just might stand out from the pack, might just become clearer after a quick run-down of its technical specifications as well as its primary goals for the future.


Decred was founded in February 2016 as a fork of Bitcoin. From the beginning, the biggest difference has been in the consensus protocols that run these two networks.


As is popularly known, Bitcoin runs on what is called “Proof of Work.” This means that the users who have the most processing power and therefore the most mining power, control a much larger part of the network than users who have normal hardware.


Decred, on the other hand, runs on Proof of Work, but also on Proof of Stake, like NEO does now and like Ethereum just might end up doing in the near future. The easiest way to think about how this network functions might be to say that Proof of Work miners create blocks, while Proof of Stake miners verify them.


In terms of block rewards, Decred reports that currently, about 30 Decred coins are created, per block. In terms of who gets these rewards, Decred states clearly that 60% goes to PoW miners, while 30% goes to Proof of Stake voters, with 10% leftover for what is called the “Decred development subsidy.”


Two main ideas may be said to be important to understand here. Firstly, when Proof of Stake voters are mentioned, it is key to make clear how Decred uses voting. Once a Decred user has 85 coins, then he or she can stake them on the network in return for what is called “a ticket.”


Each ticket has a dual purpose. It can count as an entry into the random drawing for verifying blocks.  5 tickets or users are chosen to verify each block. At the same time that these users are chosen for verification, they also get to vote on any current issues for the network, which can be anything from new proposed development projects to changes to existing network features.


 According to current reports on Decred, all users who have 85 coins or more have an equal say in the network, though the fact that users seem to be able to hold more than one ticket goes against this claim. On top of this, reportedly only roughly half of the active Decred on the network is locked up in staking. Therefore, in theory, a maximum of 50% of the users can vote now and only those who have the required stake do.


As Decred moves forwards, it will be interesting to see if they adjust this governance model in any way to fit with their vision of being the cryptocurrency that promotes equal governance. Their future roadmap includes implementing the Lightning network as well as enabling the creation of what they call “Decentralized Autonomous Entities.”


If you don’t already know, a “DAE” is synonymous with a “DAO” and is the idea that on blockchain networks, users can create organizations which they use for their own purposes. This idea of a “DAE” is particularly interesting in that it would enable users to equalize the voting process through banding together on common issues, as we already do with political parties.


The Decred Roadmap for 2018 and beyond is easily reachable through Decred’s blog and includes a host of other features to come. After a quick read, it is evident that this crypto network aims to be one of the most innovative out there and here’s to hoping that it is able to achieve that.




By: BGN Editorial Staff






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