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What Is Decred (DCR) Protocol?

UTC by Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 8 min read
What Is Decred (DCR) Protocol?
Photo: Depositphotos

Many compare Decred and Bitcoin owing to their features and store of value. However, Decred is unique due to its core principles and functioning features. Find out more in the guide below.

Decred, an acronym for Decentralized Credits (DCR), is a payment coin that was founded in 2016 to serve as an alternative to Bitcoin (BTC). It is a community-driven cryptocurrency that provides an alternative to money that is not only decentralized but fair and sovereign.

The arrival of Decred has made it possible for community members to own and operate the system, make the rules, as well as decide which direction the project should go.

Decred: Secure, Adaptable, Sustainable

Decred (DCR) is a coin that is used on payment platforms just like Bitcoin but with several features that make it unique.

  •  Security

Decred has shown that it can be more expensive to attack in comparison with pure PoW owing to its hybrid PoW+PoS model that aligns incentives between the voters and miners. This goes a long way in ensuring long-term stability.

  • Adaptability

In terms of adaptability, Decred has an inbuilt formalized governance that permits it to effect changes to its consensus rules while simultaneously avoiding hard forks.

  • Sustainability

The mode by which Decred is funded is via block rewards. In other words, only stakeholders with actual investment in the game can vote to authorize spending from the Treasury, which ensures that the project is sustainable in the long term.

With its self-funding solution, Decred has created a situation that would minimize the faults that trail traditional funding for cryptocurrencies projects. In other words, about 10 percent of all block rewards from the Decred blockchain are allotted to the treasury. The latter holds resources for the future development of the project.

Origins of Decred

A lot of the developers who worked on Decred (DCR) are the same individuals who assisted in the design of Bitcoin, the grandfather of all cryptocurrencies.

Back in April 2013, a proposal was made during the Bitcointalk forum for a cryptocurrency Memcoin2. A certain user who went by the name “tacotime” suggested creating a new cryptocurrency. Two other users on the forum supported the idea. Those were “_ingsoc” and Jake Yocom-Piatt.

The three individuals came up with a plan to develop a hybrid Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism for Memcoin2. This snowballed into a new project – Decred. In turn, it led to an equitable, highly secured, hybrid PoW/PoS consensus that uses BTCsuite codebase, a form of Bitcoin codebase.

Decred is a sovereign blockchain and an independent cryptocurrency rather than a fork of Bitcoin. Proper work began on the Decred project in February 2014. In February 2016, the mainnet launched.

Decred Proof of Stake (PoS) And Proof of Work (PoW)

Decred functions using two consensus mechanisms: Proof of Stake (PoS) and Proof of Work (PoW).

Proof of Stake (PoS)

Proof of Stake (PoS) voting is a type of Proof of Stake (PoS) security that complements Proof of Work (PoW) mining. The manner in which it was integrated by Decred gives it peculiar sets of roles and features. PoS voting performs a host of activities. Firstly, it permits stakeholders to vote whether or not to propose changes to the Decred blockchain. If the stakeholders vote in favor of a change, the chain becomes a hard fork, with the new feature becoming automatically active.

Secondly, PoS provides a mechanism for stakeholders in order to influence Proof of Work (PoW) miners. Therefore, stakeholders are able to vote to withhold a miner’s reward even if the block aligns with the consensus rules of the network. This permits stakeholders to discourage mining behaviors that are laden with problems such as mining empty blocks.

Further, in order to have a valid block, at least 3 of the 5 tickets should be signed in a block. This ensures that the Decred blockchain becomes more robust to certain kinds of attacks. Examples of such attacks are those who depend on secret mining.

Proof of Work (PoW)

Proof of Work (PoW) mining is the activity that involves committing a computer’s hardware and resources in order to process network transactions and build blocks that comprise the Decred blockchain. For every time a miner creates a valid block, they receive the fees from all of the transactions in the block, and a block reward.

The block reward reduces by a factor of 100/101 for every 6,144 blocks (that is approximately 21.33 days). In situations where Proof of Stake tickets are called to vote on a particular block, they can withdraw the reward from the miner of the previous block.

This authority may be exercised if the miner has constructed a block that goes against the best interest of the network. An instance of such a situation is an empty block when there are transactions awaiting processing in the mempool. Decred utilizes the BLAKE-256 hashing function. PoW mining can be achieved via GPUs.

Decred and Lightning Network

The Lightning Network of Decred is a layer 2 scaling solution that runs on the Bitcoin blockchain. It followed the implementation of SegWit in 2017. With the introduction of the Lightning Network, developers could now build and deploy decentralized applications (dApps) with the security of the Bitcoin blockchain. However, it had higher throughput and quicker transaction confirmation times in contrast to the layer 1 blockchain. One of the most prominent use cases for the Lightning Network is the payment channels like the Decred exchange, DCRDEX.

Decred Decentralized Exchange (DCRDEX)

The DCR coin is available for trade on several exchanges including KuCoin, Binance, and Huobi. Nonetheless, Decred has been able to create its personal decentralized exchange (DEX) known as DCRDEX. The exchange utilizes atomic swaps with Decred Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin trading pairs. You can download the permissionless DEX to use as a desktop client. DCRDEX offers no trading fee and utilizes the Lightning Network payment channels to make scaling with future adoption possible.

Decred Wallets

Decred has several forms of wallets for users: desktop and mobile wallets, and software compatible with hardware wallets. They also have a crypto wallet that is still in its developmental stage. Further, Decred supports third-party wallets like Coinomi, Everwallet, and more.

The desktop graphical user interface (GUI) that interacts with the DCRWallet is Decredition. This wallet app is necessary to download the whole Decred blockchain. It also requires a fair amount of hard drive space in the device. This creates an avenue for users to become miners, receive rewards, vote, and have governance rights.

As for mobile wallet, it is available for download on android and iOS. It doesn’t have the capacity to download the entire Decred blockchain, unlike the desktop Decred wallet. Instead, the Decred mobile wallet operates on SPV (Simple Payment Verification) mode which reduces the pressure of resources and data plans from a phone. Notably, users are unable to vote on proposals using the Decred mobile wallet.

Decred Hard Fork

After the release of a hard fork, the majority of the network needs to undergo an update in order to get the new code. 95 percent of the most recent blocks need the latest version of the blocks and 75 percent of votes cast within a single SVI must utilize the latest code. As soon as this condition is met, voting can start on the first block of the next RCI.

For the subsequent SVIs, all the votes are tallied and they are five possible results for the four SVIs. In the case of a majority like 75 percent of non-abstaining votes, the activation of the new consensus takes place at the next RCI. If there is no majority of yes or no votes, or a 90 percent abstention, the proposal will undergo a revolt. The vote would therefore fail if 75 percent of the non-abstaining votes are negative or if the proposal expires before reaching a majority.

Decred (DCR) Token

The DCR token is the focal point of the Decred ecosystem, with each token representing a voting right. There is a maximum cap of 21 million DCR coins available for mining. The circulating supply of DCR coins as of July 2021 is a little over half of this, 12.7 million.

The Decred (DCR) coin launched in 2016 with a starting price of $0.95. Its price peaked during one of the bull markets to $139, then dropping back.

Strengths of Decred

In order to forestall the problem that is common among cryptocurrencies, Decred gives its users the freedom to vote on proposals that bother on the future of the blockchain. In order to ensure that both miners and ordinary users have their opinion on how the blockchain develops, Decred combined with Dash in uniting PoW and PoS consensus methods. It used a decentralized lottery to pick PoS miners to vote for PoW blocks.

Conclusion

The concept of decentralization is at the center of the Decred ethos. Its security, adaptability, and sustainability are the three pillars upholding its infrastructure. Many compare Decred and Bitcoin owing to their features and store of value. Decred’s design has improved decentralized utility. This is possible via the introduction of “ticket holder voting”,  thus giving all DCR coin holders the right to vote.

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FAQ

What is Decred?

Decred is a payment coin that was founded in 2016 to serve as an alternative to Bitcoin.

Who created Decred?

Decred was created by three users during a Bitcointalk forum. These users include “tacotime”, “_ingsoc” and Jake Yocom-Piatt.

How does Decred function?

The basic PoW base layer of the Decred blockchain is extended with PoS. This yields a hybrid PoW+PoS consensus system that provides an additional layer of security and a formalized governance model.

How does Decred implement Lightning Network?

The Lightning Network of Decred is a layer 2 scaling solution that runs on the Bitcoin blockchain. It followed the implementation of SegWit in 2017. With the introduction of the Lightning Network, developers could now build and deploy decentralized applications (dApps) with the security of the Bitcoin blockchain. However, it had higher throughput and quicker transaction confirmation times in contrast to the layer 1 blockchain. One of the most prominent use cases for the Lightning Network is the payment channels like the Decred exchange, DCRDEX.

What are the Decred wallets?

Decred has several forms of wallets for users: desktop and mobile wallets, and software compatible with hardware wallets. They also have a crypto wallet that is still in its developmental stage. 

What is DCR token?

The DCR token is the focal point of the Decred ecosystem, with each token representing a voting right.

Where to buy DCR?

DCR can be bought on many different exchanges including Binance, OKEx, MXC, Poloneix, KuCoin, and Bittrex. 

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