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Project History

Decred is based on a proposal for the Memcoin2 cryptocurrency from April 2013 on the Bitcointalk forum. The user, tacotime, proposed the new cryptocurrency and worked with _ingsoc, another Bitcointalk user, and Jake Yocom-Piatt to implement the hybrid Proof-of-Work (“PoW”) / Proof-of-Stake (“PoS”) consensus system from Memcoin2 as a new project, called Decred.

The major innovation of this hybrid consensus system was that it created a PoS governance mechanism, where users opt-in to temporarily lock their coins in exchange for participation in a lottery. These users are called stakeholders. Several winners of this lottery are selected each block to participate in the consensus system by voting, which puts sovereignty over decisions about Decred directly in the hands of its stakeholders.

In contrast, every pure PoW cryptocurrency must rely primarily on its miners for governance decisions since they alone enforce the consensus system and provide its security. However, Decred relies on both its stakeholders and miners for consensus and its security. The end result is that Decred’s hybrid PoW/PoS consensus system is both substantially fairer and more secure than pure PoW systems.

Decred’s code was built on the btcsuite codebase, an alternative full node Bitcoin implementation in Go, written by Company 0, LLC. Despite Decred being based on Bitcoin’s code, it is a standalone cryptocurrency, not a “Bitcoin fork”. This work began in February 2014 and continued with the assistance of Company 0, LLC until its mainnet launch in February 2016.

Airdrop & Premine

During the launch in February 2016, Decred used an innovative airdrop and small premine to bootstrap the PoS component of the Decred network, establish a wide network of potential project contributors, and compensate the early developers for their work prior to launch. Given the necessity of distribution, this process was determined to be fair, transparent, and yielded significant decentralization from the outset.

Decred Timeline

Date Milestone
December 15, 2015 Decred announced on bitcointalk
January 1, 2016 Airdrop vetting finalized
February 8, 2016 Decred mainnet launched
February 12, 2016 Initial stake pool release
February 21, 2016 First PoS votes are included in block 4096
December 26, 2016 First release of Decrediton GUI wallet for Linux/OSX
June 14, 2017 Initial dcrtime release
July 9, 2017 First consensus vote in the history of cryptocurrency to change Decred's stake difficulty algorithm
October 19, 2017 Atomic swap tools released with Decred, Bitcoin and Litecoin support
October 25, 2017 Politeia is announced
June 9, 2018 DEX proposal is published
September 21, 2018 Initial SPV release for dcrwallet
October 15, 2018 Politeia goes live on mainnet
May 9, 2019 Lightning Network support activated on mainnet