Monthly updates here!

Marine

Moderator
Dash Core Group
Apr 26, 2022
26
66
13
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April updates: New changes at DCG, major Android updates, Platform progress and more

Hi there!
There are so many updates we can't wait to share with you! We're thrilled to announce our major updates and changes at DCG :)

Important!
Don’t forget, if you are a Dash-accepting merchant, anywhere in the world, please submit the details of your location here and we will have you added to the Explore Dash inventory. Any merchant who gets two customers to tweet about a Dash purchase at your location will get a shout-out in a Dash Wallet in-app message and on our social media.


MOBILE
The Mobile Android team was very busy with new feature development surrounding the new on-ramp and staking features as well as some improvements to how the app manages data for the Explore Dash features. The team also fixed some lingering bugs pertaining to sending to an address from the clipboard, Uphold API changes and a fix for a rare crash. The Android app now supports push messaging; users who opt-in can get better notified of Dash promotions, app updates, etc. This will be increasingly valuable as we rollout major L1 and L2 protocol updates so I encourage you to opt-in after installing this version. Another long anticipated feature was added to allow your transactions to be exported into a CSV file; stay tuned for more improvements surrounding this feature!

These fixes and new features will all be available in the v7.4.8 release which is expected to be available for download by the time this newsletter is released. Last but not least, DashPay for Android is back up and running on Testnet! This is a very exciting time as we will be evaluating how upgrades to our L1 and L2 protocols will work with and without associated mobile wallet upgrades (there will be some downtime as the upgrades occur but bear with us). If you haven’t already, you can signup to the DashPay Alpha Program to try it out for yourself.

Once Testnet has been fully upgraded with the latest network protocols, we will be doing some more games where you can win some Dash so be sure to add “[email protected]” to your contacts so you get all of the communications. The beta for the new staking feature on Android is scheduled to start in mid May; please sign up here if you would like to participate in reviewing this exciting new feature.

The Mobile iOS team is hard at work implementing the Explore Dash features and a lot of work on both teams continues to support the next version of the Core v0.18 protocol.


CORE
The Core team completed successful testing of quorum rotation on large devnets using full-size quorums prior to the initial v18 release candidate. Following the creation of the first release candidate, work on v19 began in parallel with finalization of v18. The Core, Mobile, and Platform teams have been coordinating on integration testing in preparation for upgrading Testnet to v18 so final testing can be completed and Dash Core v18 released. Looking forward, research and investigation are in progress related to a future BLS upgrade and a potential move from Gitian to Guix for release builds. Backports continued putting us at a completion point of 94%, 79%, 45%, 24%, and 13% for Bitcoin Core v0.18, v0.19, v0.20, v0.21, and v0.22 respectively.


PLATFORM
We’ve done a lot of big updates for Dash Platform. Watch the full sprint review recording here !


Grove DB tasks
  • Transparently collected deferred write operations into one batch
  • Added batch execution API to GroveDB with basic insertions and deletions

SDK
  • Merged done SDK features from v23 to master
  • Ensured Contracts and Documents tutorial compatibility
  • Ensured Identities and Names tutorial compatibility
  • Ensured that new features compatible with v0.22 testnet
  • Validated SDK documentation in master rts for SDK
  • Validated SDK documentation in master
  • Validated SDK documentation in v0.23-dev

Protocol
  • Introduced state transition execution context to collect operations
  • Collected IO operations to execution context in Drive’s storage repositories
  • New fees calculation based on operations
  • Introduced BIP13_SCRIPT_HASH (type 3) identity public key done
  • Withdrawal purpose allowed security level must be only Critical done
  • Created withdrawal keys for masternode owners and operators done

INFRASTRUCTURE
  • Launched dash.org in Japanese
  • Finished updating dependencies and CI to create ARM Docker images for Dashmate
  • Migrated email infrastructure from Hubspot to Sendgrid
  • Set up scheduled test suite runs against testnet in CI
  • Supported dev teams with devnet deployments

BITCOIN MIAMI 2022: BIG DAY FOR NEW PROSPECTS
Dash Core Group members attended the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami in early April. Ernesto from Business Development, Brian from product, and Glenn from Finance flew in on behalf of DCG. BitcoinMiami 2022 is the largest Bitcoin event in the world, and there was a busy week of crypto activities planned. This year 35,000 attendees, 450 Speakers, and 3,000 companies attended this event, and the networking opportunities were gigantic.
The main goal from a Business Development and Product perspective was aimed at meeting three key potential partners:
  • One of the top point of sale companies in the world: a firm that will roll out a crypto payments solution, and has shown big interest to include Dash into their initial launch of supported coins. This implementation will be deployed in early 2023, and will allow Dash to be part of a set of cryptos available at over a million locations!
  • One of the largest global exchanges that currently does not carry Dash: we know listing is a matter of staying close to them and making sure we can stay on their radar until we get Dash added.
  • A huge firm that enables thousands of physical locations in more than 32 states in the US to facilitate the cash purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies in a follow up to get Dash onto their system. In addition to these personal meetings, the DCG team had the chance to attend a few of the keynote conferences and see and hear where the industry is headed, as well as catch up and reconnect with over two dozen current partners and close allies, including: Ionia from Dash Direct, the TaxBit team, CoinRoutes, the Valkyrie team, custodian company BitGo, and more.

We also had the chance to discuss current Dash opportunities with other community members and DAO organizational leaders present at the Miami Beach convention center. Among others, we had the chance of speaking to Rodrigo from the Trust Protectors, and many more!

CHERRY ON TOP: TEAM CHANGES
April and early May saw further changes at DCG, with a few team members departing. We wish CEO Ryan Taylor and COO Robert Wiecko, both of who have been instrumental in their vision and drive establishing and managing DCG over the years, all the best with their future endeavors. Dash would not be the same without you both! Head of Growth Chris Hough is also leaving, and we deeply appreciate the fresh perspectives and discussion he brought during his time at DCG. Finally, I am proud to announce our fantastic new Communications Officer Marina Siradegyan is joining the team! Due to my past experience in marketing for DCG, I have been working closely with her for the last couple of weeks to get her up to speed and I'm thrilled to take this chance to introduce her to the community. Marina comes to us through a recommendation by a team member, and has years of experience in the crypto industry handling social media and communications. She will be your new point of contact for Q&A sessions, social media, forum, newsletter and blog content and she has hit the ground running with plenty of ideas to get the word out about Dash. Please join me in welcoming Marina, and I hope you enjoyed this first newsletter produced under her management!

Leon White
Blockchain Infrastructure Engineer
Dash Core Group
 
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Marine

Moderator
Dash Core Group
Apr 26, 2022
26
66
13
33
May-June updates: Merchant Kit, 0.18 testing and username surveys, etc
In case you missed, here's a short brief of what's been done in May-June.

MOBILE

The Mobile Android team completed development of the new US on-ramp and staking features and as usual, fixed a few bugs. We released two minor versions in May and we started the beta of our staking feature on 1 June.

Although we finished development for the new US on-ramp, we are still waiting for approval of the DCG account at the associated exchange. Unfortunately, this is completely out of our control so we cannot say when we will be able to go live with this but we sure are anxious to release this because you can literally get Dash into your wallet instantly; check it out!

The L1 and L2 protocols continue to evolve on Testnet which has lead to DashPay to stop working. This was expected and the Android and iOS teams continue working hard to finish the upgrade to support these latest protocols.

The same CSV export feature that was released on Android in April has been implemented on iOS and will be released very soon. The team has also started implementing the same new on-ramp for the iOS app.

Last but not least, both teams are working on some UI redesigns to accommodate more new features that are forthcoming and just to simply make it more “pretty” where we can.

As always, if you are a Dash-accepting merchant, anywhere in the world, please submit the details of your location here and we will have you added to the Explore Dash inventory. Any merchant who gets two customers to tweet about a Dash purchase at your location will get a shout-out in a Dash Wallet in-app message and on our social media.

New Merchant Kit
We are excited to announce an update to our website that will provide merchants with information and guidance on accepting Dash. The website will have downloads available for anyone to print this content if they want to hand deliver it to merchants in their local area. We are also working on a custom booklet that can be printed in bulk for partners or members of our community who want to distribute them. If you are interested in spreading the word to your local merchants about accepting Dash, please fill out the following form and we will be in touch!

Username Survey
We have learned a lot over the past year in particular about how people interact with the DashPay wallet on Testnet, what our users like, what they do not like and we continue to make improvements to the apps based on this feedback. As we get closer to the launch of usernames on Mainnet, we are seeking other information to help us make the launch as enjoyable as possible. We encourage you to share your opinions on this survey regarding some topics that are specific to using the DashPay wallet on Mainnet.

CORE

Core team supported the v18 compatibility testing being done by other teams and created several release candidates containing necessary updates. Meanwhile, work has proceeded on features and backports for Dash Core v19. Sentinel also received some maintenance this month to improve CI testing and prepare for Python 3.10 support.

Backports continued putting us at a completion point of 94%, 81%, 47%, 27%, and 15% for Bitcoin Core v0.18, v0.19, v0.20, v0.21, and v0.22 respectively. Some final pull requests were merged to bring Bitcoin Core v0.17 backports to completion. Finally, the Core team filled the open senior developer position and is excited to have the added capability and experience!

PLATFORM PROGRESS

You know that every two weeks DCG shares the progress on the platform. Here's our latest Sprint Review you can check out here. The short summary below.

TenderDash

● Finalize backport of ABCI++ (without same-block execution for now) done
○ Created pre-release with ABCI++ for development

● Withdrawal transactions’ fundamentals using vote extensions in progress
○ Added ability to provide “threshold” vote-extensions, to be able to recover a
signature for each extension in the list

● Bonus:
○ Validator keys verification in progress

GroveDB

● Proof Documentation in progress

● Rs-drive integration for proofs done

● Update all Rs-drive tests for proof verification done and all passing!

● Computation cost framework done

● Computation cost info for Merk operations done

● Costs accumulation up to GroveDB done

● Further improvements for costs in progress

SDK


● Incomplete SDK bundle for web done and released in [email protected]

● Integrate SPV block headers into the wallet done

● Update SDK docs in progress

● Dashmate upgraded to work with Docker Compose v2 in progress

● Add flag for faucet wallet storage directory in progress

● Investigate dashmate setup issues in progress

Protocol


● Predict worst-case fees for state transition validation in progress

○ Integration test for predicted fees in Drive done

○ Collect operations without execution to calculate fee in JS Drive + DPP done

○ Collect operations without execution to calculate fee in RS Drive in progress

○ Update unit/integration tests to test dry run logic in DPP and Drive done


● Fee Distribution Pools

○ Implementation in review

○ Integration with JS Drive in progress

● Limit the number of masternode shares to 16 done

GroveDB Batches integration


● Integrate GroveDB batches into RS Drive in review

● RS-Drive Explorer benchmarking done

Benchmarks demo

● Conditional recursive subqueries done

Rust port update
View attachment 11285



Follow the DCG team on dev.to to be in the know of what's happening with platform, mobile, and other tech stuff.

INFRASTRUCTURE

In May, infra team worked to reduce costs by evaluating our Slack, Google, Atlassian, JetBrains and password management account tiers and access permissions, as well as creating more granular hierarchical groups to represent teams. Building on last month's work, the first devnet operating entirely on AWS ARM Graviton 2 infrastructure was deployed, allowing us to achieve cost savings of ~40% on future devnets. The testnet masternode install docs were updated for Core 18 + Platform 0.22 for both manual and dashmate installation. Work was also started to update Sentinel to support Python 3.10, create a Zabbix infra monitoring dashboard, improve network deploy tool architecture and speed, and build CI to run platform test suite against testnet and devnets on a schedule.

NEW PARTNERSHIPS

During the past three years, we have focused our efforts on growing Dash where we can find the greatest fit for those with the greatest need. Given Dash’s clear technological advantage over almost every other payments cryptocurrency, we have targeted our integrations and partnerships around areas where we have developed ecosystems and synergies that could create a positive loop for growth; these activities were focused on:
  • Cryptocurrency trading
  • Venezuelan Digital Cash usage
  • Remittance
  • E-sports and Gaming

Plus a few new aditions! In total we have a list of 109 projects or ideas on the pipeline right now.
Read all details and how we move our projects through the pipeline in our latest Blogpost.

COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING

Check out Sam Westrich and Ivan Shumkov talking about the future prospects of the Platform on the Citizencosmos podcast.

We also had an AMA with Getblock and DCG's comms Marina, about how Dash works and why it is worth using.

BTW, if you missed another great use scenario of Dash, watch Cryptovault's great showcase on how to gift Dash in a form of a certificate!

We have huge plans for this summer! New content, marketing activities, and collaborations. Stay in touch! ;)

Yours,
DCG team
 
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Marine

Moderator
Dash Core Group
Apr 26, 2022
26
66
13
33
June updates: team changes and more

Here's what we've done in July.


MOBILE

As many already know, the Mobile Android team released the new CrowdNode staking feature in June with a few fixes and improvements that were made during the beta. A few additional fixes and improvements were made at the end of the month and will be released in July.

We are very excited to have been notified that our corporate Dash Core Group account has been approved for the new US on-ramp! We are currently transitioning that integration to the official account and hope to release it in late July or early August.

Testing of the L1 and L2 protocols continues and until completed, DashPay on Testnet will not work. The Android and iOS teams continue working hard to finish those upgrades to support these latest protocols.

The iOS team continues to work on the new US on-ramp and making small UI improvements to align with changes that were already implemented on Android.

As always, if you are a Dash-accepting merchant, anywhere in the world, please submit the details of your location here and we will have you added to the Explore Dash inventory. Any merchant who gets two customers to tweet about a Dash purchase at your location will get a shout-out in a Dash Wallet in-app message and on our social media.

CORE

Core v18 migration testing on Testnet proceeded slower than expected due to several issues requiring extensive troubleshooting to identify root causes. Work has started on supporting Guix builds as bitcoin shifts away from the gitian build system and a large effort to improve RPC logic was completed. In sentinel additional improvements have been made which clean up the codebase and introduce support for Python 3.10. Work has began on v18.1 and v19 features while v18.0 has been on testnet, including the major v19 feature, asset locks / unlocks.

Backports continued putting us at a completion point of 97%, 82%, 53%, 29%, and 15% for Bitcoin Core v0.18, v0.19, v0.20, v0.21, and v0.22 respectively.

PLATFORM PROGRESS
Check out our latest Sprint Review you can check out here. Here's what we have discussed.

TenderDash
Goals: Research same block execution

  • Finish working on the integration of go-bindings for BLS v1 done
  • Pre-release ABCI++ including improvements for vote-extensions done
  • Update vote-extension part in ABCI++ spec in progressResearch: same-block execution in progress
  • ABCI++ integration with Drive in progress
  • Refactoring MakeBlock function signature to be compatible with upstream in progress

GroveDB
Goals: Batch fixes and worst case costs improvements

  • Standardize root tree to merk avl tree done
  • Path query merge in progress
  • Cost for storage done
  • Worst case costs in progress

SDK
Goals: Rework chain synchronization process (SPV), SDK repository documentation update

  • Reworking wallet synchronization process in progress
  • POC for synchronization without storage enabled done
  • Updating storage logic in progress
  • Update SDK docs in progress

Protocol
Goals: Prepare to release v0.23 for testnet

  • Implementation in review
  • Integration with JS Drive in review
  • Release and deploy v0.23 to devnet in progress
  • ABCI++ for v0.24 in progress

Rust port update
1088x668.png


Check out the DCG's principle engineer's roadmap talks on the future development of the Platform on dev.to

INFRASTRUCTURE
This month, infra team focused on coding improvements to Sentinel and the Dash Network Deploy tool and its dependencies. Work was also done to expand the scope of automated testing (smoke tests and platform test suite) on a schedule against our devnets and testnet. The first devnet for testing Platform 0.23 was rolled out on ARM infrastructure without any problems. We also began the process of wrapping up maintenance of the dash.org WordPress theme to hand over to a newly hired web developer, and worked with external devs to complete maintenance and update work on the forum.

CONSENSUS 2022
With 15,000+ attendees, 400+ talks, 100+ degrees Fahrenheit and 100+ after-parties later, Consensus 2022 and the Austin crypto scene was one of the most interactive, interesting, and high-energy activities I’ve ever been to.

Ernesto from BD and Glenn as our CFO flew to Austin in order to represent Dash Core Group at the conference; This time around we went with the goal of meeting new potential partners, reconnect with some of the web3 contacts we have, and explore trends and updates in the Web3 world.

Some interesting trends that are visible include:

  • Large institutions are very active on the web3, and NFT space: Lolly CEO said last cycle he had to use his personal connections to get into retailers. Now, mostly thanks to NFTs large retailers are very interested in getting into the space. So despite the drop in price, legacy institutions and retailers keep flocking into the space.
  • Privacy on Web3 is taking off: We heard and met with small and mid sized organizations that are exploring how to integrate privacy features such as ZkProof and more to DeFi and NFT products.
  • Interoperability is highly on demand: With ETH having such a huge ecosystem, and Polkadot building its sidechains, a few speakers believed the future is interconnected.

Besides exploring trends, we had the chance to meet crypto firms that already list Dash or or open to doing so, such as PionexUS, the top leading exchange ByBit, the decentralized Cosmos exchange Osmosis, members of the Thorchain ecosystem, as well as market makers such as GSR and KeyRock and others that we hope to work more closely with as soon as we can come to agreements.

Despite being a small team, we managed to obtain a lot of connections, and bring back a lot of learnings and insights for the Dash Core Group to act upon in the immediate term, and to keep in mind for when Evolution hits mainnet and beyond!

Consensus 2022 was a really exciting, insightful and meaningful conference!

CHANGES IN DCG TEAM
In June DCG made a difficult decision and agreed to reduce our team size in order to ensure a more sustainable cost structure and operation of DCG in this market environment.

Another goal was to outline web development processes and make dash.org function better. For that reason, we decided to hire a new separate web developer, Tanya Namystiuk. She will take over maintenance and improvements to our website and will be working closely with infra team to learn the technical details of the theme and build system over the coming weeks.