A number of community members have gathered on the new Vertcoin Slack channel, which you can join from IRC (#vertcoin on Freenode), and we have decided to use the development fund to revitalise Vertcoin’s development and economy. The development fund still contains ~$850 (see it on the blockchain), and with further contributions from both myself and various other members of the community, we intend to start a foundation to support Vertcoin’s growth. This foundation will be not-for-profit, supported by donations and investments, and have enshrined in its bylaws Vertcoin’s commitment to ASIC resistance and accessibility of mining to all. Its focusses will be to fund the technical development of the Vertcoin wallet and its associated support software and to grow Vertcoins economy through marketing, information provision, business support, various public services like block explorers, full nodes, merchant lists and also economic stimulus where possible. The exact details surrounding the formation of the foundation are not yet concrete as I need to further research the tax situation surrounding cryptocurrency and low-income non-profits among the various options, but I will report back once I know more.
Next, as you can probably tell since you are reading this on the Vertcoin website, I now have access to the website server again. I am also now an admin on the VTC Facebook page and I hope to acquire the login details for the Vertcoin Twitter account too. This will allow us to improve our online presence and make Vert more accessible. To that end, the website needs a total content overhaul since most of is outdated. The Bitcoin website is a great example in terms of the content and ease of access that we should be providing to users and I intend to deliver that. Soon, I will make another blog post enumerating the bounties I will make available for writing content for the website. The website update will coincide with an increase in our social media activities to promote the use of Vertcoin.
My recent experiences using Bitcoin as a micropayments processor have been pretty awful. Often I find myself waiting several hours for a single confirmation, even when I have included the recommended fee which now averages at $0.23 per transaction, which is a lot considering that Vertcoin’s transaction fees are essentially 0. Therefore, in the short to medium term, I think we should be positioning Vertcoin as a far cheaper and faster alternative to Bitcoin with the added advantage of a decentralised mining network, four times the capacity and privacy using Stealth Addresses.
In order to be that alternative, however, Vertcoin’s wallet needs refreshing, mining needs to be more accessible and merchants need to be more prominent. The wallet initially needs a maintenance update to fix test net, update the nodes list, copyright years, explorer URL, documentation and checkpoints. After this has been completed there is some low-hanging fruit for us to pick. Stealth addresses appear to be working but are buggy, temperamental and hard to use. Firstly, in order to detect the receipt of a stealth transaction, one has to rescan the entire blockchain which locks out the interface until this process is completed. Then, the transactions, if found, are not added to the transactions list but rather just added to the inputs list which is not obvious to the user. Finally, the scanning process is supposed to start off from its last scanned location, but this feature is broken. Below is my intended version roadmap for dealing with these issues. Tasks that have been completed have been struck off.
v0.10.0.2 (estimated in the next couple of weeks)
Update the nodes list in the wallet
Update the copyright years
- Update the READMEs, including build instructions for Windows, OS X and Ubuntu/Debian
- Add some new checkpoints
- Fix test net
Update the explorer URL
- Build wallets (GUI and command line) (Do we still need to provide 32-bit binaries?)
- OS X
v0.10.0.3 (estimated during Q1 2017)
- Make sure stealth transactions show up in the transactions panel
- Update stealth addresses to use the latest version of the secp256k1 library
- Fix stealth rescanning from the start of the blockchain every time
- Move stealth address search to a separate thread so it does not lock out the GUI and provide a progress bar and cancel button
- Ensure stealth is working properly in the daemon via the command line
- Update nodes, checkpoints, etc
- Build wallets
In terms of mining, we will be releasing an update for P2Pool soon and I intend to support the creation of a one-click miner soon. In an effort to update some of the information available regarding Vertcoin related services, I have compiled this list of active services/merchants/websites: http://vtconline.org/.
I have a number of ideas for long-term plans for VTC, the main one of which will require a complete rewrite, but I think is possible once we have more interest and funding. I will make a further blog post when my ideas are more fleshed out.
If you have any time that you are able to contribute to the project, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com, post or PM me on Reddit or join our IRC channel #vertcoin. We are particularly looking for people with programming experience, preferably C++. You can donate to the development fund using the address: VpBsRnN749jYHE9hT8dZreznHfmFMdE1yG. Any donation you can make would be greatly appreciated.
James Lovejoy (jamesl22)