Development Update on Verge #11

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Verge Team
Nov 30, 2017

What’s the most importing thing to us? -Us?… who’s us?- It’s everyone who gives anything about their right for privacy… which is basically everyone, even if they might not know it. Why would we be able to bring you privacy? Verge Currency is not a company, it’s a group of dedicated volunteers and we want privacy in payments for ourselves as well.

This is what drives us, privacy and decentralization with the least amount of trust needed. It is what motivates Justin (Sunerok), Marvin (marpme), Manuel (2lazy2debug) and myself, each working on our own and same projects, the Verge blockchain, desktop wallet, Android wallet and the iOS wallet. When those projects are complete we’ll move on to the next important step of building a decentralized future. We’ll keep improving our vision to have the ultimate privacy focused way of payment that still enables others to see the public ledger. This is very important for this generation and the ones coming after we’re gone.

Right now, we’re trying to secure your privacy by using Tor on our client side wallets. It protects you from outsiders being able to see your location and IP address. We already provide the possibility to use stealth addressing to protect the receiver from revealing itself on the public ledger. Once RingCT is available it will protect the sender on the public ledger.
Having these possibilities in my daily payments/money flow is very important to me and I think it should be everyone’s possibilities. Because privacy is a human right. Not a crime or should it been seen as an attempt to do something criminal, but to protect yourself and the people you care about from harm, abuse and theft.

Progress on the iOS Wallet
Due to Alex and I’s attendance of the Crypto-Rockstars convention, the iOS development stalled for a few days. Nevertheless, I managed to get some nasty bugs off my checklist. I also worked on the paperkey view. This view shows your mnemonic phrase which represents your wallet private key. I’ve added the possibility to generate a QR code for this mnemonic phrase which you can use when opening your wallet on another device.
In the upcoming weeks I’ll be focusing very strongly on getting the GitHub issue list for the wallet done. Once these issues are checked off the list the wallet will probably have reached the 50% mark of its progression lifetime!

Progress on Codebase
Let us begin this chapter with a short but an actually very fitting sentence:

The struggle was real — We learned a lot, we cried a lot. Debugging is hard. Debugging C++ is harder. It’s not following a linear progress, like writing a paper. You can’t know when you are done.

As Justin was constantly working on getting the codebase from our
  • Codebase to 0.13
  • then from 0.13 -> 0.15
  • and as last step from 0.15 -> 0.17
Currently we are at 0.17.0 & besides doing some work regarding the wallet, we have taken the challenge to fix some existing bugs within the code base over the past two to three weeks. It’s been a hard time for us to keep up with the pace of Justin working at the codebase, but we actually had some small but very wonderful wonders happen.
We were actually able to assist Justin by fixing some of the major bugs, that kept persisting within our codebase. One of those was the P2P connection to older nodes. i.e. the new 0.17.0 talking to the Wraith-4.0.2 node. Beside such problems we were also able to fix some block header checks after the introduction of our multi-algorithms switch and also some GUI tweaks which includes the removal of BECH32 support and the addition of stealth addressing.

We’ve also had a small issue with Qt framework deadlocking the wallet on version 5.11.1, this was due to a piece of code, that switched off SSLv3 in order to prevent POODLE attacks. We just dropped out this function as Qt natively drops SSLv3 to TLS, so this code being blocking and redundant.
Additionally we improved the stability of the RPC/HTTP Rest server environment, as there were a bug when it partially crashed.
Next to it we are also heavily messing around with the new codebase to see if we find any further bugs within it, so that we can make sure that it’s in very stable condition before it goes into a public beta phase.

At this time we are still not in a position to give any ETA’s about its release or any further insights until we’ve decided that it is as ready as we can possibly make it for a public release. While this may come across as frustrating to some, we have to ensure we are releasing the absolute best possible software we can.

Interested in contributing?
If you are interested in contributing to VERGE and want to be a part of our amazing community of volunteers, be sure to reach out to us, either via github, discord, telegram, or by email: [email protected]

Written by: Swen van Zanten