Outside’s cold, mulled wine is out in the streets to warm you, Christmas lights shine in the dark and Manuel’s writing the new and last development update of the year while holding a warm cup of coffee, before handling it to Alex to give it his magic touch. ( I asked him for a cup of Caribou and all I got was typos’)
From a market point of view, this year has been devastating for traders, but at Verge, this situation has been only favourable for us. Thus allowing us to work (in relative peace) without the pressure of a bull market and let us focus on Verge. I hope you see where i’m going with this, this update will make a small recap on Verge year so far.
Our Family Has Grown
It’s funny that I’m saying this, since I joined the Verge Core Team only this September, but since the beginning of 2018 the team has grown exponentially, from outreach to development roles; we’ve extended our design team and reinforced our marketing strategies.
Our entire team can be found here.
As our team has grown, so has Verge and its presence around the world.We have seen progressive adoption of Verge, through both public and private sectors and this is just the beginning. We all are happy with the results we have achieved thus far, but the goal of mass adoption is still the top priority and we won’t stop until we won’t see Verge widely used as an alternative currency for fiat.
Meanwhile, you can still catch up on our continuously growing list of vendors on https://vergecurrency.com/vendors to see how you can spend your Verge online. You can really spend them on a big variety of services and goods, from guitars to virtual servers, through bamboo sunglasses, prestige umbrellas, food and clothes.
Besides individual vendors, we’ve also partnered up with different payment processors, we will cover the “who’s” later but it’s important to keep in mind that this means that Verge can be used on a credit card or instantly settled in fiat to give to the merchants the stability they need in terms of income.
2018 in a nutshell
People that came in the crypto space just now, looking at the price may think that “Verge hasn’t moved in 2018”. Yet, it was one of our most active years since its birth. Let’s recap briefly what has been achieved this year :
- Stealth addressing integration
- New website and press kit
- Verge meet-up in Amsterdam
- New forums established found here
- iOS wallet development started
- Android wallet development (new version) started
- New lite desktop wallet development started
- Verge codebase rebase to Bitcoin 0.17 started with great strides being made daily. (still in progress)
Our lead developer Justin also had the pleasure to be interviewed by Bloomberg, Asa Akira on the PornHub Podcast, CNBC, and by Frank Dashwood on RadioCrypto found here.
Our lead advisor CryptoRekt has also been interviewed by Frank Dashwoodon RadioCrypto which can be found here.
We may have not released everything we wanted to; we realized that as a community project we can’t afford to setup deadlines and now we try to operate with a different model, by keeping our audience up to date without giving promises we are not able to keep. (That’s the reason behind our development updates)
While Santa is working hard ensuring that every good kid gets his present, @cloakfox is working hard making our life impossible (just kidding, he’s a great guy and actually has a great heart, but only if you’re a cat ), and Swen van Zanten is nailing the iOS wallet, by setting up features that I honestly would not have thought about (for starters, because I’m lazy).
I mean, I was (as usually) wandering on Twitter, finding the next FUD boy to bash (always politely, or almost) when I came across this :
And yeah, basically Swen came up with a new feature that allows you to specify the wallet service you want to connect to, allowing you to have your own one on your Verge node.
For those who don’t understand what he’s doing : our wallets won’t be obviously able to host a full Verge node, thus will just be able to create your key pairs and will delegate the tasks to an external service, which still will never get or hold your private keys at any moment. Privacy features won’t be lost; the ability to send money to a stealth address is preserved, and tor is still standard in our products. So, instead of just hard-coding a couple of servers that everybody should connect to and not change, Swen already setup a setting view to let you set your own Verge Wallet Service (VWS) or any you trust.
Of course the Verge Wallet Service doesn’t build it up itself, Swen took also care of that side and already added some features, such as the ability to rescan your wallet on a new server and add the latest 15 generated addresses… to something.
Codebase Update Progress
In order to be even more transparent about the current codebase development, we decided to deliver you with even more updates about technical changes.
By far the most important change with in the current codebase is the change of the load block index. We, together, decided to invest our time and love into this certain problem. We had to dig deep into the code of the new codebase to find a valid solution for the performance of the block loading times. This was basically caused of having the blockhash generated by scrypt . Obviously Scrypt was build to be slow and requiring the CPU to do a lot of work to generate a certain hash for a block. We had different ideas to solve this very problem. In the end we build an additional checkpoint system to staticily noting down block hashes to secure the block to still be valid. After that we created two uint256 that are being written to the block index on your disk. This will not highly increase your disk usage overall. (At this very moment the blocksize is ~5 GB)
With those saved block hash we can save a lot of time for generating those block hashes dynamically and also we saved the Proof-of-Work hash as well. As they are generated for checking the proof of work before loading the complete index. It was not possible just to use the block hash as we are supporting 5 algorithms, but the block hash is always based on scrypt.
Moreover we already prepared the later integration of tor by dynamically building tor while making the new codebase. Additionally we moved over the TOR control sources files from our old repo to also support auto-starting tor, when opening the wallet.
Regarding that topic, we also solved another problem that was due to the different usages of our codebase, which required some users to remove the tor integration from our codebase. We now solved/supported that by having an additional configure parameter called: -without-tor
That way we solved the problem of having to different branches, which requires twice the time to be maintained. Well but this is solved by having such a parameter.
Furthermore, we have changed different variables from the bitcoin network (i.e. MAX_CURRENCY) over the codebase. We also had to do little adjustments around the CScript class to support older codebase clients (with an older protocol as well). Next to it we also made just to differentiate between old and new clients.
And finally we update docs along our changes to have a smooth start when releasing the new codebase to the public. (Thanks Jeff ❤️)
The End of 2018
Another year has gone, a new one is coming. This new year is giving us space for development, opportunities, improvements, and surprises (for us and for you, of course).
The whole team wishes you all great holidays, some valuable time with your family, your friends and the people you care about. Don’t forget that while the crypto space is playing with people’s feelings and wallets, money doesn’t buy happiness; all the money in the world couldn’t help recover a friend, a mom, a son or a daughter.
Money can’t buy time with those we love, so, enjoy the Christmas break with them and drink a mulled wine for me
Written by: @2lazy2debug
Thanks to @CryptoRekt .
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