Lightning Network Support
Decred v1.6 introduces support for the Lightning Network, a layer two protocol that uses off-chain transactions for faster payments and low fees. The Lightning Network will introduce new use cases such as micropayments, which were not possible with on-chain transactions.
“The ability to process transactions off-chain is a substantial development for the project and will have a significant impact on Decred’s scalability, particularly with mainstream adoption,” Co-Founder & Project Lead for Decred Yocom-Piatt, explained.
Decentralized Treasury Voting
The latest upgrade also introduces improvements to Decred’s approach to treasury spending.
On Decred, 10% of all block rewards go to its treasury to fund the blockchain’s development. Until recently, all spending from the treasury was carried out manually by a corporate entity. Decred members noted that this “creates a potential single point of failure.”
Now, to further decentralize and automate the process, the latest update allows users to veto or approve treasury spending from within the project’s Decrediton wallet. This means that Decred will ultimately be more accountable to its community.
Coin Mixing via Stake Shuffle
Decred’s latest update also adds an opt-in privacy system called Stakeshuffle, where users can anonymize their DCR transactions.
Stakeshuffle uses the CoinShuffle++ protocol, which relies on peer-to-peer mixing of transactions so individual transactions cannot be traced. The new feature can be accessed via the Decrediton wallet.
Furthermore, the team extended coin mixing features to the staking mechanism for improved user privacy. Decred’s staking system is based on ticket holder voting. To participate, users must stake DCR tokens to purchase tickets which are used to vote on validating blocks and earn staking rewards.
However, ticket staking requires that wallets are always online, which can be difficult for many users.
Instead of staking their tickets directly, users can use a Voting Service Provider (VSP), a pool of always-online wallets where users can add their tickets in exchange for a small fee.
Decred’s Market Standing
Decred is a top-sixty token with a market capitalization of $700 million. Though the project is relatively minor, today’s news reinforces its selling points. Decred is pursuing on-chain governance to a greater degree than other platforms, and it is one of the first coins to embrace the Lightning Network alongside Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Regardless, news of the upgrade appears to have had little effect on the market value of the project’s DCR token.