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BitcoinACKs Lets You Track Bitcoin Development and Pay Coders for Their Work

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“If Bitcoin is decentralized, who funds its development?” This longstanding question, historically answered by the quiet work of volunteer Bitcoin developers, now has a new response: a website that allows Bitcoin users to pledge payment for protocol upgrades.

The brainchild of Pierre Rochard, BitcoinACKs aggregates pull requests for protocol improvements from the Bitcoin Core GitHub (in coder vernacular, “ACK” means that a proposal or change passes muster). 

The website has been around for a couple of years, but Rochard just rolled out a new feature: a pledge option that allows users to commit funding to a specific protocol improvement and pay developers once that improvement is merged into Bitcoin Core.

BitcoinACKs: a product of the scaling wars

BitcoinACKs was born from the 2017 scaling wars, Rochard told CoinDesk. The bedlam of online debates over block size increases and Segwit made Rochard realize that a well-organized, transparent repository of Bitcoin’s development was necessary, for both Bitcoin’s builders and its consumers.

“After the 2017 scaling drama I decided to get more informed about the Bitcoin open-source development process and see if I could find ways to be helpful. One challenge I had was finding pull requests with specific criteria I was interested in taking a look at: pull requests that were old but had good reviews, pull requests that had been rejected by reviewers, etcetera,” he told CoinDesk. 

Read more: SegWit Goes Live: Why Bitcoin’s Big Upgrade Is a Blockchain Game-Changer

“There are 13,600 closed pull requests and 388 open ones. For most contributors this is an intractable amount of data to digest! A second challenge was that all of the data related to pull request discussions is siloed on GitHub, and I wanted a local copy to query quickly and with SQL. That’s when I decided to build BitcoinACKs.”

A way to track pull requests, pay for Bitcoin developments

The website aggregates pull request comments from developers on GitHub to help developers stay on top of a pull request’s status. On the site, each request is accompanied by its upvote and downvote count, the pull request’s author, the date the request was created, who has reviewed it, when the last commit was made in the repository, and whether or not the request has been merged into a Bitcoin Core library for deployment in a protocol update. 

With this latest update, Rochard has included a “pledge” feature whereby anyone can pledge to pay contributors for their work on specific pull requests. These pledges can be paid out via Lightning or on-chain payments processed through BTCPay Server. 

Those funding development will be able to choose which developer they want to pay for a given pull request, and Rochard told CoinDesk that there are no penalties or enforcements for holding a user to their pledge; it’s up to the user to decide when/if they want to pay out a pledge based on whether or not they are satisfied with the work. 

If too many users flake on payments, though, Rochard said he’ll take actions to mitigate such bad behavior. This could involve using discrete log contracts to create smart-contract ensured settlement. In this case, if a user pledges funds to a developer for a pull request, when the request is merged successfully, this result is revealed to the smart contract to release payment.

Skin in the game

BitcoinACKs’ crowdfunding mechanism is a first in Bitcoin’s open-source landscape. Before, you could sponsor individual developers, but you couldn’t directly fund individual upgrades.

Rochard’s tool makes this possible with its bid to drive Bitcoin’s development with free-market principles by aligning user desires with developer incentives.

“To me, BitcoinACKs is how all work should be done: limit orders (pledges) are put in by capital owners, workers create value, and the capital owners send cash directly to the workers. If a capital owner starts spoofing (unfairly reneging on pledges), they get kicked off the platform. If workers don’t create value, then they don’t get paid.”

Read more: Summer 2020 Is Funding Season for Open-Source Bitcoin Development

This quid pro quo gives its users an avenue to express their desires for the Bitcoin protocol’s development while giving developers another source of revenue. 

BitcoinACKs, then, opens a new, developing frontier for both average users and developers. Usually, open-source funding has been the realm of cryptocurrency exchanges or other Bitcoin-related companies. These actors will often offer six-figure lump-sum grants to independent developers to fund their work, as we’ve seen from Kraken, Square Crypto and others

Now, these high-rolling sums can be matched – if not in kind, then at least in spirit – by the smaller-sum contributions of the Bitcoin community. Rochard emphasized that this model could even help fledgling devs get eyes on their work by sponsoring a bounty for their own pull requests. 

User pledges vs. corporate grants

Ultimately, Rochard sees BitcoinACKs as another building block for bankrolling Bitcoin development. It’s the complementary hand shovel to the corporate grant’s bulldozer, facilitating focused, feature-specific work where the grants allow for more general, developer-specific labor.

“I think corporate grants work great for funding a specific subset of open source work: independent, self-directed work. It’s funding a public good that has positive externalities on the ecosystem, and I think every profitable business should be doing it. 

“BitcoinACKs is for funding targeted, specific outcomes. For example, perhaps your business needs a specific API feature, rather than asking for favors or hiring full-time contributors, it’s more convenient to put a bounty on it.”

At press time, 11 pull requests have received pledges ranging from 10,000 satoshis to over 2 million satoshis (or “sats” – a micro measurement of bitcoin wherein 100,000,000 sats equals 1 BTC). The two most popular projects, a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal for taproot and another for encrypting messages between Bitcoin nodes, have received pledges of 2,010,116 sats (~$214 or 0.02010116 BTC) and 1,241,210 sats (~$132 or 0.0124121 BTC) respectively.

Disclosure

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoinacks-bitcoin-development-pay-coders

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Dash Platform plans to remove the cryptographic address in transactions

Dash Platform is planned to become a cloud system It will feature decentralized data storage The transaction will be conducted using usernames Dash Platform plans to develop into the cloud system while at the same time abandon the use of addresses in transactions. This information came from its CEO, Ryan Taylor. He revealed on September, […]

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  • Dash Platform is planned to become a cloud system
  • It will feature decentralized data storage
  • The transaction will be conducted using usernames

Dash Platform plans to develop into the cloud system while at the same time abandon the use of addresses in transactions. This information came from its CEO, Ryan Taylor. He revealed on September, 18th that the Dash Platform intends to streamline the way users send or receive funds. Instead of a cryptographic address, users will be able to send and receive funds using username and blockchain identity.

The main goal of the Dash Platform is to have a better user experience. Taylor also said that this new Dash’s developments should improve the efficiency of the Dash system. Dash Platform will also host a DApp API and decentralized storage system.

Dash Platform – DApp Development

Creators of the Dash Platform aim to develop a fully decentralized blockchain solution. It should allow users to make transactions based on their usernames and without the need of including a third-party service.

Its Decentralized API (DAP) will mean an expanded offering, and virtually endless opportunity to host decentralized apps on the network.

Taylor is convinced that it will be a revolutionary change in the industry and “an explosion of use-cases and easy integration of new merchants.”

Removing cryptographic addresses

Crypto transactions require cryptographic addresses. They are very long and carry great risks of losing them or even worse losing the cryptos. For example, one small error in the address will always result in losing access to funds, and if the address becomes known to malevolent actors loss of funds.

The risk is involved in both cases, whether the users store it themselves or use a third-party solution. Data breaches happen every day and no one is really safe from them. Individual personal email accounts can be compromised by viruses and similar threats. On the other hand, third-party’s services are always a tempting target for malicious hackers. In both scenarios the possibility of losing funds is big.

Dash Platform plans to provide access with usernames and facilitate connecting with other users via a ubiquitous “friend request” form. After accepting such a request, the users will be allowed to make transactions between each other without using cryptographic addresses.

Dash Platform’s team expects that this will both help crypto adoption even beyond the technophile users. The other benefit is the reduced security risk. In the press release, Taylor said that the Dash Platform allows data to sync across devices.

“So I can have the same user account on my tablet as I have on my desktop or my mobile phone. If I create a friend request on one of those devices, it should sync across all of them.”

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Circle unveils new feature allowing businesses to pay sellers in local currencies

Circle businesses can now pay sellers in local fiat currencies in over 80 countries.

The post Circle unveils new feature allowing businesses to pay sellers in local currencies appeared first on The Block.

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