Syscoin 1.5.2 Beta 4, Blockmarket and a Leap Forward

We’ve been very busy over the past two weeks! After the release of beta3 some issues were discovered and we quickly put testing on pause while we addressed these issues. At the time we stated we wanted to take the time needed to fix the issues properly- and we’ve done that. As we worked through the issues we came across several major platform changes and core service optimizations that resulted in some major positive changes for Syscoin that also impact the roadmap.

 

Syscoin QT Beta 4

Beta 4 of Syscoin 1.5.2 introduces major platform level changes that impact each and every service currently offered by Syscoin as well as improvements to these services and to the decentralized marketplace purchase experience. Here are just a few of these changes:

 
Many of the changes are very technical as they occur at the core/daemon level, but here’s a quick synopsis:

  • Optimized Command Design – In the current release of Syscoin all service commands (creating items, buying items, creating aliases) use a two-step design that first requires the user to enter one command to obtain a GUID (global unique identifier) and then a second command to activate that service. In some cases users would even be required to wait for the first command to be confirmed by the network (which can take 1-3minutes) before running the second command. We’re proud to announce in Syscoin 1.5.2 beta 4 ALL two-step service commands have been redesigned to be a single-command operation.
  • Reduced Blockchain Size – In addition to usability improvements the optimized command design also reduces overall blockchain size. Remember that because all Syscoin services operate directly on-chain (NOT p2p) that the previous two-step command design meant twice as many entries on the blockchain. The new design leads to a greatly reduced number of entries on the blockchain, reducing overall chain size by 30% or more while still delivering the same suite of services with a better user-experience than ever before.
  • Aliases – Already active on main net but receiving even more improvements in 1.5.2 Syscoin aliases are 100% interchangeable with any Syscoin address. Instead of asking people to send funds to a long, nondescript string of characters you can have them send it directly to an address which you own. Addresses are case-insensitive and do have a fixed expiration (approx 1month). Purchasing an alias does incur a fee. As we’ve begun using aliases more and more in 1.5.2 beta4 because it makes sending and receiving coins as well as operating all of the services much easier. Please be aware that aliases must be updated in order to keep them active or other users on the network can purchase them, much like domain names.

 

Download Syscoin v1.5.2 Beta 4 Now!

Important Note: Before running Syscoin QT 1.5.2b4 please:

  1. Delete the contents of your syscoin cakenet data folder EXCEPT for your wallet.dat (within the cakenet folder). This means also deleting peers.dat and all the folders related to the cakenet blockchain (leaving only wallet.dat in the cakenet folder).
  2. Use the these nodes to properly sync with the beta4 cakenet. If you leave your old beta3 blockchain data around, you may experience errors.

*Syscoin 1.5.2b3 is now deprecated and should no longer be used.

 
Syscoin 1.5.2 Beta 4 Windows Installer (recommended)
Syscoin 1.5.2 Beta 4 Windows
Syscoin 1.5.2 Beta 4 Mac
Syscoin 1.5.2 Beta 4 Github

 

Design Improvements Sooner than Later

The Syscoin network is one of the most stable altcoin networks available with a network hashrate that rivals Litecoin, sometimes operating at greater than 1 TH/S in hashing power. Because of this huge amount of hashing power, performing hard forks on the network to introduce major design improvements is a delicate and coordinated operation. The scope of change in 1.5.2 has now become so large that it will require a hard-fork, and we’ve already started talking with our massive mining network and are happy to say we’ve located 90% of the mining power and are in contact with the operators.

 
We’d already had a hard fork planned for the 1.5.3 release which introduces “dynamic expiry”- a solution to the fixed-expiry design many of Syscoin’s services currently leverage. This change will allow you to purchase or update any Syscoin service and specify how long you want it to remain active for (ie: creating an item that’s active for 1 year, buying an alias for a week and then updating it for an additional year of ownership with one command). In the 1.5.3 update we also will be changing how service fees are implemented so that if needed they can easily scale as the value of Syscoin fluctuates. These changes will not only allow Syscoin to remain competitive with other centralized offerings, but it also enables us to deliver the best possible service experience moving forward with as few additional hard-forks as possible.

 
Rather than attempting two hard-forks, one for 1.5.2 and one for 1.5.3, we’ve decided to wrap everything into a single 1.5.3 hard fork which will still be targeted for an initial beta in the beginning of May 2015. We will continue to release beta updates until then that hone and refine the experience and eventually switch the beta versioning to 1.5.3 once dynamic expiry is introduced. We will also be building support for the 1.5.3 features into Blockmarket. We’ve decided to do all of this prior to the 1.6 (aka: “v2 wallet”) release because that wallet will greatly increase usability and also the userbase, making it harder to perform a clean hard fork. With this in mind we’ll release 1.5.3 / hard fork first, and then release the new 1.6 wallet shortly after that.

 

Blockmarket Code Release

Because plans have changed somewhat delaying the next “official” mainnet release, we want to make sure that people still have plenty of time to prepare so that when the release is made official, they’ll know what to do. Because of this we’ll be releasing the source code to Blockmarket in the coming days, we just need to get it packaged up and ready for public consumption before that happens. In the meantime you can grab the Syscoin QT 1.5.2 Beta 4 binaries right now! These new binaries are “locked to cakenet” so you will need to use one wallet purely for testing and continue to use the current production wallet (1.5.1) for your “real” Syscoin. Cakenet Syscoin is referred to as tSYS and we are selling real items for this test coin as a way of promoting our decentralized marketplace and as a way letting users get hands-on time with the purchase experience before it is released to the main net.

 

Partnerships & The Competition

We’ve solidified a partnership with one large and in our opinion innovative group within the crypto space which we’ll be announcing within the coming weeks. I’m happy to say we’re constantly looking for additional partnerships and ways to make “Getting into Syscoin” that much easier / frictionless. In that regard we’re talking with additional partners about adopting Syscoin within their systems, these partners being outside the crypto space as ultimately that’s always been the vision for Syscoin. Syscoin is now available on Bitswop.nl which allows users to pay their Bitcoin invoices with other currencies.

 
Syscoin is well on its way to achieving everything we’d set out to do from the beginning. Building a platform for decentralized services on top of Bitcoin’s core blockchain technology, developing a rock-solid network for business infrastructures through universal merge-mining which has been a huge success as evidenced by Syscoin’s massive network hash rate. We’re a team that doesn’t stop and we’re never satisfied. We realized that some users were having issues connecting to our DNS Seeder on the mainnet and in response to that we set up not one but four additional DNS Seeds which will be included in the next update to the Syscoin 1.5.1 wallet. These seeds are located around the globe for the fastest syncing possible.

 
As this space has matured we’ve also been watching out for the competition. There have been many teams recently launching initiatives targeting the “decentralized marketplace” feature set and a number of other features that are foundational elements of Syscoin and have been since launch. We take the time to investigate the code published by each and every one of these possible competitors. What we’re seeing is a trend of marketplaces being implemented outside of the blockchain without clearly stating that obscuring the true value these coins bring to the table. While there are certainly some aspects of pure p2p (peer to peer) implementations that are advantageous, we feel leveraging the power of the blockchain and storing these items and their history directly on the chain is much more beneficial, secure, and effective. We have an entire post we’ll be dedicating to the difference/pros and cons of p2p decentralized marketplace implementations vs our implementation of decentralized marketplaces which is directly on the blockchain.

 
Our team is constantly listening to the community and watching the competition. We feel the improvements released in 1.5.2 beta4 and the open-source release of the Blockmarket code as well as the release plan for the 1.5.3 hard-fork in conjunction with our ongoing partnership efforts will continue to improve the value and adoption of Syscoin and its services.

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