Privacy, liquidity, and availability. According to a user survey from exactly one year ago, the Decred community overwhelmingly identified these three areas of improvement. While the embers of privacy smolder and tease against the silent backdrop of excitement and anticipation, I’d like to focus on solid progress on the other two fronts. Last year, the community was emphatic that the project needed to gain listings to major exchanges, explicitly Binance and Coinbase.

While Decred is yet to be listed on Coinbase, it has made impressive progress towards increasing liquidity and availability. The way this has been accomplished is remarkable and commendable. The same community that asked for this, took action, proving that Decred is indeed community-directed and decentralized. Individuals and institutions from within the Decred community, none of which receive any compensation from the Treasury, have persistently made the case to exchanges that Decred is more secure than other cryptocurrencies, adaptable to change consensus rules, and self-funded to support a unique contractor model and thrive for generations.

These Decred advocates are not simply well-connected VCs pulling strings from the background, they are individual community members raising their voices in an ecosystem that exists to challenge and reform legacy systems with entrenched interests. Their collective efforts have guided our decentralized organization and enabled major fiat on-ramps at exchanges such as OKCoin, Bitvavo, Bitladon, Vertbase, and others in jurisdictions all over the world. These listings signal growing confidence from within the ecosystem that Decred is a superior store of value, and demonstrate that Decred is free from the baggage that weighs down many projects that went through the ICO process.

Decred was self-funded, then distributed via air-drop in a way that makes it beholden exclusivity to its community of coin holders and governance participants. And as we build toward an ecosystem that is permissionless, we understand the reality that current entry into the crypto world requires AML and KYC. With each new fiat listing, Decred becomes more easily available to the vast majority of global citizens. Fiat listings allow for the acquisition of DCR in a single step, removing the friction of converting currencies twice, and eliminating cost and time barriers to join the Decred community. Additionally, it removes the need to acquire BTC or ETH, the main trading pairs that have historically enabled people to own DCR. These fiat listings bring more people one step closer to joining the Decred community.

To our exchange partners, we thank you for your support and look forward to continued cooperation. We empathize with the need to comply with regulations and appreciate your tolerance of the surveillance state to keep the gates to crypto open. OKCoin demonstrated regulatory gymnastics when they graciously hosted an event at their San Francisco office that turned into a listing party when CEO, Tim Byun, made the announcement midway through the evening. I’d also like to acknowledge the work done by Vertbase, a small operation that was founded to solve the exchange permission problem for Vertcoin. Rather than complain about the situation, Justin Seidl, a Vertcoin community member, researched, then rolled up his sleeves, and opened his own fiat-to-crypto exchange. He operates it with a positive ethos similar to Decred that makes Vertbase my spirit animal.

With DCR more available and liquidity improving, even in this protracted bear market, the Decred community always plans at least one step ahead. Thanks to the recent Politeia vote, funding is secured to specify and construct a DEX. Built to be permissionless, fair, and anti-rent-seeking, the DEX will further the project’s progress on availability and liquidity in a manner that perfectly aligns with our values of sovereignty, transparency, inclusivity, privacy, and security.

With looming deliverables, Decred will continue to validate the faith put in its coin, its community, and its sovereignty model. When the community holds the power to make decisions and has a built-in mechanism to resolve disputes, it forges togetherness, resists splits, and enables sovereign money for generations to come. And on privacy, you’ll know when you know, or maybe you won’t.