Many people have questions such as: “why Decred?” or “what makes Decred special?” and “what are the unique selling points?”. Over two years we have collected a substantial amount of responses from community members to these types of questions. In this blog post, I would like to highlight the most awesome answers from the Decred community.

Why Decred?

[…] here are some bullet points:

  1. Probably the best development team in the blockchain space (the original developers of btcsuite).
  2. Decentralized governance. DCR holders can vote on new consensus rules.
  3. Unique hybrid implementation of PoS/PoW which removes most of the weaknesses that both systems have when used solo.
  4. They will probably be the first team [next to Bitcoin] to have a functioning implementation of the Lightning Network.
  5. Because of the brilliant development team/leadership it attracts the best talent which creates a network effect and exponential growth.

All these factors lead me to believe it is the most future proof coin out there right now. I recommend you to read this AMA to gain a better understanding of who is behind Decred and what we are doing. Also this article, it provides an excellent overview of the history leading up to Decred’s birth. I definitely recommend you to check that out as well.


What is the unique selling point of Decred?

Note from OP: I’ve read the website and from what I gather it’s “bitcoin with robust open source governance”. The site feels solid and not scammy. But if my understanding is correct then Bitcoin must fail for Decred to succeed?

Yes, I agree with you that governance is the selling point of Decred. However, I don’t see why Bitcoin has to “fail” — there’s plenty of space for more than one cryptocurrency. […] Decred is universal in its potential application, a currency without a single, predetermined use case. Here’s something to consider: each voting cycle will change Decred as different features will be included (such as the Lightning Network). Each of these consensus votes will change Decred. So the question is not what Decred is but what it will be. Its salient feature will remain governance — and each voting cycle will serve to demonstrate the strength of this model. Even if Decred doesn’t dethrone Bitcoin, it will remain relevant for its governance and its speed to implement new features. Personally I do think someday we can see DCR overtaking BTC, but I don’t like to voice that opinion as it scares people, makes me look like a shill or a dreamer / crazy idealist… :)


What makes Decred special? (2017)

A huge, huge part of Decred is solving development funding without doing legally questionable ICOs. Part of that is solved with 10% of the block reward going to a project fund. The other part is solved by having a core development team that is vested in the coin.

Originally, Decred did an airdrop, with some $420k worth of coins going to the core developers as compensation for building the Decred system. Another $420k worth of coins went to a list of individuals who wanted to join the Decred community after reading jy-p’s late-2015 article series called Bitcoin’s Biggest Challenges. The Decred system was launched shortly thereafter.

Decred’s codebase is derived from C0’s work in btcsuite, an alternative full node Bitcoin implementation written in Go. Hence, Decred shares many of Bitcoin’s positive qualities: fixed monetary supply, disinflationary issuance of the coin over time through mining, BIP39 wallets, all the major good stuff from Bitcoin is in Decred, too.

Decred introduces “tickets”, which are non-transferable, passive-income producing crypto assets designed to give DCR stakeholders control over the Decred network. This is not how Bitcoin works; in Bitcoin (and most other pure PoW coins), the majority of PoW miners have enormous influence over setting the network’s direction, while the stakeholders of the coin are left to bicker on the sidelines.

When investing in Bitcoin, you’re aiming to hold some percentage of the 21,000,000 coin supply. When investing in Decred, you have the same 21,000,000 coin supply to aim for owning, but you’re also trying to own a percentage of the Decred ticket pool.

Similar to buying any other fixed income investment, the more DCR you own, the more tickets you can buy; the more tickets you buy, the more passive DCR income you stand to gain from your investment, and the bigger you are in the Decred system. There are only about 40,000 tickets in the ticket pool at any given time. Each ticket right now costs around 65 DCR. Right now the entire ticket pool is worth about $50,000,000 USD.

IMO Decred is interesting to look at if you think owning tickets for years and years will result in a coin that optimizes returns for investors. Theoretically, it should because the incentives are very much aligned for that. To me, it makes sense that stakeholders would look to optimize returns for themselves, and we’re giving ourselves the tools to do that with DCR.


Why should I get involved with Decred?

Note from OP: I’ve done some research on Decred but I can’t see the main attractions. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a more fair version of bitcoin when it comes to mining and voting, but I’m not seeing what the plan is.

I think “a more fair version of bitcoin” is underselling the governance system by quite a bit.

Bitcoin has clearly proven itself to have a lot of worth, but seems to have enormous problems in terms of moving forward. We’ve had one split already (BTC/BCH), with another one possibly on the horizon this year. Say this pattern of 2 forks into separate projects per year (every time there’s a major disagreement) keeps occurring: after three years, you’re at 8 versions of bitcoin, and after five you’re at 32. That doesn’t seem sustainable at all.

Whatever you think of the details of the current Decred governance system, the ability to resolve conflicts on-chain by accounting for the voices of all stakeholders (who want a voice) rather than in an ad hoc way by a handful of developers or PoW miners, makes for a much more robust long-term solution.

So, one attraction of Decred is that it is in excellent position to take over from bitcoin as bitcoin continues to have problems. We do not know if the users and investors will actually migrate from bitcoin to here vs. elsewhere, but Decred seems to be better positioned than any other project.


What is your best pitch for Decred?

IMHO Decred is valued the way it is today in large part because a vanishingly tiny number of people view Bitcoin through a well-constructed historically accurate lens. And for reasons I’ll go into, an even smaller number are willing to speak up about it.

I am willing to do so. This has turned into a five-part post, so I hope you enjoy.

[click the link to the original source below to read these five posts]


Why is Decred superior? What is the value?

Decred (Decentralized Credits) is like an improved version of Bitcoin. One of the fundamental problems with Bitcoin is that the miners are 100% in control of the future of the currency. They have all the power.

Decred uses a unique hybrid PoW/PoS system where miners AND users share power. This lets all participants in the system participate in a constructive and harmonious way.

The biggest feature resulting from this is voting. Users vote on future changes to the blockchain, and also on how to spend money from the project treasury. Governance may not seem like a big deal, but it’s the fundamental thing that decides how a project grows and changes over time.

Besides governance, Decred has a bunch of other bells & whistles; including high PoS returns, lightning network, features like DCRtime that companies are already using commercially, privacy (soon), and developers could build dapps on DCR if they wanted to.

TLDR; Decred fixes Bitcoin’s biggest problem in a simple yet very effective way, and can grow & adapt anything we like from other blockchains.


Why is Decred undervalued fundamentally?

  1. Only project with functional on-chain governance. Demonstrated the first ever on-chain user activated hard fork.
  2. Fantastic development team. Ours include the developers of btcsuite, and also the author of the atomic swap code used by BTC and LTC.
  3. Unique hybrid PoS/PoW system that is extremely resilient to attacks. This consensus system makes a 51% attack extremely difficult and a minority hard fork nearly impossible.
  4. Direct PoS. No masternodes or DPoS where you will inevitably run into issues like the “Lisk elite”.
  5. The project is relatively young, at almost 2 years since launch. So it’s still getting in early.
  6. Great, active community, that is distributed around the world.
  7. Big war chest in the project treasury.
  8. Support from many influential community members including Charlie Lee and Jimmy Song.
  9. At least 2 competing ASICs coming out next year… should be an indicator of where some see this project going.
  10. Also, initial distribution. I would argue that Decred had one of the fairest distributions in crypto. Decred founders started with 4% of total supply (which they paid for with cash into the project treasury) and airdropped another 4% to community members. The PoS share of the block reward is purposefully set low so the relative power of holders decreases, instead of increases, over time. Compare this to today where it seems like 90% of the projects are totally premined, with the founders starting with the majority or all of the tokens that will ever exist.


Another noteworthy response to this question:

  • First cryptocurrency where I feel like stakeholder, my vote counts.
  • Highest bar in ethics (try to find a competitor!).
  • Positive and productive atmosphere, very open and welcoming to contributions.
  • Willingness to deliver truly decentralized systems and relinquish control. All actions so far are in line with this aspiration.
  • Growing number of smart people to learn from.
  • No bullshit. Doers. Great project for builders to join.


What makes Decred different?

The hybrid PoW/PoS system is a pure improvement on pure PoS. Stakeholders approve the previous block when they vote. This means that voters can punish misbehaving miners by stripping their PoW subsidy. This makes a 51% attack much harder, and also makes a minority fork much more difficult.

Distribution is very fair. 4% of initial supply was bought by company 0 (the original developers), 4% was airdropped to the community, and the rest is mined. Each block reward, 60% goes to PoW miners, 30% goes to PoS voters, and 10% goes to the project treasury.

Development is paid for out of the project treasury. We don’t have to rely on donations, nor do we have some sketchy ICO team with 90% of the money that has no incentives to finish building the product.

Great development team. Some of the original developers created btcsuite (alternative bitcoin implementation) and zkc (privacy chat software) before Decred. Now we have something like 40+ developers, more than half of which are outside of company 0.

Little to no paid advertising… why is this a good thing? It means that all our growth is organic, and that Decred backers are here because they believe in the project and not because they followed an ad promising them a lambo.

Great PoS rewards. ROI is around 20% a year currently. No masternodes, and with a voting service you don’t need to leave a node running 24/7.

Open source — everything about Decred is open source. For example, the atomic swap code used by many projects originated from Decred. There’s even another top 100 project that’s more or less an exact copy+paste of Decred with the distribution changed in favor of the founders.

And most importantly… Governance. Governance is the ability to change and adapt. Bitcoin couldn’t even handle the block size vs. segwit vs. LN scaling debate without fracturing the community. Decred is the only project I am aware of with binding on-chain governance. Governance is something that has to be fundamental to a project from the start, it will be very hard for other projects to try to tack on governance systems later.


Another noteworthy response:

What makes Decred special? (2018)

Note from OP: I’ve gone to the website and viewed the video. However, I’m not sure […] what is so special about Decred? What would I use it for and why would I use it for that purpose vs other coins designed for those purposes?

Read the full thread:

This whole thread is a great read. One comment pointed to a collection of similar questions posted on the Decred subreddit. This inspired me to write the story that you are reading right now. All the questions in the titles were asked on Reddit and are arranged in chronological order. I figured that we needed to summarize all those awesome answers given by our community members along the way. In some cases I slightly modified the responses, but the link to the original comment is al

ways there. I would like to extend a BIG thank you to everyone who is making the Decred project into the intelligent and open-minded community it is today.

Writing about digital currencies & blockchain governance.
Writing about digital currencies & blockchain governance.