Greetings all, the first anniversary of the Ubiq launch was marked with the first step in the monetary policy. The block reward change from 8 to 7 UBQ per block, bringing ~6% current mining inflation at ~40,000,000 coins outstanding. With an eventful first year we saw a lot of growth in the industry and many developments in applications and infrastructure. The Ubiq development team has worked tirelessly to add infrastructure such as hardware support, new online wallets (Sparrow) and a public node framework (Shokku).
The Geocoin swap from their proof of work network has been completed with the support of Bittrex and Cryptopia exchanges. This highlights the uses for tokens beyond doing crowdsales; not to say we oppose that use case, but it hasn’t been the primary focus of the Ubiq EVM. There are at least 8 tokens on the network that have a fair market value with several more contracts for more less monetary use cases.
There have also been sizable developments within the EVM smart contract community to establish bridges between these different blockchains. We are monitoring these proposals closely to have the interoperability be available as soon as possible. With all this transactional volume and more utilization of the chain, we humbly request miners and pool operators to start signalling increases to the gas limit to allow for more transactions per block as more applications will use the public network for transactions. UbiqPool.io will initiate this by increasing its gas limit parameters for high traffic periods like airdrop blocks.
We are extremely excited to announce the Escher (ESCH) token airdrop, a tool for governance and framework for active participants to gain even more utility from the Ubiq network. How this works in practice is that UBQ holders must interact with the claim contract from an address by block 448,000, which is estimated to be mined April 25th. After this block, all registered addresses with a UBQ balance will receive 12 ESCH tokens for every 1 UBQ. Only active UBQ supply will receive ESCH, UBQ on exchanges will not be credited unless they interact with the public contract. As we’ve previously stated, we are not appealing to exchanges to participate or even list the token as trading is not the use case we envision for this system. The plan is to have 4 distributions a year, with the amount of ESCH distributed dropping each year.
Screenshot of https://ubiqsmart.com/escher
Further information and instructions will be released in a dedicated blog post this month. This is also a test claim contract that will end at block 423,300 to ensure users are correctly participating in the claim process, and work out any kinks within the contract/claim process.
Proposals and Development Funds
Currently, we have over 20 BTC in the development fund as well as 14,000 UBQ for the purpose of funding proposals and developments of the Ubiq platforms and other endeavours promoting decentralized technology. The governance system will be using an open architecture for creating proposals where anyone can suggest any use of the funds. However, the Ubiq page which lists proposals will have official proposals highlighted and anti-spam measures such as minimum participation requirements for visibility.
Anyone can still make their own display page of proposals to allow full viewing of all proposals…but spending of the NDF will still be at the discretion of the multisig key holders during the initial stages of governance. Ideally, we will have current service operators submit their own proposal to encourage public utilities like explorers other than Ubiqscan.io, so there will be rewards for three additional explorers as voted on by the community. There will also be general polls from the community on network changes like Proof of Stake or Masternodes, for example.
As part of our core infrastructure, Shokku is a public framework of Go-Ubiq nodes that anyone can point their Dapp to for interfacing with the chain. This is similar to the framework that Ethereum’s Infura offers, which relayed over 7 million Ethereum worth of transactions in 2017. As an application developer, this is a useful service where you don’t have to run a node and handle the server costs of relaying transactions from your Dapp. This is a cost that the Ubiq development team is currently bearing with the intent to have it funded by the network development fund through official proposals. If other users would like to launch a competing service, we will be publishing the system to github.com/ubiq using an open source license (expect a blog post soon).
Sparrow and Twine Update
Sparrow is now available in the Chrome store for download. It’s the Ubiq fork of the popular web3 wallet Metamask. It serves the same functionality with both Chrome and Firefox, allowing for simple Dapp usage from directly within the browser. There is still some final fine-tuning required to prevent any cross communication issues with Metamask also being installed. Twine is still being tested to ensure a secure system for UBQ and token storage using multisig. We recently asked the community to create a logo for Twine and received a number of great contributions shown below.
We will be utilizing ESCH to vote on community designed logos for Twine, Shokku, and even the Escher logo itself. Additional discussions and proposals for these designs are welcome on Discord, Twitter, and other social media. Winning entries will receive ESCH for their contributions
Vyper Contract Language
The development of Ubiq has benefited greatly from the open source code available from the Ethereum project and community. One way we want to give back is to help develop resources for the Vyper smart contract language, a version of the EVM framework that is similar to the Python programming language. There are sparse resources for this alternative language that still compiles to EVM bytecode and it has the potential to be used as widespread as solidity. Expect this quarter to have some blog posts with more info on creating ERC20 and other standard contract examples. Also, we have been contributing to improve the language itself.
Conferences and Dev Hangouts
Recently several members of our core team were able to meet in Barcelona to discuss our vision for the future and the execution of the governance system. Alex, Aldo and Luke used the opportunity to have an open quorum livestreamwith the community. The success and participation has solidified the need to make this a regular occurance, so mark your calendars for the next one on March 20th, 2018.
The Ubiq team also attended the Crypto010 meetup in Rotterdam and Ethereum meetup at Utrecht University, where we explained to the developer community the advantages and opportunities of using the Ubiq blockchain and met some potential future core developers for Ubiq.
On March 5th, we will be on a panel at the Blockchain for biz conference to discuss use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology in enterprise today.
Coinpayments and Other Services
Ubiq was recently added to the coinpayments platform which allows for UBQ and tokens Ubiq tokens to be accepted as payment by anyone using the coinpayments plugin. We are very excited to be working with their service as they grow to add more functionality like Shopify integration, which is currently in beta. The Coinpayments team is also working on their system for coin exchanging functionality similar to Coinswitch* who also added a UBQ exchange mechanism and requires no account/login.
*Coinswitch is an independent service using the Bittrex API
Einstein Capital Project
As part of our working relationship with the Einstein Exchange team, we are building a proof of concept “tokenized share” structure for their parent company Einstein Capital. We will be working with their over 100 shareholders to use the Ubiq blockchain for private company governance. This will also be a test group for hardware based blockchain identities like the Signum device which will have a pre-production run of devices to meet the demands of this use case.
A great proof of concept to show how traditional corporate structures operate and can exist in this new environment of a timestamped network with immutable signatures and full accounting record. There is great shared functionality and coding with the Ubiq governance system, where we can learn from each user base and use case.