Introducing the Decentr Mainnet and Mainnet Browser

We’re incredibly proud to announce that the Decentr mainnet is now LIVE!

Building and deploying our mainnet has been the culmination of several years of work and marks a seminal moment in the history of Decentr: our first candidate browser release that runs directly on the Decentr blockchain.

Before getting into the specifics of our mainnet release and post mainnet roadmap, we invite you to take a look at the achievements of Decentr over the past two years.

The Decentr Mainnet

The Decentr mainnet is built on the Tendermint/Cosmos SDK and, as such, offers many of the features of the underlying tech stack, most importantly, cheap and fast transactions, critical for a project such as Decentr where microtransactions for the transfer of data and payments form a majority of the transactions on the network.

As per other Tendermint/Cosmos deployments, Decentr’s mainnent operates on a delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. This means there are a series of Decentr nodes that will power the blockchain/network and users will have the ability to either create their own Decentr node, or delegate their stake to an existing Decentr node and earn network rewards as a result.

The APR on network rewards is currently ~20%. By creating a Decentr node or delegating your stake of native DEC tokens towards a node, you will not only be earning these network rewards, but also helping support and decentralise the Decentr blockchain and ecosystem.

The Decentr team has bootstrapped the network with 10 Decentr nodes. These nodes can be viewed via the Decentr Explorer. Our Medium now has guides on how you can create a Decentr node and/or how you Delegate your stake to an existing Decentr node.

One of the most notable features of the Cosmos ecosystem is the IBC, the Inter Blockchain Communication module. As the name suggests, the IBC allows Tendermint/Cosmos deployments to interoperate with other networks and transfer value, interchange assets and services, and connect. For Decentr, this means that out of the box our network and browser will have the native ability to not only talk to other Cosmos ecosystem projects, but also other non-Cosmos projects who have implemented the IBC.

You can view a list of projects who have integrated or are in the process on integrating the IBC here — https://www.wenmainnet.com

It cannot be overstated as to how important this is when building a true web3 browser. The more chains that the Decentr browser can natively interact with directly impacts the number of features that can be implemented within the browser and, as a result, the better the end user experience and the greater the user acquisition and adoption of the Decentr ecosystem.

Remember, the Decentr Browser is both the gateway and user accessibility layer to the entire Decentr ecosystem (and the DEC token)!

The Decentr Mainnet Browser

The Decentr mainnet browser is now the FIRST blockchain aware web3 browser. Existing browsers, like Chrome and Firefox, interact with web3 via extensions and are obviously not natively blockchain aware. Even the current crypto browser of choice, Brave, is not an actual web3 browser and uses ERC20 to connect to a centralised wallet provider in Uphold (this is past their somewhat shaky token utility and incentivisation model).

The Decentr browser now changes all of this and, as a result, our short term adoption and user acquisition strategy is based on the crypto ecosystem itself. This is a logical strategic decision based on not only our existing user base and its ability to refer additional users to the ecosystem, but also due to the massive gap in the market for a browser that by design provides the necessary features, abilities and security for new users entering the crypto ecosystem.

Our vision is for Decentr to be synonymous with crypto itself, the crypto browser of choice and the first step to entering the crypto ecosystem for any new user.

As many of our community would know, entering the crypto ecosystem is a complicated and complex process, and one that predominantly starts with downloading/accessing a browser and either interacting with an exchange account or MetaMask. As NFTs provide a new audience for crypto, users are now more than likely to interact with onchain or decentralized components of the ecosystem, MetaMask, OpenSea, Uniswap etc, however this is a path that is fraught with danger; for the undiscerning user, there are many unscrupulous websites, extensions and third parties looking to steal your funds at every step of the way.

The Decentr browser will provide a secure gateway to crypto for both new and seasoned users alike, where they can simply download the Decentr browser and have all the necessary abilities, tools, links etc to simply start crypo’ing. Because our browser is chain aware, we can do things that other browsers cannot, most importantly integration of chains and tokens that will have a direct impact on the crypto user experience for both new and old users alike, and we’ll be redesigning our user onboarding and setup process to reflect this in future versions.

More details on this are provided in the “Mainnet…and Beyond” section below; but firstly, let’s go through the features of the mainnet browser.

Mainnet Browser Features

For users of our beta browser, some of these features will come as no surprise, however we have made several key updates to enhance the end user experience:

The “Unification”

In the Beta browser, we had separate “extensions” for our AdBlock, VPN and dHub components. The UI design on these components was inconsistent and each component operated independently of one another. We have now redesigned the UI for each of these components to be consistent with our overall brand and have integrated these components so they appear as part of the same “group” of components.

You will now see these components as part of a grouped icon section in the browser toolbar, and notifications for these components will appear within this section.

Decentr VPN

We have redesigned the UI on the Decentr VPN to be consistent with our overall branding and upgraded our VPN backends so they are faster and more secure.

We will be pushing additional VPN locations via auto update in the coming week, so users of the Decentr browser have more choice in accessing geo blocked content from different geo regions, while enabling superior privacy and security when browsing the web using Decentr. Our goal is to make not only traditional content, like geo blocked or restricted content services, but also DeFi and crypto exchanges/platforms available to anyone, anywhere, easily, just by using the Decentr browser.

Users will be able to access content from London, Frankfurt, Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Los Angeles and Mumbai. By comparison, both Chrome and Firefox offer no free VPN service, Opera offers a free VPN for 5 locations and Brave offers a separate paid VPN subscription.

Unlike other free VPN services, WE DO NOT LOG ANY USER DATA.

We see offering a free and integrated VPN service that allows users more choice in accessing content worldwide, while retaining control of their data, as not just a user acquisition tool for Decentr, but a core tenant of our ethos, giving our users control over their own data.

Decentr AdBlock

Again, we have redesigned the UI on the Decentr AdBlock to be consistent with our overall branding while also expanding our AdBlock database to block more ads while not affecting user accessibility to content.

We are constantly updating our databases to keep more ads from reaching users and will be implementing customizable blocklists in future versions of the browser.

By comparison, Chrome and Firefox offer no in-built ad blocker. Both Opera and Brave contain built in ad blockers, however the Decentr ad blocker has tested to both block more ads and load pages quicker than both browsers as a result.

Again, we see offering a free and integrated AdBlock service that protects Decentr users from not only ads, but also many of the insidious ad tracking services that many websites use to track, monitise and deanonymize users as part of the core ethos of the Decentr project.

Decentr dHub/dFeed/dPosts

The Decentr dHub is the hub of everything Decentr, your user profile, your Decentr wallet, and all the social features of Decentr. Past building a fully blockchain aware browser, we have also built a social network, similar to the likes of SteemIt or Hive, in line with our vision of providing a decentralized ecosystem in which users can interact without the overriding reach of tech behemoths, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Our MVP release, in December 2020, was a browser extension that allowed access to the social features of Decentr in Chrome and Firefox. With the release of our beta browser, these social features were integrated directly within Decentr itself. Over the Beta release of the browser, we have made several updates to the dHub components, to improve the UI and user workflow, and most importantly, connect your dHub dWallet to our mainnet and native DEC token!

Importantly, every action within the dHub is an on-chain “transaction”. For example, all aspects of Posts are stored on the Decentr blockchain, including “Likes”, text, title, the user who wrote the Post and links to pictures across the dHub and dFeed. The storage of this data on the blockchain is important as it validates the origin and authenticity of the data and as a result guarantees a verifiable PDV increase that is of benefit to the individual user and the wider Decentr community.

If you check our Decentr Explorer after creating a post, liking a post etc, you will see it reflected there!

Decentr Signup/Onboarding

During our beta phase there were two main complaints for users switching to the Decentr browser, bookmarks and passwords. This was the main point of friction for users switching over to the Decentr browser, as it was the most time consuming aspect of moving their Internet browsing entirely over to the Decentr browser.

As part of the redesigned Decentr user signup and onboarding process, we are in now making it easier for users to import their bookmarks and passwords into the Decentr browser from their existing browser. This is part of a refresh of the signup process for the mainnet browser that streamlines the process and gives Decentr users more options over what data they want to share as part of their use of the Decentr browser.

It is important to note that sharing more data will obviously lead to the ability to earn more PDV!

The long term vision for our signup and onboarding process is to guide a user who has limited technical knowledge and zero crypto experience into setting up their browser and wallet in a way that lets them start interacting with the crypto ecosystem immediately and with as little friction as possible.

In future versions, we aim to integrate bookmarks, passwords, custom adblock lists and other customisable user data within your Decentr user profile, via Decentr Sync. This will mean you can simply sign in to a Decentr account on a new device and all your browser customisations will automatically be there!

Please keep in mind, this is still a work in progress and we encourage any feedback you might have!

Auto Updates

During our Beta phrase, additional features required a separate download of the browser to update to the latest version of these features.

We have now introduced the ability for the browser to auto update so our users can access new features without having to continuously set up their browser environment from scratch.

Features such as additional VPN locations, enhanced AdBlock abilities, streamlined user signups, updated UI/UX, like the custom start/new page below, will all simply appear as your Decentr browser updates itself to the latest version!

Linux

Our Beta browser was only available on Windows and OSX. Our mainnet release now includes a Linux version, alongside Windows and OSX.

Unauthorised Software

During our Beta browser phase, Windows and OSX marked our browser installation as unauthorised software and required allowing software on the OS to be installed from unauthorised sources.

Unfortunately we are still awaiting code signing certificates for both platforms. Our Windows certificate will be issued next week, for OSX we expect this to take a week or two longer.

For Windows users installing the Decentr mainnet browser, please remove the old version first. OSX and Linux users can install over the top of the beta version.

We apologise for this short term issue and can assure you, it is a traditional world process issue and not a code issue, We know that for easy adoption of the Decentr browser installation must be as easy as possible and this means no annoying popups when you go to install the browser in the first place!

Custom Home/New Page and Preset Bookmarks

While not quite ready for this initial mainnet browser release, the first auto update to the mainnet browser will push a custom home/new page design and preset bookmarks that allow users of the Decentr browser to interact with the crypto ecosystem more easily and more securely.

Our custom home/new page displays the amount of time and bandwidth saved via our AdBlock, along with the amount of ads and ad tracking blocked while interacting with websites via the Decentr browser. We also display the users individual PDV predominantly on this page, so users can easily see their PDV progression without having to access the dHub.

To help new users ease into crypto, we also provide price information for BTC, ETH and of course DEC, along with ETH gas speeds directly on this page. In future versions, we’ll give users the ability to customise what assets they’d like here, and the ability to add in more than the standard three. We also provide links to common crypto services within the Favourites section of the page and will be expanding this to categorised Preset Bookmarks (CEX, DEX, NFT, Tools etc) in a future auto update.

We love to hear from you as to what you need or think is important to be included in these resources, both for yourself and for new users joining the crypto adoption cycle.

Mainnet…and Beyond

With our mainnet now deployed and our mainnet browser released and operating on our own blockchain, we now have the ability to move into the next and most exciting phase of the project thus far, ADOPTION!

The vision of Decentr has always been based on the value of data in the ecosystem. As with any network, there is an element of critical mass that comes into play; i.e, data undeniably has more value as more users create or interact data within the ecosystem, thus driving up the individual value of their data and the overall value of the Decentr ecosystem and the data contained within.

To put it simply, More users = more data. More data = more value.

In the coming weeks, we will begin the initial phase of our user acquisition strategy. There are two main components to this initial phase, referrals and rewards.

Decentr Referrals — Refer to Earn

Users will be able to generate a personalised referral link within their Decentr wallet. This link will include the users referral code and can be used to send to new users to download the Decentr browser. As part of the new user signup process, the referral code section will prefill based on the referral code from the download link (it can also be entered manually if required).

Users who refer other users to download the Decentr browser and set up a Decentr account will receive native DEC as a referral bonus. The referred user will also receive a sign up reward of native DEC in their wallet.

Referrals will be set up in a tiered structure so that the value of referrals grows with the amount of referred users. A qualification check will be put in place to protect the ecosystem from individuals who may try and game the system.

Decentr Rewards — Browse to Earn

It is critical to not only incentivise users to download the Decentr browser, but to actively use it. As mentioned above, the more users who are actively using the browser, the more data the ecosystem has to offer as value as a whole (ADV) and the more an individual user’s data is worth (PDV).

While the long-term vision is to allow users to sell their individual data via a data exchange to interested parties, even leading data based projects such as Ocean Protocol (with who Decentr has partnered and is working closely with as regards enacting our shared vision of data as currency) recognise this is still a very early stage market. As such, we have designed an alternative method to incentivize users while this gap is being bridged.

As users interact with the Decentr ecosystem in a positive manner, their PDV grows in value. Decentr will provide a pool of DEC rewards each month, with the first month’s reward pool being 100 000 DEC. Decentr will take the total PDV difference over the course of a month for a user and distribute a reward in DEC from the rewards pool, proportional to their share of overall PDV.

The equation for this is relatively simple —

Decentr Rewards = (PDVe — PDVs) / PDVtotal * PoolSize

PDVe — user PDV at the end of the month

PDVs — user PDV at the start of the month

PDVtotal — total PDV change across the network

PoolSize — monthly pool size

This not only rewards users for actively using the Decentr browser, but most importantly rewards those who are most active/offer the most value to the Decentr ecosystem at a higher level, the way PDV was designed to operate.

A much better model than accepting money from advertisers and paying users to view ads, wouldn’t you say?

Browser Integrations and Freemium/Premium Features

With the Decentr browser now being a native blockchain browser, we are able to start integrating other blockchain services directly within the browser itself. What makes this interesting is not only does it offer additional features to users of the browser, but also additional utility for the DEC token itself.

Of course, not all integrations will be premium features, but this is an example of creating a self-sustaining ecosystem of true token utility that allows users to earn DEC for simply using the browser and then upgrade and expand their browsing experience by spending these rewards within the browser itself.

The first of our integrations is dVPN by Sentinel. dVPN is a global network of autonomous dVPN applications that enable private and censorship resistant internet access. While the Decentr browser provides VPN as a freemium service, users will be able to upgrade their VPN service to dVPN, and access more locations and in a more decentralized manner. Users will be able to spend native DEC directly within the browser to upgrade.

Our second integration is the XDEFI wallet. While many of our users use MetaMask, it is ERC20 only, and as the incumbent wallet, very slow to update features, if at all. XDEFI is a cross chain wallet that supports ERC20, Bitcoin, BSC, Poly, Rune and Litecoin out of the box. It also has native support for NFTs.

As part of the integration of XDEFI, we will initially preinstall the XDEFI wallet side by side with the Decentr wallet, with the eventual end goal to make this the main wallet for the DEC browser and as such, incorporated into the setup process when first installing the browser.

Once XDEFI supports Cosmos based chains in the near future, both native DEC and ERC20 DEC will be supported within the wallet along with the ability to delegate your stake to an existing Decentr node.

Q4 Decentr Roadmap

Our short term priority is building out the features of our mainnet browser to enable our initial adoption cycle to be as effective as possible. Therefore we have pushed some features that were designated for Q4 2021 to Q1/Q2 2022.

Our updated roadmap for Q4 2021 can be seen below.

Delegated Stake via dWallet
Decentr Swap
Decentr Referrals
Decentr Sync
dVPN Integration
XDEFI Integration
Mobile Browser (iOS, Android)

Technical Notes

ERC20 DEC and Native DEC

ERC20 DEC will remain the main tradable asset of the Decentr ecosystem for the short to medium term. This is a pragmatic choice in regards to exchange integrations and access to predominant liquidity sources. However, with our native token being part of the Cosmos ecosystem, we will also be listing our native DEC token on Cosmos based DEX’s (Osmosis/Gravity) in the very near future.

Initially we will provide a manual swap process for ERC20 <> Native DEC. Users will fill out a Google form and send their ERC20 DEC to a swap address. ERC20 DEC will be locked in this address and the equivalent amount minted as native DEC and credited to the user’s native DEC address.

Swapping native DEC to ERC20 DEC is a similar procedure. Users send native DEC to a swap address and include their ERC20 address in the memo field. The native DEC is burned and ERC20 DEC is credited from the locked ERC20 swap supply to the user’s ERC20 wallet.

This procedure will be automated in the near future via a Decentr Swap page, on which users can seamlessly swap ERC20 <> Native DEC. Swapping Native DEC to ERC20 will incur a 10 DEC swap fee, while swapping ERC20 DEC to Native DEC will incur no fee past Ethereum gas costs.

Nodes and Delegated Staking

The Decentr mainnet has been seeded with a swap of 3m ERC20 tokens to 3m native DEC tokens. These tokens have been converted from the unlocked ERC20 DEC ecosystem supply.

From the 3m DEC used to seed the Decentr mainnet, 1m DEC has been used to create 10 Decentr team nodes with a staked amount of 100K DEC per node. 2m DEC has been reserved for network and PDV rewards/referrals.

Users will be able to create their own Decentr nodes by staking a minimum of 100K DEC. Users who do not have 100K DEC can delegate their DEC to either a team or community node. It is important to note that the DEC mainnet includes slashing, so please make sure if you delegate your stake to a community node, you are aware that performance and uptime affects both your stake and potential network rewards.

Testnet users will have their account automatically migrated to mainnet. Each testnet user will receive a welcome bonus of 10 DEC deposited to their native DEC wallet. Testnet data (dPosts etc) will remain on the testnet.

Moving forward, our testnet will remain operational and will be used for the testing of future features, upgrades etc of the Decentr network. This is similar to how Ethererum operates with their mainnet and testnets such as Ropsten. Users will be able to interact with Decentr mainnet or testnet by simply toggling a network change within their Decentr wallet.

The Decentr browser is a browser built for you! We welcome your feedback and any feature suggestions or crypto integrations you feel may be of interest. Please join our Telegram group to submit any bug reports, feedback or any feature requests you may have.

As always, stay tuned for further updates, integrations and partnerships.

Official Links for Decentr

Website: https://decentr.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DecentrNet
Telegram Group: https://t.me/DecentrNet
Telegram ANN: https://t.me/DecentrAnnouncements
Beta Testers: https://t.me/DecentrBetaTesters
Github: https://github.com/Decentr-net
Windows Browser: https://decentr.net/files/DecentrSetupWin.zip
OSX Browser: https://decentr.net/files/MacOS_X64_Decentr_1.1.1.zip
Linux Browser: https://decentr.net/files/Ubuntu_X64_Decentr_1.1.1.zip

Your data is value. Decentr makes your data payable and tradeable online. Decentr.net Medium.com https://rich-james.medium.com/ t.me/DecentrNet