Excitement builds as the Mastercoin Foundation enters the month of February. Craig Sellars has joined us full time this month filling the role of CTO. Craig led this week’s dev call by setting a tone of bold progress and strength. He announced that four deadlines have been set for the March 15th launch of the distributed exchange.
Yuval Begman, the Mastercoin Foundation’s UX magician is paving the path for the February 15th draft deadline for user experience walk through. By March 1st we expect to see DEx implementation consensus along with end-user workflows and a final decision on user interface examples.
March 1st also marks the day when major testing will begin on the DEx. Marv Schneider is taking the lead in making sure the framework is in place for such a feat. This week he setup more files at https://github.com/mastercoin-MSC/QA to support DEx testing and created a Simple Send test requirements file as an example for what we need to test in each of the transactions.
On this week’s dev call Marv announced that there will be structural improvements and clarifications to the Master Protocol spec. This week a large portion of his energy has been directed into doing exactly that. Marv feels that, “the spec needs to cover all the usage scenarios, including edge cases, in order to eliminate any need for interpretation by developers.We’ll be able to write comprehensive test requirements, and test procedures, as the definition of each transaction is completed in the spec.” He has added a new paragraph about DEx testing to the Mastercoin Wiki (http://wiki.mastercoin.org/index.php/Testing).
Maran announced this week that he will be discontinuing his Ruby library in order to direct all development power to the GO implementation of the DEx instead. Over the coming days Maran’s Mastercoin-explorer will be phased out and redirected to other implementations. A schedule of this phasing out with instructions on how to migrate will be posted. With this news, Persisting & Playback raw Bitcoin data in LevelDB within the GO implementation is now underway. Zathras is excited that a hard delivery date for the DEx is now in place. Maran and Zathras agree that phasing out Maran’s implementation will be a steady process in order for any sites depending on Marans API to be given time to migrate. Zathras has also been making considerable progress on an open source Windows client.
Master Protocol Bounties
The Mastercoin Foundation is excited to announce that $100,000 USD will be awarded this month in BTC to anyone wishing to contribute to current development milestones. 50% is reserved for work on the distributed exchange, while 35% will be allocated for smart property bounties and 15% is allocated for general innovation. Details on this will be given in a separate post. Please note that these bounties also come with dev Mastercoins so they are actually much higher than they appear. If you think you have a great idea for a project but do not yet see a bounty matching your idea, it is now possible for anyone to propose a bounty that they think would benefit the foundation! Please see (http://goo.gl/luDw4S). J.R. further announced on this week’s dev call that going forward, we will be moving to a strictly date-driven milestone bounty system.
We currently have two different web wallets in development. There is Grazcoin’s Masterchain which is more security oriented and we now have our own “Omniwallet” being created by Curtis, Faiz, and Patrick. More details of this new Omniwallet will be released in coming weeks.
Curtis updated this week that his team has cleaned up and worked out the kinks in the install instructions and dependencies, such that anyone can quickly and easily install the web wallet. Further, they corrected an issue which prevented the display of addresses which weren’t yet present on the blockchain (improves accessibility to new users) and work continues on search API endpoints. Faiz displayed a newly integrated API endpoint in the webwallet repository (https://github.com/curtislacy/mastercoin-tools/pull/4). Over the weekend Faiz has been on the fast track to releasing new scripts that will give developers support that are seeking to integrate Mastercoin trading on exchanges (https://index.docker.io/u/faiz/masterdev/ ).
This week Grazcoin and Grimentz dedicated most of their effort toward the new wallet. The security process remains in the last phases of review. Their new wallet UI is taking shape and can be viewed at (https://masterchain.info/downloads/wallet_on_cloud.png). An intensive responsive design effort is under way. The team is in the process of testing on a matrix of mobile phones, tablets, and screen resolutions with different browsers. Smart server side implementation has started. Research of optimizations are also underway for heavy user loads.
Dexx’s update: The Mastercoin faucet has begun to distribute both Mastercoin and Test Mastercoin simultaneously and since a little longer than a week ago payout amounts were raised significantly. Interested users are now able to be rewarded with up to 0.1 TMSC and 0.0025 MSC via four available authentication methods.
One of them, the authentication via bitcointalk.org, was slightly changed recently. To redeem a reward users needed to sign a given message with a Bitcoin private key, publish a corresponding pubkey hash in their profile and submit a valid signature for that message as well as a link to their bitcointalk.org profile. Instead, a simple one-time-token string is generated and used to identify a legit user. This process is visualized here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=429494#msg4696663
I furthermore plan to enable three additional authentication methods via Google, Facebook and LinkedIn in a few days.
Only three days ago Bitcoin core v0.9.0 release candidate 1* was released which finally relays OP_RETURN data outputs as standard transaction type. Mastercoin class C transactions are not yet formally finalized in the Mastercoin protocol specification, but I’m very excited about all the new possibilities.