Rounding out August 2020
In August, we saw a lot of great progress. IOHK has been busy with improving stability and performance through updates to the node software (v1.19.0), as well as Daedalus. In addition, the team has been working tirelessly to get the exchanges up and running with the upgrade to Shelley. The only outlier at the moment is Bittrex, which was one of the first exchanges to list ADA and was running extremely outdated code.
Emurgo has released the new version of Yoroi, which now supports Shelley delegation, as well as Ledger and Trezor support. Yoroi mobile is also out, with Ledger support almost ready to go!
It has been a tremendous month with a lot of action!
SEPTEMBER 2020 – What the team is working on
This describes the ability to delegate to multiple pools from a single wallet. This capability will vastly simplify delegation in the future, while enabling people to more easily select exactly which pools they would like to support, and by how much.
Delegation portfolios – As mentioned in a previous post, IOHK is working on providing the ability to individuals to create groups of stake pools. This will be enabled by the partial delegation pool. People can then delegate to this group, similar to how mutual funds currently work. This is an exciting feature that many of us are eagerly looking forward to, as it will help to promote decentralization instead of encouraging people to only stake to the largest pools.
Presentation of stake pools
If you have been paying as much attention to pool rankings as we have, you would have seen pools soar and dive through the rankings. The ability to sort/rank pools by different criteria is somewhat limited right now. Addressing this will be a very welcome priority for the IOHK team for September. The idea is to improve the UX and allow people to rank pools based on different criteria. This is one of the updates we’re really looking forward to.
SMASH – the Stakepool Metadata Aggregation Server (not sure what the H is for…) is the service that Daedalus uses under the hood to aggregate all of the metadata about stake pools and present that information to end users. IOHK will be working on allowing more ability to customize the presentation and ranking so that people can view and rank pools the way they like
Ledger – the “Stake Pool Operator Update”
Vacuum Labs has submitted a proposal, which includes 1-to-many delegation from the ledger device, as well as a host of features aimed at Stake Pool Operators (SPOs)
One of the primary features for SPOs will be the ability to store their pledge address keys offline in a Ledger device. This will greatly enhance the security of running a stake pool with a large pledge.
In addition, they are also looking into allowing KES proxy keys to be created / stored on the Ledger, but this is likely a future feature. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
As with most things, IOHK is moving things along in a timely fashion. They expect to work out the final details of the contract with Vacuum Labs and sign this week.
One of the biggest upcoming updates to Daedalus is the “Harware Center” which will enable staking from a hardware wallet (like Trezor or Ledger), similar to the capability currently offered by Yoroi and AdaLite.
Additionally, they eventually want to allow other hardware security devices such as YubiKeys to be used to enhance the Daedalus experience.
One of the more interesting updates coming up is the ability for people to contribute to the pledge of a stake pool from a multisig wallet, which alleviates some of the trust concerns with working with other parties. This will enable smaller pool operators to work together to create a larger pledge.
The “k” parameter
Ironically, centralization among several very large stake pools is emerging. The “k” parameter is intended to counteract this by limiting the rewards a stake pool can earn based on its size. This will encourage greater distribution to mid-sized and smaller pools. If a pool exceeds the size limit, it will not generate additional rewards for the incremental ADA. There is a big urge to increase “k” (thereby decreasing the pool size limit), from it’s current value of 150 sooner than later.
The “d” parameter
Decentralization is the name of the game. Currently (as of epoch 215), 26% of the blocks produced are minted by stake pools. The network will continue to become more decentralized as “d” steadily decrements on autopilot.
New potential partner – Bison Trails
IOHK is in conversations with Bison Trails to implement staking as a service. Essentially this would make the management of staking much simpler. In addition, it would enable people to delegate directly from an exchange. It’s still early, but significant enough for Charles Hoskinson to mention.
There’s a lot going on. Technology and the community are evolving very quickly, giving us a shiny outlook in the months ahead. It’s astonishing to see the theories and discussions of the past few years finally become reality. There is greatness ahead.
Here’s the video where Charles gave his update: