May 2020

Posted by: mandica - Posted on:

Welcome to the May 2020 newsletter! We have some exciting news and updates this time. We have just released Spectrecoin 4.2 with a range of important upgrades. This is the first major release since October 2019 and a lot of work has gone into making the codebase better compatible with mobile platforms. More information on the new wallet below. We have hired a new developer and we have some updates on our marketing strategy and an updated roadmap. Please have a read and we are more than happy to discuss any topic in our Discord server.

What’s new

  • Spectrecoin v4.2 release
    • Explainer: ‘What is Qt’
  • New developer – ‘@CircuitBreaker’
  • Dev updates
  • Raspberry Pi latest
  • Updated Roadmap

The last proper release of the Spectrecoin software was v4.1.0 which was released on 13th October 2019 and had a lot of improvements. Our developers have been hard at work behind the scenes to further improve our unique wallet and we are all proud to present the brand new v4.2.0 Let’s have a look at what has changed in this version as most changes are ‘under the hood‘.

https://download.spectreproject.io/

Main changes

The main upgrade in v4.2.0 is the replacement of QtWebEngine with QtWebView. This alternative version of Qt ensures Android compatibility and this is a crucial step towards being able to build the wallet for Android. This replacement of Qt has been an arduous and time-consuming task to complete. This upgrade of Qt will allow us to develop and improve the user experience both for desktop and mobile in the future.

Explainer: What is Qt?

Qt is a free and open-source widget toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces as well as cross-platform applications that run on various software and hardware platforms” – https://www.qt.io/

Qt is the engine that “interprets” the data from the Spectecoin core and makes it possible to present this in a graphic user interface (a UI) and makes it possible for the user to interact with the core software. It is a vital part of the software but most of the work to upgrade Qt appears somewhat invisible to most users, but requires a lot of work by the developers.

UI refresh update

In the previous version of Spectrecoin, there has been an issue where the User Interface (UI) has been slow to update and has on occasion appeared frozen when transactions and blocks are loading. The problem was caused by the Spectrecoin core consuming most computer resources, meaning that the UI had to wait for available resources to update. @Tek has solved this problem and v4.2.0 significantly enhances the UI refresh speed and feel. There will be few UI freezes while using and loading the wallet and most users who operate the wallet will feel a difference.

Smaller changes

  • The ‘Unlock Wallet‘ dialogue will now open on incoming SPECTRE staking reward with an unknown sender.
  • You are now allowed to select parts of the text in the transaction detail dialogue box.
  • We improved the staking tooltip indicator: ‘Not staking, staking is disabled‘ was never shown.
  • Initializing staking…‘ is now shown instead ‘Not staking because you don’t have mature coins‘ during staker thread initialization.
  • Improve synchronization tooltip: blockchain synchronization state is now updated every 500ms. (Tooltips, in general, are now updated when open and underlying data changes)
  • Improve splash screen with progress messages to reduce UI freezes during startup.

ALWAYS DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOFTWARE FROM THE DOWNLOAD SITE!
NEVER DOWNLOAD THE WALLET FROM ANYWHERE ELSE!


We are happy to introduce and welcome our newest developer to the team. He approached us recently and after a few discussions with the team, we agreed to hire @CircuitBreaker as an additional developer. This further strengthens our dev team and will speed up development. Please welcome @CircuitBreaker if you see him around the Discord server or elsewhere.

Hello, I am CircuitBreaker and I started out in blockchain development in 2017, after studying javascript and moving towards c++ I started to become more and more involved in projects until I started to be the lead dev of a few. I am always looking to expand my knowledge in any way I can and am never afraid of a challenge.

@CircuitBreaker

@Tek:

  • Replace QtWebEngine with QtWebView for v4.2.0 as detailed above.
  • Improving and optimising the code.
  • Slow UI refresh rate and UI freezing problems are now solved.

@Helix:

  • Update of Windows and Mac deliveries:
    • with Spectrecoin v4.2.0 the Windows- and also the Mac-Wallet will be based on Qt 5.12.8. Qt 5.12 is the LTS (long term support) line with support up to end of 2021. The old Qt 5.9.6 is now EOL (end of life) and so we will remove the separate Windows wallet with this old Qt version
  • With regards to the further development of Raspbian as dedicated Raspberry Pi distribution, we’re removing the Raspbian Stretch binaries and provide them only for Raspbian Buster.
  • We will add binaries for Ubuntu 19.10 with the next Spectrecoin release. So there will be binaries for Ubuntu 18.04, 19.04 and 19.10, Fedora, Debian Stretch, Debian Buster and Raspbian Buster. The latter is also the base system of our ready-to-use Raspberry Pi image
  • Automatic update of Blockchain Bootstrap Archive:
    • The Bootstrap archive for a very fast initial wallet setup is now updated on a daily basis. That means a fresh new wallet instance using this archive, needs to download blocks at max for the last 24 hours, depending on when the archive was downloaded and if you’re using it within 24 hours after download.

@Tom14

  • working on Spectrecoin ‘send proof‘ for future release
  • Improvements to Spectrecoin TOR implementation

Our devs are constantly busy and we are happy to see that we ranked #47 on the Cryptomiso ranking amongst other much larger projects. If it feels a bit quiet sometimes in the forums, it’s because we are busy developing Spectrecoin.

You can see that our developers are hard at work. We are currently #47 on the https://www.cryptomiso.com/months_3.html#XSPEC list. That put us in front of well-known projects like Monero at #57 and NEO at #60 both with a much larger team of developers.

We have spotted some potential memory issues on some Raspberry Pi wallets that may lead to a crash. This can occur in the Raspberry Pi 3 w/ 1 GB RAM. It would appear that the blockchain has reached a size that could lead to issues and in particular if you stake SPECTRE and have a large number of transactions. Therefore, if you are planning to either upgrade or get a new Raspberry Pi we recommend one that has at least 2 GB RAM. The new Raspberry Pi 4 w/ 2/4 GB RAM is perfect.

If you are experiencing problems it is possible to create a swap file. If you choose to do this remember that an SD card is NOT designed for the amount of read/write operations involved with the swap file and your SD card will wear out quicker. Therefore use this only as a temporary solution if your Pi is crashing to due to lack of memory.

How?

Exit the Spectrecoin Shell-UI and get back to the command line and issue this command to create a swap file.

sudo fallocate -l 2G /swapfile && sudo chmod 600 /swapfile && sudo mkswap /swapfile && sudo swapon /swapfile && sudo echo '/swapfile none swap sw 0 0' | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab && free -h

In the ‘command’ above you can change the 2G to 1G to create 1GB swap file instead of 2GB swap file if you have a small SD card. Please make sure you feel confident doing this before going ahead. ALWAYS HAVE BACKUPS!

If you are not staking on a Raspberry Pi, this is highly recommended. The unique Spectrecoin Raspi wallet is ultra stable, energy-efficient and really easy to set in v4.2.0. Please follow the instructions below if you don’t know how to set up a staking wallet on a Raspberry Pi. Please get a Raspberry Pi with at least 2 GB RAM.


https://github.com/spectrecoin/documentation/wiki/Setup-Raspberry-Pi


We hired Josh IGOE a few weeks ago as a “growth manager“, and he approached this job with some energy. However, we felt that his overall strategy was misplaced for a project like Spectrecoin. Therefore we cancelled Josh’s contract, and he is no longer working for Spectrecoin.

That does not at all detract from our marketing ambitions, and we have some exciting collaborations in the pipeline. Taking this project from where we are now and into the crypto mainstream is scattered with challenges. We will overcome and move forward and we expect to have more updates soon about our new marketing strategy.


The team is working on a detailed roadmap for the next 12-24 months and we want to highlight some of the things you can expect to see in the future. We will not set fixed deadlines for anything being worked but these are the main new features.

Android Mobile Wallet

As you could see from the updates rolled out in v4.2 and in particular, the use of QtWebView the full feature mobile wallet is one step closer. @Helix has been running the mobile wallet for some time and we are confident that you will be happy to have the ability to use anonymous staking on your Android device.

We’re hard at work on the Android port of Spectrecoin. This is going hand in hand with a complete refactoring of the build system, which then will be based on CMake. The aim and big advantage of CMake is a nearly identical build behaviour on all supported systems.

@Helix

SPECTRE send proof

@Tom14 is working on the ‘send proof‘ and we anticipate that it will be included in the next version of the wallet. This will allow a sender to issue a proof that a SPECTRE transaction was sent.

Light wallet

We recognise that there is a need for a so-called ‘light wallet’ that will make it really easy and intuitive for new users to use Spectrecoin. The work to create a ‘Light wallet’ is extensive and although we are planning to release this it will take some time yet.

Dandelion ++

We believe we have some of the most comprehensive network security of all privacy cryptocurrencies with an up to date integration of TOR. We are always looking for ways to improve on network security and our developers are looking to integrate Dandelion ++ in the future. Dandelion ++ makes it more difficult to trace the origin of a transaction. That in addition with TOR will make it very hard indeed to trace a network participant.

Cold Staking

Cold staking is still on the roadmap. Cold Staking will make staking more secure and you will be able to stake without having your wallet open at all times. We will update you further when we have more information.


SouthX: https://www.southxchange.com/Market/Book/XSPEC/BTC
Crex24: https://crex24.com/exchange/XSPEC-BTC
Livecoin: https://www.livecoin.net/en/trading/XSPEC_BTC
Altilly: https://www.altilly.com/market/XSPEC_BTC
Citex: https://www.citex.co.kr/#/trade/XSPEC_BTC
Probit: https://www.probit.com/app/exchange/XSPEC-BTC
Website: https://spectreproject.io/
Wallet downloads: https://download.spectreproject.io/
GitHub: https://github.com/spectrecoin/spectre
Block explorer: https://chainz.cryptoid.info/xspec/
CMC: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/spectrecoin/
Discord: https://discord.gg/ckkrb8m
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Spectrecoin
Bitcointalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4434053.0
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/XSPEC/
Telegram: https://t.me/spectrecoin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spectrecoin/

All the best from the Spectrecoin Core Team!

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