Beginner’s Guide to Decred

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Decred officially launched in February 2016, and calls itself an “open, progressive, and self-funding cryptocurrency with a system of community-based governance integrated into its blockchain”.

Using the Decred blockchain, their aim is to develop cryptocurrency technology for the public benefit which is fair and equal for everyone involved as it is bound by a set of rules including guiding principles, a system of governance, and a self-funding mechanism.

Decred Website

The technology uses cryptography to secure transactions and to control the creation of new coins, and the digital database which stores all transactions is completely transparent.

The team behind Decred claim the technology to be incredibly easy to use, allowing users to send, receive and mine Decred with just a few clicks, and it provides a range of command line tools to allow you to customize your experience.

The Decred Principles

Decred is bound and run by a set of principles, to ensure the technology truly is for the public benefit. They outline their principles to be the following:

  • Free and Open-Source Software- All software developed as part of Decred shall be free and open source-software.
  • Free Speech and Consideration- Everyone has the right to communicate opinions and ideas without fear of censorship. Consideration shall be given to all constructive speech that is based in fact and reason.
  • Multi-Stakeholder Inclusivity- Inclusivity represents a multi-stakeholder system and an active effort shall be maintained to include a diverse set of views and users. While it would be ideal to include everyone, Decred shall comply with all relevant bodies of law in the jurisdictions where applicable, such as embargoes and other trade sanctions.
  • Incremental Privacy and Security- Privacy and security are priorities and shall be balanced with the complexity of their implementations. Additional privacy and security technology shall be implemented on a continuing and incremental basis, both proactively and on-demand in response to attacks.
  • Fixed Finite Supply- Issuance is finite and the total maximum number of coins in Decred shall not change. The total maximum supply for Decred is 20,999,999.99800912 coins, with a per-block subsidy that adjusts every 6,144 blocks (approximately 21.33 days) by reducing by a factor of 100/101. The genesis block subsidy starts at 31.19582664 coins.
  • Universal Fungibility- Universal fungibility is fundamental to Decred being a store of value and attacks against it shall be actively monitored and countermeasures pursued as necessary.

A cryptocurrency which works for everyone

With the aim to make a more robust currency, Decred uses a hybridized consensus system to strike a fair balance between miners and users.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Decred lets users participate directly into the project without having expensive mining hardware, so that miners operating the infrastructure don’t have access to considerable influence as demonstrated elsewhere.

As well as this, Decred is working on representing insider and outsider voices within the community by constructing a layered governance organization which extends beyond the miners and users.

Building an equal and collaborative community

By using decentralized governance and processes throughout the project, Decred allows people with ideas to come and shape its future. As it is a multi-stakeholder development ecosystem, participants are welcome to improve existing features or to build new tools for the technology.

Decred has opened its doors for feature proposals and they allow all their users to make suggestions. Another bold move they have employed to sustain a collaborative cryptocurrency empire, is to pay all developers in full view of the community from the Decred blockchain.

With the Decred Constitution in place, users always know what to expect and Decred has made a pledge to run in a way which benefits everyone.

How to get involved with Decred

Decred lays out the three main ways to interact with the project:

  • The Wallet – For sending and receiving funds as well as participating in Proof-of-Stake mining.
  • Proof-of-Work Mining – Using computing power to validate transactions on the network and generate new Decred tokens.
  • Proof-of-Stake Mining – Using funds to vote on important network development matters and validate transactions for rewards.

All you need to send or received funds is an address which can be easily generated from any Decred wallet. Funds clear within around five minutes of a transaction being made, making it a quick and easy technology to get involved in.

Decred Wallet

Once you have some Decred, you are able to join a staking pool to participate in proof of stake and earn rewards.

Decred Staking Pools

To help with the upkeep of the network, Decred take a small fee with every transaction, and their open stance means that you can search through all the blocks and transactions in the Decred blockchain with the Main Network Block Explorer.

How to Create a Decred Wallet

To create your own Decred wallet and generate your own Decred Address, visit the official website and click the “Download Wallet” link and save the file to your computer.

Download Decred Wallet

Now run the file, the wallet will begin to sync which means it is downloading the blockchain. If you wish, you can skip this for now with the “Skip” button. You will then be on a screen where you are given a see which comprises of a number of words.

Important: Write this seed down and save it in a secure location as this is how you back up your wallet and can recreate it at any time.

Decred Seed

On the next screen you will be asked to re-enter your seed word by word and then choose a passphrase to encrypt the wallet.

Decred Passphrase

Your wallet will now be set up and you can interact with the Decred blockchain. To get your wallet address, click the “Receive” link and you will be given the address and a QR code for it. From here you can also generate additional addresses as required.

Decred Wallet Address

How to Buy Decred

Purchasing Decred with “Fiat” currency is not currently possible, so the easiest way to purchase it at the moment is by buying either Bitcoin or Ethereum and then swapping these for it on an exchange. In this section we will show you how you can purchase Decred with a Credit or Debit card using the Coinbase website and then swapping it for Decred at Changelly.

Register at Coinbase

For first time buyers of crypto currency, we recommend that you use Coinbase to make your first purchase – its easy to use, fully regulated by the US government so you know it is one of the safest and most reputable places to purchase cryptocurrency from. Coinbase offers the ability to purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum with a credit or debit card or by sending a bank transfer. The fees are higher for cards but you will receive your currency instantly.

You will have to carry out some identity verification when signing up as they have to adhere to strict financial guidelines. Make sure you use our link to signup you will be credited with $10 in free bitcoin when you make your first purchase of $100.

Coinbase Website

To get started, click the “Sign up” button where you will be taken to a registration form where you will need to enter your name, email and choose a password.

Coinbase will then send you a link via email to verify your email account, once you click the link in the email you will be taken to a verification page. You must then add your phone number and upload a photo of your ID – this can be a passport, driving license etc. You also have to add your payment details, so you can add your bank account or a debit or credit card as required – after a short period your account will then be verified and you can then make your first purchase.

Coinbase Verification

Purchase Ethereum or Bitcoin

For this guide, we will be purchasing Ethereum to swap for our target cryptocurrency. The reason for this is that it has far cheaper fees than bitcoin for sending and the transaction also happens a lot faster. So in Coinbase, visit the “Buy / Sell” tab at the top, select “Ethereum”, choose your payment method and enter the amount you wish to purchase – you can either enter a US Dollar amount or a number of Ether.

Buy Etherum

You will then be asked to confirm your transaction, if paying with a card you might have to complete a verification with your card provider. Once that’s complete, your Ethererum will be added to your account.

Using Changelly

The next stage, is to use the Changelly website to swap your Ether for Decred. Use this link and enter how many Eth you will like to convert and it will show you how many Decred you will receive in return, if you are happy then go ahead and click the green “Exchange” Button.

On the next screen you will be prompted to register an account which you can do so by using a social media account or entering your email address.

Changelly Registration

Once that’s done, you will be taken to a page showing the transaction details – check it over and make sure the amounts are correct. Once you are happy click the green “Next” button.

On the next screen, you will be prompted for your Decred wallet address where you will receive the coins. Paste this into the box and click the green “Next” button.

Changelly Wallet Address

You will then be shown a final confirmation screen, again, make sure all details are correct before proceeding.

Changelly Confirmation

Changelly will then provide you will an address to which you mush send your Ether, so copy the address that they give you and then head back to your coinbase account.

Changelly Send to

Send Your Ethereum or Bitcoin

In Coinbase, click the “Accounts” and Select your Ethereum Wallet on the left and then click “Send”.

Enter the address that Changelly gave you before.

Send Ethereum

Click “Continue” and then you may have to confirm the transaction with your email or phone if you have 2 factor authentication enabled.

The transaction will now be sent over the Ethereum network and will take a short while to arrive – you can check in your Changelly account where it will notifiy you of the following steps :

  1. Waiting for payment
  2. Exchanging
  3. Sending to your wallet

Once it’s complete a confirmation message will appear on the screen saying “Transaction Complete”. You can now check your Decred Wallet where you can confirm you now own your DCR.

Changelly Transaction Complete

An ever-evolving project

A key aim of Decred is to ensure that consensus and growth are sustainable and efficient. To do this, they introduce several governance and development features to the community regularly.

Decred isn’t a finished product, and is described as ‘constantly evolving’ to continuously maintain the best experience for everyone involved. They already have many future innovative features planned, and are always open to suggestions from the community so there is no limit to what can be achieved with the technology.

The new features are partly funded by rewards from the new blocks, with a percentage of these rewards always being put towards the development of Decred. This is part of their ongoing sustainability plan, making sure their community needs will be met for years to come.

Some of the features planned for 2017 include:

  • Hard fork voting
  • A stakeholder-directed DAO
  • Decentralized control of development funds
  • Lightning network support
  • Continuous UI and Design development
  • Enhanced privacy
  • Payment integration


Decred has been developed by a few of the original Bitcoin developers, who longed for a completely decentralized cryptocurrency where it wasn’t possible for some people to gain more of an influence than others.

With other cryptocurrencies, miners manage to maintain a stronger level of power than users, but with Decred a fairer and more equal system and outlook has been applied.

As well as building a strong and supportive community through their values, the community can also become a valuable part of the project as Decred is always evolving and open to suggestions from developers who are paid for the instances in which their ideas are implemented. This is a game-changing way of building a cryptocurrency, and has potential to be a very successful project.

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Editor-in-Chief of Blockonomi and founder of Kooc Media, A UK-Based Online Media Company. Believer in Open-Source Software, Blockchain Technology & a Free and Fair Internet for all. His writing has been quoted by Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Investopedia, The New Yorker, Forbes, Techcrunch & More. Contact

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