Zephyr August 2019 Development Update

in #zephyr5 years ago

So I did promise a development update on 1st August, the eagle eyed among you will notice I'm some 7 days late, however I come bearing gifts!

Firstly this update will be in a less formal style, so that I can produce them quickly and that I don't put them off for other activities. Time is becoming increasingly hard to come by for me. But nobody wants to hear my belly aching. Lets talk Zephyr. Excuse my grammar, being a londoner, English is my second language.

Zephyr Alpha is availabe to myself and a select few early testers, I have put out a public call for people to test the new Zephyr wallet

The response has been amazing so thankyou very much especially to PIVXCommunity twitter and instagram for helping push the message and to Rhubarb Media for creating the graphics and pushing through the main Social channels of PIVX.
We have a shortage on 'newb' testers which is unsurprising given the average PIVX community member is pretty experienced within crypto, so we wil have to push forward regardless.

So what next?
Well, Alpha testing will start on monday the 12th August, and we expect that to last for around 3 weeks, Testers will be given a few tasks to complete to challenge the core functionality of Zephyr, and then they will complete a very short questionaire with their findings. I have found that the initial release is quite underwhelming, it provides basic functionality, and gives users ability to obscure their transactional traffic with TOR, but the real reason for this project is the additional features planned for the future. This is a very strong and stable starting point. Thanks to Furszy for creating the initial ElectrumX server that we based the server side of this technlogy on.

Additional features......... what are they then?
We all have dreams of feature packed wallets, however the PIVX core devs are aware that all of these additional features should either be standalone or held within a 3rd party application, this is why the CORE client doesnt have features such as SPMT built in.
Fortunately for us in the Zephyr team, we can add all the features we like, and we plan on adding as many as we can over the coming months (pending funding), so lets discuss some of the features on the Zephyr Roadmap.

Privacy Routing with Sentinel DVPN
So Zephyr has TOR built in, which it inherited from Dash Electrum, so why would we add another option for routing the traffic. Well we feel that needs to be covered in a document all of its own, so we will be working with Sentinel to put that together prior to requesting funding from the budget.

New Frontend
Probably the most important thing to handle in these updates is the new frontend, The current front end is offensive to my eyes and I will not miss it at all. For the new front end we have enlisted the help of UX professionals Chockablock.io who were the research team responsible for creating the new PIVX tutorials, We have yet to find the devs who will create the front end implementation, but there are plenty of devs hanging around in PIVX forks that can help. lets see how we get on once the wire frames are complete.

IPFS Governance
This has been discussed with the guys from RTrade and the plan behind this feature is to allow people to add IPFS addresses to proposals, so that client wallets can grab video, audio and graphical media to display as part of the proposal itself. This should help when deciding whether or not to accept a proposal. Imagine having a short kickstarter like video with a proposal, it really would add another dimension to governance, at this early stage we are unsure of the cost of this implementation or the potential vulnerabilities it may add, but in general IPFS and its content based addressing qualities make it ideal for this sort of usage.

BTC -> PIV in wallet transfer
Being able to convert between PIV and BTC in the wallet will greatly aid adoption and privacy as currently getting into PIVX privately is very difficult. PIVX recenty added the capability to use CLTV transactions also known as atomic swaps, this could allow people to transfer between BTC and PIVX. For this functionality as a short term solution we have considered pluging in an exchanger such as flyp.me or connecting directly to a dex. The options remain open at this stage as this will not happen till after the new GUI for sure.

SPMT Integration,
I asked 'Random Zebra' a core developer in PIVX discord last week why SPMT was not added into the main reference client, and he said that the CORE was not the correct place for these things, I'm hoping that with plenty of sweet talk and compliments I can convince him to assist us in adding SPMT to Zephyr, this will give users the ability to easily connect to hardware walllets such as ledger or trezor and create, monitor and manage masternodes, including voting. SPMT is a remarkable tool that plenty f people use and we would love to include it in Zephyr at some stage, this may be befor e the GUI update, but will most likely be after it.

Security Quiz
While signing up for Binance recently ( I know, centralised exchanges are the devil), I came across their sign up quiz and I really loved how it approached simple security scenarios and helped new users understand where dangers are. The quiz asked some questions like, "If someone from from support asks you for your 2fa code, should you give it to them" now most of you will know the answer is no, however some may not and its a good idea to run through some of these scenarios 3-4 before the first start ups just to give the user more of a sense of the levity that being your own bank brings with it. I really want to add these sorts of questions to the startup screens of Zephyr so will be trying to add them asap.

So that basically wraps up the upcoming Zephyr activity,

Here are some dates to pencil into your diary, (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

12th august Zephyr Alpha testing starts,
1st September, Zephyr Alpha will be released,
Beta incoming - no Date yet
all other features are subject to funding being secured, so lets just hope the PIVX masternodes are as excited to see them as we are.

Check the PIVX_electrum channel in discord regularly for updates and also keep an eye on the PIVX forums as thats where the proposal to add these features will be discussed mostly.

Next update will be 7th September and should feature a beautiful download link.

Thanks for reading and Keep it purple people ;)