Jan 04, 2021
by Strontium

Veil year’s end update for 2020

Without stating the obvious, 2020 was a challenging year for us all. We at Veil hope everyone reading this has pulled through in relatively good shape. This special monthly update will cover the year of 2020 as well as December.

Without stating the obvious, 2020 was a challenging year for us all. We at Veil hope everyone reading this has pulled through in relatively good shape. This special monthly update will cover the year of 2020 as well as December.

2020 Vision: Looking back

A year ago now we introduced our 2020 Vision for Veil, with an outline for how we planned to approach the year. To summarize, we focused on the following goals:

  • Reliable network of miners and stakers

  • Truly private and decentralized exchange

  • Stable and convenient merchant acceptance

  • Growth of community through additional utility

At the time, we were as unaware as anyone about the unique challenges the year would introduce. Financial hardship, health concerns, and other personal challenges brought about in 2020 saw some Veil staff step away from the project. Nevertheless, we stayed the course but for some necessary pivots.

Reliable network of miners and stakers

Miners

Significant feedback from the community over Veil’s former mining algorithm, X16RT, being easily dominated by ASIC miners brought work on our multi-algo mining solution we introduced at the end of 2019 and implemented with 1.1.0 in October of 2020.

We’re very pleased with the results, and have seen miners flock back to mine ProgPoW, the main mining algorithm, particularly with our partner WoolyPooly. Veil has since been featured on WhatToMine as a top performing GPU mining algorithm. Both CPU algorithms have also been mined, making the PoW change a success.

Stakers

Veil has never encountered issues finding users to stake. The low resource cost, along with significant rewards in these early years, have taken care of staking. That said, 2020 did see some improvements behind the scenes that improved staking for users: the most recent of these happened in December with updates to the staking status and staking toggle in the GUI. We hope to further explore staking in 2021 and will have more to say in an upcoming article.

Truly private and decentralized exchange

This goal was without a doubt the biggest victim of 2020’s challenges. The solution here we intend to deliver is one purposed specifically by Veil. With the expedition of the PoW updates ahead of RingCT and its accompanying simplification to a single coin type, this goal has unfortunately been pushed back. This remains a key goal, and will be something we’ll have more to talk about in the coming months.

Stable and convenient merchant acceptance

In 2020 we made the Veil Ternio BlockCard available to users. The card allows for spending where Visa cards are accepted, acting as a prepaid Visa debit funded by the holder’s veil.

The BlockCard is a huge step towards merchant acceptance, and one we’re proud to present as an option to users. We’ll continue to work towards merchant goals moving into the future, including revisiting plans for some Veil-exclusive merchandise.

- Growth of community through additional utility

The Veil community through 2020 grew in many ways. Numerically statistics show Veil has seen a rise in interest not seen since the initial launch. Sentiment towards Veil has also grown significantly more positive, with much greater engagement on Discord, more presence on Twitter, and resurgence in interest in the Russian mining and broader mining communities.

WhatToMine

The updated PoW consensus model being unique as it is provided some challenges with predicting mining rewards with any degree of accuracy. We worked with WhatToMine to provide a reliable source of mining information for those interested. We’ve seen an influx of miners and new users since, in which we have little doubt WhatToMine has been instrumental.

Furthering non-English support

2020 saw the beginning of focused efforts to better provide non-English speakers with means to access Veil. We started with additional language support to Veil’s stats site providing non-English users with key information.

A lot of work went into building positive relations with our significant Russian community, which led to WoolyPooly becoming Veil’s partner mining pool for our 1.1.0 release.

In the last couple of months of 2020, we began actioning our plan to better penetrate the Chinese market, giving our Chinese users a platform to monitor Veil news at Veil’s new official Chinese Weibo account. Rolling out this plan will continue into 2021.

Other accomplishments of 2020

Outside of our 2020 Vision, we achieved some other goals in 2020. Below are just a few of those.

Significant quality of life improvements and bug fixes to the Veil Core wallet

A lot of the work put in by developers is under the hood, and not readily noticed by users; the work being done is on the kind things that shouldn’t be noticed at all when working properly.

An update of larger impact is the changes to blockchain management. Previously users were experiencing a corruption of their blockchain that reared its head on wallet restart with an ‘Assertion failed’ message. The final wallet build of 2020, 1.1.1, significantly reduced the likelihood of this issue among other improvements.

Rather than going into detail on further examples, we invite you to check the GitHub pull request history to see the many examples yourself.

Budget and expenditure

Throughout 2020 the team made great efforts to minimize spending and accumulate a greater stockpile of veil from budget payouts to better fund the future of the project as rewards decrease over time. We’re very dedicated to the long-term, and so limiting spending only to what’s necessary is important.

The saved veil will allow us to both market Veil better in the future, and to afford partnerships, listings, and other opportunities we otherwise wouldn’t have had we blown through the budget at inopportune times.

While we understand the benefit of this is not yet clear to the community, the wise management of funds is something we are confident will pay off in the future.

TradeOgre listing

Overall our approach to exchange listings through 2020 has been to bide our time until RingCT greatly simplifies the process of adding Veil to, and maintaining it on, new exchanges.

2020 saw a golden opportunity for Veil to be added to TradeOgre exchange, which is very popular among miners. It was too good of an opportunity alongside the 1.1.0 PoW update to pass up. We hope you all are happy having another exchange option available to you.

Social presence

The communications focus of 2020, particularly the latter half, was on building the presence and awareness of Veil at the lowest cost possible. That meant focusing heavily on our presence on Twitter which has proven very successful, and leveraging our existing opportunities such as PoW on WhatToMine covered earlier.

Veil’s Twitter account hosted a number of Veil contests and giveaways, which is something we’ll continue into 2021, and hope you all look forward to participating in. Veil also increased its presence in our existing Russian community, and started working on building a social presence in China on Weibo. If you’re a speaker of those languages, we encourage you to drop in on those communities.

Closing words and what’s to come

That concludes the 2020 end of year update. We’re looking forward to sharing plenty of new information on what’s to come in 2021. We have a dedicated article exploring upcoming developments and 2021’s goals in the works. Please look forward to that in the near future.

As always, please feel free to join us on Discord or our social platforms with any questions or suggestions.

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