On this day in 2016, a new cryptocurrency project called Decred airdropped 840,000 tokens to 2,972 community members—four percent of the planned total supply. In the three years since, Decred has been quietly building one of the most interesting projects in crypto, largely ignoring the hype cycle and speculative bubble. Now, surrounded by the shattered dreams of a hundred ICOs, the project looks increasingly like a long-term winner.
As with many great things, the seed of Decred came from failure. Jake Yocom-Piatt, organizer of the Decred project, says he spent “millions” of his own money building BTC Suite, a set of tools for the alternate bitcoin implementation Bitcoin in Go. But the project became, he says, “a tragedy of the commons situation. Should I keep spending money on this, even though I’m not making money?” The problem of sustainability hasn’t gone away: Grin, launched last month, attracted tens of millions of dollars in mining investment, but had some trouble raising a mere $62,000 to pay its lead developer for six months.