DECENT has been a long time in the making. Their team formed a few years ago, partnered with NewsBTC in 2015, and finally held their ICO (back then a new idea) a year later. It raised an astonishing 5,881 BTC—worth almost $4 million at the time—and their development team has been on an epic journey ever since.
Their mission seemed simple: to decentralize the distribution of digital content while protecting intellectual property. This would allow artists to spread and monetize their work without relying on corporate middlemen, saving precious money on fees while circumventing the possibility of censorship. Titans such as YouTube, Netflix and the iOS App Store would be rendered obsolete.
Unfortunately, peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent can only share files, not verify them: one artist could republish another’s work under his or her name. The DECENT platform therefore records such information unalterably on the DECENT blockchain, which timestamps it so everyone can see who was first. The content itself is stored on DECENT’s cloud network, where access can be restricted to designated private keys (the author’s and his or her customers’).
NewsBTC is just one of many content creators planning to use this system. DECENT gained support from a variety of places including the all-powerful adult entertainment industry, and along the way they discovered new obstacles and refined their basic product. They established a Blockchain R&D Hub in the Armenian capital of Yerevan and began working on complex problems such as the automatic detection of duplicate content.
In the meantime, DECENT has been working on some basic prototypes. They released a public Web App Demo in November 2016, which demonstrated what submitting text content to the network could look like, and announced other plans such as DECENT Stream, DECENT Books and DECENT Music. They also announced development of DECENT GO this month.
Network Testing and Launch
At the same time, they’ve been tinkering with the core network architecture and blockchain. At long last, in March of this year, they launched version #1 of the DECENT testnet, dubbed “Caesar.” It allowed browsing, purchasing and uploading content, as well as rating authors and checking transaction history. Further updates included some fixes and the full integration of IPFS.
Testnet version #2, “Alberti,” launched near the end of May. It added a Windows client, regional rights system, subscription mechanism, different format categories for content (text, audio, video, etc) and the ability to send DCT directly to one another normally. Many more bugs were taken care of, and their most recent focus has been the Windows GUI.
Although these clients are still running on test DCT with no value, speculation upon real DCT value began long ago in the form of IOUs. These tokens are essentially promises made by ICO participants to give the holder DCT when the network goes live. It began with Liqui—against the wishes of the DECENT team themselves—and eventually spread to the OpenLedger platform without resistance.
Volume is currently very small according to CoinMarketCap (never more than $70,000 USD a day), but with an anticipated supply of 73.29 million coins and current prices around $6.40, DCT has a projected market cap of about $462 million. At its peak during a massive spike a week ago, it hit over $1.3 billion, making it a top 5 cryptocurrency despite not technically existing yet. It still remains in the top 20 as of the time of this writing.
This left many wondering aloud when exactly the much-awaited network launch will happen. Their original roadmap claimed it would be Q1/Q2 2017, but the team was noticeably silent while they finished the core protocol and reached out to exchanges. Finally, however, just a couple days ago, they announced the launch would occur June 30th, just in time to meet their original deadline. The community is now patiently waiting to hold their coins at long last.