Together we are strong: A development update
The development team at Unigrid is currently finalizing the release of our new wallet and side networks. However, recent events have thrown a slight wrench in the machinery and has slowed down progress to some degree. For this reason, we want to update the community and tell you about our progress, what is currently happening at Unigrid and describe the current situation relating to the crisis in Ukraine.
A blog post approaching almost 2000 words might not be the most enjoyable thing to read. While I am sorry for the drawn out post, I feel that there is a lot that needs to be said and covered.
The right for freedom
First, I want to tell you a story. In 1980, a little boy was born at the hospital of Huddinge, Stockholm. He was born almost two months early and had to spend the beginning of his existence in an incubator, struggling for his life. Several years earlier, his parents had fled their country for a better life in Sweden. A proper life without oppression. A life with the ability to make your own choices. A life where you were free to make your own decisions and settle your own future.
The boy of these parents was me. They bravely fled the USSR from Poland before I was even born - they never looked back. Fleeing the oppression of the Russians was the best choice they ever made. With my early birth in mind, their decision to move to Sweden in all likelihood also saved my life.
This is what the current situation in Ukraine boils down to. People want their freedom. They want to be able to build their own future without oppression and external control. Just like the people in the rest of Europe, they want to be able to make their own choices. Unfortunately for Ukraine, their country shares its borders with not only one, but with two autocratic dictatorships. At the moment, they are both attacking the country of Ukraine - a country whose only crime is the desire for democracy and freedom.
In the very same way my parents longed to escape the oppression of the USSR, they (Ukraine) long to escape the oppression of Russia and join the free world. Nobody should be able to deny them that - especially not the Kremlin.
The unfortunate consequence of anger
Europe is highly interconnected. Not only culturally, but also spiritually - sharing many of the same values and desires. When a European country suffers, we suffer with it. The attack on Ukraine hurts me personally in many ways. I myself have Polish and German roots and my mothers grandparents were Ukrainian . The country is therefore part of me and my heritage. At the same time, we also have team members in Unigrid with family currently stranded in Ukraine. Before they managed to escape from Kiev, they watched in horror as Russian soldiers moved through their neighbourhood, systematically knocking on doors, killing civilians. Even now, they are dealing with the constant threat of cruise missiles and bomb raids. Russian war crimes are now a daily occurence in Ukraine.
Ultimately, this causes many of us to be preoccupied with the situation in Ukraine. With horror, we are watching reports of Russia deploying weapons of mass destruction on the civilian population of Ukraine. Indiscriminately killing children, bombing kindergartens and residential buildings.
If they are willing to go this far to oppress the Ukrainian nation, how much further are they willing to push their convoluted agenda? If Russia don't get their way, will they then seek retaliation against the free world?
The aggression from Russia and the situation in Ukraine angers the whole world. Previous Russian allies are turning against them and the U.S and European Union are now imposing heavy sanction on the country in order to stop its war machine. These actions have triggered Russia to threaten the world with nuclear war and in a recent statement, Vladimir Putin made it clear that he is ready to attack if necessary.
On March 1st, the Swedish prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, talked to the nation. She informed all Swedes that the country will now further increase defence spending and that everybody will have to make some sacrifices to support Ukraine. The sanctions on Russia are likely going to cause increased energy prices, increased food prices and a very hefty increase in fossil-based fuel prices. If we want to punish Russia for their actions, we have to make some concessions.
Current development status
Even with the current situation, development of Unigrid is moving forward. We encourage the community to follow development of the new wallet. For anyone curious, it is also possible to clone the repository and test the wallet, as it is fully compatible with the old version of the Unigrid daemon.
Progress on the new backend code continues as well. The new backend is currently implemented into a seperate daemon and has been given the name Hedgehog in order to underline it's segmentation and implementation of many blockchains. During a transition period, the old Unigrid daemon will directly communicate with the the new Hedgehog daemon, something that allows us to keep the code bases clean and separated from each other.
As another major change, we are also happy to announce the adoption of the QUIC protocol. QUIC offers many benefits over TCP, increasing throughput and decreasing CPU usage dramatically. As the protocol is UDP-based, connection times are dramatically decreased. Because we use Netty for network communication in Hedgehog, it also allows us to relatively easily support QUIC in our code bases without inflicting massive internal changes.
We believe that the adoption of QUIC is a first on the blockchain market - something that will make Unigrid stand out dramatically. The protocol is also especially useful on "jittery" connections. That is, connections that are not completely stable and vary in speed and latency. This makes it perfect for a cloud service that needs to be able to run and be hosted on any type of device.
Originally, Hedgehog had an RPC server and RPC interface similar to the one in Bitcoin and the Unigrid daemon. However, this has now been scrapped and replaced in favour of a more modern RESTful API.
We are currently integrating the Hedgehog daemon, the Unigrid daemon and the new JavaFX wallet. Everything has to be tested and working.
Closing the door to Russian investors and businesses
As human beings we sometimes have to take a stand. When we see injustice being inflicted on others, our hearts bleed. We have to do something. Something to help. Something to make the situation better. If not for the sake of ourselves, for the sake of the party on whom pain is being inflicted.
In solidarity with Ukraine and until the situation is resolved and Russia has fully paid for it's crimes on humanity, we at Unigrid and The Unigrid Foundation are declaring a ban on new Russian investors and all direct dealings with businesses registered in Russia. We understand that many Russians are strongly opposed to the current actions of their government and recognize their struggle. At the same time, we still feel forced to implement this guideline and make a stand.
In order to promote democracy and an open Internet in Russia, we will allow and even encourage Russians to access the Unigrid network. Russians will be able to partake on the network and buy tokens in our wallet once in-wallet purchases are implemented. With the anonymous component of the network, we hope to help in promoting and pushing for a working democratic system in Russia. If people can speak freely without fearing prosecution, maybe the current oppressive climate can be improved or even remedied. Maybe together we can change the destructive direction that the country is currently headed in.
Preparing for token distribution
As soon as the wallet is released (this should be quite soon), early backers of the project will be asked to download it, generate an address and log in to our official sale portal in order to enter that address into the system. This will allow us to safely send Unigrid tokens to each backer.
If you are an early backer and investor that purchased your tokens via email we ask you to create an account on the sale portal now. Please use the original email that you used during your contact with our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have lost access to your original email we ask you to do a KYC in our sale portal. That will allow us to connect and identify your purchase to you.
When the wallet is released, an address field will be available on your "Profile" page in the sale portal. This is where you will enter the address discussed above.
Thank you for your patience with us and in particular this drawn out post. It had to be covered. Finally I just have one more thing to say to all Ukrainians fighting for their freedom and their lives;
Don't give up and don't give in! The whole world is on your side.