The Upfiring Dapp — October 2019 Update

The goal of this post is to outline exactly what we’re working on at Upfiring, what issues we’ve faced along the way, how we’ve been working through these issues, and how we’re preparing to decisively overcome these issues and get this project used on a much larger scale. We’ll cover a few topics:

  • Upfiring 1.1 Launch and Initial Reception/Issues
  • Scaling Issue Solutions, the C++ torrent module addon, and Upfiring 1.2 Release
  • Marketing Discussion
  • UFR Exchange Listings Update (a lot has changed, please read this if you trade UFR)
  • Summary

Upfiring 1.1 Launch and Initial Reception/Issues

The development and release of the Upfiring dapp as outlined in the initial whitepaper was largely a success —the core aspects of the application worked as intended, the Upfiring smart contracts were fully secure, and the blockchain aspects of UFR was integrated seemlessly with the decentralized, modified torrenting protocol. We created the first decentralized smart-contract powered file-sharing application, and essentially the first application that allows users to “sell files” immutably. However, as many of you reading this know by now, there were several problems that showed their face in the first few weeks following launch that were not apparent during initial testing — the largest of them being the scaling issue. Upfiring 1.1 can currently reliably support up to about 15–20 files, after which performance begins to degrade. The reason this was a significant issue that impeded adoption was that Upfiring works best for users on a large scale. What that means is- if you are using Upfiring and hoping to earn significant amounts of UFR, you want to seed as many files as possible. What began to happen was: users simply stopped using the application because they couldn’t seed (and earn) on any significant scale, and large scale seeders — something every successful torrent network needs—couldn’t seed all of their files. There were also a few other features such as bulk uploading that would vastly improve Upfiring’s performance for large-scale users at scale, as this would allow users to upload 100s of files at a time from their computers rather than one at a time. Bulk uploading, along with many other features that will significantly improve the Upfiring dapp, are now on the 2019–2021 Upfiring Roadmap (which now has outdated dates due to the recent developmental delays). Regardless, the development roadmap remains in our line of sight and these features will manifest—albeit some months later than initially planned.

Solving the scaling issue with C++ and a rewritten torrenting module

The good news is that the scaling issue is entirely solvable. The bad news is that is has taken us significantly longer than expected. Javascript and NodeJS, the coding languages behind Upfiring, have some limitations that are not explicitly discussed in the programming community, and we experienced these issues with scaling first hand. Over 50 Upfiring 1.2 prototypes were deployed and each of them had their own issues in terms of scaling.

Version 1.2.19 of Upfiring undergoing developer testing

What we found was this — the entire Upfiring dapp works properly on a massive scale using NodeJS except for the torrent module. The solution we have chosen is to rewrite the torrent module in C++, which is a more primitive programming language that can scale far more efficiently. This will solve the current issues users are experiencing with the dapp, and allow for a level of scalability not previously attainable with NodeJS. The Upfiring roadmap will continue to be followed after the “Scaling for larger file sizes and higher quantities of files” item is completed, which will be deployed with the release of Upfiring 1.2. In addition, some marketing will begin upon Upfiring 1.2’s release.

Marketing Discussion

We have a limited amount of funding reserved for marketing, and it is extremely important that these funds are used wisely when the dapp is ready to be adopted. While the dapp is usable, functional, and secure, we are not at the point right now where users can use it flawlessly, and spending marketing funds now means having less in the future when we will need them to help spread awareness and grow our userbase. Note that this a long-term project and it’s not going anywhere. We plan to still be around in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc as long as the Ethereum blockchain continues to propogate, and we need to be intelligent with how we approach our funding situation (which is very limited compared with essentially every other “successful” project that had an ICO). If it takes an extra year to tweak the dapp and get it working just right, that will be a small blip on this project’s timeline and well worth it. We are developing as fast as we can with the resources we have.

UFR Exchange Listings Update

The cryptocurrency market is still recovering from the massive runup in 2017. During this time, exchanges charged exorbitant listing fees for projects and had so many users that nearly every single exchange had closed new user registrations by mid-January 2018, due to having thousands upon thousands of new users flooding their sites daily and overloading their trading engines as a result. Exchanges used this seemingly infinite and ever-increasing fund supply to salary tons of new employees and grow massively.

We are now in a phase of realistic downsizing, reminiscent of the events that transpired in bear market of 2015 after the 2013 bull run. At the moment, many exchanges’ expenses exceed their profits and as a result, are needing to downsize or shut down entirely. These include several of the exchanges that UFR is or was listed on.

Exchange Side Note: We are committed to ensuring that UFR is ALWAYS available on exchanges. If exchanges shut down, we will find others. In addition, we will be developing the Upfiring Decentralized Exchange (UFR DEX) directly in the dapp (again, see the roadmap) so that UFR will always be available for buying/selling in a decentralized manner among users with ETH and DAI pairs.

Ethfinex has shut down, and all user accounts have been moved over to Bitfinex. UFR/ETH and UFR/USD are now live and trading on Bitfinex as well, as can be seen on Coinmarketcap. Bitfinex has proven to be a relatively reliable exchange thus far and a good place to buy and sell UFR.

Coinexchange has recently announced that they are shutting down due to market conditions. Please read the aforementioned linked letter by Coinexchange and withdraw all funds there by December 1st. They have stated that they may reopen their exchange if market conditions change in the future.

Very few details have emerged about how user funds will be handled, but it possible that the UFR held there that was not stolen in the hack (between 2–3 million UFR) could be eventually returned to users with a “haircut” — meaning users would receive 70–80% of their original balances back. This has not been confirmed by Cryptopia, but they do currently possess this UFR in a wallet and have access to it. Meanwhile, the exchange is undergoing a liquidation process.

RightBTC massively downsized and delisted nearly ALL of their trading pairs, including UFR, without warning. If you view RightBTC’s exchange, you can see the few trading pairs they have left (around 10–15 total coins/tokens). We are not sure of the reasoning behind this downsizing on their part, but it was not a very active exchange for UFR regardless. You can view the complete list of delisted pairs here, and if you had UFR on the exchange, file a request to have it returned to you.

Keep in mind that markets tend to be cyclical and while all projects (aside from a select few) have experienced “bleeding prices” for the past several months to several years, it is unlikely that this bear market truly lasts forever. Crypto in particular is known for its “boom and bust” cycles. Regardless, note that holding crypto is considered very high risk as all of this technology (Upfiring included) is still in its infancy, and anything can happen. Understand the risks that are involved with owning UFR or any cryptocurrency, and keep your tokens off exchanges in a secure wallet like Ledger Nano S (hardware) or MyEtherWallet (software).

Summary

We know it can be frustrating to have to wait, but good development takes time, and perfection isn’t going to happen overnight. We are working on making our vision for this project a reality: establishing a decentralized and incentivized file exchange without limits — and this is a long-term path that is going to take several years to traverse through. Marketing will begin as soon as Upfiring 1.2 is ready, and will scale upwards as more features continue to be added as outlined in the Upfiring roadmap. As always, we will provide a date for Upfiring 1.2’s release as soon as we are sure it is ready. Testing of Upfiring 1.2 with the integrated C++ torrenting module is expected to begin in mid-November, and more development updates will follow at that time.

Download Upfiring and start earning UFR for sharing files at https://www.upfiring.com. If you have any further questions about the project, feel free to post on our community pages or send us an email at support@upfiring.com. Come join us over on the official Upfiring Forums, Reddit, Twitter, Bitcointalk, Telegram, and Discord as we continue our mission to change the future of P2P file-sharing.

Smart contract-based decentralized & incentivized P2P file-sharing platform