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What is Decred (DCR)?
Decred is a cryptocurrency that was born to compete in the same segment as Bitcoin, as a store of value. It has its own hybrid blockchain with a Proof-of-Stake component and another Proof-of-Work component. The original idea came from an article written by one of the creators of Monero and was later materialized by a team of developers working on Bitcoin.
Launched in 2016, the Decred network incorporated Bitcoin components such as the block- and transaction-based blockchain, the 21 million limit, and the Proof-of-Work mining system. But it differed from this by including systems dedicated to network governance that allow users with DCR to participate in decision-making. In turn, a Treasury accumulates a portion of the DCR generated and allows them to finance projects without depending on investors or companies.
To participate in PoS voting, users block their DCR in exchange for tickets. The blocked amount is adjusted every 144 blocks (12 hours). The algorithm tries to always have 40,960 tickets. Each ticket represents the possibility of casting a vote. Doing so returns the locked DCR and also a portion of the block reward. In practice, the hybrid consensus works as a double authentication system, the blocks must go through two controls: PoW and PoS. Each time miners find a block, five Proof-of-Stake voting tickets are randomly chosen.
Tickets also provide voting power on an off-chain platform called Politeia. This off-chain discussion and voting system is what allows controlling how Treasury funds are used by voting for or against development proposals.
Any cryptocurrency that only uses PoW depends mainly on its miners for government decisions, since they are the only ones who enforce the consensus system and provide its security. However, Decred (DCR) relies on both its stakeholders and miners for consensus and security. The bottom line is that Decred's hybrid PoW/PoS consensus system is considerably fairer and more secure than PoW-only systems.
The Decred team recently announced the release of version 1.6 of their software. This is one of the technological updates that qualify as one of the most important of the project to date, in which the Lightning Network (LN) is integrated into its platform.
Decred (DCR), announced the launch of DCRDEX in October 2020, the first decentralized cryptocurrency exchange of its kind. In an unprecedented move, DCRDEX does not collect trading fees and is the first exchange to utilize a new order matching system that levels the playing field between retail and professional traders. Other notable features are added security, as servers never take custody of client funds, and privacy as it's completely permissionless. The initial release allows users to exchange Decred, Bitcoin, and Litecoin cryptocurrencies. However, DCRDEX will be open to all cryptocurrencies.
What is Decred (DCR) Wallet?
Decred's code was built on the code base of btcsuite, an alternative full-node implementation of Bitcoin written in Go, developed by Company 0 LLC. Although Decred is based on the code of Bitcoin, it is a self-contained cryptocurrency, not a 'fork of Bitcoin'. This work began in February 2014 and continued with the help of Company 0 LLC until the launch of the mainnet in February 2016.
Decred has its own wallet called Decred Wallet. It can be downloaded from the Play Store or the Apple Store. They are available for mobile devices. Hack-proof DCRs can be easily stored in the Decred Wallet.
Once the wallet is downloaded, create a new wallet, for which you must enter a “spending password”. Next, copy the 33-word seed phrase onto paper. Never record it on your mobile as a screenshot!
To get DCR, one needs to buy Bitcoins or Ethereum on any platform like Coinbase, Binance or CEX.io. All these platforms accept credit or debit cards. Once you have purchased these coins, you will need to transfer them to any exchange such as Bitrex or Binance that allow you to exchange BTC or ETH for DCR. Never leave your coins on an exchange. As long as they are on an exchange, you are not the owner of your coins. Only when you transfer them to a wallet will you be able to say that they are yours, since only there are you in possession of your public keys and your private keys.
You can also pass your DCRs to Atomic Wallet, where they will also be stored safely. If you don't have an Atomic Wallet account yet, download your wallet from the Play Store or the Apple Store. It is available for desktop and mobile. Create an account and transfer your DCRs to the Atomic Wallet. Also in Atomic Wallet you can exchange with other crypto, for example Bitcoin (BTC) for Decred (DCR) and store them there.
Decred (DCR) Wallet Features
In the Decred Wallet you are the owner of your private keys, so no one but you can have your coins.
Blockchain technology strongly changed the paradigm of the transfer of value and money itself. We are used to thinking of money as flat metal cylinders or papers printed by a Central Bank. In reality, a cryptocurrency is nothing of the kind. A cryptocurrency is a series of transactions linked on a chain of blocks, which are added and subtracted to give a value as a result of the number of coins you have. This is the big mindset shift that Satoshi Nakamoto proposed in 2008, and one that is still in the making, as technology evolves almost daily. Therefore, it is not true to say “I am the owner of 10 DCRs”. In reality, with your public and private keys you can demonstrate, by tracing backwards through the blockchain, that you bought and sold in amounts such that the final result is a balance of 10 DCR. That is what you own. Which implies that your DCRs are neither on your phone, nor on your computer, nor on a centralized server, but on the DCR blockchain made up of many mining nodes around the world.
To enter your wallet you will be required to have a password created when you created your account. But you don't need any kind of registration like KYC and AML.
The Decred Wallet is available for mobile phones and desktop.
How to store DCR safely?
To obtain DCR you have to buy another cryptocurrency first, such as BTC or ETH, and then exchange them on an exchange such as Binance for DCR. Once you have obtained your DCRs, my recommendation is that you get them out of there as soon as possible. First because while they are in an exchange, the exchange has your private keys and then it is the true owner of your coins. And second, because exchanges are the preferred places for hackers to commit their crimes.
For example, Cryptopia, New Zealand's top exchange, lost $ 2.44 million worth of ETH to hackers. Binance, the world's largest exchange, was hacked with a combination of malware and phishing, resulting in the theft of 7,000 BTC. Fortunately, the company returned the stolen money to its customers. Bithumb, the largest exchange in South Korea, suffered a hacker attack that resulted in the theft of $ 19 million. GateHub, the XRP wallet provider Ledger-GateHub, announced the theft of $ 10 million worth of XRP.
Never leave your coins on an exchange because that is where hackers go!
Never take a screenshot of all 12, 24, 33 or 48 keywords in your seed phrase. You must write it down on paper and hide it. I always recommend making 3 handwritten copies of that paper and depositing them in safe places and quite far from each other, but never on your phone, nor in an email, or on Google Drive. All electronic storage sites are hackable.
Top 5 things to know about Decred (DCR)
- As in the case of Bitcoin, the objective of Decred is to build a cryptocurrency that serves as an alternative to fiat money. The DCR team is made up of former participants from the BTC community.
- Decred has devised a reward mechanism in DCR mining, to compensate everyone's work, dedicating 60% of each mined coin to the miners, 30% to those who participate in the community, and 10% to the project developers.
- To solve the scalability problem that affects many cryptocurrencies Decred has adopted the Lightning Network designed to accelerate Bitcoin transactions, therefore, operations using DCR are carried out almost instantaneously.
- The entire Decred system is based on an open source platform that prioritizes security in its operation, and freedom in the way it is managed. Therefore, any person or organization can learn from DCR's experience and capabilities to create their own decentralized and self-managed projects.
- Decred is a cryptocurrency that is always in search of autonomy and self-governance, which is why it gives its users the possibility of taking part when making decisions of great weight.
Decred favors those investors who want to participate in development, contribute their ideas and make decisions. These mechanisms present new opportunities, especially greater adaptability and speed of response to external events, but they also put the future of the network in the hands of stakeholders. By gaining the ability to make decisions, your community also risks making poor decisions. If it decides to change the rules and incentives to profit, it could be left without miners or developers.
Decred's approach puts this cryptocurrency competing in the same category as Bitcoin, the long-term store of value, but stakeholders could explore other opportunities by making use of the Treasury.
In the short term, it remains to wait how the Decred decentralized exchange is going to work and see what the impact of this is on the liquidity of the currency, one of its main debts with the community. In the medium term, the implementation of new privacy tools could further differentiate the Bitcoin project and at the same time position it as an alternative to the better known privacy coins such as Monero or Zcash. Whether Decred succeeds or fails depends exclusively on its stakeholders. And that's good, a great challenge.