In Part II of an exclusive interview with the Hush core development team (Part I is here), we dig into the development and technical know-how underlying the Hush blockchain.

Which technology stacks does Hush interact with?

We are currently rebuilding the Hush wallet in Node.js with an electron web frontend. Moving to a Node.js web stack will allow us to more easily support most platforms, including mobile and tablet, as well as attract more community developers. Hush will support IPFS through TOR to allow for decentralized and anonymous serving of web pages and files.

In addition, our support for XCAT allowed us to be one of the first 20 assets integrated into the BarterDEX decentralized exchange, and we are in the process of integrating the Bitcoin-NG protocol, which will allow for the Hush network to process up to 4,000 transactions per second with 10-second microblock times. This should help reduce the liquidity issues that decentralized exchanges currently face.

What is the status of the mainnet and Hush’s testnet Tush?

Hush mainnet and testnet are fully operational. Hush mainnet uses currency symbol HUSH and testnet uses TUSH. Both have exactly identical address formats.

Full instructions to run HUSH+TUSH nodes are available on Github. Linux, Windows, and Mac are officially supported platforms.

The Hush testnet is still having more utilities added, and a testnet explorer, and developer faucet are currently in development.

Hush features
Image courtesy of Hush

How does Hush Messenger fit into the overall product? Is there a plan to merge the two?

There is, and in fact, we’ve already decided to transition away from a standalone messenger application to a more holistic communications platform with integrated support for sending/receiving messages, money, files, and web pages; interacting with smart contracts; and issuing tokens. Our goal is to provide a seamless one-stop shop for private, decentralized communication.

When are you planning to launch a paper wallet option?

We’ve recently launched an experimental web wallet called MyHushWallet (accessible here), which you can use to generate client-side keys. We recommend that users seeking to create paper wallets disconnect from the Internet, generate a new set of keys using MyHushWallet, use the “Export Keys” option, and then print out the results. In the future, we plan to add more robust paper wallet export options.

You can also download the wallet source code with the command “git clone” and serve it locally.

Hush also has a web-wallet based on the MyEtherWallet open-source code, which was just released a few days ago.

How important is the community in company decisions?

Hush really strives to be a community-oriented project. Most of our development is discussed publicly in the #development channel on our Discord server. We welcome folks to come in, share their ideas, and spend some time hacking stuff together with us. We’ve had a recent influx of community contribution to Hush, and our move from a Java swing wallet to a Node.js wallet with an electron web client was partially motivated by how popular and collaborative both web and Node.js have become.

How far are you roadmap-wise? Do you have estimated delivery dates?

Hush currently has no official roadmap and no estimated delivery dates.

How does the Hush webminer work?

There exists a fundamental tension between privacy and the way most of the web is monetized today. Targeted advertising networks which rely on mountains of personal data and metadata serve ads the network believes will maximize legitimate clickthroughs. Tools which allow you to shield that information are antithetical to this business model, making it difficult for sites to keep themselves afloat without trading away their users’ information.

The Hush webminer offers an alternative monetization path, which allows users to retain their privacy without also asking them to give up anything they’d see as particularly valuable. It takes a little bit of idle computational power from the users who visit your website to solve hashing puzzles for the Hush network. The maintainer of the website (or whoever controls the address the webminer is configured to send to) is rewarded with shares of block rewards by their chosen pool.

This space has had a few one-off instances of clandestine miners snuck into applications by rogue employees and dishonest businesses, but we’ve yet to see a web service wear their webminer proudly, as an integral aspect of their business model. We believe webminers will become powerful tools for services which value privacy as we continue to see a proliferation of highly performant hardware versus what’s required for the vast majority of web usage.

We’ll be adding more robust configuration tools to the Hush webminer in the near future that will allow web services to easily set when to mine, how much computing power to pull from users, and which users to pull it from. We also plan to make it easier to show mining statistics to your service’s users.

Tell me more about your pre-mine.

There was a <1% pre-mine when the coin was originally called Zdash for a brief time. Most of that pre-mine was paid out and used by the original development team. Currently, the lead developer of Hush has control of the remainder of the pre-mine, to fund development via bounties. Hush bounties were used to pay developers for implementing our testnet, reproducible/deterministic builds, and various other important features.

What are your funding plans beyond the pre-mine?

We plan to launch an ICO soon to raise Zcash and Hush in order to fund future Hush development. Contributors will receive HushParty (XHP) tokens which will act as the gas for our smart contract system, as well as allowing users to easily issue their own tokens.

Where are you currently listed?

Hush is currently traded on BarterDEX (a distributed exchange platform), Cryptopia, and TradeSatoshi. Most of our volume is currently on Cryptopia.

What’s been the team’s biggest learnings so far?

Cryptocoins move fast and it’s better to build superior tech for the long-term versus iterating fast with buggy software.

Why did you change core developers?

Duke Leto left our core team to focus more on development within the Hush ecosystem, outside of the core product. He’s still involved in the core development of Hush but is more focused on building companies and software on top of the Hush blockchain. Leto’s code to add Hush to ElectrumX, the backend which powers the very popular Electrum wallet, merged this week (code here) and will form part of the 1.2.1. release.

We’ve added Kent Sommer to our team as a developer. His work is currently focused primarily on reproducible builds, TLS, and integrating the Bitcoin-NG protocol into Hush. Thanks to his work, people can now verify that they’re running the correct software that Hush developers write without backdoors/malware/etc.

Sparkit has left as our community manager because he no longer has the time to fill this role. We’re currently still looking for a new community manager, so if you’re reading this and that sounds interesting to you, drop into our Discord server and let us know!

Where is the best place to stay updated with Hush’s developments?

You can follow our Twitter or jump onto our Discord server. If you prefer Slack or Telegram, we also maintain bridges to both platforms, which you can find on our website. You can also follow our development directly on GitHub.