First of all, welcome to all the new shibes who have joined us recently, great to have you on board. Really excited to see the community growing so quickly over the last few days.
So, what's been going on; well, we've had the halvening (for the newbies, the rewards from mining Dogecoin change every 11 weeks or so, and we refer to these as "halvenings" because it seemed like a good idea at the time), and as predicted nothing exploded. Mostly otherwise we've been dealing with non-technical issues through the week, so there hasn't been a lot to report. I've been working on a revised technical specification for the payment protocol from Bitcoin to adapt it to work readily with Dogecoin (and other cryptocurrencies), and we've been tightening bolts on the 1.7 release.
We're still focusing on stability and long term adoption, which is why things are quite unexciting at the moment. The 1.7 client is intended, as I've said before, to be a rock solid foundation for merchants, payment processors, exchanges and anyone else wanting to use the coin. The extended development cycle has let us check and re-check its workings. Patrick and myself spent an evening pummelling testnet earlier this weekend, and managed to send around 40,000 transactions between the two of us over the course of a couple of hours with no major hiccups (turns out the graphical client doesn't appreciate being misused that way, however anyone sending that many transactions should be using the Dogecoin daemon instead, and it did recover once we stopped). Thanks to everyone who put up testnet nodes and miners!
Personally I've been working on formal technical documentation, starting with Dogecoin payment protocol (derived from the Bitcoin payment protocol). We desperately need more technical writers, so if you can help out there, please get in touch; we're in Freenode IRC chat room #dogecoin-dev. We need anyone willing to help unpick the implementation as it is in the client and convert it into a fully documented specification. Please come talk to us first, though, so we don't end up with multiple people duplicating effort.
With Talladega coming up, there's a big push going on with regards to adoption. The 4th (yes, tomorrow) is Buy Something with Doge Day. A lot of our merchants are preparing discounts (such as discounts4doge), and things over at /r/dogevendors are looking exciting. While I'm giving a shout-out to merchants, I'd like to mention the Dogecoin business directory http://dogebiz.net/.
From a financial point of view, adoption of Dogecoin for merchants enables significant cost savings compared to the main alternatives, with fees of 1% or less being common for payment processors which convert directly to conventional currency. If you don't need to convert into other currencies, those fees can be substantially lower! The main payment processors for Dogecoin are (in strictly alphabetical order) https://www.dogepos.com/, https://www.gocoin.com/ and https://moolah.io/. Or roll your own solution based around the Dogecoin daemon!
There are so many directories, businesses and services out there that I can't list them all, so apologies to the many of you that I haven't listed. To everyone else; Google is your friend, go forth and search for stuff! There's so much awesome stuff out there!
Lastly, a quick personal note; I'm going to be less active over the next month or two, due to real life intervening. Two major issues which have come up and I need to deal with, and will be getting first priority for my time. I'll still be here frequently, and helping with dev co-ordination, but blog posts and similar may well slip for a while.