Dash doesn’t have the commanding presence that Bitcoin has on the market. But they are making moves that are getting the attention of everyone one step at the time. In 2016, the nodes that constitute Dash’s administration system voted to upgrade their block sizes to 2MB, with an overwhelming response of 99% of their network in favor. While the move was perceived as a gimmick by a small time cryptocurrency, the recent release of Dash 12.2 is paving the way to implement the expanded block size very soon.
The new upgrade is part of the white paper plan of dash to achieve one more step towards Dash Evolution, which is the currency’s strategy to make cryptocurrencies an easy to use financial tool accessible to everyone. According to Dash developer Udjin M6, the recent upgrade includes DIP0001 implementation (the 2MB block upgrade), 10x transaction fee reduction, InstantSend Vulnerability fix, PrivateSend transaction improvement, RPC changes, backports from Bitcoin and refactoring of Dash’s legacy code, experimental HD wallet with BIP39/44 support.
2MB? Not Quite There
The larger size block is not being used yet, there are not enough operations being done with the currency to fill the currents blocks in existence. The increase on the blocksize however is part of an structured strategy that is being handled by Evan Duffield. The founder of Dash is hoping to build a custom network that is able to handle a large number of transactions using the big block sizes. He also states that while many believe that on-chain scaling can’t be done, this is simply not true since no developer has used P2P architectures to achieve an enhanced performance. Duffield has the intention to see how far a incentivized node architecture can do for the reach of Dash.
The Path of Other Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin is going in a different way now that SegWith2x is not happening. The digital currency is currently going through the path to off-chain scaling using lighting networks. These networks are supposed to work by doing operations off-chain in payment stations. After the transaction is done it has to be settled to the Bitcoin blockchain every time it’s required. An example to illustrate more easily this process is to have subject A make three separate payments on Bitcoin to subject B, One of 1BTC, other of 2BTC and a final one of 1,5BTC. The lighting network will register all the transactions, but it will post them in the Blockchain as a single one done from A to B by a total of 4,5BTC.
Unfortunately the use of the regular channels is often avoided because of their high fees and that is a weak spot that won’t go away. Transactions are continually done off the grid and they damage the decentralized nature of the currency. Critics and supporters alike will debate this for some time since the system represents a change of paradigms for some, but is business as usual for others.
Ethereum is looking to get in the lighting network game too by implementing The Raiden Network that will offer a working structure very similar to the current payment channels of Bitcoin.
Forks Are not a Problem
Bitcoin users and developers try to avoid hard forks and they are usually a cause for instability and anguish. Dash is ready to work with them as an expansion strategy while keeping them manageable. They are focused on using a system called “spork” that allows portions of the block upgrade to be turned off if they are underperforming or if there is an issue with them. This can be illustrated with the work of miners of Dash. All of them are required to share what they got out of a block with a node, but if they choose to keep the whole mining to themselves their blocks will be rejected by the network.
Upgrades are not an issue either during forks on the Dash network. During the time the process is taking hold, users will be advised to stay away from it until the work is completed. They will be given promptly resolution to their software upgrades needed to handle the new changes. This will take away the issue of rejection on parts of the network.
Where to go from here?
The only thing certain at this point is the fact that Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash have to deal with the same issues. Since their payment methods have two arguing sides and no one is vetted, there is still room for a unified solution that makes the process less complicated for average users. The undeniable truth is that not a single cryptocurrency still has the reach that FIAT money does, so they have a long road to walk yet.