By CCN.com: The Dash community has been banging its head against a wall for a while now. As its developers ramp up infrastructure to make mass adoption easier, it loses users in the process. Dash dropped from a number seven crypto in 2017 to 15th place over the last 12 months, losing 92% of value from an all-time high market cap of $11.6 billion.
However, in the spirit of better late than never, Dash is finally releasing its newest upgrade Evolution 0.13. And–whatever your stance on Dash–you have to admit, it’s pretty impressive.
With Dash Evolution 0.13, automatic InstantSend for simple transactions is included with no extra cost, something that Dash claimed was an industry first last December.
Instead of waiting for transaction confirmation, they’re instantly confirmed by fewer nodes, while removing the additional fee for InstantSend. This moves Dash closer to its goal of being true digital cash.
Evolution 0.13 also includes a deterministic masternode list derived from information found on the blockchain itself. Rather than nodes calculating a different quorum set to validate a transaction (which is potentially problematic), they have a single source of truth to verify transactions.
Deterministic masternode lists also enable advanced privacy features to be used on mobile devices without trusting another person.
Evolution 0.13 does away with the 2-key system for masternode owners, by splitting the second masternode key in two. This means that masternode owners will no longer have to delegate voting rights to a third party. When not online, they can retain or delegate as they wish.
However, one of the core features of the Dash 0.13 upgrade is its “special transactions”. These enable non-financial transactions on the blockchain, greatly amplifying Dash’s possible uses. Dash Core CTO Bob Carroll explains:
Due to the need for non-financial transactions, Bitcoin users have found the opcode to be a generic mechanism to hack for a variety of purposes in a variety of ways. With special transactions, we recognize that a limited number of well-known, non-financial transactions need to be facilitated on chain. Special transactions create simplicity by defining the format and purpose for greater consistency and improved performance.
Dash users also have the option of using the PrivateSend feature to protect their financial privacy in the 0.13 upgrade.
When you consider that it took around six million years for man to evolve from apes, Dash’s spectacularly long delivery of Evolution doesn’t look so bad. However, it’s still been a long and painful road since its first public announcement in October 2015.
Dash Evolution was originally slated to be out last summer but hit various delays. Both Dash’s founder and chief architect stepped down in 2017 and 2018 respectively which could explain why Evolution is taking so long to complete, although Carroll insists:
The real work began as detailed designs were created along with working code and corresponding DIPs. It wasn’t until that time, that we knew the real complexity of the effort. Challenges to building Evolution were more complicated than anyone could have reasonably estimated along with the initial vision.
He goes on to explain that beyond technical complexity, the team was much smaller than today and composed of volunteers:
It was not until mid-2017 that we started hiring developers and actively building what would be the base for our current team.
When asked how significant the Evolution 0.13 upgrade is in terms of Dash’s recent history, he says:
I would call this change the biggest one since the introduction of the governance system and prior to that, the introduction of masternodes. The number of foundational elements which 0.13 brings is quite significant: special transactions, deterministic masternode list (DML), SPV through the DML, and the introduction of BLS signatures.
One of the ongoing gripes that the crypto community has with Dash is its lack of communication and transparency when it comes to programming.
Many developers question why Dash’s Github repository doesn’t reflect such significant advances. That’s mainly because Evolution was largely developed in private, and components are released as open-source upon completion. Carroll explains:
Dash Evolution is three years in the making and has more updates ahead. One has to wonder how confident the development team is in finishing Evolution. Especially now that its founder and chief architect are no longer part of the Core team. But Carroll has no doubts:
We’re completely confident. They both worked closely together and took great care to document their designs for the team to implement. Thanks go to our Chief Architect who remained active on the project until the right team was in place for a successful hand-off. In Fall 2018, his confidence in our ability to deliver allowed him to step back from his daily role, yet he is in regular contact with our key developers and myself.
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