Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group, recently made an appearance on Bloxlive.tv to discuss ChainLocks, New InstantSend, Dash Investment Foundation, Dash Platform, and more.
— Layah Heilpern 📺 (@LHeilpern) July 11, 2019
Ryan starts off by describing the problem with how “PoW-based chains follow the chain that has the most amount of work associated with it”, and thus “when they see two potential blocks, they look at the one they saw first”. Ryan continued to explain that this “means it is not perfect security, instantly, it takes a few blocks later before certainty develops within the network and so for that reason, when you send Bitcoin or most other cryptocurrencies, you have to wait until that certainty develops”. Ryan explained that this could take six blocks for Bitcoin, which is usually around an hour and works fine for online transactions, but imposes and adoption barrier when at the point-of-sale for physical merchants.
Ryan then explained how some projects use “checkpoints from a centralized server that dictates to the network which chain to follow, but that carries its own risks and challenges”. Instead, Dash has solved the issue differently with Long-Living Masternode Quorums (LLMQs), as Ryan explained.
“So what developed is, we have the network itself vote on each block that is created. The way we do that is that we have a layer of our network called masternodes, 400 of them are selected for what’s called a quorum. Those 400 members, that are randomly picked, vote on a block when it is found. If 60% or more of them agree that this is valid block, that means that the majority of the network did see that block first and it broadcasts a message to the rest of the network that says at this height, this is the valid block and any other blocks will be rejects. So that certainty develops in about four to six seconds.”
Applying this useful security to the real world
Ryan then goes on to mention how the network then “knows that a transaction is valid and makes it instantly respendable”. Ryan tells how this New InstantSend is useful for situations such as buying Dash at an ATM and then immediately walking over to the counter and using it rather than the merchant having to wait for the network confirmation.
“It’s less than a penny per transaction and makes it very usable in places like Venezuela where they can’t afford transaction fees in Bitcoin, even to open a Lightning Channel, that’s outside of what they can afford to do.”
When asked about the importance of ChainLocks, Ryan explained how the LLMQ technology enables the enhancement of InstantSend by making it instantly respendable and as a way to mitigate malicious 51% attacks.
“The cost of attacking the Dash network for an hour isn’t just rent some hashrate like it is for all other cryptocurrencies, you also have to control 20, 25 percent of the coin supply before you could even attempt it. That makes Dash, probably, the most secure cryptocurrency, even more so than Bitcoin.”
Ryan also discussed how this level of security comes much earlier in the transaction process rather than later after numerous confirmations through a larger hashrate, which matter significantly for in-person vendors that hand over their product immediately. This then enhances the user experience with higher confidence in the earlier parts of the transaction.
Dash working to innovate overall experience of using cryptocurrency
Ryan then discussed with Bloxlive.tv the other developments that Dash has been working on to enhance its value proposition and future development. First, he discussed the Dash Investment Foundation and how it is adding a new method of funding for Dash projects enabling the network to take equity in projects and entrepreneurs to have additional possible funding sources.
Second, Ryan discussed the coming Evolution release, version 1.0, that will “introduce a lot of new features that will make cryptocurrency easier to use for a lot of people” such as usernames that essentially allow users to “friend” one another and more easily send money to and from each other. Ryan also discussed how these new developments will “really allow you to build anything on top of the network”. Ryan discussed “Data Contracts”, which improve upon smart contracts that store and compute data within the network, but Dash will enable “any application to interface with the Dash network, through an API, and store some of that data the application uses or shares across users, within the Dash network.