In a significant development, cryptocurrency powerhouse has announced plans to implement a new, unique network upgrade. The version 0.14 upgrade will reportedly “eliminate” the threat of a 51 percent attack from the protocol upon full implementation. This elimination is what is called the ChainLocks as it essentially locks the chain against external attacks.
Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor announced the release this week, a first for proof-of-work (POW) networks. Taylor gave the following statement:
“This release has been a major moment on our calendars for quite some time, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work being done by the Dash developer community…Version 0.14.0 is a significant leap forward in that endeavor. In addition to bolstering our network security via ChainLocks – making our network the first Proof of Work blockchain to essentially eliminate the threat of a 51% attack…”
Benefits of The Upgrade
POW networks are definitely vulnerable to consensus (51 percent) attacks where a single entity or group has more than half the network hashing power. The consensus has ramification including but not limited to industrial sabotage by blockchain rivals. This could lead to the siphoning of tokens and invalidation of addresses.
The upgrade introduces an application known as Long Living Masternode Quorums (LLMQs). In simple terms, this app improves the network voting system meaning that decisions can be taken without dominant individual nodes.
ChainLocks makes it possible for transaction confirmation as soon as it has been processed. This is more secure than waiting on six other blocks to be first signed. As a result, it is almost impossible for respective miners to cause chain or block reorganizations. The ChainLock signature (CLSIG) can quickly invalidate unpublished blocks. This idea effectively secures the network limiting the risk of hostile takeovers.
Accordingly, members get to confirm blocks by quorum. The majority of members essentially agree on which the first block was. Once more than 60 percent of quorum members agree, a CLSIG is then sent out to the rest of the Masternode community. This means that the network can reject other blocks and processed blocks. Such blocks disrupt a network during 51 percent attacks.
The LLMQs themselves comprise of randomly selected Masternodes. Accordingly, it is a broad representation of members of the network. This is important because the majority of the Dash community work together in a genuinely representative way. Thus, LLMQs add an extra layer of security to the POW network.
The Release Schedule
This release comes as a second transformational upgrade in quick succession. This is because Dash released the version 0.13 earlier this year which brought significant overhaul to the network. The 0.13 increased security for payments in the first few seconds. Dash core CTO spoke of the ambitious release schedule to Dash News;
“I’m thrilled to see our second major release hit mainnet in the past 6 months. Not only has our developer team generated significant momentum internally, but have done so while delivering some of the industry’s most powerful new features. With each release, Dash gets increasingly closer to realizing its potential as ‘digital cash’.”
The two developments show Dash’s commitment to constant improvement and actualization of its potential as a digital cash option. Subsequent upgrades on speed, usability and security will be interesting to track.