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Dash experienced its most competitive budget cycle yet, with scores of proposals and a treasury that was over double-requested.

According to DashVoteTracker pulling data from main Dash proposal site Dash Central, 66 proposals were submitted for the April budget cycle, 40 of which passed, and 26 which did not. The available budget of 6,176.72 Dash, valued presently at around $2.9 million, was over double-requested, with proposals requesting a total of 13,256.98 Dash, or about $6.26 million. While Dash’s treasury is approximately the same size as previously, due to price fluctuations the USD value has reduced, resulting in a much tighter and more competitive treasury, with demand for funding for projects continuing to grow despite the market dip.

The sheer volume of proposals has presented unique challenges to voting masternodes

While this large surge of interest is a good sign of the vibrancy of Dash’s ecosystem, it does represent a significant burden for masternode owners, many of whom work full-time, to sift through and properly evaluate scores of independent proposals. According to Alex from the Reporting Group Team of Dash Watch, an accountability organization tracking the progress of all past proposals, the sheer volume of proposals can be difficult to properly assess:

“The community was faced with a very tight budget this past voting cycle. The Dash Watch reporting group tries our best to keep Masternode owners up to date with on-going proposals as we know they are overburdened. It is challenging to evaluate proposals because there is no “one size fits all” evaluation that can be applied. Proposals are all uniquely different and we understand the challenges that Masternode owners have in determining proposals’ value and efforts.”

In order to keep the Dash budget system from being overwhelmed, a five Dash spam filter fee was instituted at the treasury’s inception, and at present that fee is valued at nearly $2,500 USD. However, even this hurdle has not slowed down the demand for participation in the treasury system much.

Upcoming developments could help Dash’s budget system scale

While the present demand for Dash’s treasury can be a bit overwhelming for masternodes, several ecosystem developments may improve the prospect for voters. To begin with, DashBoost is a micro-proposal system, similar to the Dash treasury except at a much smaller and more flexible scale. This can have the effect of offloading much of the demand for smaller projects and freeing the masternodes to focus on larger proposals, according to DashBoost administrator Paul “Pasta”:

“When we started this project, we started to see how the network is getting overwhelmed by the mass of proposals that are being submitted. As such it has been a major goal of ours to help the network in the form of taking the smaller proposals out of the traditional treasury. The DashBoost platform can easily scale to all proposals less than around 30 Dash if not more and we hope that the community will help us scale twords this goal in these coming months.”

Additionally, the upcoming implementation of deterministic masternode lists may lead to streamlining the governance system. One of the key benefits of this major structural overhaul is the splitting of masternode keys, including a separate key specifically for voting. This will provide the option for a masternode owner to delegate voting rights without surrendering control over the node collateral or operations. This may lead to trusted advisers taking on the extra burden of evaluating proposals and voting, increasing voter education and participation in an increasingly competitive field.