December 10, 2019 4:54 pm

Dash Evolution Open House Recap

We want to thank everyone who attended the Dash Evolution Open House this Saturday, whether in person or online. This post is a short recap of what was discussed. The live stream is available on our YouTube channel, but we will be sharing edited videos shortly, as well as the presentations.

The Dash Evolution Open House had three differentiated parts, each with its takeaways:

  1. Dash Core Group product strategy and development organization, presented by Elizabeth Robuck and Bob Carroll.
  2. Dash Evolution, which included presentations about Dash Platform by Dana Alibrandi, Ivan Shumkov, and Anton Suprunchuk; DashPay wallets by Brian Foster; and developer documentation by Jeremy, a.k.a. thephez.
  3. Dash network economics and improving Dash’s store of value properties, which Ryan Taylor presented.

1. Product strategy and development organization

Dash Core Group has a vision to provide financial freedom. It uses a set of strategies to achieve that, and product management ensures that our products respond to problems the users have in their quest to achieve that vision. All this translates into listening to the market and following well-defined processes to design and prioritize what we build.

Our development team is very decentralized. This is challenging from an operational perspective and from a decision making one. The only way to ensure that we adhere to our principles of quality, innovation, and delivery is by providing the teams with a lot of autonomy to make their own decisions, and cultivating a culture that embraces those values. We currently have a combination of product teams (Core, Mobile, and Platform) and cross-functional ones (QA).

2. Dash Evolution

Evolution was the code name for a product vision and network upgrade that ended up being more encompassing than initially outlined in the early Evolution white paper and documentation. It started as a way to make cryptocurrency payments easier for users, by introducing usernames and profiles in the protocol. After a lengthy design process, where core team developers attempted to create the best possible user experience without compromising security, privacy, and decentralization, the main capabilities of Evolution are being delivered through Dash Platform. Now, developers can build decentralized applications on top of the Dash network, using programming languages with which they are already familiar.

Dash Platform can be thought of as a technology stack for developing on the Dash network. Over time, Dash Core Group will add more services to the stack, allowing for greater development capabilities that leverage Dash’s core features. The initial mainnet release of the platform will provide functionality that is akin to a decentralized database-as-a-service. In doing so, app developers will now have the ability to trustlessly store application data on the Dash network, where consensus will be conducted on any changes to an application’s state. This functionality will power use cases such as the DashPay wallet, a Venmo-style crypto wallet that aims to be best-in-class for the industry. In addition to the platform’s storage features, the other high level components being released include a decentralized API (DAPI), Dash Platform Name Service (DPNS) for resolving blockchain identities, and the Dash SDK for simplifying development in Javascript, Objective-C, and Java.

While the platform can be used for many use cases spanning various industries, Dash Core Group will focus primarily on developing concepts for payments. This aligns with our mission to create digital cash, therefore our initial support to 3rd party developers will emphasize use cases complementing the strategy for the Dash currency. The first of such apps is the Dashpay wallet, which will have usernames and a growing set of features. This wallet is an upgrade of the existing mobile wallet, since Dash Core Group determined development on a separate wallet should cease in order for our teams to stay focused and expedite our delivery.

Releasing the various products and features comprising the Evolution vision is very complex and will happen in phases, the first of which is the release of Dash Platform at the end of December 2019. This release will be made to EvoNet, our public testing environment for Evolution functionality. Successive releases will be iterative and broken into phases that describe overarching themes of our development. These themes include security and light client support, incentives, and preparations for mainnet. The duration of EvoNet testing is not yet known because it will depend on test results and bug resolution times. The following graph provides a summary.

One key component of attracting developers to Dash Platform will be the documentation we provide. We have already migrated the Dash Core documentation to a new system and will be releasing the platform documentation alongside the launch to EvoNet at the end of December.

3. Network economics and improving Dash as a store of value

Dash is the best payments network, and usage has grown at a faster pace than any competitor’s. However, we have been underperforming the market for quite some time in terms of price. A declining price hinders adoption and the future of the project.

Our analysis shows that the combination of Proof of Work mining, masternode collateral, our supply curve, and a few other circumstances, makes price movements more extreme. These attributes created significant upward pressure on the price in 2016 and, especially in early 2017. While the price kept increasing in the second half of 2017 thanks to the general market situation, by mid-2017, we were already underperforming the market. When the market turned at the beginning of 2018, those factors made Dash price declines more drastic than those suffered by other projects.

In addition, our current block reward allocation is not optimal for all conditions. It creates waste in the proposal system in the bull runs and too much pain during bear markets.

To correct all of this, Dash Core Group wants to open the discussion with the community about a combination of changes to the network economics that would stabilize the network so we can focus on growing adoption. Many of such changes are only possible because, with ChainLocks and BLS, our system could obtain the entropy it needs from a source that is not Proof of Work mining.

We are working on many solutions internally and will release more information as it is available, but these changes could include some combination of the following:

-Proof of Stake or Masternode service.

-Masternodes shares.

-Deterministic holders lists.

-BLS entropy source.

-Dynamic block reward allocation.

-Fee increases.

The implementation of any of these solutions would be voted on by the Dash network, after Dash Core Group completes an analysis and engages in extensive discussions with the community. Any changes of the magnitude being discussed would require a confirmation vote by masternodes.

Skysong — The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center — Location of Dash Core Group Evolution Open House

About the author

Fernando Gutierrez