November 3, 2020 1:20 am

Dash Community Q&A – Q3 2020 Summary Call

This thread lists questions and answers from the DCG Q3 2020 Summary Call. The first posts contain transcribed answers from the call, and remaining questions will be collected and posted here over the course of the week. Questions are as follows:

  1. Q: With the recent github take-downs of applications like youtube-dl, it’s only a matter of time that coin mixing technology – e.g. Dash Desktop Wallet – is also taken down. I’m assuming Dash Core has a backup plan but it seems to me Dash Platform is the perfect opportunity to Eat Your Own Dog Food by moving all development code and docs to Dash Platform. This would, of course, be extremely valuable, not just to dash but to many other open source projects facing a similar dilemma. To what extent has this been discussed and prioritized?

    A (Bob): I think there’s a few aspects of this. One is: there is a reality as far as the amount of censorship that could take place in our community, and obviously I think that’s what we’re all striving to deliver solutions for. The specifics around source code and and documentation, where that resides, and the opportunity to put that into a decentralized environment, is a great opportunity. It has been discussed, but not at great levels internally. I think this also beckons the question too, of what the purpose of platform is, and the purpose of DCG and our development of the platform, and then the proliferation and the use of platform throughout the community. So when I look at this question, I would have to first say, would it be the top priority for DCG to take on? To just use it, to build a source code repository system and decentralized environment? That is a great use case and the question of whether or not DCG takes on those specific use cases or not is a question of where we spend our time and our money. At this point in time it’s not on our priority list to do that. However, I think the comment that goes back to the community as a whole is who is going to do that? Because the use case is perfectly aligned. In our situation, I don’t think it’s necessarily DCG eating DCG’s dog food. It’s the Dash community dog food, and so I’d look to the community to prioritize that and look at it as a real opportunity. Obviously we have backups if there were immediate issues and concerns. But I think this is more long-term vision and a great use case, so appreciate you bringing it up on a call like this. It opens it up and exposes it to the whole community of developers who may be listening, who may find it more aligned with what they want to accomplish.

  2. Q: Bob: Will you merge the two GitHub orgs (dashpay & dashevo)?
    Q: Another simple adjustment is modifying github structure so external crypto github analytics show correct results. I heard that plan from DCG devs, but when will it be done?

    A (Bob): I think this is important to be handled together. We have been doing a pretty in-depth analysis of the state of our repositories, specifically the two organizations dashpay and dashevo at the org level, as well as the repos that exist within them. I think there are differing opinions that still need to be worked out on the benefits and the complexities of merging the two. The analytics though, is probably our biggest driving force. When we’ve had conversations (and i’m leading those at this point in time between about merging the two organizations) it has not been for simplicity of “gee, it would be nice if we only had one org”. It’s just not about simplicity. It is about business needs and ensuring that we’re viewed in the most favorable manner.

    However, it’s not just about orgs and whether or not we’re in one org or another, and we’re looking at stats off of that. Much of it actually has to do with the way our developers do work, what branches we do the work in, and how those are are merged back in. The organizations that actually build the analytics and and drive those have different algorithms that they use to look at. So part of the decision making process is going to be some further research to find out what algorithms they’re looking at, what they’re really doing, and seeing if either their algorithms could be modified to adjust to how we develop and deploy code, or vice versa, how we could modify some of our procedures to be more favorable. Because the amount of work that we do is not accurately reflected in the companies that mine that data. So I’m owning that right now. Will we merge the two orgs? I don’t have an answer on that. The proposal is yes, we would, and so I’m looking for reasons why we would not at this point in time. And part of that might just be the the level of effort it takes for the house cleaning to to do so. But the main goal there is to have accurate metrics on the amount of contributions that we have in our repos.

  3. Q: Can the Dash Platform team be scaled up with more devs? Community said they would support DCG asking for more funds from the treasury (than currently) for development.

    A (Bob): I’ll answer the human resource side of this, and obviously there’s a financial side that has to do with how much we request from the network each month that I won’t touch on, because that has more Glenn written on it. Can the team be scaled up? Yes it can. There are points where there’s diminishing returns on the size of development teams, and they need to be broken into multiple components: somebody looking after one aspect, another team looking after another. At this point in time we’ve kept the team holistically together. As we move into a new year and we get platform out on mainnet and we start looking at possibly more use cases, e.g. some things at the protocol level, we may have opportunities to do that. But you wouldn’t want to scale it up too much is really what I’m saying right now. However, we have had a need to scale it up just to get through the amount of work that we’ve committed to. So, over the last quarter, we have reached out and pulled in two experts from the community outside of DCG to assist with our efforts, and they’ve been invaluable in that. I think, as I mentioned earlier on some slides, we’ve had individuals from both the core team as well as the mobile team jump in and help out, participate on calls, reviewing designs, making sure that technical feasibility is accurate and correct. So that has been really helpful. If the community says they would support it, then I guess the question is back on us: do we ask for more of that support as we look at future compensation proposals? That will be something I’m sure Glenn will look at and consider. At this point in time, we are constrained by the amount of finances that we have, and that’s that is a limiting factor on our team size right now. However, I don’t feel like we’re underfunded for the team. We’ve got a strong core group of developers on the Dash Platform team today, but we could scale up a bit more.

    A (Ryan): I’ll answer the question too, from the financial end of things. We have restricted ourselves to 60% of the available funding to ensure that we do have a robust community outside of Dash Core Group. Given that we feel like we can deliver on what we’re committed to right now, we don’t have any immediate plans to expand the ask. It is something we could do, especially if the proposal system becomes more flexible and it wouldn’t necessarily have the effect of choking out other existing teams to the point that our ecosystem itself suffers. If we ever do put up a proposal like that, it would be a separate proposal. We would not lump it in with our existing ask. That would allow the network to make a discrete decision about the incremental. We’ve communicated that in the past, that remains the case. We would follow that type of a process if we ever felt it was was necessary to do.

  4. Q: Scaling questions:
    – What is the maximum number of transactions that Dash can currently process reliably?
    – What are the maximum number of transactions that were demonstrated that Dash could handle per second if we wanted to e.g. increasing the block size?
    – Is there a scaling issue with Dash?
    – How does Dash compare to Visa in terms of transactions per second?
    – What actual demonstrable evidence can we use to prove that Dash is a scalable solution and what number of transactions per second can we scale to?
    Other bitcoin-based coins such as BSV claim they can scale up to millions of transactions per second by simply increasing the block size to Gigabyte blocks. If BSV can do this why can’t Dash?
    Q: Should we double the block size in preparation for platform release?

    A (Ryan): There were other questions submitted around how much can it scale, do we know how much it can scale, do we know the upper limits, etc? The answer to all of these questions is: yes, you can scale up to a very large block size. The issue that you run into outside of a laboratory is that block sizes, as they grow, take longer to propagate a network. So the trade-off is, yes you can cram more transactions into a block, however the stability of your blockchain, and the certainty over the chain tip, becomes less and less certain as you grow that. Even with a technology like ChainLocks, each node that is voting on the ChainLock has to actually see the block and evaluate it before they can vote on which chain is the correct one. There is a fundamental trade-off between block size and the stability of the network. Obviously stability of the network is important also. We have doneย work with ASUย in the past that has identified where that stability begins to break down, and to what extent. It does seem to be at levels well in excess of what PayPal is able to process today, just to give you an idea of the scale, and that assumes no change to our infrastructure. I would argue that if Dash were being used as much as PayPal, chances are our market cap would be quite a bit higher than it is today. The payments to masternodes would be quite a bit higher than they are today, and therefore the quality of the infrastructure for a masternode hosting all of this would be substantially better hardware. If that were all to happen, how much better hardware could they afford and therefore how much beyond the current levels that were measured by ASU could the network extend without making changes to the protocol? The answer is we don’t really know how all of that would play out in great detail. What we do know is we have a very long runway of growth in front of us before that would be an issue. It’s not a focus to really figure this out, develop solutions for it… It’s building for capacity, for demand that isn’t there yet, and so we’re more focused on developing features and developing our ecosystem so that the growth is there. As the growth begins to catch up with our capacity, that’s something we can begin to look at more depth.

    As far as BSV’s claims go: yes it is true, they could go to gigabyte-sized blocks. But they already have network instability in the way that they have some fairly deep reorganizations that have occurred on their network, six blocks or more. So there is that trade-off, and and what that means for practical purposes is you don’t truly have blockchain certainty even with six confirmations. It means now you need to go to 12, or whatever. Making blocks more often doesn’t really solve the problem either, because the instability just gets pushed into a different place. So you truly do need to develop new technologies to increase your scale. ChainLocks actually did that for Dash. There are other technologies you can look at, like sharding and so on, but again all of this is likely to be looked at further down the road when we’ve begun to reach the limits of our current capacity, or at least that is on the horizon or foreseeable in the immediate future. In the meantime, new technologies are being developed and could apply to our network at some point in the future too. So it’s not an area that we focused on a great deal. Scaling is not an issue for Dash.

  5. Q: Does the DCG board have an annual process in place to evaluate their own performance and the performance/succession plan of the CEO, and is this presented to the DAO trust protectors?

    A (Ryan): I think this question should be directed at both DCG and the DAO trust protectors. To answer DCG’s part: yes, we do have an annual performance review. We use a 360 review process, that means that subordinates rate their managers, managers rate their direct reports and there is peer reviews at individual team levels, or across the management team, or across board members. So we do go through that process. We’re actually in the middle of going through that process right now, the teams are wrapping up their evaluations of each other and we will then begin to pull together that information into reports that will be shared with each of the employees and contractors, along with open-ended comments that people had the opportunity to provide.

    The manager will then sit down with each of the employees or contractors and review the report, as well as offer their perspective on what the report means, and compare their performance to the previous year. Where are places they’ve made improvements, where places that that might need work. So we have a very formal process in place that we go through on an annual basis in order to provide feedback on performance. The overwhelming response from our employees and contractors has been that it’s a valuable process for them. They get a lot of high quality feedback out of it. They feel like they get a good picture of how others in the organization see them. They get to see how they see themselves in relation to that, and it leads to some very rich conversations, including about what do you want to do next? What’s a good fit for you? How are the needs of the organization changing? So it’s a very rich process, we get a lot of value out of it, the employees and contractors get a lot out of it, I get a lot out of it, and so we we do take that seriously. All of that is shared with DCG’s board.

    The trust protectors have not been involved ………………

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