With 2017 now in play, peer-to-peer digital currency Dash is in the midst of a major new initiative to propel its efforts forward. Known as Sentinel, this significant software upgrade will fuel Dash’s new decentralized payments system called Evolution.
The release date is set for February 5th and it’s the largest upgrade to their software in over a year. Says Ryan Taylor, Director of Finance for Dash:
“The Sentinel release represents a complete redesign of the software underpinning Dash. It offers a significant improvement in the performance of certain features for users. Most of the changes associated with Sentinel, however, are “under the hood” and are designed to allow Dash to deliver new functionality quickly without requiring users to upgrade their software.”
Dash is built upon Bitcoin code, but with many added features and enhancements. This includes Instant Send, Dash’s instant payments technology, that enables transactions to confirm in less than two seconds. The Dash community views this as a key feature towards an improved user experience, arguing that Bitcoin’s 10 minute confirmation times are inadequate for point-of-sale use cases.
Dash officials state that 25 percent of transactions are facilitated using Instant Send. They also tout enhanced privacy features for keeping user transactions and balance information secure.
Dash transactions are verified by users running over 4000 master nodes across the world. The company’s built-in governance and funding system allow projects to be proposed and voted on by the community, and if approved, paid for directly from the blockchain.
With the upcoming Sentinel release just weeks away, the Dash team is finalizing plans for Dash Evolution, due out later this year – a move that Dash leaders say will completely change the way consumers and merchants experience cryptocurrency.
Says Taylor: “Evolution is our organization’s landmark effort to reimagine the entire experience of digital currency and finally enable it to reach mass adoption. The design of Evolution will deliver proven payments industry best-practices to digital currency to enable it to reach this huge market. architecture to accomplish.”
Perry Woodin, CEO of the blockchain governance company Node40, one of the leading service providers for the Dash network says that because Evolution is still early enough in its development, he’s uncertain as to what the new specs will be for running a masternode. Woodin points out that one can assume though that the minimum requirements will increase, which means the hardware needed to run a masternode will become more expensive.
“The beauty of the Dash incentive model is that as Dash increases in value this increased hardware expense can still be supported through its rewards system. We end up with a positive feedback loop. New and better features require better specs and the valuation change from the new features supports the additional costs, ” remarks Woodin.
As to the new features in Evolution, Woodin says that Node40 is very much looking forward to integrating with the merchant features. “We were able to test the proof-of-concept with Evan Duffield (Dash’s lead developer) last year. This new feature will allow merchants to request payment directly from a customer. No more sending public keys to your customers. Trusted merchants will be able to request payment directly to a customer’s wallet, and the customer can simply click accept or reject.”
Concludes Dash’s Taylor: “I think Bitcoin will continue to dominate the market, but I believe we will witness much greater exploration of specific use cases, and blockchains created to suit those purposes. We also should see an increasing focus on usability, and I think Dash will play a leading role in pushing for this aim in the year ahead. Whatever happens, it will be exciting!”