The movie Braveheart depicts William Wallace leading a Scottish rebellion against the English. After some initial but small successes, the Scottish nobles squabble among themselves over minor issues like land titles and rights of succession. Wallace confronts the nobles and declares he’s going to invade England itself—a seemingly impossible task.
I was reminded of this scene when reading Dash founder Evan Duffield’s Hong Kong Statement. Having initially scored some small successes against the reigning fiat-money system, the Bitcoin community now squabbles over things like SegWit, 2MB block sizes, and Lightning Network. But Duffield wants to “invade England” and challenge the whole fiat payments system. You can’t criticize the Dash founder for being timid, to be sure.
I’ve only just begun to digest the Hong Kong Statement, but for now I want to focus on five takeaways in particular.
1) Evan’s Still Involved
I myself will be heading up the new office in Hong Kong, called “Dash Labs.”
Satoshi Nakamoto publicly launched Bitcoin on January 3, 2009. After being actively involved for almost two years, Nakamoto mysteriously disappeared from public view and hasn’t been involved in the project since. Duffield launched Dash (then called XCoin) on January 18, 2014 and has been actively involved ever since—almost three and a half years now. However, last fall Duffield began to speak of transitioning to an advisory role rather than remaining lead developer. Some (including me) worried that he was going to pull a “Satoshi” and leave the project entirely. The Hong Kong Statement can put that worry to rest. Duffield is still actively involved in Dash and will continue to be its guiding force for the foreseeable future.
2) Massive Scaling is Planned
Scaling to ultra large blocks : All-inclusive plan for building hardware and software to move from 2MB blocks through 400MB blocks.
Everyone knows about the Bitcoin scaling debate. Everyone is tired of the Bitcoin scaling debate. While the Bitcoin community dickers over how to double the block size limit, Duffield announced that Dash is planning for a 400-fold increase in block size. This is massive on-chain scaling which was previously inconceivable. But these aren’t just grandiose words: Duffield noted that such scaling will require intensive hardware and a strong Masternode network (see next two points).
3) Dash-Specific Hardware Will Be Needed
We anticipate that such scale will require masternodes to run on specialized, custom-built hardware created specifically for the Dash network.
Three weeks ago I wrote an article on the need to consider hardware in any cryptocurrency scaling discussion. One of the flaws in the Bitcoin scaling debate is that it’s handicapped itself by focusing solely on software solutions. Duffield recognizes and rejects that handicap. He makes clear that hardware upgrades are necessary for the massive scaling he envisions. And not just generic hardware upgrades, but instead Duffield plans on designing Dash-specific hardware that will be configured for the type of processing the Dash network will require. Of course, such hardware might spark centralization fears, but Duffield addresses this as well: this will be open-source hardware designed by the Dash Core team for anyone to build and use.
4) Masternodes Will Need to Step Up
Our plan is heavily reliant on masternode concepts, such as collateralization, quorum-based actions and our two-tier optimized network.
Up until now, Masternode ownership has been relatively easy. Anyone with the 1,000 Dash collateral and the requisite knowledge for setting up a server can generally operate a Masternode without too much day-to-day worry. Those days will soon be over. Duffield’s plan to scale Dash massively is heavily dependent upon the Masternode Network, which means it will be responsible for processing millions of transactions and performing the other services needed for a global payments network. Owners will need to purchase customized hardware, host it, keep it and the Dash core software up-to-date, as well as participate in the Dash Budget System, which will most likely include multi-million dollar monthly budgets. In all likelihood, being a Masternode owner will soon be a full-time job.
5) Slow and Steady Will Win the Race
Since we do not have short-term profit motives, we shouldn’t rush an unfinished product to market.
As the cryptocurrency market has surged this year, many voices have called for Dash to “grab a piece of the pie,” meaning that it needs to market itself aggressively as an investment so that the value of Dash continues to rise. Duffield rejects this plan. Instead, he proposes that Dash look long-term: instead of just grasping for short-term gains, Dash should keep striving to permanently replace the global fiat-money payment system. Doing so will take time, and Dash should not rush in order to satisfy some self-imposed timeframe. Instead, it should work to prepare the Dash Network for massive scaling and global acceptance. If Dash is successful, worries about raising the price of Dash by $10 or even $1,000 will seem silly.
Successful projects require bold, ambitious, and focused leadership. With his aggressive Hong Kong Statement, Evan Duffield is positioning Dash to conquer the global, fiat-based payments system.