This post is also available in: frFrançais deDeutsch pt-brPortuguês ruРусский

The Dash network recently activated Spork 10 (SPORK_10_MASTERNODE_PAY_UPDATED_NODES), which will make only Masternodes running v12.3 qualify for the next payment cycle.

Activation of Spork 10 from from http://178.254.23.111/~pub/Dash/Dash_Info.html

Due to the activation, there was a significant drop off in the number of active Masternodes from just over 4800 to a little below 4600. The count has already quickly recovered to 4667 active Masternodes, at the time of writing.

Active Masternode Count from http://178.254.23.111/~pub/Dash/Dash_Info.html

The upgrade, which Dash Force News previously covered, will incorporate a plethora of new features and updates. One major new feature will be the introduction of Named Devnets, which “allows the creation of multiple independent devnets”. The upgrade also features “a new signature format for Dash-specific network messages” and the introduction of ”SPORK_6_NEW_SIGS which is going to be used to activate the new format after the network has finished the upgrade”.

The upgrade also features improvements to the governance system and PrivateSend. It will also now be “possible to run a pruned node which stores only some recent blocks and not the whole blockchain”, which is comparable to SPV-like nodes in terms of security and validation. There will also be a default maximum of 2 MB block sizes, which was only optional before and thus the change only affects miners. There is also other bug fixes and code changes that are well worth reading on the GitHub repository. Overall, the network is being incentivized to adopt these changes via Spork 10.

Combining Spork 10 with upgrades to improve the Dash network

Dash has used the incorporation of Sporks, aka soft forks that Dash invented, to gradually introduce new updates to the network without immediately being enforced to make the upgrade smoother. The official Dash Development Documents describes the role of Spork 10.

“Controls whether masternodes running an older protocol version are considered eligible for payment. This can be used as an incentive to encourage masternodes to update.”

The fact that MNOs running older versions would not receive compensation (currently around 0.19 DASH per day) incentivizes them to upgrade their nodes and contribute the highest and best value to the network, which is the intended goal of compensation. This is a vital service since version 12.3 introduces key updates, as past version upgrades have done and as future upgrades will do. Spork 10 ensures that Dash can upgrade smoothly and make the end consumer experience very enjoyable since they do not have to deal with backend development issues nor worry about it affecting their daily use of Dash.

Dash also utilizes other Sporks such as SPORK_2_INSTANTSEND_ENABLED, SPORK_3_INSTANTSEND_BLOCK_FILTERING, and, SPORK_5_INSTANTSEND_MAX_VALUE to enable InstantSend features on the network. These and even more Sporks enable Dash to have features that provide a more seamless experience for users, which gives Dash a competitive advantage over other coins that lack these features.

Dash grows through stable innovation

The quick rebound in active masternodes after the significant decrease when the upgrade Spork 10 was activated signals there is a sustained interests of users and investors in the Dash network. This is partially motivated by the effects of the economic incentives of Spork 10 that would eliminate Masternodes’ compensation should they choose not to upgrade. Dash has demonstrated a clear history of seamless upgrades, most recently with version 12.2 and 12.3, which has provided more features and an improved experience for users.

Dash’s track record of continuous developmental improvements, enabled by its unique structure and use of economic incentives, provides confidence to users and investors that Dash will be able to grow and scale to overcome any challenges that are presented in the future. This allows Dash to further increases adoption via consumer confidence.