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Dash’s network processed a historic number of transactions during a recent stress test, far surpassing the previous record for a Bitcoin-based network held by Bitcoin Cash.

On the 11th of November, a pre-planned stress test was launched on the Dash network, run by Delta Engine, the company behind MyDashWallet. The stress test broke previous records by reaching over 3 million in a 24-hour period, passing the previous Dash high of 464,000 during an impromptu stress test in July of this year, and exceeding the previous record for a Bitcoin-based blockchain set by Bitcoin Cash in September, 2.1 million, by nearly 50%.

Scaling research was previously conducted by Arizona State University, concluding that Dash could easily scale to near-PayPal levels with relative ease. This new stress test shows that even with 2mb blocks, Dash can process nearly ten times the transaction load that strained the Bitcoin network in late 2017.

Dash’s network handled the load with some minimal disruption

The Dash network processed the sudden and unprecedented transaction load with relative ease. According to data from BitInfoCharts, the median transaction fee during the event remained largely the same at 0.03 cents, while the average fee dropped to approximately the same due to the very high number of low-fee transactions dragging down the average. The mempool backlog of unconfirmed transactions, usually empty, climbed to a peak of nearly 31,000 pending transactions during the test.

A few interruptions transpired, though the network largely ran very well, according to DeltaEngine CEO Benjamin Nitschke:

“Based on our six nodes we had running for services, etc., none of them went above 2%, and they all downloaded 500mb extra block data during the 24-hour stress test without a hitch. But several masternodes and some explorers crashed, probably due to memory issues or running out of space. Some users reported 100% CPU usage, but we didn’t see that for any node ourselves.”

During the test, the rate of orphaned blocks rose to six. This is marginally up from the usual, which typically has a day with around two orphans ever 1-2 weeks, though significantly lower than the most recent spike of 54 orphans on the 28th of December of last year, and the all-time orphan high of 286 in August of 2016. Both of these occurred before Dash had implemented compact blocks. During this time, while the vast majority of the masternode network ran smoothly, approximately 68 masternodes, or about 1.4% of the network, went offline, unable to keep up with the transaction load.

The masternode network is incentivized with 45% of the block reward, as well as some fees, to stay online and keep Dash running smoothly. Nodes that go down for any reason are kicked to the back of the payment queue and therefore lose income, incentivizing as much of the network as possible to stay online and functioning at all times.

On-chain scaling has been proven viable to support upcoming wide adoption

Significant stress tests such as this demonstrate in practice the previously theoretical ability of the Dash network to handle a very high number of users, far beyond the previous user base of Bitcoin. By demonstrating how much traffic the network can handle, potential users and businesses can see that Dash is a viable payment network, and will not succumb to the same scaling issues of other cryptocurrencies.

At present date, DiscoverDash lists 4,045 Dash-accepting merchants around the world. Without increasing the block size or network capacity otherwise, the present Dash network could easily handle ten times this number of merchants with each business receiving an average of 75 Dash purchases per day. This demonstrates the Dash network’s ability to easily handle a wide scale of adoption.