New test results suggest Dash (DASH) is a near-infinitely scalable cryptocurrency network. The head of Dash Core believes it could soon rival centralized payment providers, including PayPal.
A stress test two weeks ago found the Dash protocol could process 3 million transactions within a 24-hour period. At approximately 35 transactions per second, the network’s capacity was four times higher than in a previous test, conducted during the summer. It represents a new all-time high for Dash, which forked from Bitcoin (BTC) in 2014.
The test was a community-driven initiative; transaction fees were paid from donations. Dash Core Group, the company chiefly responsible for the network’s development, observed how the network functioned under high capacity. The tests showed Dash was highly scalable, with the potential to expand to meet growing demand. “The test showed Dash was very capable of processing a large number of transactions,” Ryan Taylor, the CEO of Dash Core, told Crypto Briefing.
Researchers from Arizona State University, who also observed the tests, concluded Dash’s blockchain architecture meant it could scale up to whatever size it needed to be. “They determined that there was no upper limit for transaction capacity,” said Taylor.
It’s not the block size, it’s how you use it
The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork has dominated news agendas. Part of the dispute – amongst other things -is whether to increase the network’s block size to 128 MB. Bitcoin SV advocates say this will make the network scalable because enlarged blocks can carry more transactions. Opponents on Bitcoin ABC argue it also raises the cost of operating a node.
The Dash blocksize currently stands at 2 MB; but this still makes it eight times more scalable than Bitcoin, according to Taylor. A bump up to 10 MB would make the network forty times faster than its parent chain, potentially increasing capacity to 15m transactions a day. Bitcoin Cash can currently process 5.7m with a 32 MB block size in the same timeframe.
There are currently no plans to increase Dash’s block size. The network can handle 3m transactions at its current size, but the average throughput is closer to 20,000 payments on a daily basis. Taylor said that Dash has had 200,000 transactions once or twice, but a peak day doesn’t normally go above 30,000. Increasing blocksize would also force node operators to upgrade all of their equipment.
“It’s not necessary right now; we have plenty of capacity as it is,” Taylor said. “But as we get bigger, node operators will enjoy higher revenue. They’ll be able to afford better equipment when the time comes to increase blocksize.”
A scalable Dash
Venezuela has been quick to adopt Dash has an alternative payments solution. As well as online retailers, Dash is widely used in many brick and mortar stores, Subway outlets, and even department stores. An already defective financial system, combined with recent hyperinflation, has pushed adoption faster than what might have otherwise occurred. Dash is also popular in neighboring Columbia, as well as in certain states on the American east coast, particularly New Hampshire.
For Taylor, the key takeaway from the stress test is that Dash – a contraction of Digital Cash – can scale into a network that deals with hundreds of millions of dollars on a daily basis. “The stress tests show we can easily reach PayPal-like levels,” Taylor said. “We will be able to scale into a global payments network.”