Dash Blockchain Collapses After A Botched Upgrade

Dash Blockchain Collapses After A Botched Upgrade

Dash, the open source proof-of-work blockchain, is down after a recent hard fork failure. The flaw is preventing the network from generating locks, effectively preventing users from securely transferring value or making payments.

Dash Blockchain is down

As of May 23, blockchain explorer Dash shows that the last block of transactions was committed about 28 hours ago. The network outage coincides with a failed update on May 22nd which would have seen the platform code updated to v19.0.0.

DASH block generation
Dash Block Generation: Blockchain Explorer

The bug in the failed hard fork is related to how the consensus algorithm in version 19.0.0 was supposed to be implemented. This made the network unstable, forcing offline block generation.

The hard fork start date has been pushed back to June 14. However, the developers scrambled to release an interim fix about 13 hours after observing block generation errors.

Released in April 2023, v19.0.0 is designed to improve BLS signatures, reducing block size and helping to scale the network further. Improving these signatures would also make the blockchain more efficient and reliable.

Other changes included implementing a high-performance masternode and improving the core wallet. Masternodes serve several functions, including enabling some of the platform’s key features, such as PrivateSend and InstantSend.

The “InstantSend” feature allows users to send payments instantly without on-chain confirmation. This feature can be used with “PrivateSend”, a tool that mixes transactions and obfuscates transaction traces.

DASH price on May 23 |  Source: DASHUSDT On Binance, TradingView
DASH price on May 23 | Source: DASHUSDT On Binance, TradingView

the intervention

The developers have since released version v19.1.0, a “minor version release, bringing numerous bug fixes and other improvements”, acknowledging the bug in v19.0.0. This version, they add, is mandatory and all validators must integrate.

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An extract from the v19.1.0 instructions on GitHub says:

The start date of Hard Fork v19 has been pushed back to June 14th. The first hard fork date will be approximately two weeks after that date. A new version will be required before this date to ensure a smooth hard fork.

Meanwhile the v19.0.0 release notes link it has since been pulled down.

On May 22, Samuel Westrich, Chief Technical Officer (CTO), he said they are still investigating the issue but will continue to update the community on Twitter.

However, as the team investigated the issuer, another developer working on the Dash core, the core code that runs the blockchain, said it was “balancing the desire to fix these issues against the need to continue block formation.”

Even in the midst of this, the developer warned that “blocks and transactions on the Dash network that are not ChainLocked and not InstantSend blocked shall not be considered to have true purpose”.

Since block production has stopped, Binance has also suspended the distribution of mining rewards from your Dash Binance Pool. However, normal distribution will resume once block generation has started.

Canva resource image, TradingView chart

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