DigiByte (DGB) has been around since early 2014 but like many altcoins only came to public and commercial prominence during the market ramp-up of 2017. In fact, between January of last year and now, DGB coins have grown over 9,400% in value – a figure that holds up even now in the midst of a market downturn.
Any coin price recorded during January’s spike shouldn’t be relied upon as an indicator of future performance, but the +50,000% growth recorded during the peak of January 7th is surely worthy of a mention.
DigiByte is self-described as the “Fastest, longest, most decentralized & secure UTXO blockchain in the world today.” Bold claims indeed, but do they stand up?
DigiByte’s claims on being the longest blockchain might have something to do with the block times. DigiByte blocks come along every fifteen seconds, and for a blockchain that has been mined since 2014 this adds up to a very long chain of blocks – outnumbering the older but slower Bitcoin blockchain which produces blocks every ten minutes.
What about its claims on being the fastest? Well right now DigiByte can handle 560 transactions per second, which vastly outnumbers the seven and fifteen transactions per second handled by Bitcoin and Ethereum respectively. DigiByte intend for that number to rise, with a projected 280,000 tps targeted for 2035.
Placing future projections to one side, even the current tps rate of 560 is enough to grab attention. The speeds on the network are helped in no small part by the large number of node operators on the blockchain, with 70,000 at the time of writing.
Hence when DigiByte claim to be the most decentralized blockchain, they might once again have a point. Compare the DGB node count to Bitcoin’s 9,000 or Ethereum’s 16,000 and you see the difference.
As for its claims on being the most secure…
Miners of all stripes and colors can find something to do on DigiByte with five different mining algorithms employed in the production of DGB. ASIC miners are catered to with the presence of SHA256 and Scrypt mining; and Skein, Groestl and Qubit make up the CPU and GPU end of the spectrum.
Each of the five algorithms take a 20% share of the block rewards, with each algo having its difficulty adjusted automatically in relation to the strength of its respective mining pool. The splitting of the mining duties also helps secure the network against 51% attacks, since any attacker would have to control a majority of at least three of the algorithm groups.
The fifteen second block times mentioned above are achieved by having each of the five algorithms produce a block in constant succession. Thus, each of the five algorithms are cycled every minute and a half.
A Brief History
This all sounds well and good, and has been enough to carry DigiByte to within the top thirty ranked cryptocurrencies in the world, but this weren’t always so rosy for Jared Tate’s project.
In fact, when Tate launched DigiByte it was also intended to be used as a transactional currency within the gaming industry. If necessity is the mother of invention, then perhaps it was the hungry demands of a large-scale gaming industry which pushed DigiByte’s back-end evolution.
Ultimately the gaming focus failed. After finding integration on popular games such as Minecraft and League of Legends, the project collapsed in spring of 2017 due to ongoing technical issues and denial-of-service attacks.
A detailed history of DigiByte’s development can be viewed on their website, but the development team were instrumental in introducing the DigiShield technology which was eventually adopted by a host of other mainstream blockchains as a defence against mining attacks.
The blockchain has undergone four hardforks since its inception, with each introducing new updates in the form of the fairly self-describing Multi-Algo, Multi-Shield, DigiSpeed and the aforementioned DigiShield.
SegWit was also implemented on DigiByte in early 2017, via one of three softforks enacted on the blockchain thus far.
Well, getting anywhere close to becoming bedfellows with the likes of Minecraft and League of Legends is no small feat, even if the association seems to have ended. But DigiByte also brushed shoulders with the likes of Microsoft when it was added to Azure back in 2016, although news from that front has been quieter in 2018.
In recent times DigiByte partnered up with Investa – a financial services provider which aims to incorporate DGB onto its ATM machines and debit cards.
DigiByte is one of the few coins to have recorded higher lows and (almost) higher highs since January. Look at the chart below and see one of the few altcoins not to have completely disintegrated amid the bear market of the last eight months.
DigiByte sets itself up as a competitor to Bitcoin, not to other altcoins. It took a while for DGB to get going (possibly due to the purposeful lack of an ICO or whitepaper) but when it did it fired full-steam ahead almost immediately.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.