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Dash has activated ChainLocks protecting the network against 51% attacks, becoming possibly the most secure decentralized currency.

Early this morning, the last two sporks, or multi-phased forks, of Dash version 0.14 were activated, completing the multi-staged activation of the ambitious network upgrade. First, the old version of Dash’s InstantSend, which was enabled automatically for 90% of transactions, and which locked transactions for several confirmations, was deactivated. Next, the new version of InstantSend, based on long-living masternode quorums (LLMQs), was activated, affecting all Dash transactions, allowing them to be both instantly confirmed and instantly able to be respent. Finally, ChainLocks was activated, protecting the network against 51% mining attacks by leveraging LLMQs and the masternode network.

According to Dash Core’s Chief Product Owner Liz Robuck, this represents an important move forward for the Dash network, and the final step before reaching the version 1.0 initial Evolution release:

“These few steps represent the last big milestones of the Dash Core v0.14 rollout. Thank you to all our partners and network operators for your responsiveness and collaboration, which helped make this a smooth and methodical release. We look forward to celebrating the final rollout of these two features with you, and continuing on towards Dash Core v1.0.”

Dash may now be the most secure network, diminishing the “store of value” and “pay for security” arguments

The addition of ChainLocks to the Dash network makes it quite possibly the most secure cryptocurrency network. Proof-of-work currencies such as Dash are secured by mining, which employs specialized machines to perform computations in order to process transactions on the network, protecting it against attacks by requiring greater specialized computing power than that which is currently securing the network, at the same time preventing network centralization. However, this method by its nature presents a possibility of an attacker acquiring over half the network’s hashrate and reversing transactions. While traditionally expensive for larger coins such as Bitcoin, this attack vector is nonetheless surprisingly cheap for others. Additionally, because of the numerous projects that use the same hashing algorithm, and its percentage dedicated towards competing Bitcoin implementations, the threat is very real of an attack befalling one of the major forks.

Bitcoin remains the most prominent cryptocurrency, with the most investment and previously the most secure network, attributes which have been used to justify high transaction fees and limited usefulness for smaller payments, with a common phrasing being that “you’re paying more for security.” In this way Bitcoin has predominantly become seen as a store of value rather than electronic cash in the modern era. However, with the introduction of ChainLocks, a compelling argument can be made that Dash is the more secure network now, reducing the value proposition of a slower and more expensive network.

ChainLocks joins the long list of copied Dash innovations

One of the more popular projects to imitate, Dash’s ChainLocks have already been investigated to be implemented on other networks. Zcoin recently announced its intention to implement ChainLocks on the network, as well as the underlying technology of LLMQs. Previous Dash-pioneered concepts, including masternodes, InstantSend, PrivateSend, treasuries, the X11 mining algorithm, Dark Gravity Wave difficulty adjustment, and many more have been ported over to countless other projects in the past, a trend which is unlikely to change as Dash pushes an increasingly aggressive development schedule.