Dash Core Group (DCG) has released more information on the value proposition of the Dash Platform, which consists of Dash DAPI and Dash Drive.
The Dash Core Group has plans to upgrade the network through protocol upgrades including creating “the development of the most user-friendly crypto wallet to date”, but to do so requires building out backend services.
“In order to facilitate the development of this new wallet, as well as many other use cases, DCG is building Dash Platform, an application development platform leveraging Dash’s masternode network and blockchain. Comprised of two main architectural components, Drive and DAPI, these components turn the Dash p2p network into a cloud, through which developers will be able to integrate their applications. For our MVP release, the platform will primarily act as a Database as a Service, using data contracts to define custom data structures for applications, storing that application data on our masternode network, and notarizing that data via our blockchain.”
Dana Alibrandi, Product Owner at Dash Core Group, further outlined that both Drive and DAPI will be written in Node.js and that “Dash Platform will be available for development as part of Release 1.0”. However, they “will continue evolving the platform, eventually providing developers with a full stack for development” after the initial release.
Building two parts of a whole
Dash Drive will enable developers to create data contracts that “will describe the data structures comprising their application”, similar “to creating a database schema for a document-oriented database like MongoDB”. User data can then be “validated and verified against this contract” prior to being uploaded to Dash Drive via state transitions. The data will then be stored on the masternode network and charged a respective fee “based on user-requested data operations such as reading, writing, and storage duration”. Additionally, the “PoSe (proof-of-service) algorithm will be updated to keep track of whether masternodes are hosting Drive” and therefor eligible for compensation.
Dana further explained that Drive “facilitates the access of records which are secured and verified according to our consensus protocol, rendering them auditable by any involved party”. Additionally, users’ data is is robust against any one individual node’s downtime since the “data is stored in a MongoDB instance” and the “application’s historical state transitions are stored in IPFS, which also propagates your application data to other nodes in [the Dash] network”.
Dash DAPI is a “distributed, decentralized API” that enables clients “to integrate their applications to Dash Platform”.
“DAPI is an HTTP API exposing JSON-RPC endpoints. Through these endpoints, developers will be able to send and retrieve application data via Drive, as well as query the blockchain, eventually replicating the functionality of Insight through a more developer-friendly interface. In effect, DAPI provides developers with the same access and security of a full node, without the cost and maintenance overhead”
Developers will then pay variable fees to submit data to the Dash Drive, which will help solve the free-rider problem that typically emerges in a P2P network when “excessive leeching behavior can drain a network of its speed and efficiency”. DAPI also has multiple instances, which gives it more robustness than traditional APIs that have a single point of failure.
Developing Dash for future applications
Dash has prioritized digital cash in its development so individuals could actually use cryptocurrency in their everyday lives. Part of that requires ease of use, which the Dash Drive and DAPI will help enable through a more seamless wallet interface. However, these features will also enable a multitude of other applications that developers can work on, such as “chain-of-custody, digital rights management, supply chain, property records, and audit management” and more. DCG is also “actively exploring additional features such as object storage, data triggers, sharding, developer tools and frameworks, off-network state transition storage, and more” to further improve the network.
Nevertheless, DCG is just one group of developers funded by the decentralized Dash Treasury. To truly realize the full potential of many of these additional features, other developers will need to focus on developing their own visions of what can function on the Dash Network. A positive sign is that this is already beginning to happen since former DCG developer and Chief Architect, Andy Freer, has left DCG to focus on building DApps. Then there are companies like Medicinal Genomics currently hashing genome data to the Dash Network to prove cannabis research and genetic makeup, but are excited to use the Dash Drive once it is ready.