Dash Platform, the long-awaited upgrade to the Dash network formerly codenamed Evolution, has been released to testnet including a developer documentation portal.

In a post released today, Dash Core Group Product Owner Dana Alibrandi announced today the release of Dash Platform to Evonet, a public testnet enabling developers to experiment with the functionalities of the platform ahead of full mainnet release:

“This release to Evonet marks a significant milestone after years of concerted effort by Dash Core Group, as we designed, redesigned, and finally implemented the Evolution vision as it was originally conveyed. This release represents the early stages of a platform that aims to revolutionize value exchange and deliver on the promise of digital cash. The development team behind Dash Platform is driven to make development easy and accessible for everyone striving to realize the promise of blockchain. We look forward to your thoughts, comments, suggestions, and pull requests as the Dash DAO enters a new chapter in its history.”

Conceptualized beginning in late 2015, the Dash Evolution project aims to provide a much more user-friendly experience to cryptocurrency than what is presently available, using usernames and contact lists instead of long cryptographic addresses and providing an easy solution for developers unfamiliar with blockchain technology to build decentralized applications for a variety of purposes.

A superior data platform than centralized companies and cryptocurrency competitors

According to Alibrandi, Dash Platform provides distinct advantages over traditional cloud storage platforms, including control over data and heightened security:

“Within the centralized web, it is most similar to a product like Firebase’s Cloud Firestore. The main benefits of using Dash Platform over Firestore are similar to the general advantages of decentralization: better security, ownership over data, reduced data silos, and enhanced transparency. Over time, Dash Platform intends to add more components to its stack so that developers can fully utilize the Dash network to facilitate trustless, disintermediated value exchange.”

In addition to centralized cloud storage solutions, Alibrandi believes that Dash Platform offers distinct advantages over other similar solutions within the cryptocurrency industry as well, including Ethereum’s upcoming Swarm data storage system, promising a more fluid developer experience while allowing its functionality to remain compatible with Ethereum applications:

“In a broader sense, Dash Platform provides the missing data layer in the vision for a fully decentralized web. It is similar in functionality and goals to Ethereum Swarm and can be used in tandem with Ethereum dapps as a decentralized database. When compared with Swarm, Dash Platform stands out due to its fluid developer experience and fast block confirmation times on the Platform blockchain, which allow for changes to your application data to be confirmed and reflected on user interfaces in real time.”

The Dash Platform experience for recording data state transitions promises to be more streamlined than that of major competitors thanks to the Platform Chain, a data-purposed sidechain that does not interfere with the main blockchain during times of peak activity, as has happened in the past most notably with Ethereum.

The first release of many in a phased rollout leading up to mainnet release

Today’s release of Dash Platform to Evonet represents the first in a series of phases to test all aspects of Platform’s functionality prior to full mainnet release next year, beginning with some basic username-based functionalities:

“With this release, developers will be able to test the following actions:

  • Connect to Evonet via DAPI
  • Connect a 3rd Party Masternode to Evonet
  • Deploy a Private Devnet with Platform Components
  • Create a Test Identity and Register a Test Name
  • Fetch Identities and Resolve names
  • Explore Dash Platform Name Service (DPNS)
  • Discover Platform Code Repositories”

Following this initial phase will be a release centered on finalizing security around storing and retrieving data, a phase introducing incentive mechanisms and monetization of the platform’s various capabilities, and finally an optimization phase prior to full mainnet release:

“Lastly, we will optimize and polish the platform in preparation for a mainnet release. There will be improvements to the platform chain in order to handle chain halts and improve consensus efficiency. Without these improvements, the platform chain could stop producing blocks due to validator sets not being able to agree on the contents of a block. Feature flags will be added to smoothly introduce new features once the platform is live on mainnet, and we will conduct thorough security checks to ensure there are no vulnerabilities that put funds or data at risk.”

Included in this release is a full dedicated developer documentation portal to bring potential developers fully up to speed with Dash Platform’s capabilities so that they are able to quickly begin experimenting with the platform. The various Platform repositories are linked at the bottom of the announcement post.