DigiByte through 2018, wallets, algo-swap and why you don’t need to worry about a fork

I’d like to take this opportunity to address *some* of what’s planned for 2018 (Because already we’ve had a pretty big couple of months so far for DigiByte this year), and look at some of the common questions we’re getting on Telegram and Reddit, and to reassure the general populace that the DigiByte team have their best interests at heart.

So lets start with the upcoming wallets: They’re awesome!

Yes, we wanted to try and get some of them out to you by the end of 2017, but I think this is a pretty good example of why if you go to https://digibytefoundation.org/development and have a look, we don’t want to be specifying exact dates (Though, more on this later). The reasoning behind this is software development is complex, difficult, and sometimes a single showstopper bug from any company could delay a product by days, weeks or even months!

However, we’ve made some great progress and are hoping to release the wallets for the following platforms soon (And possibly all concurrently):
- Windows
- Mac OSX
- Linux
- iOS
- Android
So as you can see that’s some *serious* wallet development we’ve been working on, especially given we’ve totally ditched the old Android wallet which wanted to download the entire Blockchain and are going for a new SPV (“lite”) wallet that should get you up and running in seconds!

It looks fantastic too, so here’s a bit of a sneak peak of it for those of you who’ve not joined the iOS beta test, and this will look the same on Android / iOS:

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New DigiByte for Android wallet screenshot

It’s going to be great, and it’ll lower the barrier to entry for a whole new raft of people, especially in developing nations where bandwidth is at a premium, but where they have access to things such as Android One devices!

Now let’s take a look at the Algo Swap that’s coming up, and how it’s going to affect you (hint, it probably won’t).

Before we proceed I want to clear the air a little about this. This “fork” won’t duplicate any “tokens” like you get with Bitcoin forks. You won’t be doubling your DigiByte. This isn’t contentious at all. Think of this more of a re-orientation of a ship, everybody is on-board and changing direction together.

You don’t have to think this is going to be like Ethereum / Ethereum Classic. The DigiByte team have gone through 4x Hard Forks in the past (Needed for major feature implementations), all of which achieved enough agreement and consensus to go through without any problems, and there was no “split” resulting from it. The DigiByte professionals at managing these network migrations, and know how to run it successfully!

As far as wallets are concerned, you’ll need to ensure you keep yours up-to-date. We’ll make sure to give plenty of notice before you need to, and even if you forget to, it’s still not a problem, you can just upgrade afterwards and your DigiByte will still be safe. Now, if you’ve got your DigiByte in a paper wallet, Exchange, Trezor / Ledger / other hardware wallet, you can just carry on without a care in the world.

So why are we doing this? If we had to describe why in two words, it would be “Security” & “Decentralization”.

Part of the DigiByte security comes from the fact it’s so decentralized, arguably one of the most decentralized Blockchains in existence. Our current DigiByte Core Wallet has been downloaded almost 200,000 times! We want to ensure this distribution continues, as part of our focus on security of the Blockchain.

By changing some of the mining algorithms, we’re going to be doing away with some (not all) ASIC mine-able algorithms so that we still get the distribution afforded to us by GPU miners.

At this point in time it’s looking like SHA256 (Bitcoin ASICs) and Scrypt (Litecoin ASICs) will stay, and we’ll probably replace Qubit, Groestl & Skein.

We’re aware that some people have gone out and purchased things such as Groestl / Skein miners with them only having come out since November ’17, however we’re also aware there are a decent number of other blockchains that users can still use those ASIC miners on, so those with the relatively new ASICs still have other options they can pursue.

Right now the Foundation is still reviewing a number of options for new mining algorithms we can use, in particular things such as Equihash and CryptoNight stand out, with other algorithms of interest including Neoscrypt, Skunkhash-Raptor, Lyra2REv2, though there’s obviously others out there such as NIST5, so we’re open to feedback.

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The output from mining DigiByte using Skein on a couple of GTX1080's

However as part of this feedback, we’re not interested in suggestions around changing away from Proof of Work to anything such as Proof of Stake, Proof of Storage, Hybrids etc, nor are we going to do any Masternodes or coin burns or anything else along those lines. DigiByte will be staying Proof of Work.

(Bit of a personal note here, I mine myself, and I specifically pay a little extra for my power, so it comes from a 100% renewable source. Securing the Blockchain and being environmentally friendly!)

This leaves us with two big questions then: How, and when?

The how is pretty easy. The DigiByte developers are getting the wallets all sorted first before reviewing the Algos for DigiByte to swap to, and once they’ve had a good chance to review which algorithms will be in the best interest of the DigiByte Blockchain security (first and foremost) as well as distribution, then they’ll choose a block in the future, say a month down the line from when the new Algo is decided, and on a particular block everybody will then stop mining on one of the Algos and instead mine something different. The remaining 4x Algos are there to pick up the slack with the cut-over.

But when?

We don’t know for sure at the moment, there’s much to be done, and although people have been sharing rumors of a date in June / July, the DigiByte Developers haven’t set a hard date. It could be June, it could be October. However we’ll make sure to give plenty of notice, especially via Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and our Telegram “Alerts” channel, so come along and make sure you’re following us.

However, as always, if you know somebody who’s either an iOS / Android / C / C++ developer who could lend a hand with the code, the team are always interested in an extra set of eyes looking over the code, or help with everything from bug-squashing to feature implementation, so head on over to the DigiByte Developer channel in Telegram: https://t.me/DigiByteDevelopers

One more thing worth clarifying: This isn’t all that’s planned for 2018. The DigiByte team have SO much they’re working on right now (Some behind the scenes, some public-facing), so please don’t take away from this post “The whole year will be just about making the wallets and nothing more”. Rather, these wallets are going to lay the foundation for everything else this year, so these are the primary focus right now, and I can’t wait to share with you more of all that is being worked on, as we progress.

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I write interesting things about cryptocurrency, especially DigiByte

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