History & Security: DigiBytes’ MultiAlgo implementation

Josiah Spackman
4 min readNov 16, 2018


Unfortunately things spread really quickly around the crypto-sphere, including mis-information. Often times it’s due to things not being explained well enough, or a mix of technical understanding by readers / viewers. That’s totally OK, it happens, but I’m going to clarify and set straight a few things about the MultiAlgo implementation by DigiByte (DGB).

You see DigiByte was originally a single mining algorithm, Scrypt, forked from the LTC code-base (But not forked from the chain as BCH is from BTC). It started as it’s own 100% independent blockchain, with a unique Genesis Block back in January 2014.

The Genesis block for DigiByte

Later in September 2014, DigiByte switched to MultiAlgo.

This was done by incorporating some of the code from MyriadCoin (XMY) in to the existing DigiByte blockchain, being the MultiAlgo code.

It’s worth noting that the first blockchain to implement MultiAlgo was actually HunterCoin (HUC), released a month prior to Myriad.

HunterCoin was the first MultiAlgo blockchain

However, Huntercoin was only SHA256 & Scrypt. Myriad was the first with 5x algos, SHA256, Scrypt, Myriad-Groestl, Qubit and also Skein.

Since then, Myriad has replaced Qubit with Yescrypt, and also merge-mines with other blockchains. For example when you mine Myriad with Scrypt, you merge-mine with Litecoin. You never mine Myriad on its own because it’s just not financially feasible to do-so. This merge-mining change was done because the hash power that was securing Myriad was insufficient in order to maintain the security of the network, based on the value of the coin vs block rewards vs block timing.

Myriad logo, just coz I like pictures

So why is this important?

Well, DigiByte is not currently merge-mined with any other blockchain. All the security it has, it stands alone with all 5x of the mining algos. Merge-mining will effectively “piggy-back” off another blockchain.

Current hashrates securing each network. Below the red line is merge-mined with LTC

So if you’re merge-mining Scrypt on Myriad, what you’re trying to basically do is solve the problem for Litecoin, and if you get a little extra XMY then it’s a bonus. That’s why, if you were to try and mine just XMY, the profitability is ridiculously low. This is because you would be mining XMY in addition to mining LTC.

Same goes for DOGE, DOGE started merge-mining with LTC back in late 2014.

It’s also worth noting that it’s not secured by *all* the hash power of LTC though, only part of it, and the other is pointed at DOGE and others.

So why am I explaining all of this?

Well it has to do with the MultiAlgo implementation. XMY is piggy-backing off LTC for the Scrypt security. They’re also merge-mining their Yescrypt with Unitus (UIS) etc.

All of the DigiByte hash-power stands on its own two feet, not relying on any other blockchain. In addition to just having independent hash-power, DigiByte is the dominant hash-power in 3 of the 5x algorithms used

SHA256 — Bitcoin rules the roost there

Scrypt — Litecoin is the dominant force

Qubit — DigiByte is the primary hash-power by an order of magnitude

Myriad-Groestl — DigiByte also takes the crown here

Skein — DigiByte is king of the hill

Why is this important?

Well right now there’s not enough hash power in the world to even attempt to maliciously attack DigiByte on either Qubit, Myr-Gr or Skein, let alone having to rent the hashpower on the other algorithms, you simply can’t do it.

But it’s not just about hash power!

You see DigiShield also plays a good role in the security of DigiByte.

DigiShield, now MultiShield due to being MultiAlgo, also contributes to what keeps DigiByte secure. The difficulty adjustment helps to keep blocks at 15 seconds, and also helps to ensure that an influx in hash power isn’t going to be as effective compared to the difficulty adjustment algorithm used elsewhere in things such as Myriad.

It better handles the increase / decrease of hash power, offering a small bonus against any attack on-chain.

Every little bit counts, and together, the combination of being MultiAlgo, the dominant hash power in 3x of the algorithms, mining independently on it’s own hash-power, and also MultiShield, makes DigiByte a far more formidable foe than just “being MultiAlgo”.

In closing

Huntercoin was the first to be MultiAlgo

Myriad was the first with 5x algorithms

DigiByte is it’s own 100% independent blockchain, with unique Genesis Block. DigiByte pioneered DigiShield (MultiShield), doesn’t use merge-mining, and has the dominant hash power in 3/5 algorithms, all of which exponentially adds together to help the security.



Josiah Spackman

I write interesting things about cryptocurrency, especially DigiByte