Why DigiByte? (Feb 2020 edition)
I wrote an article a LONG time ago now, back in mid 2017 on my DigiByte Guides website (This was before we had dgbwiki.com to put guides and information on). I registered a domain to write a few guides for people to help with mining and the likes. At the time it was *hugely* needed, as guides for mining Skein / Qubit / Myriad-Groestl were almost non-existent and there were a lot of common questions / pitfalls people had.
As part of that, I also wrote an article simply titled “Why DGB?” about why I like DigiByte, why I support it, and why I write articles for it.
Unfortunately, it’s old… Very old and stale now (Feb 2020). That’s 2.5 years and a lot has changed!
I also look back at it, and I note that I was misinformed about the block size of DigiByte. I read an article on Reddit that stated the block size was being increased to 10MB, which wasn’t true. The block size has remained 1MB (Well 4MB weighted now with SegWit). I’ve also discussed the block size and corrected that in other articles here on Medium since, as Medium is where I do most of my writing now.
That original article was a lot more of a “directly comparing DigiByte vs Bitcoin” naively I thought that DigiByte might replace Bitcoin, whereas I have very much changed my stance on that over time. There’s no need for that, when they both have very different goals and ways of going about it. DigiByte is in a completely different league compared with Bitcoin!
So I wanted to do a little bit of a “brain dump” (It’s all text from here with no pix) and list out some of the many reasons why I still continue to support DigiByte as a project, and why I think you should too. Here’s my (current) Top #3 reasons why I love DigiByte:
1/ What got me in to DGB: Philanthropy
We have a generous community. We’re not the biggest (though we’re possibly the loudest) but many members are quite generous. I’m reminded of the story of the Widow’s Might, with some of our members having very little but giving so generously out of that. We also have some people who have the capacity to fund larger sums, and I’m grateful for all of it that the community gives.
I found out about DigiByte because I had been mining Litecoin, and was looking in to Dogecoin on Bitcointalk Forums. I came across an initiative called “Mine4mud” where people would mine, and donate a days worth of mining to victims of the Washington Mud Slide. More reading here and here.
I thought that was fantastic to see, and so I ditched the idea of looking in to DOGE (I knew it was a meme-coin, without a serious future) and instead look in to DigiByte.
Since then I organized, and the community rallied behind, several different philanthropic initiatives in 2018 which spilled over in to early 2019. The plan is to do more in 2020, I was unable to do any in 2019 due to personal time limits amongst other things. Here’s a quick catch- up on some things if you’re not familiar:
A case for DigiByte to be used in Venezuela:
2/ This was us actually starting off the raise:
3/ We got it all raised, not too bad seeing as we only had like 2 days to do it:
4/ The formal proposal that I put together:
5/ Second lot of fundraising a few months later:
7/ The children opening the DigiByte wallet on the tablets we bought them:
8/ Repairing the refrigerator at a hospital and other updates:
9/ Fixing up the Adicora school kitchen:
10/ Donating meals to Paraguaná Península:
11/ Further meal deliveries and Christmas packs:
12/ A thank you from some people, and photos of another community lunch put on:
This was what brought me in to DigiByte, and this is something I want us to continue in 2020, with more details about my plans there coming soon.
2/ MultiShield: MultiAlgo DigiShield
I had been looking in to Dogecoin at the time in early 2014 and at the time the DigiByte developers had just implemented DigiShield. Continuing on from #1 above, they were also helped the Dogecoin developers to implement it a short while after, keeping Dogecoin alive when it was struggling with a stalling blockchain due to insanely large difficulty swings.
MultiShield is probably one of DigiBytes biggest assets, complimenting MultiAlgo. Others such as Myriadcoin and Verge are also MultiAlgo (With different difficulty adjustment algorithms), but MultiShield is a true stroke of genius that blows my mind.
Not only is it an order of magnitude more reliable when it comes to block timings compared with Bitcoins, but it also ensures an even algorithm distribution of blocks, so each of the 5x algos gets as close to 20% of all the blocks as possible.
It also prevents a single algorithm from being used in a prolonged double-spend attack. Sure a single algo could get maybe 5–10 odd blocks in a row (2.5 mins worth), but the way the difficulty adjustment works, it will quickly skyrocket for that algorithm without the others making it unsustainable. For example if you had 91% of one algorithm, and 35% of the remaining 4x algorithms, that’s still insufficient to beat the honest-chain.
This is why most exchanges are fine with a 20-block confirmation time on deposits, which is approx 5 minutes.
Sure, because we are MultiAlgo, we inherently have more orphaned blocks than others, but that’s OK because they almost always have the same transactions in them (It’s simply a changing of one algo with a higher difficulty being found later, and the ‘work’ done being greater, so it takes priority), and it’s really not an issue.
All of this though still blows my mind, the combination of them, the security afforded, how it all works together, how accurate it is with both the timing and keeping to the 20% algorithm target. It’s *amazing* and it’s something that only DigiByte has (Though, I’ve suggested it to Vertcoin (x2) and Verge).
3/ Forward-thinking nature
DigiByte isn’t JUST about sending value from me to you. I mean sure, it excels at that better than most others, but that’s not all you can do with a blockchain.
NOTE: This is why we’re known as DigiByte, not Digicoin!
You only have to look at the genesis hash to see this as it being something ingrained in the project from the very beginning, thinking about cyber-security (Rather than just sending coins), and it’s something most newcomers are deeply passionate about continuing.
Let me list some of these out, just so you get an idea about how ingrained this is:
- DigiShield difficulty adjustment algorithm
- The upgrade to MultiAlgo for better security
- MultiShield to further enhance the MultiAlgo security
- DigiSpeed on-chain scaling (Which I’ve talked about it being pulled in favor of something else to replace it in-future)
- Mobile UI redesign contest to make it more user-friendly / appealing
- Digi-ID for secure and pseudo-anonymous authentication
- Mobile app translations in to more than 50 languages
- Odocrypt FPGA-focused morphing algorithm
- being early adopters of SegWit (before Litecoin and Bitcoin)
And that’s not all, now we’re looking at:
- ProgPoW algorithm replacement for GPU-focused mining
- RandomX algorithm replacement for CPU-focused mining
- and Schnorr Signatures for a number of reasons (See the video)!
The worst part is I’m sure I’ve likely left some things off the list because there’s so many things already in there.
Look at that list though! Most blockchains haven’t even kept up with the Bitcoin development progress, let alone pushed the boundaries so much like DigiByte has!
As James wrote earlier today:
If you’re not so bullish you might puke, you’re not watching close enough
And that’s JUST with the forward-thinking nature, let alone many of the other developments and progress being made.
I think James might be on to something.
These aren’t all of the reasons why you should be bullish on DigiByte
These aren’t al lof the reasons why I’m a big fan of DigiByte
But I’ve been following it now since 2014 (despite taking a break for 3 years due to personal circumstances) and I’m so confident in the future of the project, it’s growth, and it’s long-term potential. I hope that you are too :)