Zcoin to Copy Dash’s ChainLocks 51% Attack-Proofing

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Zcoin has announced plans to implement long-living masternode quorums (LLMQs), deterministic masternode lists, and ChainLocks, three of Dash’s key innovations released this year.

In a recent post laying out a roadmap for future developments, privacy-focused masternode-leveraging coin Zcoin outlined several improvements to its network, including LLMQs and deterministic masternode lists:

“Work has already begun into improving our Znode infrastructure with deterministic masternode lists, which greatly improve reliability and open up a lot of new features. For example, syncing Znode lists will be a lot faster and reliable. Znode rewards also can be paid automatically to third-party addresses and it’s even possible to dedicate a percentage of rewards to a specified third party.”

Additionally, the Zcoin team announced intentions to impelment ChainLocks in order to prevent against 51% mining attacks by leveraging the masternode network:

“More importantly, it also allows the use of LLMQ-based “chainlocks” that protect the blockchain against 51% attacks. With pure Proof-of-Work systems, only the miners need to have 51% of the hashpower to dictate which transactions get accepted or not or even pull off a doublespend. With chainlocks, you will need both 51% of the hashrate AND ownership or control of more than half of the Znode network to pull off a double spend. Chainlocks significantly improve the security of the blockchain and also enforce transaction finality with only one confirmation.”

Notably, every single one of these innovations was pioneered by Dash this year. In the previous version 0.13, Dash implemented deterministic masternode lists and split-key masternodes, allowing masternodes to be run more efficiently and by multiple parties, as well as creating a deterministic list of masternodes, enabling accessing the network’s special features (including privacy) without having to run a full blockchain node. Recently-implemented version 0.14 included LLMQs, as well as ChainLocks, which once activated will protect against 51% attacks.

Dash’s long history of industry-changing innovations and imitators

Dash has long debuted innovations that inspired other industry players to follow along. The first cryptocurrency to implement the concept of masternodes was Dash, with Masternodes.Online tracking 455 total masternode coins at time of writing. Dash also implemented PrivateSend, a variant on CoinJoin, with recent Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash wallets providing similar solutions. Dash’s InstantSend functionality has been used by PIVX, SmartCash, and other similar projects, while over 100 coins use the X11 mining algorithm pioneered by Dash. Finally, Dash is the first known decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), with many popular projects, including the eponymous DAO and Decred following in its footsteps.

The cryptospace is no stranger to copying and building on developments

The cryptocurrency world has included a large amount of imitation and copying, due to the open-source and permissionless nature of development in the space. Most major cryptocurrencies to date have been based on Bitcoin, either conceptually or directly. Litecoin was copied from Bitcoin’s codebase with a few minor differences, and Dash was originally forked from Litecoin, though later re-forked from Bitcoin due to the former’s lack of development at the time. Dash’s recent innovations, including the upcoming Evolution update, have been largely developed in private repositories so as to prevent competitors from copying before public release, though the major Evolution repositories have recently been made public.

Zcoin itself has had its fair share of imitators. Both SmartCash and PIVX have implemented privacy solutions from Zcoin’s technology, though both have since abandoned them due to technical issues.

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