One of the more common questions I get asked when I talk to people about my mining is:
Why DigiByte? What made you choose that over Bitcoin?
This page will aim to list some of the many reasons “why DigiByte!” that are often too difficult to explain to somebody in a quick 10-second conversation.
Fair warning: There’s no pictures after here, sorry 😉
DigiByte has been around since January 2014, and compared to many other coins, it’s “been around the block”, since many of the original Altcoins, and is an old hand in the Cryptocurrency scene, especially compared to many of the ICOs we see today. It comes with “experience”.
DigiByte also has a track record of being “ahead of the curve” with many development and innovations, most notable implementations being:
I’ll take a moment to go through these and explain why each of them is so significant and what they mean.
Back when cryptocurrencies such as DigiByte, DogeCoin and many others were being created, large multi-mining pools would often point their miners at a variety of coins, mine a significant sum of the coin over the course of an hour or two, immediately exchange the coin for BTC or similar, and then run off to the next coin. It was great for miners who just wanted to try and get the best bang-for-buck with their hashrate, but it would leave many start-up coins struggling after the hashrate had left. Some coins even died completely due to an inability to complete / validate transactions with their higher difficulty retarget time.
For example, Bitcoin retargets difficulty every 2016 blocks, which should roughly be every 14 days. This would mean that if Bitcoin were a smaller coin, it received a huge influx of hashrate for a little while as the difficulty was low from a multipool, difficulty then retargets and goes up, multipool leaves, and the hashrate then goes WAY down, leaving the remaining miners struggling to validate the next 2016 blocks. The difficulty was set, anticipating there being, say, 500GH/s of hashing power, but a couple of pools disappear and point their hashrate elsewhere, now all of a sudden the total hashrate is down at maybe 200GH/s. So where the difficulty expected 500GH/s to hit the 10 min target, it’s now going to take 2.5x longer to mine each block. This in turn will then mean it’s even less feasible for other miners to stick around, so they abandon ship, it gets down to maybe 50GH/s, and the coin just collapses.
So DigiByte comes up with DigiShield in Feb 2014, which retargets after each individual block, so the difficulty can go up and down a lot faster, and any drop in hashrate on the network is minimized by an order of magnitude when compared to traditional difficulty retargeting as we see in Bitcoin etc.
On top of this, the DigiByte devs are good blokes and helped a bunch of other cryptocurrencies to implement their tech that they came up with, such as DogeCoin, which is pretty cool of them!
Some of the noteable coins that have implemented DigiShield include ZCash, Bitcoin Gold, Ubiq, MonaCoin, SmartCoin, HUSH, CasinoCoin, NautilusCoin and StartCOIN.
Traditional coins just have one hashing algorithm that they use. This means you’re either going to have a blockchain that’s dominated by ASIC miners, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin etc, or you’ll have one that’s all GPU, such as the Equihash algorithm.
Activating MultiAlgo in September 2014 had a number of benefits:
- Catering to GPU miners, including a mining algo that works well with GPUs
- Catering to ASIC / FPGA miners, including those coming from Bitcoin / Litecoin with SHA256 / Scrypt dedicated mining hardware
- Prevention of 51% attack, it’s significantly more secure than a single-algo coin by requiring somebody to control 93% hashrate on 1 algo, and 51% on the remaining 4 algorithms
This also prevents domination by a single algo as things move to more efficient mining methods, one of the algorithms could be swapped out for a more “difficult” one, to ensure a more decentralized mining spread. As of 2017, DigiByte is one of the most (If not THE most) decentralized cryptocurrencies in existence with approx 100,000 full node downloads between April and November 2017. This is compared with Bitcoin which had only ~8,000 active full nodes at that time. It’s not quite an “apples with apples” comparison, but, enough to get a bit of an indication about diversity.
Very similar to DigiShield, except, now it works with all 5 hashing algorithms. This was activated in December 2014, and again brings the protection from multipool mining in the same way DigiShield did in February of 2014.
DigiSpeed halved the Block timing from 30 seconds (150 seconds per algo) down to 15 seconds (75 seconds per-algo). This means the next block in the blockchain is found more frequently (15 seconds for DigiByte vs 10 minutes for Bitcoin, a factor of 40x!) and this allow for more transactions-per-second. Transactions each take up a small amount of space (data) in each block, and so Bitcoin gets to fill up 1MB every 10 minutes, whereas DigiSpeed allowed the blocksize to increase up to 10MB with built-in future increases (Doubles every 2 years). That meant that as of implementation time in December 2015, DigiByte had capacity for 400x the transactions-per-second (TPS) compared with Bitcoin. That will soon be doubling to 800x the capacity.
Why does that matter? Well if you were to send me 1 Bitcoin right now, the average time it’s taking for the network to process that transaction is around 2 hours, because there’s such a “backlog” of them, and too many people are sending Bitcoin than their network can handle. It’s not by much, but, it’s enough to cause problems. Ethereum is the same, they’ve just reached a record announced earlier today of a little over 410,000 transactions in 24 hours. That’s lovely, but, they still also have major issues with delayed transactions. During it’s peak, Ethereum transactions were sometimes taking hours to complete. DigiByte can already handle 24 million transactions per-day, (560 TPS) with that doubling in a few months time at the end of 2017. DigiByte is well future proofed to handle any kind of huge transaction volume that may come from micro-payments and many other technological uses of the DigiByte blockchain.
DigiByte was the second cryptocurrency to successfully activate SegWit (Segregated Witness) in April 2017 after GroestlCoin. SegWit fixes a couple of minor issues with the way the blockchain works, provides more security through the hashing for each address, smart-contracts, cross-chain transactions (Think: Direct trading your DigiByte for another coin without having to go through an Exchange website) and so much more!
You can read more about SegWit on the DigiByte.co website article.
What else is happening?
Those are all pretty cool to have done, and the fact that DigiByte was ahead of the curve on so many of them proves the developers / creators of DigiByte have had their eyes on the future since the very beginning. But, what’s next? What else is happening?
This has been in the works for a while, and can be checked out at digusign.com
DiguSign allows for a document to be “signed” into the Blockchain to allow later verification of its authenticity and to prove it hasn’t been tampered with. It also proves the document existed in that same exact form at an original date / time, and you can validate that it is still that same document down the track.
This type of technology has huge implications for a variety of professional services, everything from the legal and finance through to corporate contracts, business workflows and more.
BlockNet cross-blockchain transfers
Being one of the earliest to adopt SegWit has meant that DigiByte has been at the forefront of testing for BlockNet’s decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.
This will allow an exchange between DigiByte and, say Bitcoin, without the use of any 3rd party exchange website. So if I want to exchange 10,000 DGB for 0.1 BTC, this can now be accomplished by announcing it to the BlockNet, finding somebody else who is willing to trade 0.1 BTC for 10,000 DGB, and then completing the trade without involving any other party who may “take a cut” of the proceeds along the way, or without having to trust your coin to a 3rd-party to hold onto so you can do the trade.
BlockNet and Atomic Swaps will revolutionize the exchange of digital currencies, no longer requiring any form of trust with anybody. One of the core pillars of the original Blockchain notion was it operated in a completely trust-less manner, and BlockNet now fulfills this need.
So what does all of this mean?
Well, DigiByte has one fantastic track record as far as development, innovation and achievements go. They weren’t just some cheap joke-coin that appeared in 2014, milked it, then disappeared. Not only have they come up with some incredible technology of their own, they’ve been charitable enough to help other coins to implement their tech.
They’ve shown time and time again that they’re here for the long-haul, especially with implementation of SegWit so quickly! The DigiByte community is super active allowing for that to activate in such record time.
DigiByte also has the longest blockchain out there! At the time of writing (Late 2017), DigiByte has 5.1 million blocks, vs Litecoins 1.2 million vs Bitcoins 480,000 or even vs Ethereums 4.2 million. So, DigiByte is proving far faster than other coins that a long Blockchain can still be functional!
Often people forget, and just because they’ve not seen anything new happen for a week or two they start accusing DigiByte of being a pump-and-dump, which is super unfortunate because as you can see from what you’ve read thus far, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
DigiByte is great for sending / receiving value as well, being lightning fast. I’ve purchased some from an Exchange, hit “send”, and it’s in my wallet, with first confirmation, in 20 seconds. I’ve done that with Bitcoin a few times too and it always takes hours and hours, from a variety of Exchanges.
DigiByte is also GPU compatible, so I can mine with one graphics card at home (As can you!), or I can buy a bunch of graphics cards and get mining. People who’ve mined Bitcoin, Litecoin, or whatever else with their ASIC miners can also apply their hash power to DigiByte. However DigiByte is amazing enough, in that if you were to throw the entire SHA256 hash power of Bitcoin at DigiByte, they STILL couldn’t conduct a 51% attack on the network. On top of that, if the hash power were to then disappear 5 minutes later, DigiByte would still continue to function, perfectly, without the big issues we see other coins having in terms of finding a block when there’s a dip in the network hashrate.
Let’s play a game:
Name one thing that Bitcoin does that DigiByte does not?
SegWit? We’ve got that…
SHA256 ASIC mining? Yep, DigiByte has that too, along with Scrypt (Litecoin’s algo), and 3 others, some of which support GPU mining.
Greater mining centralization? No thanks, you can keep that one.
Slower confirmations? Doesn’t seem like much fun.
Horrendous difficulty adjustment? That is *so* 2011!
Nope, I’m really not seeing any advantage of Bitcoin over DigiByte.
So aside from the 21 Billion DigiByte total cap, vs Bitcoins 21 million cap, means a 1000:1 ratio, seems to me like DigiByte is severely undervalued!
This is why I have, and continue to, invest in, purchase, and mine DigiByte.