Security is a highly important thing in the cryptocurrency space. If a blockchain is not secure there could be possible vulnerabilities that allow malicious actors to mine more coins that there should be or even perform a double spend attack. A double spend attack is where a person is able to spend the same amount of currency twice, for example if a malicious actor had 2 Dash and was able to double spend it they could send the 2 Dash to two new addresses, effectively allowing them to own 4 Dash instead of 2.
How Blockchains can be attacked
In a traditional proof of work blockchain such as Bitcoin or Dash a person would require over 51% of the network hashrate in order to be able to perform a double spend attack. Miners are the backbone of the Dash blockchain, they are the main group who confirm transactions by calculating complex mathematical equations. If someone was able to own the majority of mining power, they could simply confirm any transaction they want until the network tried to fight back, including a double spend transaction. This means that the more miners are on a network, the harder it is to attack it.
Dash – many layers of security
Now what does Dash provide to increase security? First off, the Dash blockchain has a relatively high hashrate of almost 7 PH/s (that is 7 quadrillion H/s) that is slowly increasing over time as more miners join in. Currently it would cost more than 100 million USD to purchase enough ASIC miners to own greater than 51% of the global Dash hashrate which provides very high security.
However, Dash doesn’t just stop at protection using high hashrate. The second large advantage Dash has is masternodes which I have talked about in my previous article. Masternodes provide additional security because each MN on the network acts as a node holding a full copy of the Dash blockchain. This helps because assuming the majority of these nodes are honest, they are much more likely to broadcast real transactions. The high amount of nodes means that an attacker would need to deploy a much larger number of nodes to broadcast their own false transactions to the network.
Because MNs are incentivized by being given Dash rewards every block it is much more likely that most will be honest, this is unlike nodes in other chains such as Bitcoin which do not receive an incentive or reward.
The final and unmatched layer of security is called ChainLocks. A new feature added to Dash in mid-late 2019. Essentially what ChainLocks aims to do is introduce a new feature called LLMQ (Long-living Masternode Quorums), which uses the network of masternodes on the Dash network to ‘lock-in’ transactions before being confirmed on the blockchain by mining.
This means that transactions are much harder to reverse on Dash. A potential attacker would need to not just own the majority of hashrate on the network, but also own the majority of masternodes on the network. This basically makes an attack on Dash next to impossible due to how many coins an attacker must purchase on the open market, taking the already high figure of 100 million USD to attack Dash and boosting it by well over 10x. This figure becomes so massive that is unattainable to most people, and anyone with enough wealth to manage such an attack would lose all their money as well as need to somehow figure out the logistical nightmare of hosting nodes and setting up millions of miners.
What this means for Dash
Clearly Dash has many layers of security, more than most other blockchains out there. Security is one of the most important factors that increase the value of a blockchain along with transaction time and stability. Because Dash would cost an unbelievable amount of money to attack and would just result in the loss of the attacker’s money it is fairly safe to assume that Dash is one of the safest blockchains out there.
Thus, any user can transact on Dash with peace of mind that it is practically impossible their funds or the chain can be compromised. While this might not seem very big to some people, imagine telling someone there was a chance that if they paid with a credit card their funds might disappear or reduce in value due to an attack. Most people would steer right away from that card. Such is the same with cryptocurrency. Security is of the utmost importance to convince the masses of the viability of crypto, and Dash achieves this goal well.