The rising price of Dogecoin has revived its technical development

It was all a meme.

Well, Dogecoin is still a meme – just a more expensive meme. And when the price rises from the depths, so does the historically dispersed development of Dogecoin.

Take, for example, Dogecoin lead maintainer Ross Nicoll. His last commitment to the open source project on Github came in October 2019, but in the last two weeks he has accepted a handful of new pull requests to make changes to the coin.

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When he and four other Dogecoin developers pick up the keyboard on behalf of the Shiba Inu-adorned memecoin (which is now worth over $ 9 billion at $ 0.07 a coin), they are tasked with creating a Update software whose last major release was almost two years ago, in June 2019.

“People say it’s a joke, but we’re very careful with the code. When it took off there was a resurgence of attention and we want to keep the currency working, ”Ross Nicoll told CoinDesk.

What is Dogecoin?

When Jackson helped develop Palmer Dogecoin, he meant it as a joke, a mockery of the cryptocurrency space that he didn’t take seriously. Introduced on December 6, 2013, the Memecoin was a branch of Bitcoin’s code base that optimized some of Bitcoin’s key design features.

For one thing, Dogecoin inflation is significantly higher than Bitcoin’s and the supply has not halved since 2014. Each block contains 10,000 DOGE, so around 5.2 billion DOGE are mined every year. Dogecoin’s mining difficulty adjustment (which controls how hard or easy it is to find a block) is optimized for each block, unlike Bitcoin, which adjusts every 2,016 blocks. It is sometimes “merged” with Litecoin, which means that miners run programs to mine both chains at the same time.

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In addition, DOGE has faster blocks than Bitcoin (1 minute vs. 10 minutes), so transactions are faster and cheaper than Bitcoin. This comes at the expense of producing many more orphaned blocks than Bitcoin – blocks that are rejected by the network and do not add to the longest blockchain transaction history.

The story goes on

Dogecoin also includes a community-donated developer fund that currently holds DOGE worth just over $ 1,700,000. Nicoll said the developers share access to the fund through a multi-signature wallet.

Old dog, new tricks

One of the things that brought Nicoll and others back to DOGE was the “scaling issues” that the team discovered. Over the past month, Dogecoin ‘s full node count (which run the Dogecoin source code and record the network’s transaction history) has grown from a few hundred to around 1,300, Nicoll said. Most Dogecoin nodes, he went on, run on the default setting, which only allows outbound connections but not inbound connections.

Because Dogecoin node users don’t disable this firewall to allow inbound connections from peer nodes, the topography of the network is shaky, explained Nicoll. Hundreds of nodes only have a one-way connection to the rest of the network, and because they don’t connect to other nodes, some wallets have trouble syncing.

Nicoll and his colleagues are addressing this problem first. You also have your hands full catching up on the 7 most important Bitcoin Core releases since Dogecoin development was more or less stopped.

This is because the technical evolution of Dogecoin has been copied step by step from Bitcoin Core for many years, which means that the code has been copied for each new Bitcoin version and adapted for Dogecoin. Since March 2014 “[Dogecoin Core] has always been based on Bitcoin, ”said Dogecoin developer Maximilian Keller to CoinDesk. This is a security decision that he said “contributed significantly to the stability” of Dogecoin.

“[The Bitcoin] rebuild has been extensively checked and tested and since then we have been using the knowledge gained there to publish updates. Given that, I don’t see the latest version as a problem that was so long ago. It’s been running stably, and the rules of the network haven’t changed in a way that would compromise it since then.

“The Dogecoin network doesn’t necessarily have the same challenges as Bitcoin, so it’s less of a priority for us [to update regularly]”Said Keller.

The technical mimesis stopped a few years ago, so there is now a gap in development between the last minor version of Dogecoin (v.1.14.2, which came out in November 2019) and the recent activity. (If you take a look at Dogecoin’s GitHub, for example, you’ll find that all of its 20 most popular contributors are Bitcoin Core developers).

Dogecoin’s five-person development group “is working on new versions,” mostly on Dogecoin version 1.21, which will take over aspects of Bitcoin Core 0.21 but still require code reshaping to fit into Dogecoin’s design, Nicoll said .

He went on to say that it would be best to push the update within a year so it doesn’t “get to the point where Bitcoin Core is accelerating away from us.”

Is Dogecoin technically safe?

Nicoll and his compatriots are getting involved at a time when the price of Dogecoin is screaming at the moon, but would they turn their attention to it if porn stars, rappers, and the world’s richest man weren’t tweeting about it?

“We will always prioritize safety. I won’t say that [development] won’t slow down again, but we’ll always be there to check for security issues to make sure the software is up to date, ”Nicoll said when asked if new DOGE owners should be suspicious of Dogecoin’s spotty development .

Looking at the technical architecture of Dogecoin (which of course has no gaping holes), the hashrate of the network is around 300 terahashes. To put this in perspective, Bitmain’s newest and most powerful miner produces over 50 terahashes at peak power, and Bitcoin’s hashrate is roughly 161 exahashes (or 161,000,000 terahashes).

But Dogecoin uses the Skrypt hashing algorithm instead of Bitcoin’s SHA-256, which is said to be ASIC-resistant, which means that most Dogecoin mining is done with computer processors (CPUs) or graphics cards (GPUs), resulting in a lower hash leads, even though ASICs like the Antminer L3 + runs Skrypt.

It is theoretically easy (compared to Bitcoin or Ethereum) that 51% attack Dogecoin in order to defraud its network in order to print new coins (or steal coins from others). Some numbers cracked by CoinDesk suggest that it would cost around $ 8 million to attack the Dogecoin network for a week (using Antminer L3 + ASICs).

Then why wasn’t it attacked? Maybe it’s because it’s really too much joke to be worth it. On the other hand, it may be because no one is low enough to attack a coin that has a puppy’s face on.

Update 13:17 UTC: This article has been updated to say that Dogecoin’s developer fund is worth about $ 1,700,000, not $ 100,000 as originally stated.

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