Digibyte Review: Truly Decentralized UTXO Blockchain
Digibyte is one of the oldest running blokchains having been released in January of 2014. Recently, interest has begun flooding back into the project and its DGB currency.
With no company, no CEO, and no controlling central force. It began as a volunteer based project and remains completely volunteer based, as well as being a global community supported project. There have also been challenges such as broader exchange support.
So, is it really worth considering?
In this Digibyte review, we will attempt to answer just that. We will also take a look at the long term potential and use cases for DGB.
What is Digibyte?
One of the purposes behind Digibyte is to overtake the leading cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum. In some circles Digibyte is even known as “Bitcoin on steroids” because of its scalabilty. Ultimately Digibyte hopes to replace Bitcoin as an internationally used cryptocurrency, with proponents of Digibyte considering it a far better transactional currency, while Bitcoin serves best as a store of value.
When compared with Ethereum, Digibyte also offers a blockchain where decentralized applications (dApps) can be created, as well as a native currency (DGB). Unlike Ethereum Digibyte offers the world massive on-chain scalability, and one of the fastest blockchains in the world, with the ability to process 2,000 transactions per second.
As mentioned above, Digibyte is a far faster blockchain, and it is also more secure than Bitcoin. The primary goal of the project was to reach a larger decentralized community than Bitcoin. After more than six years the project has seen mixed results.
The value of the token remains right around #35 by market cap for several years, indicating stagnation, however there have also been nearly 300,000 node downloads, indicating that the network is spreading quite successfully. In fact it is immense compared with the Bitcoin network, which has less than 10,000 full nodes as of May 2020 according to the Bitcoin network tracking site Bitnodes.io.
Digibyte also benefits from its lack of fees and the near instantaneous transactions. Where Bitcoin transactions can take up to 10 minutes for confirmation, Digibyte has reduced its confirmation times to just a few seconds. That makes it one of the fastest transactional blockchains in the world. Users are able to send DGB to any other users, anywhere in the world, without paying any fees or even needing to register.
These improvements over existing blockchains haven’t slowed the pace of development for Digibyte either. Even after more than six years the Digibyte developers continue to make improvements to the blockchain. Digibyte remains one of the most advanced and cutting-edge blockchains, thanks to the continuing improvements made to maximize the efficiency, security, speed, and throughput of Digibyte.
With this focus on security, throughput, and decentralization Digibyte is an obviously suitable solution to the issues of cybersecurity, secure decentralized apps, and peer-to-peer commerce.
Digibyte Use Cases
There are many over the years who’ve made the claim that Digibyte has no real unique use case over other popular blockchain solutions. However the Digibyte development team claims that after more than 6 years of forward thinking development,
DigiByte has become one of the safest, fastest, longest and most decentralized UTXO blockchain in existence.
While we often think of blockchain solutions as a way to exchange and store value, Digibyte offers much more, including the creation of new tokens, identity validation, adding notarized documents to the blockchain, and much more. And it can do all this without users needing to worry that a cat game will slow the network to a crawl.
There are many use cases for Digibyte, but because of the speed and security of the blockchain it is most suited to the creation of security features and new assets. Two of the use cases currently in development are the Digi-ID and Digi-Assets
The Digi-ID is an authentication method developed for the Digibyte blockchain that features security and speed in a method that replaces the need for passwords to sing into applications.
It works through the use of a blockchain-based signature, similar to the way transactions are signed when transferring assets. So in essence users can utilize their private keys as a way to authenticate themselves to an online application or other platforms.
The obvious benefit to the Digi-ID is the ability to use a single app to sign in to multiple applications, but without giving them the same data string as you would with passwords. This is possible because the signatures are time sensitive, and a unique signature is created each time Digi-ID is used.
This means that even if a hacker is able to break the security in a website and access the sign on credentials they wouldn’t be able to do anything with them since they are single use.
Besides being used to log into applications the Digi-ID could eventually replace access cards for building security. The Digi-ID benefits from being completely anonymous, storing no personally identifiable information, not transmitting it. It uses no forms of data logging or storage, making it an ideal solution to comply with Europe’s GDPR regulations.
The Digi-Assets system sits in the secondary layer of the Digibytes blockchain as a secure and scalable way to issue tokens, assets, smart contracts, digital identities, and so much more. Anything you find in the real world can be digitized and represented cryptographically using Digi-Assets.
That includes the obvious like equities, bonds, and currencies, to legal documents such as mortgages, deeds, and wills. It is also useful for things such as purchase orders and bills of all kinds, and can even be used in the protection of trademarks, copyrights, and advertising data.
An obvious use of Digi-Assets is to launch new digital assets. These can be either fungible or non-fungible, depending on the creator’s needs. And to facilitate flexibility it’s possible to use both a web-browser or a mobile app (Android or iOS) in the issuance of the new tokens. This means anyone can create a new asset right from their mobile phone, and feel safe knowing the asset is secured by the Digibyte blockchain.
Any asset created with Digi-Assets remains verified on the Digibyte blockchain and becomes immutable and unforgeable, leading to transparency in the ownership, authenticity, and supply of the asset. Users are able to send and receive these assets freely.
This allows DigiAssets to be more secure, scalable and decentralized than any other platform yet seen in the market. Because other blockchains struggle with capacity or centralized validation, DigiByte is making DigiAssets the perfect platform for launching any asset. DigiByte has on-chain scalability, proven security, and enviable decentralization in all aspects.
Network Stack Technology
The Digibyte blockchain has three layers: Applications, Digital Asset, and Core Protocol. This allows for the deployment and development of applications and smart contracts in both centralized and decentralized forms.
The middle digital asset layer is primarily concerned with the security of the network, while the core protocol layer supports all the infrastructure of the network. Because Digibyte has the capability to deploy smart contracts it is far more useful in comparison with Bitcoin.
Top Layer – Applications
The topmost layer of Digibyte is similar to an app store, giving the blockchain real-world uses. It’s possible to create all manner of digital assets and decentralized applications on top to the Digibyte blockchain top layer. It also permits the use of smart contracts that leverages the security of the Digibyte blockchain.
Middle Layer – Digital Assets
The security and administration of the blockchain comes from the middle layer. This is where the public ledger sits, and this is where the immutability of the blockchain is held. All transactions are recorded in the public ledger and they cannot be hacked, duplicated, counterfeited, or changed. This maintains the security of created digital assets.
Bottom Layer – Core Protocol
The bottom layer of the Digibyte network is where the operating system and communication for the network sits. Global Digibyte nodes communicate information in this layer. All of the protocol instructions sit in this layer. Hundreds of thousands of global nodes help to relay transactions here, while also helping to secure the network.
Digibyte was created as a Proof-of-Work blockchain and in September 2014 it was forked to add a characteristic called MultiAlgo which allows for mining with five different cryptographic algorithms. The five algorithms used are Sha256, Scrypt, Skein, Qubit and Odocrypt.
This last, Odocrypt, is unique in that it changes itself every 10 days to maintain ASIC resistance. The five algorithms use a real-time difficulty adjustment system to prevent malicious mining centralization and volatile hash power fluctuations.
The multi-algorithm mining came from the code in Myriadcoin, and it was added to create flexibility for miners by providing a number of PoW mining methods. Today miners can use ASIC, GPU, CPU, or FPGA mining to help process transactions and secure the blockchain. The developers wanted such a setup because it allows for increased decentralization of the blockchain by giving users multiple ways to mine Digibyte.
Mining Digibyte is a bit more complex than other blockchains given the unique nature of the algorithms. If you would like an overview then you can read our step-by-step guide to mining Digibyte.
Team & History
The creator and founder of Digibyte is a developer and entrepreneur called Jared Tate. He has been developing Digibyte on a full-time basis since October 2013..
Since then he has received invitations from Harvard, MIT, and the U.S. government to speak on the subject of blockchain technology. He also co-authored the book Blockchain 2035: The Digital DNA of Internet 3.0, which was the first book written by a blockchain founder.
One of the defining characteristics of the Digibyte team is their integrity and trustworthy nature. Because they are all unpaid volunteers there is no greed or financial gain considered and all the team have only the best intentions to create the very best blockchain.
That is a refreshing take in an industry where high-priced ICOs and pre-mining can often create an atmosphere where members are more focused on the financial gains than the future of the project.
All of the Digibyte developers are unpaid volunteers who are devoting their time and offering their skills to advance a project they believe strongly in. Anyone is able to lend their skills to the Digibyte project, and all developers can freely build their own app on top of the Digibyte blockchain.
DigiByte Awareness Team
Not everyone is interesting in adding coding skills to the Digibyte efforts. Those who are non-technical can add their talents to the community driven outreach created by the Digibyte Awareness Team (DGBAT).
The members of the group are comprised not only of developers, but also of writers and educators. The group uses social media and other types of outreach to spread the word about the benefits of the Digibyte project.
Unlike other projects that have a Foundation which oversees the project in a centralized fashion, the Digibyte Foundation is a non-profit managed by volunteers. It works to promote and protect the fundamentals of decentralization.
Because there is no financial incentive for those working on the Digibyte project there has also been no signs of fraud or corruption. We’ve seen in the past that the decentralized nature of the Digibyte community leads to a self-improving system.
Whenever someone has the wrong intentions or repeatedly fails the system the entire community will notice and they will exclude that individual from future participation on the project.
The Digibyte Coin (DGB) was never pre-mined and did not have an ICO. They are only produced through mining. Eventually there will be a total supply of 21 billion DGB after which no more will be created. The blockchain was created this way with 1000x more coins than Bitcoin in order to allow for a greater distribution of DGB and ease of use as a transactional currency.
The DGB also differs from BTC in the way it reduces blockchain rewards. Rather than halving the rewards every 210,000 blocks, or roughly 4 years, like Bitcoin it reduces its block reward by 1% each month. By the year 2035 all DGB will have been mined and miners will then rely solely on transaction fees.
When it comes to storage of DGB, given that Digibyte has been around for so long there are a lot of wallets that support it. We recently looked at some of the best Digibyte wallets in a seperate post.
DGB Price History and Exchange Listings
Digibyte has seen the value of its native DGB token spike higher several times in its existence. The first time this occurred was in June 2017, when the price briefly reached $0.0566 after being at roughly $0.00035 for the preceding 12 months.
The second spike was at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 during the same spike that took almost every cryptocurrency massively higher. That spike ended with DGB hitting an all-time high of $0.142889 on January 14, 2018.
The price fell from that height and continued trending lower until reaching the 2016 levels around $0.00035 in mid-March 2020. And that’s where the third spike began.
As of early May 2020 DGB tokens have risen to $0.018921 and are still rising as of the writing of this piece. The token is up nearly 700% in six weeks, but there’s no clear indication why the spike is occurring.
Regarding the exchange listings for Digibyte, you can find it on OKEx, DigiFinex, Bittrex, and literally dozens of other exchanges. You won’t find it on Poloniex after the exchange delisted DGB in December 2019 following several tweets by DigiByte founder Jared Tate criticizing the exchange.
TRON founder and CEO Justin Sun, and Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao. It’s also not listed at Binance as the exchange has refused to list DGB, despite it winning a Binance community poll asking for it to be listed.
As a completely decentralized and volunteer run blockchain, the roadmap for the project is also open and anyone can make suggestions for changes or improvements. While this might seem like it could break down, the truth is that Digibyte has seen very steady and solid progress over its six years of existence.
Because DigiByte is being developed and supported by a Core-team and Community (all non-paid volunteers), they can never commit to dates to accomplish future projects. Therefore, please consider future projects to be flexible in time.
Rather than a Roadmap, the Core-team maintains a Pipeline on Github, which shows the items they would like to accomplish, whether there’s a bounty being offered, and whether it is currently being worked on.
Items currently being worked on as of May 2020 include the ProgPoW algorithm to support GPU mining, and Dividends for DigiAssets.
Digibyte is an interesting project when you consider the lack of understanding for the project outside its community, combined with the strong commitment and large size of said community. It’s volunteer development team has in many ways made far more progress than other blockchain projects attempting to create a transactional cryptocurrency that supplants Bitcoin.
Looking at the way the DGB token is rallying as of May 2020 it’s possible that Digibyte is finally ready for some acceptance and appreciation outside its own community. The market cap for the coin has almost reached $250 million, and continues rising strongly.
It is a shame that founder Jared Tate has been embroiled in a confrontation with the founders of Binance and TRON, but given the current rise in the DGB token it doesn’t seem like the lack of a Binance listing is holding DGB back.
With over six years of development it’s clear that Digibyte is here to stay, and its just as clear that the community will continue developing and improving the blockchain, while also getting the word out regarding the obvious benefits Digibyte brings in terms of security, scalability, efficiency, and speed.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.