Dash unveils Long Living Masternode Quorums to counter scalability issues
Dash has recently unveiled Long Living Masternode Quorums [LLMQs], a work in progress, which has been developed to address issues faced by the older quorum system. LLMQs are seen as a solution to the scalability and consensus issues faced by the earlier system, which were explained by Alexander Block – a developer working at Dash Core Group – in an earlier blog post.
For those who may not be aware, a quorum is a collection of entities that are able to vote on something. The point of distinction between LLMQs and other normal quorums is that they can be reused for a definite time period instead of producing it each time when demanded.
According to the post, LLMQs “only increase the required resources (CPU, RAM, network) on the members of such quorums, instead of increasing the load on the whole network”.
Since LLMQs only require members of the quorum to perform the propagation and validation of individual votes and since many LLMQs will be active simultaneously, the load on the network remains well distributed.
In contrast, regular quorums require the propagation of each individual vote of each member of a quorum. Propagation refers to all nodes present in the network receiving votes which need to be verified and stored.
However, the final size of LLMQs is still under consideration. With these new quorums, the Dash network has the potential of improving itself in terms of scalability.
Leveraging LLMQs to upgrade features of Dash network
Block further stated that “LLMQ performs M-of-N threshold signing sessions to gain majority consensus when decisions need to be made”. In order to achieve this, a trustless and distributed key generation (DKG) protocol is required before the actual signing/voting.
He has also stated,“[a]ll BLS signatures are deterministic and unique, which means that there is only one valid signature for every combination of message and keys”. BLS or Boneh-Lynn-Shacham in the cryptographic field helps the user with the verification of a signer’s authenticity.
LLMQs have already been implemented, and is not merely a proof of concept. For now, it has been implemented as a platform for future use cases which require LLMQs.
Block also explained some of the use cases for these new quorums. The first use case for LLMQs is InstantSend. the quorums can be implemented by making LLMQ members threshold sign the inputs of observed transactions.
Other use cases directly involve features related to the upcoming Dash platform Evolution. The developers are currently studying use cases which improve more non-Evolution related features.
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