Dash, the open-source, proof-of-work blockchain, is down following a recent hard fork failure. The flaw is preventing the network from generating blocks, effectively preventing users from securely transferring value or making payments.
Dash Blockchain Is Down
As of May 23, the Dash blockchain explorer shows that the last block of transactions was confirmed roughly 28 hours ago. The network halt coincides with a failed upgrade on May 22 which would have seen the platform’s code updated to v19.0.0.
The bug in the failed hard fork relates to how the consensus algorithm in v19.0.0 was supposed to be implemented. It made the network unstable, forcing block generation offline.
The start date of the hard fork has since been delayed to June 14. However, developers scrambled to release a temporary fix roughly 13 hours after errors in block generation were noted.
Released in April 2023, v19.0.0 was meant to improve BLS signatures, reducing block size and helping further scale the network. Enhancing these signatures would have also made the blockchain more efficient and reliable.
Other changes included implementing a high-performance masternode and improving the core wallet. Masternodes serve various functions, including powering some of the platform’s core features like PrivateSend and InstantSend.
The “InstantSend” feature allows users to send payments instantaneously without on-chain confirmation. This feature can be used with “PrivateSend,” a tool that mixes transactions and obfuscates transaction trails.
Developers have since released version v19.1.0, a “minor version release, bringing various bug fixes and other improvements,” acknowledging the bug in the v19.0.0. This release, they add, is mandatory, and all validators must integrate.
An extract from v19.1.0 instructions on GitHub reads:
The start date for the v19 Hard Fork has been delayed until June 14th. The earliest hard fork date will be roughly two weeks after that date. A new version will be required before this date to ensure a smooth, hard fork.
Meanwhile, the v19.0.0 release notes link has since been pulled down.
On May 22, Samuel Westrich, the chief technical officer (CTO), said they are still investigating the issue but will continue updating the community on Twitter.
However, while the team was investigating the issuer, another developer working on Dash core, the main code running the blockchain, said they were “balancing the desire to fix these issues and the need to continue block formation.”
Even amid this, the developer warned that “blocks and transactions on the Dash network that are not ChainLocked and not InstantSend locked should not be assumed to have true finality.”