While the price of Dogecoin has slowed, Dogecoin developers and Elon Musk’s tweets have not. Dogecoin is expected to receive a rather large upgrade in the near future.
The new upgrades for Dogecoin include two separate proposals from developer Patrick Lodder. The first proposal was made on March 14th and will add some features similar to Bitcoin that remove certain bugs and open the chain to more possibilities.
The second, and very recent proposal, includes a greatly reduced transaction fee that will lower the average fee by 100x, among other things.
When asked when these changes would be released, Patrick Lodder said that it depends on how the 1.14.4 release goes.
“After we see how the 1.14.4 release gets picked up by the network, we can set some timelines. Until then we really don’t know. I still hope that we can release 1.14.4 this month. If we can make that happen, we should have better insight into deployment timelines for the actual fee recommendation mid-August.”
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The series of updates, which will be led by update 1.14.4’s fee changes, will bring some features that exist on Bitcoin to Dogecoin, including segregated witness (SegWit), which lowers the threat of transaction malleability and increases block capacity.
In Bitcoin’s past, transaction malleability was a bug where someone could alter codes that identified transactions in a way that made it impossible to tell if a withdrawal had occurred.
Using the small bug a user could effectively request a withdrawal, change the code so that this action couldn’t be seen, and then request another withdrawal, causing an exchange to send Bitcoin out of its own pocket, doubling that user’s holdings.
While many exchanges were aware of this and had implemented solutions on the exchange level to halt the problem, a less technically equipped exchange known as Mt. Gox was not, which partially led to its infamous downfall.
Aside from a reduction in transaction malleability, SegWit also increases the storage capacity of blocks by separating parts of data in a transaction. With SegWit, the ‘witness,’ which contains the data needed to check a transaction’s validity, is separated from the rest, allowing more inputs or transactions per block while still maintaining valid transactions.
Dogecoin will also be getting what is called ‘Check Sequence Verify’ (CSV), which allows Bitcoin to enable payment channels like the Lightning Network that greatly scale its ability to handle higher transaction volumes.
The combination of SegWit and CSV allowed for the possibility for the Lightning Network on Bitcoin, so this upgrade opens up many new possibilities for Dogecoin.
Aside from a huge reduction in average fees, the more recent update proposal will lower the minimum relay fee or the minimum fee a transaction must pay for a node to relay the transaction across the network. Another factor that will change is Dogecoin’s dust relay transaction fee.
If someone tries to send a minuscule amount of Dogecoin that has a value lower than this set fee, it is considered ‘dust.’ The higher the dust relay transaction fee, the harder it is to send tiny amounts of Dogecoin.
This can become problematic should the value of a coin greatly increase. If its value were to increase, what was previously considered ‘dust’ may now actually have a higher value relative to dollars. The proposal aims to decrease the dust relay transaction fee. Should Dogecoin’s value increase in the future, this will enable easier microtransactions.
In total, Dogecoin’s new updates will lower transactions fees, lower dust limits, slightly increase blocksize (scale transactions), reduce the potential for transaction malleability and allow for payment channels similar to the ones seen with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.
So, Dogecoin is getting a much-needed facelift that brings it closer to the level of Bitcoin, at least with its more basic functions like SegWit. Dogecoin is still lightyears behind in terms of projects being built on its network, but these updates will make the network more functional and unlock potentially more interesting capabilities for the future. In general, these changes are beneficial for the memecoin that has typically been thought of as a useless satire on the industry.