New Tech: DVS - Dynamic Value Sporks

We finished coding a new technology that’s part of Divi’s advanced governance system. DVS stands for “Dynamic Value Sporks” and we think that within the crypto space, it's unique to Divi’s blockchain. If anyone has seen something like this done before in crypto governance, we'd like to know about it.

What is a spork?

So what is a spork? It's neither a hard fork or a soft fork, but something different. Invented by blockchain genius Evan Duffield, the founder of Dash, sporks allow someone to change certain characteristics of the blockchain without forking.

Sporks normally work in a binary way. On/off only. Whoever built the blockchain would build the sporks into it, with pre-determined values. For example, one might have a spork that flips the transaction cost between two values. Or, a spork could turn a feature on and off.

How do you activate a spork? Traditionally the founder/coder of the blockchain would have a private key, kept secret, for each spork. They would activate the spork with this key, and the change would rapidly transmit from node to node until the entire network is changed in less than a minute.

The problem with sporks

Sporks are a form of centralized control, and are very limited because every value in them needs to be pre-determined when the blockchain is coded. Many people object to the centralization of spork power. As an example, Dash had some controversy over a rumored master-key that can reset the blockchain back 24 hours, controlled only by the founder:

How Divi is solving the spork problem

Divi’s novel solution allows for ANY VALUE to be set for a spork, rather than only pre-set on/off values that are hard-coded into the blockchain. It accomplishes this by having a mini database system that records all the previous spork values that apply to a given range of blocks in the chain. Thus, a blockchain client that's trying to understand the data in the chain knows how to decode it, and can sync with it properly.

Controlling DVS via Governance

To begin with, the Divi team will be the only ones with access to the private keys to control these sporks. This will help us to tune our blockchain quickly without sending out updates. However, later we will build this process into our governance system.

Coin holders will be able to make proposals to change some of the blockchain values, a discussion/debate will follow, and then if passed by popular vote, the changes will happen nearly instantly throughout the entire network.

What sporks will Divi have?

The sporks currently coded into Divi’s blockchain are for:

  • Block award amount (starting at 1250 DIVI per block.)
  • Percentage distribution of block awards between masternodes, stakers, treasury, and charity.
  • Transaction fee algorithm values. Four variables relating to transaction value and size can be changed via sporks. (To be explained in another article.)
  • Lottery Block minimum stake required to participate.

We may add to this list later, but this is what we're starting with.

Blockchain Governance

Our intention is to build the world's most technically advanced, democratic, and flexible governance system, and set Divi free to be managed by our coin holders. As founders, I can honestly tell you that turning over power to the masses is a difficult concept to imagine at this point. However, The Divi Project is blessed with a highly intelligent community of stakeholders, and we are confident they will make good decisions for Divi's future. Eventually, Divi will be fully managed by our community, with control released over several stages. DVS is just one of the ways that we will do this.

Also, we’re open to a new acronym for DVS, so we’d love to hear your suggestions if you can think of something catchier.