Fundamental Analysis: DigiByte [DGB]

BBOD Rating [05/03/2019]


ACCUMULATE: An opportunity to buy a medium risk cryptocurrency at a low price

Overview


Currency CodeDGB
Transaction Start Date10/02/2014
Current Rank#43
Total Supply21,000,000,000
Circulating Supply11,509,175,132
Protocol TypeBlockchain Platform
Base ProtocolDGB
Where to trade with leverageBBOD
Where To BuyHuobi, Bittrex, Poloniex, Upbit

Problem to Solve


DigitByte aims to solve some of the key perceived shortcomings of the Bitcoin Blockchain. Although, project founder Jared Tate does not necessarily want to directly compete with the titan that is Bitcoin. Instead, he proposes an alternative for a community of individuals who believe improvements are necessary for mainstream adoption. As such, the project focuses its efforts on two distinct aspects which are viewed by many as obstacles to overcome in order for Bitcoin to function as an immutable currency, rather than a store of value. Whether illusive Satoshis Nakamoto intentions were to create an everyday currency or a store of value are outside the scope of this report, although personally, I would argue the latter.

Speed

Regardless, the speed of confirmations on the Bitcoin Blockchain means transacting fractional amounts is cumbersome and cost ineffective. In order for a transaction to be confirmed, on the Bitcoin network, one needs to wait for 6 confirmations, with each block confirmation taking approximately 10 minutes, totalling an hour. This simply does not work in retail environments where transactions are currently made in a matter of seconds using traditional intermediaries such as Visa and Mastercard. Although there have been efforts to introduce faster transactions by utilising a protocol known as the lightning network, nothing yet has come to fruition. Moreover, the limited supply of 21 million Bitcoin means its divisibility becomes questionable when working as a means of transfer. In the future, one might have to divide a Bitcoin into a single satoshi, 8 decimal places smaller than a Bitcoin itself. This is time-consuming and not especially user-friendly for small purchases.

Security

Additionally, some have questioned the security of the Bitcoin network, as although the Bitcoin Blockchain is incredibly robust at current, it only utilises one mining method. This may become a threat in the future, as those who can afford to mine Bitcoin will need to spend large amounts of money on extremely advanced hardware. Ultimately, this could lead to several centralised mining corporations controlling the network, making the likelihood of a 51% Blockchain attack more feasible. This may seem far-fetched but it is a genuine community concern for the long-term success of the Bitcoin protocol.

Solution


Speed

In order to circumvent the issue of speed, DigiByte’s [DGB] block time is 40x faster than that of Bitcoin, processing each individual block within 15 seconds as opposed to 10 minutes. Consequently, the DigiByte Blockchain is now the longest in the word, despite being introduced 5 years after Bitcoin. Superior block speed allows DigiByte to handle approximately 560 transactions per second, whereas Bitcoin can currently only handle 8 transactions. Such an achievement was the result of DigiByte becoming the first cryptocurrency in the market to implement segregated witness (SegWit). Essentially, SegWit separates transaction confirmations from the transaction information on the Blockchain, making the ledger more compact.

Clearly, fast transaction speeds afford DGB some ability to compete as a means of transfer in traditional retail markets, with Bitcoin currently being undeniably useless for fast payments. For example, Visa currently processes approximately 2000 transactions per second, only around 4x quicker than DigiByte. To put things in perspective, Visa was founded 60 years ago in 1958 and DigiByte in 2014. The DigiByte protocol doubles block processing times every two years, thus if successfully implemented, DigiByte will outpace monopolies of the payment world within 4 years. This is an incredibly exciting prospect and certainly rare in the cryptocurrency space. If DigiByte were to achieve such a feat and keep pace with industry giants, then the project would unquestionably gain large amounts of publicity, with the potential for mass adoption.

Moreover, whereas Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million coins, DigiByte has 21 Billion, decreasing the amount DGB needs to be divided in order to be used for a means of transfer. For example, a cup of tea may cost you 0.0005 Bitcoin as opposed to 150 DigiByte. Consumers enjoy dealing in whole numbers as opposed to decimal figures and so this ensures the usability of the currency for small transactions remains highly functional.

Security

In order to improve upon the immense security of the Bitcoin network, DigiByte has implemented a unique mining protocol which ensures centralisation of the network by large actors is even less possible. They have achieved this by splitting mining activities into five separate pools of miners, as opposed to Bitcoins singular pool. Each separate pool requires a different level of algorithm difficulty, allowing for a more diverse and decentralised group of miners to maintain the security of the network. For instance, the immense amount of computational power it takes to mine Bitcoin means it simply isn’t feasible anymore for small actors. Contrary, DigiByte can be mined using a variety of different levels of computational power, ranging from personal computers to more sophisticated ASIC rigs which are now essential in Bitcoin mining. This has enabled the DigiByte network to span six continents with over 100,000 nodes. Ultimately, this makes centralisation of DigiByte’s distributed network impossible.

Moreover, DigiByte has implemented a multi-shield protocol coined Digishield. Essentially, Digishield prevents one of the mining algorithms from becoming dominant by constantly adjusting the difficulty of each algorithm as soon as the computational power becomes familiar with it. Eradicating the ability for miners with more processing power to manipulate smaller mining pools. Sophisticated difficulty adjustments further the case for preventing malicious centralised takeovers of the network and makes the DigiByte network one of the most secure in the world. In fact, after the success of Digishield, many other cryptocurrencies have implemented the same strategy on their own Blockchains. This continual technological foresight is ultimately why DigiByte has such a large community who believe the project is at the cutting edge of Blockchain technology and will continue to lead the way in the future.

Catalysts


Forward-Thinking Tech: DigiByte excels at being a true innovator in the cryptocurrency marketplace in terms of their underlying technology. They were the first blockchain project to implement SegWit successfully allowing for incredibly fast transactions. Whilst Digishield immense security has become widely used after it was implemented on the project. This forward-thinking approach may be unnoticed by many but should ensure DigiByte keeps pace with industry giants for when mass adoption becomes a reality.

Introduction of Futures contracts: BBOD, the world’s major cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, has announced that it is launching Digibyte futures contracts with up to 25x leverage. Digibytye was selected as one of 16 most popular and promising projects with the most enthusiastic community ( along with Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS) .

Means of Transfer: If Blockchain technology is to be understood by the mainstream market then layman will need to see simple interactions work in practice. DigiByte provides a means of transfer which has the potential to rival huge multinationals such as Visa and Mastercard in traditional retail environments within 4 years. Regardless of this, the project could be an excellent means of transfer for remittances as it currently stands, with Western Union charging extortionate fees for 3-5 day transfers as opposed to DigiByte’s minimal fees transferring within 15 seconds. Remittances certainly have the potential to become their leading market in the future.

Risk Factors


Fierce Competition: When the project launched in 2014, Bitcoin was still the dominant cryptocurrency, although it did not possess the world standing it has today. Competing with the biggest cryptocurrency in the marketplace is not an easy task. The success of DigiByte will likely stem from a move away from their comparison to Bitcoin and towards how unrivalled speed and security allow DigiByte to become one of the first cryptocurrencies to become a successful means of everyday transfer rather than Bitcoins competency as a store of value.

Adoption: The extremely decentralised nature of the DigiByte project leaves the founder Jared Tate at the helm with little team member support for necessary marketing and business strategy activities. Despite this, the project is propped up by a large community of individuals who believe in the cutting-edge technology, perhaps a testament of what the project could become a more aggressive marketing strategy. Whether the focus, for now, is purely on excelling at becoming the most technologically advanced cryptocurrency is up for debate, but if this is the case it should be communicated to DigiByte’s dedicated community.

Conclusion


DigiByte constantly strives to ensure the underlying technology of the protocol is cutting edge in an already incredibly innovative ecosystem. Although marketing certainly isn’t the projects strong suit, the continual foresight for implementing technical updates before anyone else in the industry, such as SegWit and DigiShield, speaks a thousand words. If the project can continue on its current trajectory with continual speed and security updates, it has a real chance of becoming ‘the’ immutable currency the industry adopts. If this is proven correct, DigiByte will gain enormous amounts of publicity and most importantly has the potential to fuel the day to day adoption that the cryptocurrency ecosystem currently needs. Certainly, one to keep a close eye on as it quietly continues to succeed.


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BBOD Rating Standard


BUY: A low-risk buying opportunity

ACCUMULATE: An opportunity to buy a medium risk cryptocurrency at a low price

SPEC BUY: A speculative opportunity for investors with a higher risk tolerance

HOLD: Maintain current levels of position until further research is published

SELL: Investment is associated with the potential of losing capital



Disclaimer BBOD Research is an independent cryptocurrency research-house. The company has not received any remuneration (cryptocurrency or otherwise) in preparing this analysis. This report has been prepared solely for informative purposes and should not be the basis for making investment decisions or be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions or be taken to suggest an investment strategy in respect of any financial instruments or the issuers thereof. This report has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No 596/2014. Reports issued by Trade the Future Holding (“BBOD Research”) or its affiliates are not related to the provision of advisory services regarding investment, tax, legal, financial, accounting, consulting or any other related services and are not recommendations to buy, sell, or hold an asset. The information contained in this report is based on sources considered to be reliable, but not guaranteed, to be accurate or complete. Any opinions or estimates expressed herein reflect a judgment made as of this date and are subject to change without notice. BBOD Research will not be liable whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from the use of this publication/communication or its contents. Trade the Future Holding and its affiliates hold positions in digital assets and may now or in the future hold a position in the subject of this research.