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Dash, the rising alternative to bitcoin, today unleashed its highly anticipated software upgrade, version 12.1 (codenamed Sentinel), in preparation for the launch of its revolutionary decentralized payments system, Evolution. The network upgrade, which includes feature additions and significant improvements to backend protocols, governance, voting and privacy functions, represented the largest redesign in Dash’s three-year history. During its comprehensive testing and validation phase, the release was already drawing widespread buzz from the community; since Founder Evan Duffield published an update on Sentinel’s impending release on January 2, Dash’s market capitalization soared 75% in four weeks. It reached its highest ever market cap, eclipsing $123 million USD, and recently overtook Ethereum Classic as the sixth most valuable cryptocurrency in the world.

Dash Director of Finance Ryan Taylor said, “In our ongoing quest to prioritize the user experience, our talented development team has created Sentinel to provide an underlying architecture that’s easier to use and more attractive to mainstream adopters of Dash. We vastly improved the speed of our end user privacy features, improved access to information on the network’s budget and voting system, and created a much more stable and robust governance system that enables changes to the network without requiring additional software upgrades.”

Sentinel will include a large-scale decentralized programmable database solution, which will allow updates to the Dash network to be executed at a rapid pace. No other cryptocurrency has a mechanism to support updates through a programmable interface.

“This system will allow us to quickly iterate and improve our governance and modify it as we scale to meet our ever-changing needs. Managing a budget of $1.4 million a year is very different than when we started our governance system. With triple digit growth rates, we need a system that can scale with us,” said Taylor.

Sentinel sets the foundation for the industry’s first decentralized payments system offering near-free merchant fees, no consumer fees, instant transactions, an integrated marketplace, interest bearing accounts, and a rich online banking-like interface.

Evolution will compete with the likes of PayPal and Venmo, but boasts far more perks. It can be used seamlessly on web and mobile devices without an intermediary, it comes with hack-proof savings accounts, enhanced security, traditional bank account integration, and of most significance, the ability to make free cross border remittances and payments anywhere, at anytime.

Founder of Dash Evan Duffield said, “Evolution will profoundly change the user experience and expand the cryptocurrency market to users from all walks of life by making it easy to use and relevant to people’s lives. It’s my belief that digital currencies will never be the same after Evolution, in the same way we would never consider going back to a text-only internet.”

Prior to the release of 12.1, leading blockchain governance company and masternode hosting provider, Node40, actively tested it for months.

CEO of Node40 Perry Woodin said “No other version of Dash has undergone such rigorous testing and validation. The new release serves as the innovative backbone to Evolution, and as its capabilities start to trickle out to the public, we’re going to see lots of parallel innovation from developers who see integration points with the new platform. Up until now, the industry has seen innovation centered on blockchain technology. With the development of Evolution, we’re going to see innovation centered on Dash.”

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