In this week's interview, we discuss the implementation of masternodes in an existing blockchain with DigitalCoin co-founder Baritus. DigitalCoin was announced on May 2013 on BitcoinTalk and recently implemented masternodes with a collateral of 10,000 DGC.

DigitalCoin is now the 2nd oldest coin with masternodes. When you started this project in May 2013, what were your expectations for 2018?

Back in 2013, the cryptocurrency scene was still in its infancy when compared to the present. I didn’t have many expectations other than to provide a fair cryptocurrency (no ICO, pre-mine, or other centralized funding) that the community could decide the direction of based on their needs.

When mining diversified from Sha256d and Scrypt to a multitude of algorithms, the community decided they wanted to mine with whatever hardware was available to them. The aforementioned algorithms as well as x11 are now available and that’s how Digitalcoin became a multi-algorithm crypto.

Masternodes came about in a very similar way. Popular demand showed us that there was a lot of interest in it which was confirmed by a community wide poll. As soon as we knew what people wanted, we started working on modifying the protocol to support multi-algorithm as well as Masternodes.

The Discord mentioned rewards can only start when mining pools move over to v5. When can we expect this to happen?

There is no set time frame but we have all developers helping pools to upgrade so that it can be completed as soon as possible.

All the significant mining pools have signaled that they will switch and they are in the process as we speak. Some have already switched. We would like as smooth a transition as possible.

What is the miners' incentive for them to do so, because they will lose a share of their rewards to masternode operators. And v4 doesn't have a deprecation date.

With v5 core, we also now have Spork available to the developers. We can use our developer keys to enforce the protocol once we are sure there will not be much disruption to the users, miners, pools, and exchanges.

We have seen a lot of swaps lately, where coins are being moved to a new blockchain instead of upgrading their current wallet. The downside of this is losing your blockchain history. How difficult was it to upgrade to a wallet that supports masternodes?

Swaps are mostly done by developers who do not understand blockchain fundamentals or for ICOs going from a token to a standalone network.

It was much more difficult to upgrade the blockchain this way as the v5 wallet has to support the pre-Masternode network until Masternode enforcement begins with Spork activation.

Were there any downsides in doing this? For example, the encoding of private keys changing, making it impossible to import your old keys in the new wallet.

We maintained full compatibility between wallet versions so that we could first distribute the new protocol to all stakeholders before forcing a swap. I believe Digitalcoin’s process for adding Masternodes is the best implementation so far since it causes no disruption.

To simplify the transition even further, we have one click Masternode setup and set the collateral to a level that the majority could reach.

Distribution of block rewards are 25% for masternodes and 75% for miners, slowly increasing to 50%/50% by the end of the year. What was the reason behind this decision?

Digitalcoin is about providing a stable currency that can still evolve to meet the community’s needs. Slowing down the transition from pure proof of stake to rewards split with Masternodes is the best way to do that. It gives us a period of time to analyze the effect of Masternodes and the lower mining rewards before rewards start being split.

Moving forward, we intent on integrating innovations that the community supports while maintaining stability and allowing people to transact without fear of their keys becoming obsolete.