What is Dash about?
Put simply, Dash is a variant of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency that operates on the same blockchain network. A blend of the words ‘digital’ and cash’, Dash coin has become one of the most talked about altcoins in recent months. It was originally launched under the name ‘XCoin’, before being altered to ‘Darkcoin’ and latterly Dash.
Arguably the biggest benefit of the Dash coin is that its transactions can be sent wholly anonymously, rather like fiat cash payments. This is achieved by using a mixing protocol, which operates an exclusive network of servers, known as Masternodes. While Bitcoin operates only a single-tier network of miners, Dash uses these Masternodes as an additional layer for its network, removing the need for trusted third-parties to authorise transactions that could compromise the anonymity of any payment.
Another key differentiator between Dash coin and Bitcoin is that the former splits mining reward between its mining community, participants that hold a specified amount of Dash and a long-term development fund for the Dash community.
What is its purpose?
There are three key issues that Dash coin was designed to solve – lack of privacy, sluggish transaction speeds and overall governance. Bitcoin is only capable of handling seven transactions each second. When you consider that Visa authorises 24,000 transactions within the same time, it’s clear that cryptocurrencies still have some way to go before usurping traditional payment methods.
However, if you’ve always wondered what is Dash about, let’s outline the ways in which this new altcoin attempts to address those three problems that are endemic throughout the crypto space. We’ve already touched upon the Masternodes, which help to facilitate the instant transfer of funds. It’s also important to discuss the PrivateSend functionality which is an in-built coin mixing model that enhances transaction anonymity and outperforms comparable altcoins like Monero and Zcash for privacy.
Finally, Dash coin decentralises its overall governance across its entire network of participants. Any individual on the Dash network can propose new features and amendments to improve the overall infrastructure. Each proposal is then voted on by the Masternodes. Providing there are more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes, the proposals can go forward and receive funding from the Dash block reward.
The team behind Dash
The senior figureheads behind what Dash is about are appointed by the Dash network and funded monthly by its blockchain to evolve the technological fundamentals of Dash. Ryan Taylor is the network’s CEO. Taylor is an expert in the payments industry, with more than 15 years of expertise in the FinTech sector.
Dash Core Group Inc. manages the maintenance and development of the Dash coin, but there are various other organisations and individuals that aren’t officially listed on the Dash website that have a handle on the Dash network.
How does DASH work?
What is Dash and how does its blockchain operate? In fact, it works in a similar way to the Bitcoin blockchain with several notable enhancements. Dash users can optionally choose PrivateSend when sending Dash to another user. This function masks the origin and destination address of Dash transactions.
Another enhancement is the ability to make instant payments. InstantSend payments cost slightly more than normal transactions but are executed immediately. The Dash network adds a further layer of efficiency and security with Masternodes. Masternodes are run by participants in the network that hold a minimum amount of Dash and facilitate InstantSend and PrivateSend transactions. These participants also decide on the direction of new development for the network.
These three enhancements are significant improvements over Bitcoin. While the Bitcoin protocol doesn’t disclose the names of
wallet holders, the wallet addresses are publicly visible. That means a wallet address and a name can sometimes be linked based
on transaction histories. Bitcoin is also limited when it comes to making small everyday payments – this is a limitation that
Dash uses a hybrid proof-of-work/proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Mining rewards are split 45%/45%/10% between miners, Masternodes and development grants. This contrasts with Bitcoin, where 100% of mining rewards go to miners. Dash has a similar maximum supply to Bitcoin of 18.9 million coins. As of 2018, just over 8 million Dash coin have been mined and all 18.9 million coins will be mined by around 2050.
Dash can be used with several well-known wallets. In addition to the Dash wallet that can be downloaded from the official Dash website, Dash is compatible with Ledger Nano S, Coinomi mobile wallets, Jaxx and Trezor. Dash is listed on most major exchanges, where Dash can be bought, sold or exchanged for €, $ and other major currencies.
Real life applications
If you are sceptical of what is Dash about, you’ll be heartened to hear that Dash coin has already teamed up with Amazon to offer Dash owners the chance to get 15% discounts on gift cards. Car sales firms in California, US have begun to accept Dash for all its services, while fertility clinics are also offering 10% discounts on a host of their services for using the Dash coin. It is clear Dash has the capability to become the next-generation digital cash for everyday consumer goods and services.
How does Dash compare to Bitcoin?
Bitcoin was the original cryptocurrency that helped shape the future of digital assets, but as the Bitcoin community expanded and the range of crypto coins grew, Bitcoin’s shortcomings quickly came to the fore. The creation of Dash coin was based around a desire to create a new cryptocurrency that wasn’t hamstrung by Bitcoin’s weaknesses.
Subsequently, Dash has become the first self-governed, self-funded cryptocurrency in the industry. While Bitcoin takes up to ten minutes to propagate a block and complete a transaction, Dash sends and confirms transactions within a matter of seconds. Furthermore, owners of Dash coin have the unique ability to make their transactions anonymous if they wish. That’s unlike Bitcoin users whose transactions can always be traced back to them.
How can you get DASH?
If you’ve read enough and you’re already wondering how to get Dash coin, you’re in luck – there are plenty of ways to get your hands on it.
You can buy it
You can buy Dash either through an exchange or a CFD provider, both have their pluses but for security reasons, we tend to lean towards CFD providers because they are held to account by regulatory boards (the ones we recommend anyway). Buying the coin itself also works but just make sure that the exchange you choose has a good reputation, see our list for details.
You can trade it
Furthermore, as trading platforms like eToro make it easy to open and close CFD positions, retail traders can take short-term positions on assets like Dash and make a profit within a matter of minutes. The well-regulated eToro platform displays statistics and up-to-date trading charts to enable cryptocurrency traders to pinpoint support and resistance areas in the Dash coin market. You can trade Dash on exchanges as well, binance, Coinexchange are two that offer this capability.
You can mine it
It is also possible to mine Dash. Its miners help to secure the Dash network by authorising transactions and creating new blocks to be linked to the Dash blockchain. It has to be said that mining Dash is a highly competitive industry to get into, as with most forms of cryptocurrency mining. You’ll need an ASIC miner in order to successfully profit, as CPU and GPU mining is no longer profitable for Dash miners.
Get it for free!
One of the main similarities between Bitcoin and Dash is that they both offer faucets that enable newcomers to cryptocurrencies to get tiny amounts of crypto coins for free. Faucets require users to solve captchas and complete minor tasks to be rewarded with Dash coin.
How to store DASH
Of course, like with Bitcoin, it’s important for owners of Dash to be able to store their digital assets securely and reliably in a cryptocurrency wallet. The best Dash wallets are the hardware wallets such as the Trezor and Ledger Nano S that allow users to store high volumes of Dash offline, with no threat of losing their funds to cyber-crime. Jaxx is also becoming a popular desktop and mobile wallet that supports Dash. Users’ private keys always remain on their primary device for additional security.
However, as previously discussed, trading the price of Dash using a CFD broker like eToro may be preferable if you don’t want the hassle of setting up and maintaining your crypto wallet. Our full eToro review explains why trading Dash is a simpler and quicker process. Rival CFD broker, 24Option is also a solid choice as it is also fully-regulated. However, somewhat bizarrely, 24 Option users must make an initial deposit before they can try their demo accounts.
DASH price, market cap & supply
At the time of writing, the price of Dash sits just under $200. Its market cap is subsequently valued at $1.68 billion, while the available supply of Dash coin stands at around 8.31 million out of an entire 22 million coins.
DASH advantages & disadvantages
√ Small transactions can be settled almost instantly
√ Dash owners given the option of making 100% anonymous transactions
√ Widespread potential real-world applications
√ Wholly decentralised and self-governed network
X PrivateSend transactions can be slow if the network lacks activity
X Scaling issues have been reported on the main Dash blockchain
X Tokens locked up by Masternodes could lead to long-term liquidity issues if Masternode owners invest their wealth elsewhere