What Is Dash?

Dash (formerly Darkcoin) is a blockchain-based peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that was forked out of Bitcoin to offer faster and more private transactions to users than Bitcoin could deliver. Dash is a blendword for Digital Cash and its currency symbol in the markets is DASH.

Key Takeaways

  • Dash is a popular blockchain-based cryptocurrency, or 'alt-coin', that features quicker confirmation times and greater privacy features than Bitcoin.
  • Formerly known as Xcoin and Darkcoin, Dash was initially a Bitcoin fork that sought to address some of Bitcoin's weaknesses: namely the 10-minute block confirmation time.
  • In addition, Dash utilizes automatic coinjoin services to better anonymize all transactions.

Understanding Dash

Dash was launched in January 2014 as Xcoin, and quickly changed its name to Darkcoin. In March 2015, Darkcoin was re-branded as Dash. Dash was created as a fork of Bitcoin, which means it duplicated Bitcoin’s existent code and made it better by addressing the issues users faced with Bitcoin.

So apparent flaws and weaknesses in Bitcoin is absent in Dash, making both digital coins substantially different in terms of efficiency. As an alternative to Bitcoin, Dash provides a faster and more anonymous service to its users.

One of the setbacks of using Bitcoin is the slow rate at which funds are transferred, confirmed, and visible in a recipient’s account. It could take minutes or even hours for a transaction to be confirmed and finalized using the Bitcoin system. With Dash, however, it takes seconds to confirm a transaction.

While a number of other cryptocurrencies also offer instantaneous confirmed transactions like Dash, not all of them lock down these transactions once they are made. Consider a buyer who purchases goods from a seller and sends his payment If the system confirms the payment but does not lock the amount down, the buyer could make another purchase using the same funds that should have been restricted in the first place.

In the crypto world, this phenomenon is called the Double Spending issue. The InstantSend (previously called InstantX) feature available to Dash users solves the double spending issue by barring the amount of money that is sent without having to wait for a block confirmation to consider the transaction confirmed.

Privacy and Masternodes

Dash has a coinjoin mixing technique called PrivateSend (previously called DarkSend) which anonymizes the transactions carried out by its users. Coinjoin mixes the transactions of multiple parties as one transaction, instead of separate transactions.

For example, three funds transfers from A to D, B to E, and C to F, will be read on the blockchain as A, B, C to D, E, F. This way, there’s no sure way of identifying who received funds from who and in what amount. With PrivateSend, at least three different users are required to conduct transactions which will be merged together to obscure the funds trail. The senders and receivers have to submit the same Dash denominations, and the limit per session is 1,000 DASH.

Dash runs on a network known as Masternode. Masternode runs the Dash digital wallet, facilitates transaction locking under InstantSend, coordinates coin mixing through PrivateSend, and enables a decentralized governance platform.

Wider Acceptance

In 2017, Dash entered into a partnership with web-based platform, Wall of Coins. Wall of Coins provides a peer-to-peer platform that allows users to buy and sell Dash with cash. It also opens up an avenue where users can buy and sell the cryptocurrency at traditional financial service institutions such as Wells Fargo, MoneyGram, Chase, and Western Union. Dash support has also been added to several popular wallet services such as blockchain.info.

As of November 2019, DASH was number 19 on the list of top cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. DASH was trading at $72.50 with a market cap of $661 million.