Hey guys :) I’m back with another comprehensive list of questions and answers, this time for the incredibly popular and well-established digital cash cryptocurrency – Dash (DASH).
This piece lays everything out on the line so that you can fully understand what Dash is and what makes it so special. The article is very similar to my latest articles on Zcash (ZEC), Cardano (ADA), and Tezos (XTZ).
If you haven’t already seen those ones, be sure to check them out as well.
Hope you enjoy!
The list of Q&A is pretty long so first comes the list of questions that I have prepared the answers to:
- What is Zcash (ZEC)?
- Who and When Created Zcash?
- What is Zcash’s (ZEC) use Case?
- What Algorithm Does Zcash Use?
- Is Zcash a Privacy Coin (Anonymous)?
- How is Zcash different from Monero?
- Can you mine Zcash?
- Does Zcash have an explorer?
- Is Zcash centralized?
- How long does the Zcash transaction take?
- Where to store Zcash?
- Where to Buy Zcash?
1. What is Dash?
Dash website homepage
Dash, with the ticker ‘DASH’, is a digital currency that enables anyone, anywhere in the world to make quick, easy, and cheap payments at any time without going through a central authority.
The Dash cryptocurrency is open-source and based on a decentralized peer-to-peer blockchain network that was originally forked from the Bitcoin protocol. Dash provides its users with a portable, inexpensive, divisible, and fast digital cash that can be used on the internet and in the real world.
The goal for Dash is to offer financial freedom to everyone and to be used as a practical alternative to cash and credit cards.
“Dash gives you the freedom to move your money any way you want. Grab a coffee, split a check, or pay your phone bill. Dash moves money anywhere, to anyone, instantly, for less than a cent.” – Dash website
Key Advantages of Dash (DASH)
- Irreversible transactions
- Optional Anonymity
Dash is a peer-to-peer decentralized cryptocurrency that is not dependent on any third party or central authority. With Dash, you (the user) are put in full control of your money. It can be sent, or received by anyone, anywhere in the world at any time.
Dash transactions are instant and final. With Dash, merchants are protected from expensive fraudulent chargebacks.
Dash payments are cryptographically secure on the decentralized Dash blockchain. Transactions are verifiable by both parties without requiring any identifying personal information in the transaction.
Dash transactions are visible to the entire network within 1-2 seconds and are settled on-chain within 2 minutes and 39 seconds.
Dash transactions often cost less than 1 cent and only go up during times of heavy usage.
Dash transactions are public and transparent by default but can also be private through the PrivateSend function. Sending transactions through the PrivateSend feature offers participants transaction anonymity, making it impossible to track funds on the blockchain.
2. Who and When Created Dash?
Dash Founder, Evan Duffield
Dash was founded by Evan Duffield, who forked code from the Bitcoin protocol and launched Dash on January 18, 2014.
Duffield was an early Bitcoin adopter who came across Bitcoin in 2010 and quickly became intrigued by the technology. However, he wasn’t very impressed by Bitcoin’s slow transaction speed and its lack of privacy.
He had various ideas on how to make Bitcoin function better but was never able to get them implemented on Bitcoin because that would require significant changes to Bitcoin’s core code, which is something Bitcoin’s core members would never allow.
That said, Duffield took it upon himself to take Bitcoin’s core code and create his own cryptocurrency with various changes and improvements.
When Dash first launched, it was named "Xcoin" and later rebranded as Darkcoin, in which time it received press for being used in darknet markets. Then, once again, in March 2015, it rebranded for the last time with the name Dash.
Dash Launch and Issuance
The Dash cryptocurrency has a rather controversial launch and issuance as it involved a 2-day ‘instamine’ or ‘premine’ equating to nearly 2 million DASH, which is ~10% of the total supply that will ever be issued.
According to Dash’s founder, Evan Duffield, this premine was the result of a bug. However, there are many people who beg to differ.
To ‘resolve’ the situation, the majority of these instamined coins were sold for very low prices on exchanges. However, it is widely believed that most of these coins were simply scooped up by Evan Duffield and the Dash core team for incredibly low prices.
Adding to the Dash launch and issuance controversy are the following points:
- Duffield released Dash before its intended release date (which means the instamine that occurred can be classified as a premine).
- Dash’s instamine happened because Dash was launched with a block reward of 500 coins per block before it was abruptly cut 2 days later after 2million coins were instamined.
- Initially, Dash was only minable on Linux, which could have been intended so that fewer people would mine Dash and Duffield and Dash’s core team could dominate mining (over 90% of all computers use the Windows operating system).
- Evan Duffield was able to temporarily mine Dash by himself for a while when the public miner wasn't working.
- Dash was initially meant to have a max supply of 80 million DASH, but Evan Duffield held an obscure poll where the majority of the voters voted to reduce the Dash max coin supply from 80million to 20million (which instantly made the instamined DASH worth more).
All in all, Dash’s launch is shrouded in controversy, and it's clear that Evan Duffield and Dash developers benefited tremendously from how everything went down.
3. What does Dash stand for?
Dash is a portmanteau (blend word) for 'digital cash’ and its taglines are:
“DASH – Instant transactions and micro-fees. Any amount, anytime, anywhere.”
“DASH – Your Money. Your Way.”
“DASH – Move Dash in a second for less than a cent. Any amount, anytime, anywhere.”
4. Where is Dash Being Used?
Dash is being used around the world as an alternative to cash and credit cards due to its low fees and fast transactions.
In particular, Dash is being used in regions where traditional payment systems are difficult to access, or where hyperinflation has made existing currencies impractical to use.
For instance, Dash is being used and is popularized in parts of Africa and South America. Various Dash projects are being pushed in developing countries such as Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Kenya, as well as in Venezuela and Brazil.
Dash (DASH) for Individuals
Individuals can use Dash to shop online in the US, or at a local grocery in Venezuela. It can be used to buy coffee, to buy software online, to top up your phone bill, and so much more. Dash can be spent at thousands of retailers and services both online and in the real world.
To see a full list of places, products, and services where you can spend DASH, visit discoverdash.com to find the best places to eat, drink, and shop with Dash nearest to you.
And to find a DASH ATM where you can exchange fiat for DASH and vice versa, just use the DASH ATM locator powered by Coin ATM Radar.
Dash for Businesses
Businesses around the world can easily begin accepting Dash as there are many payment processing providers that enable businesses to easily begin accepting DASH payments without any development skills required. A full list of eCommerce and Point-of-Sale payment providers supporting DASH can be found here.
5. How is Dash Different Than Bitcoin?
Dash has the following important differences from Bitcoin:
- Transaction speed
- Transaction fees
- Community and governance
- Treasury system
- Privacy features
Dash has implemented a feature called ‘InstantSpend’, which enables secure instant transactions based on the masternode network instead of waiting for confirmation in a block. This InstantSpend feature can confirm Dash transactions in just 1-2 seconds, even though Dash block times are 2 minutes and 39 seconds.
Bitcoin transactions can only be confirmed after 10 minutes, at the fastest. This is because Bitcoin block times are ~10 minutes and the block must be added on-chain for the Bitcoin transaction to be confirmed.
Dash transaction fees are typically much lower than Bitcoin transaction fees. Dash transactions often cost less than 1 cent and average around 2 cents while Bitcoin transaction fees often cost many cents or several dollars if you want the transaction to go through relatively quickly.
Community and Governance
Dash has a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) run by a subset of its users, which are called "masternodes". These masternodes perform a number of functions including governance with a formal voting system.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is governed by peer review. Changes or improvements in Bitcoin can be made, but only through a rough consensus among its most active and influential contributors. This makes Bitcoin incredibly resilient and slow to change.
Dash has a treasury system that makes Dash a self-sustainable cryptocurrency with funding coming from a portion of Dash’s block rewards. Dash development does not rely on donations or volunteers and the treasury also funds partnerships, community projects, integrations, and more.
Bitcoin does not have a self-sustaining treasury system to fund itself. Bitcoin block rewards go entirely to miners and its development is largely done by people who are passionate about Bitcoin, whether they are paid or not. Bitcoin developers sometimes receive donations and/or are backed by Bitcoin-related companies.
Dash has a feature called ‘PrivateSend, which is essentially a built-in coin mixing service that makes it effectively impossible to track funds on the blockchain. This feature provides Dash users with optional transaction anonymity.
As for Bitcoin, its transactions are transparent and traceable on the public blockchain. While Bitcoin does not require identifying KYC information, every account balance and transaction is publicly available on Bitcoin’s public blockchain ledger.
6. Is Dash Anonymous?
Yes and no. Dash offers optional transaction anonymity through a feature called ‘PrivateSend.’
The PrivateSend feature enables users to send transactions that cannot be traced on the public Dash blockchain. It works like a traditional cryptocurrency coin mixing service; only it's built directly into the Dash cryptocurrency as an opt-in privacy feature.
When a user sends DASH using the PrivateSend feature, their transaction is broken up into specific denominations and mixed between other participants, thereby obscuring the origin of funds used in the final transaction.
Dash’s PrivateSend mixing service is superior to other centralized mixing services because each round of mixing is performed by a different Dash Masternode, which makes it effectively impossible to track or trace funds on the blockchain.
7. Can You Mine Dash?
Yes, you can mine Dash (DASH).
Like Bitcoin and many other blockchains, transactions on the Dash network are secured and processed using a cryptographic method known as Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining. The mining algorithm Dash uses is called the X11 hashing algorithm, which requires specialized computers to solve complicated mathematical problems to verify transactions and mine blocks.
Today, Dash mining is dominated by powerful ASIC server farms around the globe, making it difficult for the individual to get directly involved in mining solely themselves. However, individuals can mine Dash by joining a Dash mining pool. But it is still recommended to purchase a specialized ASIC miner if you hope to be profitable mining Dash.
Some of the most popular Dash mining pools are:
In addition to using your own mining hardware in the above Dash mining pools, some of these mining pools also offer dash cloud mining for people who don’t wanna deploy their own hardware.
8. What is Dash’s Transaction Speed
Dash’s transaction speed is as fast as 1-2 seconds even though Dash block times are 2 minutes and 39 seconds. As for transactions per second (TPS), Dash with its 2 MB block size can process up to 56 tx/sec.
The reason Dash has managed to speed up its transaction time magnitudes faster than its block time, is because of its innovative ‘InstaSpend’ feature. InstaSpend uses Dash’s masternode network to secure and verify instant transactions rather than waiting for transaction confirmation in a block, as seen in conventional blockchain networks like Bitcoin.
With InstaSpend, Dash’s network of masternodes validates that the funds specified in a transaction have not already been spent, and then locks them within 1-2 seconds so they cannot be spent again until the transaction is complete.
This feature has thus far proven to be successful and is even resistant to 51% attacks.
9. What are Dash Masternodes?
Masternodes, invented by Dash, is a unique feature that serves as a second layer to the Dash Network.
Masternodes provides valuable functions related to the health and efficiency of the Dash network, such as:
- Governance - DAO & formal voting system
- Securely storing user data - hosts full copies of the blockchain
- Processing transactions for light wallets - 1-2 second transactions
- Facilitating instant and private transactions - InstantSend & PrivateSend
Masternodes are powerful servers backed by collateral held in Dash. Anyone can become a Dash masternode but the primary requirement to run a masternode on the Dash network is 1000 DASH.
In return for the services Dash Masternodes provide to the network, they receive regular payments in DASH as passive income. Also, each month, Masternodes are given the opportunity to vote on up to 10% of the block reward to fund community projects supporting the Dash ecosystem.
10. Where Can you Spend Dash?
Dash (DASH) can be spent at 4,800+ merchants and is supported by 220+ exchanges and brokerages, as of Q1 2020.
Some of Dash’s top merchants include:
- Dash Gift Card Store (website)
- eGifter (website)
- Travala.com (website)
- Bitrefill (website)
- CheapAir.com (website)
Thousands upon thousands of more businesses accept Dash across industries including art & entertainment, business services, electronics & IT, food & drink, hotels & lodging, and so many more can be found at discoverdash.com.
11. Where to store Dash?
Official Dash Wallet (downloads)
Dash (DASH) is a popular and well-established cryptocurrency with a wide selection of reputable cryptocurrency wallets to choose from.
See the most popular DASH wallets below:
- Dash Core
- Dash Electrum
- Jaxx Liberty
- Dash Android/Dash iOS
- Jaxx Liberty
- Dash Electrum
- Ellipal Titan
- Cobo Vault
- Dash Paper Wallet
Text (SMS) Wallets
- Dash Text
12. Where to Buy and Sell Dash?
Dash (DASH) can be bought and sold on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis but the most popular way to buy, sell, or trade Tezos is through cryptocurrency exchanges.
You can buy DASH with cryptocurrency or fiat at the following top exchanges. In most cases, you will have to fund your account with fiat, buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, and then use BTC or ETH to buy Dash (symbol DASH).
- Bitfinex - BTC, USD
- Huobi Global - BTC, USDT, HUSD, HT
- OKEx - BTC, ETH, OKB, USDT
- Binance - BTC, ETH, BNB, BUSD, USDT
- Bittrex - BTC, ETH, USDT, USD
In addition to the exchanges listed above, Dash (DASH) is also traded on a wide array of other exchanges and platforms that enable people to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies.
Hope you enjoyed that read :) Let me know if I have missed something in the comments.