Dash is, in many ways, an archetypal cryptocurrency. Unlike cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Ripple, which sought to reinvent the wheel, Dash follows in the footsteps of Bitcoin and Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision. It aspires to be a viable alternative to fiat currency as a medium for everyday transactions.
However, Dash isn’t just a replica of Bitcoin. It seeks to improve on what many consider to be a flawed product by addressing some of its shortcomings, such as a slow transaction processing time and lack of privacy. It differentiates itself through features such as Masternodes, PrivateSend, and InstantSend.
It’s also currently the 14th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Whilst it still has a long way to go to catch up to market leader Bitcoin, there can be little doubt that Dash is worth keeping an eye on.
TFG has curated this page of information to provide traders with all they need to know about Dash.
History of Dash
Though Dash now seeks to be a medium for everyday transactions, it’s aspirations didn’t always align this way.
In the beginning, Dash was called ‘Darkcoin’, and before that ‘Xcoin’. It was a currency that prioritised privacy and anonymity, much like Monero does today. It changed focus in 2015 and rebranded itself as ‘Dash; a move which has seemingly worked well as it’s since grown to become the 14th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.
The founder of Dash is Evan Duffield – a software developer who had been studying Bitcoin since 2011. He saw Bitcoin’s lack of anonymity as a weakness and sought to improve on it. He made suggestions on how to implement this to Bitcoin’s developers, but when they rejected his suggestions, he began developing his own altcoin instead.
In January 2014, he released ‘Darkcoin’. Several notable developments occurred after this as Duffield sought to improve the network, most notably by adding the feature of Masternodes.
Duffield realised that the focus on anonymity was holding the coin back as it had many other benefits aside from this. Therefore, in March 2015, it was relaunched as ‘Dash’. At this point, approximately 1.9 million coins had already been mined.
After this, Dash continued to evolve, and its price grew steadily. The biggest growth in price occurred in 2017 – a period which saw massive growth across the whole cryptocurrency market. After that, it began to decline in early 2018, again mimicking the wider cryptocurrency market.
Below is a graph which shows the price growth of Dash over time:
Dash shares many of the same practical uses as Bitcoin. However, Dash has the added benefit of offering private and instant transactions. This makes it potentially more useful than Bitcoin in instances where transaction speed or anonymity are required.
Here are four ways Dash can be used:
- Global Transfers: Dash can be used to send money anywhere in the world without going through any middlemen. This can help users to avoid transaction fees and send money globally quickly.
- In-store purchases: In September, 2017, an announcement was made that Dash would be integrating with a Bitcoin debit card provide. This will allow Dash to be used wherever visas are accepted, which is at over 40 million merchants across the world. It also means that Dash funds can be withdrawn at ATMs worldwide.
- Online retailers: Many online retailers now accept Dash. A list of online merchants that accept Dash is listed on the official dash website here.
- Anonymous transactions: There are several legal reasons that people may wish to send money anonymously. For example, to avoid price discrimination or to prevent business competitors from gaining access to financially sensitive information. It also makes it a medium for illegal transactions.
Uses Within Trade Finance
Another potential use case for Dash is in trade finance.
Most cryptocurrencies, including Dash, run on the ‘blockchain’ – a distributed digital ledger that maintains a record of all transactions. The blockchain has many use cases outside of cryptocurrencies.
It can be utilised in trade finance and the supply chain to digitize processes, reduce costs and increase transparency and efficiency. Blockchain technology is already seeing use by major financial institutions including Barclays and HSBC.
You can read more about this on our information page about Blockchain and Trade Finance.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The below table outlines the main advantages and disadvantages of Dash:
DecentralisedMost cryptocurrencies are decentralised to some extent, but some are much more so than others.
Dash has over 4,500 members that are able to vote on key decisions, as well as three major decision-making groups. This makes it much more centralised than many other currencies.
Brand ReputationDash has already changed it’s name twice but it may need to do so a third time. Typing in ‘Dash’ into a search engine will bring up information on the character before the cryptocurrency. This generic term may be limiting Dash’s exposure as many people haven’t even heard about Dash.
ConsensusDashes governance system allows it to reach consensus on decisions much easier than its biggest competitor Bitcoin. Bitcoin struggles to implement improvements due to an inability to reach consensus.
Dash doesn’t suffer from this same problem.
Voter KnowledgeThe Dash community has expressed concerns about masternodes voting poorly and without sufficient knowledge or experience due to the low barrier to entry. If you own 1000 dash, you can vote as a masternode.
Transaction SpeedDash’s ‘InstantSend’ feature allows transactions to be sent and confirmed in a few seconds, whilst Bitcoin takes up to an hour.
CompetitionDash is in direct competition to Bitcoin, which has the first-mover advantage and is the leading cryptocurrency. Other cryptocurrencies, like Ripple, complement Bitcoin and, therefore, have more room to grow.
PrivacyMany people see privacy as one of the most important features of cryptocurrencies.
Dash’s ‘PrivateSend’ feature enables users to transact completely anonymously, unlike Bitcoin which is only pseudonymous.
Limited Use CasesDash has focused its vision on being a digital currency. Other cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum and Ripple, have broader applications.
Here are 3 fun facts about Dash:
- The word Dash is based on a joining of the word ‘digital’ and ‘cash’. This fits Dash’s core goal of becoming the default internet currency and puts it in direct competition to Bitcoin.
- To enable Masternodes in Dash, you need to hold at least 1000 dash. This gets you extra privileges as Masternodes 45% block rewards for each block mined.
- 10% of each block mining reward goes back to Dash to fund future developments.