Bitcoin may hold the title as most mainstream cryptocurrency. However, altcoin Dash (DASH) established itself early as a cryptocurrency with real world uses. Other coins are focusing on integration with payment protocols that will allow use in existing systems. Dash avoided this and went straight for online merchants. Through their own widget, Dash can be used at any participating merchant partner. This ’boutique’ approach served them well, but it is not a complete solution to the liquidity problem.
However, their upcoming Dash Evolution system may change that. Evolution provides two critical updates – simplified user-to-user wallets and an easily incorporated merchant payment protocol. Rather than individually supporting merchants, Evolution will allow merchants to sign onto the platform almost autonomously. This still requires individual merchants to consciously decide to join, but it’s still more than many other competitors.
A Brief History of Dash
One of the older available blockchains, Dash has rebranded several times over the years. First known as Xcoin, it was hard forked from the Litecoin (LTC) blockchain in early 2014. Soon after, it became ‘DarkCoin’. DarkCoin referenced both the coin’s nature as a hard fork of Litecoin and its privacy minded code base. Finally, a year later, the name Dash was adopted as a combination of the words ‘digital’ and ‘cash’.
An initial bug in the difficulty algorithm allowed for a tenth of the total theoretical supply of Dash to be mined within a matter of days. Community pressure prevented the creator from relaunching the coin, so the high initial supply was left as is. This initial hiccup did not prevent Dash from becoming one of the more well-respected coins of today. This was partially a result of their masternode integration and PrivateSend functionality.
PrivateSend, InstantSend and Master-nodes
Dash’s PrivateSend feature is one of the first privacy options available in the cryptocurrency world. Coins like Monero and Zcash have provided more options, but Dash was the first to market and still competes as one of the most viable. PrivateSend uses a scrambling feature to obscure senders and receivers. Specific denominations of Dash are put into a single pool, which than outputs to the various receivers. As such, it is impossible to identify which address sent to which.
InstantSend leverages Dash’s master-node system to provide rapid validation. Should the masternodes fail to reach consensus, the transaction is instead processed through the traditional proof of work process. Dash’s master-nodes are one of the first examples of proof of stake functionality, requiring an address to hold at least 1000 of the Dash currency. Once the requirement is met, the masternode is capable of resolving PrivateSend and InstantSend transactions. A portion of these transactions is paid out to the owner of the masternode.
Overall, Dash is still a strong performer in the cryptocurrency world. They aren’t pushing the technological envelope like some of the newer altcoins, but they also don’t need to. They have focused on providing actual use cases and succeeded in doing so. Until other coins reach universal usability, Dash is still the coin of choice for purchases.
Article By: Adam Stone