Dash project purpose and description
What is Dash?
Dash is one of the leading cryptocurrencies created off the Litecoin and Bitcoin core codes. It was forked from Litecoin, and Litecoin had previously been forked from Bitcoin. However, the founder, Evan Duffield introduced crucial changes to address the core problems that have become stumbling blocks to the growth of different cryptocurrency networks and blockchain technology.
Therefore, he created Dash to help make digital currencies more acceptable and usable in everyday events.
Initially, it was introduced as Xcoin on January 18th, 2014. Then it was changed to Darkcoin ten days later on January 28th before taking the current name Dash on March 2015.
Duffield came up with recommendations that he believed would help to propel Bitcoin to the next level but decided to go it alone after the Bitcoin’s developers refused to address it. That is how the idea of Dash was born.
Dash has grown progressively to emerge among the top 20 cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization. Between 2014 and mid-2018, the price of Dash grew from $0.5 to $270; this is approximately 49,000% jump. At one point, in December 2017, the Dash price shot to $1,500, the highest mark in its history.
What is the problem that Dash Solves?
Taking a closer look at cryptocurrencies and their applications reveals that they face some major challenges. These are the setbacks that have stood in the way of mass adoption of digital currencies at the corporate, government, and individual levels. Dash was created to address these issues which include;
- Poor privacy.
- Transaction speed.
At Bitcoin, the network can only handle 7 transactions per second. Even Bitcoin’s closest rival, Ethereum, can only handle 20 transactions every second. If you compare these rates with other top money services such as Visa and PayPal that can handle 24,000 and 193 transactions respectively every second, it implies there is a serious problem.
Many people have become increasingly worried after realizing that their networks are not as anonymous as they are marketed to be. In many cases, user transactions leave signatures that can be used to follow and unmask them. With advanced software cropping up every other day, pulling out your details from a blockchain network is becoming even simpler.
The problem of governance is what irked Duffield more to come up with a new network. Many networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum operate as ecosystems where miners, developers, and users interact in building distributed and trustless consensus.
However, the networks have become captives of own politics and the unpredictability of human behavior. In most of the cases, each faction, from miners to developers, is interested in optimizing own incentives. This results in disagreements yielding to forks and stalling of networks’ growth.
How does Dash solve the problem?
The Dash core code, design, and features were designed with the goal of addressing the problems in the cryptocurrency industry and promoting uptake of cryptographic products in the community. Here are the main methods used to solve the problems.
- Masternodes help to facilitate instant sending of funds
One of the primary features at Dash is InstantSend. As indicated earlier, Dash targets to become reliable digital cash that can be used in the stores, groceries, and other points of purchase. Though the network has a block time of 2.5 minutes which is significantly better than that of Bitcoin, the transaction timeframe is still too long. To make transactions instant, Dash introduced masternodes.
What exactly is a masternode?
Masternodes in the Dash network provides a second tier network under the Dash’s system’s proof of service algorithm. The second tier model pools synergies of the two main consensus protocols used at Dash; proof of service and proof of work.
To run as a masternode, one is required to invest at least 1000 DASH in the network. The masternodes are responsible for specific services such as InstantSend PrivateSend.
When sending funds using the Dash system, the transactions are indeed picked by masternodes. Then, the masternode locks the funds to avoid double spend and notifies the transaction initiator and recipient. At this point, the transaction still gets included in the public ledger and it is guaranteed to get paid because the funds are locked. InstantSend makes it possible to get payment verification in seconds and articulately resolves the problem of long confirmation timeframes.
- In-built coin mixing (PrivateSend) to enhance Dash anonymity
If you look back at Bitcoin, one notable thing is that default transactions can be publicly traceable. Besides, a person can tie a user’s identity to his public address to monitor both outgoing and incoming transactions. This creates a serious problem of fungibility.
Dash addressed the problem in 2014, along with Monero to become completely private coins. This anonymity is achieved via in-built coin mixing model that makes tracing transactions almost impossible.
The in-built coin mixing model at Dash is referred to as PrivateSend. When you release a transaction and it gets picked by a masternode, it is broadcasted and mixed with others transactions taking place at that moment. The process advances to another masternode where further coin mixing takes place to obfuscate the trail completely.
While the masternodes are not capable of learning the essential details of a user’s transactions, the coin mixing model requires those sending value on the network to trust the system. On anonymity and traceability, Dash ranks above other private networks such as Zcash and Monero.
- Dash decentralized its governance to all participants
In many networks, disagreements have become the primary factor resulting in forks being reported today. Such disagreements have seen major networks such as Ethereum forking into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, while Bitcoin fragments dozens of blockchains such as Bitcoin Gold, Litecoin and Bitcoin Diamond. To address the issue, Dash adopted a decentralized governance system.
Under this system of governance and voting, any person on the network can bring forth a proposition for new features and changes aimed at improving the network. Then, every proposal is voted by the masternodes. The voting is simplified into a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ voting system. For a proposal to go through, the ‘yes’ votes have to outnumber the ‘no’ votes by more than ten. Then, it gets funding from the block reward.
Note that Dash allows the community to vote out a masternode when the direction taken by such a node goes against the community expectation.
One might ask; where do the funds for such a project come from? When transactions are confirmed in the Dash system, the masternodes get 45% of the block rewards, miners get 45%, while the remaining 10% is retained for network improvement. This 10% is what the Dash network uses to fund proposals from users.
What makes Dash better than its competitors?
Since when the first blockchain network was launched, it has been a race. Every new network comes to help solve the issues identified in the earlier networks. The great thing with Dash that makes it stand taller in comparison to other networks is its commitment to progressive improvements. The main things that make Dash better than other networks include the following.
- The network’s development team comprises of highly aggressive and tech individuals. For them, the desire to make Dash a better network overrides monetary gains. This is why the team has sustained the progressive development of the network with no sign of stopping since 2014.
- The transaction fee at Dash is relatively low compared to other networks. The average transaction fee for using Dash network ranges between $0.1 and $0.3. This is very low compared to other networks such as Bitcoin that charges $1 to $5. Other networks such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are more expensive to use compared to Dash.
- Dash has a self-funding and self-governing model. This implies that the network will always have ample funds to drive development. It is a huge advantage for investors targeting networks that can deliver high ROI over time.
- Dash has lived to its original goal of making its native coin easily penetrate the conventional market through the use of Dash cards. This is a unique feature that many networks out there do not have. With the card, purchasing from merchants that accept FIAT via popular payment networks is easy and direct.
- Dash usability has recently been enhanced more than other networks with the launch of the Dash App and API. The new development going by the name Dash Evolution is aimed at helping to take Dash to people’s mobile phones. You can now use the apps to make payment on many online stores and pay with DASH. This is a milestone that many networks including those being released today might take time to craft.
How can Dash be categorized?
Dash can be categorized as a truly anonymous and secure crypto network with great potential to emerge the top system in the industry. For many people with a target of joining cryptocurrencies, the focus is getting a platform that guarantees high anonymity, security, and ease of use. These attributes are the bottom line of the Dash network. Its architecture is unique and has prompted some cryptocurrency experts to refer to it as the “next Bitcoin.”
The notion of anonymity has become a critical pillar in defining the direction a network takes. As administrations work on targeting those who operate in the blockchain networks without paying taxes, Dash is no doubt a great hideout from third-party seizures. This is one of the top reasons driving the fast-growing demand for Dash.
What’s Dash’s vision on Security?
The Dash’s vision on security is to become a fortress network that people can rely on for daily transactions without worrying of attacks. This vision is considered very crucial because it determines the nature of trust that users will have in the network. But how does Dash plan to achieve this?
Immediately after Dash was created, a whale attack took place in 48 hours resulting in the mining of about 2 million coins. This was a huge percentage of the coins taking into consideration that only a total of 18.9 million coins will ever exist in the network. The development team had to reevaluate the architecture of the network to keep the network, users’ assets, and information security. Here are some of the top methods used to keep the vision alive.
- Progressive review of emerging threats.
- Regular update of the Dash network.
- Advanced features that factor better security for the system.
- Application of a truly decentralized governance.
- Advanced encryption at all levels of the network operation.
Examples of Dash’s use cases/applications.
Are there real cases of Dash being used in the real world? The answer is a resounding yes. Dash was created to help take cryptocurrencies to all. This can be seen through partnerships and outlets that accept payment in Dash.
- Dash signed a partnership with the Betting website FarnDuel for the CryptoCup, a basketball league. Under the partnership, those who win the league get paid in DASH. This is meant to draw more people to the field and demonstrate that cryptocurrencies can be used in real activities.
- In 2017, the Blockchain Research Laboratory of the Arizona State University requested for funding of $350,000 from Dash to create blockchain scholarship. The funding was provided in December 2017. Note that Arizona is one of the top pro-blockchain states. In April 2018, Arizona passed HB 1091 that allows citizens to pay their taxes in cryptocurrencies.
- Alt Thirty-Six, a platform on legal cannabis in the US was funded by $496,000 Dash.
- You can also use Dash at Overstock. This is an America online retailer that has won the hearts of many for accepting most cryptocurrencies including Dash. Whether you want to buy the latest fashion clothing or office supplies with Dash, this is one great outlet to go to.
- The greatest score for Dash in getting accepted for direct payments was probably the addition as a payment gateway by WooCommerce online store. Those with DASH now have the opportunity to access and buy thousands of items from this fast-growing online store.