Dash, formerly known as Darkcoin, is a peer-to-peer digital currency based on Bitcoin, but with significant improvements to its consumer features and usability, merchant tools, project governance, and funding model. First introduced in January 2014, Dash represents an emerging option that appeals to those seeking greater privacy in their transactions.
Dash has a long track-record of industry-first innovations. By way of example, it was the first digital currency to financially incentivize operators of its network’s servers – called Masternodes – with regular payments. In fact, anyone can start a Masternode to help support the system and receive payments for doing so. As a result, Dash possesses a highly reliable, scalable, and stable network of over 6,000 full network nodes that rivals even the largest digital currency networks.
Masternode participants receive payments for a percentage of the mining rewards and transaction fees. The requirements to own and operate a Masternode is 1,000 Dash (approximately $12,000.00 USD). Anyone who meets this threshold can become an owner.
Also, a small yet significant percentage of the mining rewards are set aside to fund current and future development of the network. These funds are directed toward talent acquisition, marketing, and other resources needed to grow Dash and keep it functioning efficiently.
Unlike Bitcoin, which is not private and is experiencing increasingly long confirmation times, Dash appeals to a segment of crypto-enthusiasts seeking an asset offering faster transactions and greater anonymity. The latter is achieved through Masternode servers, which provide a mixing protocol that protects the identities of users.
Focus On User Functionality
Dash leverages this Masternode network to provide some existing and planned services that are unique to Dash. These services include:
- PrivateSend – An optional privacy feature to ensure users’ transactions and balances remain private
- InstandSend – A transaction-locking feature that confirms transactions within seconds, making Dash suitable for point of sale transactions
- Decentralized API – An upcoming feature that will allow any application, merchant, or service provider to interact with Dash’s network securely without maintaining their copy of Dash’s ledger
- DashDrive – An upcoming feature that will store encrypted user account information accessible from any device
In its next version, code-named Evolution, Dash plans to add even more usability for everyday consumers, providing them with an account-like experience. Users will access their accounts utilizing a familiar username and password approach from any device (similar to what a centralized service would provide), may “friend” other users, and transact without the use of long alphanumeric public addresses. Merchants will also benefit, as integrating Dash payments will become as simple as adding a few lines of code to their website.
Ashe Whitener, founder of Liberty Entrepreneurs, a weekly podcast offering alternative perspectives for achieving individual freedom through the creative, entrepreneurial process, believes that Dash has many advantages over Bitcoin and thus has an above average chance of catching on, with a solid crypto-community to support it. He sees the following as Dash’s main distinguishing factors:
- Two-Tiered Node Layer: This consists of both regular “altruistic” nodes as well as a “Masternode” layer. “The fact that Masternode (members) are financially incentivized with a shared 45% of the block-reward for processing and verifying transactions as well as keeping the network safe is an appealing proposition to many,” says Whitener.
- Improved Governance System: Unlike Bitcoin, where miners must ultimately be convinced of software changes, Dash utilizes the Masternode layer to submit, vote and eventually either approve or deny suggested changes to the network. Whitener notes: “With only a 1,000 Dash investment you can have a voice and a vote in the Dash eco-system. In Bitcoin, this amount of investment would give you nearly no hashing power and virtually no voice to vote with.”
- Community Funding and Project Incentive Structure: Says Whitener, “While Bitcoin has 100% of the block-reward going to miners, the Dash blockchain has allocated 10% to go towards community development, outreach, and general development. Dash community members in fact can submit proposals to fund their various projects.”
A good example of this he says is the funding being received, via Dash’s democratic governance system, for some members to attend various conferences. He points out that Amanda B Johnson and her podcast DashDetail is now receiving 100% of their funding via this same 10% community-project block-reward. “I believe that this incentivization method will lead to a uniquely active community over time that can align with the projects and outreach needed to fuel Dash’s long-term growth.”
To hear more about how Dash: Detailed received sponsorship directly from the Dash blockchain, check out this Liberty Entrepreneurs interview link:
Ryan Taylor, Head of Finance for Dash said, “Dash has a very well-rounded team that not only understands digital currency but actually knows the payments industry. We aim to create a product that everyday consumers feel confident and comfortable using, something that has been lacking in the digital currency industry until now. We also want to make integrating Dash as painless as possible for our merchants. By focusing on the needs of our entire ecosystem, we are creating products and capabilities that are simply unmatched in this space.”
Dash Available on Shapeshift? YES
Dash on CoinCap: http://coincap.io/DASH
Dash Website: https://www.dash.org/
Dash on Twitter https://twitter.com/dashpay