What is Dash? (DASH)

A Beginner’s Guide


One of the first prominent alternative cryptocurrencies, Dash was among a group of early projects to copy and modify Bitcoin’s code in an attempt to reach a broader market. 

But Dash would go on to differentiate its technology considerably in the wake of its 2014 launch, adding new features meant to make transactions work more like traditional online payments.

InstantSend, for example, allowed users to transfer DASH without waiting for transactions to be confirmed on the Dash blockchain. Instead, users could send cryptocurrency to special nodes (called Masternodes) that would lock the funds before recording them in an upcoming block.

PrivateSend, another feature of Dash, enabled users to send transactions using a built-in mixing service. Users could send their DASH to Masternodes, which would mix the transactions with others, obscuring the trail of the original transaction.

Still, Dash would go further, embracing more experimental features designed to give anyone who owned a certain amount of DASH the ability to participate in the operation of its blockchain at a time before staking protocols were the norm.

Today, Dash is even partly run through a series of contracts on its blockchain that help manage the development, marketing and infrastructure of the software. 

The Dash team now keeps users updated on changes through its website and Reddit forum.

what is dash?


Who created Dash?

Dash was created by developer Evan Duffield in January 2014. 

Originally known as Darkcoin, a name that highlighted its privacy and anonymity features, Duffield rebranded Darkcoin to Dash, which stands for digital cash, in 2015.

How does Dash work?


For those familiar with any proof-of-work cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin or Litecoin), the first tier of the Dash blockchain operates in much the same way.

This layer is powered by miners who compete to create new blocks and secure the blockchain. Miners preserve the Dash blockchain’s transaction history, while preventing double spending. 

The difference between Dash and Bitcoin is that it has an average block time of 2.5 minutes (compared to 10 minutes) and miners only receive 45% of the DASH minted in each block (as opposed to 100% on Bitcoin). 


The MasterNode Network

The second layer of the Dash blockchain contains most of its key innovations, as it is operated by a special nodes, called Masternodes. 

Any node can become a Masternode as long as it holds 1,000 DASH. 

Masternodes:

  • Facilitate private and instant transactions 
  • Reject improperly formed blocks from miners 
  • Store a full copy of the blockchain ledger
  • Receive 45% of the block reward
  • Vote on how to allocate the remaining 10% of the block reward

 

Anyone has the ability to propose a new feature or change to the Dash network, however, final decisions are made by a vote among Masternodes. 

If the number of ‘Yes’ votes outnumbers the number of ‘no’ votes by more than 10% of the total number of Masternode votes, then the new feature is implemented. 

The last 10% of the block reward is allocated to a grant system, called the Dash treasury. This fund is set aside by the DAO to fund the proposals voted on by Masternodes.
 


Why does Dash have value?

Dash shares many of the characteristics that give cryptocurrencies value, including durability, portability and scarcity. Similar to commodities like gold, silver and Bitcoin, Dash has a limited supply. There will only ever be 18.9 million DASH introduced to the network’s economy. 
 
Dash is expected to reach its maximum supply by the year 2300. 
 
Any form of cash needs to be durable enough to be used universally. 

Dash is entirely digital – making it essentially eternal unless your private keys are lost or stolen. Even then, this DASH will forever be on the blockchain unable to be accessed or spent.

Dash is also portable, as like any cryptocurrency, you can carry around your DASH on a flash drive or transfer it instantly via the internet.
 


Why use Dash?

Users may find Dash a compelling cryptocurrency for quick, secure and private transactions.

Investors may seek to add Dash to their portfolio should they believe the market will one day favor protocols built to facilitate easy online payments. 

Further, Dash’s limited supply and deflationary nature may also draw certain investors who believe in its characteristics as a store of value. 
 

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