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Dash is ambitious- it wants to be the cryptocurrency of the future, just like other coins. But does Dash have what it takes to challenge the cryptocurrency bellwether, Bitcoin? Does it have enough to compete with Ethereum and its fan base? In this guide, we will make an overview of Dash. You will learn what makes the coin different, what are the potential benefits, but also pitfalls.

What is Dash

Dash is simply short for "digital cash," The project's main selling point is making digital currency real simple. Dash wants to be the digital currency that "Grandma could use." Behind all that is a distributed, open source blockchain project and a large team of developers, marketers, and promoters.

In the world of cryptocurrencies, Dash is rather old and starts to look venerable. It is, in fact, a fork of the Bitcoin network- a new coin can always be created by forking the network and adding features. So Dash shares feature with Bitcoin, but also adds additional services and has a much lower transaction fee.

Dash had its first release in 2014 under the name XCoin. A month later, it was renamed DarkCoin.

But in 2015, the project dropped the "dark" name and went as Dash. This coin was created in an era of many other failed altcoins and outright scams but managed to survive and in 2017 has transformed itself into one of the more liquid, easily-traded altcoins. 2014 was also the year when cryptocoins offering privacy were all the rage, and Dash appeared because of that trend. But today, Dash is a "ramp currency," an altcoin that is moving into the mainstream and attracts new users.

How is Dash Different

Dash is more than a coin- it is an organization of people, working under a decentralized governance and funding system. Dash, unlike Bitcoin, has no problems with network consensus, and the Dash blockchain has never split. The trustworthiness of the Dash project is due to the network of Master Nodes, who are simply users with a stake of 1000 Dash.

This two-tier system of miners and master nodes allows Dash to offer specialized transfer services for better speed and anonymity.

But also, master nodes serve to lock in a rather large portion of the coins and thus decrease supply. Dash has a small circulating supply, and most of the coins are actively bought and sold. Compare this to Bitcoin, where despite the large dollar trading volumes, a very small amount of the coins trade on exchanges, with the rest just sitting.

So Dash is not being dumped onto the market, even though current miners and other stakeholders are sitting on rather large sums. Dash pays out 45% of new coins to miners, 45% to master nodes and another 10% is held in a treasury to support the site and the developer team. Currently, there are few cryptocoins that actively support their developer team with decent salaries. So Dash pays itself, hoping to create more wealth in the future. The community trusts the coin well enough, and there has been no rapid-fire selling.

The Dash Blockchain

The Dash blockchain is relatively fast, producing a new node in around 2 minutes 20 seconds.The reward per block is 3.60 Dash (around $730).

The whole blockchain is currently a very manageable 3.6 GB, compared to nearly 37GB to hold the whole Bitcoin blockchain. But the Dash blockchain is still rather small, with a very small hash rate- meaning a much smaller pool of miners. The hash rate is a measure of how many miners are working on the network.

And the price per transaction is still 2 cents, much lower than Bitcoin payments.

Coin Hash rate (August 2017) Block Time
Dash 20 TH/s 2 minutes 20 seconds
Bitcoin 6.6 million TH/s 10 minutes
Ethereum 85 TH/s 35 seconds
Litecoin 14 TH/s 2 minutes 30 seconds

 

The Dash Community

Looking at the map of master nodes, it is easy to see where the Dash community is concentrated.

The Dash community is helpful and active and follows the main goal of usability and user-friendliness. The forums, Reddit threads and Slack channel actively discourage trolling and bad behavior.

A strong and friendly community is always a good sign for a coin. This means that the project is not yet another get-rich-quick scheme for raising cash. In fact, Dash advocates promote the idea that the world of cryptocurrencies should not mimic the traditional banking and finance system. Dash advocates want an ecosystem that is only dependent on cryptocoins, and there are ideas to spread the coins to third world countries, which do not have access to easy and liquid electronic payment methods.

Looking at the Dash wealth distribution, there are very few "whale" wallets. More than 90% of the wealth is held in smaller accounts. The top 10% of Dash holders only own about 10% of the wealth.

Who Created Dash

The creator and lead developer of Dash is Evan Duffield. As of 2017, he has moved away from the leadership position, remaining on the team as an advisor. Ryan Taylor is the new CEO of the team, taking over just as the coin's price took off to new heights. But the name of Evan Duffield had its reputation tarnished for a while, mainly related to the Instamine scandal in 2014. Dash is thus, accidentally, not a fair-mining coin, and Duffield kept his significant holdings, as the community did not agree on a re-launch.

For a while, this coin stash worried the cryptocurrency world. But Duffield proved he was not in the scheme just to get rich, as he donated most of his coin holdings and deactivated all his master nodes. Thus, Dash has no direct influence by any one person, and the community votes on its future path.

Dash Market Price

Like many other cryptocoins, Dash is also a highly specultive and volatile asset that is traded on all major exchanges in various pairs. Dash started 2017 at $11, and in August hovered near its peak at $200 with robust trading volumes around $30 million. The reason for the popularity of Dash and the price rise is the team behind the coin, which actively promoted the currency to exchanges and merchants.

Coin Market Price (as of August 2017) Market Capitalization 24-Hour Trading Volume
Dash $202.14 $1.51 bln $25.2 mln
Bitcoin $4186.49 $69.1 bln $2.6 bln
Ethereum $301.68 $28.1 bln $1.02 bln
Litecoin $45.99 $2.4 bln $124 mln

 

Dash has fallen to position nine on CoinMarketCap, as other cryptocoins surged in price in the last month.

Dash Exchanges

Dash can be exchanged on most major exchanges. For most users, it is also available for cash. As a ramp currency, or for holding or investing purposes, Dash can be acquired at:

Kraken

BitPanda

Changelly

Why Invest in Dash

Investing in a cryptocurrency is always risky. Buying Dash exposes you to market volatility and to losing your funds in whole or in part. Invest in Dash only if you want to support the project, and never send more funds than you can afford to lose. Otherwise, Dash is a good choice for diversifying your portfolio. And if you are interested in the project, it is a chance to study the cryptocurrency community closer, through a friendly internet discussion space.