Originally founded as Xcoin in 2014, shortly thereafter renamed to Darkcoin, and since 2015 known simply as Dash, is an open-source peer to peer cryptocurrency.
The term (name) Dash comes from the two words “Digital Cash”, which are the motto of nearly all cryptocurrencies.
All virtual currencies were created with the idea to be a kind of digital cash – meaning that only the owner of the money is able to see and control what is done with his cash.
The lead developer behind the Dash team is founder Evan Duffield. Dash uses the X11 algorithm and the blockchain technology to run the network. The average time for a block to be completed is 2.5 minutes (vs. 10 min for Bitcoin) and the maximum number of coins that can be mined in the future is 19 million.
The greatest innovation with the Dash cryptocurrency compared to other digital coins is the “Masternode” network that it uses. Unlike other cryptocurrencies (for example, Bitcoin) which use a 1-tier network, the Masternode network of Dash is 2-tier.
What this means is that the Dash network can handle more operations than Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Those operations (or functions) are InstantSend, PrivateSend , and the decentralized self-governing system.
First, let’s see what the Masternode network is.
Basically, it consists of miners (responsible for verifying transactions and unlocking new coins) and Masternodes which are responsible for the advanced functions such as InstantSend and PrivateSend. So, basically, the Masternode network has two layers making it more mature and more secure than a 1-layer network.
As the names imply, InstandSend and PrivateSend allow Dash owners and users to send and receive money instantly and privately. This is the Dash solution for two problems that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have.
In Bitcoin, as we know, transactions can be traced back to the users by tracking their usernames. This is the so called “Pseudonymous” privacy of Bitcoin, however, there is still a possibility that a pseudonymous username can be traced back to the person.
PrivateSend solves that and there is no possibility that the participants in the transaction will be discovered.
InstantSend that enables Dash transactions to be completed instantly – a function that most other cryptocurrencies are lacking.
While the idea of Dash being digital cash is all well and good, the fact is there are few places where one could spend his Dash coins to actually buy real-world things. This is understandable to some degree because Dash is a digital coin that was introduced in the more recent past, but, it’s still lagging behind its peers in this regard.
The Governance and funding system of Dash also raises some concerns. Many people criticize the fact that the development team is focusing too many resources on marketing and promoting Dash, rather than on innovation and beneficial improvements for usage of the cryptocurrency.