With a good reputation and dedicated user base, Dash is a veteran of the crypto scene.
Though in recent years moves towards border appeal and a push towards adoption into the daily lives of millions of people have brought new and interesting challenges to this popular altcoin.
What is Dash?
Dash is a popular blockchain-based altcoin that was originally released under the name Xcoin in 2014, later rebranded to Darkcoin but finally settled on the name Dash in 2015. Created by Evan Duffield and Daniel Diaz, this altcoin was designed with swift governance structures to be a faster competitor to Bitcoin.
The name Dash stems from the phrase ‘digital cash’ and has enjoyed a degree of popularity for years. As of 2021 Dash occupied the 50th top spot amongst the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world and boasts a market cap of 1.02Billion.
Yet in the earlier years, Dash was dogged by associations with Dark Web usage and rumors of Pump and Dump schemes. But today it enjoys a clean bill of health having transitioned into more mainstream markets.
Originally forked from Litecoin which forked from Bitcoin, Dash operates with many similarities to its predecessors but with some key differences. On a technical level Dash uses X11, a modified version of Bitcoins protocol. Additionally, Dash offers an attractive reward split for the overall governance of the blockchain, with going 45% to miners, 45% to master nodes and 10% to the upkeep of the governance.
To operate a master node, users must be a stakeholder of 1000 Dash coins. A stake of this size allows users to control the various functions of the node, granting them governance permissions, validation responsibility, the ledger of the blockchain, and the capacity to relay messages.
Today Dash functions as a popular cryptocurrency, offering users a reliable degree of encryption and security, while also providing reasonable transaction speeds and costs. In recent years Dash has expanded its function into financially unstable or impoverished regions such as Venezuela, to mixed results. In this article, we will explore some of these results as a use case and explore more broadly some of the use cases of this popular altcoin.
Dash Use Case: PrivateSend
Privacy is always an important use case for cryptocurrency users and Dash achieves an impressive degree of privacy via its use of a system called PrivateSend.
Functioning as a development upon the popular Bitcoin coin mixing system Coinjoin, PirvateSend allows Dash users to anonymously send and receive Dash. This system is quite secure, granting users a degree of anonymity that isn’t usually found on pseudonymous systems such as Bitcoin.
The use case for such a degree of privacy and anonymity varies from individual to individual, with motivations ranging from legal, ideological, or security reasons. PrivateSend has proven to be quite popular in countries like Venezuela, especially in a time in which their native fiat currency was struggling.
In some instances, charitable organizations may accept donations through systems such as PrivateSend, which may not be accessible through regular fiat currency for one reason or another. While others have begun to move away from crypto donations due to the environmental issues associated with cryptocurrency.
On a technical level, PrivateSend works as a means of coin mixing transactions to prevent tracing of the public ledger. How this works is that a group of users enter into a Smart Contract. This Smart Contract pools a group of pending transactions and moves the associated cryptocurrency into a new wallet. From here the master node engages in a system of mixing several times and sends out the appropriate amount of crypto to its designated wallets.
PrivateSend grants users a degree of financial anonymity that underlines a key use case for the altcoin Dash.
Dash Use Case: InstantSend
Bitcoin being the first big cryptocurrency has some systems that are slow or outdated by today’s standards, therefore it would stand to reason that Dash being a third-generation fork off Bitcoin would be affected by some of these modalities. Yet Dash stands out in many regards, with speed being one of the most important use cases for Dash. Dash enjoys breakneck speeds and near-instant transactions through its use of a system called InstantSend.
InstantSend can initiate a transaction, validate, lock funds and send the transaction in a staggering 1-2 seconds. This speed is even more impressive when compared to Bitcoins glacial 10 minutes per transaction. In addition, Dash can handle a much higher degree of traffic, enjoys lower degree congestion, and therefore lower cost.
This scalability and speed is an extremely important use case for Dash as one of the key markets that Dash is targeting is generalized adoption and daily use of the cryptocurrency. Without speeds and transactional security comparable to fiat currency Dash wouldn’t be able to function in the way that daily use requires.
A wide range of daily use examples of Dash functioning via its InstantSend system can be found in countries such as Poland and Venezuela. In some of these countries, basic services such as taxis or the use of a credit card can be done via Dash. Another example of IntantSend at work is the function of Dash ATMs that allow fiat currency to be withdrawn from an account in a fashion that is familiar and assuring to customers.
Dash Use Case: Venezuela
It was stated by the CEO of DashPay that Dash was the most used crypto in Venezuela as of 2018. If this is true and the trend maintains then evidently Dash’s push into daily financial services has been successful and stands as a proof of concept for a key use case of the cryptocurrency. But on further investigation, the truth of this statement is seen to be far more complex.
In 2018 roughly 2400 businesses accepted Dash as payment of service, yet this number may be somewhat misleading, as the capacity to accept Dash does not necessarily indicate that people are using the altcoin. Startup business owners such as Fabina Arreaza have stated that though they accept the crypto coin they have seen little to no transactions in the currency. In addition, popular businesses such as Los Costilla saw barely any Dash traffic and later stopped accepting the crypto altogether.
Yet in other cases, clever marketing pushes, like offering deals on cell phones that have a Dash Wallet preloaded with some Dash stored on the device have encouraged the use of the coin. Steps such as these have heralded an uptick in Venezualian’s move to various cryptocurrencies, with 8.56 Billion bolívar being traded on the LocalBitcoins trading platform in February of 2020.
This mixed bag of almost contradictory results makes the current state and future of Dash in Venezuela difficult to ascertain and will need to be watched carefully in the coming years. Suffice to say that in the face of a complex political situation, a weakened bolívar, and more digital trade due to the coronavirus, cryptocurrencies such as Dash will be playing some role in the Venezuelan economy.
The Future for Dash
Dash is a longstanding member of the cryptocurrency community. While dogged by some early issues surrounding its usage, minor technical faults, and unsavory schemes, this altcoin occupies a position of great importance for many users. Moving forward it appears that Dash is committed to growing into a market in which the coin can operate as a regular financial medium and has experienced quite a bit of success in this regard.
While there is still far to go for the coin in terms of widespread adoption, Dash has shown itself to have real staying power in the cryptocurrency scene.