Dash: A How to Guide
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18 June

Dash is an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency which is strongly geared toward servicing the payments industry. Based on the bitcoin project, dash aims to become the most user-friendly and scalable payments system in the world.

In addition to what we’ve come to expect from bitcoin, dash also offers instant transactions (InstantSend) and private transactions (PrivateSend).

Dash At the Start

Created on 18 January 2014 by its developer Evan Duffield, dash was originally released as XCoin (XCO). In a matter of days after the launch, just under 2 million coins had been mined. The number amounted to about 10% of the cryptocurrencies total supply cap.

Soon after the launch, the XCoin was rebranded to darkcoin. On 25 March 2015, darkcoin once again changed its name to dash, a combination of words: digital and cash.

Evan Duffield came across bitcoin in 2010 and was impressed by its technology. He soon realized that bitcoin was not private and fast enough, deciding to use its core code to build his own cryptocurrency.

The success of dash has led to the launching of two more pillars of the dash DAO - Dash Force and Dash Labs., the first addressing community management activities and the second aimed at promoting the creation of open-source projects so as to prevent the centralization of blockchain technology development.

A Dashing Team

In 2017, Evan decided to step down as CEO of the Dash Core Project and was succeeded by Ryan Taylor who was formerly the Director of Finance. Evan now functions as an advisory to the Dash Core Project which allows him to spend more time to focus on Dash Labs.

Holger Schinzel is currently responsible for quality assurance, automation and testing, Fernando Gutiérrez is the Chief Marketing Officer.

Dash Purchase

At the time of writing, a price tracker CoinMarktCap.com lists dash as the 13th largest cryptocurrency with a total market cap of over $2.1 billion and a daily trading volume of $64 million.

Dash can be purchased and sold in several ways - cryptocurrency exchanges being the most popular option. Dash is widely accepted on exchanges and many pairs exist against both fiat money and other cryptocurrency. This means its possible to exchange EUR for dash, or dash for BTC, for example. The coin is listed on a range of well known exchanges, including Poloniex, Bittrex, Bitfine, Kraken, Binance, HitBTC, Bithumb and others. According to CoinGecko, HitBTC, Binance and Coinsuper are the most popular exchanges to buy dash on.

The full list of exchanges is available here.

Instant exchanges are another option. They perform a similar function to normal exchanges, but without the need to log in. They effectively convert one currency to another, with some limits on the amount to be exchanged and usually at a less advantageous rate. The most popular instant exchanges for buying dash are Changelly, ShapeShift, SimpleSwap, changeNOW, Godex, Flyp.me, CoinSwitch, BlockTrades and MorphToken.

Over the counter (OTC) exchanges have recently appeared to facilitate sale of dash directly from a company to the individual at a specified price, or peer-to-peer between individuals at a negotiated rate. Volume may be limited compared to exchanges, but these services are usually much easier to use. WeSellCrypto is one of the broker services offering a range of cryptocurrency, including dash, paid using Paypal. The full list of OTCs is available here.

ATM is another popular method of buying cryptocurrency which encourages adoption and spending in these currencies. A number of ATMs support dash. It is also possible to operate your own ATM to sell dash on-site at your business, it’s simply necessary to contact the companies listed on this page.

Wallets

Dash can be stored in desktop wallets, mobile wallets, hardware wallets, paper wallets or web wallets.

Dash Core Wallet is an official release of dash, and supports all dash features as they are released, including InstantSend and PrivateSend. Dash Core Wallet is a professional or heavy wallet that can operate as both a full node or a masternode on the network. Because of the requirement to hold a full copy of the blockchain, some time is required for synchronization when starting the wallet. Dash Core Wallet is available for macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi and Windows.

The full list of wallets for storing dash is provided here. It is not recommended to store significant funds on exchanges or software wallets. Instead, users are advised to purchase a hardware wallet.

Mining In a Dash

Dash is designed to have a total supply cap which could range from 16 to 21 million tokens depending on the hashrate of the network. Currently, the circulating supply of dash is 8.1 million.

Dash has a variable block reward which decreases at a 7.14% rate each year. The average block mining time is 2.5 minutes on the dash blockchain, which makes it four times faster than bitcoin.

Mining is possible on a range of hardware. Dash implements an algorithm known as X11, which the miner must solve in order to earn rewards.

The simplest and most general hardware available for mining is the general purpose CPU present in every computer. However, CPU/GPU mining is no longer cost effective.

ASICs are a popular choice for mining cryptocurrency because they can offer a higher efficiency than CPU or GPU miners, resulting in higher profit. The following X11 ASIC miners are available on the market today.

Mining dash in pools is more likely to generate rewards than solo mining directly on the blockchain. Mining dash using P2Pool is strongly encouraged, since its a good way to distribute, rather than centralize, the hashing power. For the list of mining pools, click here.

Dashing Features

Masternodes – Unlike bitcoin, where each node is equal, dash has special privilege nodes called Masternodes. Anyone can form a Masternode through holding 1,000 dash as a collateral. These special nodes perform PrivateSend and InstantSend functions, and earn a 45% block reward.

InstantSend allows for near-instant transactions. Dash InstantSend transactions are fully confirmed within two seconds. Dash InstantSend is supported by many wallets and vendors, including Dash Core Wallet, Dash Android Wallet, Dash iOS Wallet, Dash Copay Wallet, My Dash Wallet, Kraken, Bitrefill and others. A higher fee is charged for InstantSend transactions.

If you want to pay with InstantSend, its necessary to check the relevant checkbox in the apps for Dash Core, iOS and Android wallets.

The receiving wallet must also be aware of InstantSend in order to immediately process the transaction.

PrivateSend gives financial privacy by obscuring the source of funds on the blockchain. Rebranded from DarkSend in May 2016, PrivateSend, is a ‘trustless’ method of running a sequence of transactions (known as “mixing”) such that an external observer is unable to determine the source of funds when a PrivateSend transaction is created. There feature caps the amount of dash that can be send using the method to 1000.

Dash vs. Bitcoin

Bitcoin takes an average block time of 10 minutes and large purchases can take long time to complete the transactions, while in case of dash, InstantSend feature allows for a near-instant transaction.

Bitcoin transactions can be traced by the users or anyone on the blockchain. Meanwhile, the PrivateSend feature of dash helps users make their transaction details private.

Dash developers and promoters receive payments for their contributions, unlike bitcoin where contributions are voluntary and non incentivized.

Here is a list of dash/bitcoin comparison, which demonstrates all dash features:

Buy With a Dash

A number of merchants worldwide accept dash as a means of payment. Here are some of them:

Lacie Cloud - first-of-a-kind FTP(s)-based privacy-centric cloud storage, web hosting solution.

ISFX Media – an award-winning digital media agency from Aberdeen, Scotland.

Keizerkarelwebdesign - a web design agency based in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

MOJO Marketing - provides small businesses and startups with marketing solutions.

Giftoff - offers a choose of gift card from over 77 top brands, including restaurants, gaming, entertainment, fashion, jewelry and more.

Coaex - a precious metals store accepting cryptocurrencies.

By Bob Loxley

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