What is Dash?
Why Dash is a faster, more evolved form of Bitcoin
Bitcoin revolutionized the world of cryptocurrency when it introduced a decentralized blockchain, but after its release, many developers thought of ways it could be improved. While some of these developers ended up working on Bitcoin itself, Evan Duffield decided to go his own way when he created Dash.
His goals with Dash were to increase anonymity, make a more user-friendly cryptocurrency, and make sure the system could scale into the future. What primarily separates Dash from Bitcoin is the use of a 2nd-tier network, comprised of MasterNodes, which offer services like InstantSend and PrivateSend – something Bitcoin, with its 1-tier architecture, can’t do.
And while Bitcoin has had a contentious year as various parties argued about what direction Bitcoin should take, Dash has a decentralized governance system that allows Dash users to participate in decision making for the Dash network. This has to lead to a much smoother path for Dash, with upgrades to the network being released on a routine basis.
While sending a payment on Bitcoin requires about 10 minutes, a normal payment on Dash is mined in under 2.5. InstantSend is a feature built into the Dash Wallet that lets a user send payment in under a second. InstantSend transfers do cost a bit more than a normal transfer – 3 cents compared to less than one cent for a normal Dash transfer.
Dash’s PrivateSend feature lets you make it much harder for anyone to figure out where you sent your money, or where it came from. It does this by mixing your transaction with many others; sort of like throwing your payment, and payments from many other people, into a big bag that gets shaken up. After mixing, the payment is sent on to its recipient, making it much harder to determine who sent what to whom.
The 2nd-tier of the Dash network is comprised of MasterNodes, which provide the InstantSend and PrivateSend functions. While anyone can host a MasterNode, it does require the user to stake 1,000 Dash. Those Dash still belong to the user and can be spent at any time, but staking it means that the user is committed to protecting the Dash Network.
There are over 4,500 Dash MasterNodes in 41 counties. MasterNodes receive 45% of the Dash generated when a block is mined, which is currently about 7 Dash per block.
What may be more important than any of the features listed above is the governance model of Dash, which allows for Dash MasterNode owners to participate in the Dash decision making process. Every time a block is mined, 45% of the new Dash created goes to the miner of the block, 45% is sent to the MasterNodes, and 10% is saved for the Dash organization. The 10% becomes available on a monthly basis, but can’t be spent unless a spending proposal is approved by at least 51% of the MasterNode owners. Typical proposals range from paying the Dash developers, funding outreach efforts, or even approving changes to the Dash network itself.
A great example of why this is important happened in early 2016 when the Dash Core Team proposed increasing the size of a Dash block from 1 to 2 MB, to allow for more transactions to fit into a block and to keep transaction fees low. A consensus was reached within 24 hours. The same debate has been raging in the Bitcoin community for the last 2 years, with multiple hard-forks and community anger as the only result so far.
The next phase in Dash is called Evolution, which aims to make Dash more user-friendly and even more scalable. Key features include a new light wallet, a better API, and the ability to ensure that MasterNodes are performant enough to deal with the increased activity of the Dash network. Versions of Evolution have already started rolling out, with a full release expected in early 2018.
How to Buy Dash
Unfortunately, Dash isn’t as easy to purchase as Bitcoin. You can’t buy Dash with a credit card, so you’ll have to use one of the cryptocurrency exchanges to buy Dash using Bitcoin.
Buy Bitcoin at Coinbase
To start, if you haven’t already, head over to Coinbase and sign up. Coinbase will let you use a credit card to buy Bitcoin, which is what you’ll be using to purchase Dash.
Sell Bitcoin for Dash at Binance
After you’ve purchased Bitcoin, you’ll need to sign up for a cryptocurrency exchange – we recommend Binance. It’s fairly easy to use, has good uptime, and is responsive to customer issues. After you’ve signed up, you’ll send the Bitcoin from Coinbase to Binance. Head to the Binance deposit page, find BTC in the list and click on the Deposit button to get your deposit address. Put that address into the field on Coinbase that lets you send Bitcoin.
After your deposit arrives on Binance, you’ll be able to head to the Binance DASH/BTC market where you can Buy XMR (the token name of Dash) using the Bitcoin you deposited.
If that all sounds too complicated, however, there may be some good news – there are good reasons to suspect Dash may soon be added to Coinbase, which would allow most people to purchase it with a credit card.