Digital Cash With An Optional Privacy Layer. Overview of Dash technology, ecosystem growth, exchanges, and wallets
When DASH was initially launched in 2014, the entirety of the cryptocurrency ecosystem was vastly different than it is today, but this user-centric cryptocurrency has stood the test of time. Launched by Evan Duffield as Xcoin, rebranding as Darkcoin before finally landing on Dash in 2015, Dash is an open-source hard fork of Bitcoin that offers its users optional privacy services for transactions, fast payments, and a decentralized currency alternative.
Standing on the shoulders of giants, DASH, a network and cryptocurrency named after the blend of the two words "digital cash", took many of the revolutionary aspects of Bitcoin and added additional layers of usability, mainly to help users remain anonymous. Dash recreates a system mirroring the use of physical cash, where transactions have the option not to be disclosed, offering full anonymity to the user.
DASH: Then and Now
Although DASH is now a mainstream cryptocurrency used by people all across the globe, it has a somewhat nefarious beginning. When Xcoin originally rebranded as Darkcoin, it was to make the cryptocurrency synonymous with the dark web, an untraceable and sometimes disturbing layer of the internet. The dark web allows for the transaction of illegal goods and services; DASH was able to facilitate these transactions in a private and untraceable way, providing immense value to both buyers and sellers. By mid-2016, Darkcoin cleaned up its act. The cryptocurrency was renamed DASH to represent the coin's true intentions. It was no longer a means of transaction on any dark web applications.
Since then, DASH has only continued to grow as regular, everyday users begun to take note. In many countries with corrupt governments, high inflation, or rampant extortion, DASH acts as a buffer of protection for its users. Users can rest assured that their transactions will be private, keeping them safe from any downsides made possible from the aforementioned reasons. As of this writing, DASH is the forty-first largest cryptocurrency by market cap. In the $1.5 trillion crypto market, this coin has a market capitalization of almost $2 billion and a fully diluted market cap of $3.75 billion. Although the DASH price peaked in the bull run at the beginning of 2018 at a value of over $1,200 per token, it is still one of the most widely used cryptocurrencies on the market. This is largely due to its value proposition, robust international community, and legacy as one of the market's original privacy coins.
As a hard fork of Bitcoin, Dash wanted to improve transaction speed finality and privacy issues, both of which it has accomplished. Similar to Bitcoin, DASH still uses a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, but the network opts for the X-11 hash function over Bitcoin's SHA-256 algorithm. With an average block time of about two and a half minutes, DASH is able to process significantly more transactions than Bitcoin and at a cheaper rate.
The platform is governed by masternodes, requiring a minimum holding of 1000 DASH to qualify. This allows for distributed and decentralized consensus, with a mechanism to punish bad actors by slashing their holdings if they try to take advantage of the network. With masternode implementation, DASH can offer two additional types of transactions, InstantSend and PrivateSend. When a user chooses InstaSend, the traditional mining consensus is bypassed. Only masternodes validate the transaction, speeding up the transaction time significantly. With PrivateSend, the users' unspent DASH is mixed in with other participating users' DASH, effectively cleaning the transaction and making it untraceable as it takes place.
DASH has come a long way from its dark web days, currently collaborating with some of the most reputable companies in the world. In January 2021, Dash Investment Foundation (DIF), an investment fund governed by the Dash Network, solidified a partnership with Craypay to introduce DASH to 155,000 merchants across the United States. The Dash Core Group, the main developer of the Dash network, is building a cryptocurrency-focused variation of Craypay's universal loyalty program.
Under the present Craypay iteration, customers are rewarded with savings for shopping at 155,000 retail locations and over 75 online stores. With partners like Best Buy, GAP, and America Eagle, DASH will be introduced as a payment and savings tool with some of the most recognizable brands on the market. On top of this, the DASH Craypay app will offer users and merchants superior savings than when spending US dollars, adding yet another factor that could lead to mainstream adoption.
How Do I Buy and Store DASH?
As one of the largest and most pervasive cryptocurrencies, DASH is widely available to purchase on various platforms and exchanges. Depending on your preference, you can purchase DASH with cash, credit card, debit card, money transfer, or with other cryptocurrencies. The main two avenues to purchase DASH are through centralized and decentralized exchanges. DASH is available on all of the most popular exchanges, such as Coinbase, Binance, OKEx, and Huobi.
If you are more privacy-focused and do not want third parties to have your information or control over your coins, there are options like AtomicDEX to acquire cryptocurrencies. Unlike ERC20 tokens, DASH is not available on a majority of decentralized exchanges, as it doesn't run on the Ethereum network. With AtomicDEX's cross-chain interoperability capabilities, you can easily purchase DASH through non-custodial means. Considering DASH's emphasis on privacy and blockchain's decentralized nature, using a platform that allows you to own your own data is highly recommended.
What's the Best Way to Store DASH?
Like with most popular and widely used cryptocurrencies, DASH owners have many options when it comes to wallet storage. DASH has mobile and desktop wallets for all platforms. It offers an official DASH wallet developed by the Dash Core Group and third-party wallets that offer easy access and integration. These DASH wallets allow anyone to effortlessly send and store DASH, with transactions taking a matter of seconds to complete. However, certain wallets are connected to the internet, leaving some level of exposure to the wallet's private keys. The official DASH wallet allows users to control their private keys, emphasizing user control and safety.
Another great hybrid-wallet option is AtomicDEX, which allows for multi-coin storage across different blockchains and trade execution directly from the wallet. AtomicDEX makes secure HODLing easy for everyone, and eliminates the need to go to a separate exchange to place a DASH buy or sell order.
Finally, there are the most secure options - hardware wallets and paper wallets. Paper wallets require a user to create a wallet through a non-internet connected device and storing the keys offline. By never allowing the wallet private keys to be accessible on the web or by a hacker, security is considerably heightened. Hardware wallets offer similar possibilities, with Ledger, Trezor, KeepKey, Cobo, and more all supporting the storage of DASH. If you want all the properties that Bitcoin offers but with beefed-up privacy and faster transaction speeds, DASH may be the right option for you.
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