Dash (cryptocurrency)

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Dash is an open source cryptocurrency and is a form of decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) run by a subset of users, called "masternodes". It is an altcoin that was forked from the Bitcoin protocol. The currency permits fast transactions that can be untraceable. 45% of mined coins go to miners, 45% to masternodes, and 10% into a fund that the DAO invests.


The currency was launched in January 2014 as "Xcoin" by Evan Duffield.[1][2] It is an altcoin and in its early days it was subject to pump and dump speculation.[3] It was rebranded as Darkcoin[2] and then Dash in March 2015.[3] The name 'Dash' is a portmanteau of 'digital cash'.[3] It is a fork of the Bitcoin protocol.[4]

In early 2017 Duffield, who lived in the Phoenix area, and some other people working on Dash took space in a business incubator at Arizona State University.[5] The Dash DAO later funded a blockchain research lab at ASU.[6]

As of April 2018, Dash's market capitalization was around $4.3 billion and it was one of the top 12 cryptocurrencies.[7]

Design and governance[edit]

Dash was designed to allow transactions quickly and to have a swift governance structure in order to overcome shortfalls in Bitcoin.[3]


Governance is handled through a form of decentralized autonomous organization in which decisions are made on a blockchain by "masternodes". Masternodes perform standard node functions like hosting a copy of the blockchain, relaying messages, and validating transactions on the network, and in addition act as shareholders, voting on proposals for improving Dash's ecosystem. Along with masternodes, the system includes standard nodes and miners.[4][8]

Running a masternode requires ownership of 1000 Dash. Masternodes are also required to have a static IP address and meet minimum requirements for CPU, RAM, disk space and network bandwidth.[8] To incentivize their operation, masternodes receive 45% of all newly created Dash (with 45% going to miners and 10% to the organization's treasury).[2]

A proof of service protocol ensures that masternodes have the most current blockchain protocol and are online.[8]

Because of this two-tiered system in which miners have no vote, it is uncertain if Dash is truly decentralized. The system has been criticized due to the power that early adopters acquired; around two million Dash were mined on the first day the system operated, while the 1,000 coin buy-in price for a masternode cost around $1 million in December 2017.[2][7]


As of 2018 coins were mined using a proof of work algorithm with a hash function called "X11", with eleven rounds of hashing, and the average time to mine a coin was around two a half minutes.[4]


Masternodes provide two additional kinds of transactions. "InstantSend" bypasses mining and instead requires a consensus of masternodes to validate a transaction, speeding transactions.[3][4] "PrivateSend" is intended to make transactions untraceable; it mixes participating users' unspent Dash before executing a transaction.[4][8]

There are several prepaid debit cards that can be loaded with Dash and spent in local currencies.[2] In 2018 the e-commerce payment system company Alt Thirty Six (Alternative36, Inc.) began offering electronic payments in Dash for companies in the legal cannabis industry in the United States.[6]

Dash-funded organizations[edit]

The Dash DAO uses the 10% it receives from mining to invest as the DAO chooses.[8] The Dash DAO funds and owns the Dash Core Group, which provides services to the network and represents it; as of 2018 its CEO was Ryan Taylor.[9]


  1. "Bitcoin may be king, but Ripple dark horse in crypto race". Reuters. January 3, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Kauflin, Jeff (22 Dec 2017). "Dash Is Up 8,000% In 2017. Is This 'Darkcoin' A Better Version Of Bitcoin?". Forbes.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Eha, Brian (26 June 2017). "Can Bitcoin's First Felon Help Make Cryptocurrency a Trillion-Dollar Market?". Fortune.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Lee, David; Low, Linda (21 Jun 2018). Inclusive Fintech: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency And ICO. Singapore: World Scientific. p. 219. ISBN 9789813238657. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. "Dash Open House". Arizona State University. March 30, 2017. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Moore, Heather (24 Aug 2018). "Cryptocurrency Dash aims to give mainstream money a run". 3TV/CBS5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Orcutt, Mike (April 25, 2018). "The top 12 cryptocurrencies and what they are—and aren't—good for". MIT Technology Review.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Prusty, Narayan (27 Apr 2017). Building Blockchain Projects. Birmingham, UK: Packt. pp. 19–21. ISBN 9781787125339. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  9. Chester, Jonathan (August 20, 2018). "A New Signal Of Maturing Cryptocurrency Markets: Corporate And Foundation Investment Arms". Forbes Blog.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

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