Spotlight on: Dash

Thursday 11 June 2015

Dash - formerly known as Darkcoin, has been around for 18 months and doesn’t show any signs of going away. So what’s the deal?

Spotlight on… takes a closer, slightly nerdier look at crypto terms, technologies and services, and their significance.

In a sea of anon coins that all promise unparalleled privacy, Dash is the market leader by some way. It has the largest community by some way and its development is active and ongoing. Although it was prone to some problems in its early days - including a bug which meant coins were mined far faster than was intended - it seems to have smoothed them out and continued to thrive. And, whilst its tech isn’t the best that’s theoretically possible, it’s apparently solid and working, which is more than can be said for so many others.

Anon tx

Fast, anonymous transactions? Dash is currently the market leader.

Darkcoin or Dash?

Though it started life as Darkcoin (DRK), a rebranding exercise at the beginning of 2015 saw the coin renamed as Dash. This was actually a neat move, for several reasons. Firstly, it distanced the coin from the darkmarket application that might be a natural home for such technology. Secondly, it emphasised the speed of transactions. Dash recently implemented instant transactions, and is something of a leader in the space. Lastly, it positions the coin as a general-purpose currency - the name being a contraction of ‘digital cash’ - rather than centring on any one feature.

Masternodes

As well as the regular network of clients, Dash has a second network of so-called Master Nodes. These offer additional services, including Dash’s mixing function, to obscure transactions, and its instant transaction service. These don’t currently provide a fully decentralised solution, though this is the eventual plan.

The obvious use-case for Dash is as the de facto leader for anonymous transactions - what people thought bitcoin was, back in the early days of the Silk Road, before it became clear that the blockchain was as transparent as glass. It hasn’t got there yet - in fact, bitcoin remains the preferred choice for any kind of transaction. No altcoin has even found a toehold in that space.

A dark future?

So it’s unclear how things will turn out for Dash. The coin’s core dev, Evan Duffield, has expressed his hope that it will become a direct challenger to bitcoin - something we’ve heard too often to be taken seriously without a lot more convincing. What can be said is that Dash occupies its own niche at the moment, with working anon tech and some degree of real activity around it. As with so many other coins, though, it’s future is murky. There’s no killer application to bring it to the mainstream, even to the degree that bitcoin is mainstream, and so suggestions of competition have to be taken with a pinch of salt. But it does have reasonable liquidity, for an altcoin, working tech and a decent community of supporters. One to watch, at the very least.

Are you a Dash-lover? Let us know your thoughts!


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