A relatively new cryptocurrency, which was released in 2014, was formerly known as Xcoin or Darkcoin at the time of release. However, it was later renamed as “Dash” to avoid portraying a negative image resulting from its former name. The rebranded name “Dash” implies Digital Cash and thus, represents the essence of cryptocurrency and sounds more user-friendly compared to Darkcoin. Like most other cryptocurrencies, it is based on a decentralized, peer-to-peer platform and operates on an open source model.
In Dash’s ecosystem, there are two layers of operation that are called Miners and Masternodes. Miners are responsible for mining new Dash coins and securing the blockchain by adding new blocks to the blockchain. Masternodes, on the other hand, are responsible for validating the blockchain that is secured by the miners. They work in heavily secured clusters called quorams. At present, there are approximately 4700 masternodes that operate in the system.
Dash, unlike bitcoin, is a currency system that is based on a self-funding and self-governance. Any financial award from each new mining is equally split between the miners and masternodes and each group has a share of 45%. 10% of the award is deposited in a commonly pooled account and is further reinvested in the operated projects related to Dash, attending conferences, and other development activities. Thus, because of this self-funded growth model, Dash is not dependent on any conventional external funding source such as donations or venture funding, to carry out its operations. In fact, this economy system also acts as an incentive for both the miners and masternodes to perform their operations.
There are certain additional features that are unique to Dash and enhance its ability to transact much faster than Bitcoin and provide more security to its users. For example, Instantsend and Privatesend are two primary selling points for this currency because of which, users experience faster and more secure transactions.
Privatesend, for instance, helps maintain anonymity for the users conducting financial transactions. Instantsend, on the other hand, ensures that the transaction time is not more than a few seconds as opposed to Bitcoin, for which transaction times can go from minutes to hours in certain cases, even days for the transactions to get confirmed. Although both these features are optional for users, they still form an integral part of the Dash ecosystem.
According to historical patterns, Dash has been steadily growing since the past couple of years, with relatively faster growth patterns this year. The reasons for its growth seem to be partly, the robust economy system and partly, its ease of use for merchants and investors. With a price of approximately 200 US dollars in August 2017, Dash has speedily spiked to a value of 1500US dollars. Additionally, the market cap of Dash has reached over 7 billion US dollars in just 4 years after its release.
As the value of Dash gears up for the 2000 US dollar mark, Dash has been scaling up its systems to keep up with the increased demand and heavier pressure on its computing systems to ensure that it becomes an effective payment network of the future. For instance, Dash has recently announced its partnership with a joint venture called KuvaCash, to reduce inflation in Zimbabwe by becoming an alternate payment system. Additionally, Dash has scaled up its blockchain size to up to 2 megabytes and has plans to further scale it up to 45 MBs. With such ambitious plans, Dash aims to cover around 94% of the global population who would be able to use it as its payment network.
As of now, these observations indicate a promising future for this cryptocurrency. However, whether such fast growth is a bubble or not, would be ascertained only with time.