Dash cryptocurrency – a flagship innovation in the altcoin world

DASH coin and logo

One of the most promising altcoins, DASH, has gone through a series of rebrands and innovations presenting itself to the community as one of the most technologically advanced projects.

The history of the DASH cryptocurrency began in 2014 under the as-yet-unknown name XCoin. After an unimpressive start, developer Evan Duffield decided to rename the currency into Darkcoin, and it paid off – today’s Dash gained a significant part of its popularity still under its “dark” name. Dash coin is already actively used for contactless payments today due to its integration with Wirex card. Also more recently, a special bracelet has been launched in cooperation with Festy, which allows payment in certain pubs and restaurants, and promises to be a real breakthrough in contactless payments in the future.

Today, Wirex is an innovative solution for making micropayments directly from a mobile phone. And although the speed of spreading the technology is not high enough, it all looks very promising.

Algorithm and technical features of Dash

Dash managed to present the world with an entirely new two-tiered network architecture that was able to qualitatively set it apart from the forks of Bitcoin having the same “face”. Special super nodes, or master nodes, formed a new level in the systems architecture that allowed for faster transactions as well as the creation of the Private Send feature, which will be discussed in more detail below. Master nodes ensure smooth operation of the entire system, as they have certain requirements, which include:

  • uninterrupted operation online – 24/7;
  • meeting the minimum technical requirements for the server;
  • availability of 1000 Dash coins for pledge (the money is only temporarily frozen).

The developers also worked on the currency algorithm, Evan Duffield personally suggested a new hashing algorithm system X11, which allowed to partially protect the currency from mining by special equipment. The essence of X11 is the use of 11 different cryptographically robust algorithms that, through alternate execution, allow you to prove the execution of the work.

This algorithm was combined with the DarkGravityWave algorithm, which is a more advanced implementation of the Kimoto Gravity Wave technology. This solution has reduced currency volatility by increasing the smoothness of the increase in mining complexity. The algorithm shows that the reward per block does not increase simply due to the block number – here the difficulty of mining the Dash cryptocurrency comes to the fore.

The formula for calculating the reward is based on Moore’s Law: 2222222/((Difficulty+2600)/9)2

In general, however, this cryptocurrency has a number of other equally important innovations, which will be discussed one by one below.

Effective “shuffling” DarkSend

This mechanism has greatly increased the privacy of transactions between users of the currency, and although it is disabled by default, it is recommended to activate it if confidentiality of transfers is important to one party. Compared to Bitcoin, parties can now avoid the hassle of conducting additional transactions such as changing addresses between transactions or masking IP addresses. There is a small fee to use the feature, but using DarkSend is as simple and straightforward as possible.

The user only needs to click on the “Start shuffling” button. The system will then itself break down the amount required for mixing into standard denominations (0.01, 0.1, 1 and 10 DASH). After that, the system sends requests to the master nodes that the user wants to mix notes of a certain denomination. The developers themselves point out that no identifying information is sent to the master nodes, so no one can know who exactly wants to mix the currency. Shuffling begins the moment any two other users send similar requests to shuffle a note of the same denomination. The master node stirs the users’ inputs, and then a request for payment comes in.

The key is that the user makes the payment to himself, but to a different address of his own wallet. Each wallet has 1000 addresses, enough for about 100 shuffles. When the stock of addresses runs out (approximately after 900 addresses have been used), the wallet creates new ones. To create new addresses, the user has to have backup enabled, otherwise DarkSend will not be available.

After the first shuffle, which is called a round, the system carries out further repetitions of the procedure. The user can adjust the number of shuffles (from 2 to 8) and the process takes place offline, which avoids delays during the transaction.

InstantSend transaction service

With the help of this technology, which is also called InstantX, the developers of the currency managed to reduce the average transfer speed to a record-breaking 4 seconds. InstantX uses a network of master nodes that automatically confirm all the transactions. The developers have succeeded in creating a mechanism whereby the master nodes send a request to the network that each particular transfer is the only one that needs to be confirmed. This allows all other transfers to be ignored, speeding up the procedure many times over.

However, the transfer is still provided by the mining network and the information about it is included in the blockchain. It is with the help of InstantSend that it became possible to always quickly buy Dash cryptocurrency or to sell it.

Democratization of currency management

As mentioned above, there are master nodes within DASH, which together with the miners receive the same percentage of profit from the block. This percentage for each side is 45%. So where does the rest of the mining from the block go?

That is probably the main feature of this cryptocurrency. A special fund is formed for the remaining 10%, which is simply deducted from the currency issuance. It is managed by all of the owners of the master nodes – currently their amount is 4444. The fund managers can propose various projects and initiatives for which, if the vote is successful, money is allocated from the fund.

The system generates a special “superblock”, from which promising solutions are funded. If no solutions have been agreed within a month, the superblock simply does not appear. Certainly, the democratization of the process is rather relative, since a pledge of 1,000 DASH is required to create a master node, but it protects everyone from the possibility of the voting system being hacked by detractors who could simply buy up Dash to form new master nodes.

Nevertheless, the system does have its downside. It is the fact that more than 55% of the total stock of currency has already been mined and as it comes down the possibility of creating new master nodes will decrease. It is still unclear how the development team will deal with such a problem, because a normal reduction or increase in the collateral could affect both the integrity of the system and the value of the currency, because a significant number of coins could hit the market, which could lead to an unpredictable result on the whole market.

As mentioned at the beginning, the currency has undergone a number of rebranding levels, which are worth writing a short review about. After all, today’s DASH went public back on 18 January 2014 under the name XCoin. Just 10 days later, on January 28, genius developer Evan Duffield, then working alone, renamed the currency Darkcoin.

Evan Duffield

Figure 1. Developer’s photo.

Over the next year, Evan was able to find like-minded people, together with whom he optimized the system. In the autumn, a security audit was passed and the system code was opened. The InstantX transaction system was also implemented, and on 25 March 2015, DASH was introduced. The name implies a mixture of the word of the same name, which means “fast break”, and the concept of “digital cash”, which translates to digital money.

The general voting system was introduced in the summer of 2015 and since then the currency has gained a definitive concept and a long-term development vector. But history shows that this is not the latest innovation from the developers, and the currency will undergo a process of continuous improvement.

DASH can be bought on all major cryptocurrency exchanges. The following will be the main ones:

  • Cryptopia;
  • Poloniex;
  • Binance;
  • Bittrex.

Supported Dash wallets

More and more wallets supporting DASH are being created these days. In addition to our web wallet, there are software wallets for all major operating systems (including iOS and Android) as well as a number of hardware wallets. A table of the currently available wallets is provided below.

Wallets for Dash currency.

 

For PC Windows 64
  • DashCore
  • Jaxx
  • Exodus
Windows 32
  • DashCore
  • Jaxx
OSX
  • DashCore
  • Jaxx
  • Exodus
Linux
  • DashCore
  • DashCore Raspberry Pi2
  • Jaxx
  • Exodus
For mobile phones Android
  • DashWallet
  • Coinomi
  • Jaxx
iOS
  • DashCore iOS
  • Jaxx
Hardware wallets
  • KeepKey HardWare Wallet
  • Ledger Nano S
  • Trezor

All of the wallets listed above are secure and allow you to protect your funds from thieves and hackers.

Dash mining

DASH coin

Since DASH is mined using a combination of the X11 multialgorithm and DarkGravity complexity regulator, a network failure can only occur if all 11 algorithms are cracked, which is extremely problematic. Mining currently takes place primarily on graphics processing units (GPUs) on video cards, but a significant percentage of miners also use CPUs to generate revenue. By using X11 on GPU’s it is possible to save up to 40% power and the heat generation is reduced by 40-50%, allowing to mine more efficiently.

What’s next?

More and more information and news is being generated about DASH lately, the main ones are about pricing trends as well as project sponsorship around the world. DASH cryptocurrency is the main sponsor of various blockchain conferences. It should be noted that the DASH project has already sponsored a significant number of conferences across Europe.

The future of DASH looks quite optimistic. The developers’ actions show understanding of the situation, readiness to innovate (the situation with 2MB blocks confirms it).

Most likely, in the next few weeks DASH will go up with some corrections, and the currency will stop above $200, though the prospect of further growth may lead to quite unexpected quotes.

The main thing to keep in mind is that with the hype surrounding this cryptocurrency, there are scammers, Dashcoin (DSH) being one of them. This currency is just a fake of the real DASH, but some people can still fall for this trick, because the similarity in the names of the currencies is almost complete.

About Ankur Suri 22 Articles
Ankur Suri is a blockchain developer who became interested in cryptocurrencies while studying at UCLA. He follows cryptocurrency market news closely and is as passionate about writing as he is about programming. Together with a group of crypto enthusiasts, Ankur is involved in the development and promotion of the alternative Dash wallet, aiming to provide users with the most convenient tool for transactions with this coin.

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