Like every profound innovation, Bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized digital currency, has seen a stampede of imitators and would-be improvers. Since its release in 2009, more than 700 cryptocurrencies have followed in its trail, though only a half-dozen today have a market cap north of a legitimizing $10 million figure. (Bitcoin’s is at $5.6 billion.) Currently ranking Number Five or Six on any given day, but moving steadily up, is a coin that does more than merely flatter Bitcoin by hoping to catch a few excess rays of glory.
The Dash digital currency launched in January 2014 is already more prominent than all but a handful of Bitcoin alternatives. It has achieved its remarkable and steady ascent by clearly articulating and then making good on its mission to create a fast, private, totally self-governing and self-funded network that radiates ease of use for its holders.
While studiously avoiding any claims that it will replace Bitcoin in the crypto world, Dash is methodically building its infrastructure and making a name for itself as a complementary vehicle that answers a variety of emergent needs. Notably, as its name implies, it is known for its fast transactions.
You want fast and secure?
Try Dash’s 1-to-4-second “InstantX” transactions, which virtually eliminate the possibility of a buyer “double-spending” the amount of a purchase while the action clears.
You want privacy so that marketers, business competitors and other interested parties can’t access records of your spending habits or preferred commercial locales?
Dash’s “PrivacyProtect” allows no light in on your transactional life, so it remains private largely because the money you use is mashed up with many other transactions.
You want a truly decentralized network where every participant has a vote, and near-instantaneous voting allows the network to adjust quickly to changing circumstances or new ideas? Dash has added a second tier to other cryptocurrencies’ traditional one-tier network of miners in the form of “masternodes,” a kind of network server consortium that anyone holding 1,000 dash can join, becoming his or her own node operator.
You want easy transaction protocols to swap money with friends or family?
Enter Dash’s upcoming “social wallet,” which will allow a kind of preferred-friends list in your account to make transactions even easier than they are with standard commercial contacts.
Dash also distinguishes itself in the crypto world by how it apportions awards from the blockchain. Rather than directing 100 percent of blockchain awards to the miners who are solving its complex algorithms, Dash splits awards between miners and masternodes at 45 percent each, while reserving the remaining 10 percent for the network. The nodes vote in a provable decentralized fashion to allocate resources and reinvest in the expansion of the network. This provides ongoing return on investment for miners and masternodes, with a self-funding mechanism that allows the network to get help from contractors when a need emerges and the network votes to expend funds to do the work.
The Dash award protocol solves the problem of networks being so decentralized that there is no funding center to secure needed services for the network’s optimal functioning. Dash recently used this provision to hire two contractors to install ATMs that are critical to the protocol’s access and acceptance in the marketplace.
Although Dash’s value has hit several all-time highs in recent months, Business Development Manager Daniel Diaz distinguishes between what he calls “fundamental value” and the kind of “casino value” that all cryptocurrencies have ridden up and down in recent years.
“There will always be currency speculation and bubbles driven by emotion, but that’s out of our control, so we don’t concern ourselves with it,” says Diaz. “Our focus is on building sustainable, fundamental value that will drive the price higher because the network gets stronger and more useful over time. Our goal is to facilitate a truly decentralized, peer-to-peer economy that allows people to be in total control of their finances. That has never been possible before, especially with the safety, privacy and network infrastructure that we have put into place with Dash. We are in this for the very long term.”