What is Dash? (DASH)
One of the first prominent alternative cryptocurrencies, Dash was among a group of early projects to copy and modify Bitcoin’s code in an attempt to reach a broader market.
But Dash would go on to differentiate its technology considerably in the wake of its 2014 launch, adding new features meant to make transactions work more like traditional online payments.
InstantSend, for example, allowed users to transfer DASH without waiting for transactions to be confirmed on the Dash blockchain. Instead, users could send cryptocurrency to special nodes (called Masternodes) that would lock the funds before recording them in an upcoming block.
PrivateSend, another feature of Dash, enabled users to send transactions using a built-in mixing service. Users could send their DASH to Masternodes, which would mix the transactions with others, obscuring the trail of the original transaction.
Still, Dash would go further, embracing more experimental features designed to give anyone who owned a certain amount of DASH the ability to participate in the operation of its blockchain at a time before staking protocols were the norm.
Today, Dash is even partly run through a series of contracts on its blockchain that help manage the development, marketing and infrastructure of the software.
The Dash team now keeps users updated on changes through its website and Reddit forum.
How does Dash work?
For those familiar with any proof-of-work cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin or Litecoin), the first tier of the Dash blockchain operates in much the same way.
This layer is powered by miners who compete to create new blocks and secure the blockchain. Miners preserve the Dash blockchain’s transaction history, while preventing double spending.
The difference between Dash and Bitcoin is that it has an average block time of 2.5 minutes (compared to 10 minutes) and miners only receive 45% of the DASH minted in each block (as opposed to 100% on Bitcoin).
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