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Cryptocurrency Profile: Dash

Dash Cryptocurrency

2017 has been the year of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin started the year at roughly the 1,000-dollar mark and surpassed $10,000 earlier this week. But while Bitcoin has increased more than tenfold, other cryptocurrencies have also had impressive years.

Dash was valued under $12 per coin to start 2017, with a total market capitalization under $80 million. It is poised to finish the year with a $5 billion market cap and a price over $700, more than 50 times higher than where it started the year.

So what is Dash, and why did it have such an impressive year?

Differences between Dash and Bitcoin

As the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin solved a lot of issues that would have made digital currencies unreliable. Most importantly, Bitcoin cannot be forged, altered, or duplicated. All transactions are tracked and recorded in a publicly accessible ledger, the Blockchain, which is transcribed and broadcast by an unaffiliated network of nodes.

It is this combination of features that has made Bitcoin valuable. However, Bitcoin’s popularity has given rise to a new set of problems or exposed special cases where a specific need is not being met by Bitcoin. This is where altcoins come in.

Dash possesses many of these same qualities, but seeks to overcome some issues that are perceived as Bitcoin shortcomings. At times, Bitcoin’s network can become plagued by congestion and high fees, making it difficult to use for transactions. Furthermore, even though Bitcoin transactions are pseudo-anonymous, some cryptocurrency experts think that that isn’t enough privacy from a coin.

The abstract from Dash’s whitepaper explains how it attempts to solve these problems:

Dash: A Privacy-Centric Crypto-Currency

Abstract. A crypto-currency based on Bitcoin, the work of Satoshi Nakamoto, with various improvements such as a two-tier incentivized network, known as the Masternode network. Included are other improvements such as PrivateSend, for increasing fungibility and InstantSend which allows instant transaction confirmation without a centralized authority.

As the title states, Dash places a primary focus on privacy. Now, you may be thinking “Isn’t Bitcoin already anonymous?” And in a way it is. However, because of the public availability of the blockchain, there are ways to follow the movement of bitcoins over time.

Dash attempts to solve this issue with PrivateSend. This feature does not actually send Dash privately to other Dash wallets, like you might think from the name. PrivateSend lets you anonymize your own Dash by mixing it through a series of transactions designed to disguise where the funds originated from. There’s a detailed look at how PrivateSend works on the Dash YouTube Channel.

This process gives Dash fungibility, that is, each unit of Dash is interchangeable. This differs slightly from Bitcoin because in theory, you can track units of Bitcoin and flag them, while Dash funds that have been privatized can’t be traced.

On top of privacy and fungibility, Dash transactions are much faster and much less expensive to process than Bitcoin transactions. Both high fees and slow transactions have plagued the Bitcoin network in 2017. Dash has been remarkably free of these issues, for now at least.

Dash is valuable because like Bitcoin its network and technology have a history of reliability. On top of that, Dash has shown itself to have advanced privacy as well as faster and cheaper transactions compared to Bitcoin. This combination of features has sparked its impressive climb this year.

Dash timeline

Here’s a look at how Dash has progressed as a coin and community, and some of the hurdles they’ve overcome to establish themselves as a dominant cryptocurrency:

Dash Timeline

Dash has seen a dramatic price rise at the end of 2017 because of its usefulness and reliability. More and more it looks like cryptocurrencies will hold an important place in our increasingly connected and increasingly global world. This is thanks to the technology provided by Bitcoin, as well as advancements by altcoins like Ethereum, Ripple, and Dash.

Did you know that Payza now lets you buy and sell these altcoins and dozens more? You can learn about Payza’s cryptocurrency features and services on our blog:

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