Dash (DASH): Near-Instantaneous Crypto Transactions
You can transact with Dash nearly instantly, just as you would in the real world — at the point-of-sale.
By Ryan Taylor, CEO, Dash Core Group
Updated October 21, 2021 • 3 min read
Dash is a cryptocurrency that is optimized for payments and focuses on usability. Dash introduced several innovations that improve scalability, speed, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and user experience compared with other digital currencies. The Dash network is also the longest-running decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), utilizing built-in governance to allocate network resources to organizations that support the network.
Dash’s Transactions Are Practically Instant
Most digital currencies take minutes to hours to fully complete a transaction, depending on network congestion, prevailing network fees, and block confirmation times. While other digital currencies are certainly secure, variations in transaction times limit their usefulness for time-sensitive transactions, such as retail checkout transactions, for example. In contrast, Dash transactions are nearly instant. Transactions confirm within 1-2 seconds and are instantly respendable by the recipient. This allows you to transact with Dash just as you would with cash in the real world: at the point-of-sale, where the vast majority of transactions still take place.
Dash Is Low Cost and Scalable
Dash is also highly scalable and able to handle millions of transactions per day. In fact, studies at Arizona State University’s Blockchain Laboratory showed that Dash can easily scale to PayPal-like transaction counts with its current architecture. Dash’s scalability provides another major benefit in the form of reliably low transaction costs, typically only a fraction of a cent. The combination of instant, low-cost, and scalable transactions makes Dash ideal for a variety of uses, including point-of-sale transactions, ATM transactions, microtransactions, remittances, and arbitrage trading.
Dash introduced several innovations to the industry that enable its speed and reliability. These include masternodes, InstantSend, and ChainLocks. It is the combination of these technologies that secures transactions so quickly. Although anyone is free to download the Dash software and run a full node on the network — just as with Bitcoin — masternodes are a special class of nodes that have certain privileges and responsibilities. In order to upgrade your node on the network to a masternode, you must broadcast a special transaction on the network proving ownership of 1,000 Dash coins. This prerequisite prevents any one person from controlling a large number of masternodes. Masternodes are paid for the infrastructure and services they provide to the network.
This diversely owned layer of the network is used to cast a collective vote on the network’s activities and reach consensus on those activities within seconds. This voting is performed using BLS signatures, which cryptographically prove the network agrees on a given transaction or block of transactions. These signatures then lock individual transactions (InstantSend) or entire blocks of transactions (ChainLocks) within seconds. In addition, masternodes help coordinate optional CoinJoin transactions. Dash features a fully-transparent blockchain, just like Bitcoin — where all inputs, outputs, addresses, and amounts are published publicly. CoinJoin is a technique that increases the complexity of transactions on public blockchains to make it more difficult for outside parties to monitor your spending or track your balance. CoinJoin transactions do not require modifications to the original Bitcoin protocol.
Decentralized Governance by Blockchain (DGBB) is Dash’s solution to two important problems in cryptocurrency: governance and funding. Governance in a decentralized project is difficult, because by definition there are no central authorities to make decisions for the project. In Dash, such decisions are made by masternodes. DGBB allows each masternode to cast a vote (yes/no/abstain) on each proposal. These proposals are most often regarding the allocation of the network's funding, but proposals are occasionally submitted to the network to resolve important or contentious decisions such as whether a feature should be implemented.
DGBB also provides a means for Dash to fund its own development. While other projects depend on donations or premined endowments, Dash uses 10% of the block reward to fund its own development. Every time a block is mined, 45% of the reward goes to the miner, 45% goes to a masternode, and the remaining 10% is not created until the end of the month. Anyone can submit a proposal to the network. If that proposal earns enough votes, then the requested amount will be paid in a “superblock” at the end of the month. The network thus funds itself by reserving 10% of the block reward for approved proposals.
What's Next For Dash
Dash is currently testing a new feature called Dash Platform, which allows users and applications to store data in the network. This will allow you to interact with Dash in new ways — such as create a Dash username, maintain a contact list, create profile information, and transmit shipping information for purchases automatically. With this new addition, Dash will provide a user experience similar to that of popular FinTech applications like PayPal or Cash App.
Dash has a long history of innovation focused on making cryptocurrency payments more accessible and relevant for mainstream users, and the project continues to grow and develop as a leader in the cryptocurrency payments space.
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CEO, Dash Core Group
Ryan Taylor is CEO of Dash Core Group, which supports and nurtures the continued worldwide development and integration of Dash, a top digital currency for payments and e-commerce. He is an expert in the payments industry, with more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of financial services and technology. Ryan has been CEO of Dash Core Group since 2017, having joined the company in 2016 as Director of Finance. Prior to Dash, Ryan was a hedge fund analyst covering a global stable of payments industry investments for the private equity and public market funds of a $20 billion investment firm in New York. Previously, Ryan was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company’s Business Technology Office in New York, where he served senior executive clients of some of the world’s largest financial institutions, covering a wide variety of strategy and technology topics. Ryan holds an MBA from Columbia Business School with a concentration in Finance and Economics, and a Bachelor of Science from W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
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