Dash (DASH) describes itself as digital cash that aims to offer financial freedom to everyone. Payments are fast, easy, secure, and with near-zero fees. Built to support real-life use cases, Dash aims to provide a fully-decentralized payments solution. Users can purchase goods at thousands of merchants and trade it at major exchanges and brokers around the globe.
Dash has — since its creation in 2014 — introduced features such as:
- Two-tier network with incentivized nodes and decentralized project governance (Masternodes)
- Instantly settled payments (InstantSend)
- Instantly immutable blockchain (ChainLocks)
- Optional privacy (PrivateSend)
Governance is handled through a form of decentralized autonomous organization in which decisions are made on a blockchain via masternodes. Masternodes perform standard node functions like hosting a copy of the blockchain, relaying messages, and validating transactions on the network, and in addition act as shareholders, voting on proposals for improving Dash’s ecosystem. Along with masternodes, the system includes standard nodes and miners.
Running a masternode requires ownership of 1000 Dash. Masternodes are also required to have a static IP address and meet minimum requirements for CPU, RAM, disk space and network bandwidth.
A proof of service protocol ensures that masternodes have the most current blockchain protocol and are online.
The system’s decentralization has been criticized due to a mishap, which allowed too many coins to be distributed at release. This concentrated the wealth to a small group, giving them disproportionate power in decisions over the currency’s future.
As of 2018 coins were mined using a proof of work algorithm with a hash function called “X11”, with eleven rounds of hashing, and the average time to mine a coin was around two and a half minutes.
How do I buy cryptocurrency?
While some cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are available for purchase with U.S. dollars, others require that you pay with bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
To buy cryptocurrencies, you’ll need a “wallet,” an online app that can hold your currency. Generally, you create an account on an exchange, and then you can transfer real money to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum.
Coinbase is one popular cryptocurrency trading exchange where you can create both a wallet and buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.