|Previous names||Xcoin, Darkcoin|
|Original author(s)||Evan Duffield|
|Initial release||18 January 2014|
|Latest release||0.17.0.3 / 7 June 2021|
|Issuance schedule||Decentralized, block reward|
|Block reward||2.88 DASH (as of 5 June 2020[update])|
|Block time||2.5 minutes|
Dash is an open source cryptocurrency. It is an altcoin that was forked from the Bitcoin protocol. It is also a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) run by a subset of its users, which are called "masternodes".
The currency was launched in January 2014 as "Xcoin" by Evan Duffield, as a fork of the Bitcoin protocol. It is an altcoin and in its early days it was subject to pump and dump speculation. It was rebranded as Darkcoin, which received press for being used in dark net markets. In March 2015, it rebranded again with the name Dash as a portmanteau of 'digital cash'. As of August 2016, Dash is no longer used in any major dark net markets worth noting.
In early 2017 Duffield, who lived in the Phoenix area, and some other people working on Dash took space in a business incubator at Arizona State University. The Dash DAO later funded a blockchain research lab at ASU.
Design and governance
Dash was designed to allow transactions quickly and to have a swift governance structure in order to overcome shortfalls in Bitcoin. What makes Dash different from Bitcoin is that it splits its rewards into three categories: 45% goes to miners, 45% goes to masternodes (these are computers that additional services in the network and have a significant investment in Dash tokens), and 10% goes towards its decentralized governance budget.
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. Anyone with 1,000 Dash Coins (DASH), the protocols native cryptocurrency, can become a masternode owner. Along with masternodes, the system includes standard nodes and miners. 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.
Masternodes provide two additional kinds of transactions. "InstantSend" bypasses mining and instead requires a consensus of masternodes to validate a transaction, speeding transactions. "PrivateSend" is intended to give users optional consumer-grade privacy; it mixes participating users' unspent Dash before executing a transaction.
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