Dash – an altcoin with a difference

by Lumai Mubanga

An Altcoin with a difference

The crypto market is still growing with new crypto assets on a daily basis and catching up on this surge is a challenge. However, there are a good number of older crypto assets that may not be as popular to many as the new ones being offloaded into the market. One such an asset is the Dash. It has been around for some time mainly as an altcoin but with a difference.

This article will highlight some not too obvious facts about this assets.

Formerly known as DarkCoin, DASH, is a privacy focused cryptocurrency that uses a mixer called CoinJoin. In addition to traditional Proof-of-Work rewards, there’s a secondary network layer known as master nodes. Users who run master nodes are tasked with performing privileged actions such as voting on proposals for network governance. In comparison to other assets where voting rights are a privilege of a few investors, in DASH, a user needs to qualify to run master nodes to have voting rights. Another privilege available to DASH users is the ability to instantly confirming transactions. Again, few crypto assets accords users with that privilege. The last one has to do with mixing coins. The idea here is that we have better credible deniability because everyone is forced to go through CoinJoin for mixing the coins of all network participants. So, this makes for a much larger anonymity set. Recall that DASH is one of the privacy focused assets and its designed to be as private as possible. How is this done.?

Most users have mixing enabled by default. This “mixing” in DASH is referred to as PrivateSend. When Private Send is enabled, it automatically obscures the origin of funds. When a user prepares a transaction for example, the funds are broken down into standard DASH denominations. The transaction inputs are broken down into standard denominations of 0.01 Dash, 0.1 Dash, 1 Dash, and 10 Dash. Next, a request will be made to the master nodes on the network that there is need to obscure the origins of the funds.

Similarly, other users on the same network will make similar requests to transfer funds privately. The master node will then mix all transaction inputs for all requesting users and then instruct all users to pay their now-transformed inputs back to themselves. Interestingly, what this implies is that all participants in this round of mixing will have the same amount of DASH back in their possession, of course minus the transaction fees.

One notable feature about all this is that users have no idea that all this mixing is happening in the background with or without their knowledge. By the time a transaction is being made, their funds are completely anonymized. An average of eight rounds though is required for the funds to be fully obscured. The dark side of it is that users have to spend more transaction fees than usual. This is because, using mixing requires that users to perform more transaction outputs at time which leads to larger transaction sizes and higher transaction fees.

Indeed, DASH is a crypto asset with a unique difference.

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