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What is “Dash” (formerly Xcoin)?

The Dash DAO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization, creates a decentralized, permissionless network that anyone in the world can participate in. Therefore, there is no head of a DAO, offering over 5,000 anonymous masternodes which are distributed throughout the world.

Dash (DASH) can be grouped with two of the market’s other main anonymity-focused assets, Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC), coming into existence in 2014 and 2016, respectively. According to the company’s whitepaper, Dash is the first privacy-centric cryptographic currency based on the work of Satoshi Nakamoto. However, as of October 2020, that vision has changed--more on that later.

Dash differs from Bitcoin mainly because of its algorithm used to mine them. Dash uses a modification of the PoS algorithm, called “X11,” in addition to Conjoin mixing which helps scramble transactions to increase privacy on the blockchain.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, uses a PoW algorithm.

History

What you now know as “Dash,” which launched as a fork of Bitcoin in January 2014 by Evan Duffield, didn’t begin as “Dash.” Originally, it was known as “XCoin.” Due to speculation concerning pump and dump activity, the company rebranded itself to “Darkcoin,” which made a name for itself on the dark web.

In March 2015, Darkcoin rebranded again, changing its name to “Dash,” as a moniker for ‘digital cash,’ positioning itself as a privacy-focused asset. A year later, the company disbanded itself from use in any major darknet markets,

Over the years, the company has created several funded organizations, most notably, the Dash DAO and Dash Core Group, which supports continued development, integrations, and other activities of Dash.

What’s the Industry Saying?

In October 2020, Dash told CoinTelegraph that it no longer operates under the “privacy-focused asset” classification.

“No, Dash is a payments cryptocurrency, with a strong focus on usability, which includes speed, cost, ease of use, and user protection through optional privacy,” Fernando Gutierrez, CMO for the Dash Core Group shared.

However, the asset does still have a privacy feature, PrivateSend, which according to Guiterrez, gives users the option of greater anonymity through CoinJoin, a technique for complicating transactions that they’re more difficult for analytics firms to analyze.

“CoinJoin” came around in 2013, allowing Bitcoin users to comingle their transactions into a group, making tracking extremely difficult. Dash took that same approach and basically created an internal plug-in for Dash senders.

In recent months, the IRS awarded Chainalysis and Integra FEC, two blockchain analytics companies a $625,000 bounty for cracking Monero, pursuant to its request. Dash Core Group had no stance on the IRS’ offer.

Arizona State University

In early 2017, Duffield, who lived in Phoenix, Arizona, launched a business incubator at Arizona State University, with Dash DAO later funding a blockchain research lab at ASU.

FanDuel Partnership

In 2018, Dash partnered with FanDuel, a U.S. sports-betting site for CryptoCup, a fantasy league for basketball. Winners in the league will be paid in Dash’s cryptocurrency. Finally, there are reports that Dash is becoming a preferred coin for transactions on the dark web as well as for those involving money laundering. But Dash CEO Taylor says there is no truth to these assertions. These developments portend well for Dash because it translates into an uptick in its transaction volume.

Penetrating ‘Venezuela’

Since Dash made clear that it aims to become a medium for daily transactions, it has cast a wide net beyond the U.S., establishing a presence in multiple countries, including Venezuela. An early mover in the country, Dash has allowed for cryptocurrencies to be used for services, which the Venezuelan government and its agencies have backed.

Dash CEO, Ryan Taylor told Bloomberg that the demand in Venezuela has been significant, noticing increased interest through forums, chatrooms, and the company’s how-to YouTube videos.

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