Dash is an open-source cryptocurrency and is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) run by a subset of users, called masternodes (2nd-tier nodes). Dash is an altcoin that was forked from the Bitcoin protocol.
The currency was launched in January 2014 as 'XCoin(XCO)' 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 on February 28, 2014, as 'Darkcoin', which received press for being used in dark net markets. The Darkcoin white paper was co-authored by Duffield and Kyle Hagan. However, Kyle didn’t continue working on the project due to personal issues with Duffield.
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.
After the success of Dash, two more pillars of the Dash DAO were launched- Dash Force and Dash Labs.
- Dash Force is responsible for all the community management activities of the Dash DAO.
- Dash Labs aims to promote the creation of open-source projects so as to prevent the centralization of blockchain technology development.
Evan Duffield left his CEO position at the main core of Dash DAO in 2017, succeeded by Ryan Taylor, and focused on Dash Labs. From there Evan runs free software projects in order to maintain Dash's decentralization at all times, which uses open-source hardware in order to find a long-term solution for the scaling of the network.
As of April 2018, Dash's market capitalization was around $4.3 billion, and it was one of the top 12 cryptocurrencies.
Shortly after the network launched, Evan detected a major error in the code. He named it as 'Instamine'. This error allowed 1.9 million coins to be mined, due to an incorrect conversion of the difficulty that made use of a corrupt value to calculate it.
That code bug was quickly corrected, but Evan presented the community with several scenarios to make the situation more equitable.
- The first was to relaunch the coin from scratch, with the software corrected, but the community rejected it.
- The second option was to make an airdrop or gift of coins. Through this means, it was sought to expand the initial distribution to which, the community again opposed.
Given the refusals for his two proposals and disagreement from the internal community of Dash, he decided to leave the matter as it was and continued with the development with the code already corrected so that it did not happen again.
The project was able to shake off that initial glitch by using the presence of the X11 algorithm. This method uses chaining of hashing algorithms to provide greater security to the cryptocurrency mining process. With this algorithm, Evan sought to maximize security and prevent the hardware ASICs(Application-Specific Integrated Circuits), so that, they could mine X11 with ease.
On May 22, 2023, the Dash network faced an unexpected disruption due to a glitch during the activation of version 19.0.0 at block 1,874,880. The network was stalled for around 16 hours, which marks the first outage since 2015.
The issue caused a chain halt, preventing the production of new blocks following the main consensus rules. This issue arose and became evident in the first block when v19 activated, but it occurred due to activity in the preceding 576 blocks. Any updated or deleted masternode in that period must have triggered this issue.
At less than 16 hours from the initial incident, the Dash network resumed producing blocks from the last block with a ChainLock. By May 24, 2023, stability had been restored, with around 80% of the network updated to v19.1.0.
Design and Governance
Governance is handled through a 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 1,000 Dash. Masternodes are also required to have a static IP address and meet minimum requirements for CPU, RAM, disk space, and network bandwidth.
Proof of Service (PoSe) is a scoring system used to determine if a masternode is providing network services. PoSe protocol ensures that masternodes have the most current blockchain protocol and are online.
The system's decentralization has been criticized due to a mishap allowing too many coins to be distributed at release, concentrating the wealth and giving a small group disproportionate power in decisions over the currency’s future.
The main difference between Dash and Bitcoin lies in the algorithm that each technology uses to mine coins. Bitcoin uses PoW, whereas, Dash uses a hybrid version of both Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake. It is also called a coin-mixing service that provides anonymity.
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 make transactions untraceable; it mixes participating users' unspent Dash before executing a transaction.
In 2018, the e-commerce payment system company Alt Thirty Six (Alternative36, Inc.) began offering electronic payments in Dash for companies in the legal cannabis industry in the United States.
Dash blockchain is secured by the cryptographic method known as proof of work (PoW). In this process, powerful processors are used, and together they search for solutions to a mathematical problem defined by the X11 hashing algorithm.
After every successful transaction, a new Dash block is added to the blockchain. The miners are then rewarded for the work they put into validating transactions. These rewards are in the form of DASH tokens. DASH has a maximum supply of 18.9 million tokens. The rate of Dash rewards for mining is decreased over time at a rate of 7% every year.
During the DASH halving, whenever 1 DASH is mined, 45% of block rewards go to miners as mining rewards for their Proof-of-Work. Another 45% of block rewards are masternode rewards for their Proof-of-Service. 10% of block rewards go to a decentralized governance budget to guarantee the long-term sustainability of the blockchain.
GroveDB is the first production-level implementation of a key-value hierarchical authenticated data structure(HADS) designed to supplement the RocksDB database of Dash Platform. Dash Core Group(DCG) created GroveDB to provide the desired functionality for the Dash Platform. GroveDB provides three main capabilities:
- Comprehensive querying abilities.
- Letting the users know their data is accurate via cryptographic proofs.
- Efficient proofs in terms of both size and time.
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