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Dash, once known as Xcoin and Darkcoin, is an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that has followed in the steps of Bitcoin and entered the cryptocurrency space.
It shares a lot of similarities with Bitcoin, including private and instant transactions. It is also self-funded and self-governed, resulting in the ability for anyone to present an idea to the Dash network. The idea will then either be dismissed or followed up based on the decision of the Dash network. This network finances its own development process.
When we said similarities with Bitcoin, we weren't joking, but how can you blame them, considering the huge growth Bitcoin has had in the last 18 months.
Dash however is not a Bitcoin clone. It has a unique self-mutating capability created with Cryptonote technology.
How that works is unimportant but what it means to you and the network is that the network code experiences almost zero errors and comes at a very minimal cost to the developer.
Dash has been around since January 2014 and was first released as XCoin, then changed to Darkcoin. By 2015 it finally rebranded as Dash, which is a shortened version of 'Digital Cash'.
Evan Duffield created and was the lead developer of Dash. When it was released, the crypto market had not experienced the huge boom we have seen in 2017. Many of the cryptocurrencies released at the same time as Dash have dwindled away but Dash remains competitive with the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
One of the reasons it has survived Bitcoins early monopoly was that it was able to solve problems that Bitcoin and others couldn't. This included speeding up confirmation times, increasing block sizes and managed to get around having limited manpower.
According to coinmarketcap.com, Dash's current market capitalisation is over $2.5 billion and has rarely seen the outside of the top 10. This shows the stability it has gained recently, especially considering the huge volatility we are seeing in the crypto markets.
It is estimated that the cap for Dash coins mined will be around 19 million, with a decrease of 7.1% in coins generated per year.
First things first, in order to own Dash, you need to have somewhere to store it. Therefore, you will need a Dash wallet. They are an equivalent of your bank account and allows you to receive the digital currency from a seller and allows you to send to the buyer.
There are two types of wallets you can choose from.
First you have a web hosted wallet, which is similar to your email address. You will go to a third-party site, sign in using your personal address and password and this is where you will find your coins stored.
Second is a software wallet that is downloaded onto your computer or mobile device. This is arguably safer, because you can disconnect it from any networks and means any online thieves cannot access it.
Both types of wallet offer a 2-step authentication process, which is an extra step of security before you log into your account. We would highly recommend taking this step, the more security, the better!
Getting yourself a Dash wallet is very easy, their website takes you through an excellent step by step. Now, once you have got a wallet you will have been given a wallet address. This will comprise of various random numbers and letters, make sure you keep this safe, you will need it later!
The Dash website gives various options for you to buy Dash directly.
Buying directly through third parties as shown above may incur some costs depending on third party in question. Each will have their own specifications regarding buying protocol. Bittylicious as explained allows you to buy more over time, it also requires verification of your identity the more Dash you buy, again for security reasons.
Other limits include; if you are buying using a UK bank account you must be in the UK (or have a UK IP address) and after a purchase, for the next 12 hours you cannot buy any of that cryptocurrency. After that you are only allowed to buy half of the amount you originally bought, and once 48 hours has passed you can buy the entire amount again.
Before the likes of Bittylicious and other exchanges that allowed you to buy Dash directly, you had to go through a 2-step process when it came to buying Dash.
As you couldn't buy directly, you needed to buy an alternative cryptocurrency and then trade it for Dash. More often than not, that cryptocurrency was Bitcoin because it was the most established coin on the market, with every exchange having Bitcoin on their platform.
You would need to open a Bitcoin wallet, usually using Coinbase, purchase Bitcoin with your fiat currency and then trade your Bitcoins for Dash using an exchange. The reason Coinbase is used is because you can connect your Paypal account to it.
This is only available to those in the USA and will allow you to withdraw fiat currency into your Paypal account, and pay for Litecoin, Bitcoin or Ether directly from your Paypal account.
For those who are not in the USA, Paypal is intending to roll this out to other countries in the not too distant future.
Dash is considered one of the big boys in the crypto world. It may not be up there with Bitcoin or Ethereum yet but it is a coin that brokers are seeing as a safe crypto to begin making CFD markets for.
Trading cryptocurrencies as CFDs and other derivatives suddenly opens up a huge market for the crypto world. Not only now are people going to be trading directly using the cryptocurrency but using derivatives hugely increases liquidity of these coins.
If you trade using a CFD, you will have access to the liquidity provided by the actual market of Dash exchanges as well as the liquidity of the CFD market.
Trading derivatives also allows you to use leverage. This means that you do not need to front all of the cash for the full position. For instance, if you wanted to buy 100 Dash coins, you may only have to buy the equivalent of 10 and the broker will subsidise you for the rest of the trade. This then frees up your funds to invest elsewhere.
The other advantage to trading using CFDs is that you can sell the asset without owning it. When you are trading the underlying product, you can only sell it if you already own it. With CFDs, you can sell without owning the asset. This almost doubles the market for traders, rather than waiting for the market to sell off before buying, you can sell to that point.
If you want to trade Dash by actually owning the underlying product there are lots of excellent exchanges that allow you to do so, the likes of Poloniex, Bittrex and CEX are all highly regarded in the field.
If trading on leverage is something that appeals to you then you must trade through a broker. There are hundreds of brokers to choose from. At the beginning, this can be quite daunting however we have tested hundreds in our time and currently have a favourite 5. All have very low minimum deposit amounts, allowing you to test a broker before committing a higher portion of your savings into an account.
Given the number of altcoins on the market nowadays, is Dash a good investment option? If so, what makes it an attractive proposition and is it worth holding for years to come?
In reality, there are a number of reasons to buy Dash as an investment vehicle:
As you can see, there are certainly valid reasons for you to invest in Dash, either directly or via a derivative. But you must be careful, Dash has the same risks of all the other cryptocurrencies, that this is a bubble and that it'll burst. Given the huge volatility it is also advisable to start small!
Dash, like the majority of the cryptocurrencies, saw a huge rally this year, following the path that Bitcoin laid. It reached a high of $412 a coin before it sold off on the back of negative news out of China. It has also made itself very comfortable in the top 10 cryptocurrencies for market share, which suggests that investors feel it one of the safer investments in the crypto market. But what exactly is in store for Dash in the future? Is this a bubble like many analysts predict or can the technology behind Dash prove this to be a winning investment?
As we highlighted above, there are a number of reasons that this cryptocurrency will be around for a while yet. The most notable ones being; its ability to provide instant transactions via Instasend and the anonymity it brings to the table.
Its masternode network is able to adopt innovations that even Bitcoin currently can't, so it is fixing problems that the market leader cannot.
It also has a built-in governance, which, for investors, is a real attraction because it offers a solution for future problems and has a core team that includes some of Dash's founding fathers.
Having the likes of Evan Duffield, Ryan Taylor, Andy Freer and others is almost a weight of investors shoulders because these guys are proven in delivering innovations, their CV is a huge plus.
Now, unfortunately there are issues. The first relates to all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ripple etc. If this is a crypto bubble, then all cryptocurrencies are at risk and we could see a crash in the not too distant future. However, the thing with bubbles is they can last for years, so there is almost an argument to ride it while it’s there.
There are also a few skeletons in the business development team’s cupboards. This is regarding their choice to focus on relationships with exchanges rather than developing a concrete solution for Dash to work as a currency in real life.
The final issue we see is that despite anonymity being a positive to some, it may also be a positive for criminal activity. It means criminals will be able to send currency very easily across borders and anonymously. There may be an issue with law enforcements later down the line.