Dash is a cryptocurrency designed for private peer-to-peer payments with a focus on transaction speed. The network adopts a decentralized autonomous organization governed by masternodes more commonly known as the Dash DAO, making it a two-tiered network that incentivizes nodes to equitably maintain a state of decentralized governance. Participants of the Dash protocol need to lock up at least 1,000 DASH to become a masternode.
Dash nodes, much like Bitcoin nodes, work to clear transactions out of the protocol’s mempool. The project distributes the block rewards between miners, masternodes, and the treasury used to fund the organization's development. The miners validate transactions in a highest-to-lowest fee order. With Dash, privacy is optional using PrivateSend and payments can be instantly settled with InstantSend. Dash is widely adopted and users are able to purchase goods with Dash at thousands of merchants across the globe.
Dash was created in January 2014 as the result of a fork of the Litecoin codebase and was originally called Xcoin. A month later, the project rebranded to Darkcoin in an effort to promote its privacy and anonymity features. This led to the digital asset being associated with the darknet so the team rebranded once more in March 2015. The asset was now called Dash, a combination of digital and cash and has switched from Litecoin’s codebase to Bitcoin’s. The project was met with criticism early on due to a mining bug that resulted in 2 million DASH.