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Dash is an open source cryptocurrency and is a form of decentralized autonomous organization run by a subset of users, called "masternodes". It is an altcoin that was forked from the Bitcoin protocol. The currency permits fast transactions that can be untraceable.
A Bit of History
For the last five years, Dash has been living up to its namesake and has achieved everything from developing masternodes to humanitarian efforts and even a respectable market cap. It is now accepted at more than 4,000 merchants worldwide, you can buy it at 700 ATMs and get hold of it on 90 exchanges. At the time of writing, it currently ranks 13th based on market cap. But how did it get to be this large?
On January 18, 2014, Evan Duffield, an early Bitcoin adopter, took the code from Litecoin and forked the network to create Dash, making a few improvements as he did it. He changed the algorithm from SHA-256—which Bitcoin and Litecoin use—to the X11 algorithm, making it ASIC-resistant, which prevents more powerful computers mining all the coins. Due to it's privacy features, it gained popularity in countries with despots for leaders, like Venezuela.
Due to hyperinflation–and the government’s mismanagement of the economy–the Venezuelan petro’s value has taken a dive. This paired with the government’s blockade of foreign currencies has made cryptocurrencies a viable alternative. Even though Dash decreased in value 92 percent during 2018, it far outperformed the petro, which has an inflation rate of 150,000%. Today, Dash has become one of the most widely adopted currencies in the region—there are more than 2,500 merchants that can accept the currency, including Subway, Church's Chicken and many more. While the network has become a bastion for Venezuelans, Dash has been showcasing how fast a cryptocurrency can evolve.
Five months into its launch, masternodes were launched taking it further from its bitcoin roots. Masternodes require miners to lock up a certain portion of Dash in order to receive block rewards from processing blocks. This incentivizes users to stay honest, and also, has helped Dash to become one of the few networks to not succumb to a 51% attack—unlike Ethereum Classic. While it’s been free from thieves, it’s also been free from commercial pressure.
In late 2015, Dash became self-funding. By introducing superblocks—which gives a recurring payment to the core development team—it no longer relied on the interests of third parties to keep it in the black. Traditionally, cryptocurrencies are either created by for-profit companies or have part-time developers who have to maintain other jobs to pay their rent. Without funding, the developers have less ability to spend time on protecting the network and responding to attacks. But Dash isn’t an exclusive members club: anyone is able to submit proposals for the network and compete for up to 10 percent of the reward.
While Duffield remained in the driving seat for the majority of the cryptocurrency’s existence—raising questions over how centralized the network really is–in April 2017, he stepped down into an advisory role. This devolution in power went one step further when the Dash Core Group, a steering committee for the network, handed over control of its assets and intellectual property to the Dash DAO—an automated governance mechanism. This meant Dash became under full control of the DAO—although legal experts question this.
What is Dash?
Dash is a digital cash you can spend anywhere, Released on 18th January 2014, Dash is formerly known as Darkcoin or Xcoin. The cryptocurrency name was changed to Darkcoin in 2015. Within the first two days of launch, around 1.9 Million coins were mined. It is an open-source peer-to-peer payment network that verifies online transactions in between two users. It protects your personal information, offers instant payments with low transaction fees.
How Is Dash different from Bitcoin?
Transaction speed. The founder of Dash understood that users wanted more speed when verifying transactions. For example, it takes an average of 20 minutes to confirm bitcoin transactions, with many merchants requiring up to six confirmations before they will accept a transaction. This can add up to an hour for a single transaction.
To solve this challenge, Dash created InstantSend, a service that allows near-instant transaction speed. The decentralized technology guarantees and confirms payments in about four seconds. As the popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, transaction speed will become increasingly important for face-to-face transactions, and slow transaction times will no longer be an option.
Fees. One key difference between Dash and Bitcoin is the transaction cost. Bitcoin’s transaction fees range based on a variety of factors, including the block size and time of day. For example, when large quantities of transactions are waiting to be processed, miners prioritize transactions that pay larger fees.
The fees to transact using Dash are much lower — typically pennies rather than dollars. For example, Dash has recently managed to get its average transaction fee to one year low ($0.0264) while reaching an all time high number of transactions per day (over 35,000), surpassing other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin.
Community and governance. One of the benefits of cryptocurrencies is that they’re not governed by a centralized entity, such as a government or financial institution. However, the exact governance structures of bitcoin and Dash are different. For example, bitcoin is governed by peer review. Changes can be made, but only through a rough consensus among its most active contributors. As a result, making important decisions and changes can be slow.
Similar to bitcoin, Dash mining is not regulated by a centralized entity, but one major difference is that there is a formal voting system in place. When changes are needed, there isn’t a long, heated debate. Instead, a vote takes place, a decision is settled on and action is taken — or not taken — within a short period of time.
Privacy features. Many users of cryptocurrency appreciate that it’s a private and secure method for conducting transactions. Bitcoin is said to be anonymous, but since the history of each transaction is made visible to everyone, some say that isn’t enough privacy.
Dash has a privacy feature called PrivateSend, which is a coin-mixing service. The technology works to add privacy and security so that transactions can’t be directly traced to the parties involved.
Dash evolution. Dash Evolution is a new Dash development that will make digital cash easy to use and access for all users. Anybody will be able to setup an account on the blockchain, add contacts, and pay them by name with a single click. This will simplify payments enormously and facilitate the adoption also by those who aren’t technologically savvy. Many consider this project to be the future of payments because purchases from websites or mobile apps will be very simple and will keep technical information such as the complex Blockchain addresses away from the user interface.
Dash Explainer Video
This video was created by Dash and may be biased. For more information about Dash, please visit https://www.dash.org/.