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## What Is Dash (DASH)? Dash is an open-source [blockchain](https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/glossary/blockchain) and [cryptocurrency](https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/article/what-are-cryptocurrencies) focused on offering a fast, cheap global payments network that is decentralized in nature. According to the project's [white paper](https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/glossary/whitepaper), Dash [seeks](https://github.com/dashpay/dash/wiki/Whitepaper) to improve upon [Bitcoin](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin) (BTC) by providing stronger privacy and faster transactions. Dash, whose name comes from "digital cash," was [launched](https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.0) in January 2014 as a fork of [Litecoin](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/litecoin/) (LTC). Since going live, Dash has grown to include features such as a two-tier network with incentivized nodes, including "masternodes," and decentralized project governance; InstantSend, which allows for instantly settled payments; ChainLocks, which makes the Dash blockchain instantly immutable; and PrivateSend, which offers additional optional privacy for transactions. ### Who Are the Founders of Dash? Dash was founded by software developers Evan Duffield and Kyle Hagan. The project was originally called XCoin, changing its name to Darkcoin two weeks later before [rebranding](https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/official-statement-on-rebranding-to-dash.4297/) again to Dash in March 2015 in an effort to positively change its image. Before launching Dash, Duffield was a software developer with experience in finance, from his time working at Hawk Financial Group, as well as in public relations, having developed machine learning algorithms and search engines. He first [conceived of](https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/the-birth-of-darkcoin.162/) Dash in 2012 as a way to add more anonymity to Bitcoin — hence, originally calling it Darkcoin. Duffield has [claimed](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q0MiDNe6Wc) that he started it as a hobby, coding it in just one weekend. Duffield served as CEO of Dash Core Group — the company that supports the continued development, integrations and other activities of Dash — until December 2017 when he [stepped down](https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/dash-core-team-organization-announcement.14434/) to focus on other strategic initiatives. Hagan [co-authored](https://github.com/dashpay/docs/raw/master/binary/Dash%20Whitepaper%20-%20Darkcoin.pdf) the original Darkcoin whitepaper alongside Duffield. However, he [left](https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/kyle-hagan-is-no-longer-part-of-the-development-team.3225/) the project early on in December 2014. ### What Makes Dash Unique? According to its website, the [goal](https://docs.dash.org/en/stable/introduction/about.html) of Dash is "to be the most user-friendly and scalable payments-focused cryptocurrency in the world." To accomplish this, the project relies on a network of masternodes, which are servers backed by collateral held in Dash that are designed to provide advanced services securely and governance over Dash's proposal system. In exchange for part of the block rewards, masternodes provide a second layer of services to the network. They facilitate functions such as InstantSend, PrivateSend and ChainLocks. Dash is marketed to both individual users and institutions, including merchants, financial services, traders and those who need to send international remittances. In October 2020, Dash Core Group [reported](https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/dash-core-group-q3-quarterly-call-29-10-2020.50832/) that its strategic objectives moving forward include building its ecosystem and brand, ensuring that users are satisfied and further advancing the technology behind the network. Dash's governance system, or treasury, distributes 10% of the block rewards for the development of the project in a competitive and decentralized way. This has allowed the creation of many funded organizations, including Dash Core Group. In addition, the Dash Foundation, which advocates for the adoption of the cryptocurrency, receives donations and offers paid individual and institutional memberships. #### **Related Pages**: Learn more about [Litecoin](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/litecoin/), the cryptocurrency from which Dash was forked. Learn about [XRP](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/xrp/), another cryptocurrency offering a near-instant payments network Want tips on keeping your Dash safe? Read an in-depth [crypto safety guide](https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/article/how-to-keep-your-crypto-safe) on Alexandria, CoinMarketCap's online educational resource. Stay up to date on the latest cryptocurrency news with the [CoinMarketCap Blog](https://blog.coinmarketcap.com/). ### How Many Dash (DASH) Coins Are There in Circulation? The maximum number of Dash tokens that can be issued is 18,921,005. However, this figure ultimately depends on how the governance decides to allocate the 10% of block rewards reserved for budget proposals. If none were ever allocated, only 17,742,696 DASH would ever be emitted. New Dash tokens are [created](https://docs.dash.org/en/stable/introduction/features.html#emission-rate) through a [proof-of-work](https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/article/proof-of-work-vs-proof-of-stake) mining algorithm in which the token emission rate is decreased by one-fourteenth, or approximately 7%, every 210,240 blocks, or about every 383 days. Approximately 45% of new DASH is awarded to miners, 45% to masternodes and 10% to fund future proposals. In August 2020, a proposal was [approved](https://www.dashcentral.org/p/decision-proposal-block-reward-reallocat) that will, once in effect, change the ratio of coins awarded to miners and masternodes from 50/50 to 40/60, respectively. Within the first 48 hours of Dash's launch, approximately 2 million coins were mined, which significantly exceeded the planned emission schedule. Dash was originally forked from Litecoin, which suffered a similar issue at its launch due to a bug in its difficulty adjustment algorithm. While it is well-documented that Dash inherited the bug from Litecoin, there has, nonetheless, been widespread speculation about whether the resulting fastmine was intentional to benefit early miners. ### How Is the Dash Network Secured? Dash uses a two-tier network to secure its transactions. The first tier consists of nodes that carry out mining operations under a proof-of-work [consensus](https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/glossary/consensus) protocol, meaning that they compete to solve complex cryptographic problems and at least 51% of nodes must approve a transaction for it to be added to the blockchain. The PoW algorithm used by Dash is called "X11" — a custom hashing algorithm developed by Dash founder Duffield that uses a sequence of 11 hashing algorithms. According to Dash's [documentation](https://docs.dash.org/en/stable/introduction/features.html#x11-hash-algorithm), X11 is "one of the safest and more sophisticated cryptographic hashes in use by modern cryptocurrencies." The second tier consists of masternodes operating under a proof-of-service consensus algorithm in which masternodes are rated based on their history of providing good services to the network. Masternodes oversee the network and have the power to reject new blocks added by nodes if they were approved improperly. They also enable Dash's ChainLocks feature, which increases security because every 12 hours, a rotating group of masternodes observe and confirm all new blocks added to the blockchain. Dash's developers have [stated](https://blog.dash.org/mitigating-51-attacks-with-llmq-based-chainlocks-7266aa648ec9) that this protects the network against [51% attacks](https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/glossary/51-attack). ### Where Can You Buy Dash (DASH)? As one of the more popular altcoins, Dash can be purchased on most major cryptocurrency exchanges, including [Binance](https://coinmarketcap.com/exchanges/binance/), [Coinbase Pro](https://coinmarketcap.com/exchanges/coinbase-pro/), [Huobi Global](https://coinmarketcap.com/exchanges/huobi-global/), [Kraken](https://coinmarketcap.com/exchanges/kraken/) and [OKEx](https://coinmarketcap.com/exchanges/okex/). It can be traded against fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies such as [Bitcoin](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin) and [Ether](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/ethereum/) (ETH), and [stablecoins](https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/article/what-is-a-stablecoin) such as [Tether](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/tether/) (USDT) and [USD Coin](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/usd-coin/) (USDC). It can be bought and sold on both spot and derivatives markets. Are you interested in buying Dash or other cryptocurrencies such as [Bitcoin](https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin)? CoinMarketCap has a simple, [step-by-step guide](https://coinmarketcap.com/how-to-buy-bitcoin/) to teach you all about crypto and how to buy your first coins.