European cryptocurrency exchange BitPanda recently added Dash-fiat trading pairs as altcoin buying options outside of acquiring Bitcoin first continue to expand.

BitPanda, a European-based online cryptocurrency exchange, added support for buying Dash with euros this week, making Dash the third option after Ethereum and Fiat for acquiring cryptocurrency without first buying Bitcoin. Sellers anywhere in the world are now able to sell their Dash, while only European buyers are able to buy Dash directly.

According to BitPanda CEO Eric Demuth, Dash’s stable development and growth made it a prime candidate for integration:

“Recently we observed a significant increase in demand within our customer base for Dash. We carefully observe the market before we add a new technology to our platform. Continuous development, as well as a stable community, are important parameters for us. Therefore we have decided to add Dash on”

BitPanda's integration solidifies Dash's independence from Bitcoin

While most cryptocurrencies experience a degree of dependency on Bitcoin due to the limited non-cryptocurrency buying options on most exchanges and services, Dash, in particular, has made significant gains in fiat trading pairs and support.

Bitfinex and BTC-E, have added Dash-fiat trading options. Additionally, Wall of Coins, a peer-to-peer cash-for-crypto trading platform, recently integrated support for Dash, its second supported cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, which has at times exceeded search terms than those for its much more established competitor.

Finally, early Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem has submitted a proposal to the Dash master nodes for funding from the Dash decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) treasury to create a Dash-branded debit card. Shrem's proposal, likely to pass, will provide a Dash debit card option to US-based users for the first time, while ShakePay and SpectroCoin already provide that option for non-US users.

According to Daniel Diaz, the Dash Core team's Director of Business Development, BitPanda's recent integration represents part of this greater move to independence as a cryptocurrency:

“We are moving towards a multi-Blockchain ecosystem in which exchanges, brokers and merchants are giving their users choice. They are no longer making the decision for users on which payment network they should use, allowing them to choose based on the features and benefits each Blockchain offers. This has another important effect, as currencies like Dash get more and better FIAT gateways they become more price independent from Bitcoin and the market can assign a value to them separately.”

Meanwhile, Ethereum, which claimed an early advantage in fiat trading pairs beyond any currency other than Bitcoin, still maintains a strong position, claiming trading pairs with fiat currency on several exchanges, including GDAX (as well as Coinbase support).

Additionally, the aforementioned debit cards and point-of-sale system, ShakePay and SpectroCoin, also offer direct Ethereum support in addition to Dash.

Bitcoin's scaling problems have led to an exodus to other coins

The longstanding, ongoing, and often times ugly struggle over Bitcoin's scaling solution, with neither Bitcoin Unlimited nor Segregated Witness (SegWit) able to gain a definitive upper hand, has led to a flow of capital to other cryptocurrencies.

Over the past month, Ethereum and Dash in particular, but most altcoins across the board, have experienced record growth, with both of them more than tripling in market cap, all while Bitcoin has remained either stagnant or has retreated in value. While the combined value of all cryptocurrency has slightly dipped since the beginning of the month, altcoins' combined value has more than doubled.

Paradoxically, this dip in Bitcoin's usage due to scaling issues has itself led to temporary alleviation of network congestion issues. Median mining fees for a transaction to be included on the next six blocks dipped from an all-time high of over 70 cents to around 31 cents over the last couple weeks. Median confirmation times have remained fairly constant, and the mempool size of backlogged transactions has dipped from about 22 megabytes to just over five.

Charlie Shrem remarked its continuing usefulness via Twitter:

Despite temporary relief, however, Bitcoin's scaling gridlock appears to continue for the near future. At the time of writing, SegWit adoption stands at 29 percent of the last 1,000 blocks (22 percent of the last 144), while Unlimited claims 37 percent (42 percent of the last 144).

Barring any major upset in the standoff, Bitcoin's capacity appears to be capped at current transaction load levels for the time being.