On the 2nd birthday of Dash, Cointelegraph spoke to Evan Duffield, the founder and lead developer of the Dash Project (formerly Darkcoin), to talk about the 2 years of this dashing journey.
Cointelegraph: Evan, congratulations on Dash completing two years.
Evan Duffield: Thank you, it’s been a very exciting two years. So much has happened during the two years, it seems pretty amazing. We managed to develop the masternode concept, along with instant transactions, privacy, funding and governance. I’m pretty happy with the progress that we’ve made.
CT: What was your vision for Dash when you founded it? Now two years later, do you think you have achieved what you set out to do with Dash?
ED: When I originally discovered Bitcoin in early 2010, one of my original concerns was that the platform of cryptocurrency is giant and the Bitcoin developers were only focusing in a very small area of what was possible. My first thought was to add some core-features to the Dash client, such as anonymity, then to explore the potential of the cryptographic currency platform and see what other kinds of features could be created.
Since then, we’ve managed to implement a new kind of peer-to-peer network known as a two-tier network, which fully incentivizes full-node operators. Using the masternode network concept (also known as a two-tier network), we’ve been able to implement a great feature set for our users such as instant double-spend proof transactions, transactional privacy, decentralized funding and decentralized governance. The project has been a great success over the past couple of years and I’m quite happy with the progress we’ve made.
CT: In the two years since you founded Dash, what do you think has changed in the cryptocurrency market- both for the better and the worse?
ED: During the past two years, there has been a great awakening of the general public to the power of cryptographic currency for solving many of the problems with the legacy banking system, along with an understanding that this technology is not a fad. This is quite important because Bitcoin defies some principles in classic economic theory, mainly concerning where the value of money comes from. The longer that Bitcoin and other cryptographic currencies survive, the more merit we have of disproving this old theory and possibly replacing it with another theory that is better suited for explaining the value of money and why a network such as the Bitcoin network can maintain its value when many originally thought it wouldn’t. This is great for long term adoption, as it will take a shift in the academic mindset in order to convince the general population that these technologies are safe to use.
CT: What do you think puts Dash at an advantage when compared to other cryptocurrencies?
ED: Dash has a lot of advantages when it is compared to other digital currencies. We’ve tried to make a system that will be attractive to people outside of cryptocurrency. People are used to instant authorization of payments and not waiting for confirmation when it comes to using legacy banking systems such as credit cards and other checkout processes. We know that these in reality take days to settle, but to the user, it seems instant. By actually allowing instant transactions on our network we can do things that no other cryptocurrency can do, such as our InstantX soda machine that will debut at Bitcoin Miami. It allows you to buy soda for Dash in less than 4 seconds, in a way that you can’t double spend the transaction.
CT: Dash's value went up 20% instantly after the integration with Lamassu was announced. Does Dash plan to integrate with more BTM companies in the future?
ED: Yes, our business development team is always looking for further partnerships within the Bitcoin space, including integrating with other BTM companies. Our strategy however is not simply to integrate into as many BTM companies as possible, but to offer more opportunities to get into the Dash ecosystem as easily as possible from the fiat world.
CT: You earlier talked about 'Dash Evolution'. Would you like to tell our audience more about this evolution of Dash? What can we expect from Dash in 2016?
ED: Sure, in the Dash project we’ve taken the last couple of years to work out features that the general public will expect in a cryptographic currency and feel comfortable using it, such an instant transactions that act similar to that of a PoS system (like buying something from a vendor using a credit card, with nearly instant authorization) and privacy being that the transactions are stored publicly on a global ledger. We also have been working on scalability of the second tier and governance, so that issues don’t crop up as we begin to grow our user base. Now that we’re in a position to start serving users, we want to make a new system that is more familiar to people outside of the cryptocurrency world. Features such as logging onto the network with usernames, adding friends, pay-to-alias (where you just type your friend's name rather than a base58 address) and pay-with-dash buttons, that allow merchants a seamless experience where the network facilitates the entire checkout process. With easy to use features like this, we aim to provide services to those that don’t really understand cryptocurrency by hiding all of the complexity.
CT: Do you see Dash as a direct competitor to Bitcoin?
ED: No, the Bitcoin project and the Dash project are going down separate paths as far as I am concerned. I see the Bitcoin project as being a global settlement ledger for high value trade, due to it’s high power network and extensive mining infrastructure. It can be the reserve currency of the cryptocurrency space and the one used mainly to store value, as a sort of digital gold. However, the Dash project, with it’s focus on instant-transactions, privacy and ease of use will favor low value fast transactional trade such as peer-to-peer commerce in ways that the Bitcoin network can not. I don’t see the two projects competing for the same piece of the pie.
I view the alt coin market as an experimental place to build new technologies. Technologies that are adventurous and extremely promising, but also technologies that are too unproven to be implemented into the Bitcoin network directly. We feel someone has to show the power of alternative configurations of cryptographic currency and the merits of each design. After which, those projects will benefit from being used by the general public if they’re successful and even possibly merged into the Bitcoin project after they’ve been proven. The Dash project is no exception to this, we are just a complementary project to the Bitcoin project and hope to bring to light some of the possibilities of this technology.