Welcome to week 17 of my adventures in cryptocurrency.
This week I splashed out on a Dash stash, and went outside.
But first, are y’all ready for this?
The profit check-in
So much fun for only $6!
I listened to a Q&A this week with Andreas Antonopoulos (a super star). In this Q&A, he suggested (to my surprise) that a software wallet on a phone was more secure than a software wallet on a Windows/macOS machine. Simply because on desktop operating systems, malware has much more reach than it does on a phone.
It’s an interesting security concept: your phone’s only vulnerable to the few dozen people you are near each day, but your big old Windows machine is laying on its back with its feet in the air to millions of potential hackers all around the world. Yet it somehow seems more secure.
(I have taken extra security measures with my phone, such as not going within hearing distance of strangers, and instead of using a fingerprint to unlock the phone, I use my big toe.)
On to the main event, which is …
Dash (AKA Amanda B Johnson coin) is a strong contender for my favourite cryptocurrency.
It’s been around since way back in 2014 and is, dare I say, a little bit boring. It has none of the the flash and fancy of Tron or NEO or EOS. It’s not a different beast altogether like IOTA or Stellar or Ripple, and it doesn’t have the pipe and tweed jackets of Cardano.
It’s just a cryptocurrency that wants to be very good at being a cryptocurrency. And in this guy’s opinion (my thumbs are pointed at my face), they’re doing a pretty good job.
Also, they win points for having their whitepaper as a GitHub Wiki (as well as the PDF). They obviously listened to my advice a few weeks ago, then travelled back in time to April 2015 to make the necessary adjustments.
Some highlights: they use proof-of-work for the consensus mechanism, get 50ish transactions per second, and the median transaction price is waaaay under a cent.
Private and fast, at a price
At the lowest level, Dash is just like Bitcoin. A good old fashioned PoW blockchain. But there is a level above this, made up of things called masternodes, which have some special duties — such as voting, and facilitating ‘private’ and ‘instant’ transactions.
I think of the masternode layer as kinda like the Lighting Network. This is probably wrong, but I’m okay with that.
There are about 4,500 of these masternodes, and if *you *want to be a masternode, the entry fee is 1,000 Dash — which right now is about a quarter of a million dollars.
If you, the cryptocurrency user, want a normal transaction, you’ll be waiting for a few minutes while the blockchain does it’s thing and you count out a sensible number of confirmations. But if you’re flush and in a rush, you can pay about 2c for an InstantSend transaction which the masternodes will look after for you.
Unfortunately this means that the small transactions, like coffee, that you want to be fast, will be the ones where you have to pay a few cents, which means the fee might actually be a whole percent, e.g. 2c on a $2 coffee. (The sum also works for things that are $2 but are not coffee.)
Now, if you’ve got a big shipment of meth coming in and want to remain anonymous, then you can fork over something like 25c for a PrivateSend transaction which has a design based on the Wikipedia page for ‘Money Laundering’.
Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group (and one of the most cuddly looking CEOs out there right now) says that about 1% of transactions opt in to using PrivateSend, and that it’s a great feature for businesses who want to do transactions but not have their competitors see where the money flows.
And also it’s great for buying and selling meth.
A week really isn’t long enough to get to know a coin, but in everything I’ve seen about Dash they’ve had a simple, consistent message and drive — to be a user friendly cryptocurrency.
This plays out in their site and docs and the slick “Copay” app. Copay is like a wallet, but you can actually have ‘contacts’ that you can tap and send money to. It’s all very pretty and nice……………..