Dash is a new and separate implementation of the Bitcoin code. Bitcoin is a digital ledger of transactions that lives on a network of computers across the globe. This ledger is secured by cryptography to make it absolutely unalterable, and therefore safe to record millions of transactions.
Bitcoin promised the world a new way of payment for goods and services, but has failed to produce this for three reasons:
1) Bitcoin transactions are not instantly confirmed. This means that when a person gives you money, he can theoretically spend that same money again before the transaction is written to the ledger, which takes at least ten minutes for Bitcoin. At the moment Bitcoin transactions may take hours since the network is overloaded.
Dash solves this problem with Instantsend. Simply check the instant payment check box when you send a payment. For a slightly higher transaction fee, your payment is confirmed in about six seconds.
2) Bitcoin transactions are not private. If you know my wallet address (because I published it on the internet, or gave it to you so you could pay me) you have a complete record of all the money that went to and from that address, and where it was in the past. Imagine you pay for a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, and the next moment the police bust in because the money you spent was robbed from a bank the week before. You didn’t even know the bank was robbed. You just got the bills as change when you paid for a pair of sneakers that morning. Yet you are in trouble because of where your money was. You have the right not to be linked to your money’s previous owners or to their transactions.
Dash solves this problem by erasing your money’s history, if you choose to do it, by a process called “mixing”. This means that your money is thrown in a big drawer with other people’s money and mixed. You then take the same amount of money out again. This is exactly what happens in a cash register: When money from a retailer is banked in the evening, it’s impossible to know which customer paid with a specific bill. And when you use the “Privatesend” function in your wallet, money is sent from those mixed funds, so your transactions are completely private.
3) The Bitcoin community is paralysed by infighting. Bitcoin was designed to be decentralised, with nobody in charge. While this started out as a good idea, Bitcoin has not been able to scale its network for two years because of differences of opinion on how scaling should be achieved. The result is that Bitcoin was in a deadlock with sky-high transaction fees and hour long transaction confirmation times, until August 1, 2017, when the coin was finally split in two.
Neither Bitcoin, nor Bitcoin Cash which split off the Bitcoin blockchain has any plans to solve this disaster of governance. (Although some say this is how it should work!😁)
Dash solves this problem with a network of Master Nodes whose owners have voting rights. Anybody who owns 1000 Dash may run a Master Node. Master Nodes perform the Instantsend and Privatesend services for the network. In return, their owners are paid by the network every month, and they get to vote on important issues that impact the network.
Where the Bitcoin community has failed to reach consensus on scaling after two years of infighting, and had to split the coin in two, the Dash community reached consensus on scaling by vote within 24 hours. Dash is still decentralised with nobody in charge, but good governance is hard-wired into its code.