How Dash Stole Bitcoin’s Mojo – Interview with Amanda B. Johnson
It’s Sunday morning, and even though it is almost Spring, it feels like Groundhog Day. I look at the markets and Bitcoin is down another 9% while Dash is up another 10%. This two-step has been playing out for the last three days now. I have questions, and I need answers….
Dashing to $1 Billion Dollar Market Cap
As the fork debate seems headed for a messy, unfortunate conclusion, Dash is cleaning up in the digital currency space. According to CoinMarketCap, this weekend alone, Dash has set new highs in unit price, exceeding $120 USD, and market cap value, surpassing $860 million dollars. Before this month, the most it could generate was about $200 million in overall market value. The market has spoken and Dash is the play right now.
With that in mind, I decided to catch up with former Bitcoin scribe and colleague and current Dash reporter and presenter Amanda B. Johnson to get the inside scoop. Here Dash Detailed YouTube channel tells the world what’s going on, with the latest interviews with network executives and updates on future Dash protocol offerings. If anyone has their finger on the pulse of this March Madness in Dash, it is Amanda.
I started out with a tough question that many have been asking me over the last few weeks. Why shouldn’t people see Dash as the next manipulated “pump-and-dump?” Shouldn’t people be worried about dash moving so far, so fast? Her opinion is that Dash is an old investment that has finally hit its stride, after three years on the market.
Evan Duffield and its developers have been on this project for over three years, so there is no hit-and-run strategy, like with your common digital hustle. Dash’s growing empire wasn’t made overnight. This is a fair point, since Ethereum has been around for less than two years and is over four times more valuable, overall.
No one is accusing Vitalik Buterin of trying to deceive anyone for a quick profit. So where is all of this Dash investment coming from? More places than you might think, says Johnson.
Some of the new investment is from disillusioned Bitcoiners, yes. But not all, and maybe not even most. As an example of where new investment may be coming from, Dash has recently been featured in investor newsletters catering to a non-crypto crowd, namely Casey Research, Bill Bonner Research, and The Dollar Vigilante. We’ve also been covered in Nasdaq, PaymentWeek, and Finance Magnates, among others.
The market seems to indicate this is directly correlated to Bitcoin’s misfortune, at least during this week, but Dash’s group has also stepped up their marketing game in Q1, as well, obviously gaining some mainstream publicity. Dash started the year trading at just $11 USD, and did triple in value in the first two months of the year, before this fork debate went viral. They also recently inked a deal with Wall of Coins, increasing their brand’s reach.
Now that more people than ever before are investing in the Dash protocol, it might be time to go over the infrastructure, for those new to this currency system. Dash has always looked to be a more private alternative to Bitcoin’s more public and accessible blockchain information. Bitcoin’s internal security is legendary, but Dash’s network protection is nothing to sneeze at, either. I asked Amanda how their “Masternodes” can protect the greater good, and not just their own self-interests, which seems to be a growing problem for Bitcoin miners.
“Dash’s masternodes have already withstood a sophisticated DDoS (external attack) and are also primed to withstand attempts at social engineering (internal attack),” she explains. “This is due to two facts about masternodes: firstly, they’re paid 45% of our block reward.
This serves as an incentive to remain online and operational in spite of external attacks. Secondly, masternodes must both prove a stake (1000 Dash) and prove their service in order to vote on protocol changes. It is very much in their self-interest to serve the interests of our end users, as the value of their Dash is at stake.”
DASH DOING WHAT BITCOIN IS NOT
Bitcoin has also been accused of being more centralized than one would think. Is Dash doing a better job of creating a digital democracy, in a fight against all forms of centralization?
Dash has only one remaining element of centralization. In Dash, ‘sporks’ are various capabilities on the network — like InstantSend, for example — that can be turned on or off during software updates in order to prevent accidental forks. Sporks are currently executable only by a handful of key holders on the Core team. Version 0.12.2 of Dash is set to move that capability to master node vote, however, making it decentralized. It’s a fix that definitely needs to happen for our continued security.
While the Bitcoin community is wondering where it goes from here, the leadership at Dash is spending their days worrying about what to do with all of this newfound capital investment. In a Dash Detailed recent episode, their Director of Finance, Ryan Taylor, listed that as the #1 problem right now.
Attracting new “talent” and expanding is needed, and now they at least have the money to put into their back-end operational budget. They’re not an afterthought anymore. Dash is now sitting at the main table with Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Is it the pretty girl with the curl? The flavor of the day? Or is it the Bitcoin 2.0, going through a growth curve not dissimilar to what Bitcoin went through in 2013? Both options are now on the table, and it’s up to you to decide its future. Or maybe it is up to the Bitcoin miners?
Welcome to March Madness! We still have 12 days left. A lot can change in (the last) three days, much less twelve.
Is Dash becoming a viable alternative to Bitcoin? Share your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, dash.org, thedashtimes