Dash (formerly known as Darkcoin and XCoin) is an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. On top of Bitcoin's feature set, it currently offers instant transactions (InstantSend), private transactions (PrivateSend) and operates a self-governing and self-funding model that enables the Dash network to pay individuals and businesses to perform work that adds value to the network. Dash's decentralized governance and budgeting system makes it a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
Dash was originally released as XCoin (XCO) on January 18, 2014. On January 28, the name was changed to "Darkcoin". On March 25, 2015, Darkcoin was rebranded as "Dash." Dash is a portmanteau of "Digital Cash."
Within the first two days of launch, 1.9 million coins were mined, which is approximately 10% of the total supply that will ever be issued. Creator and lead developer of Dash, Evan Duffield, attributed this to a bug created when the Litecoin code was forked to create Dash, "which incorrectly converted the difficulty, then tried using a corrupt value to calculate the subsidy" Once the problem was resolved, Evan offered to relaunch the coin, but the community overwhelmingly disapproved. He suggested an "airdrop" of coins in order to broaden the initial distribution but the community also disapproved of this proposal. As such, the initial distribution was left alone and development of the project continued. The majority of mined coins were distributed on cryptocurrency exchanges in the following months at very low price levels.
The Dash Core Team, responsible for developing the currency, has since grown to 30 full-time employees, 20 part-time employees, and dozens of unpaid volunteers. All Core Team employees are paid from Dash's budget system and therefore are not reliant on donations or sponsorships that can lead to conflicts of interest.
According to CoinMarketCap, in June 2017 the daily trade volume of Dash was approximately $100 million per day and the market capitalization of Dash exceeded $4.8 billion. Dash has become the most active altcoin community on BitcoinTalk reaching more than 6400 pages, 133k replies, 7.9M reads.