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Dash which is also known as Digital Cash is a coin based on the twin facets of speed in transactions and privacy or anonymity. It has grown exponentially over the past few months and is now viewed as a highly valuable digital asset. In fact its price rose substantially from around $100 in October 2017 to a staggering $1500 in December 2017 before falling back to the $700-800 mark over the past few weeks.

Dash aims to be the most user-friendly and scalable payments-focused cryptocurrency in the world. The Dash network features instant transaction confirmation, double spend protection, anonymity equal to that of physical cash, a self-governing, self-funding model driven by incentivized full nodes and a clear roadmap for on-chain scaling to up to 400MB blocks using custom-developed open source hardware. While Dash is based on Bitcoin and compatible with many key components of the Bitcoin ecosystem, its two-tier network structure offers significant improvements in transaction speed, anonymity and governance.

Dash (known earlier as Darkcoin) is a very popular alternative cryptocurrency with a focus on transaction speed and privacy. Instead of using a single mining algorithm (like Bitcoin's SHA-256 or Litecoin's Scrypt), it relies on X11 - a collection of 11 algorithms which are there to ensure fair distribution of coins between miners. At the time of writing, it holds a firm position in the top 10 of cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Privacy-focused cryptocurrency Dash also recently signed a partnership with Spanish startup Bitnovo to bring the cryptocurrency to 10,000 retailers throughout Spain. The partnership will allow consumers to purchase Dash in stores through coupons and in selected Carrefour and Media Markt outlets through the purchase of gift cards. This demonstrates the appeal of DASh as a currency which offers the possibility of seamless transactions across the retail market.

Interestingly, users can already convert Dash into euros and vice versa on Bitnovo.com, which supports payment via debit and credit card, as well as via bank transfer. Bitnovo said it will be launching a Dash ATM soon. Dash is the second cryptocurrency to hit the Bitnovo platform which before then had been supporting Bitcoin solely.

However there is always an element of speculation in such crypto currencies. In fact Dash owner Ryan Taylor was quite downbeat about the exaggerated valuations of the currencies which spiked in early to mid-December to all-time highs that have now gone down pretty spectacularly including Dash which is down by more than 50% from its ATH. Speculation is still rampant as the new market seeks to determine value. Growth is unlikely to continue at its current rate unless the use-cases of cryptocurrency become more tangible.

To this point, cryptocurrencies have been used mainly to replace existing technologies, but the incremental value they can add lies in the creation of new payment methods. Right now, it makes sense to value crypto assets based on fiat currency because the market still only makes up a tiny portion of the global financial system. Taylor expects the market for cryptocurrency exchanges to consolidate, and said large incumbent exchanges which already operate in regulated financial markets have a competitive advantage.