While many cryptocurrencies were built on complete transparency, including the type that allows others to see who is sending and receiving the coins, there has been an increasing focus on true privacy and anonymity with cryptocurrencies.
One of the leaders in this privacy-centric space is the coin known as Dash. Dash has been around for some time, having been launched in 2014 as Darkcoin. In fact, the cryptocurrency’s whitepaper, co-authored by Evan Duffield and Daniel Diaz, describes it as “the first privacy-centric cryptographic currency” based on Nakamoto’s work with Bitcoin.
Dash Core Wallet Review: How Dash and Bitcoin Differ
The primary difference between the two is that Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 algorithm for consensus, while Dash uses the X11 algorithm. Where Bitcoin’s SHA-256 is a Proof-of-Work algorithm, the X11 algorithm is a modified Proof-of-Stake algorithm that uses Conjoin to scramble transactions, which in turn makes privacy possible on its blockchain.
The focus on privacy has been good to Dash, allowing it to grow significantly since its inception. Its goal now is to become one of the coins that could be used for daily transactions by consumers. Its catch-phrase is now “Dash is Digital Cash you can spend anywhere”.
Dash is quite popular since it changed its focus, and currently (July 2018) ranks as the 14th most valuable coin with a market cap of just over $2 billion. In fact, 2017 saw the price of Dash rise more than 8,000%, hitting a high of $1,550.84 on December 20, 2017.
If you want to use Dash the first thing you’ll need, even before buying any Dash coins, is a working Dash wallet. While many very good third-party wallets support Dash (such as Exodus, Jaxx, and Dash Electrum), there is a Dash Core desktop wallet you may want to consider for storing your Dash. It’s made by the Dash foundation, so you know it’s always updated for the latest release of Dash. The rest of this guide will explain how to download, install, and use the Dash Core desktop wallet.
How to Download and Setup the Dash Core Desktop Wallet
Begin by heading over to the official Dash website located at https://www.dash.org/.
Once there you’ll see two buttons clearly visible, one is to “Get Dash”, while the other is for “All Wallets”. Click the All Wallets button to be taken to the page where you can download the wallet of your choice for storing Dash.
Once you’re on the All Wallets page you’ll see the Desktop Wallets section right at the top, which includes tabs for Windows (64 bit), Windows (32 bit), OSX, and Linux. Click on the appropriate tab for your operating system to download the proper Core desktop wallet. In my case I use Windows (64 bit) so the instructions here and any screen shots will reflect that. Note that the steps used are identical for Windows (32 bit).
After clicking “Download Installer” you can either save the installer and then run it from the saved shortcut, or you can simply choose to run it from the initial dialogue. You might also find that Windows blocks running the app, but it you get a message that running it has been blocked, just click the “More Information” link and you’ll get a button to “Run Anyway”. Go ahead and click that button to run and you’ll find yourself in the Dash Core Wallet Installation Wizard.
Simply follow the instructions in the Wizard, and once the Core wallet is installed you’ll get the final wizard screen where you can click to finish the installation. There will also be a tickbox to start the Dash Core Wallet and you’ll want to check that box.
Next you’ll get a window welcoming you to Dash Core and asking you where you want to store the Dash data. The default option is already ticked, but you can change to a custom directory if you prefer.
It’s important to note that the Dash Core Wallet will download a complete copy of the Dash blockchain, and as of July 2018 that will take up 11 GB of space. You’ll need at least that much space available, and more because the storage size will increase over time.
Once you decide whether to use the default location or your own custom location go ahead and click “OK”.
You may get a pop-up from your firewall blocking the installation, but just click “Allow Access” and let the installer run. It shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes, after which you’ll be presented with a screen synching the Dash Blockchain.
You might notice at the bottom that it says “4 years and 24 weeks behind”, but that’s just how much blockchain data needs to be synched. It isn’t how long the synch process takes. Go grab a cup of coffee or tea while the wallet does its thing.
After the wallet finishing synching, and while this won’t take years, it could take several hours, you’ll want to encrypt the wallet.
When encrypting the wallet you want to be sure to create a passphrase that will be impossible to crack, but still easy for you to remember. Since it needs to be more than 10 characters and a combination of lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers and special characters you might not be able to remember it, and in that case you should store it somewhere safe as well. You could put it on a USB drive, or simply write it on a piece of paper and keep that paper somewhere safe. Remember that if you lose this passphrase you’ll also lose access to any funds in your wallet!
After you’ve entered the passphrase click “OK”. You’ll get another pop-up telling you the risks of losing your passphrase. Click “Yes” to that dialogue and the wallet will begin to encrypt itself. It may seem like the wallet is frozen during this process, but don’t panic, after several minutes the process will complete.
Just before the encryption is complete you’ll get a pop-up letting you know that the wallet needs to close to finish the encryption process. Click “OK” and the wallet will close. Now you can re-open the wallet and get ready to back-up your wallet.
Backing Up the Dash Core Wallet
Backing up your Dash Core Desktop wallet is simple. Go to “File” and choose “Backup Wallet”. That’s it. Just be sure to save the backup wallet somewhere safe. You can use a USB drive for this if you like. Some people use cloud storage for their wallet backups, and others use some other backup hardware device.
Just make sure to backup the wallet and store the backup somewhere safe. And every time you receive or purchase more Dash coins you’ll want to create a new backup so you have the most recent and complete data for your wallet.
Sending Dash from the Core Wallet
Once you have Dash in your wallet it’s a breeze to send it to someone else.
Begin by clicking “Send”.
Now you’ll be presented with several fields that need to be filled in. The first is the “Pay To:” field and this is where you’ll put in the recipients address. Copy/paste if you can to avoid mistakes.
Next is the “Label” field. This adds an easy to understand label for the address so you can add it to your address book. It isn’t a required field, but it can make your life much easier if you send coins to the same person again.
The next field is quite important – it’s the “Amount” field where you’ll enter the number of Dash coins you’d like to send.
Finally is the “Transaction Fee:” field. The best thing to do here is to expand the options and then select “Recommended”.
Once you have the fields filled in you can click “Send” after which you’ll be prompted to enter your passphrase again to confirm you actually want to send coins. Enter the passphrase and click “OK”.
The Dash Core Wallet allows you to send requests for Dash to other Dash users.
First click “Receive”.
Now you’ll be able to enter the amount of Dash you’re requesting, as well as a label to help organize your Dash requests and a Message field where you would add a short message indicating the reason for the Dash request. Once all the fields are completed click “Request Payment”.
You’ll see another window pop up with all the information you just entered in the request. Confirm it is correct and then click “Copy Address” and send it to the person you’re requesting Dash from.
Wallet Transaction History
The Dash Core Desktop Wallet conveniently has an area that keeps track of all your transactions so you can always go back and review your sent and received coins. To see it simply click “Transactions” and a window will open showing all the transactions performed, whether it is to send or receive coins.
Dash Core Wallet Review: Conclusion
If you’ve followed along with the tutorial you should have your Dash Core Desktop Wallet installed and ready to send and receive Dash. If you have any issues or questions a good resource is the Dash Forums.
Remember, third-party wallets also support Dash, but running the Core wallet actually helps the Dash network since you’re downloading and synching the complete blockchain. And the wallet is so simple to use there’s no reason not to use it if you’re planning on buying, holding and using Dash.