Mostly permanently storing data (inscribing messages). Also some layer 2 protocols (like Omni) use nulldata outputs.
— Blockchair (@Blockchair) June 1, 2019
Data made available from BlockChair shows Dash with a significantly lower percentage of non-monetary outputs than other competing networks.
Blockchain data and analytics platform BlockChair displays a wide variety of metrics and data for several major cryptocurrency networks. Included in the data available on Dash is the total percentage of non-monetary outputs on the network. According to Blockchair, non-monetary outputs are nulldata outputs, which ordinarily are not used to transfer value. These are commonly used to store data, and have some layer-two applications as well, rather than the traditional usage of cryptocurrency to send and receive value, i.e. money, for payments, remittances, wealth transfers, etc.
BlockChair added Dash support to its platform several months ago. Recently, the platform added a node explorer, which includes statistics such as the total number of active Dash nodes, breakdown by implementation, and breakdown by country. Geographical distribution is of particular note since it helps illustrate the decentralization of the network as far as node hosting, impacting the effects of censorship or outages in a particular country.
Dash has reported very low levels of non-monetary outputs
According to data pulled from BlockChair, Dash reported very low levels of non-monetary outputs in its network activity. Over the past three months, Dash’s percentage of non-monetary outputs remained well below 1%. Across a lifetime view of the network, the 1% threshold has only been passed a handful of times since Dash’s inception in 2014, with the last one being early October of 2016. The peak of non-monetary outputs was reached in early August of 2016, nearing the 2% mark.
While network usage for a decentralized peer-to-peer currency is impossible to accurately classify with full confidence, some inferences can be made based on available data. According to analysis of various top cryptocurrency networks last October, Dash’s activity seems to indicate high usage for monetary transactions and small regular payments. This would be consistent with a very low level of non-monetary outputs.
Comparison with Bitcoin forks shows a significant discrepancy
When analyzing non-monetary outputs among several major cryptocurrency networks, a very different picture of network activity is presented. Bitcoin’s percentage of non-monetary outputs remained largely under 5% for most of the network’s history, until October of 2018. This number has significantly risen since late March of 2019, typically resting around 15% of the network. Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV, however, have significantly higher percentages of non-monetary outputs, fluctuating significantly but rising to around 25% over the last three months. Over the last month, both networks have experienced a further increase in non-monetary percentages, with Bitcoin Cash nearing 41% and Bitcoin SV reaching as high as 42%.
Comparing Dash, which barely registers on the chart next to the three Bitcoin forks, leads evidence that a higher percentage of its network activity is dedicated towards monetary transactions, with few data transactions or evidence of similar usage.