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An analysis of transactions shows that the average Dash payment is settled in under two seconds, far below the industry average thanks to automatic InstantSend technology.

dash instantsend transaction delay

Analysis of Dash InstantSend lock times

According to a recent analysis of Dash transactions and the times it takes the network to lock the transaction to prevent it from being modified after initial broadcasting, the average lock time is under two seconds. The analysis was conducted by community member and Reddit user Antti-Kaikkonen, who surveyed 1,000 Dash transactions and compared the times each transaction took to receive an InstantSend lock. The average time among all transactions was 1.85 seconds, with the median or more typically-expected time at a very similar 1.83 seconds. The shortest it took to lock a transaction was 1.45, with a maximum of 4.59 seconds.

Similar to most popular cryptocurrencies, Dash transactions are broadcasted and viewable almost instantly, but are not generally considered to be confirmed or settled until they have been confirmed in at least one block on the blockchain. This typically takes at least 2.5 minutes for Dash and 10 or more for Bitcoin at a minimum before a transactions can be considered permanent and irreversible. However, Dash employs a unique technology called InstantSend which leverages a subset of the masternode network, an incentivized network of high-powered nodes, to lock transactions so that they are effectively permanent even before being included in a block. This renders all Dash transactions permanently-settled in under two seconds, a significant advantage over prominent competitors.

The coming end of recognizing unconfirmed transactions as final

Dash’s instantly-settled InstantSend transactions may soon prove to be a significant competitive advantage in the industry. At present, double-spends, where a transaction is initially broadcast to a destination and quickly sent elsewhere (typically back to the sending party) in order to essentially fake a payment, are relatively rare. This may be due to the relative unreliability and technical difficulty of pulling off such an attack real-time, as well as relatively low payment counts for goods and services across major networks. As such, many point-of-sale applications and services supporting cryptocurrencies will accept a payment as final as soon as it is broadcast, giving the illusion of instant payments.

Recently, however, an increasing number of double-spends have been successfully attempted across a variety of networks. This includes the high-profile heists affecting a series of cryptocurrency ATMs in Canada earlier this year, where 112 transactions were double-spent by thieves faking transactions to ATMs in order to steal cash without relinquishing any cryptocurrency. Incidents such as these occurring with increasing frequency may soon create an industry standard of requiring confirmations for a larger percentage of purchases, potentially including goods as small as a cup of coffee. Under those circumstances, functionality such as Dash’s InstantSend will provide a compelling reason to use Dash over other top cryptocurrencies.

More exchanges and services are recognizing Dash’s instant security

As challenges related to attack vectors such as double-spends and 51% attacks mount, a growing number of exchanges and services now explicitly support Dash’s special features. According to the full list of exchanges known to support Dash as listed on the main Dash website, over a dozen of them recognize InstantSend transactions as final instantly, cutting down the usual time for a deposit to be recognized from several minutes to under two seconds. Additionally, top exchange Coinbase, which recently integrated Dash, recognizes transactions as final 12 times faster than Bitcoin, after only two confirmations. This is likely due to ChainLocks, which locks in Dash blocks permanently after a single confirmation, rendering them irreversible and therefore immune to 51% mining attacks. Similar recognition by further key industry actors may lead to wider acclaim and adoption of Dash.