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Dash is preparing to activate InstantSend transactions by default, laying an important foundation for mass merchant adoption.

As part of the upcoming 0.13 release, regular transactions will be made InstantSend by default. At present, regular transactions work like those of most other cryptocurrencies, with a payment being broadcast instantly but its security not to be trusted until several on-blockchain confirmations, while the InstantSend option uses the masternode network to lock transaction inputs for an additional fee, resulting in a transaction that is secure instantly. With the implementation of InstantSend by default, all simple Dash transactions (four inputs or fewer) will automatically be locked by the masternodes, without incurring an additional cost or requiring that the software explicitly support the InstantSend option.

According to Dash Core’s head of business development Bradley Zastrow, instant transactions by default sends a strong signal that Dash is serious about being used for commerce:

“Having default and inexpensive InstantSend would streamline certain integration conversations and simplify how we communicate our value proposition to individuals, businesses and developers: It creates a clean and powerful message about our focus in the payments space.”

Most cryptocurrency-accepting businesses require at the very least one on-blockchain confirmation before trusting a payment, which can sometimes take up to 10 minutes or more, while Dash’s InstantSend payments are trusted instantly. Having this functionality enabled by default represents a significant competitive advantage in the cryptocurrency payments space.

Combined with ChainLocks, Dash is fast becoming the fastest and most secure cryptocurrency

The addition of InstantSend by default increases the security and speed of Dash in a crowded field of payments-focused cryptocurrencies. According to Dash Core lead developer Udjinm6, transactions locked by this feature instantly ensures that they are secure, barring a major attack on the whole network:

“No transaction is 100% safe, even a mined one. Normal transactions can be easily double-spent in general. InstantSend-locked transactions are extremely hard to double-spend, you’d have to override 24+ blocks to do this (locks are held for 24 blocks). But that would require an enormous amount of work and would mean a catastrophic event for the network, i.e. it would be clear that there is a sustained 51% attack going on. Luckily, we are the largest X11 network out there and miners have no incentive to destroy the major network (and their investments) this way. This risk is real for minor networks running on the same algorithm as a major one, however.”

What most cryptocurrencies used for payments, such as Litecoin an Bitcoin Cash, rely on is zero-confirmation transactions, or transactions that have yet to receive a single blockchain confirmation, which are trusted as secure enough for the given circumstance. Udjinm6 believes that these transactions are sufficient for payments with an element of trust, but otherwise users should either use a function like InstantSend or wait for confirmations:

“0-confirmation transactions are relatively safe when there is some additional trust mechanism, i.e. you rely on something else and not just on the network itself. For example: both a sender and a receiver are friends, or a receiver is a merchant you buy something from in person, etc. For all other use cases where you receive substantial amount of money from a person/service you don’t know or don’t trust, you’d better wait a couple of confirmations, or ask a sender to use InstantSend. The good news is that 0-confirmations can be made even more secure in Dash, so that you wouldn’t even care about different use cases and network would handle it for you by default.”

An innovation known as ChainLocks, scheduled for the following planned version of Dash, 0.14, uses masternode quorums to secure the Dash blockchain in the event of a 51% mining attack, making it far more secure than a cryptocurrency purely leveraging proof-of-work mining for security. An added benefit of this will be to make zero-confirmation transactions even more secure.

Speed is a necessary foundation to mass user onboarding

Providing instant transactions that are incredibly secure is an important first step towards making Dash an attractive payment option for mass merchant adoption. However, Zastrow believes that this alone is not enough:

“It may give us an edge compared to other payment coins, but in my opinion the mainstream user or business will care less about the technical or minor cost differences and focus more on the ease of use, user experience and risk avoidance. It’s my opinion that the difference in speed and cost will be viewed by our users as only one piece in a much larger value proposition. For example: If it costs users 10% to buy the cryptocurrency, then even with zero transaction fees – it may not be as attractive as a coin that has a very small transaction fee but with 1.25% fee to acquire, because the total costs that the user experiences is how they will be evaluating their options. I believe that our competitive advantage, of which speed and cost still are a key part, stems from the effectiveness and the user experience within the overall ecosystem we build.”

Recently, a strategic partnership with Uphold integrated the service directly into the Android mobile wallet, allowing users to seamlessly buy Dash within the app for a 1.25% fee. Added to services such as Bitrefill which offer a 10% discount for gift cards when paying with Dash, this significantly increases Dash’s attractiveness as a payment option, making the most of the innovation of instant and secure transactions by default.