As Bitcoin’s usability declines, Ethereum has become a popular substitute for the largest cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, this has led to the rise of some of the same issues facing Bitcoin: scalability and privacy. While it’s understandable that any major cryptocoin would eventually have to deal with similar factors, Dash has already solved both of these problems. Years ago.
Disclaimer: This article treats Ethereum as a currency, as a replacement for Bitcoin. Ethereum was meant for different purposes, and as such should not be expected to solve a different coin’s problems. This article merely deals with the reality of how Ethereum has been used.
InstantSend prevents ICO bottlenecks
As anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the cryptospace will know by now, Ethereum has run into its own bit of scaling problems. Resulting from a series of ICOs, most famously for Status, the network ground to a halt and fees spiked as users sought to buy into the ICO as quickly as possible. This caused many exchanges to suspend Ether withdrawals, and many users were completely unable to move their funds for hours at a time.
Meanwhile, Dash has already implemented a function to deal with bottlenecks: InstantSend. By using the second-tier masternode network to lock inputs, Dash transactions are able to clear instantly for a small extra fee, even during periods of high congestion. This means that important transactions will be able to go through instantly, while all others can wait patiently until the backlog clears. What’s more, using InstantSend moves the fee up one decimal place, so a regular 2-cent transaction would then cost 20 cents for example. This removes the Bitcoin-style bidding war for transactions that Ethereum has now experienced, where competition over confirmation times does not drive up fees past a low, fixed level. The likely outcome of the exact same situation as the Status ICO is that urgent Dash transaction would still be confirmed while the network would catch up as usual, while average fees would go up at the very most tenfold during that period (due to a high volume of InstantSend transactions).
PrivateSend removes the need for trusted mixing
Similar to, or perhaps worse than, Bitcoin transactions, Ethereum runs with complete pseudonymous transparency, meaning that funds can easily be traced over the network. This causes privacy complications for some users, which has given rise to Ethereum mixing services like this one that mix user funds so that their origin and destination are unknown. Unfortunately, as a third party service this means that user privacy is tied to the continuing operation of these services, and trusts them to both properly mix and not steal user funds.
Luckily for Dash, this is already solved. PrivateSend allows the Dash network to maintain the same level of transparency required for public accountability on blockchains, but can mix funds optionally to render them untraceable. Because of the masternode network, this function is done trustlessly, with the various mixing parties being anonymously matched by the network and their funds exchanged, removing the need for a trusted third party which may very well either fail or run off with the money and disappear into the night.
Ethereum is running into growing pains, same as any other digital currency. Luckily for Dash, its developers have the foresight to anticipate many of these problems years in advance, keeping the network running smoothly.