Is Dash based on CryptoNote or CoinJoin? Is there more than one coin with that name?

If there are multiple coins, which one used the name first?

What is the history between the name usage?


There are two coins with that name. The first is called Dashcoin (DSH) and is a CryptoNote coin that was launched July 05, 2014 as an automated fork of Bytecoin (BCN) without the large premine.

Dashcoin is a Next generation anonymous cryptocurrency and the first automatically mutating cryptocurrency created with CryptoNote technology. What does this really means? Our network code is always up to date with minimal developer cost and close to 0% errors. You are no longer depending on developers good will

On March 16th, 2015 DarkCoin (DRK) formerly XCoin (XCO) officially announced its rebranding to Dash (AKA Dashpay), effective May 25th, 2015 becoming the 2nd cryptocurrency to use a dash related name. Dashpay uses a modified version of CoinJoin currently branded DarkSend (soon to be re-branded as PrivateSend).

On March 12th, 2015 Dashpay (XCoin/DarkCoin) founder Evan Duffield wrote:

Months ago the community organically came up with the name “Dash” as a possible re-branding idea of Darkcoin, I took notice of this and the good deal of support it had in the forums. This lead to us researching the Dash brand for a few months. In the process of doing some investigation, we found that there was another company in the financial space that was filing a trademark. This resulted in me buying another coin “Dashcoin” and challenging their trademark application.

Of course his claim of buying another coin Dashcoinis not accurate because you cannot buy the entirety of a decentralized PoW blockchain, particularly one that is an automated fork (no developer needed) with miners who continue to support it. Dashcoin has a small but viable community today, the coin has been mined since its inception and is traded on a major exchange Poloniex.

In reality, Evan Duffield purchased the password to the GitHub repo and a former Dashcoin website from a Dashcoin "maintainer". Many Dashcoin users persevered and simply set up a new website and code repository after the old dev sold his passwords to Evan. Dashcoin has always used the ticker DSH and continues to do so today. Dashpay changed its ticker from XCO to DRK to DASH which it commonly uses today. However naming confusion was renewed when BTC-e preferring 3 letter tickers listed Dashpay as DSH which is the ticker that Dashcoin has used since its inception in 2014.

  • I thought Dashcoin was some sort of ripoff of Dash. I should have known better. – PyRulez Sep 2 '16 at 17:04

Is Dash based on CryptoNote or CoinJoin?

DASH is a Bitcoin fork and uses a modified version of CoinJoin to perform private transactions. DASH its anonymity requires activity on the chain, i.e., you need other users to mix with. Therefore, it could take a long time before your DASH are fully "anonymized". Some older reports document mixing times of a few hours for smaller amounts uptil days for larger amounts (e.g. >1k DASH). According to the devs these times have somewhat improved, but the numbers reported are based on testnet if I recall correctly. Thus, you cannot be entirely certain these numbers are also achievable on mainnet.

By contrast, Monero, which utilizes CryptoNote, uses stealth addresses to achieve unlinkability and ring signatures to achieve untraceability. Both are cryptographically verifiable, i.e., backed by math which is peer reviewed. In addition, Monero mixes passively, which (i) gives you plausible deniability and (ii) does not require activity on the chain. A transaction in Monero is instant to the extent that it gets included into the next block, which is similiar to Bitcoin when the network wasn't "constrained" yet.

Lastly, Monero enforces privacy on the protocol level and thus achieves fungibilty. In constrast, DASH allows both transparent and private transactions. In sum, given that Monero's private transactions are (i) backed by math and (ii) do not, unlike DASH, require activity, they are superior to DASH's private transactions.

If there are multiple coins, which one used the name first?

You are probably thinking about DASH and Dashcoin. The latter is a fork of Bytecoin, which, similiarly to Monero, also utilizes the CryptoNote protocol.

What is the history between the name usage?

DASH was formerly called Darkcoin and before that Xcoin. The rebranding to DASH was done in a centralized manner, which caused some controversy in the community and led to one of the developers quitting the project. The predominant reason for the rebranding was to remove the negative connotation associated with Darkcoin, i.e., possible usage on darknetmarkets. Evan Duffield tried to buy the rights to Dashcoin (and trademark) to prevent ambiguity, i.e., people easily mistake Dashcoin for DASH and vice-versa. However, this plan "backfired" and Dashcoin continues to live on.


It's very confusing.

Dashcoin (DSH) is based on Cryptonote. It's a direct copy of Bytecoin, without the premine. See https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1020627.540 and http://dashcoin.info/.

Dash is the new name of Darkcoin/DRK, and has nothing to do with Cryptonote, and it's based on Coinjoin.

Darkcoin's maintainer decided to change the name to Dash, confusing a lot of people in the process since it conflicted with Dashcoin. The intent was to adopt a name with less negative connotations, from the dark/shady/illegal facet, and the associations to unethical behavior at launch. Note that they bought some of the websites etc from the Dashcoin maintainer at the time, so some of the previous Dashcoin sites may have Darkcoin material, to add to the confusion.


Dash (the Bitcoin-fork, a.k.a. Dashpay, formerly Darkcoin, formerly-formerly XCoin) is not based on CryptoNote protocols. Instead it implements a decentralized CoinJoin.

While CoinJoin or CoinShuffle protocols are to be considered broken and vulnerable to various attacks, the Dash team came up with several improvements to work around these vectors. The most notable afford was to remove the need for centralized mixers. However, that was only achieved introducing a subnetwork of super nodes (a.k.a. masternodes) which process the shuffling transactions. This type of privileged nodes received a lot of criticism and it's discussed how this opens up new attack vectors (e.g. for a malicious player it could be cheaper to hold a majority of masternodes than attacking the whole network).

For a more depth comparison, see this thread.

  • 2
    I am a bit confused by the juxtaposition of "remove the need for centralized mixers" with the next sentence "introducing a subnetwork of super nodes (a.k.a. masternodes) which process the shuffling". – user36303 Sep 2 '16 at 9:49

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