Dash Releases Major Software Upgrade, Sets Foundation for Evolution

Dash, a privacy-centric cryptocurrency, has unveiled its largest software upgrade since inception. Sentinel, or Dash version 12.1, is setting the foundation for Dash’s much anticipated decentralized payments system Evolution.

The Sentinel upgrade includes feature additions and significant improvements to backend protocols, governance, voting and privacy functions, and represents Dash’s largest redesign in its three-year history.

“In our ongoing quest to prioritize the user experience, our talented development team has created Sentinel to provide an underlying architecture that’s easier to use and more attractive to mainstream adopters of Dash,” Ryan Taylor, director of finance for Dash, said in a press release announcing Sentinel. “We vastly improved the speed of our end user privacy features, improved access to information on the network’s budget and voting system, and created a much more stable and robust governance system that enables changes to the network without requiring additional software upgrades,” he explained.

“This system will allow us to quickly iterate and improve our governance and modify it as we scale to meet our ever-changing needs. Managing a budget of US$1.4 million a year is very different than when we started our governance system. With triple digit growth rates, we need a system that can scale with us.”

Dash, an open-source cryptocurrency introduced in 2014 under the name Darkcoin, has seen its price surge since early December, more than doubling in value since December 05, 2016 (8 USD/DASH). The digital currency is now trading at around 17.3 USD/DASH and has a market capitalization of US$123 million, making it the seventh largest cryptocurrency.

The craze for Dash was likely triggered by the Sentinel software upgrade as well as the upcoming Dash Evolution, a new system scheduled to be released later this year, Taylor told CoinJournal in an interview in January.

Dash Evolution
Image: Dash Evolution via https://www.dash.org/

Evolution will offer near-free merchant fees, no consumer fees, instant transactions, an integrated marketplace, interest bearing accounts and a rich online banking-like interface.

Every merchant that integrates Dash will be searchable on the blockchain. Customers will be able to connect directly with them to make purchases or even setup auto debits to pay for subscription services.

The decentralized payments system intends to compete against the likes of PayPal and Venmo. It will be accessible on web and mobile devices without any intermediary and will come with hack-proof savings accounts, enhanced security, traditional bank account integration, and free cross-border remittances and payments functionalities.

“Evolution will profoundly change the user experience and expand the cryptocurrency market to users from all walks of life by making it easy to use and relevant to people’s lives,” said Evan Duffield, founder of Dash. “It’s my belief that digital currencies will never be the same after Evolution, in the same way we would never consider going back to a text-only Internet.”

The release comes shortly after KeepKey announced its support for Dash, allowing users to store the digital currency on their KeepKey devices and exchange it through the KeepKey client.

KeepKey is a hardware wallet which supports bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin, namecoin and ethereum. Last year, the US-headquartered company partnered with ShapeShift to allow customers to securely exchange cryptocurrencies from their device and make instant transactions with a two-click process.

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