Dash’s developmental roadmap, through its much-anticipated Evolution release and beyond, is set to continue improving privacy for the average user.
Formerly known as Darkcoin, Dash started out with a level of privacy above what Bitcoin offered. Since then, Dash has come to offer a variety of other features, including decentralized governance and instant transactions, expanding the main focus to usability as a payment system by the average consumer. However, according to Ryan Taylor, CEO for the Dash Core team, Dash’s future development still very much emphasizes private transactions:
“Privacy is absolutely critical when it comes to financial transactions and balances. Dash was founded on this belief and it was the first digital currency to deliver a high degree of privacy in the market. As Dash has grown and matured as a service, we’re doing so much more than simply privacy, but that doesn’t come at the expense of our commitment to privacy.”
Evolution will streamline Dash’s privacy
Currently, PrivateSend is a feature in the main Dash wallet which allows funds to be mixed with those of users across the network, and then sent privately, with no single discernible point of origin. According to Andy Freer, CTO of Dash Core, Dash will keep with its “digital cash” model to streamline PrivateSend into a “cash” account in the Evolution release:
“In Evolution, the Dash Core team wants to ensure that users have the optional, easy-to-use ability to clear their transaction history, which can be done by transferring Dash to what we are calling a “Cash” account in their wallet. Cash funds are those which can be spent privately.”
Freer says that Dash’s development team has looked into experimental privacy solutions implemented in other coins, but ultimately those solutions were not workable for practical, real-world use, particularly in terms of network scalability and use on mobile devices. Instead, Evolution will hone in on PrivateSend, making it more secure and efficient to use:
“The main improvements will be the speed and usability of the decentralized mixing process. We have investigated cryptographic privacy solutions such as CT, Ring signatures and zkSnarks but we realized technologies come at great cost to the user in terms of usability, inability to work securely on mobile and making transactions (and therefore blocks) 20x-50x larger. Therefore we believe PrivateSend has the best balance of privacy, scalability and mobile security and we will stick with that for now and constantly improve it.”
Regulatory compliance will be up to users and third parties
One of the main underpinnings of Bitcoin was its pseudonymous nature, providing a transparent ledger of transactions while not maintaining any associations with real-world identities. As cryptocurrency grows and inches ever closer to mainstream use, the question of compliance with all local regulations surrounding financial disclosure becomes ever more prominent, raising concerns that usability-focused digital currency will shed the privacy that made Bitcoin great to begin with.
However, according to Freer, even the mass adoption-geared Evolution update will not itself include any privacy-compromising features, leaving regulatory compliance and disclosure up to the end user and third parties integrated into the network:
“Yes, Evolution will be available for use by everyone. The Dash network will not require users to identify themselves. Instead, AML/KYC will be applied with centralized services integrated with the network such as exchanges, but the network itself wouldn’t require registration of private information. In addition, any information that the user chooses to store within the network, such as their shipping address or phone number, will be encrypted and only accessible to that user or the merchants with whom the user transacts and explicitly consents to share this data. Dash is on a mission to create a practical, useful, and elegant e-commerce protocol for the world, and consequently we’ve developed world-class privacy and security systems.”