Rather than call it ‘Reader Q&A’, I’ve decided to use my ‘Bob & Izzy’ convention to share some thoughts spurred on via email exchanges with readers. I hope you enjoy.
Bob: Hey Izzy – I hope you’re right about Monero, but what about Dash?
I know that Dash’s privacy features aren’t as good as Monero’s, but the it seems to be growing still. I watched some videos too and they make it look like they are the ultimate privacy goal. Finally, some guy on youtube says that big investors don’t want to get involved in monero because of it’s reputation of being involved with criminal activities. What do you think?
Izzy: Hi Bob,
As you know, Dash was the first major privacy focused coin to gain traction. However, just like Bitcoin has proven itself vulnerable on the privacy front, Dash has similarly shown itself to fall short of providing privacy security/fungiblity. It’s for this reason that it has largely been abandoned by the ‘Darknet’ community in favor of Monero. Despite this, Dash has spent a lot of time and money on marketing, and I think that’s what you’re seeing now.
There really isn’t a question as to which offers better privacy – Monero wins hands down. Given this, Dash reminds me of ‘the Club’ that people used to use to lock their cars. In case you’re not familiar with it, the Club was an anti-car-theft device that for a time was hugely popular in the U.S. It was a bright-red tempered steel rod you would lock to the steering wheel to make turning the wheel (and driving it away stolen) seemingly impossible.
|“The Club” in action.|
But eventually, car thieves outsmarted ‘the Club’. They realized they could just cut the steering wheel and slide the unopened Club off.
For a long time people still bought and used ‘the Club’ because they felt like they were ‘doing something for security’ and it made them feel good. Eventually though, people realized that car thieves could get through the Club’s security. But this took time – and was often a painful process for those who learned ‘the hard way’.
Before Dash enthusiasts get upset by my ‘Club’ analogy (hopefully they have’t already), Dash vs Monero is of course different. Dash still has some security that is far more complex to circumvent than just ‘cutting the steering wheel’ (along with other features)… but in terms of providing fungibilty like Monero does, it ultimately falls short and exposes users to risks. When ‘the audits come’ (in whatever fashion they do, as I described in the earlier piece) people will quickly realize that anything *other* than full security/fungibility still leaves them vulnerable. Remember, markets are voting machines in the short term, but weighing machines long-term.
As far as the notion that ‘serious investors’ will stay away from Monero because it’s used by people doing illegal things – this is something that was said about Bitcoin, then Dash, and now Monero. Time has shown, and will continue to show, that there is no merit to the argument. All it takes is for a few ‘larger’ crypto investors to realize they are at-risk in Dash, and the shift could happen quickly. As more people shift for everyday use, the percentage of ‘illicit’ users will shrink, and it will be a moot point.