DASH mining guide (2020 Edition)

DASH mining is the process of generating new cryptocurrency using specialized mining machines known as “ASICs”. This guide teaches you the basics of DASH mining and how to set up your ASIC. DASH miners are specialized machines designed to solve the “X11” hash function used to protect the DASH network. When a miner finds a hashed result that meets the network difficulty requirements, it is submitted to the DASH network. Once verified, the miner will be rewarded in DASH cryptocurrency, thus generating an income for the mienrs. In order to mine DASH, you’ll need to get an ASIC. It’s no longer possible to mine DASH using CPU or GPU (unlike Monero or Ethereum mining).

iBelink DM56G
56 GH/s
2100 W
Innosilicon A5
32 GH/s
750 W
Bitmain Antminer D3
17 GH/s
970 W

What is DASH

DASH (also known as Xcoin, Darkcoin) is a form of digital currency that is not controlled by any government or individual entity. DASH is based on Bitcoin technology, with some major differences between:

  • Anonymous transactions – DASH transactions are anonymous, so it is impossible to trace the source of DASH funds. This offers significant privacy benefits for DASH users.
  • Instant confirmation – Masternodes instantly confirm DASH transactions, whilst Bitcoin transactions take 10-30 minutes to confirm.
  • Low fees – DASH transaction fees are significantly less than Bitcoins or any other bank for that matter.
  • X11 Algorithm – DASH mining uses a different algorithm called X11.

How Profitable is DASH mining

Daily Revenue from mining rewards differ everyday – this is because mining difficulty changes and hence the daily reward. Revenue is dependent on the power of the Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) involved, with higher Hashrates being faster and more profitable

  • Network difficulty- Think of it this way, every day the same wage gets paid to all the DASH miners in the world.
  • The value of DASH– The current USD value of DASH is important for those seeking profits in fiat currency (USD) or even Bitcoin (BTC).

What is X11?

X11 is a chained hashing algorithm that uses 11 different hashing algorithms to secure the network (hence the “11”). The algorithms Blake, BMW, Groestl, JH, Keccak, Skein, Luffa, Cubehash, Shavite, Simd and Echo are used in sequence, repeated one after another until the very last function. This will give a final hash value which is then submitted to the blockchain if it meets the difficulty requirement. X11 is designed by Evan Duffield to improve the security of the blockchain. The reasoning is that if one of the algorithms are compromised, there are 10 others to continue to protect the network.

The second reason X11 was designed is to make it harder to create mining ASICs (although we know that this is now possible). For a period of 2 years, it was possible to mine DASH using a conventional computer via CPU and GPU mining. However, this is no longer the case as chip makers have found ways to create high specialized X11 ASICs.

DASH Pool Mining

There are two main ways to mine DASH – solo mining or pool mining.

Pool Mining (working together)

  • Work with others to mine and share rewards
  • Get paid per share, on a hourly or daily basis
  • Less random / dependent on luck
  • Pools take some fees (0.5-3% depending on pool)

Solo Mining

  • You mine the entire block reward (3.11 DASH per block) – no pool fees
  • Random Chance and probability – you can go days or months without rewards
  • Not viable if Hashrate is low – single GPU will take years to mine a block

Generally speaking, pool mining is the preferred method for most miners. This is because it provides a reliable stream of daily income, rather than large random bursts. Thus it allows miners to better calculate their profits and losses.

List of top DASH mining Pools

There are 2 factors to consider when picking a DASH mining pool – the location of the pool and it’s market share. The top priority would be location – the closer the pool is to you geographically the better. This is because sometimes due to network latency, shares that are mined could be “stale” – as new blocks are created rendering older blocks obsolete. It’s also important to know that Chinese servers are behind the Great Firewall of China, meaning that connections could periodically break. This means that choosing a server with low latency and close geographical location would give the highest yield.

The second factor is the market share of the pool. The larger the market share, the more consistent the rewards. This is because blocks are continuously mined by the pool, and hence they can pay out at a consistent rate. This reduces the impact of the randomness of block creation.

We recommend finding a pool close to your location with a high market share.

PoolMarket ShareLocationReward SystemPool Fee
Antpool26%Asia / ChinaPPS (Pay per Share)
PPLNS (Pay per last N Shares)
ViaBTC17%Asia / EUPPS (Pay per Share)
PPLNS (Pay per last N Shares)
Coinmine.pl7%EUPPLNS (Pay per last N Shares) 0-1%
dash.btc.top4.7%ChinaPPS (Pay per Share) 0%-2%
PPS (Pay per Share)
PPLNS (Pay per last N Shares)

DASH Cloud Mining

In 2020, DASH Cloud mining contracts are not profitable. This is because mining has become more competitive with lower margins – forcing miners to reduce costs. Cloud mining is hit the hardest because of they have large overheads like advertising spends and legal costs. In our latest research, we found that cloud mining providers were charging 184% for the same hashrate than home-made solutions.

What else can I mine with X11?

When you purchase a DASH miner, you’re limited to mining the X11 algorithm. X11 algorithm can mine coins such as Smartcoin, Pura, and Hatch. Admittedly, there are not many other good coins to mine using X11 ASICs, with DASH being the most valuable of the bunch. This is unlike other algorithms such as SHA-256 which is used in Bitcoin mining, Bitcoin cash and BitcoinSV.

Masternodes vs. Mining

There are two was to make a passive income on the DASH network – mining and masternodes. Like miners, masternodes also generate a DASH reward every time a block is created on the DASH network. The reward distribution is as follows:

  • 45% – Miners reward
  • 45% – Masternode reward
  • 10% – DASH treasure (DASH DAO – Decentralized Autonomous Organisation)

As you can see, masternode node holders get equal amounts of rewards as miners. In order to become a masternode, a total of 1000 DASH must be staked by the node holder. At the current price of $60 per DASH, this means a total of $60,000 must be staked in order to gain masternode rewards.

The function of masternodes is to provide additional layer 2 services to the network. This includes sending pre-approved transactions (InstantSend), improving security of the network (Chainlocks) and privacy features (PrivateSend). The 1000 DASH required by the masternode serves as collateral to ensure good behavior. If the funds are moved or spent, the associated masternode will go offline and stop receiving rewards.

The biggest factor in deciding whether to mine DASH or getting a DASH masternode is the financial commitment factor. The advantage of a masternode is that the 1000 staked DASH can be fully returned at the end of operation, whilst mining equipment will become obsolete over time. In addition, masternode holders are given the right to vote in the DASH treasury which gives funding to future developments. The disadvantage of masternodes is the high initial investment, which cannot be less than 1000 DASH.

The information provided in this article is intended for general guidance and information purposes only. Contents of this article are under no circumstances intended to be considered as investment, business, legal or tax advice. We do not accept any responsibility for individual decisions made based on this article and we strongly encourage you to do your own research before taking any action. Although best efforts are made to ensure that all information provided herein is accurate and up to date, omissions, errors, or mistakes may occur. 
Disclosure: Authors are invested in cryptocurrency projects and have cryptocurrency holdings - including those covered on this website. 

I’m Michael Gu, Creator of Boxmining. I’ve been involved in the digital asset and Blockchain space since 2012. Something I immediately noticed was that accurate information is hard to come by in this space. More often than not, we find extremely biased information that exploits the complexity of blockchain to obscure facts. Having been around before bitcoin or blockchain was even “cool” meant that I had to do a lot of discovery myself, and along the way, I had many successes, but also made mistakes. I started Boxmining in 2017 mainly as a passion project, to educate people on digital assets and share my experiences. Being based in Asia, I also found a huge discrepancy between digital asset trends and knowledge gap in the West and China. So I leveraged my knowledge and positioning to bridge that information gap and let people know what is truly happening. This journey has been nothing short of exhilarating for me, starting from when I mined Bitcoin in grad school to appearing on China’s national television as an overseas expert on blockchain technology, and having the honour of interviewing leading crypto entrepreneurs, including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

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