Despite the explosive advancements taking place in the world of digital money, some in the crypto community have become increasingly disenchanted with Bitcoin.
And I happen to be among them.
My main gripe with Bitcoin is that it’s exclusively viewed as a speculative investment. This runs counter to the core intent of founder Satoshi Nakomoto who envisioned it as a peer-to-peer alternative to fiat currency.
For a little over two years, I used bitcoin as my sole means to pay rent, purchase groceries, and transportation. It was during this period of my life that I became acquainted with Joel Valenzuela, a New Hampshire resident who was living off of a cryptocurrency called Dash. We are planning to feature him soon on an upcoming episode of Money Monday.
If you are unfamiliar with Dash, let me offer a brief introduction:
Dash is a leading e-commerce and payments-focused digital currency, and a rising alternative to bitcoin. It is consistently among the top ten digital currencies by market capitalization and only one of few offering safe, decentralized financial solutions to real-world problems.
Dash has four attributes that are particularly appealing to me, namely, it’s portable, cost-effective, divisible, and fast. It can be spent easily and instantly online at merchants across the globe, at much lower fees than credit and debit cards.
With a committed development team and a unique blockchain mining and treasury model, Dash is the only major self-funded, self-governed organization in the cryptocurrency industry. This allows for constant development and funding for the entire project. The visionary aim of the Dash community is to make digital cash easy to use and accessible for all users, even those who aren’t technologically savvy. Anyone will be able to set up an account on the blockchain, add contacts and pay them by name. Purchases from websites or mobile apps will be simple, requiring only a single click.
Collaborative Partnerships Abound
Of late, there has been a flurry of collaborative partnerships that are accelerating Dash’s push forward. And honestly, it’s been hard to keep up with them all.
One that is garnering a ton of attention is Dash Nigeria, a non-profit educational and promotional organization that’s fueling the adoption of Dash in that nation. The aim of this organization is to promote Dash and other stakeholders opportunities in these communities while solving problems that the broader continent faces in the use of money.
Dash also announced a new milestone in its partnership with Cryptobuyer, the leading platform to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in Latin America. It now serves as the mechanism for facilitating cryptocurrency payments for Traki, the largest retail store in Venezuela.
Sparked by significant demand from Dash users and local merchants, Cryptobuyer’s point of sale system has been launched as a pilot win Traki’s El Recreo store. The ultimate aim is to serve all 46 stores nationwide later this year.
This marks another milestone in Dash’s ambitious expansion plans in the Venezuelan market. Over 2,200 merchants in Venezuela accept Dash at point-of-sale.
Says Cryptobuyer CEO Jorge Farias: “The usage of Dash in South America is just another example of how this region is ahead of the curve in adopting cryptocurrency as a real method of payment. The whole team at Cryptobuyer is very happy to continue reinforcing this collaboration in each and every one of the services that we launch, and in the markets in which we are expanding to including Mexico, Argentina, and Central America.”
Interview With Ryan Taylor
Here at What Is Money Project, we recently had the opportunity to interview Ryan Taylor who is the CEO of Dash Core Team. Here are a few of his thoughts Dash’s role in igniting the new future of money.
For newbies reading this article, please share a bit about what DASH is and the value proposition it brings to the “New Age of Money.”
“Dash, which stands for Digital Cash, is a payment focused digital currency. To better address the needs of payment use cases, it features instant transactions, lower fees, higher transaction capacity, and enhanced privacy compared to other leading cryptocurrencies.
So it sounds like usability is the main focus?
Yes. With the planned release of our Dashpay application this year users will be able to create a username and a contact list within the network, access that data from multiple devices, and transact without the complexity of cryptographic addresses.”
Share with us a bit about how Dash is advancing economic freedom both domestically and globally?
Dash is one of the most widely accepted digital currencies, with over 4,000 merchants currently accepting it as a form of payment. It is also widely used for cross-border payments and remittances. Additionally, we are working diligently to improve ease of use, which we believe will make Dash accessible to a much larger population. Dash also enables transactions other payment methods can’t, particularly in high-chargeback and cash-based industries.
Specific to this same them, Can you elaborate on what’s happening in Venezuela in terms of the much anticipated Dash Text Service?
A team based in Venezuela launched a service called Dash Text, which syncs with user phone numbers and operates with simple commands such as “new” for a new wallet, “receive” to initiate a request, or “send”. This plus a short number code allows for an easy way of operating in Dash on a regular feature phone.
And the Dash Charity Program?
For the Charity program, the Dash Text community initially signed up 50 low-income students, taught them and the school cafeteria how to use Dash, and coded a solution distributing donations every day into the wallets assigned to the phone numbers of these people. For the pilot program, 50 kids are being sent the equivalent of one dollar per day, which allows for the purchase of one beverage and two empanadas (a popular breakfast in Venezuela), ensuring these children can focus on learning rather than hunger.
Despite the cryptocurrency advancements that have taken place, there are those persistent naysayers that contend that cryptocurrencies are not real money. What’s your response to this?
The concept of money is a social one that has constantly evolved over the centuries. Essentially, money is whatever people decide it is, ranging from shells to round metal disks to government-issued paper. Cryptocurrency has many attributes of ideal money, including durability, scarcity, portability, and divisibility. It has all the attributes of physical cash with the advantage of transferability over the internet. There are a large and growing number of people that believe cryptocurrency is money, and therefore it is money.”
How has the persistent “crypto winter” and resultant price stagnation impacted Dash’s trajectory forward?
The persistent price declines of 2018 certainly produced a headwind for cryptocurrency adoption. However, Dash continued to grow a number of key metrics including a five-fold increase in Dash accepting merchants, continued growth in transactions and users and expanded infrastructure such as new exchanges and trading pairs in new countries. Showing we can continue to grow the project in this environment is a key measure of sustainability in my opinion.”
Recently Dash launched a number of partnerships designed to fuel consumer adoption and use. Can you share details about these exciting new developments?
In recent weeks we’ve seen several new integrations: PolisPay, a blockchain payments service company, announced the integration of Dash with their cryptocurrency funded pre-paid debit card on the MasterCard network. And then there’s Equicex, a London-based exchange platform and crypto service provider, announced the integration of Dash on its debit card and listing on its trading platform. These integrations ensure Dash users now have access to plastic debit card deposits as well as more ways to use Dash anywhere credit cards are accepted.
What sort of emergent blockchain + crypto advancements do you see on the horizon over the next 12–18 months?
Clearly, the industry is on the precipice of institutional-grade solutions finally coming online. I think you’ll see the first ETFs, brokerage integrations, and traditional exchange services all launch within the next 18 months. This should result in greater access and interest in what many believe is a new asset class.
What’s your greatest hope for Dash over this time period?
As for Dash specifically, we believe the ease of use is the most critical need for the industry to address, and our upcoming Evolution release aims to tackle that problem. The Evolution platform and our Dashpay application aim to make Dash much easier to integrate for developers and easier to use for consumers.