If the DAO wants to have teams working for them, getting people to use Dash, building more usability options, building relationships for Dash, creating new ways to use Dash in the real world, generating transactions, expanding the merchant network, creating positive and productive experiences around Dash in the real world, generating the next evolution of real-world crypto adoption for Dash first, breaking the Bitcoin fiat on/off ramp monopoly, giving us a chance to expand out of Bitcoin’s shadow, etc, then the DAO needs to pay for it.
Nothing in life is for free.
If the DAO is happy to only have people sitting in offices, removed from the real world, building the latest-greatest software with fingers crossed that someone-somewhere is going to accept it and use it and trumpet how awesome it is on our behalf out of the goodness of their hearts and the sterling integrity of their souls, then the DAO will need to be happy with the results obtained from said “strategy”.
But with Feedbands and DashCrypto and the bazillion integrations, I think it should be clear now that we can’t build a world-changing business that flies in the face of globally-fossilized paradigms and power structures from behind a desk just with Instagram ads, A/B testing and a dozen ways to overpay for gift cards.
We need to do what others will not.
Others in the crypto space are comfortable behind their desks and in their swanky conferences, calling thousand-dollar helicopter tours “mass adoption” and speaking the same trite bullshit to the same jaded ears.We must go beyond.
Dash is a DAO but it remains a business like any other and businesses need clients.
Even with Dash at just USD$110, the treasury is worth more than USD$630,000 every month. I am running effective and transparent adoption efforts albeit on “energy saving mode” in 6 Latin American / 1 European nations for about 7% of that monthly budget.
Not free but definitely cheap.
A “self-sustaining Dash team” is a private business that no longer has any incentive to answer to the DAO, especially one that is as ill-tempered and fickle as this one has been for the last few months.
A “self-sustaining Dash team” is like saying hey, you worked for me for a year and we’re cool, so can you please keep working for me… for free? I’m sure you’ll figure out some way to pay yourself. <waves hand>
A “self-sustaining Dash team” is a team that took DAO funds and diverted them into a business separate from what the DAO paid them to do. Is this behavior you want to encourage?
None of this is sustainable.
But Dash itself is self-sustaining because of the 10% of the block reward that goes to the treasury and because of our governance process. So perhaps the true “self-sustaining Dash team” is the one that is funded via the governance process. Knowing that we have this resource, why is there this attempt by some to get results without paying for them?
In Colombia, we have a saying, “Lo barato sale más caro.” That which is cheap ends up being more expensive. The time lost from trying to nickel-and-dime your frontline/coalface teams, all the uncertainty and stress introduced by degrading our ability to deploy medium- and long-term planning on Dash’s behalf through the constant game of chicken in the budget process is only going to end up being more expensive in the long run for Dash.
After all, time is money. Time lost is a question of opportunity cost.
If a project is doing good work, if you can see it and measure it, then support it. We are working for Dash, after all. Stop trying to have your cake and eat it, too. Extraordinary results for Dash will not be achieved with a scarcity mindset.
One way to measure the growth of Dash is by how many smartphones have active installs of our “official” wallets. In Latin America, we are seeing that 95% or more of users are installing Dash wallets on Android devices. So, it is reasonable to use active installs of the Dash Core Group’s Hash Engineering Dash wallet for Android as an interesting indicator of what is happening in a given part of the world with Dash.
This won’t track Core desktop wallet users or people using multi-coin wallets like Coinomi or Jaxx, but, in any case, Dash-funded organizations (DFOs) are going to be recommending our reference wallets to new users they onboard. At least that is what we, Dash Latam, do across Latin America.
This graph demonstrates the number of active Dash Android wallet installs as of the last day of each month from November 2018 through June 2019. As you can see, Venezuela (the red line) was trending downwards until Dash Latam took it onboard in March when the DAO funded us. I frankly find it hard to believe that our efforts are responsible for what is an 85% growth in active Android wallet installs in just 3 months. There must be something else going on.
But it’s not Dash Merchant Venezuela (DMV) or Dash Venezuela (DV), neither of which effectively exists anymore. It is not Dash Text, which installs its own wallet. It is almost certainly not Dash Help, which was inactive part of this time and which is an office-based support service, not a proactive marketing organization.
That said, Dash Latam is the only organization doing consumer adoption events among adults in Venezuela in 2019 as far as I am aware.
Venezuela is now the first and only national area in which we have more than 10,000 active Dash wallet installs.
We can also see steady growth for Colombia (the blue line) where Dash Latam is transitioning away from a majority merchant adoption focus to a majority consumer adoption focus. Watch our progress via our transaction tracker at https://tracker.pagacondash.com/.
Mexico (the green line) is the control — perhaps what we can take as “organic” growth — and is ultimately a bit of a flat line. Peru (the orange line) now has more active wallets than Mexico, despite having one-fourth the population and one-fifth the GDP of Mexico, thanks to Dash Latam’s low-cost merchant-centric strategy for Dash mass adoption and our very small but hard-working Lima team.
Above is the data from which the above graph was created.
Here is some further analysis. On the left, you can see the cumulative change in active wallet installs per country between Nov 30 2018 and Jun 30 2019. On the right, you can see the change in active wallet installs in each market from the start of Dash Latam’s operations there until Jun 30 2019.
Here is a further analysis comparing the key results from above to the results of other national areas of note.
In this one we can see that the US is flat. In Germany, Russia and Thailand, we are losing ground. Nigeria is seeing interesting, if slow, growth. The next graph removes the top 3, Venezuela, the US and Colombia, in order to give a better look at the rest.
Russia and Germany here are clearly seen as roughly straight lines. Nigeria shows a clear upward trend. Mexico is flat, Thailand slightly declining. And we can see that Peru, which is a Dash Latam project not receiving earmarked funding from the DAO has passed Thailand and could soon eclipse Nigeria as well.
The top 20 national areas by active Dash Android wallet count as of Jun 30 2019 are:
In conclusion, I hope this information (kindly provided by Dash Core Group) and analysis (responsibility for which lies with me) is useful to decision-makers and partners in the Dash ecosystem.
Venezuela has recently been a very up and down kind of thing in the DAO. Do we still want to be in Venezuela? A lot of people have turned their backs on the more than USD$1 million we, Dash, invested there in 2017-2018.
But Venezuela remains the greatest testing ground in the world for cryptocurrency adoption in a hyperinflationary environment. Venezuela was once the wealthiest nation in Latin America, one of the top in the world. And it will be again. With more than 4 million Venezuelans working outside of Venezuela, Venezuela is a testing ground for remittances. We can lead the way in philanthropy in Venezuela, when not even the UN dares enter. Venezuela’s crisis is Dash’s opportunity not just to shine, but to position ourselves for decades to come.
We just need the right people working the country. People focused on results. Tough people, willing to go out in the streets and work with anyone. Business people. People with vision and drive. People who get the digital cash vision. Honest people.
That is my team, Dash Latam, and our many capable representatives in Venezuela, among them:
Freddy Rauseo, Caracas
Richard Jerez, Caracas Los Teques
Luigi Quintero, San Cristóbal
Edgar Caballero, Valencia
Jose Rojas, Barquisimeto
Jose Araujo, Caracas
Darwin Ramirez, Maracaibo
and others in training or just starting to work with us on a probationary basis.
Plus we have Gabriel and Constantin in Madrid, as well as several more people in Medellín who work full- or part-time on our Venezuela projects.
Dash Aid: A Free Market in Philanthropy for Venezuela
People in Venezuela are in trouble. People outside Venezuela want to help. Charitable organizations can’t operate in Venezuela. People need decentralized electricity generation, water purification, food production, schools and much more. The 4 million Venezuelan expats outside of the country can only remit so much wealth home so fast, and most of that is pointed at bare survival. And it is falling short.
The tide will turn soon in Venezuela, and a new liberty-friendly regime will take its place. Dash is ready to help rebuild Venezuela in a way no one else can, or will.
The only way to give help on DashAid.org is by sending Dash to people.
A request for help consists of a video, a twitter handle and a Dash address.
All Dash gifts via DashAid.org are direct and are in no way intermediated whatsoever.
Dash Aid is a free market in philanthropy. I’m not picking recipients. I’m not receiving Dash and then sending it out. Neither senders nor receivers need ask for permission to participate.
People who want to give via Dash Aid have to buy Dash. It is simply the best way to do it, not to mention the easiest! People who receive aid will need to spend their Dash. Or they can sell it to people in Venezuela who want Dash, thus creating more Dash liquidity in the country.
The DashAid.org website was coded by Rion Gull with design help from Ash Francis. Dash Aid exists thanks to the ideas and help of JohnSnow (discord), Solarguy and Edward Stoever of Dash.red. I identified the vision for Dash Aid and funded its creation. JohnSnow was essential in the conception of Dash Aid. I believe Rion Gull came up with the name.
Dash Aid is very close to being in an MVP stage, and this constitutes just a pre-announcement. Right now it only has sample content. We still need to produce the media that teaches donors how to buy Dash and recipients how to spend it. The Dash Latam Venezuela team is very excited to market this and fill it up with requests. We will need your help to bring in the donors and get it on CNN.
No Easier Way to Accept Dash Anywhere
The Paga Con Dash point of sale software (POS) is the absolute easiest way for anyone anywhere to accept Dash, and has the lowest barrier to entry. There is nothing to install, no account to create. It is non-custodial. You don’t have to trust us. It is just a webpage.
The Paga Con Dash POS (try it out at https://pos.pagacondash.com) is in use across Latin America by Dash merchants to accept Dash payments rapidly, securely and with confidence, both in stores and on the street, for all kinds of products. It is a reality. Here is a video about that, filmed in Caracas Venezuela.
By the way, the Paga Con Dash POS is hosted for global reliability at Amazon Web Services. It is backed by the new Dash Retail global exchange rate server. This POS was originally coded by Kodaxx as SparkPOS, which was funded by the DAO. It is Dash-exclusive. Ash Francis’s Dash Retail proposal took it to the next level.
You can even pay when there is no electricity by using the CoinTigo SMS wallet (based in Venezuela), as you can see below. This integration work was completed by Ash Francis and Alex Cox of as part of the Dash Retail proposal.
New Dash Merchants in Venezuela
Here is a selection of photos taken by our trained and qualified Dash representatives in Venezuela of new merchants they have affiliated. In some cases, a few may be merchants we recovered who had previously accepted Dash and we managed to bring them back.
Here are some stats on our work in Venezuela so far on the new merchants front. We’ve visited almost 1,200 merchants and affiliated 103, 59 of which are basic necessities merchants, which practically did not exist for Dash spenders in Venezuela before we started.
Verified Dash Merchants in Venezuela
Our standard verification procedure is to visit the merchant for a second time after their affiliation and provide a printed QR code (hablador). This requires that we get the habladors (blue triangle things) into Venezuela, which is never easy and frequently requires putting people at risk, and then finding adhesive paper and printing them out properly. To verify merchants, we visit them. We ensure we have their contact info, we ensure they have backed up their passphrase, and we install the Paga Con Dash POS, among other things. Here are some photos from this activity.
Here are some stats on our work in Venezuela so far on the verifying DiscoverDash-listed Venezuela merchants front. We’ve visited almost 200 DiscoverDash-listed merchants and verified 70. We were unable to find 90. Only 4 no longer wish to accept Dash and we had to do some work here to keep this number that low. We’ve also filled 105 in-person support requests at Dash merchants, support that no one else can or will offer to our Dash merchants in Venezuela.
Here is a bonus video of Freddy doing some early verifications before we were even funded for this.
Finding remittance beneficiaries in Venezuela places they can reliably spend Dash has been quite challenging. Also, even people who have money in hand can not always find where to spend it on what they need in Venezuela today.
So we invented combo remittances.
With combo remittances, people in Medellín, Madrid and other parts of the world can buy Dash and immediately use it to buy the products their family members need, and cause those products to be delivered directly to their family members.
We have been building alliances with new basic necessities merchants in Venezuela for months, directly connecting our on-the-ground merchant adoption work with our combo remittance sales network. Here are our current 38 combo remittance options. All of these are for sale right now, payable in Dash, and available to be delivered within certain regions of Venezuela.
Bonus video of Freddy Rauseo of Dash Latam accompanying the delivery of a combo to a beneficiary.
I Bought this with Dash in Venezuela
Dash Latam is the project that created the first and only videos of people buying basic necessities items with Dash in Venezuela. Here are those videos, which we worked very hard to create before we even had a Venezuela proposal and with our own funds. Here is a playlist with 18 videos proving to dubious remittance senders that you can actually buy basic necessities with Dash in Venezuela.
Cross Border Food Shopping with Dash
Cúcuta, Colombia is right across the border from San Cristóbal, Venezuela. Dash Latam has teams in both cities. As many as 50,000 people, yes, that number is right, cross the bridge from Venezuela into Cúcuta every day to migrate and to shop. We are teaching these shoppers how to get Dash in Venezuela, bring it across the border (without getting robbed by the border guards) and spend it for food and other basic necessities at our more than 80 Dash merchants in Cúcuta. Here are some videos about that:
Let’s be frank. No one has ever done this much evidenced work in Venezuela for Dash before for. Only in Colombia have we done more. No other cryptocurrency adoption project anywhere for any coin that I am aware of has done anything even near all of this. Do correct me if I am wrong.
Dash Latam is the pioneer globally in crypto mass adoption and we are moving towards big things and concrete results in Venezuela, among other places. We need regular funding to do this. Our team members are Venezuelans, and as such are subject to all the same vicissitudes of hyper-inflationary life as any other Venezuelan. Costs rise, critical products become unavailable. Children need to eat. Children get sick.
We can not expect to retain effective people if we do not take effective care of them by paying them on time and providing them the tools they need to do the job at hand.
Please support our work. Here is our proposal. Vote for it. Ask others to vote for it. Follow our work and give us feedback. We are Dash’s humble servants but we can not serve Dash without resources.
Over here at Dash Latam, we are pushing hard every day. No one here is resting on their laurels, tho sometimes we pass out for a few minutes or take a weekend off to decompress.
Here is where we are at in our different markets.
Colombia is growing. We are shifting gears to focus more on consumer adoption. This will mean the tracker at http://tracker.pagacondash.com/ should move more but we may see merchant numbers grow more slowly.
Merchants require a dedicated educational effort so we are now hiring someone to lead that because we have not been doing an adequate job here. We are forming a couple different new teams of people who will be constantly in the street as well as hiring a few new people for coordination posts in consumer adoption in Medellín as we continue to experiment to discover what actually works to achieve consumer adoption, which is more challenging than merchant adoption.
That said, over the last 28 days, we have a documented average of 34 tx per day, perhaps 80% of which are incentivized through basic educational “Dash Invites” events. We have developed an improved format for Dash Invites events and are able to ensure a complete introduction to Dash of 80 people in 80 minutes.
In Colombia, we are active in the Medellín metro area, in Cúcuta and Bucaramanga. We have previously been active in Pereira and Bogotá but have struggled to keep good people in those cities.
In Lima, Peru, we now have 16 merchants. Our leader there, Miguel, is progressing. We will have the first consumer adoption event in Peru later this week. We are training a second person for Lima right now that we hope can start within a few weeks and solidify our progress there.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, we lost our representatives and progress stalled with the 5 merchants we have there but we are now interviewing candidates to start up again.
In Guatemala City, we have our first 2 merchants but are hitting a sticking point and are working with our representative on the ground to get through it.
In Madrid, Spain, the team is holding regular events to sell Dash as a remittance and has had a number of successful sales but is having trouble getting people to the events, and we are working on new strategies to remedy this.
In Venezuela, we have verified hundreds of merchants and added a good number of new basic necessities merchants mostly in Caracas, some of whom have added combos to our selection of combo remittances. We are adding new representatives in multiple Venezuelan cities in order to salvage as many merchant relationships as possible. We have also added new merchants and have run 2 consumer adoption events. We will be running additional consumer adoption events soon and are interviewing candidates to coordinate consumer adoption across Venezuela. Operating in Venezuela is challenging but we have a good team there and things are progressing.
We are active in the following Venezuelan cities: Caracas, Valencia, San Cristóbal, Maracaibo. We are training new representatives for multiple additional cities.
Overall, we need to systematize all of our activities more. We need more leaders. We lack technical talent. There are a lot of opportunities we could exploit but we are focused on the basics: merchants, consumers, transactions.
We remain excited about what we are going to do over the next few months.
What today I call “Dash Latam” started just a little over a year as “Dash Medellín” with just a faint notion of advancing cryptocurrency mass adoption through Dash, the lone coin that both honors the original digital cash vision and has innovated in consistently useful ways.
Along the way, I learned what worked and what does not. I faced unfriendly streets, hard faces, tough obstacles. I made new connections, new friends, new allies. At one point, I was left alone in the project. At another, we faced a funding shortage that nearly ended it.
Through it all, we held firm in pursuit of the vision of making Dash as useful as possible to developing world merchants and consumers in order to achieve the fabled mass adoption and realize a world of universal liberty and prosperity.
Some of the lessons learned include the following.
The meetup/conference strategy for crypto adoption and growth really does not work. High expense, low return, low interest.
The ground game for getting and keeping merchants requires a constant commitment of keeping capable people in the street at all times.
Liquidity is an ever-present challenge far from being solved, and will not be solved with existing exchanges alone. We need to think a lot bigger.
We’re not going to get where we need to go with our current reference wallets.
Most people who are already in crypto are not useful for the next stage of mass adoption via utility / for realizing the digital cash vision. My best people are new to crypto.
The scarcest asset is quality people.
We have developed a strategy here, I call it the low-cost merchant-centric strategy for mass adoption. We continue evolving it: adding pieces, refining pieces. But I have yet to find anyone doing anything more effective anywhere else in service of the digital cash vision.
By the end of May, our goal was to have 2500 active Android wallets in Colombia, 25 documented transactions per day at tracker.pagacondash.com and 650 active merchants. Unfortunately, we fell short in active wallets (around 2350) and active merchants (628). We exceeded the transactions per day goal with an average of 31 documented Dash transactions per day in May via our in-store habladors (printed QR codes) and Dash Retail/Spark pre-alpha POS.
Why did we fall short?
I’m not an excuse maker so I want to make it clear that we fell short — I fell short — and I accept full responsibility for the outcome. That said, here is my analysis:
We spent March and April replacing the original SparkPOS and AnyPay with the new Dash Retail enhanced (yet pre-alpha) POS because both Spark and AnyPay had serious show-stopping problems, a situation that presented a severe threat to our operations and demanded immediate resolution. Touching merchants, especially when it comes to connecting with owners, is extremely time-consuming and must be done in accordance with strict security protocols to ensure habladors and POS are properly configured.
We had a merchant verification backlog that it took us longer than expected to discharge for the same reasons as above and also because finding and keeping effective street-level representatives is challenging.
Consumer adoption is a nut in need of cracking in a class all its own. It is more challenging than merchant adoption so far. It requires touching more people. The value of the adoption to the consumer is less in aggregate than it is to the merchant. Our consumer adoption game remains globally innovative yet underdeveloped. To develop it, we need to invest a lot of time into producing marketing materials, websites, social media campaigns and new event styles and types. I consider us to be behind schedule on this because I have been slow to conceptualize and the consumer adoption team has been slow and unfocused.
In order to keep costs down during the bear market, we worked virtually from home, which meant we were missing opportunities that come from working in the same physical space.
We are remedying these shortfalls going forward through our alliance with Dash Retail, a project borne directly from our work here as well as the excellent past work of Ash Francis and Alex Cox on eWallet. The Dash Retail team is professional, sophisticated and effective. We are training up new street-level representatives and upgrading our CRM processes. I am investing the time necessary to conceptualize the consumer adoption strategy and coordinate its execution over the next months. We now have an office in the Camel Hub coworking space in Medellín where as many as 10 of us work together now multiple days per week, realizing productivity and creativity gains.
The Dash Latam team remains committed and enthusiastic. We push hard every day, excited to be innovating, excited to be working towards liberty and prosperity for all, thrilled to represent Dash. We are now in 6 countries: Colombia, Venezuela, Spain, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala. We are taking concrete steps to (re)open 3 new Colombian cities (Bucaramanga, Barranquilla and Bogota) as well as 2 more Venezuelan cities (Maracaibo and Barquisimeto).
Still Number 1
Dash Latam remains, as far as I can tell, not only the #1 Dash mass adoption project but #1 by far globally in the mass adoption of any cryptocurrency. The only other similar project I have seen in other coins is North Queensland Australia where Bitcoin Cash claims around 100 active merchants.
Where we go from here is only up, adding another feathery first to Dash’s already very crowded cap of innovations, which include Masternodes, ChainLocks, InstantSend and so much more.