April 2019 DAO Voting Decisions

As promised, now that I have received multiple voting keys post-DIP3, I am sharing my voting decisions for the April 2019 DAO voting cycle. If you want to follow my voting choices and/or use them as a template, but not delegate your voting keys to me, you can download a text file of my recommendations here.

My goal is not to savagely cut the fat but to influence these NO and ABSTAIN voted proposals towards what I consider more productive directions, in most cases. I am available to talk and even advise.

gobject vote-many 2ee58a293c29685d9b674e526ecb910729638b9f8152a6c33158d3e86e78a03d funding yes
  • #BuildWithDash – Dash Integrations with Online Payment Apps: YES. This PO has delivered for Dash before and is communicative and interested in teamwork, now a Dash Ignite member. The Dash ecosystem is desperately thin on developer talent and the only other developer outreach I am aware of was run by QuantumExplorer and had to be canceled due to fall in the price of Dash in 2018.
gobject vote-many e2ac18df677baf3be8b257bd050c8bc043700c6eadcbea979b66b1a1a833254e funding yes 
  • DASH-PR-PROPOSAL-1-OF-2—SHIFT-COMMUNIC. NO. The proposal is uninspired, there is no video and I have no sense this organization is prepared to use our precious DAO funds effectively and judiciously.
gobject vote-many 73f2e97d7e797127dbd726d720324e9d0a7ecdd4f3129ad4a3dcddd670455075 funding no
  • DASH-PR-PROPOSAL-2-OF-2—WACHSMAN-PR: ABSTAIN. Wachsman actually produced an impressive video. Why can’t they produce more video for us instead of getting all these hype articles posted in low-quality crypto blogs? Maybe they just need better direction?
gobject vote-many 195464156ef2b280364471fe900229815f8fa3eeaec90ec5ebb6977865550738 funding abstain
  • DASH EMBASSY TURKEY Q2 2019: ABSTAIN. This is a new project in an inflationary economy and therefore I’d like to see what they can do. At the same time, this has all the warnings signs of another embassy that thinks it is above street-level mass adoption work and therefore rarely produces anything of value beyond boxed hot air.
gobject vote-many b33aee1852fac9cea0ef1baafefd18e6751fc864ef49ee684f6aee9845f37058 funding abstain
  • Dash Force May – August: NO. This project adds value to Dash via dashnews.org but it is also a hype machine that causes people in the Dash community to confuse dream with reality, and thus make realistic goals and realistic results look sub-standard. As such, it is also a threat to the growth of Dash towards a real product to be used by real people. Further, this organization is responsible for the disaster that is DiscoverDash. I am afraid to vote against Dash Force, but I refuse to give in to fear so here goes.
gobject vote-many 0de034344b217693c75fc4f9dc17c028a3eca76ca697197e1af45eab6f027a80 funding no
  • DACH Embassy: NO. Cycle after cycle I see DACH producing presentations but little or no real live video of their work. I am not seeing any work beyond high-level bizdev and ideas like we integrate with payment processor X and somehow that means we automatically get 10,000 new merchants. This is fantastical thinking. We need users, not just to integrate with apps that maybe also don’t have a lot of users or where the demand for Dash is low to nil. Worse, now I see this embassy concept spreading. High-cost, low-result office-based Dash representation is not going to move the needle.
gobject vote-many ae0c74360647da44869af83ee324794de8f908df8bf67e6e0b7614ea90eb3303 funding no
  • Dash Retail: YES. I am involved in this project but draw no comp. Basic retail adoption and wallet pricing parity infrastructure. Borne from my ground-level adoption efforts.
gobject vote-many 3e0eb47f98fa35c6e7659749eabf520263629581b9d7d4f2e72ac42a1f77800f funding yes 
  • Evolución Dash: NO. This PO used to work for me. This proposal is a mess, clearly not ready for execution.
gobject vote-many f0ba5b7034f76ceaa66bd0bf1375786178b0969d92b2db83ed2f53686932a1ff funding no
  • Core Team Compensation: YES. Core team keeps the protocol work going BUT their aggressive schedule of updates has caused multiple problems with mobile wallet payments not to mention the current voting cycle. Further, DCG does not report to Dash Watch. DCG is a black box that it seems feels like it does not need to take into account its peers in the ecosystem. I want to see more transparency in how comp is spent by department, or at least developers vs non-developers. I want more communication, teamwork and Dash Watch reporting, otherwise I am going to move to ABSTAIN votes.
gobject vote-many ef9d77dd50b9129f3ca51ea2115d5b38b540a12a809275e5c7f5aac3fcd55807 funding yes
gobject vote-many f71be96c07ca6f968df1fa526b5cdc954a158d00beefaa3d76963052c75e73f4 funding yes
  • Dash Nexus: YES. Nexus is helpful for voting but not essential by any means. It’s more of a stretch goal, but definitely something we should have for the future.
gobject vote-many d08f4a4f370192f86b882c8dd6f05836dc340e6ad2326aacb077111fa5a656bd funding yes
gobject vote-many 82ad8ae7fb987fa0152e95d96c410f6a6a86c4bb027e0c6e61d4f29df5dc76d2 funding no
  • Dash Nigeria: NO. I see photo ops that look like they were paid for. I see events that might be the same group of friends changing shirts and having pizza for different coins. I see merchants listed on DiscoverDash.com that are just points of sale for vouchers or something? I see the primary deliverable touted as integrations and these integrations do not seem to be of much identifiable value. I attempted on two occasions to engage with the PO and was treated unacceptably both times.
gobject vote-many 2d86a500b61c2675f0c295c97fda5626c4ada9e89324f9fe253d0f02044ded1f funding no
  • Dash Texas Farms: YES. Friendly PO, no clear value proposition, but so cheap, let’s give it a try. PO desperately needs to create a clear value proposition if he wants this to go anywhere.
gobject vote-many 4ebd74078bdc6d3d782cbe3988a685931a9c2578a5531ef0d39047ef875f902f funding yes
  • Dash Text: NO. Custodial solution for old devices that replicates functionality already provided by outside allies at no cost in more countries. Might just be CoinText over Google Voice. PO was involved in sending forged documents to Dash Watch. PO personally attempted to rip me off.
gobject vote-many a4441702ddfb50ffc37ae9da5fd0a0e176d48f23c0fcc985ca5157c4d5b1c363 funding no
  • Dash Electrum: ABSTAIN. Who uses this wallet? I am not clear on the value proposition.
gobject vote-many 5f2b0fe1f3541b10c2faa1122b9cc5aa022c8286afc957c3936a4076175fc859 funding abstain
  • Dash Merchant Usage in Venezuela: NO. This is Dash Merchant Venezuela, the group that sold us 2,500 merchants in Venezuela, which turned out to be radically untrue. There was an act of document forgery committed by this team with Dash Watch. New PO reacted unprofessionally to revelation of their previously substandard work, including by launching unsubstantiated accusations against me.
gobject vote-many 8e478c03bc9559b75de74f63c6cffbe3e4dfe390ecacae754a4e6cf941a9883f funding no
  • Dash Thailand: YES. Former “embassy” that wisely dropped that word, unfortunately a mixed bag with few merchants spread across multiple cities, no real concentration strategy that I can perceive, too much focus on the 10,000 new merchants via 1 payment processor kind of high-level bizdev fantastical thinking. Overpriced. One of the senior guys has a great attitude, always actively seeking collaboration. Overpriced. We need a presence in Asia.
gobject vote-many 9475ce83921e8708d9e031a580639387865bb188a8108bca8040044decd68085 funding yes
  • MyDashWallet: YES. The fact that this enables wallets just via website access is very useful. And it is cheap. Basic critical infrastructure level functionality here.
gobject vote-many 668ab0471ad2d5c1734801e24ce89c2e2f862c0bddcaafe41b71ff772130a160 funding yes
  • Dash Colombia: YES. This is my proposal and I draw comp from it. We are creating ground level Dash mass adoption. No one else is doing this hard work. We are at the coalface in terms of business development, merchant adoption, consumer adoption, remittances, UX feedback, etc.
gobject vote-many 2b574df0f58b4a3820c0788596427885283cf628fa1d6475a1e891b756d61ec4 funding yes
  • DashCrypto #1: YES. This team offers great promise and despite the fact they are delivering so little, including just 5 total videos, and a twitter stream of almost completely RTs, there is a promise here and I am ready to give them one more chance to impress.
gobject vote-many d2db7c657def49293287fb5118edadc73a48258acb0b967e9ae4247276a3d10e funding yes 
  • Dash Venezuela Remittances: YES. This is my proposal but I currently draw no comp from it. We are actually putting merchants and consumers to use for Dash remittances across Latin America. This is our strongest use case and moves our merchants. This is a no-brainer and the only viable proposal to continue adoption efforts in Venezuela.
gobject vote-many 50d4092aef841f7e950fccc0d84d3e98cb3a8af384aa3e8131f894b46f4ca472 funding yes 
  • Dash Brazil: YES. Even tho Rodrigo is not really in Brazil, he does good video and conference attendance work for Dash.
gobject vote-many a1537a63fdba24b9855059d2b6b3cae3d5457d34868bf63403776d9d00285af4 funding yes
  • Dash Venezuela. NO. This PO is not a team player, stopped talking to Dash Watch for 5 months and has no strategy beyond expensive conferences that are limited to the in group. Further, this PO recorded a video in Caracas next to a Dash logo demanding that everyone obey the law in Venezuela. This PO used her position in Dash to state that the current socialist dictator in control of the country must be obeyed. This is unacceptable and I hope it does not come back to bite us later on.
gobject vote-many f7d299d5743b29558c40e91345e33f41a37ad1019904cdfc78c6498e258429f7 funding no
gobject vote-many 31d3d34c40f413b9d4140e32e7e40ebc201c942ea3c92ee16a48559ee38928c3 funding abstain
  • Dash.red. YES. Dash.red is the most popular Dash website in the world, even more visited and stickier than dash.org. The PO introduces new people to Dash in a fun yet rigorously educational way. This is not sexy but it is a no-brainer and is probably responsible for the 6,000 active Android Dash wallets in Venezuela.
gobject vote-many e3c60b1d765c5df55d1e5568764521e22f8d46463df7ce58759e6bb5912ad3f2 funding yes 
  • DASH MERCHANT VENEZUELA: NO. Old proposal clearly associated with the act of sending a forged document to Dash Watch and responsible for the inflated merchant count that is still bandied about today. This proposal is not done doing damage to us.
gobject vote-many db9f57a6a3cf11d5ffdb354d2d412c5b758bf89f06ed895ce0b0d516ebf91a01 funding no
  • DashCrypto #2: NO. This team is producing little that is remarkable at this point and gave in on the question of selling the masternode opportunity. I want to see more first.
gobject vote-many 6086dc8955840de98d79a8210518c2a9c4917b5be55d289ccabd76e301d3d783 funding no

The Dash Latam Vision

Dash Latam is the organization that I have been fortunate enough to grow over the last 11 months in order to serve DAO priorities in Latin America, the region where crypto mass adoption is likely to happen first due to existing telecom infrastructure, language, the size of the informal economy and the number of weak governments, among other reasons.

Dash Latam is the Dash Colombia team, the Dash Venezuela Remittances team, as well as new organizations we are cultivating in Peru, Brazil, Mexico and other parts of the world. Dash Latam has active operations across 4 nations in 9 cities: Medellín, Cúcuta, Caracas, Valencia, Los Teques, San Cristóbal, Maturín, Lima and Madrid (Spain). We are 23 full-time people and 9 part-timers or contractors. Dash Latam was founded and is led by me, George Donnelly.

Interconnected and indispensable but ultimately independent of Dash Latam is Dash Retail, a software development project led by Ash Francis and Alex Cox borne from the needs Dash Latam discovered on the ground, working with hundreds of merchants and thousands of consumers. Dash Retail provides bulletproof point of sale (POS) software and other retail acceptance and wallet infrastructure for the Dash ecosystem.

Our Value

Dash Latam is about building real Dash use right now. We build from the ground up, creating new Dash enthusiasts using innovative and persistent marketing strategies that produce active wallet installs, active Dash-accepting merchants, Dash remittances, and, ultimately, real Dash transactions. Check out our new transaction tracker, powered by Dash Retail.

We are on a mission to make the Dash transaction count go up, every day, with real usage — or die trying. With our new transaction tracker, you can easily monitor our progress towards that goal. We are giving Dash remittances the same treatment.

If you want something to be considered currency, digital cash if you will, then businesses have to accept it. You can call yourself digital cash, and you can have exchange listings and mountains of integrations, but if you don’t have regular everyday merchants who actually accept your digital cash, then it is not really digital cash. It is something that might someday be digital cash.

Dash Core Group (DCG) does not do this kind of work. DCG has a corporate vision for Dash and is focused on the protocol and reference implementations of the wallets. DCG does some high-level business development (bizdev). High-level bizdev is about forming relationships in corporate style at high levels with organizations, such as exchanges, that can lead to integrations, such as Dash being a payment option on Bitrefill or CheapAir.com.

Other organizations in the DAO, usually called “embassies”, also focus on high-level bizdev. They work on getting integrations. The speak at conferences. They advertise Dash, which is to say they go out and say how awesome it is. But, with the exception of Dash Thailand, which is a bit of a hybrid, they do not go out and get merchants, like Dash Latam does.

Our value is that we generate real use. We go out into the street and do the hard work that others will not. We are scrappy, we are committed and we work smart. We do not just talk at conferences. We do not just negotiate integrations. We actually go out and get new users. You can have all the software and all the integrations and all the possibilities you want, but until you realize them by bringing in new people, you have only boxed hot air.

In this process, we also generate ideas for new software. We find bugs in current software. We generate innovative ideas that are on no one else’s radar. We produce media that no one else anywhere else is producing.

If Dash is to be digital cash, the DAO needs Dash Latam. We are the laboratory, we are the template. We are discovering how to achieve crypto mass adoption. Mass adoption is no longer a question of sitting back and waiting for it to happen. We are learning how to make it happen. And we are doing it strategically, inexpensively, with lots of media and transparently.

The Vision

Although there are 3 DAO proposals being discussed here, Dash Colombia [DC, Nexus], Dash Venezuela Remittances [DC, Nexus] and Dash Retail [DC, Nexus], they are in reality 1 big, inter-related project. We broke them out in order to give MNOs the option to pick and choose if need be.

Dash Retail, as I mentioned, is software that permits us to give our merchants Dash-exclusive POS software that is always up and is dead simple to use. Dash Retail also provides the exchange rate information that permits both sender and receiver to see the same, or almost same, fiat amount in their respective wallets when sending and receiving payments. This is called pricing parity and is an idea I came up with and campaigned for. DCG and Kodaxx first implemented it.

So Dash Retail makes everything we do better. It makes every payment that much more frictionless. And in the future it will do so much more. So if we don’t have Dash Retail, we are growing more slowly. Likewise, without Dash Latam’s on the ground adoption efforts, Dash Retail has no client base, nowhere to trial it, and of course nowhere to learn from or be created in the first place.

The Colombia integrated adoption project is what gave genesis to all of this, and despite that they said we could not get merchants and transactions in a stable economy, we did it anyway and continue to thrive. With more than 500 active merchants in fact, we could soon have the #1 merchant adoption project in Dash. But one thing we quickly realized was that there are 2 million Venezuelans in Colombia remitting money home, perhaps the strongest use case for Dash yet.

I invited the Venezuela teams to work with me on remittances. I begged them repeatedly and offered them money to produce videos of Venezuelans buying basic necessities with Dash. There was a uniform refusal across the board and essentially a “Yankee, go home” attitude to boot.

Hence was born Dash Venezuela Remittances (DVR). DVR leverages the coordination, marketing team and collected knowledge base of Colombia to sell Dash as remittances from multiple nations with noteworthy Venezuelan migrant populations. We are already integrating innovative new techniques such as Combo Remittances as well as good old fashioned consumer adoption for the first time, to finally get Dash usage going in Venezuela.

Colombia is the foundation. Retail is the software. Venezuela is the next level up, where we create cross-border trade with Dash. Three fingers of the same hand.

The Future of the DAO

We’re not just thinking about Latin America. We’re not just thinking of copying and paste our current best practices across the globe. We are going beyond that to accelerate adoption using our globally unique expertise together with software to gamify and viralize mass adoption as tomorrow’s best practice.

Towards that end, Ash Francis of Dash Retail and I opened the Dash Ignite discord in early January of 2019. This is a workspace only. Bullshit-free. Dash Ignite is the future of the DAO where thousands of small, independent yet interconnected projects will find a welcome home. They are getting incubation, mentoring, MNO advisory, and help navigating the treasury.

The future of the DAO is not a handful of chummy organizations that benefit from an unspoken gentleman’s agreement to maintain DAO funding, nor much less is it one where a single monolithic black-box organization dominates. The future of the DAO is competition. It is agile, inexpensive and transparent development: not just of software but of business, too. It is the cultivation of hundreds or thousands of proposal owners who will bring to Dash new and unexpected value. Value that will grow the pot so that there is room for everyone, and to spare.

We are looking for allies and partners across the globe with varying skillsets and even complete newbies. Our goal is growth, your growth as well as Dash’s. We have many projects on our agenda. Bring your own as well. But if you like this vision, join us in the Dash Ignite discord.

And please cast all of your votes for our proposals:

If you need help voting your DIP3 masternodes, Edward Stoever’s guide is excellent.

Why Dash Needs to be the Free Speech Coin

We are always looking for new use cases. Until we get volatility under control and until people in large numbers start to “get” the need for liberty and decentralization, the use case for Dash remains limited. This because no matter the technological marvel, the brilliant governance and the bottom-line fact that we have $700,000 to spend every month, Dash remains volatile and a PITA to use for the consumer and merchant.

Enter free speech, fake news, the alt-right and the Silicon Valley’s monopoly on modern media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WashPo, etc). Make a video even that might be lightly critical of Muslims, get demonetized (happened to me). Do more investigative journalism than anyone ever before, get your ability for people to fund your legal defense removed (Julian Assange). I could go on and I expect someone reading a digital cash blog to be aware of why cryptocurrency exists and is so valuable.

The basic fact today is that points of view unfavorable to the powers that be can and are attacked in a variety of ways, from blocking funding, to prison, to shadowbanning, to outright removal from modern, Silicon-Valley-monopolized mass media.

But there is a response. Gab.com for example. Like twitter but (promised) free. Steemit.com. Like reddit but just a tad more decentralized. Indie journalists. Wikileaks. Edward Snowden. This is a growing market with a strong use case for Dash. Dash is unstoppable, instant, truly immutable, mixable-fungible digital cash with a lot of real places where you can spend it on things that sustain your life!

The free speech industry needs Dash. They actually have a real use case for it.

So let’s adopt them.

No, not by disgorging breathtaking sums onto individual journalists, of course not. No, at least not until our treasury’s purchasing power is stupidly huge.

Let’s think about sponsoring gab.com. Let’s think about steem-in-a-dapp with IPFS. Or IPFs-in-a-dapp.

Let’s think about how to enable a global revolution in decentralized, immutable mass media.

How could we establish Dash as the free speech coin and thus leapfrog ourselves ahead of other cryptos in terms of having strong use cases? That is a long discussion. I encourage you to join me in this conversation. Don’t expect easy answers for the next treasury cycle tho.

Being the coin of Snowden, Assange and the alt-right doesn’t appeal to you? Yeah, it’s a risky move. We definitely need to give that some thought. But guess what, right now, Dash as the corporate payments coin is not a brand that is actually turning out great results. Our current brand is *boring.* Our tech and our treasury keeps us in the top 20, but if we had a real brand identity to go with it, we could be #1.

The Dash Retail Roadmap

Dash Retail is a DAO treasury proposal to build software that enables Dash merchants to buy, sell and accept Dash in one integrated system, and to instantly hedge against volatility. The team is Ash Francis, Alex Cox (both of eWallet fame) and myself. Here is our roadmap.

Cycle 1

February

  • Paga con Dash POS (SparkPOS Clone) as Dash Retail pre-alpha at pos.pagacondash.com
  • Dash Rates* golang rebuild for improved reliability

March

  • Dash Rates full end-point set-up with multiple exchanges and associated messaging (ready for Core)
  • Dash Retail full mockups
  • Dash Retail full user flow diagrams (ready for your feedback within ~2 weeks before going public)
  • Cointigo Integration into Paga con Dash POS
  • Dash Latam tracker (Google analytics from POS + hablador addresses + manual + POS uptime)

April

  • Dash Retail fully fleshed designs (tablet +  mobile)
  • Dash Retail front-end POS (replaces Paga con Dash)
  • Binance Integration
  • Remittance Database

Cycle 2

May

  • Merchant Dashboard Front-end Demo (registration/management/dashboard/exchange)

June

  • Agent back-end
  • Merchant back-end demo
  • Remittance flow demo
  • Translations

July

  • Client, Merchant & Agent systems tied together, full system ready for Colombian launch
  • Full Statistics & Reporting Site (similar to anypay charts but for all our information regarding transactions, merchants, remittances, etc.)

Cycle 3

  • Colombian pilot
  • Feedback, fixes, next steps

Cycle 4

  • Full rollout
  • Look at other markets

*More on Dash Rates

The DashRatesAPI was created by Kodaxx, also the creator of SparkPOS on which the DashRetail/PagaConDashPOS is based, likely because I was pushing the idea that we needed pricing parity across the ecosystem. This was foundational for Core’s pricing parity deliverable as the get-spark.com DashRatesAPI server is in use in the wallets. Kodaxx deserves major kudos for his work.

But get-spark.com is not seeing the uptime needed and the original DashRatesAPI software has room for optimization both in terms of speed and exchange rate sources. So Alex grabbed the original code, rewrote it in Golang for a 7x speed improvement, and is adding new sources. Once we are convinced it is bulletproof, our new DashRatesAPI server will become the reference pricing source and guarantor of pricing parity across the ecosystem when it is adopted by Dash Core Group and other key players in the Dash ecosystem such as wallet developers and POS software makers.

We Need a Dash Status Page

Things don’t work quite right and Core team may be satisfied they fixed it but the rest of us do not always get the message. This is a communication issue, relatively easy to solve.

For example, there is a bug in the previous version of the Android wallet where the payment does not exit the wallet and shows “this payment has not yet been transmitted.” Normally, this error message means the user does not have adequate internet access. But not in this case.

God bless Dash Core team but I’m still not even sure what caused this issue as it does not precisely line up with the issues resolved for release 6.4.0. (Updating to 6.4.0 does fix it tho.) So in order to understand I have to engage in a back and forth in discord. While fun, this is not time-efficient for anyone.

The suggestion: status.dash.org. Let us know everything going on with the software and put it in layman’s terms so everyone can understand how to recognize issues, how to solve them, how to workaround in between releases, all of that. Empower the ecosystem to speak for you when things are not going so great and don’t leave us deaf, dumb and mute when difficulty strikes.

Dash is no longer an academic research project in an ivory tower. We have real people out here. We need to improve communication so we can maintain the ones we have and get more. Transaction counts and demand do not magically increase over time all on their own. Dash is high tech but at the end of the day everything is about the human connection.