Hype and speculation aside, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have had a hard time over the last decade. For the better or worse reasons their reputation is still not the best, at least outside of the Blockchain bubble.
With various scam projects, overpromising solutions, empty buzzwords and extreme price volatility, many people have a hard time trusting in Blockchain or cryptocurrencies. Moreover, even though the number of crypto holders and projects is constantly growing, we haven’t seen the AOL moment of Blockchain yet. We still have no application or company to truly drive mass adoption with a substantial user base.
But let’s remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day, so maybe it’s more realistic to take baby steps instead of disrupting the world through Blockchain by tomorrow. One way to get there is by providing working solutions, great value propositions to customers and continuous efforts to build sustainable businesses. All of those aspects are key to achieve this vision of a better world that is built on Blockchain.
The good news: There are many outstanding Blockchain projects out there with great potential for disruptive or just simply better solutions than we currently have. For many reasons, Dash is one of them.
Cryptocurrency usage – we need merchants and customers
Looking back on how Bitcoin started, payment has been the first use case for cryptocurrencies. One could expect that crypto payment is already everywhere, at least as one additional payment option like cash or credit card. But over a decade after Bitcoin genesis and the crypto payment reality is still far from ideal.
It is theoretically possible to only live from crypto, but only with significant time effort (search for shops that accept cryptocurrencies) thorough planning (order online for tomorrow instead of buying next door now) and accepting to pay a premium (accept potentially higher prices than simply choosing by best price).
On top of all that, the price volatility is difficult to handle for both, the consumer and the merchant. So in short, we are still at a chicken and egg phase – not enough crypto users, not enough crypto merchants.
Dash has quite successfully tackled this issue by continuously growing a merchant ecosystem and partnered with companies that make it easy for merchants to accept cryptocurrencies. We have realized that one key to success is providing merchants a no-headache solution, meaning a way to accept crypto payments from customers that integrate Dash into their other existing payment solutions and by providing a way to handle the volatility risk. What we offer to many merchants is, therefore, a solution to accept Dash via a QR code and an instant conversion from Dash to the fiat currency the merchant requires, e.g. USD or EUR.
Once a merchant is ready to accept Dash, our strategy is help them advertise their business to potential crypto users, to list them in easy to search databases and to provide great value, e.g. with Dashback programs or certain discounts. For many industries such as restaurants, hotels, gaming or gambling, we are very happy to see more and more great offers in our Dash ecosystem.
DAOs – a new form of organization
Apart from driving users and merchants, it is important to notice how Dash is working differently than a “normal” payment company. In fact, Dash is not a company, it is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization – a DAO. This concept is not easy to grasp but it has important implications on how things are done in Dash.
To put it very simple, a DAO is an organization where core business processes are predefined in computer code. This includes the way people are able to participate, make decisions, distribute funds or define roles, power and positions. In that sense, Dash does not have a CEO, a formal hierarchy or a HR department selecting candidates. Instead, Dash has an open for everyone way to participate that is rather comparable to liquid democracy models where people can participate in a rule based manner.
Dash’s open Treasury system is enabling the future of work
One highly important part of the Dash DAO is the treasury and proposal system. As most other cryptocurrencies out there, Dash is continuously minting new coins. As many people believe these coins have value, Dash is traded on exchanges all around the world against other crypto and fiat currencies.
The clever and novel thing with Dash is the way these newly minted coins are distributed and used for funding of operations within Dash: Ten percent of all newly minted coins are going to the Dash treasury and from there, are distributed via a proposal system. Everyone can ask for funds within that proposal system. All you need is a good idea, the skills to execute and of course the trust of the community. At the end of the day, the community members are deciding on those funds.
This concept has great impact on making the Dash DAO unique. Compared to other organizations this means that everyone can ask for funds, no matter their nationality, race or even CV. In fact, it has already led to a situation where people all around the world have established teams – in Asia, USA, Europe, Africa or Latin America. Dash is, in that sense an organization that is truly open for everyone, without discrimination.
Masternode – the new decision makers for organizations
So, who are those decision makers deciding on the 10% of funds? We call them Masternodes. And, same as with creating a proposal, everyone can become a Masternode. Apart from certain technical requirements, all you need to become a Masternode is staking 1,000 Dash – essentially locking the funds to secure your vote. “Put your money where your mouth is”, we say. By having enough skin in the game we can guarantee in stakers vested interest in deciding wisely on to whom these Dash funds should be distributed.
But this is not all, Dash is incentivizing Masternodes even further. Masternodes receive a share of the newly minted coins. In fact, they receive 45% of them, distributed between all Masternodes in the system. Currently around 5,000 Masternodes are up and running, meaning 5,000 potential decision makers can vote for or against proposals in the Dash treasury.
From the perspective of someone who has worked in large corporations for over a decade, I can only say that this new form of organization is mind-blowing and it is very hard to understand if you are not already a part of it. For me personally one big difference is that you are truly part of something bigger than you, that you are creating your own job and constantly receive feedback to improve your efforts in an open community that has a shared goal in mind: making Dash the digital cash all around the world.
Feel free to learn more at https://www.dash.org/ or reach out to me via Telegram: @magofx
About the author:
Felix is Co-Founder of Dash NEXT & Dash Thailand. Dash is the leading cryptocurrency for real-life payments. Dash Next is focused on biz-dev and partnerships. Dash Thailand has established the first crypto payment ecosystem in Asia. He published the “Bitcoin Handbook” and is Co-Founder of FUTERIO and the Blocktech Institute. Felix focus is on mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and decentralized businesses.