How would you describe the main pillars of the project?
Speed, low cost, accessibility and ease of use. These are the pillars that Dash, as an open-source project, is built on and will prioritize in its ongoing development.Dash’s goal is to increase financial freedom for everyone. We are a blockchain payments network that provides a global currency everyone can use to make payments anywhere, anytime, in an instant, for near-zero fees. This is how Dash delivers safe, decentralized digital cash that can be spent online and at merchants and service providers worldwide, while also ensuring it can be sent and received almost instantly, with zero risk of double payment or fraud.
About the team and supporters, what are your strengths?
One of our greatest strengths is our masternode community as they are the backbone for the governance structure we have in place. Dash has a corporate-like structure in which the owners of the masternodes act as “shareholders” and it is they who determine the leadership team and funding allocation for its development through a monthly proposal and voting process. Their engagement has been critical to our success, as they help shape the direction of the network and how we engage globally while maintaining the benefits of decentralisation.
Additionally, the Dash Core team is a group of professionals with extensive payments and financial industry experience. Our CEO spent more than a decade in the payments industry as an Associate Partner with McKinsey, I come from American Express where I spent 17+ years in partnership and finance roles and the rest of the team have extensive experience in computer science and financial technology. Each member of the Dash team brings different technical and business expertise to their roles, including cutting edge developers, infrastructure engineers, finance professionals, business development managers, and quality control managers.
Thinking about the future, do you have any roadmap with relevant upgrades?
Dash Evolution is the payments system of the future: A Dash ecosystem where our users can buy, hold and transact with their Dash all within a single platform. We are focusing on the user experience and are building a platform, from scratch, that will help millions of people across the globe carry out instant, secure and near fee-free transactions, anywhere in the world. Design considerations, such as moving cryptographic addresses behind the scenes so they’re not visible to the end user, allows for a much easier experience that will appeal to the mainstream consumers with no previous cryptocurrency knowledge. We’re looking to release the Evolution Alpha later in 2018, and couldn’t be more excited about the potential it holds for the Dash community as a whole.
What’s the added value of Dash in comparison with other competitors like Monero or Zcash?
Response: Monero, Zcash, and Dash are focused on entirely different objectives. Dash is a payment network focused on near instant transaction speeds, low fees and usability for our customers. Monero and Zcash, on the other hand, tend to be much more focused on privacy and transaction obscurity as its primary value.
Although we have different objectives, Dash also provides an optional privacy feature called PrivateSend. There are substantial and legitimate safety and privacy benefits to using this feature, such as ensuring your total balance cannot be observed by recipients of a transaction you send them. This is particularly important for our users in countries where their personal security could be at risk if their balance was widely broadcast.
How you seize the chances of becoming fully scalable for the mainstream use
In November of last year, Dash launched a new upgrade that reduced our transaction fees to near zero, while doubling our network capacity. Regular Dash transactions now cost less than a cent, but even more impressive, our InstantSend transactions, which are near instant, have been reduced to just a few cents (0.0001 x the current Dash Price). The network upgrade, called version 12.2, cut costs by a factor of ten. This fee reduction provides significant value for business owners and merchant networks considering adopting Dash as a payment option; they will only absorb a couple of cents per purchase, rather than the large fees they pay on credit card and debit card transactions. Further, Dash’s new software rollout also increased the network’s maximum block size from 1Mb to 2Mb, allowing for about 48 transactions to confirm every second, compared to Bitcoin’s 7. The increase is possible because Dash’s network propagates blocks 100% faster than Bitcoin, and incorporates numerous performance improvements and security enhancements needed to safely enable larger blocks.
Earlier this year we also announced a partnership with with Arizona State University, providing $350,000 to accelerate research, development, and education in ways that advance blockchain transaction speed and expand its uses. We know that scaling solutions take time to develop, test, and deploy. We believe it is critical to stay well ahead of anticipated demand, and by partnering with a leading technology university like ASU will enable us to do so.
What’s the main problem you are finding in the adoption of the currency by third companies? How are you trying to solve it?
Adoption is the classic chicken/egg problem. Users are reluctant to adopt crypto as a form of payment unless they’re comfortable with using it and they have places to spend it; conversely merchants and businesses are reluctant to accept it unless there’s enough demand from their customers.
We are attacking this problem from both sides: With users, the biggest barriers are the same that come with most new technologies — user experience and technological education. This is a big reason why the Dash team has been so focused on usability for consumers and businesses, particularly with the upcoming release of Evolution. Additionally, we’re rapidly expanding the number of places and ways our users can spend their Dash through focusing on channel partnerships like GoCoin which allow us to scale rapidly through their merchant network.
Our business & merchant network is rapidly growing through our focus on creating long term relationships to drive adoption and bring value back to our partners. Because Dash is self-funded through our treasury model and governance system, we are able to invest our partners’ success. We’re often able to cover integration costs and further work with them through ongoing marketing and promotion. This level of ongoing engagement is not possible with passive networks and presents a competitive advantage for Dash.
Evaluation of the current scenario for Dash and the private currencies market.
2017 was an incredible year for the industry as a whole, and Dash was no exception to this trend. Last year saw Dash make significant progress in mainstream adoption globally. We launched several key business partnerships with major trading platforms including Kraken and Bitfinex, launched new fiat on/off ramps with Uphold and Mercury Cash, and built new channel partners such as Alt Thirty Six. While I know a lot of industry observers are always on edge about regulators and their positions on cryptocurrencies, I think we’re seeing a lot of positive signs from major markets such as Japan and the U.S. At Dash, we’ve always focused on bringing a layer of professionalism to the cryptocurrency space, and I’m convinced that this is going to be a huge year for us.