March 22, 2018 12:00 am

Dash Additional Detail: New CFO & Patents

Dash Community,

Dash Core Group posted a few press releases over the last week, and I wanted to set aside some time to provide additional details, beyond what we can pack into the typical PR-oriented content.

Provisional Patent

First, we shared news that provisional patents were filed in the United States on March 6th, covering much of the Evolution innovations. The provisional patent filing enables us to begin sharing details about the design of the systems, such as demos and technical improvement proposals, without risking competing projects from attempting to preempt Dash by claiming patents of their own based on our ideas. Now that this milestone has been achieved, we are anxious to begin sharing what the team has been working on.

Provisional patents are only the first step in the patent process, and they offer us limited protections. The contents of provisional patents are not public record, but will prevent others from attempting to patent our ideas. Longer-term, we will file non-provisional patents, which will be public record. We must file a full patent application within 12 months (by March 6th, 2019). The filing is titled “Methods and Systems For Object Validated Blockchain Accounts” and consists of 61 pages of text and 29 figures illustrating the designs and processes.

With this protection in place, we are moving forward with public release of demos, Dash Improvement Proposals (a.k.a. DIPs), blog posts from the development team, and other information that we’ve been unable to share prior to the filing. Expect to see a VERY busy spring when it comes to communicating the improvements that have been underway for some time. The first demo has already been published here:

You may be wondering why an open-source project may want to patent our innovations in the first place. We are filing these patents as purely defensive. In other words, we want to make sure no other entity can file a patent based on our designs and ideas and subsequently use those patents to prevent merchants and users from using the Dash platform. We also want to prevent our own patents from falling into the hands of patent trolls that might abuse merchants or users of our network. As such, the technology will be freely licensed to the public subject to terms and conditions. The public license will ensure that any entity acquiring these patents in the future will have extremely limited ability to enforce them maliciously with users that comply with the terms and conditions under which they were previously released to the public.

We initiated the patent process and collection of the patent assignments prior to the establishment of The Dash DAO Irrevocable Trust, so we have filed the patents under the name of Dash Core Group, Inc. Once patents are issued, we intend to transfer them to the trust to further protect the network and ensure ownership of the patents is held in perpetuity for the benefit of the Dash network directly.

Chief Financial Officer

Yesterday, we released news that we have named a Chief Financial Officer, Glenn Austin (@glennaustin), who has joined our team effective immediately. The search for a CFO began several months ago, and we carefully evaluated a large number of candidates, including from a targeted outreach. Glenn stood out for a number of reasons, including a genuine passion for Dash, an extensive and well-rounded background in financial services, and a humble collegiate demeanor that fits our culture well.

Glenn possesses an A.B. in Economics from Harvard and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in Finance and Management. He is extremely well-rounded with nearly 20 years of experience at Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and UBS in a variety of finance, strategy, and business development roles. I hope you won’t hold any of that against him! We should benefit greatly from Glenn’s knowledge and skills.

At our current scale, we need much more attention on managing our finances and communicating our planned funding requests to the community. In contrast, as the team has grown, the portion of my time that I’ve been able to commit to financial processes has continued to fall as other demands on my time expanded. Now more than ever, we need longer term budgeting and planning processes, better and more frequent internal management reporting, better tax planning, implementing external audits of our financial reporting, and improved risk management (e.g., mitigating price fluctuations, and ensuring a clear picture of upcoming liabilities). This is in addition to handling the growing number of vendors, contractors, employees, partnership agreements, and escrow agreements were are managing. In short, our operations will benefit greatly from dedicated finance capabilities.

I will be transitioning workload to Glenn over the coming weeks, and I hope to be pulling much fewer all-nighters in the near future. Glenn will gradually assume a more public role in our proposals and other interactions with the community as he is onboarded. I expect the community will be much happier with the quality and timeliness of our proposals, and my time will be freed to concentrate on continuing to professionalize and scale the overall Dash Core Group operation rather than managing sometimes low-value tasks like processing payments.

Here is a link to one of the articles about Glenn’s hiring:

I hope this additional detail on the patents and the CFO provides some additional insights into the importance and rationale for these changes. A lot of things are poised for acceleration with the core team, including an expanding business development team, an expanding marketing effort, and many exciting details about Evolution and I look forward to having more capacity to engage in external communication such as this in the future.

I next plan to provide additional details on the trust and how that will all work… who the trust protectors are, how they will be assigned, what the process is to replace Dash Core Group leadership, etc. Look for that announcement to come out in the next few weeks.


Ryan & the rest of the team

Author: Ryan Taylor
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