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Community Q&A - January 2019


Staff member
Dash Core Group
Dash Support Group
Each month, the ten most popular questions submitted by the Dash community at Dash Nation Discord are collected and sent to Dash Core Group for answers. The intention is to select important and well-thought out questions and filter out unpopular questions, questions that have already been answered and other noise. For January, the questions were combined with the 2018 Q4 Summary Call, and those that could not be answered there will be answered in writing in this extra-large question thread! Apologies for any errors in the automatic voice transcription. ;) The submissions for January 2019 are as follows:
  1. Q: When will the new roadmap that was presented to us on an earlier quarterly call by Bob Carroll (CTO) as a new draft roadmap concept, be implemented on GitHub and on our official Dash forum? So we can finally start referring people to it.... Note: I understand our new roadmap will not have specific delivery dates, the calendar periods used in the draft concept (Q3 / Q4 / Q1) should be sufficient, once updated from draft. (qwizzie/PawełRzo)

    A (Bob): The the real question in there is when can we start referring people to a roadmap that is up-to-date, current and easily accessible. We've decided that the the best location for a roadmap is going to be our website, which will be live within the next month. That's because it's a living document that we're going to update on a regular basis, and we want people to be able to go to it. Due to the fact that it's not necessarily a community maintained document, that it's maintained by DCG, we don't feel that GitHub is actually the appropriate spot for it. So that roadmap will be retired, we'll leave it up there as historical content, and the new roadmap will be on on the website. It will take the form that Liz Robuck, our Chief Product Officer, has been putting together and using, and that we've been collaborating on over the last couple quarterly calls. So it'll look a bit more like we have today with some interactivity to it so we can drill down and find out details about features as well. Thanks.

  2. Q: In the 2018 Q3 summary call in November, Bob mentioned that there are a series of (outdated) Evolution whitepapers from 2016/2017 that have not been released, and that he would like to release them because they have historical value. I have not heard anything about this since then - is this going to happen? (TroyDash)

    A (Bob): As I mentioned before, this whitepaper - it's about a 60 page document - is a great artifact, it's really the original thinking that we have on the topic. It was the basis of our patent application that occurred back in 2017. We have some additional patent activity going on right now, so that whitepaper is actually intertwined with the additional patent activity. We should be through that process sometime in March, and my goal is at that point in time to actually have a "version one" of the whitepaper. The original whitepaper, obviously since not many people have seen it, was marked "version zero draft". In going through this patent process, we will be developing a "version one", but my desire is to actually publish both. I think it's important to have historical perspectives, and that is why I liked that document, however we owe it to the community to make sure that we're managing expectations correctly and putting out accurate content. We would not want it to be misleading if there were design ideas in there and our implementation varied from them. We wanted to be careful with that as well, but like I said, I like the fact that we have some history that we can present, and we intend to present both of those.

  3. Q: DCG asked for MNO's to support a $500K proposal for BitGo to integrate Dash, it's all seems to have gone quiet since it got funded. Have there been any notable integrations or developments since BitGo added Dash? If yes, what are they?

    A (Ryan): BitGo is a custodial service, for those that aren't familiar with it. They continue to add new services to their platform, but primarily they are used for storing larger amounts of funds in a highly secure way, typically for corporate clients. BitGo is a prerequisite for many of the exchanges that are of high priority to the network. The BitGo integration is now complete, I think it was completed around the October time frame if I recall correctly. That has enabled us to begin to pursue other opportunities. BitGo also services institutional clients, so for larger holders or investment firms that might hold Dash as part of a portfolio, such as index type of funds that we've seen pop up in the marketplace, for many of those funds it is also a prerequisite. So for various reasons it was important that we get on BitGo's platform. They're the leader in their segments of the market, and they are a dependency for us to be able to pursue a lot of these other opportunities. We are in discussions with some of their customers - I can't disclose which ones - but that has opened the door for us. Our hope is that we'll have some integrations result from it now that we're able to have these discussions. So it's very important for a variety of different reasons, and it took some time to integrate but here in the fourth quarter they did complete the integration.

  4. Q: Are there any features or functionality specifically planned for businesses in the Dashpay app or Evolution Account Management? Have businesses been asked for input or testing yet? If not when do you plan on having an Evolution alpha release to share with partners? (Mark Mason)

    A (Bob): We have plans for merchant features and functionality in Dashpay. What I would consider to be true business to consumer features, like order history for a customer that would be represented in a one-to-many relationship with each customer having multiple orders, however will not be in our MVP. The MVP version, like wallets today, can still accommodate merchants to work with customers, but they're doing it more on a consumer to consumer perspective, as opposed to business to consumer. It'll be a lot easier because we'll have user names in there, so follow-on releases would have merchant capabilities. We have been working with some businesses to understand what the requirements are there, and as far as alpha releases go, as soon as we have dates on that we'll publish that on the roadmap.

  5. Q: Is DCG planning on releasing an SDK or something to that effect ahead of 1.0 so that developers have time to build out dapps and integrations ahead of launch? I don't know how that might impact the timeline, but I think it would be an enormous benefit to jumpstart the dapp ecosystem. (Arthyron)

    A (Bob): We agree with that question and that point. We don't think that it would impact timelines to do that - it is just part of what we plan on doing. The developer community is really critical, and we do want to give them advance opportunities to work with our technology. Our first effort here is to make all of our Evolution repositories public as soon as possible, that would be this quarter, so we'll be sharing those repositories to engage the community. This helps us to improve our code quality, but also having them public is going to facilitate development activity on the new platform. Then following that, we have plans prior to MVP releases of 1.0 to deliver our first reference app to the community as well. That will allow developers to see how all the components fit together and how they can be used. That can be used as somewhat of a tutorial to get used to the new technology. And then finally we'll be organizing all of these components, these separate repositories, separate libraries, into an SDK that can be simply consumed by new developers to the community. I think the reality is existing developers are familiar with our quirks and how things might be separated, how we named things in the past, but to attract new developers we want to make sure that we have a tightly coupled SDK for them to download and start to use. That SDK will probably not be available until the release of 1.0, but the components will be, and they'll be a public shortly.

  6. Q: Has DashCore formally applied to be listed on Coinbase either through direct communication or their web portal? (name3)

    A (Ryan): Coinbase created an application process for coins and tokens to be listed on their platform. It is a very robust set of information that needs to be submitted, and I can confirm that Dash Core Group has submitted an application on behalf of the Dash network in its entirety. I believe that we have addressed every question that is on that questionnaire. As a matter of policy, we don't discuss the status of discussions or the likelihood of integrations. That's a policy that we follow across the board because we found that it affects our ability to be integrated if we're sharing information others are not comfortable with. So we can't comment further on it. What I would say to the community is if you want to see Dash integrated into Coinbase, let them know! I think they will respond to demand from their customer base to add specific currencies. If we have further information to share we will absolutely share it.

  7. Q: Will DCG be helping with integration partner testing for POS solutions that support Dash? So merchants can make a smooth transition allowing them to the ability to accept Dashpay username payments in sync with Evolution public launch? (Mark Mason)

    A (Bob): We definitely want to help our integration partners, and then they would be working directly with the merchants, for example, in a point-of-sale solution. So we'll do the best we can with the resources we have right now. Our integrations team is really set up to do that. That's a pretty lean team, but we're here to help and then I think we can also make sure that we have as many self-service resources available through the developer forums, the new developer portal and the new website. And then it's really a call to the community, both online as well as on the streets, to make sure that adoption is understood and the abilities are out there. Of course lastly we can always leverage our product team, marketing teams and tech support to put together good materials and make those available to the community. So we definitely want to help our integration partners, it will be a bit lean and strapped, but part of this is going to be train-the-trainer, building some expertise in the community, and then let the community help manage itself and manage our way through adoption.

  8. Q: Can Fernando reveal the results of the Dash Core Group $1.5+ million USD funded proposals for a 6 month digital marketing campaign in 2018? How was the money spent and where are the results? Did this even happen? The 2 proposals I'm referencing are below. One was an extension. (GA-mno)

    A (Fernando):
    We only did the campaign in the first proposal. It had to be delayed because Facebook banned crypto ads when we were about to launch. We redid the campaign for the Google platform and launched there in April. There are details about the results in the forum: https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/advertising-proposals.40044/

    Basically we achieved some brand awareness improvements, increased downloads and there are a few more metrics that you can check there. However, when we launched on Google, Google announced they were also banning crypto ads. It was delayed for a couple of months, so it didn't affect our campaign, but it was clear by then that the environment for digital marketing in crypto was getting much tougher. Also, the price was decreasing significantly in the market, and we didn't consider it prudent to accelerate spending of the money, because we didn't know when we would get new funds. So in the summer we did a proposal to merge the marketing budget with the travel and conferences budget so we could pay for other obligations that were not yet funded and needed to go back to the network for money. That proposal for merging was approved, and the funds for the second proposal were mostly used to pay for Money 20/20, for translations, travel expenses, website development and a few other smaller things.

    It's worth noting that the funds were not as much as they were at the time they were received for the reasons that Glenn stated before. By the time the funds were converted to fiat, the amount was significantly less. We still have some of those funds - most of the marketing budget seen in the balance sheet comes from that, together with a smaller proposal back in the year for travel expenses. Now everything is together in one budget.

  9. Q: What pieces of Evo MVP are still missing after the release of 0.14? (fuzzyduck)

    A (Bob): That's a great question! Release 0.14 of core (dashd) will have pretty much all the features needed to support Evolution with the exception of blockchain username transactions. The bulk of what is missing is really not part of core, but what we're calling all of our layer two components: (1) the protocol for the Dash platform, which you may see references to as Dash Platform Protocol, or DPP. It will also consist of (2) the data and object storage mechanism, which we have been calling Dash Drive. And finally (3) the data access mechanism through our decentralized API, or DAPI. So this is why for core, version 0.13 and 0.14 releases are so important. Version 0.13 is critical because of the introduction of special transactions, since blockchain user names will become part of the special transactions. And version 0.14 is so critical because it implements the Long Living Masternode Quorums, which will facilitate consensus on those layer 2 objects in a manner that also supports HTTP access to the Dash blockchain enabled apps that will be built on that. The bulk of the work is in 0.13 and 0.14 with the exception of blockchain usernames. It's a good question and we'll continue to clarify that as we get closer.
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  1. Q: At what price point will DCG begin to lower their budget request? (bitterseatrading)

    A (Glenn): There isn’t a specific price point at which DCG will begin to lower its budget request. This is because the decision to lower our budget request is a function of 2 factors: 1) the price of Dash (particularly the price at which we cash out our funding proposals) and 2) the amount of buffer we have in place in our accounts. I believe that getting funded for several months at a Dash price of around $200-220 would allow us to replenish our fiat buffers and give us enough relief to consider reducing our budget requests. That said, the current 60% of the overall proposal budget that Dash Core is requesting already constrains funding in terms of some of the things we want to allocate resources to. As I mentioned, this has had the impact of having to make some very tough decisions when we consider the reduction we've had to make in both compensation and non-compensation run rates that I described in the finance update.

  2. Q: Would someone like to comment about the FIO Protocol, "the foundation for interwallet operability", and how it relates to Dash's Blockchain Users?" In short, they will provide cross-crypto usernames plus pull transactions e.g. recurring payments and refunds. They have significant backers, including Edge Wallet, KeepKey and ShapeShift. Should we work with them? Are there flaws in their strategy? Given that Blockchain Users is Dash-specific, how do initiatives like this affect us? Thanks (GrandMasterDash)

    A (Bob): This is a very relevant new and emerging topic, so I'll give my opinions on that, but obviously new topics like this require a lot of discussion across across our team. I think foremost, this FIO protocol validates our vision for blockchain usernames. It recognizes the difficulty of accessing and using cryptocurrencies inside of wallets. It's always nice to recognize when we're on the right track.

    What an effort like this typically does, regardless of the technical problem that's trying to be solved, is when you're trying to have interoperability across multiple platforms, you end up with a lowest common denominator solution. This is because you're trying to identify what is common across all of these platforms and all of these wallets. You don't necessarily get the opportunity to leverage the most innovative features and thinking. Inter-wallet operability is interoperability, and that faces a lot of challenges. It's especially true in the area of identity. If you think about other federated identity management initiatives that have been in the industry for years, they have a hard time taking off. You still have login options on a new app, I can login with Facebook or I can login with Google+ or I can login with my app specific username and credentials, but you don't see global federation at this point in time. This is true even on common apps, that might not have the security constraints and concerns that crypto wallets would.

    So first and foremost, we're going to be concerned with improving the Dash experience. We'll leverage the simplicity of our blockchain usernames with special transactions. We already have process in place for that, which is exciting. It will ensure that the usernames registered have the ability to store data on the blockchain. This means it's not just a single purpose of wallet interoperability, but it becomes the platform that we can use for actually interacting with these decentralized apps that we'll build. We'll watch the initiative, and we'd be very interested in participating so we could gain the advantages of interoperability across wallets, with the Dash wallets being one of them. But it won't take us off course of doing what we need to do to enhance the Dash experience and leverage all of our innovations.

  3. Q: What are DCG’s plans to improve the usability of default units. As it stands, most daily items priced in DASH are confusingly small, making for poor user experience as a “unit of account”.

    A (Ryan): Essentially what you're talking about is similar to a stock split. Here, a stock price gets so high that you basically increase the number of shares of stock and decrease the price of each stock to make it a more relatable number, or an acquirable number for people. Crypto is a little bit different in the sense that our units are divisible out to eight decimal places, and there is no reason we couldn't go higher. There are a lot of complications with shifting the units in the network. It involves incredible coordination across a variety of all of your service providers in concert with one another to make that happen. It is an extraordinarily challenging task. To my knowledge, I'm not aware of any cryptocurrency that's managed to undertake that and do it safely, so that people didn't lose funds or overpay for something.

    I don't think this is the area that we want to be the innovators. I would rather be a fast follower if there is a solution to this problem that is developed. In the meantime, there's no reason people can't switch to using mDASH, in the same way that they may shift to using mBTC or some other unit that may be appropriate for their use. I think the the short answer is there are substantial risks in being able to pull that off safely, in a way that merchants and consumers are protected. We want to see successful implementations of that on other blockchains before I think we would undertake something like that. It's also a huge investment of resources, which I don't think we have the luxury of pursuing right now. It would take a lot of research into how that could occur, developing a roadmap in conjunction with our partners. We're not sure that they view it as a priority, so getting their participation may be challenging. We recognize that it it could introduce some usability issues, we would love to see a credible solution out there to it, but we haven't seen it yet. We think there's more value in pursuing ease of use and some of the other priorities that we have on the table already. Maybe that's something we can address down the road when a more elegant solution has been worked out.

    Follow up regarding using Dash as a unit of account in Venezuela:
    We haven't seen a great deal of demand for goods to be priced in Dash. If this is a widespread issue, we should be made aware of it. I would hope teams on the ground there would contact us and talk about what the specific problem is, and how we might be able to solve it. It doesn't sound like there's enough detail here to describe exactly what it is they're trying to accomplish. In our experience most merchants are not interested in fixing services in terms of crypto, given volatility. They prefer more stable currencies. In the case of Venezuela, obviously the preference would not be bolivars, but from what we've seen they prefer to denominate in USD or EUR, or some more widely used currency.

  4. Q: When is the updated website going to go live?

    A (Fernando): The website is going live in February, so in the next three weeks at most. We have already started working on the translations of part of the content while we keep tweaking a few other things and squashing a few bugs. As I explained in the forum, this was scheduled to happen earlier, but our contractor started to work slower somewhere in November. Then in December they missed several delivery dates, so before Christmas we asked them to send what they had so we could try to finish it internally. This is because we were checking the work and we knew that most of it was done but for some reason they were they were not delivering. The handover of the work was also delayed for a few weeks, and finally sometime in mid-January we got control over the assets we needed. We now have the site deployed in our infrastructure and we're working on it - we'll deliver in the next few weeks. The main problem is that we don't have anyone internally dedicated to this, so it's being done by people with other responsibilities. We are all working together to have this done as fast as possible.

  5. Q: In the 0.14 section of the roadmap, you mentioned Bitcoin backports. Bob, could you explain what that is?

    A (Bob): This happens in all of our major releases to ensure that additional functionality from the Bitcoin codebase is backported through our efforts to make sure that we have compatibility. It's not necessarily a new feature, but it does constitute a fair amount of work each time that we have a release. So that's the reference to it there. It could very well appear in each and every major release we have.

  6. Q: Cannabis is a multi-billion dollar industry. Are we only taking a single approach hoping Alt36 succeeds?

    A (Ryan): Alt36 has been our primary partner for the cannabis market, and they've made great strides in penetrating that market with an elegant solution. It's interesting to watch that space evolve. There are a lot of companies that are launching and promising digital payments. Most of them fold within a year or two because they have not addressed compliance. That's something that Alt36 has taken very seriously, so we haven't seen any other solutions hit the market that have a sustainable future, at least as long as cannabis remains illegal at the federal level. We have invested a lot of time, and as a network a great deal of funds, into Alt36's development up to this point.

    I also feel like there is some merit in concentrating our efforts at this point in time, given the fact that if we spread our resources across multiple potential partners, we may not ensure any of their success. I think there's a mentality that we should focus on making one successful. But the short answer is no, it's not the only approach we're taking. Notably ePaymints, that we just integrated this quarter, does have their eyes set on the cannabis market and they do service the cannabis industry. It's in a less focused way than the Alt36 product suite is aiming to do, and in many ways ePaymints and Alt36 may be complementary to each other. I think there's more discussions to be had and exploration to be do to determine how they might be complementary. Perhaps as a channel partner, ePaymints can resell Alt36's solution. Perhaps they can add to the capability of Alt36 for cannabis-related items that are perfectly legal at the federal level. There's a variety of different ways that they might be able to work together.

    I would say we now have two partners that have a presence in the cannabis industry, and we'll look for more opportunities where we see a product set that has a real possibility in the market. If we find any I think it would be prudent for us to explore, because there's no guarantees Alt36 as far as their success goes. But to be clear, they've been a great partner for us. They have achieved many of their the goals that they initially set out. There's a credible path towards them completing the tasks that that they were aiming to achieve, including the launch of a consumer product. We'll see how it all plays out. We're very focused on making sure that Alt36 can be successful. They've made a great investment in us, and I think it behooves us to make sure that they're able to be successful with with our network.
  1. Q: My understanding is that development for Evolution was done in private repositories for good reasons when the project started. Now that patents are granted, making them public might raise investor confidence, stimulate collaboration, and maybe get us to the final product faster. Do the costs of keeping them private still outweigh the benefits of making them public? (JulioDash)

    A (Ryan): What was submitted last year was a provisional patent. The associated patent application filing deadline is March 5th, 2019, and the patent will become publicly available through the patent office within six months of filing. The patent application is currently being prepared for submission by the team and we anticipate no risks in hitting that date, as there are only minor changes required from the original filing caused by some design changes. We will likely open source repositories after the patent application is submitted, but before the patent application becomes publicly available through the patent office.

  2. Q: Can we please see the details of all the patents DCG has? If they're significant and already granted, have we considered marketing them to the cryptocurrency space? (JulioDash)

    A (Ryan): As previously discussed, patents have not yet been issued to DCG, and the provisional patent we already submitted grants us until March 5th to submit a formal patent application.

  3. Given that Dash Core is focusing on traders as one of it's 5 main focus points why are Dash withdrawal fees from 3 of our biggest exchange integrations so high and do Dash Core think it's of significant importance to get them reduced? (Ageless)
    Bitfinex: 0.01
    Kraken: 0.01 (instant) 0.005 (normal)
    Poloniex: 0.01​

    A (Brad): Certainly understand where the question is coming from, and while I think it would be great to reduce these fees, I think the reality is that we aren’t going to be successful. While we do over $1mm in daily volume on Bitfinex, we’re not even in the top 15 trading pairs - and the volume is even lower with Kraken and Poloniex where we’re just about 100K for Kraken and under $85k for Poloniex. I hate to say it, but we’re not providing enough volume to warrant a fee reduction. If we were in a giant bull market, maybe the exchanges would risk going out first with a lower fee to attract more volume - but unfortunately not in this bear market.

    A (Ryan): I think the above response is quite negative and places the “blame” with Dash and our low volume. The truth is that the withdrawal fees they charge are part of the business models of Bitfinex and other exchanges and the fees charged have nothing to do with Dash or its volumes. We compare favorably to some and unfavorably to others, and the exchanges tend to like round numbers like 0.01 or 0.001 units for fees, which makes comparisons at any one point in time yield very large discrepancies in fiat terms.

    Bitfinex withdrawal fees:
    Bitcoin = $1.42
    Dash = $0.70
    Litecoin = $0.03​

    Kraken withdrawal fees:
    Bitcoin = $1.77
    Dash = $0.35
    Litecoin = $0.03​

    Poloniex withdrawal fees: Not sure because they don’t publish on the website, but Reddit posts seem to indicate the same rates as Kraken for both Bitcoin and Dash.

    I would point out that this is part of the exchange’s business models and unlikely to change. However, I think writing a message to the exchanges with higher fees could yield some results (e.g., “Bitfinex, we noticed that you charge twice the other exchanges, which may be hurting your trading volumes. We’ve gotten several complaints.”). It is probably something low-effort that could yield some positive results, and show the community that we have their back.

  4. Q: Did any member of Dash Core Group have any kind of personal relationship to any employee of Wachsman PR before the partnership began and if so how has this impacted the initiation, duration and nature of the business relationship DCG has with Wachsman? (macrochip)

    A (Fernando): No. We were contacted by David Wachsman in 2016 when we were about to switch firms and we decided to accept his proposal after some internal debate. It is worth mentioning that before the current contract ends in April, we are going to open the selection of the PR firm to the network. We will do a tender and MNOs will vote on the final three. More information can be found in the forum: https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/pr-firm-selection-tender-in-april.43449/

  5. Q: Is this our fully updated whitepaper? https://github.com/dashpay/dash/wiki/Whitepaper (George Donnelly)

    No, this is the first Dash whitepaper produced and published by Evan and Daniel in 2015.

  6. Q: How many Masternodes do current members of Core control? (name3)

    We don't have this kind of information available. We consider this a fully private information and don't ask our team members about such numbers. On the other hand, DCG as a company does not own any masternodes

  7. Q: Does DCG have a contingency plan for a possible 51% attack? (BlockchainTech)

    Bob provided some information about this here: https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/51-wallet-claims.43099/#post-205685

  8. Q: With the enabling of DIP3 (deterministic masternode list), and thus the random top 10% payout queue gone, can targeted DDOSing of the next in line for payments be a problem? I can imagine once Dash is worth substantially more, DDOSing masternodes above you in queue might be worth it, since they can be targeted specifically (fuzzyduck)

    A (codablock): The randomness was removed because it was annoying and at the same time we saw better solutions to the DDoS problem. The idea is that future PoSe will not kick in and ban immediately. It's long process until a node gets banned for failure. So, when a MN gets close to payment, DDoSing him can't lead to banning anymore.
    The MN might get PoSe scored until then, but that won't be enough to ban him (unless he collected too much PoSe score already, but then he probably deserved it).

    A (thephez): Unlike the current PoSe (basically pings and occasional verifies), moving forward it will incorporate more things (e.g. participation in LLMQs, etc). So there will be elements of the PoSe score that will happen outside the period of time when the MN is nearing its payment block (i.e. a potential attacker couldn't just focus on the top of the list to disrupt everything).

  9. Q: Why does Dash Core not include software certificates for Windows and macOS in the binary distributions? The first thing many new users see when using our software is an error message with no clear instructions on what to do next. (JulioDash)

    A (strophy): Efforts are underway to obtain code signing certificates as a result of this question, and the 0.13.1 release will include signed binaries for macOS, meaning the unidentified developer warning should go away. Windows certificates may take longer, and will not be treated as a blocking issue for the release of 0.13.1.
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