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Community Q&A - July 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. Some questions were kept back to be answered on the upcoming quarterly call this month. The submissions for July 2019 are as follows:
  1. Q: Hi. Quick question - is there any way to find out the protocol version for all MNs? This info was available in pre-0.14 version, now it's gone. (TheFrog)

    A (codablock): No, there is no way to do this since the activation of DIP3. The reason is that the protocol version was only part of the non-deterministic list and we couldn’t easily add it to the deterministic on-chain list. Doing so would have been unreliable, as we assumed that MNOs would keep forgetting about updating the version on-chain or updating it without actually updating the node software.

  2. Q: Not a pun intended question. Could Ryan please improve on the lighting of his office when giving interviews? A simple light setup goes a long way to look a bit more professional. (fuzzyduck)

    A (Ryan): This has already been done, and any videos with poor lighting are likely dated videos.

  3. Q: Checking out the new openbazaar haven app and realizing that its awesome and knowing that the ob1 team will integrate dash, what can dash core do to aid features such as PrivateSend into their builtin wallet and other 3rd party wallets now that ChainLocks are in place? (dancefordistribution)

    A (Ryan): Dash provides education on our unique features and technical support for external products to implement them on an ongoing basis. We would be happy to reach out to them with this information and offer our assistance. I’ve just added it to our next business development meeting agenda, thanks to your question!

  4. Q: If there is a disagreement among DCG core team members about whether a pull request should be merged into the Dash code repository, how is the final decision made? Last year there was an incident regarding the new logo adoption where DCG team members had differing interpretations of how governance decision proposals ought to be applied, which ultimately came to a resolution, but something like this could come up again in the future. Are the Dash Github administrator accounts legally owned/controlled by DCG (the entity), so that developers cannot go against a decision that was made from the aforementioned procedure? (TroyDASH)

    A (Ryan): DCG has a “value team” that spans different disciplines to debate and resolve contentious issues. It is highly effective at raising the level of conversation and considering all angles to difficult decisions. Because of the strong collaborative culture at DCG and well-defined vision, mission, and values, this process is usually very effective at reaching a resolution. In exceptional circumstances, we can encounter decisions that due to any number of reasons a member of the team is willing to “pound the table” for their position despite it not being the decision most team members support.

    This kind of dissent is healthy and ensures the level of conviction is a factor in decisions, because if a team member feels that level of conviction, likely members in our community would as well. In such cases, it is prudent to find a solution that accommodates that conviction rather than alienates a part of our community, and in the case you mentioned, that’s exactly what we did. The process we selected addressed the problem, and despite being a bit slower, ensured that buy-in for the outcome was as high as possible.

    (An answer from Bob is pending regarding management of commit access.)

  5. Q: Will PrivateSend mixing be integrated into evolution accounts? Can we make it default? Values and differentiation from products such as Libra will allow Dash to stand out, one of them being private transactions.. imo it should be the default, just as for InstantSend. (dancefordistribution)

    A (Ryan): Evolution is the platform for enhanced data capabilities, whereas PrivateSend is a base layer functionality that will not be impacted by the addition of the platform features. I believe the intent of the question is whether PrivateSend will be integrated into DashPay - the mobile application we plan to launch on the platform featuring usernames and contact lists. We do intend to add PrivateSend features to mobile wallets in the future. It will not be included in the initial release, but ChainLocks and Chained InstantSend were prerequisites to integrating PrivateSend on mobile devices. So we are positioning the technology to be able to add this feature to mobile devices.

  6. Q: Are there any major exchanges that are waiting for post-evo to do their integration work so they don't have to do it 2 times? (sile)

    A (Ryan): No. This has never been the attitude of any of the exchanges with whom we have interacted.

  7. Q: Is the Grayscale investment fund being pursued to lobby for Dash as an investment in their portfolio? (dancefordistribution)

    A (Ryan): We can not comment on business development efforts with specific entities.

  8. Q: Many of the Dash icons (logo) within the official iOS Dash wallet are distorted (squashed horizontally). Can they be brought in line with the official style guide for the brand? Dash core devs should be leading the way with the correct presentation and use of our brand assets. I also note the old dash logo is still being used in many (even new) apps around the web, does anyone know why this is? Personally I suspect this guy is to blame. Can DCG staff upload an official royalty free version to this website (and others), and/or contact the creator to update his assets to the correct Dash logo. Also https://worldvectorlogo.com/logo/dash-2 (triptolemoose)

    A (strophy): Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I have created accounts with both services and uploaded our official vectors. They are available here:

    A (Brian): UI improvements to unify the appearance of our apps have been in progress for some time, including this issue previously brought to our attention by triptolemoose. We are estimating to have the redesign released near the end of September.

  9. Q: Ryan recently spoke about incentives to switch as one of three attributes for mass adoption. What is Core's approach to the disincentive of volatility? What does the optimal 'stable' solution look like?

    A (Ryan): One of the keys to price stability is growth in usage displacing the ratio of speculative investment. Our volatility has continued dropping as transactions on the network grow. However, it will take a lot more growth for a high level of stability to be achieved. One of the benefits of Dash is the ability for both consumers to acquire and spend - and merchants to receive and cash out - immediately. This means that for use cases where the consumer or merchant are unwilling to accept currency fluctuation risk, they don’t have to. Of course, many of the growth strategies we are pursuing, such as crypto trading, Venezuela, and gambling are categories where there is less concern for the volatility, which makes these categories less hindered by volatility and a base from which we can grow the commerce on the network.
Questions answered during the quarterly call have been (automatically) transcribed below:
  1. Q: As we move from build to launch of 1.0, how does DCG plan to support the go-to-market (of DashPay specifically)? Core team product marketing hires? Partnering with an external agency? (craigwrong)

    A (Fernando): As we know and, and as Bob has detailed previously, DashPay is one of the two parts of what we have always called "Evolution" that we'll be launching soon, the other part being Dash Platform. Both go together, and in fact Dash Platform is a prerequisite for DashPay to work. Dash Platform will be on testnet in late 2019, and DashPay will arrive sometime in 2020 once that is working well. So both launches go together. In the case of DashPay, we are working on a plan that includes our own channels, the community and some extra PR effort. This plan would require very little money and it's limited by definition. On top of that, we're working on different pieces to add that would require extra funds that we would need to request from the network when the time comes. In September, as Ryan mentioned before, we would go through a call to discuss marketing with those interested and get some feedback on those pieces and also new ideas the community may have to introduce in the plan. We are exploring promotions, some ads, some events, but as I said these will all depend on the resources available because right now the full focus of the organization is putting the resources towards software delivery and the marketing activities of the reduced budget. Even the base plan we are working out there to get into the community and our own channels could get significant results. Not everything needs to be paid.

  2. Q: What has been happening with Shift PR since the DAO voted to change PR company, and what can we expect from them? (krish)

    Q: I think our new PR firm, in combination with Core, needs to come up with a better plan and be very transparent about that plan to the community. (...) Are there objective metrics that we use to evaluate the performance of our Public Relations? (solarguy)

    Q: Will there be any targeted focus to Shift's PR efforts regarding regions in which Dash has made good progress? And will they be reaching out to POs in those regions to coordinate such targeted efforts? (agnewpickens)

    A (Fernando): The contract with Shift was signed in May, so the first full month they worked was June, so we are a bit over two months into the contract. In these two months, they have supported DCG in five public announcements, including Aircoins, blogs together, ChainLocks activation and Travala. Those resulted in around 37 pieces in different outlets. They are reporting and giving all details to Dash Watch, and they will publish video with them, so any details and anything you want to confirm can be checked with them. They've also work with us in updating the Dash messaging. Basically there's small things there in certain places. They've also built speaking and award structure that could bring in the future some more media attention. And finally they supported DCG on crisis management when it affects communication. There's couple incidents we've had where they've been around giving us advice. That's basically what they do. These parts, and pitching to journalists and supporting us in these other roles for messaging and crisis. They do not produce their own content like most PR firms don't do. That's very important to clear up, because sometimes I've seen people saying "why dont't they write a piece here or there?". They they work in influencing others.

    On the second part of the question, the current PR firm is focused on the English speaking market, because that's where the biggest media outlets are. This doesn't mean that the news from (for example) Latin America doesn't fit in there, in fact those are the ones that have been finding more traction. So that's important to take into consideration. Regarding the other proposal owners, they are all welcome to reach out to Michael Seitz, our marketing manager. He coordinates with other proposal owners announcements that could be of interest to media so they can go through Shift. There's already a working group that includes Dash Nation, DACH, Dash Thailand and Dash Nigeria that work with him in coordinating both PR efforts and some business development, so they work together better. Michael will be happy to accomodate with Shift's capacities. In the future, we would like to expand and do more focused PR efforts in Latin America. We explored that a few months ago and have some new market funds for that. But we found the market was fragmented and it ended up being expensive and we didn't have the resources to do that at the point in time. But we still have that idea in mind, and we still talk with companies. As we advance in those conversations, I think we will be able to do more things in Latin America in 2019, with Shift or some other company.

  3. Q: [...] What are the main pain points that currently hinder Dash from being considered a ‘Blue Chip’ crypto, with the obvious factors being the SEC no-action letter, and also their unwillingness to support a network that exhibits privacy features... What may need to be accomplished in order to give Dash the green light for institutional investment going forward? (Foxtrot)

    A (Ryan): The primary efforts that we put in over the last year have centered around our status as a security and the impact of PrivateSend. I think that the work with the SEC has yielded what we needed from it. Prior to engaging with the SEC, the SEC had been reaching out to exchanges, and exchanges were in turn reaching out to us with concerns about our status as a security. We engaged the SEC, we actually traveled to DC, Glenn Austin and myself, and met with multiple agencies within the SEC or multiple departments within the SEC, answered some follow-up questions and since then we have not heard of a single inquiry. I don't think that it's realistic to expect them to issue a no-action letter. They haven't done it for any projects except for one I believe at this point, and that one was essentially a digital coupon that was so clearly not a security that that they felt comfortable doing that. I think what's more important is that it seems from what my observations are that they seem satisfied with the answers that we gave. I think that the SEC was a potential concern for us at one point in time. I don't think it's a concern any longer. When we share our legal arguments with any particular exchange, they are very convinced within their compliance departments. I think across the board there's widespread consensus in the industry that Dash is not a security.

    As far as the PrivateSend issue, I think we took a big step forward today in addressing that. There's much work to be done beyond obviously developing the position paper and performing PrivateSend transactions on Bitcoin's blockchain to demonstrate that these protocols or sets of rules that underpin transactions are identical. We now need to educate, and so we're gonna be taking that document as well as the overall legal argument and doing personal outreach with regulators, influencers, consultants and compliance departments in order to spread that information and answer any questions. I think are our argument is very very strong. The feedback that I've seen so far on that document is that it is quite useful. I want to make clear that that does not mean that we don't have a commitment to privacy - we do, and we continue to have a commitment to privacy. What we're arguing here is that there is no legally definable reason why Dash should be held to a higher standard or held to different requirements than Bitcoin. I think if you read that through that document you can see the strength of our argument and we hope that that point of view can begin to resonate within the industry. Particularly in markets where there's already been some type of action. The only one I'm aware of is in Japan, and we plan to address that with JFSA (the Japanese Financial Services Agency) in order to demonstrate to them that there is no legal reason for why we should be treated any differently in that market. I think that we've effectively used that argument already with European regulators. An example here was with eToro. eToro was approached by their regulator, they approached us. We were able to arm them with this information and they were able to address regulator concerns. So I think this is a very addressable set of issues and it mostly focuses on education. People have uninformed opinions about Dash, or they simply are looking at a list of cryptocurrencies with privacy features without drawing any distinction between how those are implemented and whether or not exchanges can meet stringent compliance requirements with those currencies. This is this is going to be a substantial effort on our part, but I think it's important to ensure that we continue to have access to trading pairs and access to the traditional financial system. So we've we've really put some priority behind this.

  4. Q: What integrations with stock exchanges are taking place? Bitcoin Cash is trading on the Swiss exchange, can Dash Core also pursue those types of integrations? (dancefordistribution)

    A (Ryan): Yes we can. In the case of the Swiss exchange, I'm aware that there is already one of Dash's teams that is in conversations. Dash Core Group stands ready to support in whatever fashion we can, for example with the legal work that we've done or anything else that can be useful. Bitcoin Cash being listed on the Swiss exchange - I'm not sure on the details there. There were reports that Roger Ver personally funded that and that it may have cost seven ro eight figures in USD terms in order to achieve that listing. I'm not sure if those reports are accurate, but if those are the expectations it may be cost prohibitive to pursue an integration like that until a later date but we'll see. I'm sure that with the groundwork that Bitcoin Cash laid, a lot of those hurdles may have already been overcome. So we'll work on it and we'll see where where those conversations lead.

  5. Q: Previous Evolution roadmap planning and reporting has noted a plan to eventually deploy trustless masternode shares to the network. Is this still planned? Since such a development would affect the basic economic incentives behind the network, will masternodes be given an opportunity to vote before development on this feature begins? (phil7)

    Is anyone currently looking into some sort of protocol level implementation of trustless masternode collateral sharing or is it an abandoned idea and it's left to trusted third parties to implement shared masternode solutions? (Dandy)

    A (Bob): This has been discussed since the original engine for Evolution. It is in our backlog and but it has not been prioritized. Basically our backlog, we go through it and will prioritize items for upcoming releases. However it's in there, it remains in there, we have not eliminated it. But according to the roadmap we laid out today it would not be expected anytime within the next couple of quarters. Obviously the strength of Dash comes partly through the community as well, and so trusted third parties who have solutions to implement would always be welcome. But it's not lost on us it just hasn't hit priority level of the other features that were rolling out right now.

  6. Q: What's the plan of Dash to take advantage of the opportunities in Africa? (Nathaniel)

    A (Ryan): I think the question intended here is what's the plan of Dash Core Group to take advantage of the opportunities in Africa, hopefully I'm not distorting the intent of the question. I think that Africa, and I've stated this before, has a lot of high potential markets within it. We've seen that cryptocurrency adoption is stronger in markets with high inflation with a low degree of financial freedom and that certainly is the case in in quite a number of countries within Africa. So I think there's a good fit there. In terms of Dash Core Group we have limited resources at the end of the day we have a business development team of two. So we have to prioritize where we think our efforts are best utilized. Venezuela is clearly a standout, and so in terms of geographic focus, if we have additional resources right now I think that that we would pursue that just in terms of priority. But I think that one of the strengths of our proposal system is that it allows other teams to have a go and try to see what can develop there. Ultimately if the opportunities start to open up in particular markets in Africa, it benefits all of us. So Dash Core Group for the time being until we have the ability and the resources to expand our business development team, we really have to concentrate on making sure that the strategies that we are pursuing are successful first, before we can start to really expand out and diversify our efforts. So it's not that we don't think Africa is a good opportunity, it's just that in terms of priority we're really focused on Venezuela at the moment.
  1. Q: Now that Coinbase has acknowledged on its own blog to explore support for Dash and 7 other cryptocurrencies, can we expect the secrecy to be lifted on this specific topic and can we expect more information about the possible internal communication so far between Coinbase and Dash?

    A (Ryan): I partially addressed this question already, but let me expand on it a little. CoinBase got a good deal of public scrutiny after they listed Bitcoin Cash on their platform. There were accusations that there was insider trading, that there were people front running the listing, and there were internal investigations into it. I don't think there were any public conclusions written about it. But what I can tell you is that I think CoinBase's publicly facing communication changed substantially after that point in time. I think that their compliance department may have really attempted to address this issue. What it means for teams like us is that the communication tends to be very one-way with them relative to other exchanges. There are requests for information. There isn't a great deal of information that comes back to us about what they're thinking or what type of timing they might be looking at or whether they have specific ideas about whether they will integrate with us or not. Unfortunately there just isn't a lot that we can share. We are responsive to them. We of course are providing any information that they request. We're offering information that we think might be helpful to them in their assessment. But honestly I think that Dash Core Group will find out about whether or not Dash gets integrated at the same time as everybody else. I think that this is CoinBase's mode of operations with all cryptocurrencies that they list. It's frustrating for Dash Core Group, and I'm sure it's frustrating for the community but I think this is just the way that they they operate. So all I can disclose really is that we're communicating with them and replying to their requests but I don't think that we will get a lot of feedback from them on how that is going, whether they would list us, when they would list us. So hopefully that sets the expectations here.

  2. Q: If there is a disagreement among DCG core team members about whether a pull request should be merged into the Dash code repository, how is the final decision made? Are the Dash Github administrator accounts legally owned/controlled by DCG (the entity), so that developers cannot go against a decision that was made from the aforementioned procedure? What about control over other assets of interest to the network such as Reddit (senior moderator is currently tungfa), is there an established hierarchy of control through DIF > DCG > DCG employees to ensure control ultimately lies with the network? (TroyDASH, Dash Crypto)

    A (Ryan): I can talk about this from a couple of different perspectives. One is: keep in mind that many of these tools that we deal with require an individual account that has access to them as the senior moderator. That's just the way that they're built, we can't change that other than you know ensuring that we have access to that account in a shared tool that stores passwords, and we do. A lot of these platforms don't necessarily have multi-person access control built-in. Where where it does, we utilize it, but that's not always the case. So recognize that we're under constraints here, ultimately some of these things do have their own policies around logging in and having a single username and password associated with an account. But we are mindful of ensuring that we have multi-party access. In the case of the Dash code and when there's disagreement there: there's frequently disagreements, and we have processes by which we attempt to resolve those. Sometimes there's deep-rooted differences of opinion that have more to do with an individual's values than a logical argument can necessarily address. When those come up, it's likely that those opinions would come up within the community as well. There was an incident that probably led to this question around how to use the proposal system to arrive at decisions with our PR agency. When those issues were arisen within the team, it's far better for us to address them and come up with a solution than to ostracize someone. Because if we're ostracizing someone's opinion we're doing it with the community as well. In this case, we saw a a path forward that involved just holding an additional vote in order to effectively have a runoff election if you will. The result is that everyone was on board with the final decision, and that's a good thing. Ultimately we do at times run into issues where we do not have agreement on something, and ultimately there is some path forward. We're all professionals and we have the ability to work together and come up with solutions that we can all live with. Like I said if there's an issue within the team, likely there would be one within the community, so it behooves all of us to try our best to address them. Ultimately I think - Bob you can answer the question about the administrator rights and control - but I don't think that there's the ability to kind of hijack the repository in any way.

    A (Bob): Nothing really to add there. This is software that's used by all projects, we're not in any unique situation. We do our best and obviously the code is available if there was major disagreement in the community, the code is there for everyone. But we're just using the tools as everybody else has, if we're missing the essence of the question, please feel free to add things on and we'll do our best to answer.

  3. Q: Does DCG have any information regarding the stress test/spam attack that happened last night? Was this planned? Do we know what person or agency did it? (gerhard.hahnel)

    A (Bob): What we know is that there was load experienced on the network during what I would call an "unofficial" stress test. We have a history of random stress tests that occur within the community but outside of the core group. For obvious reasons, if we were to perform any tests ourselves as a core group we would be doing that load testing on testnet. But it is available that anybody could stress test mainnet at any point in time. On many occasions we've been told in advance by community members that they would be performing one at a certain point in time. In this case, as far as I know we did not hear that in advance on this. So what I can tell you is what happened and what we've learned from that. What happened is we saw issues where mempool was being artificially filled up and maintained there for a short period of time. That had some impacts to the transactions that were going through, what was happening in the blocks. What we've learned were that some of the mining pools are still capped at one megabyte block sizes, likely due to custom implementations. Obviously if somebody is using our own dashd, it's going to be two megabyte block sizes, but miners can have their own custom software on that, and that's up to them if they choose to do that. So that was interesting to see.

    Related is that we saw some of those pools were not emptying mempool, and so mempool was filling up. What they were doing was producing also near empty blocks. We've been in active communication with any pools that are in that situation. The transactions do appear to be spam (they they're one input one output and very low fees associated with them) and so miners and mining algorithms have the opportunity and the right to determine what they accept as far as putting into a block. So we've seen that, and that's been interesting. We've also seen that some of the masternodes have run out of storage space, causing them to crash. But we we think that that is as a result of the storage of InstantSend locks. We are now storing all InstantSend locks for all transactions, where in previous versions we had flushed those after seven days. We're building in to address that, we've got a maintenance release that will be coming out, that will remove those InstantSend locks that have occurred via ChainLock, and those will be removed after the lock is confirmed. So that will help out for any anybody experiencing those issues.

    We've also seen some real small edge cases on masternode banning during quorum development with LLMQs where Masternodes can be banned. If they get banned at a certain time right on the brink of a new quorum becoming active, we also notice some issues there. These are the exact types of things we would want to observe, and expect to observe, in a stress test. So whenever one of these stress tests does occur, we are going to watch it closely observe it, and and make changes. Out of this one in particular we have two pull requests that had already been in the works that would address a couple of these cases, and that will be released in But we don't know who performed it. We would love to facilitate these on testnet to have less impact. The volume that was reached is not volume that we will ever reach organically for years to come literally. We appreciate the efforts of the parties that are doing this. It can be a little disruptive, or alarming as Ryan said before in key metrics. It skews all our metrics! So there are many reasons why a mainnet unofficial stress test is not desirable, but we're always going to learn things, we're always going to improve the protocol and we're doing so in this situation as well.

  4. Q: Are there any plans for a future Dash conference event?

    A (Fernando): There are plans. They are contingent on launch of Dash Platform and DashPay. Depending on when that happens, we are working on different alternatives. Ideally near some other big conference in terms of time so we can hijack their attendance. We will know more as the launch approaches and we have more certainty. Before that we are going to be hosting a couple of smaller events. This is mostly for community and partners in Europe and the US, probably in October. They are intended to provide more information on the launch of Dash Platform and DashPay. But because of that we will be waiting for some developer workshops that are going to happen in late September - early October. After that we will have more information and will make these smaller events in the US and Europe so we can share all the relevant information with the parties when we start the preparation for launch and involvement of everyone.

  5. Q: When will PrivateSend be available on any mobile wallet?

    A (Ryan): I think that one of the challenges we've always had with PrivateSend on mobile is that it requires a connection throughout the process of forming the transactions, otherwise abandoned participants can cause PrivateSend mixes to fail. It's always been a challenging problem. One of the things that we've done to help address that is by making transactions instant and making them instantly respendable. So chained InstantSend is a prerequisite to making PrivateSend mixing work on a mobile device. Our focus right now is certainly around preparing our wallets for the platform and for DashPay capabilities, as well as launching the platform itself. This is another backlog item that I think carries a good deal of support from the community and would rank pretty highly in terms of the types of features we'd like to incorporate in the future. So although you didn't see that on the roadmap today, I would anticipate that this is a pretty highly relevant feature for a lot of people. I think that we will appropriately evaluate that as well as get an estimate of how much resources would be required to implement it, and appropriately prioritize that within our roadmap in the long term. I think this is very similar to that question that we got around trustless masternode collaterals. It's in the backlog, we want to get to it and we have our focus right now on Evolution-related features.