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Dash World: Marketing Audit, Progress & Road-map

In our audit we lay out why it would be better to peg Dash to Fiat like USD and go away from pegging it to BTC. This sets Dash apart from other Alt coins

IMO it depends on auditory - on what you are targeting...

Comparison - is the most effective way to describe new difficult concepts - and you have to compare exactly with something that particular people are used to...

So of course "general public" is the most massive and more preferable target, but... crypto-public (current Bitcoin users) is most susceptible (so we will get more results with less efforts) - so it's also very important in nearest years.

Fortunately - we do not have to choose just one thing - we have to work on all the important areas.
IMO it depends on auditory - on what you are targeting...

Comparison - is the most effective way to describe new difficult concepts - and you have to compare exactly with something that particular people are used to...

So of course "general public" is the most massive and more preferable target, but... crypto-public (current Bitcoin users) is most susceptible (so we will get more results with less efforts) - so it's also very important in nearest years.

Fortunately - we do not have to choose just one thing - we have to work on all the important areas.
Hi Alex I appreciate the feedback but I don't necessarily agree. If you continue to peg yourself to BTC you will always be in the shadow and will be fighting an uphill battle and all the BTC maximalist's out there will continue to knock Dash down and compare to BTC. BTC only pegs itself to Fiat if you want to be at that level and beyond you have to play in the same field. What Dash needs to do is to reach out to industries to show that Dash is a better alternative to Fiat and get accepted there. Once that happens the argument that Dash is better than BTC happens organically and is not an argument but a race to see who will get accepted by the masses first and in my opinion Dash is much better suited than BTC.
Crazy long comment below. I'm sorry, but both @GreyGhost and @hobbskevin asked for it. Anyway, this is not longer than other exchanges between GG and me in the past :)

I like some of the conclusions and it is obvious that Vanbex already has a good understanding of the project, but I don't fully agree with the way forward. I have tried to make the comments more or less in the same order of topics in the audit, but sometimes I deviate a little.

1. Dash will be a decentralized monetary system, currency or payment method fall short

I agree that Dash is much more than a currency. Currency is a useful term to communicate because it is something everyone understands, but it falls short. As for decentralized payment method, I think that it also falls short. I know it comes from the Evolution paper, but that is already months old :)

With the latest developments in fiat gateways and governance (soon to be launched Sentinel) I would describe Dash more as a decentralized monetary system. Payment method makes me think about it being a part of the fiat world, but Dash will not be a part, it will be a totally new system. It is connected to other monetary systems via gateways, like the dollar is connected to the euro, but it has its own rules and institutions, like the dollar or the euro have them. Of course it will also be a payment method (already is), but that is just the surface.

These mockup posted by @eduffield at Bitcointalk shows the power of Evolution working with fiat gateways. You go in and out of fiat as you please and instantly from your wallet. And when you are in Dash you are in a different reality with companies, employees and all kind of objects coded in the protocol.


2. InstantX

Of course I agree intantX is amazing. One thing I would add to the analysis and further action is that it is important to educate the public that Bitcoin is not instant. Many people see an unconfirmed btc transactions and they think that is enough. They don't understand the concept of double spends and the need for confirmations, so they think it is fine. I have had this experience in a few real life conversations with Bitcoin users.

I would put a lot of focus on showing that zero conf is dangerous. How Peter Todd double spent Coinbase, arguably the biggest Bitcoin player. Show that many transactions don't get ever confirmed because the fee is not enough, especially now that blocks are quite full. Show that other are confirmed late, so you miss the time window that some payment processors give you to make a payment.

3. DarkSend

This is my favourite feature :) I agree with others that DashSecure seems to say that the other tx are not secure, so I would go with something else, if anything. I'm not sure we really need a name for this.

Like with instantX, I think that most people don't really understand the problem with Bitcoin's traceability, so it is necessary to educate them if we expect them to accept Dash as a superior alternative. I still hear at Bitcoin meetups that Bitcoin is "anonymous enough", which is crazy! The problem of Coinbase shutting accounts because people were gambling, or all the blochain analytics firms should be brought up. Also the fact that the blockchain is there forever. You may be traced in the future and they can go back to that big donation you made to whatever cause that will put you in a list. Or you fucking grocery shopping, that it's nobody's business.

I think privacy is important. There is a war on cash and we need to provide alternatives to those concerned with this. Money is important and governments want to control it because it is the way to control people. I don't think we should shy away from this narrative. I know many people around would prefer us to be more friendly, but I don't agree. Anyway, this is just my personal view, I know we will not go crazy there :(

4. Too soon to focus on merchant adoption

I don't agree with this at all. I don't think we are at the point where we should start asking everyone to accept Dash. We are a small community and we don't like to spend our hard earned/bought coins. There are significant costs to get Dash atm, so when you need to pay something that you can pay with your credit card it makes little sense to use Dash if you are still accumulating.

If we ask many merchants to accept Dash what will likely happen is that they will see no sales and they will get disenchanted. Most would eventually drop Dash. This has already happened to Bitcoin with some merchants and we are tiny compared to them. This is pure egg and chicken. I would focus on a few selected merchants that are close to our community and then feature them as examples.

As we grow in user base we will need to grow the merchants base, but going too fast there will only kill opportunities for the future.

5. Fiat gateways

I'd say the same as with adoption. We should not overtake ourselves with approaching too many business. Some of the outcomes from that project are open source tools that will be available for others to use. It is great to campaign around that, but we need to be careful. Most integrations need a lot of support from developers and we have very few available, so we need to prioritize.

6. We still need comparisons to Bitcoin

From my comments supra I guess it is obvious that I don't agree about not comparing ourselves to them. It is true that there is much more people who don't use Bitcoin than people who use it, but the bitcoiners are the easy low hanging fruit. Crytocurrencies is such an alien concept that it would be foolish not to try to convert those who are already educated.

Our product right now sucks for people who are into this space. Once we have Evolution working things may change a little, but that won't happen until 2017 the soonest, so until then I would focus on people who already know something about Bitcoin. This doesn't mean that we should not do a test here and there with people who are into crypto, but I don't think that should be our focus.

7. Masternodes are key, but I would not market the investment opportunity

I don't agree at all about marketing this as an investment product. It definitely is, but I would not want anyone who is not really knowledgeable about us investing a lot. We are still experimenting and we have a super healthy network of masternodes. Almost two thirds of our money base are in masternodes, I don't think we should focus on getting more. They will come anyway, let's not look like all those people selling investments on the internet. Of course, this doesn't apply to talking to knowlegable people in the space about this and giving them as much info as needed, I just oppose creating narratives around this.

I do agree, however, about documenting more so people understand better the power of network of masternodes that you can trust as a group because of how incentives play. Quorums are super important for our future, the more we document and explain, the better. I would not rename them in any way. A quorum is a quorum, no need to have a dozen product names.

I would not touch DashDrive yet. Too soon and too open yet.

8. Summary of my comments to the audit

The vision needs to be even more far fetched and powerful that what it is suggested (monetary system instead of payment method). We are not doing that yet, but we should.

I think we still need to fish in Bitcoin's pond. Once we have Evolution working that will change, but that time is not here yet. The best way for people to really value our special features is to understand how they compare to Bitcoin's.

I think it is too early to focus a lot on merchant adoption because we don't have users yet. We need to sync new users with new merchants or we'll frustrate everyone.
* “master article”
are you referring to 'instamine' and XC launch and all that ?
i would honestly (me personal) let that horse be and not revive that whole discussion again, we went though this again and again and we all know that haters will hate and something like that only puts more fire on an old dead horse, i believe in moving on, Writing about that payment system they mentioned and such

I would assume that is what was being referred to as well, but I'm a bit torn on this one. Every crypto coin, including Bitcoin, gets its initial coin distribution subject to heavy criticism. I'm not going to invest in a coin if I think there is a chance it is a scam. And for me, it isn't necessarily so much a question of whether the initial coin distribution was "fair". Arguably, all distributions are unfair (even ones that have ICOs that are open to everyone, after 5 years almost everyone will be able to claim that they never knew about/didn't have a chance to invest early.) So to me, it is just a question of how unfair each coin's distribution is. The undeniable errors that occurred in the first couple days of X-coin are grounds for legitimate criticism. But specifically, the even greater concern when people are considering whether a coin is a scam, is the chance that the inventor and his friends aren't going to just dump everything and disappear, leaving the currency dead. All of this is related, and in the end we need to be able to have people understand that DASH is reliable and self-sustaining for the long term.
Thanks guys and @fernando for taking time for this in-depth response. As you know I don't micromanage and given it is mostly @lisacheng work you are referring to I hope she'll respond during the day today herself. Needless to say, @hobbskevin is not overly shy so I hope we'll hear from him as well.

Two comments of my own:

-- "master article" approach was tweaked since we listened to the community and its opinions, best expressed in @tungfa comment quoted above. "The dead horse" is left out from @ericsammons 1st article;

-- Masternodes as an Investment. I am utterly incapable of grasping why we do not want to promote this huge advantage Dash posses, our crown jewel? The MN Network has been working like a Swiss watch for two years or more now, without a single incident. It secures the Network. It's the backbone of Dash. And it generates nice income.

Ponder this. Dash market cap at the time of typing this is
$43,935,391.00 and in 3,735 Masternodes currently operating on the Network we have
$25,584,750.00 as the minimum (we know many a MN does not take all the profit)
so our Governance budget is at 7,449.00 DASH ATM which translates into
$ 50,802.18 a month budget.

It's mind-boggingly FANTASTIC that an idea -- originating from Satoshi and perfected, being perfected daily, by @eduffield & the developers creates value -- but how do we expect to power, not only the world of small merchants or a bigger world of remittance or our own micro-economy of Dash if the value of Dash available for trade is an equivalent of a meager $18,350,641.00?

In order to better make a point let me remind us: Amazon has daily net sales of $293,150,684.93! In one single day, Amazon net sales are 15.97 times bigger than our available cash supply. If any of us would magically take over 100% of the Dash market cap we'd still have the money to purchase only 14.98% all of merchandise sold today (again net sales). On a yearly basis, our market cap could purchase a minuscule 0.041% of all the Amazon net sales. And than there's a whole world outside...

No matter the strategy or the word we apply to it -- marketing, business development, changing the word, P2P economy... -- no currency can be really successful without, to quote @hobbskevin "a big business development component." We have a huge responsibility to support great idea of what might be a genius (our founder) but we have to think big. No small idea or overly cautious approach has ever changed the world.

One day, and I hope that day may be soon, MN value should be in millions. Dash should have the financial power to really fuel the economy. Think what sort of development, marketing, ideas we'd be able to afford at Dash only a $1,000.00 with the monthly budget of $7,449,000.00? This should be our aim. And all our efforts should leads us toward that goal.

Just my 2 cents. Take them at their worth or shrug them at will.

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@fernando thank you for taking the time to read the audit! I appreciate it

Point 1: Dash as a monetary system
We are on the same page with this as I agree with you that Dash is and can be a decentralized monetary system (with self governance!) - however, this will take time as the components of a monetary system such as acceptance, volume, and trust (in its use as a currency) need to be established before Dash can be recognized as a monetary system. Fiat gateways are an excellent strategy for growing acceptance of the view of Dash as a currency - by pegging it to Fiat currencies not cryptocurrency. For the partnerships with Coinapult and Cryptocapital which the fiat gateways will require, my understanding is that a user will have to have an account with them as well. So partnerships are going to be important here - approaching other organizations that can offer this type of fiat exchange for Dash is a business development component which we can help with.

Point 2: InstantX
Yes the big misconception with Bitcoin is that its instant - and long ago, in a land far, far away - it once was. Now the memepool is huge, confirmation times are slow - this has opened up a window of opportunity for another cryptocurrency which offers better features to say "yes it indeed is instant, because the protocol is designed to lock outputs from a transaction preventing double spend."
As our friends in Bitcoin have over-used the term "instant" to describe their transaction speed, it almost falls on deaf ears now when a crypto claims to be instant, even though Dash is - and Bitcoin is not. So I have been mining my brain and welcome others to do the same on how to describe the instantaneous feature of Dash transactions in a new way that is appealing.

Point 3: DarkSend
Totally - one of my favorite features as well, I suggested shedding the name 'DarkSend' to remove any connection with dark markets. But as this will be de facto in Evolution, perhaps there doesn't need to be a name... the feature though will need to be described and I would still reccomend not using the term 'dark'..
Privacy is huge for me, most folks don't realize that if someone knows your public bitcoin address they can watch all your transactions.
Perhaps using the narrative "If you care about privacy, use Dash"

Point 4: Merchant Adoption
I've heard often in the Dash chats about this chicken and egg problem, we are in the age of cloning and we don't need the chicken.
The key thing to getting any currency adopted is acceptance and trust, the more places that accept it the more trust that will give it. I realize Dash may be a small community and you don't want to spend your coins. But if you engage others in joining and accepting the coin, then it will grow the community, the value of your coin, and merchants can create a snow ball effect as they educate their customers about why they accept Dash. I've been noticing websites like Orange Hosting accepts WorldCoin - its random af but merchants give credibility. Bitcoin itself grew because of acceptance and this was driven in part by merchant acceptance re: gyft.com

Point 5: Fiat Gateways
I agree not approaching anyone, we need to be strategic with who would be a good partner, ideally they would be:
- high profile
- legitimate
- have a strong user base that can bring new users to Dash
- have the technical and executive team behind it to support cross marketing efforts and technology integration

Point 6: Comparisons to Bitcoin
- Bitcoiners are indeed low hanging fruit and yes comparisons to Bitcoin are still going to be needed, we even are writing an article about it!
- Thing is with Bitcoin, you never hear it being compared to Litecoin on why Bitcoin is better - the narrative is always Bitcoin compared to USD or Euro (or CDN in my case). Likewise if Dash is a decentralized monetary system, we should compare it to other monetary systems.

Point 7: Masternodes
I really like the 2 tier node system and the model of decentralized governance Masternodes provides, given that it is something that people can put money into and get profit from - it would appeal to anyone looking to make money from cryptocurrency. Just like Bitcoin Mining drew alot of people into the community (including myself) with the idea of printing money in your garage simply by plugging a computer into the wall - Dash Masternodes can do the same for Dash. I believe it's just communicating a narrative and not promoting it for the sake of "hey look here! make money today! 20x your money!" but rather a conservative message about what Masternodes can do and provide.
Also a stable 'investment' shows viability, trust, confidence - drawing new people to the community isn't bad, especially if they're here for the tech.

I personally like the idea of DashIQ for the quorums, marketing it as an intelligence service (decentralized oracles)

--- I enjoy figuring these ideas out and talking about this, your suggestion about focusing on the monetary system is a good one and perhaps the next step is putting together a plan for how to position Dash this way.