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"Smile-and-dial" to find early-adopter merchants


New member
Hi, I want to increase real-world use of Dash by merchants, ie traction.

What is the problem?

Traction trumps everything. Despite good infrastructure, we have limited real-world use of Dash by merchants, whether that’s B2C (business to consumer), or business to business (B2B) payment of supplier invoices as a back-office function.

The good infrastructure is things like code, features, wallets, educational videos, and lots of marketing. They are great if someone hears of Dash, ‘gets it’, and starts actively exploring it.

I think direct outreach to merchants is a missing piece so far. Outreach to explain how Dash would help their business, tailored to their business. Not hard-sell to people who aren’t interested or aren’t ready, but actively seeking out the early-adopters.

How will this increase adoption?
For example I'm already in touch with a marijuana extract processor (ie a B2B biz); I'll ask permission to speak to their suppliers and business customers. If I can engage just 1 of their plant providers then we will have more real-world use. Similarly an edibles producer that buys their extract - if they pay their extract manufacturer (ie my existing contact) with Dash too, then we are slowly chipping away at the supply chain.

How will I achieve this?
This will be pretty much all by phone, hence "smile-and-dial", over a two month period. I will research contact details online and conduct outreach by email, telephone interview and questionnaire:

  1. Contact and learn from some pre-existing Dash merchants
  2. Identify and shortlist potential beachhead markets where:
    1. Using Dash might add value to merchants and their processes
    2. A circular economy might be feasible
  3. Research for potential merchants in those markets
  4. Reach out to them to validate where Dash adds value, dependencies and objections
    1. Primarily via direct email, attempting to set up a phone interview
    2. Complemented with simply ‘smile and dial’ calling them
    3. Phone interviews
    4. Fall-back to email questionnaire approach
I'll look first at the legal marijuana industry in the US, due to perennial banking/payment processor issues. Using Dash adds genuine value to them, even if they don't care about crypto.

I also assume that back-office adoption for B2B payments is better at this stage than consumer-facing B2C adoption. This is from my personal experience from merchants that didn’t onboard with Bitcoin pre-scaling debate.

What have I done before? Can I make a good job of this?
I have two areas of experience directly related to this:

1. I own a niche medical software business in the UK, which I started 16 years ago in 2001, for sharing x-rays, MRIs etc between hospitals. Skills related to this proposal:
  • solving the ‘chicken & egg’ - no-one wants to send x-rays or Dash if no-one else is using it
  • outbound market research, market validation, outbound B2B sales into industry
  • going from fancy tech to core value proposition in the users’ eyes
  • business process change when on-boarding complex software
2. I’m a long-time Bitcoiner, not a maximalist, and have experience bringing various individuals and merchants into Bitcoin. And long talks understanding why some people are interested but don’t / didn’t for their business. This was just with anyone who was interested to listen, not structured outreach. I’ve stopped doing this for some time due to Bitcoin’s governance issues illustrated by the scaling debate - because I can’t in all honesty recommend Bitcoin to merchants.
I'm active on reddit /u/marcoski711 although I'm new on here (so can't post links). Once I can post links I'll add my LinkedIn and other references.

Proposal budget: Budget: $7,700 for two months work (~38.5 dash @ $200 - is there a rolling-n-days-average calculator page I can make use of?)
  • Budget includes usual business overheads such as phone bill, ESP fees (mailchimp), email automation and the like - I will pay these myself.
  • Major expenses such travel for face-to-face or conferences are excluded but would require a separate proposal and budget anyway.
I based the above figure from US average for VP Marketing at $138k. Monthly this is $11.5k per month, and one third of that is $3,850 per month, as I’ll be working between 1/3 to 1/2-time on calls.
If someone where to be interested in using Dash based on your smiling phone call ;-) how will you suggest they implement that? Just to flesh out your proposal ... How will they get it? How will they store it? How will they transfer it? It seems like a hard sell just based on phone calls.
Hi Joe,
> How will they get it?
They often register banking in their personal name rather than company. I'm going suggest they register on an exchange in the same way (personal registration)

> How will they store it?
When I've done this previously with Bitcoin a phone wallet has sufficed, eg on the 'office tablet'. Fancy stuff, like a BitPay for Dash, is essential only for online stores. With the new Dash iOS app it's HD too, so that simplifies backup education immensely compared to reference wallet. I'd like to have private send in use by default but that might be a bit too complicated for most; we'll see.

> How will they transfer it?
I imagine adding their address to PDF invoices, billing software have extra fields and some have QR support. They'd change the address on a schedule to minimise address reuse. Payer would use Dash wallet instead of online banking. They'd need to trigger remittance advice with payment so payee can reconcile paid/unpaid invoices. I'll go through this with them.

My answers re your last Q might change once I get talking to people.

Adoption is a process, I'm not imagining a single phone call and they're using it. There might be some critical thing that stops them finishing their on-boarding. But at least we'll find out what these blockages are - hopefully none, or at least ones that we can mitigate.