Budget Proposal - Vendor-Experience UPDATED

Solarminer

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We have had a lot of interest in the Vender-Experience Budget Proposal. We appreciate the constructive questions. I have updated the proposal to add an FAQ to help everyone understand this proposal. For more details or to vote, here are the links and voting command.
https://www.dashwhale.org/p/Vendor-Experience
dash-cli mnbudget vote-many 1cfc2525f33d8dee81640f6860fc85751acea552724ec58d6619f7fcee694ea1 yes

We believe the best way to grow Dash is to give users a place to spend their Dash. Dash has an advantage over any other crypto with InstantX that can enable point of sale purchases without risk. We plan to utilize this advantage to show projects in the real world.

The initial project we implemented was the Dash N Drink soda machine. The key to making this project was to implement InstantX detection and trigger a machine credit. This has now opened the door for the next phase. The next projects we will work on will include more sophisticated interfaces that will take engineering and software to connect to properly. We will be updating mobile wallets so they work quickly and easily. We expect to deploy actual products in actual stores.

The core team members coordinating this project are Camosoul and Solarminer.

We view this proposal as a core requirement for Dash adoption, not something that is for a single merchant application or single product. If anyone would rather only support this proposal for 1 month/3 months just vote it down when you want. We plan to deliver and keep pushing the envelope of possibilities so there is no reason to think about ending this project.

The Plan
We plan to initially target easier devices and as we learn get to more complicated infrastructure projects. This is the plan as we have it now, but that could change based on vendor participation or types of products available. We expect to complete each of these projects in about 3 months.

Vending machine with multiple products that uses a custom interface.
Upgrade software for Raspberry PI or Odroid-XU4 as needed to make this all work.
Design software to communicate with serial interface or more complicated multiple item vending controller
Implement multiple product selection within the dash wallet along with a more stable interface.
Implement multiple product selection and inventory tracking with QR codes and addresses

Gas pumps
Design software and hardware to communicate with the pump controller
Implement a wifi captive portal checkout with one product.
Enable prepay with return change

Dash Sky Store Checkout
Design a wifi captive portal with multiple products.
Enable shopping cart functionality on phone or portal.
Implement the Dash Fast Lane - start wifi cart on entry and pay when you leave without a checkout line
Enable phone to store product scanning (skipping the need for registers)

We will be getting assistance from inside and outside the Dash space. Each application will win press releases and additional status as a leading crypto similar to how we won publicity with the Dash N Drink.

As for the questions about what happens to the products after we are done, we expect them to be in the hands of a merchant who will actually use them. This will bring ongoing publicity along with proof of concept for other merchants to adopt and a base for testing. The valuable part of all these projects is the software, publicity and to gain adoption. The software will be open source as much as possible. The intent is not to make a business to sell products but to show how products can be used in real world scenarios.

FAQs
Can we have some more information about the project, the vending machine and how you’re planning
on operating this?

The goal is to create the software and hardware to easily interface with a wide variety of products. We have outlined a multiple item vending machine to add software features as the initial product. The vending machine or future devices will be operated by a merchant similar to before our upgrades. The idea isn't to be in the vending business but to adopt a real product for Dash.

We don’t know what’s happening to the vending machine that was already made(Dash N Drink), who owns this vending machine and what’s the plan for it?
The Dash N Drink is being stored at Camosoul’s. Anyone is welcome to offer it a home. We still have some bugs in instantX detection to fix before it can be in an unattended location. Of course, the reason for building the Dash N Drink was to build a demo to test and use InstantX. It was a success at the Miami show, which was our primary goal.

What are you goingto be purchasing with the $3000?

A portion of the funds will go to the developers for coding enhancement to the software and wallets. There may also be a portion for outside support with gas pump controller software or point of sale devices. A large amount will go to modifying customer machines or buying hardware to interface with pumps/registers?

Can you give us an itemized breakdown?

We are looking at this as a development project. We don’t know what the breakdown of expenses will be. There will be some on-going costs like 4g internet and server space. Otherwise, we are putting the remaining funds into hardware and software.

Can you give us a plan on how you aim to use these funds each month?

The first few months will be sourcing a vending machine along with a merchant that wants to display it. We may also be able to find a merchant willing to let us convert their machine. We will begin to engineer a way to dispense each product with a specific QR code with coded price or with multiple QR codes. We will also work on an inventory system based on dash addresses. Some of these features are possible but we won’t know how effective they will be until we do them.

Would it be possible to come up with milestones for this project? What are you planning on accomplishing? How will it benefit the ecosystem?
Setting specific milestones is difficult to nail down aswe will need to work with several groups who are already working on projects. I would expect every 3 monthswe would finish a product and start work on a new product. The goal here is to find applications that are similar to a wide family of products. Then another merchant can easily adopt from what we started. The benefit is to answer this question,“Where can I spend Dash?” We believe that question is what gives Dash it’s value.

Are you planning on selling vending machines, components of them eventually, or something like this? Who will earn these rewards?

This is not planned to be a profitable undertaking. We are not planning to sell products. We expect the final result of any of our builds to be machines that are in use in the real world making money for the merchant. All code will be open sourced as much as possible to enable DASH-specific projects to flourish.

I would assume if the masternode network is funding your operation, it should receive a cut of the profits each quarter paid out as dividends. I would like to also establish some sort of agreement between yourselves and the Darkcoin foundation as well to make that agreement official
.
As for profits, we don’t expect any. If we do get to the point where there are no new projects to develop we will ask for the proposal to be voted down.

I’m curious what the answers are, as that will inform the decision of the masternode network. Funding is starting to get tight on the network so we definitely need to be careful that we’ll have great return on the network’s investment.
We understand that there a lot of other projects that are valuable. With the success of the Dash N Drink, we can’t help but think this is every bit as valuable as other projects.The key to success of any crypto project is real world adoption. This kind of development will stimulate that process.
 

TaoOfSatoshi

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See now that is information I can get behind. I was on the fence before, but you now have my votes. Getting Dash out there, building a merchant infrastructure is key.

You've given me a better idea about the scope and direction of the project, and that is appreciated.
 

lynx

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Will you be able to coordinate this project alone? Because it doesn't seem that camosoul is on board. He said he downvoted this proposal with his own nodes...

I voted it down with my own nodes. Not throwing toys, just trying to make people grow up. But calling me a baby while being one themselves... Whatever. You people are hopeless. Hide behind your keyboard and call me names until your face turns blue. I'll be on my boat, not dealing with this idiotic bullshit.

I wanted this proposal to be voted down only a few hours after it was made. It was a test of of the community, and it's not grown-up enough for reality. The unknown is exactly that, make all the demands you like, all you'll get is the pied piper.

No one will accomplish this on any less than I've asked for. Take you to the cleaners by telling you what you want to hear, maybe... But that's about it.

You may as well punch the rock and tell it to make water... I'm not an asshole just because you can't figure out how silly that is.
 

lynx

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Solarminer Good to know. One more thing:
Are you planning on selling vending machines, components of them eventually, or something like this? Who will earn these rewards?
This is not planned to be a profitable undertaking. We are not planning to sell products. We expect the final result of any of our builds to be machines that are in use in the real world making money for the merchant. All code will be open sourced as much as possible to enable DASH-specific projects to flourish.
What if you don't find vendors willing to host the prototypes should the proposal be defunded? Will we be getting an angry post demanding that we lazy basement-dwellers do something about it?

How about this. A late fee and terminal consequence. If carrot won't make you get off your asses, how about a little stick?

This machine has been in my life for over a month, but I'll just call it a month. It's not worth a damn thing if it's not getting seen.

We'll see what the community really thinks of DASH. No more words. Actions. Shut your stupid cock holsters, kick off your high heels, and do something.

I'm charging $10/day for storage. Starting today.

After 60 days of non-payment, it goes to the county landfill.

Someone will give me the name and address of a retail establishment who wants to have it. They will provide, also, their own name and address, as the party responsible for maintaining the arrangement, dealing with guvcrap, stocking, promotion, etc.

Most vending machine sales do not include delivery. Which is usually $100 for 50 miles. Beyond that, it's not done at all. Since I'm a really, really nice guy I'll deliver it anywhere within 250 miles for FREE.

So, that's 90 days total for the DASH community to step up and do something useful. Get out of your mommy's basement, put on your only remaining clean Che Guevara shirt, and do just one little thing, just one person. Forget about the proposal. It's not on the table anymore. This is about Proof of Maturity. I want to see just one fuckin' person do something other than bicker about shit they don't know anything about. Put your actions where your beliefs supposedly are. If DASH is so great, why can't even one person plant this sucker where it belongs? It's not even about the proposal anymore. I down-voted it with my own nodes. This is about intolerable hypocrisy, laziness and good old-fashioned bullshit.

If you really believe even one word you've ever spoken in favor of DASH, now is the time to shut the fuck up and make your move. There are consequences to sitting on your ass doing nothing, whining endlessly about what you think you know, but don't. If this machine ends up in the landfill, you're the ones who put it there, and it's a fitting end.

Grow up you useless pussies!
 

Solarminer

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What if you don't find vendors willing to host the prototypes should the proposal be defunded? Will we be getting an angry post demanding that we lazy basement-dwellers do something about it?
I am not so worried about finding vendors to participate, rather what it will cost. It might be that we need buy the equipment for them or pay for space rental. I am good friends with a few commercial building and grocery store owners with all the solar we do. If nothing else, I can lean on one of them for floor space for a machine.
 

Jeztah

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I am not so worried about finding vendors to participate, rather what it will cost. It might be that we need buy the equipment for them or pay for space rental. I am good friends with a few commercial building and grocery store owners with all the solar we do. If nothing else, I can lean on one of them for floor space for a machine.
I will support anything you're behind. I'm saddened though that someone (who is now ignored) who feels they need to berate the entire community is still involved with this TBH. Narcissism isn't attractive at all. I went through boot camp for real, I wonder if he did. Actually, no....I don't care.

You have my votes FWIW.
 

TanteStefana

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Solarminer Good to know. One more thing:

What if you don't find vendors willing to host the prototypes should the proposal be defunded? Will we be getting an angry post demanding that we lazy basement-dwellers do something about it?
This is the whole point of this project. They WILL find merchants. It would be even better if the merchants can sell Dash to people as well, either via ATM or that new concept thingy, where any device can be turned into a Bitcoin ATM. In fact that could be one of the projects they can implement for Dash as part of the whole system.
 
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TanteStefana

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I will support anything you're behind. I'm saddened though that someone (who is now ignored) who feels they need to berate the entire community is still involved with this TBH. Narcissism isn't attractive at all. I went through boot camp for real, I wonder if he did. Actually, no....I don't care.

You have my votes FWIW.
Ah Jeztah, to be honest, Camo has great instinct and ideas, and is smart, but can't communicate and expects people to read his mind, then gets frustrated, and through his tirades, finally makes himself clear. In a way, it's best to tolerate him because he really has a lot to offer. After he cools down, he usually is very nice for a while :D

But seriously, we have to get along with all kinds of people in this world, and I honestly think that when Camo isn't getting his ideas through, he simply gets so frustrated it hurts and he lashes out..... then calms down again and is brilliant. I think he's worth living with myself. He is a doer. Like Evan, who just jumped in feet first and started Dash, doers are worth their weight in gold, honest.
 
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TaoOfSatoshi

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The clear point that needed to be made was that this endeavor is NOT a startup, and any benefits will be directly for Dash by having an increased vendor base.

It's true, Dash development should be three-pronged: Consumer Experience (Dev Team), PR / Marketing (Tungfa, Daniel), and Merchant Outreach (potentially Solarminer, Camo, and moocow).

This proposal makes a lot of sense, start giving people places to use their shiny new iPhone wallets. And once you start and merchants start seeing the benefits, it will snowball.
 

GrandMasterDash

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Okay, I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, however, this is what I want to see. Now I understand this will likely be a loss leader for quite some time, however....

1. Every quarter, the community should have a broad breakdown of expenses and profits.

2. An undertaking that in the event that this becomes a profitable enterprise, the Dash Foundation will hold a 40% stake in said enterprise.

I'm sorry if that sounds too formal or unduly demanding, but I just don't want to see the dash community pouring money into something and then watching hopelessly from the sidelines as a spin-off venture emerges and takes all the profits. If there's no profits to be made then these rules won't be a concern.
 

D&D

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Here's a quick cute marketing idea in the same vein.

"Dine and Dash" a/k/a "eat and run" is about as old as the hills as it can get. Ordering food, eating it, getting up and sprinting out of the restaurant.

In this case:

"Dine n Dash" where half the idea is true, eat and run but pay for it. Start small and low e.g.:

hot dog vendors
food carts
food trucks

Where busy people on the go, order their food, swipe their smart phone, and go. No fiddling around with dollar notes and coins, no waiting around for change to be handed back. Similar to say 'tap and go' on a credit card, or if the mechanisim for the vending machine is the way to go. Actually that brings up an idea: chipped plastic reloadable DASH filled card which you can use as a 'tap and go' or 'dine and dash'.

The key point is that surely someone out there knows of someone who owns or operates hot dog vendors, food carts or food trucks before attempting the bigger idea of supermarkets and proper resturants? Hell even if someone here or out there owns a resturant or bar, the trick is to implement it, advertize it so that it gets out there and build from that.

a) get it implemented somewhere anywhere now
b) register or trademark it thereafter

grow from there.

Big bag holder here, non forum(s) participant anywhere, just feel its need to chime in. No question the techonology and development from the outset to date is first class, what is lacking and always has been, is the marketing and actual usage ideas. This vending machine is fantastic but it is the first time someone has come up with something in all this time. It really shouldn't have taken so long for someone to come up with something. Just don't get clogged down in the minutiae.

Foundation needs to hire a go-getter, a sales man, someone who can get on their bike and make it happen. There are a ton of ideas and real world applications. For the vending machines find out who is a technology savvy bottler of any one of these new modern age drinks. JV with them to make these vending machines, replace UPC codes with DASH QRT codes and stick a few anywhere that they can be seen.

For the big picture of stores, supermarkets and resturants other I suspect you will have to build your own backend to convert in real time DASH to FIAT to make it of interest to them. Look at Coinkite and their POS terminals and set up for that perhaps. Create and inventive for the vendors, a discount or bulk rate or even some donation to their favorite cause. For the customer, using it all, the quickness or to DASH in and out is already there. There is nothing worse than standing in a line in a grocery store waiting to pay for anything, getting the bill at a reasturant and waiting for the terminal to connect print out and be given to you.

Speed is of the essence in today's workd. Time is money.

Thats all.

:)

Thanks.
 

InTheWoods

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This is the whole point of this project. They WILL find merchants. It would be even better if the merchants can sell Dash to people as well, either via ATM or that new concept thingy, where any device can be turned into a Bitcoin ATM. In fact that could be one of the projects they can implement for Dash as part of the whole system.
What do you think will happen when a merchant is initially skeptical about implementing Dash? How do you think Camo will react to that? If he'll just pull a tantrum and call the guy an idiot for not seeing the light we can RIP this project right here right now.
 
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InTheWoods

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Will you be able to coordinate this project alone? Because it doesn't seem that camosoul is on board. He said he downvoted this proposal with his own nodes...
Camo really is a drama queen. I found the post you were referring to https://dashtalk.org/threads/budget-proposal-vendor-experience.7838/page-7#post-81615

So basically the community didn't feel quite alright with the idea and he took his toys and bailed out. Solarminer seems to be all alone in this since Camo graciously left the building. There is already a strong split between these two guys that were supposed to work together and project hasn't even started yet.

Should we just vote this up so that Camo's feelings won't be hurt or perhaps vote it down since he did that himself?
 

Solarminer

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Camo is just making a point...yes dramatically. We worked together on the Dash N Drink and Camo did a lot of work at the last minute to pull it off. It turned out great. So yeah, he was expecting a pretty big ah ha from everyone without all the questions. Vote on the concept, the idea, the proposal. If we don't perform, then vote it down. But I certainly think we will make some huge advances and impress everyone like we did with the Dash N Drink.
 

InTheWoods

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Camo is just making a point...yes dramatically. We worked together on the Dash N Drink and Camo did a lot of work at the last minute to pull it off. It turned out great. So yeah, he was expecting a pretty big ah ha from everyone without all the questions. Vote on the concept, the idea, the proposal. If we don't perform, then vote it down. But I certainly think we will make some huge advances and impress everyone like we did with the Dash N Drink.
* I see you haven't changed the project duration and that's a deal breaker for me. I think there is a psychological aspect to down voting later on. Most people will be focused on the latest news not on an older project, which is why down voting won't happen the way it should, not to mention not many are even aware that's possible. I think you need to break it down into phases. Duration is way too long.

* Are you planning on starting an LTD or just work with merchants on behalf of the Dash foundation? How will you go about it?

* Camo said he bailed out. What makes you so sure he's still into it? Did he change his mind?

* Camo would be best suited to do the grunt work not to actually talk to merchants. Won't you agree?
 

Solarminer

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* I see you haven't changed the project duration and that's a deal breaker for me. I think there is a psychological aspect to down voting later on. Most people will be focused on the latest news not on an older project, which is why down voting won't happen the way it should, not to mention not many are even aware that's possible. I think you need to break it down into phases. Duration is way too long.

* Are you planning on starting an LTD or just work with merchants on behalf of the Dash foundation? How will you go about it?

* Camo said he bailed out. What makes you so sure he's still into it? Did he change his mind?

* Camo would be best suited to do the grunt work not to actually talk to merchants. Won't you agree?
The voting system has been explained many times. Projects can be downvoted if they are not succeeding or if you want them to stop. Is your concern really that other masternode owners won't know how to do this?

This isn't planned to be a profitable enterprise that needs a company umbrella.

I communicated with Camo outside this forum. We are good.

There will be a lot more people than just Camo and myself that will be working on this project. I am not going to promise who gets what job.
 

InTheWoods

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Since the project duration is VERY long (8 years) the price of Dash could theoretically go up a lot. You could end up with a big chunk of money on your hands. How will the money be managed in this context? Which one of you gets to hold the all the funds? Will we see a clear transparent breakdown of all the expenses to figure out how the money was actually spent?

I think for such a long term project you would need a $USD budget not a Dash budget.
 

GrandMasterDash

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I can imagine how this goes.... a couple of years down the line, a new business will appear, it will have a truck full of contacts and experience, it will be making a profit, and all thanks to financing from the dash budget.
 

GreyGhost

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Solarminer

Since the project duration is VERY long (8 years) the price of Dash could theoretically go up a lot. You could end up with a big chunk of money on your hands. How will the money be managed in this context? Which one of you gets to hold the all the funds? Will we see a clear transparent breakdown of all the expenses to figure out how the money was actually spent?

I think for such a long term project you would need a $USD budget not a Dash budget.
This is a well-thought out argument.

While these guys, proposing the “Vendor-Experience“ project do deserve a lot of kudos given the success of the Dash N Drink, such a long-term proposal almost makes no sense and leaves an underlying impression that it might even be a tad sneaky. (everyone would forget about it once there are many, many projects and the DASH is over $100.00 per unit. If this would be the case, a $72,900.00 a month for what they describe as a "not profitable undertaking.")

Well, at the end, unless you're in charity, everything revolves around profit so all these holes in the proposal leave a bit of a bitter taste in mouth. I think this could've been avoided. Maybe they just need to re-write and re-submit the proposal, not making it insanely long (yeah, we all know it can be down-voted but if the people argue against such a time-frame it is obviously an obstacle) and even, if it is longer than several months, peg it to the U.S. dollar.

As it is, I would not vote yes, no matter how much I respect both Camosoul and Solarminer and their contributions thus far.

Just my 2 cents. Shrug them at will...
 
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InTheWoods

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I can imagine how this goes.... a couple of years down the line, a new business will appear, it will have a truck full of contacts and experience, it will be making a profit, and all thanks to financing from the dash budget.
I guess this is your full argument as taken from the dashwhale, assuming you're using the same username.:

Anyone voting yes is setting themselves up to be robbed. In two years time, a company will appear. It will have plenty of contacts and experience and it will be making a profit... all thanks to thanks to financing from the dash masternodes
 

David

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Solarminer, thank you for the revised proposal. It is very thorough and well-written.

I have to be honest; I initially voted "yes" on this proposal. At the time I voted, it was 0 yes / 14 no. I literally provided the very first yes votes, since I was online when you posted the proposal and fastest on the trigger. I have to admit, however, being the type of irresponsible masternode owner that Camo dislikes; I did not check the duration of the proposal before voting. After much consideration, I changed my votes to "no."

I think this is a brilliant project and I think it's something that's necessary. I would love to fund it, but I simply cannot vote for something that will endure for 99 months.* That's too long, and too much will change by then. If we are lucky, the price of Dash could easily exceed $1000 by then...if not more. In eight years, Evolution will have been fully deployed for about 5-6 years, and the potential is endless.

Yes, we can always vote it down, but a rudimentary understanding of psychology will show that it's much more difficult to get people to vote no to something that they once approved. See my comments on the other thread about how taxes (rarely) get repealed once passed. If you don't believe me, read up on the endowment effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect). People also do not like to admit that they are (or were) wrong, and many will refuse to change their vote out of pride. Even if you yourselves eventually decide to move on and ask people to shut down the proposal, it could take months to rally enough votes for that. I'm sure you would return any monies received during that time, but to whom? How can you repay the blockchain?

Camosoul is very smart and very capable. Frankly, he's probably brilliant. But his comments over the last couple of days have been extreme. He may very well have just been trying to make a point, but when one of the proposers of a project asks me to vote it down because he won't be participating any longer, I take him at his word.

More than this, though, is my concern over the duration of the project. I could support six months, or even a year. But 99 months with the stubborn (and disingenuous) assertion that we can vote it down anytime we want--that is simply too much for me. Eight years is a long time for anything, and both of you could have long moved on to other projects by then. Look at how rare it is for people to spend eight years in the same job!

It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: if this proposal passes, I will stand behind you 100%. I believe in democracy and majority rule, and I believe that both of you are extremely capable people who can do a lot for our ecosystem. Best wishes!

*I realize that Core Team and Public Awareness are funded for 99 months currently. I'm not necessarily thrilled with the duration of those, but as Evan is the curator of those funds I can accept it. I realize this may not seem fair, but it is what it is.

P.S. I categorically despise any accusations or implications of malfeasance that may have been directed at you. I think that both of you are among the most trustworthy members of the community, and I realize how hard it is to budget for complex projects. I have no doubt that you lost money on the soda machine. I have no doubt you would spend any money you get from this proposal wisely. Anyone who says otherwise is either naive, misguided, or a fool. Anyone who impugns your integrity is simply a fool.
 
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GreyGhost

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Every word ddink7 (David, above) wrote is spot on.

This is a great, needed project but simply does not inspire trust in people, the way how it's been outlined, which is really said, given that both of you seem trustworthy and the community really owes you gratitude, if for nothing else, for the Dash N Drink. I wish I was smarter and able to provide an idea for a way out of what seems like an impasse.

Can't you just break the project down in phases and ask it to be funded a phase by a phase? After the Dash N Drink and say Phase 1 you'd have a great track record and the people will be happy to support you.
 
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GrandMasterDash

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I guess this is your full argument as taken from the dashwhale, assuming you're using the same username.:

Anyone voting yes is setting themselves up to be robbed. In two years time, a company will appear. It will have plenty of contacts and experience and it will be making a profit... all thanks to thanks to financing from the dash masternodes
Yes, because I saw the yes vote rising and I suspect they've either been bullied into it or they're not all reading this particular thread.
 

InTheWoods

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Every word ddink7 (David, above) wrote is perfectly lied down.

This is a great, needed project but simply does not inspire trust in people, the way how it's been outlined, which is really said, given that both of you seem trustworthy and the community really owes you gratitude, if for nothing else, for the Dash N Drink. I wish I was smarter and able to provide an idea for a way out of what seems like an impasse.

Can't you just break the project down in phases and ask it to be funded a phase by a phase? After the Dash N Drink and say Phase 1 you'd have a great track record and the people will be happy to support you.
3 to 6 month long phases should do the trick. Enough time for people to get a sense of how things are going and for the project to show some results.
 

GrandMasterDash

Grizzled Member
Masternode Owner/Operator
Jul 12, 2015
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Imo, the bullying was a distraction. Effectively, they want to be paid to build contacts and experience into a pretty much untapped market. I don't expect them to do that for free, but then I don't expect them to keep all the profits once they've figured it out at our expense. Unfortunately, I don't think many people here have the experience to see this.
 

TanteStefana

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Foundation Member
Mar 9, 2014
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Quoting aigeezer from BCT here because he put it so well, why I feel we need to do this, and do it as a CORE project:

I have come to the conclusion that adding Bitpay or other intermediaries is a toxic step in crypto-evolution, partly because it extends the life/utility/appeal of fiat indefinitely and - despite first impressions - it actually works against crypto progress.

My moment of enlightenment(?) came when I tried to renew a VPN contract and pay with crypto. The VPN provider's payment button redirected to Bitpay. A glitch resulted in Bitpay acceptiing my crypto payment, and the VPN provider (merchant) saying they did not receive it from Bitpay, that they had no leverage with Bitpay but that I should "reach out" to Bitpay to try and claw my payment back (so I could pay it again). Grumpiness aside, my takeaway was that if you value crypto as a privacy-enabler, then such privacy is at risk if you have to engage with the intermediary in a transaction, Bitpay in my example.

Bitpay and its various equivalents have genuine appeal, especially for merchants, but they subvert the peer-to-peer essence of crypto transactions and, in effect, become one more PayPal overhead.

That said, I take no position on the vending-machine++ funding proposal. My comments are about the general case of intermediaries in crypto transactions and my suggestion is that crypto design structure should always thwart the use of intermediaries, despite arguments from ease (I get it) or the temptation to grow markets (I get it).

Put another way, I value DASH over [btc] partly because it more closely embodies the peer-to-peer model that was once normal in fiat. Adding an intermediary to any crypto subverts that peer-to-peer model, as I just learned the hard way when a transaction went awry - up to then, I was fairly pleased with the one-click convenience of intermediaries such as Bitpay. I had lost sight of my goals, blinded by ease of use.