Community Q&A - Q4 2019 Summary Call

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This thread lists questions and answers from the DCG Q4 2019 Summary Call. The first posts contain transcribed answers from the call, and remaining questions will be collected and posted here over the course of the week. Questions are as follows:
  1. Q: Do DCG core developers plan to spend more time engaging with other blockchain experts to discuss things, sharing, learning, feedback and at the same time getting exposure, and understand what the market want? (jleony)

    A (Bob): Great question. I would say that we're doing quite a bit of that already. Most of that is online as we've reached out to developers of various projects. I'd say that we are actively bringing that back - we're comparing what other projects are doing to our approaches, and even taking advantage of some of our libraries and and at the lowest level even algorithms from other projects. So I don't know that we'll be spending "more" time - I think the questions probably posed from the standpoint of: "are we spending enough time?". I think that there's a healthy balance there. We're not doing this in isolation. Despite the fact that we are creating a new product and a new platform and trying to do it in an innovative way, we're not doing it in a vacuum. We definitely want to take advantage of the learnings and the thinking's of other people that are trying to solve the problem as well and we regularly discuss that within our team. So great question and thanks for that.

  2. Q: Will implementation of Tendermint protocol allow crosschain communication and what is our relationship with COSMOS (ATOM)? (AgnewPickens)

    A (Bob): As we announced and as people have dug into the architecture that we've adopted for our initial releases of the Dash Platform, we introduced a side chain. This is something to handle all of the data transactions that are going to happen on layer 2, which is separate from our our financial or financial transactional chain, which would be on layer 1. So we have cross chain communication capabilities that we've built and developed that will allow us to communicate back and forth between layer 1 and layer 2. We're not looking at opportunities right now for cross chain communication into other projects and into other coins. However that flexibility would be in there if we decide to implement it.

  3. Q: For many centralized APIs, the service provider imposes limits on how many API requests a registered user is permitted to prevent abuse. I think that many people will be relying on the DAPI to be reliable for servicing requests. How will the new Evolution DashDrive and DAPI deal with spam and DOS attacks? (MoreEXP)

    A (Bob): We're developing that right now, so we don't have all of the methods implemented on it. It is an issue. We do expect market dynamics and the pricing and the incentive structure to shape this and form this. Obviously, if there's abuse, there should be costs that are associated with it. We've talked about that with what the cost of spam is and how do we stay above that level, and so we'll be implementing similar mechanisms there, but the exact algorithms and formulas have not been developed there. But this is specifically part of what I outlined that that has to be there on both the incentive structures and the security is completely allied with this. So you can expect more to be heard.

  4. Q: How has the testing for Dash Platform been going? Are any dapps being tested at the same time? Is the Dashpay dapp being tested on Dash Platform testnet? Has a timeline been explored for the mainnet release of Dash Platform and Dashpay?

    A (Bob): The testing has been going well. We've been testing it both internally as well as I'd say a small group, a select group of developers outside have been testing it. There's only internal dapps at this point in time, so as far as the initial Evonet release, it is locked down to dapps and contracts that have been created by DCG. So the dapps that can be created on that are either being done on private devnets, which we wouldn't really wouldn't have exposure to, so I can't add to that as far as volume goes. But I'd say the majority of it is around the Dashpay contract and that being a dapp. So it's not being tested on testnet, as testnet is known as our public testnet that all of our integration partners can use. There's real value that gets spent on that, and real expenses to it. So this has been deployed on a separate testnet which is called Evonet, and that's where the development is happening. As far as the the timeline goes: as I mentioned before that is our main focus right now. We're going to commit quarter by quarter to releases. As I mentioned before, we're committing to some time-based releases, so you'll see a greater and greater frequency of those, but the testing so far has been going well. We're seeing usernames created. We do have a new environment so we have a fair amount of work I didn't mention. But all of these phases we'll continue to have stabilization efforts that go into place. Anytime there's a new release obviously things are understood a little bit clearer, so right now we have a fair amount of items that are coming in to ensure the mass their that nodes are operating properly and that the environment is up and running. We'll continue to share a quarter by quarter what the schedule looks like.

  5. Q: Has optional privacy on mobile wallets been discussed as a deliverable? If so, is there a rough date users can expect this functionality?

    A (Bob): Yes, and what I'll call it is "configurable privacy" as opposed to "optional privacy". There's levels to it. Privacy is a right that people need to have, so it's not optional - it's kind of a word I take a little bit of caution with - but the configuration of that has been discussed. It hasn't been set in our roadmap in the wallet at this point in time. (Ryan): The reason for that is the focus on getting Dashpay out as a Minimum Viable Product so that we can begin to enhance it from there.

  6. Q: Will relevant Dash Core members consider putting on a group livestream to talk solely about Dash's marketing/branding/Evo marketing for 2020, and beyond....plus include some community member questions in the livestream? (Critical_Input)

    A (Fernando): We would love to do that. Any more specific ideas of what people want covered would be appreciated to help tailor that to the community needs. But we are happy to do this during next couple of months. There's also some new things in marketing that and the next two questions relate to, so probably those need to be considered too. But absolutely yes.

  7. Q: How does DCG strategy fit into the DCW governance proposal that just passed? (AgnewPickens)

    A: That's still very early on to fully answer. We are gonna be working together, some of us have a workshop next week in Europe, and we'll work on that more. DCG has its own strategy and several markets that Ryan talked about before, so we still plan to be focused on those. But if this co-working proposal and the members in it come up with other markets that the network should be addressing, we will help them addressing those as much as possible, or tackle something ourselves if that is the decision. But again this just passed a couple of days ago and we still haven't held the workshop, so still a bit early to fully answer.

  8. Q: With Dash Force being defunded, does DCG have any plans to fill the void, in particular, the back end work they did? (kanuuker)

    A (Fernando): I believe these refers to all the things that Dash Force or Dash News did besides the Dash News website and writing and podcast and all that. They were involved in a lot of outreach and PR coordination and communication about our business development efforts. They also run Discover Dash, and they helped with a series of efforts. Again, they were defunded last month. We all thought they were going to do a new proposal this month, but a couple of days ago they announced they won't and they are breaking up the group. But the key members have all declared that they plan to stay around, so we are in communication with all of them. Let's see how they can feed into the ecosystem and what they will keep doing and what not. We're talking with them - definitely many of the things they were doing, we will need to do somehow if they don't keep doing them. But the conversations are ongoing, it's a lot of work that was being done that we would need to pick up. We can't pick up everything but there are parts there that definitely will need to be covered.

  9. Q: Our platform developers are great but do you agree that presentations to the general public about the Dash Platform should be done by someone else so we don't get lost in technical details? Or maybe just let Dana present to the general public, not developers?

    A (Fernando): I believe this was asked because of a very technical presentation by some of the developers at the open house. I agree that with certain audiences, it should not be developers. It should be people with a more business-oriented mind and discourse. The reason for that very technical presentation at the open house was that we hoped some developers would join the open house or the live stream, and we wanted to capture their attention. The platform is a developer-focused product, so we thought some technical content was needed. Having said that, for most other audiences it makes more sense that it's not the developers who are presenting.

  10. Q: I thought we switched to just having our existing quality to be the Dashpay apps. Is Dashpay its own new application?

    A (Bob): I can understand where the confusion comes from, because over previous history we had talked about Dashpay as its own product, as a separate new wallet, new source code, different architecture and language. Late last year we did adjust that strategy to take our existing native wallets, both the iOS native wallet and the Android native wallet, and evolve those into providing all of the Dashpay functionality. So it is not going to be a separate product. As you see on the screen designs that we showed today, it is using Dashpay branding on there, and this may facilitate a name change of that wallet when they're actually delivered: from Dash wallet (as they are in the app stores today) to Dashpay or Dashpay Wallet. That detail is yet to be fully defined, however it is not a separate product.

  11. Q: Is a decentralized merchant directory part of the scope for Dashpay?

    A (Bob): I'll answer that in two parts. One on the client-side, in a mobile wallet, would that be part of the functionality? And then also from the platform perspective, Dashpay as a data contract or as a dapp that lives on the the platform layer. A decentralized merchant directory is a perfect example of a dapp to be built on top of the platform. It leverages our payment chain, it leverages the people that are using the ecosystem and the network today. Right now that's not part of a defined scope of work to be built. Merchant features are definitely expected to be added to the Dashpay wallet and the Dashpay dapp. However, something like a merchant directory I think is a perfect example for our community to get involved, and have a race to the finish on that. Saying: now that we see the base capabilities of Dashpay, wouldn't it be great to write a merchant directory type of dapp, that then any wallet could plug into. Because why should Dashpay as a wallet (if we're now talking about the mobile app) be the only one to take advantage of the merchant directory? You'd want not only desktop wallets but also third-party wallets to take advantage of that as well. So it's not part of our of our current roadmap, but definitely aligned with our product capabilities. Maybe one thing I didn't say today which is: this is why we're building it. It's to enhance the community, let the community get involved and build applications and solutions on top of the platform. So I would love to see more of that come from the community than looking and saying to DCG: what else are you doing for us now? By the way, throw throw item number 50 or 100 or 200 on the list, to then prioritize with as we've talked about today with a limited set of funding that's available. So great question, these types of solutions are what keeps us excited every day.
 
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Two final questions that were submitted during the call:
  1. Q: If the MN count causes price moves, why was there a spike in price after dropping 300 MNs in December followed by doubling the Dash price in Jan 2020?

    A (Ryan): There are many many factors that go into price, such as year-end tax loss harvesting, overall market movements, and announcements of adoption. That said, the situation in December supports the evidence that a dropping MN count tends to result in a lower price. During December, the MN count dropped from 4,842 to 4,682. Those liquidations obviously were a major source of price pressure, with the highest drop in MN count occurring from December 24th-27th. It is not a coincidence that the price hit its lowest level on December 27th. Once the intense selling pressure abated on December 28, the price began to recover.

  2. Q: RE shared masternode votes, would these masternode would still have a single vote? Would the minimum to join a shared masternode be 100 Dash? Why?

    A (Ryan): It is technically feasible to develop masternode share voting, but it would require a complete rearchitecture of Sentinel (the governance software). The current software wouldn’t scale to accommodate partial votes for example. This would significantly extend the time to release. I believe that most of the value for users would come from the ability to participate in MN rewards, and voting capabilities would contribute relatively little value to the network in terms of more effective decision-making compared with what we have today. For those reasons, I don’t think it makes sense to include voting capabilities at this time.

    To be clear, we did not propose any minimum to join a shared masternode. Rather, we are advocating for a minimum to operate / manage a shared masternode (the exact minimum is yet to be determined). By requiring the operator of the shared masternode to have significant “skin in the game”, it would help ensure masternode operator incentives were aligned with the collateral providers, namely to keep the masternode online and generating rewards by hosting it in a professional manner. If there was no minimum, an operator could attempt to run a masternode from home and any rewards at all - even infrequent ones due to reliability issues - would be acceptable to the operator. That scenario would be frustrating to collateral providers that get attached to an underperforming shared masternode.