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Community Q&A - September 2018

Discussion in 'Project Updates' started by strophy, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. strophy

    strophy Administrator
    Dash Core Team Dash Support Group Moderator

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    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. The submissions for September 2018 are as follows:

    1. Q: Evolution will be a platform and I am worried that we have no marketing initiatives geared towards developers. What is the plan to motivate them to start coding in our new platform?

      A (Fernando & Alexander):
      Developers are one of the key audiences that we are considering in our marketing plan. We will have 6 campaigns we will track, which we presented in our last quarterly: Worldwide developers, Mexico remittances, US cannabis, online gambling, crypto trading, and Venezuela currency. We have 3 user groups we will track and engage: Individuals, Businesses, Developers. We are building open source products for everyone, everywhere (open sourcing the software, publishing extensive documentation, and hosting technical events and webinars).

    2. Q: DCG will find out about the SEC response before the public. If it gets ruled a security, then DCG can't insider trade on the news, but if it gets the green light, is insider trading OK? How will the news be released to mitigate accusations of insider trading?

      A (Fernando & Ryan):
      We agree that taking steps to limit both the risk of real and perceived insider trading opportunities is wise. The SEC’s decision will published on their website directly, so DCG will learn of their decision in this way at the same time as the rest of the community and the general public.

    3. Q: Are there plans to collaborate with other teams in crypto? For example, working to solve a shared IT problem together with one of the Bitcoin Cash teams, or subcontracting IOHK for a particular development task.

      A (Robert & Ryan):
      On several occasions, we have already cooperated with other projects on common problems. For example, we leverage existing libraries from other projects and will make contributions or enhancements to those libraries in the process of integrating them into Dash. We have also collaborated regarding research into on-chain scaling solutions. In certain cases, we are far better off collaborating than attempting to develop these components from scratch. We also plan to use external contractors or very specialized vendors to help us with complex topics like e.g. improvements in company security. We were also considering external experts to professionally audit our code. We have no plans to outsource or collaborate on critical development areas that uniquely differentiate Dash. Likely there would be few opportunities to do so, as we are pursuing a different set of priorities from most leading projects.

    4. Are there specific "high return or high priority" proposals that you are unable to tackle at the moment, but would like to see the community working on aggressively?

      A1 (Robert):
      Our community members created multiple initiatives that we appreciate and admire a lot. Projects like Dash Force News, DACH Embassy, Dash Watch or entire spectrum of initiatives in Venezuela bring a lot of value to our ecosystem. There are also commercial projects like Alt36 or multiple ongoing integrations and they are giving us perspective to have Dash adopted beyond the crypto-industry.

      As a development team of Dash protocol, we don’t want to attach ourselves to fiat world and traditional finance system. At the same time, Dash adoption is a critical part of our growth strategy and we are looking for channel partners to help us grow worldwide. These are mid-size or big companies in the industry, and they are giving us an access to their own clients. As we are unable to work with smaller partners, personally I would love to see more grass-roots initiatives on the community level supporting Dash adoption. Work with existing businesses (similarly to what is happening in Venezuela) or creation of own companies, fiat on- and off-ramps etc. would help us to extend Dash ecosystem on local level.

      A2 (Ryan):
      The DAO has an abundance of projects aimed at education, information-sharing, news-sharing, and websites to make the DAO more effective. These are important projects, and the local knowledge that oftentimes comes with these projects can be valuable at expanding Dash adoption. The DAO would benefit from the addition of local channel partners that are already in the payments space to help drive adoption to existing merchants and users. These could include payment processors, gateways, merchant acquirers, point-of-sales system vendors and servicers, independent sales organizations, loyalty & rewards programs, or even industry associations. A single partner in one of these categories - if done correctly - can help Dash scale its acceptance quickly to a large number of merchants. In addition, more local fiat on and off ramps in markets Dash lacks connectivity would be highly beneficial. The community can play a key role in introducing Dash to these types of services and requesting its integration.

    5. Q: Patents. Suppose the Masternodes concept could have been patented. If we could go back in time, would we have done it? If yes, are we taking serious precautions to patent everything we can before releasing Evolution? If not, why?

      A (Ryan):
      As an open-source project with only a few programmers contributing at the time and no proposal system, the project did not have the resources in early 2014 to fund the patent process. Therefore, even if we were to travel back in time, pursuing a patent was not feasible. These innovations are now in the public domain, so we are under no threat of another entity claiming patent rights over the masternode concept.

      We are pursuing a patent on the collection of major innovations emerging from our current work. Provisional patents were filed in the spring, which will protect the network from patent enforcement actions against us.

    6. Q: What is the status of HD wallets in Dash Core? Last I heard this was pretty much done at the wallet level, but some GUI stuff was still missing for Dash-qt. Will this make it into 12.4? Are HD wallets possible without using the GUI, what about recovery phrases, etc?

      A (UdjinM6):
      There are no planned changes for 12.4. BIP39 mnemonics (12/24-word recovery phrases) are supported in CLI since this functionality was released. Please see version 0.12.2 release notes for more information.

    7. Q: What is the status of Dash Ventures? Is it envisioned that Dash Ventures would be the legal entity holding delivery contracts with proposal owners? Would Dash Ventures manage loans or equity positions if the MN network deems that arrangement is better than a grant?

      A (Ryan):
      Dash Ventures is still being researched. We have engaged local counsel in Cayman Islands to explore the feasibility of the jurisdiction. In the process of confirming our plan, our local counsel recommended a new legal structure that was recently enacted in Cayman Islands law with many advantages over our previously planned structure. As a result, the planned completion date is likely to move from early October to early November, but we think the revised approach may yield several advantages worth exploring. Once the research is complete, the effort required for setting up the legal entities will be trivial. We hope to be able to report a definitive timeline for all remaining steps by the end of this month.

    8. Q: I am worried about consumer incentives for developed countries.
      - On the consumer side, what are the competitive advantages Dash has (or will have) over Paypal, Apple Pay, Credit Card and Debit card?
      - What are some of the planned marketing initiatives to sell these advantages to consumers?


      A (Fernando):
      If we assume that the consumer doesn’t care for decentralization or economics, which is not always the case, it is true that right now there are fewer advantages for those in developed countries who don’t already own any Dash (once you own, most of the obstacles disappear).

      However, not all markets in developed countries are being well served by traditional payment methods. That is why DCG is focusing only on certain niches (legal cannabis in the US, remittances, gambling). The use case for Dash is much stronger in these instances because other methods are unavailable, vulnerable to fraud, or expensive. Once we dominate a niche, expanding to a related use case becomes easier because you already have users willing to spend it elsewhere. DCG marketing efforts will initially be focused within those markets, not on consumers in general.

      A (Bradley):
      Consumer incentives to adopt Dash will be dependent on multiple variables, and as you point out: developed countries will have a different set of incentives because the specific pain points we’re trying to solve is different. Broadly speaking, the value proposition is more mixed in developed markets, because cryptocurrency provides certain benefits (speed, cost, security) at the expense of others (convenience, user experience, purchase protection). For any user group, the net value proposition will need to be greater than that which is being replaced.

      However, not all markets in developed countries are being well served by traditional payment methods. This is why DCG is focusing on certain niches, like the US legal cannabis market, or gambling industry. Here, the legacy payment options are either unavailable, more limited or expensive therefore increasing the value proposition of Dash to the user and business. We will focus in these use cases/industries to experiment, refine and perfect our model with the intent to further export to new use cases/industries as adoption grows. DCG marketing efforts will initially be focused within these industries rather than a general consumer outreach.

    9. Q: A Dash Legal team would be able to, amongst many other things, draft contracts that would protect the network against fraud and draft agreements allowing the Dash Trust Fund to participate on the profits of self-sustained projects. If we are taking risks by funding companies, it's only fair we take a small % on the profits, like any VC investment. We already have the legal entities, it looks like all we need are contracts. Drafting agreements takes time, so I suggest we divide larger proposals into two: one asking if it should be approved, another asking for the actual funds (once the contract is signed). I feel like the opportunity cost of not doing this right now far outweighs the cost of an emergency hiring. Is this being considered?

      A (Fernando & Ryan):
      The Dash DAO Irrevocable Trust is designed to hold assets, mostly DCG shares and IP, not to enter into a lot of mercantile relations. It is simply not designed to hold profit-making enterprises. Due to its structure, it is ill-equipped for distributing profits, and would not be tax-efficient. This is the reason we are pursuing the creation of Dash Ventures - which is being designed specifically for the use case described in a highly tax-efficient manner. Once in operation, it will be controlled by the Dash network also, so the effect will be the same. Separating both makes sense because each of them will be in the optimal jurisdiction based on the requirements (New Zealand for the Dash DAO Irrevocable Trust and the Cayman Islands for Dash Ventures). In addition, Dash Ventures will operate independently from The Dash DAO Irrevocable Trust.

      As for preventing fraud, it is probably not possible to fully avoid it. However, with already available tools (escrow, multi-month proposals) and soon-to-be-released ones (Dash Ventures), masternode owners should be able to protect the network. It is also important to highlight that sometimes proposal owners fail and that is not the same as scamming the network.

      DCG already works with several external law firms for different projects. When we need to draft contracts they do that and we don’t think it makes sense to create an internal legal team and inflate our fixed costs, especially since legal is a wide area and for each thing, you sometimes need a variety of expertise.

      Finally, it is worth mentioning that contracts by themselves are useless. Enforcement of contracts is the real issue. In an international project like ours, with difficult to find and identify stakeholders, and many legal uncertainties, on many occasions the cost of trying to enforce is not worthwhile. It is often a slow and time-consuming process with a significant risk of failure.

    10. Q: In which version / when will mobile wallets support mixing/PrivateSend?

      A (Robert & Ryan):
      During the next few weeks we plan to hold discussions on product strategy (for all products). The PrivateSend topic will be discussed as a part of a broader strategy topic, so this is in the process of decision making. After these discussions, we will be much better positioned to provide an answer to this question, and will aim to provide an update during the next Q&A round.

    Thanks to the community and DCG staff who took the time to both ask and answer these questions! Further discussion is welcome below, and don't forget to submit more questions for October!
     
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