eWallet: UK Fiat-Dash Exchange - Update Thread

AshFrancis

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Do you think a dash price chart on the dashboard is best suited to your customers? Or might it better to show the customer's monthly buying and selling?
Thanks for the feedback - It's a good point. We've based the initial layout off of Coinbase and whilst they do many things right they're far from perfect. We'll be developing all of these as react components so we'll be able to shift them around as necessary (at some point maybe even giving the user the power to customise their dashboard).

In terms of the feedback we initially were reaching out to people with questions as we went but our thinking at the moment is as we're revising and reiterating a lot of what we're doing it makes sense to compile a feedback survey for users to complete in their own time towards the end of the initial build which will inform our layouts & offering a bit more.

On this one though, what do you think the most important components would be and what order should they be in? Here's our list thus far:

Transaction Record (Line graph)
Transaction Record (List format)
Account Holdings (Dash/Gbp, Line graph)
Account Holdings (Pie)
Account Holdings (Static Info)
Dash Value Tracker
Dash Conversion Tool
Purchase Widget
 

AshFrancis

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Also, video update time!


Really do appreciate any feedback you guys can give us whether that's in design, functionality, approach or otherwise.

Marketing Strategy
Insight into what we're doing, including a little about why and how.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gQ12kMQoX6ahfSbJBebaqdZYWPActG8sfjWLvIOEmX0/edit?usp=sharing

Public Spend Sheet
We're logging our expenses publicly, only thing that differs to the private info is the private info has invoices attached (with personal info on them) - we're happy to show all invoices to Dash Watch or in private as we're completely open.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XQvoacJyY-JOz7iIs1IbcE74u5hca4eQeGX6Fw2TBME/edit#gid=0

System Spec
Alex's initial spec of the system and how the various moving parts of it work, we're happy to help others operating in this space and provide more insight to anyone that it would help.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Xe1QLCgO4zLMYbtBuJJ9fbDLaQNPFnJGwLmJ0KEi18g/edit

Latest Dev Update
With an upcoming front-end demo and potentially a slightly advanced beta launch Alex has provided his first developer insight highlighting where he's up to and the next steps:

Hello all,

With two months of full-time work into the eWallet exchange application, it's time for the first update from the development team. That's just me for now due to budget constraints. Despite that, we've made good progress all round. Here's a rough breakdown of the aspects:

- Application scaffold
- Exchange rate aggregation from numerous sources
- Identity validation document upload with manual verification
- Rough exchange browser application (built with react)
- Bizops browser application
- Integration with a dash node running on the test network
- Partial integration with two credit card processors
- Utilisation of the amazon simple email service

While the actual code isn't production ready at the moment with very few tests, the above provides the full flow of functionality when using the testnet and payment sandboxes.
This means a test user can:
1) Visit our development version of the exchange site.
2) Request a new order for dash.
3) Receive a responsive email with the link for identity validation.
4) Upload KYC docs and wait for confirmation email.
5) Make a test payment with fake card details.
6) See the dash client notification that the transaction has been submitted and is awaiting blockchain confirmations.

The next month I'll be working through refactoring areas of the codebase which are not very maintainable, writing tests, focusing on how all the various errors will bubble up to the user with well written responses - essentially a lot of sanding down the rough edges and generally trying to bring it to you as a high-fidelity demo for your feedback.

We were in two minds whether to host what we have so far on an aws instance so you could have a play and recieve some test dash, however the current UI was created purely for testing.

We'd rather manage expectations for now by showing you what it will look like without functionality as opposed to a usable demo without sleek and sexy asethetics.

So that's it for my first write up, thanks for reading.

My next scheduled update will be at the end of June along with a useable demo before the August full launch.

Stay tuned,
Alex.
 
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GrandMasterDash

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Hmm, tough one, but my thought is, though this is meant to be a fiat-to-dash exchange, I think a more bank-like experience is preferable. Therefore, I would go with monthly bar charts instead of line charts. I also think, a dash value tracker is not that important. I mean, great to see while the value of dash is going up, but off-putting when it's going down. I imagine the user already has a sense of why they are buying or selling dash.

Preferred order:

Account Holdings (Static Info)
Account Holdings (Pie)
Purchase Widget (collapsible?)
Dash Conversion Tool (collapsible? please elaborate)
Account Holdings (Dash/Gbp, monthly bar chart)
Transaction Record (List format)

Not sure about:
Transaction Record (Bar / Line graph)

Would keep off the dashboard:
Dash Value Tracker


Thanks for the feedback - It's a good point. We've based the initial layout off of Coinbase and whilst they do many things right they're far from perfect. We'll be developing all of these as react components so we'll be able to shift them around as necessary (at some point maybe even giving the user the power to customise their dashboard).

In terms of the feedback we initially were reaching out to people with questions as we went but our thinking at the moment is as we're revising and reiterating a lot of what we're doing it makes sense to compile a feedback survey for users to complete in their own time towards the end of the initial build which will inform our layouts & offering a bit more.

On this one though, what do you think the most important components would be and what order should they be in? Here's our list thus far:

Transaction Record (Line graph)
Transaction Record (List format)
Account Holdings (Dash/Gbp, Line graph)
Account Holdings (Pie)
Account Holdings (Static Info)
Dash Value Tracker
Dash Conversion Tool
Purchase Widget
 

Moquaio

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Hi again chaps,

Hope you have had a chance to look at our Marketing Strategy Doc (if its of interest to you!) We are all hard at work (or well Ash isn't right now, he is on holiday in Canada!) on our deadlines, sadly we are a little behind schedule at the moment, mainly due to our lower than expected budget, but we are pushing to get everything completed as soon as possible.

We are now working towards our June deadlines but will also be finishing up some stuff from May that is still outstanding!
 

Moquaio

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Time for another update!

Firstly our apologies for not posting last week's update, we were in Dublin at Moneyconf meeting with the other teams and some of the Dash core team.

Over the past couple of weeks we have been working on various areas of the site, we have numerous articles that we hope to be pushing to our live site soon covering many aspects of cryptocurrency and Dash.

Our marketing plan, as outlined in the post by Ash is now live hopefully by the end of the month we will have some results to look into.

Alex is working on various aspects of development and will be putting together an update for next week.
 
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AshFrancis

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Another Monday, another update!

Quick reminder to take a look at our public expenses doc if you haven't already:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...07157016563726375232&usp=sheets_home&ths=true

Not much to update today as we're gearing up to launch a few of things by the end of the month, however next week you can expect:

- A development update from Alex along with recordings of him using the application (awesome)
- A video of my face updating you on everything thats been happening this month (still pretty good)
- Marketing data on our initial test... (It went pretty well, but with optimisation could be a fair bit better)
- A peak of our landing page to complement our launch version - this will be for queries like 'how to buy Dash' and some affiliate / partner referrals
- Some more bits and bobs (customer support info, some articles, videos, etc)

Side note, I thought I'd posted but thanks @GrandMasterDash - we'll put as much of that into the launch app as possible.

Cheers,
Ash
 

GrandMasterDash

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Quick thought.. do you think perhaps it would be better to market it as eWallet.uk instead of the legacy .co.uk? Obviously both domain suffixes should point to the same place, but I mean in terms of marketing. It's true not many people have switched to the newer / shorter extension, but personally I prefer the shorter extension.
 
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AshFrancis

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Quick thought.. do you think perhaps it would be better to market it as eWallet.uk instead of the legacy .co.uk? Obviously both domain suffixes should point to the same place, but I mean in terms of marketing. It's true not many people have switched to the newer / shorter extension, but personally I prefer the shorter extension.
Good suggestion - we did consider using the shorter TLD. As you point out, in terms of awareness its just not there yet - I also prefer the shorter extension and I'm sure in time it will be more utilised as larger brands make the switch. Trust is key for us and a lack of awareness of the .UK top level domain and trust that is associated with .co.uk (all major UK banks for example) makes us feel its not quite right for us just yet.
 

AshFrancis

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Test Marketing Update
Due to the dip in Dash/GBP pricing we've had to scale back our marketing test substantially, however we have got some good insight from these campaigns.

We ran both generic and precise google search campaigns on Dash related keywords (some knowledge based, some with buyer intent) using keywords like:
[what is dash]
[dash cryptocurrency]
[buy dash]
[buy dash coin]
[buy dash cryptocurrency]
....
in total there were around 30 keywords used, nearly all used exact matching but with a couple of BMMs thrown in.

We also ran some generic ads on +dash to see performance on such generic terms.

So, what did the results look like?

From £137.30 ($180) spent we received 184 clicks (CPC of about £0.75 - $1)

This resulted in 47 partial conversions, meaning the user clicked either:
'Log in'
'Open My eWallet'
'Get Started Now'
'Open My Account'
Each of these trigger a pop-up box asking for an email address

Of these 47 partial conversions, we had 19 full conversions, meaning the user provided their email.

That shows pretty good intent to convert and we're surprised at the email signups, though some of them may be fake or repeats. Our list isn't exactly massive (at about 30 emails now) but its nice to see some interest coming in and the intent of users to buy / sign up from Adwords conversions.

So cost per conversion of about £15 / $20.

With some CRO work (and the site actually live) we think we can bring this down considerably, obviously an email conversion is very different from a purchase but its still a positive signal and we're happy with the performance of this campaign. Once we're live we will be doing a lot more varying marketing tests from content discovery networks through to paid placements on industry sites (CMC / CoinGecko / Etc.) to find avenues with really strong return on ad spend.
 
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AshFrancis

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Landing Pages
As I mentioned above, landing pages are going to be key for a lot of our campaigns, they'll allow us to send customers through to high converting pages without distractions, we'll also be able to rapidly optimise them for specific campaigns to drive a really high conversion rate.

The other consideration is for referral traffic and affiliates, we want to empower them to give them choice where they send traffic too, it could be that for the conversion link they're using they want to go to a very specific niche page (for example, they want to send traffic to a masternode page as that traffic is high-value investors looking to buy into masternode ownership)

To rapidly develop these landing pages we'll be working both 'on-platform' with our marketing site as well as using Unbounce for some smaller campaigns.

One of the best ways to increase conversion rate is to reduce distraction, for the core of our platform we want to serve a lot of use cases (beginners through to experts) so have to provide things like navigation links and blog posts, however for landing page traffic they may already have shown intent to purchase so you don't want to send them distractions.

We've modified our theme code slightly to allow for any page on the site to have a 'distraction-free' view, effectively giving any page the ability to act as a landing page. This speeds up development but also adds rigidity with the theme so we'll also be creating 'off-theme' landing pages.

To put this into context, here is the homepage as it might look to an advert visitor:
https://ewallet.co.uk/?utm_medium=adwords

We've yet to decide on all the components we want to filter out and this will change as time goes by, but here's a fairly well optimised landing page off the bat as an example:
https://ewallet.co.uk/example-landing-page/?utm_medium=adwords

Worth noting that as per our original proposal, we're logging all referral traffic info using UTM codes - this all gets passed to the application and the data from this can be aggregated and made anonymous to provide insight to marketing partners as well as perform a core function behind our affiliate program whenever that comes into place.
 
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Moquaio

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Hi again chaps

Ash will be putting a video update online tomorrow outlining our progress for June and our aims for July.

Over the past week, as you can see from the above, Ash has been working on setting up our landing pages for when our website and marketing campaigns go live, please see his post above for further details on this!

Alex has made significant progress with the back end of the site and is working on our integration with payment processors and the Dash test network and hopefully will have an update for you shortly!

Ta!
 
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AshFrancis

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Developer Video Update & Monthly Update

Hi guys, instead of Alex providing a text update we wanted to give you something a bit more visual so we've included a video update from him in our monthly update video for June:


Loads of stuff happened in June from going to Moneyconf and meeting the Dash Core team as well as Kuva & Dash Racer - great bunch and some really interesting insight, demos and more. We've also been hugely busy in our various areas, from creating marketing content, running a marketing campaign, developing our application (front and back) and sorting out banking & compliance related bits. We're full steam ahead with our goal to launch as soon as possible.

For July we're hoping to show you even more, put more bits public and we'll keep you updated along the way.

Thanks for watching!
 

AshFrancis

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Hi everyone,

Following on from last weeks monthly update (watch it if you haven't - it even has a demo!), we're super busy working on the public demo and more work all round on the application (design, build testing, error logging, security work) as well as marketing bits (Organic SEO & PR stuff mostly, I'm trying to figure out a launch plan to tie in with PR work but the current market isn't particularly conducive to this) and business bits (more banking stuff mainly, some legals & compliance, GDPR bits too like user data storage & agreements with Amazon / Google).

As per our proposal, we're gearing up for an August launch for V1.0 (Dash purchases by GBP via debit card) and we're still on track for this so feeling pretty good about everything, however with that launch date all of our deadlines become that much more important and the pressure is really mounting (as if it wasn't already enough!).

We look forward to updating you more throughout the month :)

Cheers,
Ash
 
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AshFrancis

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Time for another brief update,

Work is coming along nicely, last week we did some more internal testing of the flow and made some slight refinements. One of the key things is getting the new UX in as that's going to be key to user on-boarding. At the moment our flow looks like this:

Step 1: Initial Purchase Intent
The user chooses an amount of Dash to purchase (or GBP to spend) and that transaction is locked in for 15 minutes. They will then receive an email to allow them to proceed with the transaction. By using this email step we're verifying their email is correct and we have a point of contact for them. As part of our back-end system we associate all transactions with an email - the user will have a full transaction history and we'll be able to build up their account gradually.

Step 2: Identity Verification
The next stage is for the user to verify their identity. They only need to do this once as we associate the verified identity with their email / banking details. This will consist of uploading photo's or taking photos of ID, proof of address and a selfie. We aim to turn around verification with 5 working minutes. Once verified the user will receive an email allowing them to complete their purchase.

Step 3: Payment Stage
Finally the user can now enter in their card details and they will be charged. The Dash payment can then be remitted almost instantly from this stage but initially we'll be putting some manual verification in place.

Question time!
We're tempted to switch around Step 2 & Step 3 and we'd like your thoughts. Our theory is that if the user has already paid it allows us to be less vulnerable to price volatility, and it also means they are more likely to verify their identity. However it does mean potentially more cancelled purchases / refunds as ID verification is quite a high barrier to entry. We're also tempted to add a small threshold where ID verification is not required (this is still completely compliant) and welcome your thoughts on this.
 

GrandMasterDash

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I realize when it comes to compliance you don't have a choice but, personally, I hate all that email collection and identity stuff. I know I'm not alone. Imo, this regulatory stuff is seriously slowing down adoption. I imagine, the moment you get to the ID / selfie stage, you will get a lot of dropouts.

My 2p - Don't take people's money and then magically require ID, that comes across as dirty behavior. Also, don't put urgency on getting ID done within 15 mins, it would probably lead to more dropouts.

For me, you need to be totally upfront with the requirements. Before they sign up, make it clear what the limits are and what documentation is required for each level of verification.

Btw, what IP range is your email server? I block more than 53K IP ranges, including many microsoft servers and even some mailing services like The Rocket Science Group.
 
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AshFrancis

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I realize when it comes to compliance you don't have a choice but, personally, I hate all that email collection and identity stuff. I know I'm not alone. Imo, this regulatory stuff is seriously slowing down adoption. I imagine, the moment you get to the ID / selfie stage, you will get a lot of dropouts.

My 2p - Don't take people's money and then magically require ID, that comes across as dirty behavior. Also, don't put urgency on getting ID done within 15 mins, it would probably lead to more dropouts.

For me, you need to be totally upfront with the requirements. Before they sign up, make it clear what the limits are and what documentation is required for each level of verification.

Btw, what IP range is your email server? I block more than 53K IP ranges, including many microsoft servers and even some mailing services like The Rocket Science Group.
I agree, it's a lot of friction and definitely slowing down adoption - but it's going to be crucial that we're showing effort to be as compliant as possible when it comes to banking etc. We've been trying to figure out future plans and one consideration was to add a shapeshift/changelly equivalent to our platform at a significantly reduced fee from theirs. Then our users would have the option of paying with GBP or their other crypto (and this other crypto avenue can be opened up internationally). Fortunately this wouldn't require any AML/KYC steps so would be a lot more smooth a process. Also we've developed a fair bit of the functionality required for this for the initial product.

We would definitely inform everyone of the steps involved, but potentially getting that financial investment up front will weed out the less committed and reduce our ID verification overheads - maybe it's something worth split testing.

Absolutely with you on the threshold communication, we'll get that in place for launch.

We're using Amazon SES for transaction emails, we can have a dedicated IP for this to manage / protect our sender reputation. For the beta sign up and some related marketing functions we're using mailjet, we'll be monitoring delivery / open rates for both transactional and marketing emails.

Thanks again for your help GMD :)
 
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GrandMasterDash

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I agree, it's a lot of friction and definitely slowing down adoption - but it's going to be crucial that we're showing effort to be as compliant as possible when it comes to banking etc. We've been trying to figure out future plans and one consideration was to add a shapeshift/changelly equivalent to our platform at a significantly reduced fee from theirs. Then our users would have the option of paying with GBP or their other crypto (and this other crypto avenue can be opened up internationally). Fortunately this wouldn't require any AML/KYC steps so would be a lot more smooth a process. Also we've developed a fair bit of the functionality required for this for the initial product.

We would definitely inform everyone of the steps involved, but potentially getting that financial investment up front will weed out the less committed and reduce our ID verification overheads - maybe it's something worth split testing.

Absolutely with you on the threshold communication, we'll get that in place for launch.

We're using Amazon SES for transaction emails, we can have a dedicated IP for this to manage / protect our sender reputation. For the beta sign up and some related marketing functions we're using mailjet, we'll be monitoring delivery / open rates for both transactional and marketing emails.

Thanks again for your help GMD :)
Yes, AWS is fine as they have a decent spam reporting process.
 

AshFrancis

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Time for some videos!


Oh and the public demo link:
https://exchange.staging.ewallet.co.uk/


In terms of a weekly update, there isn't too much to report that's not in the videos - we're cracking on with everything and whilst there is a slight delay on some of the milestones (I should be posting some more bits in a day or two) we're happy to have all of our milestones complete.

I'm sure you'll all appreciate that as we ramp up to launch we're going to be incredibly busy, we're re-skinning the application and are still refining the user flow, we're identifying issues like the Dash node being out of date in docker which Alex updated and submitted a pull request to core to get updated. We're fixing this issues and pushing on and will still be on track to launch the first version of our platform towards the end of the month.

Thanks,
Ash
 
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AshFrancis

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Marketing Update

We don't need to harp on about this, but we're all suffering the dip in Dash price. This has meant a grand total marketing budget of £0 - not ideal! Our test marketing showed some positive results and we can justify spending on marketing where the costs can be recouped directly and we have data to show that's the case (£2 spend becomes £100 purchase which becomes £2 revenue) unfortunately this means we're banking entirely on initial custom rather than any lifetime custom value - not ideal!

With that in mind, our focus is switching to a more organic approach to marketing, we're offering very low fees and a great user experience so that should hold us through. I've also had some success in PR in the past, gaining significant coverage in major papers here in the UK:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...rong-way-risking-fine-1-000-strict-rules.html
https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/400...y-buses-to-hedges-that-appear-out-of-nowhere/
https://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/you-less-petrol-your-money-13376946

Part of this is leading with great content, our goal is to be an authority on various crypto topics by providing both in-depth articles and useful videos (the InstantSend and Masternodes video are the first of these and are testing grounds, they are already receiving quite a positive response!)

We'll be gradually releasing these articles and journeying into more diverse content as well as re-approaching and extending articles with more depth (often technical depth) where we see fit - our goal is to provide learning at different levels to meet different demand. For example, InstantSend at a top level is just a way to instantaneously transact, however once we go deeper into it we can cover it at a protocol level, the masternode quorum, uses, comparisons vs similar functions, etc.

In addition to this we'll do more direct marketing by monitoring discussions on various channels (twitter/youtube/bitcointalk/reddit/facebook/etc) and taking part where relevant.

We're also looking to the future, in terms of what we can add to widen our remit. One of the first things we can add are crypto-dash pairs, this tied in with an API and our affiliate program could give developers an easy way to add direct purchasing in there wallets. We'll also explore other channels for the program, including pricing & market cap sites and related news media. The Crypto-Dash pairings can be opened worldwide and would operate in a similar fashion to changelly / shapeshift.


Displaying Fees

One of our initial goals is to approach our fees with absolute transparency, not hiding behind our own exchange rate but instead to openly show the real exchange rate and our percentage fee. We're still on board with this and we've explored different ways to communicate that fee throughout the buying process.

Our goal is to have a fee of around 3% initially, this would be illustrated as such:



In time as we secure better banking relations and grow the transaction volume then we would look to lower this fee. The fees also depend on our funding circumstance - if we're funded enough to purely focus on growth then the fees can mostly be mitigated to allow us to focus on scaling.

This 3% fee would only be for GBP -> Dash and wouldn't be the same for crypto-dash fees (our goal is for crypto-dash fees to be less than 1%)

In terms of other fees, we wouldn't have any - this keeps it really simple for all involved.
 

AshFrancis

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Development update from Alex:

Hello All,

In the last few weeks before we launch I felt it was important I gave you an update to let you know what we're working on at the moment. Hopefully you have seen the June update video which includes me walking you through the application from both a user and admin perspective.

Despite the funding depreciation and being unable to take on a front-end developer, we've managed to soldier on and have made really solid progress all round. With the visuals being provided by Ash, the front-end is now being coded by myself as well as the back-end as the sole developer, but as Fred Brooks once said: "What one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months."

You may have seen our public demo, but if you haven't yet, please check it out here:
https://exchange.staging.ewallet.co.uk/

This is running on the testnet and as you go through the process the application will suggest a testnet address (for donating the tDash back to a faucet) though you're welcome to use your own testnet address to see the transaction. We'll also supply you with sandbox credit card details to go through the full process. We've already identified a few issues from this public test and we welcome you all to test it and see if you can break it - better you do that on staging than live!

Our current focus is mainly around fixing any last issues and then polishing the application UX to make it ready to go live at the end of the month. We're launching quietly as we really want to test with a small pilot group of users before we open the throttle on our marketing.

That said, the application has been designed with numerous protections to ensure that there are no issues - currently all transactions and user validation requires manual approval by an admin and we can disconnect the Dash node in any instance where we have concerns.

We've also had a couple of queries come through about this application, so I've put a little Q&A below.

Q: Why do you require photo ID, proof of address and a selfie?
A: At the moment it's important our security and compliance is done at the highest level, we may be able to relax these requirements for smaller amounts in the future and there will be no requirements for crypto-dash pairings when we add those.

Q: Do I have to prove my ID for each order?
A: No, ID Verification is attached to your email address, we're actually creating an account on the back end for each user and in future you'll be able to login and see all your orders and a full dashboard

Q: How long will you take to validate ID?
A: The three of us are alerted by a discord bot and by email whenever there new orders waiting etc, we'll hopefully be able to turn around ID validation within a few minutes during the day time

Q: Will you be adding an off-ramp for those selling Dash?
A: Yes, this is one of our first post-launch goals.

That brings me to future plans, as Ash has mentioned our goal is to add quite a few more features to eWallet as well as open it up internationally. We're looking also at providing further up-stream services through an API - our system could be integrated into Dash wallets which would provide an extra revenue source for developers as well as make it really easy for newcomers to get their first Dash (right within the application)

Thanks for reading, please ping any questions you have my way.

- Alex
 

AshFrancis

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Hello everyone, more of a quieter one after last weeks bigger ones.

As you all know as we harp on about it enough, we're pretty damn busy. Launch is targeted for this month, probably with an initial pilot on livenet with friends & the DAO members that have been giving us feedback along the way. Then we'll open it fully and go from there. Alex had a brief getaway this weekend at Boomtown so now he's feeling refreshed and is going to be pulling some pretty intense hours along with myself and Rich to get everything ship-shape.

I've been reaching out for feedback and direction more and more as we've gone through this process and we've refined that feedback and got a good idea of where we're headed and we're looking to sharing this first version with you and garnering feedback from a wider audience as well as our customers. This is obviously just the beginning, we're committed to this long term and as most things, it will be an iterative process of improvement. We'll add new services, expand our coverage and support other proposals wherever we can.

Thanks,
Ash
 
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AshFrancis

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Afternoon :)

The new UX is coming along nicely, here's a sneak peak for you all:





Alex and I are busy really fleshing out the UX, we've talked to many of you to get feedback and improve the user flow and believe we've refined this to a good point (though there is always more we can do). We're aiming our launch for the end of the month but as with all things I'm sure there will be some bumps along the way :)

Rich is busy writing more content to tie in with launch as well as working on more banking avenues for redundancy.

I'm hoping to give you a bit more of a comprehensive update on everything that's happened over the course of this proposal some time next month, hopefully you can see that this is all coming together now and we're pretty much on scope despite a massively reduced budget! I'm glad we're on track to deliver despite the massive downturn in Dash pricing (our initial proposal was put in at around £600/dash ($765), it is now £116/dash ($148), meaning a current budget of just £2,900 ($3708) per month.

Thanks again,
Ash
 
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AshFrancis

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Dec 20, 2017
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Update time!

We've been doing a small volume and everything is looking good so Alex is focused on adding bells and whistles, refactoring small parts of code, documentation, that sort of thing. We've even got a QR code reader added in so you can scan your phone with your laptop camera or visa versa.

Go live is soon, oh and we're going to the Isle of Man next week to meet some smart people.

I'm working on future plans, including a full business plan, recording more videos, writing more content, refining the marketing site & marketing plans. Had a good call with Fernando too (clever guy) so you should see some related bits from that end to tie in with launch.

Rich is looking into more banking options for redundancy, Europe / NA expansion etc. I've also been looking into living in Canada some more and business stuff over there!

More to come, busy busy busy!
 
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AshFrancis

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More updates, slightly less good unfortunately.

We've gone through 3 payment processors now, each was initially supportive whilst we were building this but once we made the switch from Sandbox to live, the first dropped off. The second dropped off on our first large pilot purchase and the final one had shown support then referred us to their high risk accounts team who said they couldn't accept any new crypto firms at the moment.

We have been offered a settlement account for £2500 ($3250) from a firm that works with cryptocurrency providers but we have very little funds left as we've all heavily invested into this and have done everything we can to not ask for gap funding - despite a heavily bootstrapped budget to begin with. It's frustrating as with our full funding we would have come across this issue months ago and been able to surmount it. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this may delay our public launch somewhat.

Onto a lighter note, we're going to the Isle of Man tomorrow to investigate our options there. The Isle of Man is a self-governing territory that has a 0% corporation tax and strong banking links to the UK. We've been really fortunate to have received an invite from an MNO based there and it all sounds very very well suited to our needs - but we will let you know how that turns up.

We're also in talks with 3 (yes 3!) high-risk merchant account providers, all of which are familiar with cryptocurrency and work with crypto firms. However their fees are considerable so we'll have to factor this in (potentially launching with a higher fee until we can negotiate a better deal or other option.
 

AshFrancis

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Isle of Man might work out, it's home to companies like FinecoBank
We're hopeful, otherwise we'll carry on pursuing those 3 other options and then more from there. We will crack this. D-A-CH have also mentioned support from their bank and we could end up moving into Europe first, though ideally I want to focus our initial launch on the UK.
 
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AshFrancis

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Hi guys, proposal cycle is all done but I'm keen to keep everyone informed. Many of you will have seen me on the 3 Amigos Podcast and I really recommend it if you haven't:


The banking situation is going well, it's looking like all concerns can be resolved in one swoop:

- We are applying to be FCA regulated as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (AEMI). This is being arranged through a third party who specialises in this kind of work.
- We have found an acquiring bank that will work with us whilst our FCA regulation is going through
- We have found a business current account that supports faster payments, but more current account options will be open once we're FCA regulated
- Our acquiring bank are also open to use using their other services including EUR payments, USD payments, GBP/EUR/USD remittance.
- Our acquiring bank is also open to use using their card issuer license later down the line which could translate to us offering instant Dash-Fiat cards (FuzeX / Tenx like functionality)

Obviously there are some lead times on all of this, but we're completing all the requirements on our end as fast as possible and as this is banking related you can bet there is a lot of paperwork, notarising and apostilling.

Thanks,
Ash
 

AshFrancis

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eWallet Update

I'm around most of the time on Discord and have talked to numerous MNOs as well as reported via Dash Watch but it's important we're all on the same page regardless of what channels we're active on!

In the current banking climate, ewallet needs about £20,000 to launch. £12,000 of that is directly in fees for FCA direct authorization (which gets us banking with clear.bank that LBX use) the rest would be used to integrate the clear.bank systems, have a small amount of launch liquidity and a few other necessary expenses. There are a few other avenues we can pursue (and are pursuing) including offshore banks and sub-authorisation under another FCA registered entity. At the moment the treasury is very tight and I would rather pursue those other avenues than add additional strain to the DAO, hopefully to return to the DAO after a brief pilot to acquire proper launch funding.

I don't like to harp on about the funding deficit but it's important to note that without the dip in Dash price we would have come across this issue much earlier and been able to pursue the FCA licensing well within our budget. Unfortunately, it is what it is and we need to work within the current situation.

There is another proposal seeking banking in the UK but their approach is to have lots and lots of bank accounts signed up and go between them for redundancy. This is not the approach we wish to take.

We have all the software built and can modify it as and when we can launch, however to make the most of what the DAO has already paid for (and all the time we've put in and sacrifice we've made!) we're going to be pivoting a fair amount of the ewallet software to Dash Retail:
https://www.dashcentral.org/p/Dash-Retail-1

I'm now based in Canada, my current Visa doesn't allow me to start a business here but I'm sure there could be some arrangement made so that we could launch here. With regards to other countries, I'd welcome any entity looking to start a dash exchange to reach out to myself and we'll see if we can leverage/modify our software to give you nearly everything you'd need to launch (except corporate / acquiring bank accounts!)

Thanks,
Ash
 
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