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Proposal: Business Development - BlockCypher

Discussion in 'Pre + Budget Proposal Discussions' started by Ryan Taylor, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Ryan Taylor

    Ryan Taylor Well-known Member
    Dash Core Team Foundation Member

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    This is a cross-post from https://www.dashcentral.org/p/bsdev-blockcypher-201703

    This proposal funds the integration cost and support costs for Dash integration with BlockCypher, a third-party API hot-wallet service. BlockCypher is not a consumer-facing service, so I suspect many masternode owners may be unfamiliar with the prominence of BlockCypher in the cryptocurrency industry. A prerequisite for properly evaluating this proposal is an understanding of BlockCypher's business and the role it plays in the overall ecosystem of end-user services.

    Daniel Diaz created a post on February 16th explaining more about the industry structure and the role BlockCypher plays. If you have not already reviewed that post, please follow this link to learn the necessary background information to properly evaluate this proposal.

    https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/dash-business-development-strategy-update-feb-2017.13133/

    Proposal details:

    We have been looking for a solution for a hot-wallet API provider for the past few weeks. It has been part of many of our conversations in our weekly team calls. We have evaluated many options to address this need, including the existing service providers, or even running our own service.

    Running an internal service carries many risks. It would expose Dash’s network to reputational risk should any downtime to service level issues be encountered by our API service. It would distract the team from focusing on development of our payment network itself.

    We contacted both Bitgo and Blockcypher (the two largest providers) and have reached a mutually beneficial arrangement with BlockCypher. We believe that an integration with BlockCypher offers many benefits beyond the availability of the service itself in the form of (i) reputational gains of joining Bitcoin and Ethereum as the only networks integrated, (ii) potential to integrate Dash into existing customers (e.g., cross-selling) without changing technical architecture, (iii) faster time to market with an API solution, (iv) service provider preference to work with a single established API vendor, and (v) offering market-leading expertise compared with building our own solution from scratch.

    Who is using Blockcypher?

    Just to give you an idea of how extensively used these 3rd party API Web services providers are, here are some of BlockCypher’s clients: Purse.io, Xapo, Coinbase, Verse, Bitrefill, Sfox, Shocard, KeepKey, Meco, Shapeshift, Fold, Blinktrade, Joystream, Coinify, Coinhako, Netki, Coinprism, Vaultoro, Bitkassa, Abra, Bitquick, Deloitte, Bitpagos, Quid, Volabit, Mexbt, BTCfacil, Bitwage, Coineza, Coinjar, Paxful, OKCoin, Paystand and many more.

    [​IMG]


    Those are only some of the ones publicly displayed on their website, there are actually many more that are not featured.

    What would Blockcypher start offering for Dash accepting services?

    BlockCypher will integrate with the Dash Payment Network and provide the following web services:

    ● Asset API - issue & handle assets on the blockchain
    ● Data Endpoint - place data or a hash on a blockchain
    ● Multiple Address Wallet API - multiple addresses under single wallet name
    ● Multisignature API - multiple signature key management
    ● Payment Forwarding API - forward, consolidate, add commissions to payments
    ● Transaction API - build transactions easily
    ● WebHooks and WebSockets - monitoring & notifications on blockchain events

    BlockCypher will support the current fork of Bitcoin 12.0 for Dash v.0.12.1. Additional support for Masternodes (and InstantSend) are not part of this proposal and will be considered at a later time and will be driven based on BlockCypher’s business customer demand.

    What else is part of the partnership?


    Part of the requirements for this to happen go beyond just covering the integrations costs. We would be going into a more in-depth partnership where our bizdev team would be selling together with the BlockCypher team in all the opportunities that we have accumulated that were missing an API Blockchain Web service provider. So a lot of our focus going forward from a sales perspective would be bringing the BlockCypher team to help implement once a new potential user service says yes to Dash. This should also help offload some of our internal resources, so the business team needs less direct support from Evolution developers.

    The second part of the strategy is for us to approach BlockCypher’s existing clients so they can start accepting Dash. Accepting Dash would become a much easier process for the clients since it would just be extending the setup they already have for Bitcoin. We believe this is a superior strategy than expecting the brand name start-ups to go out of their way to start running Dash-specific infrastructure they are simply not running for Bitcoin directly.

    Finally, BlockCypher is also requesting a commitment from Dash to participate in conferences and events together. For now a tentative calendar could be attendance (with session) and booth at the following conferences, providing BlockCypher with a pass:

    ○ Blockchain 360, Santa Clara, May 16-18
    ○ Consensus, New York, May 22-24
    ○ Money 2020, Las Vegas, October 22-25

    What are the costs of the investment?

    There are three components to the integration costs - Development, Documentation, and Ongoing Maintenance. The development expenses are very consistent with what we've experienced with other services and came in at the low range of the initial estimates thanks to the high compatibility with the Bitcoin code base. Those are expected to be $50,000 USD and BlockCypher has agreed to accept any risks of variance and fix that cost. Technical documentation will also be required and is expected to cost $3,000. Finally, BlockCypher requested funding for maintenance and hosting expenses for the first year to allow time for Dash-related revenue to grow, and this expense is $12,000. Total costs are $65,000 for the integration and the first year maintenance.

    We will request the initial $53,000 as part of this proposal and will submit a second proposal for the remaining $12,000 either this cycle if the budget permits, or next cycle at the latest.

    Additional background:

    An NDA is already in place with BlockCypher and the business development teams are already jointly approaching business leads from both BlockCypher's existing customers and Dash's backlog of consumer services that had previously said "yes" to integrating Dash, but could not obtain API services. These efforts are already yielding results for future services being added to the Dash ecosystem. It is early days, but the evidence so far is that the partnership will be fruitful.

    This project is being led by Daniel Diaz, so if you have additional questions not covered in the original budget request, please direct them to him by tagging them with @Minotaur to ensure he sees your question.

    Requested funding is as follows for the March 5th budget cycle:
    Total: 2447.51 Dash

    Note: Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future business development expenses.

    Manually vote YES on this proposal:
    dash-cli gobject vote-many 7880201c7833acc4496a372b543fb62b3b666094bf85a3167195f0514da43bd5 funding yes
    OR from the qt console:
    gobject vote-many 7880201c7833acc4496a372b543fb62b3b666094bf85a3167195f0514da43bd5 funding yes

    Manually vote NO on this proposal:
    dash-cli gobject vote-many 7880201c7833acc4496a372b543fb62b3b666094bf85a3167195f0514da43bd5 funding no
    OR from the qt console:
    gobject vote-many 7880201c7833acc4496a372b543fb62b3b666094bf85a3167195f0514da43bd5 funding no
     
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  2. JGCMiner

    JGCMiner Active Member

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    @babygiraffe Given the rapid price rise over the last 24 hours, the currently requested DASH is nearly worth $65,000. If the price continues along at this pace can we assume there will be no need for the second proposal?
     
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  3. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
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    Just a random thought.. proposals like this might be better understood by MNOs if they were presented as a video. Perhaps even a dedicated MN YT channel?
     
  4. alex-ru

    alex-ru Grizzled Member
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    A hope that @amanda_b_johnson one day will explain to us this BlockCypher story in simple words - so "even grandmother will understand it". :)
     
    #4 alex-ru, Feb 24, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
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  5. demo

    demo Active Member

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    This proposal refers to an API (Application Programming Interface) . Only a programmer knows if this interface is suitable, and whether there is another (cheaper) that can do the same job. So if you dont know what it is, you have better delegate your vote to your favorite developer.

    I am not a masternode, and I cannot vote in the budget system. The only thing I can do is to rate @babygiraffe 's post.

    I openly delegate @UdjinM6 to rate (or not) this proposal for me. The only bad thing about him is that he is a Dash employee (or slave in the athenian terminology), and maybe his vote is somehow biased or forced by his employers. But anyway, he is both a diligent and a helpfull developer who explained to me most of the things I have asked him (not all of them of course!), so let him rate on my behalf this API proposal.

    This is what you should also do @alex-ru. If you are unable to decide, you should delegate (openly or secretly) your vote to a developer you trust or appreciate.
     
    #5 demo, Feb 24, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  6. demo

    demo Active Member

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    I also discovered some quotes from BlockCypher FAQ you may find usefull to read.

    Dash masternodes have not sufficient uptime, so they need BlockCyphers uptime... Is this the case?

    If additional code has to be written in order to verify, then why not using this code instead of using BlockCypher's code?

    And what if an authority forces BlockCypher to store the private keys? What will they do?

    Why they do not also let Dash community to start for free? Is it free to start for everybody, but especially for the Dash community the starting price is 2442.51 dash?


    You may track the votes of this proposal here:
    http://dashvotetracker.com/history.html?ProposalID=210


    After reading a little more I discovered that the reason why Dash wants to switch to BlockCypher centralized service it is because, although Dash's uptime is ok (you have 4000 masternodes after all!) InstantSend does not work properly.

    So you need BlockCypher's uptime and centralized service in order to provide instant Dash transactions to the customers and to the merchants. There is a cost for this of course, both the small customers and the small merchants that are paying with cryptocoins they are giving their private key to BlockCypher. I dont know whether customers and merchants are forced to give their private key or not. But it is obvious in their FAQ that this is the default operation, so if you insist of doing your transactions without giving your private key to them, you will be like the fly into the soup.

    For the large value transactions/operations, BlockCypher allows you to sign the transactions locally without asking for your private key. Are they doing this by a javascript (which means they can change the downloaded code whenever they wish) or not; Further investigation regarding Blockcypher's tactics is required.

    Also the masternodes, before they decide to vote in favor of this proposal, they should think carefully about their own future.

    If Dash affliliates with blockcypher, then the Dash community will need less masternodes than it needs today. One of the services Blockcypher offers is a service similar to InstantSend. So if blockcypher is implemented in Dash, and InstantSend becomes obsolete, then the masternodes will become more and more useless.

    If the masternodes become useless, then why they should keep their voting rights, and why the masternodes should keep receiving the block reward?

    The Dash community pays the masternodes because of the service they are offering. If this service stops or becomes obsolete, then the masternodes should not have the right to receive rewards, or at least their rewards and their voting rights should diminish.
     
    #6 demo, Feb 24, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  7. demo

    demo Active Member

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  8. tungfa

    tungfa Administrator
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    demo
    STOP spamming !
    edit your posts into one or i will start erasing all others !
    tick - tack ! :mad: in 3-4 hours i start cleaning up here !
     
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  9. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
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    Hey, what is this? - you just started spamming yourself by reposting about spamming. Either you've had a bad day or demo's touched a raw nerve, which is it? It's not good if you're censoring, it will surely backfire, not least because he can just as easily create a new account...
     
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  10. QuantumExplorer

    QuantumExplorer Official Dash Dev
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    @GrandMasterDash Don't worry, there's no censorship, it's more like if you post so much erroneous stuff, try to keep it into 1 post :p. Demo is wrong on a lot of his points and presents them as facts, I'm sure most people realize that so I won't get into it.

    However I'm pretty much against this proposal for multiple reasons even though the majority of the community is for it. I'll explain my reasoning though.

    The first being we are just buying Blockcypher to add us. This is just an initial agreement, and if during the initial agreement they are asking for 50k for dev costs (with no masternode support) I can only imagine how much they will ask for full support. Right now to support DASH their non Masternode integration costs will be so low that I estimate it can take 1 developer 1 week. That's my estimate because I see actually nothing that can be hard to do. If someone wants to point something out to me that can be hard please tell me. Without Masternode support we are bitcoin + dark gravity wave + x11 + different parameters. I wrote the libraries for x11 and dark gravity wave for javascript so that work is already done (Assuming they need JS and not just c++). I really don't know what more there is to do.

    As to the argument that it's worth the 50K just for them to add us. Well maybe for example if we raise our market cap by 1% from this action that's over 1.5 Million dollars right? The negative aspect here is that we delegitimize ourselves. There is so much amazing work being done for evolution. However how does it look that blockcypher supported Bitcoin, Litecoin, even Dogecoin for free but we pay them. It makes us look like we don't have merit to be there by our own technology while we do.

    The third and strongest argument I have against this is that we are selling a distributed API. We shouldn't need blockcypher at all and I'm almost sure that this partnership won't amount to much down the line as they will become obsolete when we deliver on our own promises.

    The argument I see for this is that any client of blockcypher will be able to integrate DASH easier (as DASH was 2 years ago, without any of it's features).

    This proposal will likely pass as 90% of people seem for it right now and I don't have a problem with that. I still thought I should write this explanation of my views for masternode owners to have a different perspective.
     
    #10 QuantumExplorer, Feb 27, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
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  11. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
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    I agree, if I remember correctly, Lamassu went ahead and integrated Ethereum without being paid.
     
  12. TroyDASH

    TroyDASH Well-known Member
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    Subsidizing the integration can sometimes get you to the same place but faster. I'd rather pay them now than wait for them to add us for free after reaching $1B market cap.
     
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  13. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
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    I don't think that's what happened. I think they intentionally delayed dash because they wanted to overhaul their system to accommodate other cryptos including Ethereum.. in which case, I fail to see how it bought time.
     
  14. demo

    demo Active Member

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    I asked a lot of questions.
    Could you please argue for just one of it, the most obiously wrong according your opinion, explaining the reason why I am wrong?
     
  15. TroyDASH

    TroyDASH Well-known Member
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    We didn't pay Lamassu to do anything, we paid gitguild. But this is neither here nor there, I'm not about to defend the lamassu project. The point is, do you really think Blockcypher would be offering to do these things for free right now? I don't think so. This is a way to get a head start on things before the market would otherwise lead to it.
     
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  16. tungfa

    tungfa Administrator
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    just remember
    these are biz deals - it is not about company x need dev y soandso much time to code
    it comes down to how much company x needs to implement dash
    and that is it - everything (pr /marketing, coding, ....) everything in
    that's how big buisseness work - and trydash is totally right - yes payments bringbus the shortcut into "implement now" vs maybe next year
    now is the time to do it
     
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  17. GrandMasterDash

    GrandMasterDash Well-known Member
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    I didn't say anything about Blockcypher, I simply agreed with QuantumExplorer and thought his explanation was reminiscent of the Lamassu project.
     
  18. TroyDASH

    TroyDASH Well-known Member
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    Yeah, I was just trying to point out that the point of comparison (lamassu might have integrated dash/other coins soon anyway) might not apply to Blockcypher.

    (And yes! finally get a chance to use that spelling rating on a truly deserving one. Why do we even have bad spelling as a rating option? Demo, maybe you can create a forum poll about this)
     
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  19. QuantumExplorer

    QuantumExplorer Official Dash Dev
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    I agree that it might be better for us. I just feel dirty making this deal. An analogy is going on a date with your boss to get a promotion. It will help you but is it worth selling yourself for it? In this scenario we are collectively risking getting fucked.

    When I look back on all the deals where we gave a shitload of money to other companies I feel regret more than anything as I can't think of one mega proposal that has come back positively so far.

    Hey demo, for example masternodes becoming obsolete because blockcypher has "instant send" similar to ours. Our masternodes do a lot more than the functionality of instant sending. Also the blockcypher's instant send is far less secure than ours. Masternodes are far from useless because they also will host evolution.
     
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  20. halso

    halso Active Member

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    We've got the budget, so lets use it to grease the wheels and speed things up. Yes, we might get a few dud deals along the way, but thats the way it goes. We are in a race with other cryptos to establish a network effect. We don't have the luxury of being overly cautious. Looks good to me, lets do it.
     
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