Proposal: Circus City Sponsorship


Active Member
Apr 27, 2017
Let me preface this by saying that the documentaries of the festival are taking longer to produce than I had planned, partly because the sponsorship paid for them the capture much more footage, so while this is the final report there is still more content to be posted and I will be providing ongoing updates as Lina and I work on spreading Dash to other EU festivals.

Circus City Sponsorship Evaluation

Overall the sponsorship has added value to both Circus City and Dash, withing Dash branding reaching an audience of 200,000 people, 179 wallets installed for first time user, and the possibility of a lasting a legacy in the form of a network of festivals across the EU accepting Dash.

Dash Help Desk Evaluation

The most important aspect of the sponsorship for me was the creation and staffing of the Dash Help Desk (DHD) at the festival hub. The help desk was open 10:00-23:00 Monday to Saturday and 10:00-18:00 on Sundays with at least two members of staff present to introduce Dash to artists and the general public.

Over the course of the festival the Dash Help Desk engaged directly with 250 people, explaining Dash to them and installing phone wallets where possible. The festival team spoke to a further 500 people about Dash in relation to the sponsorship.

In their conversations the DHD staff would find out what each person knew about cryptocurrency and ask them if they had heard of Dash before so that we could tailor our interaction to their level of understanding.

Of these 250 people only 4 had heard of Dash, these were all members of the public who labeled themselves as cryptocurrency investors, the rest all heard about Dash for the first time from us. Of the 4 people who had heard of Dash none of them knew about the significant features of the network i.e. governance, instantsend, privatesend, masternodes.

30% of people had heard of bitcoin although often only in the vaguest sense and most of these people did not recognise the word ‘cryptocurrency’, they would usually report having a friend or relative who was ‘into bitcoin’ otherwise their association with bitcoin was entirely negative: connecting it only with illegal activity.

An important part of introducing people to Dash for us was informing people about the functions of money, to give them a framework with which to understand this technology. This is elementary stuff to anyone in the cryptosphere but it remains rare knowledge in the general population. Talking about concepts such as store of value, means of exchange and unit of account was clearly eye opening to many people, giving them the tools to look objectively at the fiat money they are used to and approach Dash with an understanding of the ways it fulfils the functions of money.

We installed 179 Dash exclusive wallets across android and iOS devices in addition to giving artists without compatible phones paper wallets. In each case this was part of a process of explaining Dash to them, with conversations that were often an hour long, as they raised questions and we provided the with answers appropriate to their current understanding. This was not an airdrop but a strategy for engaging people in meaningful conversation, adding value to the interactions we were having about Dash.

These are connections that would never have been made through other forms of advertising, these are not people that could be easily reached or convinced through online marketing, in this way the sponsorship has brought a hard to reach but influential audience to Dash.

We also started everyone off with some basic good practice in securing their Dash: before we would fund their wallet we gave them a booklet to write down their recovery phrase and also had them set a spending pin. This involved explaining the function of these features, with a great deal of emphasis placed on the importance of securing the recovery phrase. We wanted them to feel safe and secure using Dash, knowing that they had all the rights to their funds but also all the responsibility too.

The workflow for creating a new wallet on the iOS wallet was very clear, as it made sure they had written down the recovery seed and set a pin. While the android wallet brings the user immediately to the wallet which is useful for making transactions, I think that the hand holding for first time users in the iOS wallet is preferable with pop-ups that explain each aspect of the interface. A good feature is that the balance is not displayed by default, only appearing when a padlock icon is pressed. This seems like a good feature from both a security and modesty point of view, not everyone wants to show off how much Dash they have when making a transaction.

One very welcome feature of the iOS wallet was the fingerprint authorisation for transactions, whilst I recognise that this is not as secure as a decent pin it makes transactions seamless and is a very welcome feature.

Wallet Issues
Over the course of the festival Jaxx was unreliable at best and unusable at worst, this occurred on both android and iOS versions, with QR codes failing to scan and even valid addresses not working when copied and pasted by the DHD team. Balances would also fail to update and the iOS wallet could not sweep paper wallets for Dash. From the start we discouraged the use of Jaxx because of the more complicated interface and these reliability issues.

We had some extremely negative responses to the Dash wallet. Their system is incredibly slow, insecure and expensive to use with a mandatory network free of 0.01 Dash ($2.50 at the time of the festival). The app is deeply problematic with transaction confirmation taking between 15 and 20 minutes. Worst of all the user does not control their private keys and is thus unwittingly exposed to third party risk. This app is an accident waiting to happen and it makes me very fearful that first time users will have a bad experience that will turn them off Dash. This is compounded by the following issue.

Searching for “Dash” on the play/app stores does not bring you to the Dash wallet, instead you get a long list of random games and very troublingly at the top is often an advert for the app. This means that first time users are more likely to install this as their wallet and they will have a very bad time of it if they do.

The final issue was incompatibility, this is mainly an issue with iOS as designed obsolescence is very much part of their business model. People with older iPhones could not install a Dash wallet whereas the range of android phone that worked was much greater. In these cases we would use it as an opportunity to explain how a paper wallet work and give them one of those.

The most common question we received was ‘where can I spend Dash?’ we pointed towards the merchants listed on and, we also explained the possibility of using a debit card back by Dash that allows you to spend Dash almost anywhere. It was also a really useful to be able to say you can spend it at the bar you’re in. Taking that step immediately meant that they could make themselves familiar with the process of making transactions straight away.

The next most common question was ‘where can I buy more?’ or ‘how do I top up my wallet?’ the answer to this question is both simple and complex. Simple in that you can buy Dash from an exchange site, we recommended and, and complex in that signing up to these services is not trivial. We only completed 3 full exchange sign ups, as this involved the person returning with their passport and documents for verification and us walking them through the whole process. All three people were based in the UK, but they didn’t like the idea of paying £30 to withdraw GBP from so they went with the more complex but fee free workflow for Kraken:
  1. Download Revolut (free £ to € transfers)
  2. Open €uro account with (to fund/withdraw from Kraken)
  3. Sign up and get verified on Kraken.
This process took between 2 and 3 hours to complete from start to finish, but they were then in the position to make fee free purchases and sales of Dash. In the UK it is either relatively expensive to buy and sell on the much thinner market at CEX or more complicated in the case of Kraken to purchase Dash, there are significant barriers to entry, if more people are to use this technology then having Dash integrated into platforms like Revolut or adding the ability to purchase Dash to wallets will represent a huge leap in the ease of adoption.

Using Dash
Empowering people to try Dash for the first time by going through the process of buying a drink or merchandise from the hub was a great experience and this is where we got lots of positive feedback:
  • Transaction speed: even without instant send the phone wallets recognise an incoming transaction almost immediately and this surprised a lot of people. The payments appeared even faster than when they use their contactless debit cards.
  • Ease of use: we used QR codes or bluetooth to share the receiving address, this meant that it was very easy for people to make transactions. This was another point that was remarked on - ‘This is easier than PayPal, you don’t even have to write down someone’s email.’ was a quote from one of the people I helped.
  • People were fascinated to watch the value of their Dash change, for most people this was their first experience of seeing any currency floating in real time. It allowed them to make the leap that this is what is happening all the time to their national currency, they just don’t see it because they are entirely within that system. It was very rewarding to give people this perspective.
  • We sold 400 drinks and items of merchandise using Dash giving us plenty of experience in helping people to make transactions.
  • In addition the bar for the closing party at The Loco Klub installed a Dash wallet and took $260 worth of Dash in one night.


Active Member
Apr 27, 2017
Sponsorship Evaluation: Circus City

For Circus City the sponsorship was hugely beneficial for a number of reasons, it enabled the festival to run a dedicated hub for the first time, in the same location as the Dash Help Desk, generating a sense of community and giving them a public facing boxoffice.

In addition because the artists’ drinks were paid by the sponsorship this allowed CC to be more generous in other areas of hospitality, giving everyone who worked at the festival a much better experience. The sponsorship also paid for greatly extended marketing which served both CC and Dash as both logos were always present on all publicity material.

This sponsorship was deemed to be very risky and experimental by the wider professional arts community, in bringing the sponsorship to a successful conclusion the CC and Dash team have therefore successfully made the case to a much wider segment of the arts world that Dash is a viable alternative to national currencies and a useful technology for transitioning away from physical cash and the costs associated with it.

Speaking about the benefits of the sponsorship Lina highlighted the fact that the CC team and artists got to learn about Dash in a really detailed way. It was also very apparent that the transparency of the funding process was very welcome: in the arts funding choices are often made in secret and the organisations waiting upon decisions are not in conversation with the bodies that fund them. With the Dash treasury process there is transparency before, during and after the proposal, feedback is possible and welcome.

Being able to get the message about Dash across to a wide range of audience members and arts organisations highlighted that the CC team is great at what they do: implementing an audience engagement strategy. Every audience member needs to a communicated with on the right terms and pitching Dash is part of that. Circus City as an organisation now has increased confidence in dealing with a sponsor, because the team found their own solutions rather than following instructions they were able to find the best way to sell Dash to our audience.

It was also great to get a response from two of the content creators in the Dash community with Mark Mason from Dash Force News and Dash Instant visiting us and conducting interviews. For CC the sponsorship felt like Dash was taking a risk with a bit of a maverick idea, with these visits and the response to them online it felt like there was a genuine interest from the Dash community, this felt good because we were trying to do a really good job.

Response to the Sponsorship
The evaluation process for Circus City, required by The Arts Council England will take several months so the team is still in the process of collecting all of their data, however the Dash sponsorship has allowed them to roughly double their audience reach this year. That means approximately 200,000 people will have seen the Dash logo for the first time and in a positive context.

The response was overwhelmingly positive from the general public, the artists working at the festival and the wider arts community. There was a real hype around the sponsorship and having a bar that accepted cryptocurrency. There was a great deal of curiosity from everyone about how Dash works and a desire from the artists to be able to use Dash at more festivals.

The artist involved in the festival loved that they were given Dash rather than drinks tokens which lose all of their value if left unused, quite rightly they regard free drinks as part of their payment and resent losing out on this value because they happen to work hard on delivering their performance rather than at the bar.

The international artists were also happy not being given GBP that would be almost useless to them once they have left the country, at best currency exchange bureaus take 5%-20% when exchanging notes and don’t accept coins, so to them Dash represented a great store of value.

The scale of future integrations could be much larger in GBP value when per diems can be paid in Dash. During CC each artist is paid a per diem of €25-50, this is the common range for festivals across the EU and is paid in cash when they arrive. The artists expressed a desire to receive their per diems in Dash if it was easy to spend in multiple locations. CC also had significant cash handling costs which could easily be reduced using Dash.

The management team behind CC are incredibly happy with the way the sponsorship worked, being able to work with an ethical and liberating technology like Dash allows for everyone to be fully invested in the project. Usually sponsorship in the arts has to balance ethics and finance in opposition so it was a genuine delight to have these aspects of funding aligned.

In a change to the original proposal, where there would have been a short presentation about the sponsorship at a Swedish circus forum, and as a reflection of the increased fiat value of the unspent funds Lina B. Frank (CC co-director) and I will be working together to spread Dash adoption in the european circus industry. There has already been significant interest from a network of festivals across the Baltic region and that is just from our first week of meetings.

Recommendations for Integrating Dash
The proposal process represents significant barriers to entry for most arts organisations in terms of risk, financing the 5 Dash fee and having the capacity to engage with the proposal process. It is highly unlikely that the success of the CC sponsorship will lead to an influx of proposals from other arts organisations. In most other countries it simply would not be possible to receive direct funding from a cryptocurrency because there is heavy regulation of organisations that receive public funding.

For integration to work across a network of EU festivals there needs to be a team with competence in both Dash and engaging the target audience, Lina and I are the leading team in the field in this respect. We are now building on the success of the sponsorship and the positive response from the artists to create a touring network of festivals that use Dash for artists’ per diems and payment.

Following the success of the sponsorship we feel confident that we can help festivals who run their own bars and/or food stalls to integrate Dash into their festival, creating a micro-economy within the festival that serves everyone involved.

All of the currently unspent funds will be used to further this goal, we are at the very beginning of this process so I’d like to end by outlining something of our vision for how this would take place.

Low Cost Practical Integration
The most basic integration would reply on installing wallets for artists and having phone wallets at the bars and food stalls, all with long spending pins only known to the Dash/finance manager and with a record of all recovery phrases kept securely offsite.

This means that funds can only be received and not spent by staff. It also means in the event of a phone being stolen the funds can be withdrawn from that device by using the recovery phrase on a backup phone. If independent retailers are accepting Dash they can choose to receive Dash or the fiat value on a daily basis thanks to me having a fee free way to go between Dash and fiat.

This model for integration is based on the method we used for CC, partly because there was not a viable POS for GBP. Training staff, the managers time and the cheapest viable android devices are the main expenses in this model and the short time frames involved minimise the impact of price slippage.

POS/ATM Integration
Using NFC enabled cards combined with POS such as the ones created by Festy or General Bytes would enable a very smooth experience. Having a 2 way ATM would also enable people to top up their Dash or sell it and receive the currency of their choice. Purchasing an ATM and dedicated Dash POS system would represent significant expense to any one festival but I am looking into the possibility of purchasing the equipment needed with the remaining funding and making it available to festivals who wish to integrate Dash.

In this model Lina and I would pay for the POS system outright, keeping the costs down and enabling the festivals to experiment with using Dash to pay artists with as little friction as possible.

With this model the technical barriers are greatly reduce for the participants as swiping NFC cards is common practice and the festival can easily issue prepaid cards which in turn can be topped up from the ATM, thus answering two of the immediate questions: where can I spend Dash & where can I buy more?

The entire process of this proposal has been a learning journey for me and I have watched the Dash community grow and mature rapidly over the last 6 months as the price has hit new highs on almost a monthly basis.

For me the ultimate goal has always been to put this incredible technology we call Dash into the spotlight and into the hands of people who can use it to change their own lives and make the world a better and more connected place.

I’m happy to say that at the conclusion of the this project that my work has only just started and I am more optimistic than ever about the future Dash is helping to create.


Mar 25, 2016
Congratulations on a job very well done. Great feedback about different wallets on different OS in the field too.


Official Dash Dev
Core Developer
Dash Core Team
May 20, 2014
Great report and awesome job!

In defense of iOS wallet: it's Apple who requires your app to support new versions only and stops accepting submissions to older version when they release new iOS, there is nothing you can do to push the app that supports old versions AFAIK. And at the same time they limit iOS upgrade to new iPhones only, I have the same issue with my old iPhone4 for example, can't upgrade, can't use the wallet. @QuantumExplorer can correct me though if I'm missing smth here :)

re searching "Dash" in AppStore: yep, lots of crazy games in search results :) BUT searching "Dash wallet" does the job and does it much much better, should use this next time.


Active Member
Apr 27, 2017
Yes, it's clear that planned obsolescence is part of Apple's business model to force people to stop using old phones. Thanks for the background info about it not being possible to even provide an app for older phones. It makes sense that this would be their policy.

We always asked people to search for 'Dash wallet' but it's interesting to note that everyone who searched by themselves just searches for 'Dash'.

This is one of the points where new users can be lost just because the wallet app doesn't appear on the most common search term for first time users. I'd recommend the wallet developers to apply for funding for adverts in the App/Play Store to match this behaviour as part of any future treasury proposals.

Right now anyone searching for 'Dash' in Google's Play Store is served with an advert for the Ethereum wallet, which is bad on two counts!



Well-known Member
Mar 5, 2017
Absolutely amazing good job @Syntheist!

Very interesting your feedback on wallet performance for new users. I think the Copay wallet will help a lot with these issues.


Active Member
Apr 27, 2017
Thanks for your support and feedback throughout the proposal @jimbursch, mobile wallets will be key to the real world usage of Dash.

I'm looking forward to trying out the copay wallet, I've been following Chuck Williams' updates in the discord channel.

The Dash Circus Network, as we are calling the continuation of the proposal, has three festivals with a firm desire to use Dash as the currency for their artists' per diems and we are targeting up to 7 more for the first year. Lina and I were working on a plan to travel to each festival with a two way General Bytes machine and provide a seamless on ramp for people using Dash.


Well-known Member
Mar 5, 2017
Dash Circus Network
-- brilliant!

If the Dash Circus Network extends anywhere near Los Angeles, let me know!

This is absolutely a model that can be extended to any creative industry that has a need for a cash payment system -- I'm thinking independent artists and crafts who have traditionally operated outside of the mainstream financial system.
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