Proposal: Integration With A Flagship Merchant

Ryan Taylor

Well-known Member
Foundation Member
Jul 3, 2014
550
1,649
263
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
This is a cross-post from https://www.dashwhale.org/p/flagship-merchant1

What is this proposal about?

One of our strategic priorities for 2016 is expanding merchant acceptance to give users the opportunity to spend Dash directly, targeting high-value use cases that leverage Dash’s unique features. We are pleased to announce that we are moving forward with implementation at a substantial merchant. An official press release will be coming soon, so I can only provide limited background.

Why should I vote for this proposal?

The merchant is a category-leading privacy-centric service with over one million users. Given the privacy-focused nature of their user base, the synergies with Dash are obvious. Currently, users must make payments using non-private methods. By adding Dash, users will now be able to enjoy full privacy across their entire experience, along with the speed of InstantSend payments (which will be supported as well). It also exposes Dash to a set of customers predisposed to placing a high-value on privacy.

The merchant is a champion of Dash and its many consumer benefits, and will represent what we consider to be a flagship client for our network. As such, we intend to deliver a superior integration to anything the client could have received with Bitcoin.

In addition, this integration will add real-world merchant integration experience to our team, which is already proving extremely valuable to inform the design of Evolution to make it even more merchant-friendly.

What resources are needed?

Rather than using a 3rd party payment processor, we will create a custom payment full-node the client can host internally accessed via a REST API to enable InstantSend payments and additional features they're requesting, to enable full privacy and decentralized payment processing for the client. Secondly, our solution will tightly integrate with the client’s own payments process for a seamless and enjoyable user experience.

This solution will require additional development support. Andy Freer is leading the team responsible. To complete the work, we will need several resources including a NodeJS developer to build the payment node and API. We will also need an HTML / PHP developer to integrate their systems. Members from the Evolution team will also help with the work under the existing core team budget.

We estimate the total funding required beyond the capacity of the core team to be $5,000.

Requested funding is as follows for the July 6th budget cycle:
Total: 603.59 Dash

Note: Should any funding remain after the project is complete, we will reserve those funds for future integration opportunities

Manually vote YES on this proposal:
dash-cli mnbudget vote-many e791a06c0247cca08c2f81f31b54ae92c78a0946bc4002a2bbe58252457b1582 yes
OR from the qt console:
mnbudget vote-many e791a06c0247cca08c2f81f31b54ae92c78a0946bc4002a2bbe58252457b1582 yes


Manually vote NO on this proposal:
dash-cli mnbudget vote-many e791a06c0247cca08c2f81f31b54ae92c78a0946bc4002a2bbe58252457b1582 no
OR from the qt console:
mnbudget vote-many e791a06c0247cca08c2f81f31b54ae92c78a0946bc4002a2bbe58252457b1582 no
 

TroyDASH

Well-known Member
Jul 31, 2015
1,254
797
183
I can't support this proposal without knowing who the hell the merchant is.
 

TaoOfSatoshi

Grizzled Member
Jul 15, 2014
2,841
2,649
1,183
Dash Nation
www.dashnation.com
This is a cross-post from https://www.dashwhale.org/p/flagship-merchant1

What is this proposal about?

One of our strategic priorities for 2016 is expanding merchant acceptance to give users the opportunity to spend Dash directly, targeting high-value use cases that leverage Dash’s unique features. We are pleased to announce that we are moving forward with implementation at a substantial merchant. An official press release will be coming soon, so I can only provide limited background.

Why should I vote for this proposal?

The merchant is a category-leading privacy-centric service with over one million users. Given the privacy-focused nature of their user base, the synergies with Dash are obvious. Currently, users must make payments using non-private methods. By adding Dash, users will now be able to enjoy full privacy across their entire experience, along with the speed of InstantSend payments (which will be supported as well). It also exposes Dash to a set of customers predisposed to placing a high-value on privacy.

The merchant is a champion of Dash and its many consumer benefits, and will represent what we consider to be a flagship client for our network. As such, we intend to deliver a superior integration to anything the client could have received with Bitcoin.

In addition, this integration will add real-world merchant integration experience to our team, which is already proving extremely valuable to inform the design of Evolution to make it even more merchant-friendly.

What resources are needed?

Rather than using a 3rd party payment processor, we will create a custom payment full-node the client can host internally accessed via a REST API to enable InstantSend payments and additional features they're requesting, to enable full privacy and decentralized payment processing for the client. Secondly, our solution will tightly integrate with the client’s own payments process for a seamless and enjoyable user experience.

This solution will require additional development support. Andy Freer is leading the team responsible. To complete the work, we will need several resources including a NodeJS developer to build the payment node and API. We will also need an HTML / PHP developer to integrate their systems. Members from the Evolution team will also help with the work under the existing core team budget.

We estimate the total funding required beyond the capacity of the core team to be $5,000.

Requested funding is as follows for the July 6th budget cycle:
Total: 603.59 Dash

Note: Should any funding remain after the project is complete, we will reserve those funds for future integration opportunities

Manually vote YES on this proposal:
dash-cli mnbudget vote-many e791a06c0247cca08c2f81f31b54ae92c78a0946bc4002a2bbe58252457b1582 yes
OR from the qt console:
mnbudget vote-many e791a06c0247cca08c2f81f31b54ae92c78a0946bc4002a2bbe58252457b1582 yes


Manually vote NO on this proposal:
dash-cli mnbudget vote-many e791a06c0247cca08c2f81f31b54ae92c78a0946bc4002a2bbe58252457b1582 no
OR from the qt console:
mnbudget vote-many e791a06c0247cca08c2f81f31b54ae92c78a0946bc4002a2bbe58252457b1582 no
Sounds great! I'm assuming you can't name the merchant due to a certain rival coin's penchant for trying to screw us over?
 

Ryan Taylor

Well-known Member
Foundation Member
Jul 3, 2014
550
1,649
263
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Sounds great! I'm assuming you can't name the merchant due to a certain rival coin's penchant for trying to screw us over?
Incorrect. We cannot name the merchant because that information will be released in a coordinated fashion with the merchant client. A press release will be made in the coming weeks. We ask that the community be patient.
 
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fible1

Well-known Member
Dash Core Group
Masternode Owner/Operator
May 11, 2014
710
722
163
I voted yes on good faith; I hope it's not another VPN.

Pablo.
 
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Solarminer

Well-known Member
Apr 4, 2015
762
922
163
Voting no on this. I don't write blank checks.

I feel offended that a proposal is posted with so many words but yet is missing the key factor, WHO. Why not resubmit the proposal after you can tell us who is getting the funds?
 

Ryan Taylor

Well-known Member
Foundation Member
Jul 3, 2014
550
1,649
263
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Voting no on this. I don't write blank checks.

I feel offended that a proposal is posted with so many words but yet is missing the key factor, WHO. Why not resubmit the proposal after you can tell us who is getting the funds?
Voting no on this. I don't write blank checks.

I feel offended that a proposal is posted with so many words but yet is missing the key factor, WHO. Why not resubmit the proposal after you can tell us who is getting the funds?
I'm sorry you won't be voting for this proposal. I included as many details about the nature of the merchant as we can at this time. A press release will be released once the work is spec'ed in detail and a project timeline with the client is determined. Unfortunately, we cannot do that work without funding. So it's a bit of a catch 22 situation. We cannot expect our client to commit publicly to doing this integration if we can't pass a proposal to fund the work.

We are not requesting a "blank check". We are requesting $5,000 to integrate a merchant with over one million users. I'm sorry I cannot be more specific.
 

Ryan Taylor

Well-known Member
Foundation Member
Jul 3, 2014
550
1,649
263
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
@Solarminer One other thing to consider... this work directly supports the development of Evolution (e.g, API merchant integration). It also gives the team real-world experience integrating Dash into a real-world at-scale merchant payment system, which will feed directly into the design of Evo.
 

Stealth923

Well-known Member
Foundation Member
Mar 9, 2014
352
404
233
hmm ill vote yes - I think the experience for Dash will be beneficial as long as its documented and lessons learned etc are completed by the integration / Dash team.

If it turns out to be quite an exciting and well known company - that's an added bonus :)
 

TroyDASH

Well-known Member
Jul 31, 2015
1,254
797
183
If the budget proposal is approved, what is the expected completion date for this project?

Is the DASH network assuming the entire cost of integration or is the merchant absorbing some of it?
 

TroyDASH

Well-known Member
Jul 31, 2015
1,254
797
183
Publicly announcing the possibility of coordinating isn't the same thing as publicly committing to actually integrate.

If we aren't even able to get a timeline or get project specs without securing this funding, then how do we have any idea much it will cost?

I can understand a little about the catch-22 situation here, but is this how we want to tell future merchants how to secure funding from the DASH network - to privately discuss with an individual or team, and then that individual/team submits a proposal saying just trust us, we have something good? I'm not saying I don't trust you here, but it's something worth bringing up because there may be more things like this in the future.
 
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splawik21

Yeah, it's me....
Dash Core Group
Foundation Member
Dash Support Group
Apr 8, 2014
1,959
1,321
1,283
Giving my token of trust to this one and will vote yes (don`t like the cat in the bag neither) as the team wants dash project to grow, I don`t think they would take a decision which would not bring positive aspects for all dash holders.
 

bigrcanada

Well-known Member
Foundation Member
Masternode Owner/Operator
Mar 9, 2014
319
368
233
Penticton, BC
www.dasilvavineyards.com
Publicly announcing the possibility of coordinating isn't the same thing as publicly committing to actually integrate.

If we aren't even able to get a timeline or get project specs without securing this funding, then how do we have any idea much it will cost?

I can understand a little about the catch-22 situation here, but is this how we want to tell future merchants how to secure funding from the DASH network - to privately discuss with an individual or team, and then that individual/team submits a proposal saying just trust us, we have something good? I'm not saying I don't trust you here, but it's something worth bringing up because there may be more things like this in the future.
I too agree...its a catch 22 and it is not an ideal situation. This is worth some further discussion because I'm sure this isn't the last time this is going to happen. Maybe there is a voted board of directors by the master node holders that is intrusted with viewing such proposals? I don't have the answer but this is something that needs addressing. Blindly trusting people is ok when we are this small...but in the future with more adoption, it will be a deal breaker. IMHO
 
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Minotaur

Well-known Member
Foundation Member
Apr 7, 2014
452
1,079
263
I too agree...its a catch 22 and it is not an ideal situation. This is worth some further discussion because I'm sure this isn't the last time this is going to happen. Maybe there is a voted board of directors by the master node holders that is intrusted with viewing such proposals? I don't have the answer but this is something that needs addressing. Blindly trusting people is ok when we are this small...but in the future with more adoption, it will be a deal breaker. IMHO
Well there is an agreement with the potential partner in this case to integrate. We are trying to the best of our ability to help the Dash ecosystem grow. If the proposal were not to pass we can always go back to the merchant and say we were unable to secure funding.

Ideally we would try to have the public press releases come ahead of the budget proposals but that is not always possible. Our budget system works on a specific time cycle and negotiations and preparation for a press release dont always coincide. Also, budget planning is important and sometimes you have to propose some expenses ahead of time to have efficient allocation.

Also if the masternodes are not satisfied with the business development work over time then the team would lose credibility and could be fired.

To be honest this is a lot of work and we are forced to make decisions as other entities expect for Dash to be able to engage in standard business practices. So I guess we are all still learning the best way to adapt our model to this reality. In the end the masternodes can decide to either support this efforts or not and that in itself is a powerful differentiator to other networks.
 

n00bkid

New Member
Oct 25, 2015
26
38
13
Will the code be open-source and usable by other merchants with potentially different setups? If so, I'll vote yes. If not, no way.
 

TroyDASH

Well-known Member
Jul 31, 2015
1,254
797
183
I'm just saying, it doesn't have to be a press release saying they are integrating dash, before the funding is secured. That would be unreasonable. All it needs to be is a proposal, like everybody else does when they want to secure funding. It's like people are used to their standard business practices where things are worked out behind closed doors instead of doing business directly with the network. I mean, I guess they have their reasons for not wanting it to be made known that they are even considering partnering with us, but whatever. DASH probably needs them more than they need us, so I guess they have leverage here.
 
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AndyDark

Well-known Member
Sep 10, 2014
384
728
163
Trust me...I understand the pickle our team is in. In the end there needs to be "some" trust in the team. That is why I'm voting Yes. Its in all our best interests. Thanks for the hard work team.
Yes exactly. This ties into the whole can a fully-open/ decentralized organization compete with centralized ones.

In a commercial market that's post-bitcoin and saturated with centralized / decentralized alternatives, we need to be proactive to gain adoption and grow the Dash ecosystem by forming relationships with the best/largest services in the market we are targeting to encourage and help them to adopt Dash (especially before Evolution makes this easy for all parties).

When making agreements with centralized parties they will often have requirements where they don't want every last detail to be 'open source', ranging from info that's part of the agreement/setup process through to code that might exist within their proprietary platform through to releasing information at the right time / in the right stages as part of the promotions process to ensure maximum impact / uptake with information that is released.

It's therefore unrealistic to demand that every detail of every action/relationship/investment is exposed if we are serious about mainstream adoption. I think if information is permanently concealed from the wider community that is against the principles of an open-source decentralized organization like Dash and I would oppose it. But when it's a temporary measure to try to help a fledgling relationship incubate and grow and the proposer has a track record of delivery and something like just the business name / sector is omitted as in this case, I don't see this is a reason to turn down gaining new access to a base of over 1 million internet users as that should really be the kind of thing people in Dash at this stage are striving for every day, because they are in every other tech startup that is serious about what they are doing (but at the same time I understand why info being held is unusual and not something that's really happened before and some people might be against it).

I would go further and say we need to improve the governance system to codify this, for example have 'grey' projects that allowed certain information to be concealed for a limited time until the work/actions/relationships within the proposal are launched/formed/ready for public consumption. I've heard it voiced before and I'm not sure how that would be done and it would need to be sound with our open-source principles, but I think it would give us an advantage in the global payments market the same as it gives centralized companies who launch new products / form strategic relationships and to compete with them we need a way to do that to.

In this particular case, everything will be open-source, except for maybe some code within the merchant's PHP server behind their API to us, which is a small job we would fund but I don't expect we would gain/need access to the exact implementation.

I have already written ~20 pages of documentation for that over 3 revisions with the merchant and we've had calls / on-site meetings with them too, because we really want to setup a process that makes their service better and delivers more value to Dash users (which I strongly believe it will), and secondly this ties into Evolution because one of the main objectives is to make Dash friendly to Merchants and not just users and this is a 'real-world' case of a business with a large user base so this process is a great learning experience for us to learn their processes, needs and what they really want out of a payment solution that we can take to a much larger audience all in an open-source way.

I would urge all network operators to:

  1. Vote for this proposal even with the business name omitted temporarily (and as several people have said we need a way to be able to do this in future or it makes us less competitive)
  2. Offer to contribute independently or as part of our team - we have invested a few weeks in this already internally, if anyone in the community wants to help or feels synergy with this kind of initiative, email me [email protected] or another team member and help us, if you work within the group that has formed of like-minded people focused on growing Dash adoption, you can easily find out this kind of information, and it's very easy to do, you just need to come and contribute.
  3. Help us promote this when it is launched - posting on social media, youtube, explaining the value to people and spreading the word.
  4. Use the service when it's launched!!! success of this integration won't be the just the implementation, it will be use of the service and that means traffic / subscriptions. This one is something i think is really useful and already moved over my existing provider. When it comes out, please help us drive users, friends, colleagues, businesses to adopt this and pay in Dash. That helps both parties to be able to grow together

So please support this proposal, if we can get 5 of these in the next 12 months before Evolution, that means 5 million users see "Dash (Digital Cash)" as a payment option when they subscribe / buy and a lot of those users will come and check us out, and once Evolution is live, we don't have to be so proactive, the system itself will promote and make this easier.

This is exactly the kind of thing a young tech project like Dash aiming for a mainstream audience should be doing if we want to actually reach that audience, therefore I urge everyone to support this proposal.

Thank you for your support!
 
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