TEDxSaltLakeCity Final Update


Feb 12, 2017
Photo Gallery
Great photos provided by Rachael who volunteered.

Posted Proposal

Not all accounting details are 100%, planning to make a couple more edits.

Is it time to take dash mainstream?

Many of us know of TED, TEDx is the independently organized version of TED. With this independence the quality of the events varies from region to region. Having attended TEDxSaltLakeCity twice before I have seen their dedication to the project. I wanted Dash to be the first Crypto Currency to sponsor such an event. TEDx gives you varying degrees of early adopters and people open to new ideas that are willing to pay for a day of inspiration and a glimpse into the possible future. TEDxSaltLakeCity is run as a nonprofit with significant time donations. It has established relationships as several years of successful events have given access greater than the average TEDx. That is why I believe it is a good match for Dash.

If you had asked me a before going to TEDx I would have expected less engagement than we received. One of the primary goals for this TEDxSLC giveaway was to answer some more questions for the community. The following is my account of the Dash event.

VIP Meetup
10 days prior to the event we had the VIP Meet-up in SLC. The 5 of us had some time to mingle with the speakers and organizers. Unfortunately it was limited to about 2 hours so I had prepared to give dash directly via the mobile app however I kept to building interest then and following up at the main TEDx.

Paper Wallets, Fun and more
To give some quick background, for TEDx SaltLakeCity we were originally going to give away some .1 wallets and some .05 however 1000 got printed so we decided to load all wallets with the same amount as separating wallets would have been tricky due to the printing process. Handing people two of something may have implied more value and we could give two to the most interested people. This did change the giveaway from a planned 55 dash to a 50 dash giveaway.

I arrived Friday night to a pre-meetup for the Dash volunteers. There was much discussion on how to load wallets before and at the time. Because there was no script we quickly got to turn the list of addresses into wallet commands on the dash CLI. This proved to be a little trickier as running the send command consecutively leads to too many nested transactions (due to the default change address policy) and the wallet couldn’t do it. . It’s a known issue, and therefore you must use sendmany. After debugging and redoing it we got the wallets loaded. It ended up being a late night waiting for wallets to load. After the event, Rion wrote a little Node.js script to parse the output from paper.dash.org to check the balances of paper wallets. He mentioned that he can take that and extend it so that it can load wallets automatically with an amount determined by the user. This would make future giveaways much easier and automated. Here’s the parsing script he wrote so far: (https://github.com/riongull/paper_wallet_tools).

The Big Day
On the day of the TEDx event, we started setting up the booth at 8:30am and had little time to collect ourselves before people started walking up and engaging. Dash had 6 time slots each up 60 seconds long for the MC to speak. The MC is the announcer or host of the show. In the beginning of the proposal stages I was under the impression that we would have to do visual slides about Dash, however we were able to switch this to the 6 announcements. Rion was integral in getting this information together and he thought a storyline approach would work good. It ended up working very well.

From the 9am to the first coffee/snack break I was watching the show. We gathered a bit more interest for this break, although short. I decided to stay outside and speak to staff or anyone else then to be ready for the lunch rush with a couple of the Dash volunteers’. At the coffee table, I ended up having a long conversation with a guy who worked at the university that had been in the crypto space for a couple years. He was not familiar with Dash as the majority of his time was spent on another crypto but was interested enough to skip part of the show.

Half Time
For lunch we were expecting it to be busy and it was where most of us waited to grab food. A light rain had come over and the tent was used for refuge by people willing to hear our pitch. We continued to give out two wallets each. My estimation we had given out almost half the paper wallets by lunch. Keep in mind as per the script we did not tell anyone outside the staff just how much was given away. Due to how the script ended up being played the announcement that we were giving away around $20k in Dash happened after the lunch.

Between the lunch event and the mid-afternoon break the crowd heard about the 20k and the value of dash. We got stormed at the booth with a big line. I quickly decided to just give out single wallets because at this point we had given out nearly half the wallets and I was worried we might run out. To keep the line moving we just handed them out as fast as people could take them. The majority of this group of people was much more there because they were getting something for free.

Wrapping up
I had expected some opportunity at the end but the booth started getting taken down by the event management staff. At that point everyone was ready to leave so we did not hand out many more Dash after that. Many of the dash volunteers had to leave at that point as well. The rest of us focused on the speaker reception after event downstairs in the venue. I handed out some more paper wallets to interested parties.

At the after party we continued to catch anyone else who was interested in Dash. I decided to add dash to raffle; everyone there was in the raffle as they came with the drink tickets. The other prize was a 2nd VR headset. I offered 10 paper wallets as the prize or roughly $160. I used this time to catch up anyone else who had not received some Dash earlier in the day. I enjoyed seeing a entrepreneur enthusiastically show a financial advisor how to load his Dash on his phone, both whom i had tried to get interested in crypto before, that made my day.

Fund Usage Giveaway Proposal (73 dash)
  1. -5 Dash for Proposal Fee
  2. -5 Dash for original Bugged proposal
    1. The 1st proposal was bugged due to a leading space and was submitted the following month to reimburse the failed proposal. The 2nd proposal did not include a extra 5 dash at the time as i had discussed with core about getting a refund however no core based refund ever taken.
  3. Expenses Proposal
    1. Tips for volunteers: 9 dash
      1. 13 way split based on level of involvement. .25 min. Includes some for the paper wallet work.
    2. T-shirts (60): $754.70
    3. Banner: $222.67
    4. Cards: $10.69
    5. Printing costs 1000 paper wallets and 2nd and 3rd giveaway: $636.74
    6. Lodging: My stay & travel expenses in SLC were covered by the original proposal.
  4. Giveaways
    1. 1000 Wallets @ .05 - 50 dash.
    2. Grand prize (3.3 Dash / ~$1050) Given to winner of the gamify system setup by using the TEDxSLC event app.
    3. After Party raffle 10 dash wallets or .5 dash.
    4. Refund for tickets for additional dash volunteers (4). 16 paper wallets.
    5. Giveaway Total: 53.35 Dash + fees.
  5. Remaining funds
    1. See Below.
Paper Wallets

One of our initial questions was what would the sweep rate be on paper wallet giveaways of a higher amount. From my conversation with coingun who did paper wallets at both the open house and the bitcoin Miami conference saw sweep rates of 30% or below for a value of about $10. I was surprised to learn this considering the tech crowd. After learning this my personal expectations for the sweep rates at this event were lowered. Enough speculation, below is the data from the event.

Unlike the normal printed wallet, we went through the effort of printing instructions on the back of each paper wallet with a small explanation of how to download the android or ios wallet. Without having done this it would have been impossible to explain to people how to do it with the time we had. The instructions also included a date when the paper wallet would “expire”, and that they needed to pull the funds before then. October 1, 2017 was the expiration date (the date we would pull back the funds to use elsewhere).

Giveaway Results
We will be providing a spreadsheet (at request) of all wallet addresses used at the event for anyone who wants to analyze the data further. This data is as of 2018-01-11

Claimed Wallets: 579 57.7%
Unclaimed Wallets: 425 42.3%

Modified (non-0 & non-0.5) Wallets: 2

Claimed Value: 28.95 DASH
Unclaimed Value: 21.25 DASH

These numbers far exceed my original expectations. If you assume that every person who swept a wallet downloaded two we reached at least 300 people. There are instances where families, or husband and wife loaded their paper wallets onto one phone.

We ended the event with 52 paper wallets left. I had 10 to give away to a few people whom I want to get interested in crypto. Rion took the remaining to use at the SLC meetup group. An opportunity arose to give them out at a paid bitcoin investing course. I found that to be a more than acceptable use of funds as I prefer to primarily give out dash at paid events.

Additional Giveways with SLC meetups
0.85 DASH Random give-aways (2017-11-09 through 2017-12-22)
0.11 DASH 2017-12-22 Meetup (paper wallet give-away). Tron gave away most
0.66 DASH Random give-aways (2017-12-22 through 2018-01-11)

The unplanned experiment
With any of these giveaways one question that is always in the back of the mind is will people remember to load the paper wallet? Will they attempt it after the expiration date? Our wallets showed an expiration date of October 1st and the initial plan was to give some leeway to see how many people scan after the date and still get their funds. Rion made a tool to scan the 1000 addresses and would periodically run it to see how many wallets were withdrawn.

As the dash price rose we were able to answer the 2nd question: Will people hear about the price rise, and attempt to scan their paper wallets anyway? The dash price rose over 4x from the giveaway date however we did not see a significant number of new wallets withdrawn, (about 20) after 10-23-17 which was several weeks after the listed “expiration” date. In a giveaway i see no real benefit in leaving funds on the wallets past a month, if a 4-5x price rise was not enough to encourage a few minutes to try it anyway than nothing will be.

Some wallets already lost
From what I heard is some people already changed phones and lost their dash. Part of the problem is with the Android wallet it is a file backup only way to save the wallet which is not as good as the IOS wallet where you are forced to write down the phrase on a paper. My suggestion is all giveaways should have a paper for people to write their recovery phrase on and the android wallet should be changed.

Possible data issues
Upon reviewing the printed paper wallets about 20 had failed to print the top/wallet side, these misprints were randomly mixed into the stack of 1000 cut paper wallets. It’s also possible extra backside pages were printed. In addition the 5% of leftover paper wallets given to non-tedx involved people could skew the acceptance rate slightly. We also reimbursed volunteer tickets $50 x 4 by paper wallets for the additional tickets as the sponsorship came with 10.

Remaining Funds
In the original proposal I suggested all funds would go to Rion and used to support the meetup(or merchant adoption) in SLC. At the time it was the largest meetup group around and it has grown from around 100 to 268 members today. Rion is now in control of the funds as they were pulled from the wallets as of 2-16-2018.

Rion wanted to go further and build a plan called Dash Hive and put funds towards more productive uses. Total funds leftover and allocated to Dash Hive is about 20.37 DASH. Total reclaimed paper wallet dash is 21.3997 out of 50.2 which is slightly more than the spreadsheet results.

Details on dash hive: https://www.dashcentral.org/p/dash-hive
Last edited:


Feb 12, 2017

How did we explain dash?
All the volunteers had different methods of explaining Dash. Some walked people through the setup process of the app then had them scan the QR code. I often started by asking people if they have heard of Bitcoin, and by far almost everyone said yes. I’d continue by saying Dash is an alternative to bitcoin with several improvements. For technical people I’d go into the staking and treasury differences. Often after giving a paper wallet to someone and telling them the value they would ask about where to spend it. Our go to response was the local overstock.com company. All the Dash volunteers had various levels of explaining crypto to people.

What plans had fallen through?
I had asked Scott with Dash Aerosports about doing a flyover for lunch at the event. He has been working on skywriting the dash D and it would have been amazing as well as something that could really attract the media. Due to his Reno event and pre-race requirements he was unable to make it to the event. I also contacted a couple people within the community to come out and help but due to all the other events going on everyone I asked had a conflicting event.

What improvements could be made?
With dash I see a lot of duplication of effort. Dash does not have any promotional documents like tri-folds or generic pamphlets or cards. There is also no clear place to order bulk T-shirts. We ended up designing and printing our own for the event.

What do you want the community to know about funding further events?
I felt that the advantage of having the local meetup community there was so important that it should nearly be a requirement for doing events.

How important is local support?
I don’t think Dash events are nearly as successful without having some level of local support. It’s best to overestimate the number of people you need at an event. Especially events with a limited amount of booth time. At TEDxSLC there was only at most an hour and a half of possible interaction with 1000+ people, this is a different than a conference where you can have a slower tickle. Crypto takes more time to explain then many products. Without the meetup group we would have not been able to engage as many people in conversations. 12 locals came out to help along with one of my friends.

We also handed everyone a card with contact information for the meetup group. If they were serious about learning more that local resource is very helpful. Rion reports a steady in-flow of new members joining the meetup - almost one new join every other day.

What did the TEDx team think of dash?
The TEDx staff said we had reached the gossip status at the event where many people were talking about Dash amongst themselves. The cool sponsor so to speak.

What would you change next time?
Besides what I listed above, I’d work to gamify the process of interaction with the coin. When people can see the speed at which Dash can be transferred they start to understand the technology better.

What were the most common questions?
I’d say besides what is dash, the most common question is how to spend it. Most people don’t understand how much in value bitcoin has gone up.

What is the most common misunderstanding(s)?
I felt like we had to explain that Dash, or even bitcoin is not a company. There is no one controlling it. It is decentralized so everyone can be considered a subcontractor.

Was there anyone with crypto in the crowd?
I met at least 3 people I’d say that owned crypto, nobody who owned dash. A couple guys were considering raising money through ethereum.

What did you least expect about putting this event together?
I far underestimated the amount of time it would take to put something like this together. There was a lot of back and forth and plans that changed. In all the event happened much as described. I just ended up spending way more time. Proposals take a lot of time to put together and for anyone who has done one they understand this very well. Doing a 2nd proposal is inefficient and I’d suggest others avoid that when possible. I felt it was necessary given the amount of time between funding the event and the event happening.

Did anyone take advantage of the giveaway?
I was concerned about the college students playing the system. I did confront one college student who did manage to get a few wallets. His family was there and they jokingly said it would be used to pay for college. The parents did give their paper wallets to the kids as well. The discussion of Dash and the value placed on the paper wallets showed value to people around him as well. We concluded that it did not seem like more than a few people abused the system. Originally i was not planning to have more than a few people handing out dash so it would be easier to track, we had over 10 giving out dash.

Should we give dash away?
We were careful in how we gave Dash out, not to be pushy at all. At the end of the day we managed to give almost all the wallets out. Conceptually there are two arguments about giveaways. One being that people will just sell their Dash or the 2nd is that they will lose the dash. I think the people who lose their dash have little effect on the network, much like if the dash didn’t get created. If someone sells it then they have had an intro to crypto, going through the process. Right now that process is more cumbersome, but it shows the power of the technology quickly. I feel like outside a poor college student most people would keep their dash. They are also more likely to remember owning some than someone who just forgot about it. It’s a topic for the future, and possibly something to regret doing later.

Loading paper wallets shows some aspects of Dash, however having someone see how fast you can transfer it is the trick. We would benefit by turning Dash giveaways into more of a game where you can double your Dash by performing a task.

How did people use the app, is there room for improvements?
I’d like to see both the android and IOS app operate the exact same. This makes it easier to explain. Having to backup and save a file on the android app then save the restoration key on the IOS app is two entirely different ways. Having Dash into videos built in would provide some quick education about dash as well as links to various dash resources. A notification reminder that they haven’t backed up is an important feature as well.

Was there confusion around Paper Wallets?
Yes, I’d say the biggest issue with the paper wallets is that people don’t understand the “load and verify” vs. the “private key” / spend. They aren’t spending and the quick glance at the wallet is not intuitive. For the lack of better words transfer Out, Spend Dash, and Transfer to Wallet. Perhaps we should brand it as Sweep. The users do see that word in the app. It would be helpful to print paper wallets with a large dollar amount to reduce confusion there but that value changes often.

Would you do it again?
I think TEDx is a great platform to find early adopters. I think it is valuable to consider doing ones in the future. I’d like to improve on how we measure success. In the case of Salt Lake City, next time I’d place the project in the hands of Rion. The advantage of being local and having more access to the TEDx staff is important.

Often as a community we consider the effect Dash has on the event and the people attending. This is an important factor; however I believe that showing support to the local dash community has an energizing effect that emboldens everyone that helps. This event gave everyone involved the extra confidence that everyday people are ready to hear about Dash. I came out suppressed how open people were. We didn’t get everyone to the booth but we sure made an impression on everyone that this technology is coming. It’s not easy to be on the front lines right now and some may not agree with how it’s being executed but it is far better than doing nothing.

After seeing all this unfold I believe the first thing to do as Dash is to become known. Currently people have heard of Bitcoin and Dash does not have that advantage. If we, the Dash community wants to be widely adopted people need to know they want dash before you try to give it to them. Therefore the goals of the Dash advertising should be focused entirely on getting the name out first.
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