The Cryptosphere Teaches Economics (Dash is to the cryptosphere as Rome was to Eras….)

The Cryptosphere Teaches Economics

We do not learn economics from sitting in class and listening to a professor. We solely learn economics through practice. The cryptosphere offers one of the top places to learn economics in practice because we see how economic actors behave with each cryptocurrency or crypto-asset’s constructed reality. Since this reality varies significantly, the behavior of actors will vary – for instance, an inflationary cryptocurrency will have far fewer savers than a deflationary cryptocurrency. This page also explains some elements on FinTekNeeks EcoRealities.

The Basics

Bitcoin proves that good ideas are copied, creating competition. When I was a boy, I would get frustrated when my brothers would copy me until my granny pointed out one time that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” She was right. No one copies bad ideas because they’re bad ideas, but good ideas will have thousands of imitations. When people tried to argue against bitcoin because “I could just copy it” I was laughing so hard at their pathetic arguments because it actually proved the very opposite of what they were saying! If bitcoin was a terrible idea, it would have no one trying to imitate it and yet look at how many other copies of it exist. In economics, we call this competition, but the winner is generally the early bird.

Steem teaches inflation. The cryptocurrency Steem experiences 100% inflation per year forever, unless this is later changed.  When I first warned people of this fact, no one cared because “OMG, bright shiny speculation” and there were some people who were dropping $10,000 into the currency Steem at $2+ per Steem, thinking that it would eventually rise to $100. Then inflation did what it’s good at: more Steem kept being printed and people who actually value their time and money didn’t buy or hold onto Steem and the result was that it inflated. In fact, Steem experienced such strong inflation that after we suggested to get rid of it, Steem subsequently crashed over 90% in value! The great thing about Steem is that it’s teaching people how destructive inflation is. As my buddy Fred pointed out, he saw his account “value” drop 80+% in a few months. Does low inflation sound like a problem to you? Didn’t think so.

Zcash shows us a supply shock. Zcash’s first day of trading came with only 100 Zcash. There were points during this day that people were paying over 1000 bitcoins (about $730,000) for 1 Zcash.  One Zcash. Welcome to a supply shock! If the world ran low on water tomorrow because of a major drought, you’d see the price of water rise so fast and furious that you’d be horrified at the prices some people would pay around the world. In fact, as I type this right now, there is a shortage of sugar in Egypt – a supply shock due to low supply and the result is massive inflation in the price of sugar. Supply shocks are painful for most people, though in the case of Zcash, early investors were just fools and fools and their money are soon parted.

We noted that Zcash was significantly overpriced and our theoretical FinTekNeeks Hedge Fund has been obliterating the Zcash longs. As I wrote about Zcash, which is one of many reasons I have no interest in it from the long side:

From my view, it lacks any of the infrastructure that bitcoin has and the community is solving a problem that’s already been solved (Dash, Monero, Shadowcash, Boolberry, etc), so they’re late to the party. Even if they later catch up completely on privacy, these other cryptocurrencies are two steps ahead of them and are working on the next innovation.

In most cases, supply shocks bring a lot of economic hardship to people, such as the sugar supply shock in Egypt that is presently underway (listen to my talk on
blockchain-based solutions with commodities where I mention it). Zcash is not comparable as it was self-inflicted, but it does highlight a good example of one.

Dash is to the cryptosphere as Rome was to Eras. The Roman Era lasted from about 800 BC to 1400 AD – an era that lasted over 2000 years (Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire). Rome started as an early agricultural empire that went unnoticed for quite some time, but was fundamentally founded on the principal of the natural republic – a system where people with merit rose to the top and ruled over those without merit. Dash is the closest model to the Roman Era in the cryptosphere; with its Masternodes, governance model, and miners, Dash provides users with routes to help govern the success of Dash. For a simple example of this, you can earn 8.65% Dash a year with a Masternode, but it requires 1000 Dash principal. Noting that you will have to set aside Dash for this, would you vote on ideas that will hurt Dash when you’re holding a lot? No. This is what the Roman Era understood and this is what Dash also gets. In modern times, we teach this system in game theory and advocate that a system which encourages cooperation over the long run will succeed for a long time.


Supply and demand both impact price, though other parameters can have an impact, like the belief that a label has value due to it being produced by a manufacturer. In the case of Bitcoin and Dash, we measure supply by the estimated total in existence, whereas with Platinum, Gold, and Silver, we measure these in the current estimated total measured in ounces. These precious metals do have new supplies coming online at certain rates – for an example, Gold is seeing about a 2.2% increase in its supply while Platinum is seeing about a 1.5% increase. In the case of Oil, we measure the supply in total barrel production worldwide. Unlike the cryptocurrencies and precious metals, oil production is in permanent decline.


Ratios are economic and financial measurements meant to convey the value and pricing accuracy of an item. A simple example of this is a price-to-earnings ratio; a security with a price-to-earnings ratio of 200 means that the security’s price is 200 multiples of its earnings. Our ratios look at the supply ratios to compare value.


Indicators show health assessments or measurements of economic parameters. For an example, if inflation is 3.5%, this is an inflation indicator showing that the currency experiencing inflation is losing 3.5% of its value every year. Economic Indicators and Strategies are exclusive for clients and these update from time to time so that clients know how we see markets and where we see opportunities. For the Beta release, the Indicators and Strategies are the FTN COSIWA, FTN Inflation, FTN NII, and FTN Allocation.

Testnet Release: Dash Payment Processor / WooCommerce

Dash Payment Processor - Checkout Process (2).png.jpeg

On behalf of the Evolution Backend team I’m pleased to announce the ‘testnet’ release of Dash Payment Processor. This system is meant to be operated by a merchant to allow for the usage of Dash as a payment option without third parties being involved.

The quickest way to get a feel for how this system works is to visit and place an “order”. You’ll notice that after the submit button is pressed a response will be provided back containing payment information. If the requested payment is sent you’ll see a “Payment Callback” occur. It’s also worth mentioning that this system fully supports InstantSend.

Included in this release is a WooCommerce Plugin. This plugin was created to act as a “Proof of Concept” for the system as a whole. It enables WooCommerce to use the Dash Payment Processor as it would any other payment method. Plugins and extensions for other e-commerce platforms can be developed in the same way; these libraries facilitate the checkout process and also allow for block confirmations to occur before the sale is finalized. A demonstration of this plugin is available at

Dash Payment Processor uses a BIP32 HD Wallet Seed or Electrum Wallet Seed as the basis for Payment Address generation. More information on this and other mechanics of the API is available in the Official Project Wiki.


Official Project Wiki:

Technical Details:
Interested in setting up your own Payment Processor? There’s a bit of setup involved, if you have any questions please contact me through PM and I’ll try to give you a hand as quickly as I can.

Prerequisites (Ubuntu 14.04 or 16.04 recommended):

1. Node Version Manager:

2. LAMP Stack:…x-apache-mysql-php-lamp-stack-on-ubuntu-14-04

3. WordPress:

4. WooCommerce:

Part 1: Install Dash Payment Processor

nvm install v4.0.0

(close terminal window and reopen for nvm to take effect – important!)

npm install -g bitcore-node-dash

bitcore-node-dash create mynode -d ~/.bitcore/data –testnet

cd mynode

bitcore-node-dash install insight-api-dash

bitcore-node-dash install dash-payment-processor

cd node_modules/dash-payment-processor/config

nano AppConfig.js // configure wallet seed and worldcoin api key

cp DBConfig-template.js DBConfig.js

nano DBConfig.js // add mysql database user/pass

cd ../resources

mysql -u<mysql username> -p < mysql-schema.sql

cd ../../../

bitcore-node-dash start

At this point, you should have a full Bitcore node up and running. This node will sync the entire Dash Blockchain and provide a local Insight API that the Payment Processor can use to detect and verify transactions. At this point we can proceed with installing the WooCommerce plugin.

Part 2: Install the WooCommerce Plugin

1. Download from

2. From the WordPress Admin interface, click plugins then click “Add New”.

3. At the top of the screen find the “Upload Plugin” button and choose the zip file download previously.

4. Click the “Activate Plugin” button, once the plugin has been activated you’ll find it included in the listing of Installed Plugins.

5. From “Installed Plugins”, locate “Dashpay – WooCommerce Gateway” and click on Settings.

6. Select “DASH Checkout” from the list of available payment methods.

7. Check the “Enable this payment gateway” checkbox.

8. Configure the “Payment Service API” and “Insight API” option to point to your server.

Dash’s More Incredible 2016

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I’ve been a bit busy this month, so I’ve been putting off writing this year’s letter. But this morning at 3:30am, I awoke from a dream that ended with an unidentified woman slowly telling me in a calm and tranquil voice that “2017 is the year Dash proves itself to the world.” Sadly, this is not simply a made-up story off of which to base my letter. It really happened, and that prompted me to start writing immediately. Besides illustrating that I ponder Dash entirely too much, the woman’s phrase summed up perfectly where I think the project is right now… on the verge of proving itself to the world, like a rumbling volcano sitting right below the surface waiting to explode.

Rereading the last letter, 2015 was, by all measures, an incredible year. InstantSend was introduced in the spring and the current iteration of the budget system was released in August. Our market cap grew 112% that year, much faster than Bitcoin’s 51%.

Even if you’ve read the article before, I encourage you to read it and reflect on how substantially our position has changed over the last year. Although our future seemed uncertain at the time, early signs of the budget system’s impact were beginning to emerge. We’d sent Evan to a couple of events, acquired the domain, and set aside some funding for the team. It was a modest start.

In last year’s letter, I recanted on promises of predictions for 2016, because “predictions have a funny way of later making you look quite stupid.” Instead, I made a resolution to increase my commitment to Dash in terms of time and resources.

Having successfully avoided the pitfalls of making predictions, I instead became the victim of the pitfalls of making commitments. Passions, it turns out, have a funny way of later making rather modest commitments into exceedingly large ones. I promised to buy another masternode, but I bought many more than that. I promised to apply substantial time to the project and in April quit a six-figure job to join Dash full-time for less than minimum wage.

I ended last year’s letter with a call to action, with a message of hope that I could inspire readers to find new ways to contribute… vote, introduce Dash to people you know, start a masternode. It seems that many of you felt the same call of passion as I did. Every one is its own unique story and journey, visionaries that see where Dash is headed, each one finding new ways to apply their talents toward the betterment of Dash.

Amanda B. Johnson discontinued The Daily Decrypt to focus on a dedicated Dash: Detailed show. Several of our developers quit more lucrative positions to join Dash full-time. There are literally dozens of similar stories — individuals making sacrifices to become a part of this amazing new type of organization, and help it succeed.

“If we all made contributions large and small, what will we be saying at the end of 2016? What will the world be saying about us at the end of 2016? Time will tell.” This was the question I left for the year ahead to answer. So what did time tell us? Simply put, Dash is well on its way toward a great destiny.

The results are astounding. Our market cap growth accelerated to 289%, once again more than double Bitcoin and the market as a whole. Our price increased 240%. Our budget has more than tripled over the last year, which is enabling us to open offices, hire more developers, sustain ongoing PR and marketing efforts, hire more business development reps, and fund integration efforts with even the industry’s largest players.

As we’ve grown, network health measures have improved. Here are some highlights from the fourth quarter. Our daily price volatility fell by almost half, hitting a record low and making the currency less risky to hold. Our average daily trading volume was up an astounding 1,742%, breaking the previous records from 2014. Total transaction fees also hit a record, which are generated primarily from increased use of our premium features like PrivateSend and InstantSend. Payment volume increased 243%. Hashrate increased 1,416%, making the network more secure than ever. Our YouTube subscribers grew 49% from just the third quarter.

Our community knows that Dash — and what we are doing — is completely different from the rest of the industry. We have solved the major pain points with governance and funding sustainability, and remain focused on delivering a great user experience with InstantSent, PrivateSend, and Evolution. We know that our vision for cryptocurrency will dramatically expand its usefulness and provide financial freedom to an incredible number of everyday people. I believe 2017 is the year our vision begins to be appreciated by the wider cryptocurrency community.

By all measures, we enter 2017 in a markedly different position. It is a position of strength, stability, rapid growth, increasing professionalism, and focus. More importantly, the industry in which we operate is beginning to open up to the idea of multi-currency operation, and our project is earning respect from industry leaders, decision-makers, and influencers. Ethereum was the big story of 2016, and despite its challenges with The DAO and Ethereum Classic, it paved the way for alternatives like ours. From my vantage point, I am perceiving a dramatic change in the tone of conversations with executives of leading companies and major institutions, and we are likely to see that translate into some amazing developments this year.

In 2017, business development will become a major theme, as we continue working full-steam on delivering Evolution. We now have full-time integrations support. We are also expanding the business development team, and formalizing our strategy from “opportunistic” to “targeted”. Our pipeline of new integrations has never been stronger, or easier to develop.

Given our track record, our newfound strength, and the new environment in which we operate, I’m going to go out on a limb this year to make several bold predictions for 2017. I have that much confidence in the outcome. First, Dash will — for the fourth year in a row — outperform the growth rate of both Bitcoin and the digital currency industry as a whole by at least double. Second, Dash will grow at least triple digits. Third, Dash will be ranked within the top four by market cap before the end of the year. And most importantly, Dash will dramatically expand its reach and relevancy in the market, expanding our connective tissue across the industry through our business development efforts.

I believe that 2017 is the year Dash truly finds its legs and proves this morning’s dream to be true. But we can only do it together. For those that have heeded my call from last year, thank you… just look at what we’ve achieved! For those that haven’t, but are passionate about Dash, I’d encourage you to step off the sidelines and dive in to the project in any way you can. If we all do that, 2017 can be the year we all changed the world of digital currency and financial services forever.

The grapes this year are looking awfully plump!

The Dash Newsletter – T minus 12.1

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It took a while, but we finally have a launch date for Dash 12.1. As the developers have said a few times, this update is much bigger than initially expected and thus the extensive testing done.

It will happen on February 5th after the blockchain pays the approved proposals. All budgets will need to be resubmitted and masternodes who don’t update will stop getting payments pretty soon.

As for what we’ll get, 12.1 will introduce a completely rewritten governance software and will lay the foundations for Evolution. Probably it is better to just quote Evan Duffield’s announcement:

The first area of progress is Dash Core. In addition to running the network at present, Dash Core also serves as the backbone of the Evolution engine. We have done a great deal of work on Sentinel, our large-scale decentralized programmable database solution, which is going to allow us to move radically faster than any other organization in cryptocurrency. Among other things, Sentinel will allow us to push updates to Dash Core much more quickly and easily.

Sentinel can also be re-geared and deployed to operate digital companies that have a built-in workforce, infrastructure to deploy again, and as an engine for storage and retrieval of information. This is the concept we’re working on, which will allow companies to run on the Dash Network and compete with centralized companies that refuse to work with Dash. It’s a simple divide and conquest model.

We have recently moved a good deal of our funding into paying some new hires, who have now integrated into our team and have pushed through many new versions of the software. Among other things, they have fixed various issues with the stability of the daemon, the syncing of governance objects, and the workability of the new Sentinel system. Sentinel uses a complex set of rules and conditions for validation of objects and maintaining the consensus of the network.

+Dash 12.1 prepares the path for Evolution. If you want a glimpse of what will come, check this Dash Detailed episode.




It has been live for a while at Maybe you already know it. If you don’t, you will on February 5th because it will replace the old There is still some work being done. Don’t hesitate to check the test site and report in the forum anything weird that you find. Fist one to do it gets to create the thread.

The site is moving away from a CMS and will be fully static. This will improve speed and security by orders of magnitude. The looks are also much nicer.




Dashous has softly, and quietly, beta (alpha?) launched. There has not even been an announcement because it is still being polished, but it needs testers and I’m bad with secrets that are not even secrets. There is also a subreddit.

For those who don’t know, Dashous is the localbitcoins-like-site that the blockchain financed a couple cycles ago.




Yes, you read it well. The long awaited feature, brought to you by the acclaimed Chaeplin. This beautiful piece of software will let you start your masternode from a Keepkey with a Dash Core wallet once we are on 12.1. It also works with a Trezor. As always, this is experimental, test in testnet first. That is why it is called testnet.




+Ryan Taylor published the official response to the report by IOHK in which they made an extensive analysis of the governance system and suggested some improvements.

+Eric Sammons published his own review of the Dash Governance System in Medium. He knows the system and his writing is always great. Read it.

+New section in the forum for updates on the funded projects that the team is working on. This should help solve the lack of communication and the dispersion of information about certain projects. Replying is not allowed there because it is intended to serve as a very fast status update for those who don’t want to dig. We can all discuss in the rest of the forum.


PD: Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year and soon-to-be Chinese New Year!

The Week That Dash Was in the News – A LOT


If there were three words to describe Dash’s kickoff to the first quarter fiscal year 2017 they would be “not too shabby.”

Hi I’m Amanda B. Johnson and you’re watching DASH: Detailed.
Let’s get started with Dash in the News — and there’s been a lot this week.

At the height of last week’s price spike Dash’s price surge was written about in where the staff writer mentioned forthcoming developments such as 12.1 and Evolution.

And next there were five yes count them five media appearances by Dash’s so-called Director of Finance Ryan Taylor.

Taylor gave a live interview to a reporter at Cheddar being a daily live feed from the New York Stock Exchange of all places. The subscription-only Cheddar interview has not yet been released at the time of recording but Ryan reports that once he gets a copy of it he will be sure to tweet it.

Taylor then gave text-based interviews to Andrew Saks-McLeod at FinanceFeeds Diana Ngo at CoinJournal a staff writer at EconoTimes and Avi Mizrahi at Finance Magnates.

In other publications Dash saw its second mention at CoinDesk this time from author Willy Woo. In a piece entitled “Volatility and Liquidity: How Bitcoin Compares to its Crypto Competitors.”

And I Amanda B. Johnson gave an audio interview to the Future Tech Podcast hosted by Richard Jacobs. And now to Development Updates.

Some have asked whether the minimum hardware requirement to run a masternode in forthcoming 12.1 will be increased. Dash’s core development team has responded with an affirmative “no.” So the minimum hardware requirement for running a masternote in 12.1 will remain a 1 gigabyte of RAM piece of hardware or higher.

In other development updates Dash developer chaeplin has posted that he is now testing KeepKey masternode support on testnet. This means that in addition to Trezor masternode support which is set to be released with 12.1 you will also be able to host a masternode on a KeepKep hardware wallet once chaeplin finishes the mainnet testing two to three weeks after the release of 12.1.

Also in Development Updates a new section has been added to the forum at and it’s called “Project Updates.”

There you’ll see that Dash core team member Daniel Diaz AKA Minotaur has created progress update threads for the Mycelium wallet integration the GetGuild CTM — that is cryptocurrency teller machine projects — the fiat-to-Dash ATM compliance project from Cogent Law and the legal research project being conducted by attorney Marco Santori.

And now to Business News. There are two businesses newly-accepting Dash.

The first is Contraband Coffee which brews organic artisan batches of coffee available to be shipped anywhere in the United States.

And the second merchant is a Hempsweet. Hempsweet offers medicinal CBD oils as well as hemp oil body lotions and offers shipping to nearly anywhere in the world.

Now to Price Movement.
The Dash-to-US dollar price is currently at $12.80 per coin.

This makes for a total market cap of just under 90 million dollars with a 24-hour trade volume of 1.7 million dollars with an available coin supply of just over 7 million Dash.

Now today’s market cap is down significantly from what it was just seven days ago which you may recall was about a hundred and twenty million dollars in market cap but if you zoom out a mere seven days before that — that is two weeks ago — you’ll see that Dash’s market cap was then under 70 million dollars meaning that a 25-percent price increase has held from then to today.

And in Social Happenings.

An introduction to Dash meetup has been scheduled for January 26th to take place in Suwanee Georgia — and that’s the state Georgia rather than the country Georgia. It will be hosted by Jeffrey Thompson and take place at the George Pierce Park Community Center at 6pm.

Also in Social Happenings dear old Ryan Taylor has tweeted that he is slated to speak about Dash at the North American Bitcoin Conference on January the 18th.

The conference takes place January 16th 17th and 18th and Dash will also have a visitor’s booth open on all of the days for anybody to stop by.

And this nifty infographic has recently been released by redditor OnesPerspective. The infographic illustrates how Dash is different from Bitcoin and other cryptocurriences with its second tier masternode network private and instant confirmations and so forth.

You’ll find the link to the infographic as well as all links in today’s show in the description below on this YouTube page.

And to Network Statistics.

Today’s masternode count is 4 293 which is up 61 masternodes from last week’s 4 232. There are roughly 430 non- masternode full nodes running at this time making for a grand total of 4 721 full nodes on the network.

And in mining today marks a new all-time high hashrate which is at 2.09 tera hashes per second. Hurrah!

Masternode owners may also care to know that there are some new pre and regular proposals in Dash’s treasury at this time. Some of the proposers are brand-new to Dash and so they may appreciate receiving your feedback on their pre- proposal threads.

And finally a little PSA.

Remember to back up your Dash wallet particularly if you use the Dash QT / core wallet to be able to mix your coins remember that the backup of the QT wallet only backs up the next thousand addresses that it would have generated. Now that seems like a lot but if you do a lot of coin mixing with a lot of rounds you would be surprised how quickly you can use up those thousand addresses. So as always remember to backup your wallet regularly.

And that’s it for DASH: Detailed this week. Pretty please follow us on Twitter. And shoot an email to Amanda [at] Dash [dot] org if you have not yet subscribed for a weekly email of this series. All right I’ll see you next Wednesday.



Visiting a Solar Powered Altcoin Mining Farm in Costa Rica

Yesterday I had the chance to visit the world’s first (mostly) solar powered Altcoin mining farm, which is based near San José, Costa Rica. It is run by Avalon Life, the new sponsor of our educative series Captain Drakins’ Bitcoin Show.

With Andreas Meyer (Avalon Life) in one of their Altcoin mining farms in Costa Rica.

I was on my way to the Bitcoin Conference in Miami anyway, so I used the opportunity to visit beautiful Costa Rica and to talk some things through with Thomas Graf and Andreas Meyer, two of the main guys of Avalon. They are both Germans who have emigrated to Costa Rica, Thomas four years ago, Andreas last year.

Energy is an important cost factor in mining, and Costa Rica offers both lots of sun hours and geothermic energy, taken from its many active volcanos. Energy taken from the grid is still needed to fill gap hours when the sun doesn’t shine and geothermic energy is not enough, but electricity can be very cheap in Costa Rica, especially in off-peak hours at night. So Costa Rica was an obvious choice for mining farms mainly powered by renewable energy.

Costa Rica (Image: WikiCommons)

Thomas and Andreas drove me and some other visitors from abroad to one of their five mining farms in Costa Rica and showed us around. Well, mining farms are actually not that exciting to watch. They consist of racks of computers which produce a lot of noise and heat.

Compared to Bitcoin mining, this farm has a relatively low hash rate and energy consumption. It is a medium sized room in a factory building, about half filled with working racks, and lots of miners stored in the back, which are still in their original packaging. Thomas told me they will be installed in the future, but only after new solar panels have been added to the factory building’s roof to provide them with enough cheap electricity.

This is something unthinkable in the Bitcoin world: if you have a miner in your hands, you would not leave it in the package, but you want it to produce coins every second of its short life span. The Bitcoin difficulty goes up so fast that today’s fastest miner will be obsolete in just a few months. This seems to be different in the world of Altcoin mining, which I never cared about so far.

Avalon Life started their mining operations only last (Northern Hemisphere) summer. Their strategy is to not join the expensive arms race of Bitcoin mining, but rather mine other coins and trade them for Bitcoins.

If you invest in a mining package with them – and they only accept Bitcoin as payment – you will be paid out in Bitcoin on a daily basis. So although Bitcoin mining is just a very small part of their activity (they have some test Bitcoin miners in their mining farm in China), Bitcoin is still the most important point of reference.

Screenshot Dash Block Explorer from January 9th, 2017.

In this short time, Avalon Life have become one of the market leaders for Dash mining, which you can see on the Dash Block Explorer. The mining farm I visited has about 200 GigaHash, about half of which is dedicated to Dash mining, the rest of it to a variety of other coins, such as Litecoin, Ether, Monero and some other coins I have never even heard of.

They are not mining Steem yet, but I think they should consider to do so. By the way, the next episode of Captain Drakins will be about mining, too.

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