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 dash.org 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!