Tek Tok | A Thought On Merchant Adoption
Editor’s note: This is a well-thought out response by Dash Nation member toknormal to a discussion about Dash’s advantages in the point of sale industry. Who would be the types of merchants who would benefit the most from an online cash? Read on to see his contribution.
Ok. Maybe there is a case for retail adoption then if it becomes an acknowledged store of value. It’s just that if you actually work in this industry you tend to get a different perspective on the practicalities of point of sale. eCommerce, for example, is just transferring numbers. It doesn’t care what denomination those numbers represent – they’re just numbers in a database, so talking about “adoption” of a specific medium of exchange sounds kind of meaningless from that perspective. It’s like saying “we’ve got a new type of car – lets campaign for car parks to accept our car”. Or like an exchange where all trades occur instantly regardless of what blockchain coin is being traded. Every currency pair on an exchange uses the exact same technology – the “Coin” being traded being simply a label on the trade. The blockchain may never be involved because there’s only 1 withdrawal or deposit per 10,000 trades or something.
As for zero-conf’s and micro transactions, I imagine they’ll just get handled by the Bitcoin Lightning network (for all my criticisms of it – it is likely to get launched soon).
IMO whats needed is to focus on de-coupling the trade from the asset that backs it while retaining the ‘cash’ paradigm so that the backing asset remains transparent to the retailer. Bitpay sort of does that but it’s quite clumsy and retailers need to explicitly sign up for it. It’s a concept ahead of its time and we’ll probably have to wait for the commerce/crypto field to mature before practical solutions emerge I think.
The bar is currently set at a minimum service level whereby the retailer can set prices in any denomination they want and the customer can pay in any denomination they want – thats what we are competing with right now.
Having said all that, lets now look at Dash’s unique properties: Peer to Peer instantly cleared cash using blockchain-native technology. While this does not offer anything over current point of sale technology it DOES offer a huge amount over current clearing technology. So I can see the mileage in pursuing the ‘social networking’ market for example.
There is also likely to be a sector that DOES want to do on chain realtime transactions where they don’t want to use an off-chain system like exchanges or gambing sites do and where they need the trades to be fast enough for realtime response. Lets think why such a merchant would want that. A couple of things come to mind:
1. they DON’T want their customers to have to create online accounts
2. they DO want the trade to be irreversible – even in the event of keying errors in the payment
3. they DON’T want the trade to be brokered
4. they DO require at least eCommerce-class realtime performance (i.e. less than, say 10 second delay)
If one can identify merchants with those requirements then one has one’s adopters IMO.
Great insight as always, toknormal!