Featuring the opinion and writings of various members of Dash Nation.

Tek Tok: A digital currency that has endured

Another in our “Voices of Dash Nation” series, where we take posts of exceptional quality and share them with our readers. The following was posted by Dash Nation member “Toknormal” on the Dash Nation on Discord chat.

Surveying coinmarketcap today gives much cause for reflection. It looks to me like “novelty value” is starting lose out to “survivor value”. This is particularly true for pure monetary, mined originals. Not many people will notice this unless you’ve been glued to coinmarketcap rankings for the last 5 years and can recall almost every pump & dump that ever made it into the top 5.

What many people possibly underestimate – or take for granted – is that Dash is now an IMMENSE force in crypto. The bear market has taken its toll on many people’s nerves (and pockets – including mine) but it hasn’t pushed Dash much below its 2014/15 ATH ratios with bitcoin in the way that it has cratered many other cryptos that at one time or another visited the top 10. (Check my recent remarks in #markets for explanation of the role of coin supply in marketcap).

The track record speaks for itself and Dash, Ether and (cough) Monero have out-performed everything over the time period because the market is now selecting originals in their class for long term reserves, even though flavours of the day will continue to have their volcanic spells. In that respect, Dash has survived on merit alone because it prioritised investability over short term marketcap ranking (by growing exchange rate over coin supply) and monetary integrity over technological novelty (by inheriting bitcoin’s mined status and codebase).

Dash compares well to others

If you compare for example the history of Litecoin (a “clone” that did not define a new asset class and did not invent masternodes) with Dash against bitcoin there is no contest. LTC is now languishing at 30% of it’s 2014 high while Dash is retesting its 2014 (BTC ratio) highs from above this time. That is the sign of true growth – long term investability against bitcoin because what’s the point of holding an altcoin if it can’t grow against BTC ? You might as well hold BTC itself.

Then there is BCH which doesn’t even have a pedigree, never mind a feature set. It’s simply a bitcoin cast-off now that has holders by default while still being constrained by its core properties – like building a bunch of houses that have the same locks as a Majorca villa and calling them “valuable” because the key fits.

Solid technology and pride of work

The other ace that Dash holds is that it can actually draw service demand into the native blockchain as opposed to pushing it out to 3rd party satellite networks like “Lightning”. The market has acknowledged Dash’s unique “patent” on that capacity by way of having ranked it as the original in the masternode class of blockchains. That attribute is now welded in place despite the media attacks and FUD. The “what doesn’t kill you…” paradigm is taking the place of the early challenges to its existence.

Finally, the fact that recent mainnet version releases have gone almost flawlessly is a testament to the fact that devs have their priorities right IMO – i.e. make sure it “works” above everything else including bells, whistles and premature releases. For me this means that there is something huge and worthwhile coming. Namely that a cryptocurency network will have the capacity to “talk” coherently to client applications and offer them native, authentic services as opposed to brokered ones that can do no more than relay the latest version of the blockchain with a lot of added hand-waving.

Think of it this way. Have you ever seen a flock of birds manoeuvre with coherence ? All at once in response to a gust of wind, blast of noise or flash of light ? Well Dash network service layer (known to many as “Evolution”) is that flock of birds. Its mining layer, being decoupled, remains as solid as bitcoin’s. Bitcoin network meanwhile….needs to wait for the next block to do anything at all.

Thanks, Toknormal! Got an opinion on this subject? Let us know in the comment section.

Dash and mass adoption

Dash has been a very interesting and unique platform/project among all the others in the blockchain ecosystem.

5 years ago, Dash was born with a different name and a strong vision. Now Dash has become a disruptive factor in crypto world. We can see Dash now as an excellent example for many other projects.

2019 brings new challenges for all actors in crypto world, including Dash. Low market prices, more government regulation, and many people without information about cryptocurrency are real roadbumps for us. Even with these obstacles for an effective mass adoption, adoption must be the next big goal for every crypto in order to survive and deliver its features for people. 

Many people are skeptical about adoption, this is not new. All other game changers have lived same situation, such as internet, phones, and social media. All of them have been where we are now, I am sure time will speak loud and clear about crypto’s future. Right now we are just a few in this gigantic financial universe, but crypto is here to stay.

How to carry this process on has been a discussion point in every core team and community. Many options have been proposed and many ideas have been discussed, but the real question here is, is there a magical and/or effective way to do it?

Church’s Chicken is an example of adoption in Venezuela.

I don’t think so. I think there must be a broad strategy and a huge educational effort to reach as many people as possible. This will bring in more educated people in the ecosystem, bringing more use, more stability, and less speculation.

In this regard, my opinion is that Dash has a strong structure and a good funding system to get this task done. Both structure and funding are a real issue for many projects looking for survival. Sometimes there isn’t a structure big or clever enough to make it happen and sometimes there are not enough funds to get it done. But Dash is solid in both areas, and this is a really good advantage for Dash in this crypto adoption race for survival.

It is not an easy task, 8 billion people is a huge target, and every crypto project must come together and try to outreach most of this population in order to reach the next stage in this new era: USABILITY.

What will future bring for Dash? I am sure Dash could lead this adoption stage in a very successful way if its moves are well played. Dash’s community will be a solid leader this race. Dash’s tech specs, apps, developments, community, funding system are exceptionally good. As a Dash supporter, I can see an exciting and brilliant forthcoming future for Dash. 

Got a talent for writing? Consider becoming a contributor to our site! More info on the #dashnation_com channel on Dash Nation on Discord. Invite link below.

Striking while the iron is hot!

Members of the Dash community who were around at the beginning know this feeling. Even ones who joined Dash Nation later may have felt it. A large part of the cryptosphere has never evaluated Dash with a fair lens, due to mistakes made at the launch.

These mistakes led to increased trolling from rival currencies who made the assumption that these mistakes were intentional. Rumours that Dash was a scam were prevalent, but no proof of this was ever submitted. The people responsible would simply follow the adage “Repeat it long enough and it will become true”.

66,000 Kriptomobile Dash-preloaded phones were sold in Latin America.

All of this early-life adversity only served to make Dash stronger. There was never anything wrong with the technology, customer service or work ethos, just a persistent bias from those who believed the parroted narrative of the detractors.

All through this time, Dash Nation persevered. We posted links to our successes in the cryptocurrency subReddit only to get met with downvotes and scam comments. We tweeted about integrations and adoption only to get ridiculed about the assumed intentions of Dash’s founder.

Fast-forward to today. As someone who has spent considerable time in the trenches trying to build the community, I have begun to notice a thawing out of this resistance to Dash’s successes.

I believe a big reason for this was the popping of the crypto bubble. People are no longer making money from pure speculation, and the focus is more on usage and adoption. This is right up Dash’s alley, as we have literally been working on this since the beginning!

Rodrigo Digital explains Dash’s successes in encouraging adoption.

Dash’s social media contacts (Dash Nation’s #social-media-squad, and Dash Talk’s #swarm, among others) regularly post newsworthy items in their circles. Recently, where there used to be downvotes there are upvotes, where their used to be snide comments there are now compliments. It’s very refreshing to see, and a vindication of our hard work.

People who work with Dash Nation more often than not come away impressed by the experience.

We are coming into a new period of added respect for our project, Dash Nation. The dichotomy of how we are treated in the cryptosphere versus how we and the project actually are is slowly fading.

It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but we must remember it didn’t come by accident. The whole community came together to make this happen. Developers coded a smooth and robust network, business developers worked hard to add integrations in this environment of extreme bias, and rabid community members did their best to get the constant good news out there.

Does that mean it’s going to be easy from now on? Absolutely not, and if it was it simply wouldn’t be Dash. This false narrative we deal with every day is still prevalent. There are indications, however, that times may be changing, and we must not rest now. Now is the time to be bold. To have the swagger we deserve. 

Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot!

Why should Venezuela use cash?

Maybe, instead of asking “why should Venezuela use Dash ?”, the question should be “why should Venezuela use cash ?”.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately and come up with some thoughts.
Basically, crypto is a synthesised monetary asset. As such the successful ones should be based on some kind of real world archetype that’s already known to work. There are in fact very few, of these namely:

  • monetary metals
  • cash
  • credit (account based money)
  • vertical tokens (sector specific e.g. BitTube, Steem etc)

Those are the pure monetary ones that hold everything else up (see “Exter’s pyramid” – scroll down). In addition we can add a couple more to cover the smart-chains:

  • computing platforms
  • settlement vehicles
  • equities

Characteristics of money

Let those be 1 dimension of analysis by which we can categorize every asset on coinmarketcap.com (i.e. we can work back to the archetype by observing each synthetic asset’s design parameters). Now lets overlay those groups (at least the tokenised form of each asset) with the 3 primary use cases of money which will effectively give us 21 potential “hard” categories:

  • store of value
  • means of exchange
  • unit of account

Most monetary commodities & assets fulfil almost exclusively the “store of value” use case. e.g. Gold bars, silver coins, stamps, fine art. None of these find significant use nowadays as either a means of exchange or a unit of account.

Meanwhile, the credit money of the fiat system finds use EXCLUSIVELY as a unit of account. There is no commodity associated with it any longer, even though they linger on in the currency titles (“Sterling”, “Peso”, “Dollar” etc). It’s simply an arbitrary unit for denominating quantities of credit.

Cash and vertical (market specific) tokens are the only ones that function as all 3. Store of value, means of exchange and unit of account. That is one reason why “regular folks” may want to use cash – because it’s something they can spend, hold, value costs with and that doesn’t loose its value.

Now lets look at the various archetypes themselves and their significant characteristics which ideally need to be carried forward into their synthetic counterparts. To do this we need to have recourse to the age-old acknowledged characteristics of money and see how each archetype gives priority to distinct monetary properties to deliver its optimal “service”.

  • mobility
  • fungibility
  • divisibility
  • scarcity
  • durability

Archetypes

  • 1. Monetary assets:

We already observed that these operate primarily in the store-of-value role. So fungibility, mobility and divisibility are de-prioritised in favour of scarcity and durability. This is the case, for example with gold nuggets, fine art, diamonds and even (nowadays) metal coins – since these are generally only fungible within a particular family (for example canadian maples). There is fungibility to a degree because metals can be melted down to erase their historical form and take up another.

Within the cryptocurrency class, bitcoin certainly follows this archetype very well. Its blocktime corresponds to its exchange time – a reasonable one for such an asset class. It is also divisible and has enough fungibility to function well as a monetary asset without de-prioritising its main role – that of storing value.

Significantly, this class can serve as a “backing” for derivative vehicles. For example when we put our money in the bank, a “derivative” form of it appears as a digital balance in our bank account which can then be transferred to someone else’s account without them actually having to be present in order to receive the exchange in person.

  • 2. Cash

Cash ideally inherits all of the store-of-value attributes from the previous monetary asset class, but places a much higher priority on 3 of the above properties:

  • mobility
  • divisibility
  • fungibility

In addition, when we look at how cash operates in the real world, we can also see 2 further aspects that characterise that archetype, and show us how those monetary properties are supported:

  • immediacy of exchange
  • transparency of the medium (the “notes” can be inspected by both/all parties)
  • continuous supply recycling

The last of these works by consolidating coins and notes in the cash drawers of merchants (mixing
inputs from different customers) and then again at banking branches (mixing inputs from different merchants) before being redistributed into circulation.

Characteristics of the real-world cash monetary archetype.

One other significant aspect of cash, is that its value coincides with the medium. What I mean by that is that the value is in the actual token being exchanged and not somewhere else, so by definition, the authentic archetype excludes account-based trading.

3. Vertical Tokens

I’ll leave these aside for the moment as they only apply to specific commercial markets. In Tom Luongo’s article above he refers to these as “utility tokens”.I

Implementation

Given than bitcoin was the reference implementation for a “reasonably” fungible, mobile and divisible synthetic monetary asset, the question then arises of how to evolve this archetype into an authentic implementation of cash. Given that the transparency requirement is already met by bitcoin (all parties can see the same blockchain attributes), we need to meet 3 additional archetypal requirements:

  • the “immediacy” of the exchange
  • the supply recycling model
  • the native medium requirement (no account based trading)

ALL of these three are an issue for blockchains. First of all, blockchains work in blocktime, not realtime so there is no inherent support for instant transfers. Nor do they have any native mixing features in the standard bitcoin implementation – mixing is purely organic arising from use. Finally, the requirement that even small transactions be carried out using the base money supply gives them a technical scaling challenge that the other asset classes don’t have (since they can benefit from account based trading).

Solutions

There are only 3 ways to solve the “immediacy” requirement in a blockchain:

  • tighten up the blocktime so its approaches zero
  • use the mempool and consider such transactions secure enough
  • decouple the blockchain protocol on-chain so it has 2-tiers: one that functions in blocktime and the other that can function in realtime

The first two of these solutions are clearly not very satisfactory since 1 is in conflict with the integrity of the mining protocol and the other is in conflict with the double-spend risk.
However, what’s interesting about the third of these is that the decoupled protocol can ALSO address the supply recycling (mixing) requirement of the archetype – and this is the course that Dash has taken.

Conclusion

So we can conclusively make the case that Dash – being the first in the world of masternode oriented, pure currency, mined chains – qualifies as an original in a distinct class of synthetic assets. It authentically implements the key aspects of the cash archetype in a way that its “competitors” (I don’t include Bitcoin in that group but, say Litecoin, BCH, Doge etc) do not.

IMO we need to therefore refer BACK to the archetype for the use cases. Why do/did people use cash ? (As distinct from credit/debit cards). How do they get it ? Where do they spend it ?

If we go back a bit in time, cash was metal coins so it held its value in addition to being a transactional medium. Getting it into people’s hands easily is therefore a major milestone to reach. Some other way than exchanges hopefully.

Thanks, Toknormal!

Amid media blackouts and speculative selloffs, Dash Nation remains positive. Here’s why.

It’s a special feeling that you get when you are heavily involved in Dash. I am going to touch on a few reasons why in this article. One of the major ones is the fact that we are a very successful, innovation-rich currency, but our successes are met in the crypto industry either with silence, or a resounding “Meh”.

Major publications such as Coindesk seem to avoid writing anything positive about Dash like the plague, and places with large memberships such as Reddit r/Cryptocurrency have legions of people who downvote any post that has the mention of Dash and its accomplishments.

Now, this is not a recent development, there are a few reasons for Dash’s seemingly pariah-like status in the crypto space.

Dash’s launch problems are partially to blame

The launch of Dash (launched X-Coin) was not without its problems, with a bug in the code that allowed it to be mined at a very fast rate, so much so that over 1 million X-Coin was mined within a short time. Critics pounced on this, and claimed that the lead developer Evan Duffield was a scammer that knowingly released X-Coin with this bug. They also claimed that Evan single-handedly mined all of the coins and shut other miners out.

This story, which has never been proven, grew into something of a cult obsession with Dash’s detractors. They did not waste any opportunity to propagate this story to any newcomers, or anyone who had anything positive to say about Dash. Over time, due to the aggressiveness of the people behind this narrative, and the relative passiveness of the Dash community to debunk it, it became a widely-held belief. Rightly or wrongly, Dash had been labeled a scam coin.

The latest Dash logo.

Funny thing about scams, though. In order to be a scam, you need to have victims. To this day, there have been no victims of this supposed scam by Evan Duffield. Dash community members who did not listen to the prevailing narrative and invested in Dash did very well financially. Those who dare to challenge the scam narrative that prevailed for so long are met with a friendly, respectful, inclusive community that have their hearts set on developing and deploying a decentralized payment system for the world to use.

The dichotomy between the way that the Dash community is portrayed in certain circles in comparison to how we actually are is remarkable. If those who chose to believe the scam narrative would actually spend some time around us they would see that. Then, maybe we would not get sidelined so much in the industry. But, because we know what Dash is about and what its lofty goals are, we stay positive for the future.

Dash’s ambitions don’t earn it many friends either…

Did you know that Evan Duffield once approached the Bitcoin Core developers about adding PrivateSend (then called Darksend) to BTC? They informed him that they were not interested in adding any changes to Satoshi’s protocol, so that’s how Dash was born.

It became apparent to all that Evan truly was a genius from the very early days. His vision and his drive to be successful attracted others of like mind who paid no attention to the prevailing narrative. Over time, a talented development team and community was assembled around Dash. We made it very clear in every interaction with the crypto community that Dash aims to be the dominant world currency, surpassing Bitcoin in time. That’s a bold statement, and one that doesn’t win you many friends in the industry.

It turns out that we have reasons to be so confident.

The list of Dash innovations is long

Dark Gravity Wave, PrivateSend, incentivized masternodes, InstantSend, the Dash budget system, and ChainLocks are all innovations that can be claimed by Dash. These innovations result in a network that is silky smooth, fast, and secure. All of these features make Dash a strong contender to be the everyday payment system of the future.

If you sat down right now and attempted to send a few dollars worth of BTC from one address to another, and did the same with Dash, you would see that the BTC would take you quite a while to be fully confirmed at its destination, while Dash would take seconds to do the same. Yes, seconds. This is made possible by Dash’s second tier: masternodes, a Dash innovation.

Working governance leads to stability

Governance in Bitcoin sometimes seems like kids playing tug-of-war.

Unfortunately for Dash right now, Bitcoin, the market leader in the space, is an unmitigated train wreck. First was the block size debate that raged on for years, leading to a fork and two different Bitcoins created. As if that wasn’t enough, the newly created currency Bitcoin Cash encountered its own governance crisis, ultimately leading to two forks as well.

This happens because Bitcoin has no clear way of knowing what the community consensus is for direction. Other than social media, which can be gamed and is sometimes rampant with censorship, with massive egos claiming superiority, BTC has no governance mechanism to rely on.

Thanks to the invention of incentivized masternodes, Dash does not have this problem. There are some strong personalities in Dash, and there is no shortage of disagreements, just like any other large crypto community. The difference with Dash is, we never dwell on arguments long enough to create irreconcilable differences. 

Differing ideas are presented, debated, and voted on by the decentralized group of large stakeholders (masternodes). The result is respected, and the currency moves forward, with nothing but a few bruised egos. The doomsday scenario of a fork does not materialize, due to a clear way to decide on future direction.

Because of this, we stay positive for the future.

I explain how Dash’s governance system works in this video.

Dash concerns itself with development and use, not price

It’s really incredible when you visit a Dash communication forum. There are a few die-hards who like to talk about price, but the majority remain razor-focused on development and adoption. The confidence that comes from Dash’s innovations leads to this attitude. Also the fact that Dash aims to be used as a day-to-day money leads this to be high on our priority list.

We celebrate the usage of Dash in far-off places like Nigeria, Germany, and Venezuela. We help the development team create new versions with even smoother features. We tip each other constantly in Dash, creating new transactions on the blockchain. 

We recently performed a stress test where we had over 3 million Dash transactions in a 24-hour period, a record in the industry. This did not get much coverage, of course, but it happened.

For Dash’s usage, we stay positive for the future.

If Dash were the market leader, things would have been different in 2018

Leading by example is something that Dash is great at. Stable, secure, fast operations, and a unified community is the reality here. Compare that to the never-ending drama in Bitcoin, and you can see that Dash really should be given a shot to assume this role one day. 

I’m not saying that Dash would have prevented the bear market, because crypto markets are heavily manipulated. I am saying, however, that if Dash’s stability and innovations were put into the spotlight the same way that Bitcoin’s failures were, the bear market may not have been so long. The added infrastructure investment that would befit a digital currency that has its act together may have reversed the bear at some point in 2018 as well.

Dash Core Group CEO reflects the thinking of Dash Nation.

Watch out for Dash in 2019!

Despite the fact that Dash’s accomplishments get the silent treatment and we feel sometimes like we are yelling into a sound-proof room, the momentum doesn’t stop. Dash’s community continues to grow, innovations keep coming, and adoption is happening globally.

Bitcoin had its chance to lead, and it’s doing a miserable job. It really needs to make way for a project that knows how to lead by example, and could quite possibly help lift the whole industry out of the mess it’s in.

If you are new to Dash and just reading about it for the first time, or you thought that we were a scam coin, I don’t blame you. That’s the way it’s been during Dash’s short history. Share this article, help us get the word out! You are welcome to join us in Dash Nation as we help forge the future financial freedom for many around the world.

A Tale Of Two Networks

A Tale Of Two Networks As the head of finance for Dash, I naturally spend a lot of time thinking about Dash’s strategy, funding and expenses and how to optimize them for our network’s growth. About a week ago, I did the unthinkable… I replied to a troll on Bitcointalk. I know, I know, “just […]