Following the recent 5-year anniversary of Dash, BlockhainReporeter sat down with Ryan Taylor, the CEO of Dash Core about their successes so far, their challenges and what lies ahead.
1. Dash recently collaborated with Arizona State University (ASU) to create a research lab. Is this a sign of academia fully embracing Blockchain or is there more work to be done?
Our partnership with Arizona State University is obviously great for both the university and Dash. The university gains access to developers working on a real-world blockchain-based project, and Dash benefits from the research capabilities and infrastructure of a world-class research university. I believe that blockchain will have tremendous implications for computer science, businesses, researchers, and academics. So, I think we’re only at the very early stages of academia embracing the importance of this emerging field, and it will take time to develop the coursework, research, and tenured faculty that is justified.
2. Dash is now accepted at over 4,000 merchants worldwide, what do you feel has been the driving force for crypto adoption worldwide?
Our adoption is accelerating because we’re very focused on delivering technology that the market needs – instant payments and improved user experience. In addition, the network itself provides financial incentives for local teams to seek out opportunities for adoption. This enables the network to funnel resources to where they achieve the best results. Over time, local network effects begin to take hold with more merchants and more users joining the network. It takes real education and effort to expand the network and convince merchants and consumers to try something new, so this aspect is a critical differentiator for Dash.
3. Do you think the current bear market will affect global adoption negatively?
Price trends absolutely affect the willingness of people to try cryptocurrency. However, it’s not impossible to grow in a bear market. In fact, last February, Dash had only about 600 merchants on the network. Today, we have over 4,800 merchants. If you solve real problems in the market, it’s clear that even a bear market cannot halt growth.
4. There has been particular interest in Dash from South American countries. Why do you think that is?
Many South American countries have a history of instability, especially with their economies and currencies, and lower financial freedom when it comes to cross-border transfers and access to digital payments. There are also reliability issues with the payments infrastructure that is in place. Dash is solving these very issues. People are willing to try something new that are frustrated by the traditional financial systems, especially in a place like Venezuela where hyperinflation of over 100,000% struck the country over the last year. It’s no surprise then, that Venezuela is leading the adoption curve for Dash.
5. Dash recently celebrated its 5th anniversary. What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Transitioning the founding team from a scrappy group of volunteers into a professional service organization has been exhilarating for everyone involved, but the rate of change has been difficult to manage. At the same time, the team and ecosystem has grown rapidly over those five years. So the culture of the community, the core team, and our users have all evolved at a rapid rate. I hope to have the same problem in another 5 years driven by rapid growth… it’s a great problem to have.
6. One of your biggest selling points has been your transaction fees, which are one of the lowest in the industry. How do you feel that traditional financial institutions will respond over time to the new standard?
Transaction fees were already in a race to zero long before cryptocurrency entered the market, so I honestly don’t think transaction fees will win over merchants and consumers without matching the effectiveness and ease-of-use of the traditional payments technologies. Financial institutions have focused less on fee reduction – because fees are already low – and more on enhancing their overall offerings with complementary services they can monetize. When cryptocurrencies start to offer more and better services beyond the payment itself, that’s when I think things get interesting. Our Evolution release aims to make that possible with Dash. In the meantime, there are some subsegments where fees remain high and cryptocurrency can do quite well, such as cross-border transactions, remittances, and high-chargeback industries and that provides the footing we need as an industry to continue making inroads.
7. In light of the recent 51 percent Mining attacks on the Ethereum Classic Network, there have been speculations about the Dash Network being susceptible to such an attack. Could you comment on that?
As the largest network utilizing our particular mining algorithm – X11 – we are somewhat protected from these types of attacks, which are generally levelled against exchanges on smaller networks. However, the next release Dash Core Group is working on will make Dash immune to 51% attacks, by incorporating a technology we call ChainLocks. In fact, with chain locks, there is no longer any need to wait until after multiple block confirmations. One block confirmation with a ChainLock will be sufficient to ensure the transaction is immutable. We’re very excited to get this technology rolled out.
8. What does Dash hope to achieve in the next 5 Years?
Five years is an eternity in crypto. We really aim to become a mainstream payment method in multiple high-volume industries and geographies over that time. We believe we can be mainstream on several continents and in several industry verticals over that period of time. We also expect a thriving ecosystem of decentralized apps operational on the Dash platform by that time. The Dash network is only getting started.
Dash, the leading e-commerce and payments-focused cryptocurrency, will celebrate its fifth birthday. Dash is amongst the top 15 most valuable cryptocurrencies, and is one of the very few that presents a real world use case to end users, particularly populations with limited access to financial services, and those demanding cheaper, faster payments alternatives to today’s flawed credit cards.