Exclusive: Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor Says Dash Evolution Will Be Like Decentralized PayPal
Dash Core’s CEO Ryan Taylor talks about Dash partnerships, adoption and the upcoming Dash Evolution platform in this exclusive interview.
DASH grew majorly in 2017 thanks to its adoption drive, spurring numerous partnerships and increasing the overall network. In our exclusive interview with Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core, we asked him about Dash’s outlook for 2018, its privacy features, merchant acceptance and Dash Evolution.
What was the highlight for DASH in 2017, besides the price spike?
Dash has experienced a phenomenal rise in 2017, forming over 50 business partnerships with significant players in the space, becoming the number one digital currency for payments, and rising from a total market cap of $70 million USD, to over $9 billion USD. A key highlight was seeing Dash implement some of the most significant upgrades since its inception, launching the 12.1 version in February 2017 which included significant improvements to backend protocols, governance, voting, and the privacy function. Following, Dash introduced a 12.2 update in November, seeing transaction fees reduced by a factor of ten, and doubling the network capacity.
These achievements reflect Dash’s core values of providing a cheaper, faster, and more efficient payment method for consumers and merchants. Dash also hosted its first-ever Dash Conference in London, where Dash Core met much of the Dash community and had the opportunity to discuss topics such as Dash Evolution, scaling, and governance. The conference was a massive success and Dash is the process planning its 2018 Dash Conference.
2. What is the most important thing for DASH in 2018?
Most important in 2018 is continuing our journey of leading the space when it comes to blockchain-based payments. Dash will launch Dash Evolution this year, with a mission to make digital cash easier to use and accessible for all users, even for those who aren’t technologically savvy. We will also continue to build strategic partnerships that will benefit the network in the long-term.
3. Beyond trading, where does DASH really derive value from?
Dash is enabling billions of dollars of transactions to flow freely around the world and at very low expense. The network processes nearly $9 billion a month in transactions, and the number of transactions is growing at a high triple digit growth rate. Because of the Dash network’s high capacity, low fees and near instant transaction times, we’re enabling markets in which other digital currencies are unable to compete. We’re seeing especially strong adoption enabling low-value sales and low-margin industries where transaction costs matter the most.
4. Coins with anonymous features are booming- where does DASH line up with the claims of Monero, ZCash, and other coins? Do people even see it as an anonymous coin?
While Dash does offer an optional privacy feature, called PrivateSend, Dash seeks to provide users with a well-rounded set of features. The way privacy is enabled in Dash doesn’t take away from the user experience. Unlike many other approaches, PrivateSend preserves the ability to use Dash on a mobile device and doesn’t degrade the performance or capacity of our network. In contrast, many other coins that are truly privacy-focused optimize for the most private transactions possible, regardless of the impact that incremental anonymity has on the overall user experience. Currencies that singularly focus on anonymous transactions are clearly targeting a different market than Dash. We are aiming for mass adoption rather than a specific use.
5. Merchants are seeing trouble with Bitcoin- so how has this reflected on DASH? Are you seeing more, or less interest in using DASH for payments?
We are definitely seeing increasing interest in Dash for payments. We have partnered with leading merchants across the globe, such as BlockPay, Festy, BitCart, and Bitnovo and will continue to build new relationships and partnerships in 2018. Many of our in-progress integrations are specifically aiming to replace Bitcoin as a payment mechanism, particularly in industries that have effectively been priced out of the Bitcoin network. Dash has designed its infrastructure with the merchant and consumer in mind. In 2017 we saw an increase in our network capacity, a reduction in our fees to near zero, and a reduction in transaction time at Point of Sale to less than two seconds. I believe that Bitcoin is increasingly regarded as a store of value, rather than a cryptocurrency for payments, which is opening many doors for Dash in the payments space.
6. What about the rapidly appreciating price? Will people be put off by spending DASH?
Our strategy is yielding real success, with a longer track record of beating the market. In 2017 Dash outperformed the digital currency market for the fourth year in a row. So we are definitely attracting investors. However, investment and transactions can easily coexist, even for the same user. People and businesses need to transact with each other, and at the end of the day, if you provide a better, faster, easier way to facilitate these payments, the system gets utilized. If Dash happens to also attract those same users to invest in Dash too, that’s really a separate decision for them.
Interestingly, the growth of the use of Dash as a payment method in countries suffering from hyperinflation such as Venezuela, is a trend that reflects the value, efficiency, and security of Dash as a payment method. Similarly in Africa, in countries like Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, Dash is also becoming increasingly popular because Dash is building a track record of being a more stable store of value than rapidly deteriorating government currencies.
7. DASH has a well-funded developer program, but how hard or easy is it to find developer talent for cryptocurrency payment systems?
At Dash, we have been fortunate to build a team that not only has extraordinary technical expertise, but has the vision to match. However, it can be challenging hiring a developer for a cryptocurrency payment system and it requires time and effort to attract the right talent. Onboarding a new programmer is a substantial investment as well. Most everyone involved in Dash is extremely dedicated to changing the world for the better, and truly believes in our vision. Other projects attempt to poach from our team all the time, but no one leaves. It’s a real inspiration to work with people this dedicated to our project.
As the cryptocurrency industry gains momentum, I would advocate more education in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space in schools and universities, which will give students an insight into a flourishing industry, particularly in the finance, IT, and engineering sectors. Last year, Dash partnered with Arizona State University’s CASCADE program by sponsoring the creation of a new blockchain research lab. The initiative was funded by treasury proposal, and is focused on research into exploring the potential of blockchain technology as well as investigate issues and solutions presented by the technology. We are currently in the process of funding the addition of blockchain into the curriculum and funding several scholarships.
8. If it is not secret, could you share more developments in upcoming DASH technologies- 100-coin nodes, when are they coming? What are other improvements next in the pipeline?
As touched on earlier, Dash is currently developing Dash Evolution, which is like a decentralized PayPal or Venmo, but with many improvements. It is the world’s first Decentralized Application Programming Interface (API) which will be at the heart of all web and mobile Evolution wallets. Users will be able to setup an account on the blockchain, add contacts and pay them by name. Long cryptographic addresses will be obscured from the user. Purchases from websites or mobile apps will be simple, requiring only a single click.