The past few months have been really successful for Dash. Its price increased dramatically, it has excellent development opportunities ahead, and it’s taking steps towards social awareness by helping people in need.
Dash was present at the Cryptocurrency World Expo, which took place on 1st and 2nd of December in Warsaw. One of the speakers there was Robert Więcko, Head of Project Management in the Dash Core Team. He shared his thoughts on future of Dash with us.
DowBit: Dash has already proven that it’s a stable, flexible, and practical cryptocurrency. During the presentation you showed us its next step forward — Dash Evolution, which plans to give it functionality similar to PayPal. What is missing from Dash to gain mainstream adoption?
Robert Więcko: There is practically nothing missing apart from some purely functional parts that need to be programmed; the API for transactions is already operational and used by our partners. We have to continue working on what I’m doing at the moment, which is getting out there and explaining what Dash is, what we can offer users, partners, and businesses, and to convince them that we are a notable and trustworthy partner.
DB: In addition to conferences and projects conducted with 10% of the reward budget, are you doing other interactive activities, like publishing textbooks, or work in scientific circles?
RW: We are a partner of the University of Arizona. The Dash Labs initiative allows companies and students to work on and study Dash’s blockchain, develop solutions, try to break its security, and perform other tests. There are also external educational campaigns. For example, students of universities and secondary schools go out to younger colleagues and educate them in technical fields: https://www.bittobyte.org/, talk about what blockchain is, what Dash is, what Dash is used for. It’s a typical, bottom-up educational process where enthusiasts educate another generation of enthusiasts: a wonderful thing.
DB: So, is time the only thing that’s missing for everything to become fully operational? Is it possible to predict when all this will work: half a year, a year?
RW: I think this is the key: time and hard work. It is very difficult to determine when everything will happen. Bear in mind that we are not without competition, and are vulnerable to factors beyond our control. If Dash were alone in this sector, one could probably present reasonable estimates. But, we are part of the dynamic blockchain industry, with many ups and downs, and there will be many successes and failures and as a consequence, Dash is included. However, we are optimistic and I think that 2018 will be a very positive year for our project.
DB: Masternodes are one of the most unique and exciting Dash components. Today, to buy the 1000 DASH required for a Masternode costs between $700,000 and $800,000, which most people cannot afford. Will there be actions towards greater network decentralisation? Perhaps the amount of Dash needed will be reduced, or something like Masternode tiers could be introduced? Something that might allow people to generate a passive income, or vote on Dash’s future, without paying almost a million dollars.
RW: You need to understand that Dash ownership is not an investment and should not be treated as such. We will not change the entry level for a Masternode, however, there are hosting services that allow you to purchase shares in a Masternode, receive a part of the income and participate in voting. Ultimately, such services will be part of the Dash wallet’s Interest Bearing Accounts, enabling groups to create shared Masternodes, and earn a proportional share in their revenue.
I must also say that the level of 1000 DASH is intentional. We are now operating as a network with very large budgets. People who join our network as shareholders must be mentally prepared to operate on such budgets, because they become shareholders in Dash’s network with the right to decide on the development of the whole project. If we gave up the decision-making process to those with less than $100,000 or even $10,000 at stake, this could make it difficult to make decisions in the long term. Masternode owners must be mentally and professionally prepared to manage a budget of several million dollars. The entry level must be increased as the network’s development gains speed, which will increase our budget. We need conscious and experienced “shareholders” to make good decisions.
DB: A common issue in the Bitcoin versus Bitcoin Cash conflict is centralisation vs. decentralisation. If only wealthy people can become Masternode owners, is there not a risk that the network will slowly become centralised?
RW: I think this is impossible. There was a threat of centralization 2 years ago when Masternodes were cheap: almost everyone could buy them for a relatively low price. A higher budget acts as a safety net because few people can afford to buy, but it also prevents them from buying all the coins online. Above a certain price level, people would stop selling Masternodes. On the one hand, they would see a danger in someone buying Masternodes at irrationally high prices, on the other hand: why sell out when the price is still rising? One could theorise about the possibility, but at the moment, taking over Dash’s network seems to me to be impossible from a financial point of view.
DB: Cryptocurrency payment processors have recently gained popularity, enabling people to buy products and services in online shops with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Are you working on implementing Dash into existing payment systems?
RW: Definitely. We are constantly working on integration with various payment systems and processors. This is part of the business strategy. In order to increase Dash’s popularity, we work on what we offer to the user, and we try to integrate as many business partners as possible. The back-end, where businesses are integrated, is ready to implement projects with our partners and solution providers. We are working on an interface so that we can move on to web-based solutions that are decentralized and user-friendly.
DB: Bitcoin Cash is presented as an alternative to Bitcoin, and it focuses on peer-to-peer payments, i. e. one of Dash’s domains. Does Dash intend to adapt to the competition by, for example, copying the best technological solutions? Or will you just do your best and hope that the better currency wins?
RW: I believe in competition and the free market, and we definitely do our best. We have a very specific development roadmap. This does not mean that we are not observing others, but we have our vision and are going in this direction very specifically. We know that other projects are being developed and competition is emerging, but we believe that it brings strength to the industry.
Are we going to copy the best solutions? If this is needed and it will benefit the users, then yes. We are constantly upgrading our network so that all useful BIPs (Bitcoin Improvement Proposals) that are currently being integrated are implemented in our network too. Nevertheless, we do not intend to deviate from our course just for the sake of adopting something.
DB: Recently there has been news that the Polish Bank Association wants to block the purchase of cryptocurrencies at the level of banks. In other words, it will not be possible to send a transfer to cryptocurrency exchanges. Do you see that as a threat to Dash? If it cannot be purchased on the Polish market, it may impede its development.
RW: The market abhors a vacuum, so I think that the banks will shoot themselves at the foot with this approach. People are creative and will find a way to buy cryptocurrency. In my opinion, this is gossip: the banks have enough intelligent people to know that this technology will change the whole financial market. I think they will strive to use as much as possible of this technology instead of banning it, otherwise they will potentially lose the chance to develop quickly and adapt to customers’ expectations.
DB: Finally, we can’t resist the price prediction question. On December 4, 2016, DASH was worth less than $9 USD according to Coinmarketcap. How much will it be worth in December 2018? A thousand dollars, two thousand, ten? :).
RW: (laugh) I have no idea. It is very possible that if the current bubble does not burst quickly, a thousand dollars will happen this year. If we manage to introduce Dash Evolution to a higher version than beta in 2018, it may reach Bitcoin’s current value at the end of the year. But these are my dreams and speculations, do not take them seriously. Especially since I am not a talented oracle.
DB: Thank you very much for your interview and we wish you every success in the further development of Dash.