Dash «payment» ambitions

    05 Sep 2021

    The name DASH obviously indicates speed, but it also stands for “dark cash”. The idea for Dash is to make crypto an analog of cash money, both in terms of simplicity in use and anonymity.

    The plan, it must be said, is really quite ambitious, considering how other truly anonymous cryptocurrencies (e.g., Monero) mostly focus on anonymity and on ensuring the highest level of privacy for Internet market transactions. Dash is the only one that wants to get integrated into retail payments, although its developers are well aware that regulators and investors are still not ready to accept anonymous currencies.

    To that point, Dash has shown mixed performance over the past year. At the end of August 2020, one DASH coin cost $ 84. More recently, at the beginning of May 2021, the price soared to $ 450, then dropped to $ 111, before a new period of growth to the current $ 243 per crypto coin. The total DASH coin capitalization is now $ 2.51 billion, with 10.3 million crypto coins in circulation.

    We have already written (https://cryptoinsight.ae/venezuela-second-attempt-at-cbdc-2/) about how Dash practically invaded Venezuela’s financial market, becoming the most popular cryptocurrency in the country precisely because of retail payments and money transfers.

    Venezuela was an indispensable platform for the project to work out the day-to-day interaction between ordinary consumers (and very poor ones at that) and the crypto payment mechanism.

    Using this experience, the Dash team launched the DashDirect app, optimized for fast and cheap transactions, in the United States. DashDirect can be used for payments in 150,000 offline stores and 125 online stores; the application also supports around 12% cashback. Notably, the list of those who accept Dash as a means of payment includes offline stores of the largest American chains and restaurants (such as Door Dash, Chili’s, and Old Navy). There is also a discount program built into DashDirect to make it more attractive for customers (the average discount is 5%, but it can get as high as 12%). The app is already available for download in the App Store and Google Play Market.

    The DashDirect project leaders are Ryan Taylor (CEO of Dash Core Group) and Marshall Greenwald (CEO of CrayPay). The payment technology itself was developed by CrayPay, a little-known financial startup from Arizona. It was quite a challenge for them since previously, CrayPay experts specialized in payment solutions based on the US dollar. This task, however, required combining fiat and crypto within one program in such a way as to give people the ability to instantly pay with cryptocurrency in their favorite stores and restaurants.

    So what are the DashDirect promoters banking on? Well, first of all, on a large contingent of the anonymous currency holders. Secondly, on its integration into the existing CrayPay payment infrastructure, which will make it fast and reliable. And thirdly, on convenience for sellers, who won’t need to learn how to handle cryptocurrencies to accept payments. During the payment process, an exchange takes place in real-time, so the store receives fiat money to its account. And to facilitate accounting, DashDirect credits them in the form of gift cards, which all American stores are well familiar with.

    The key advantage for Dash is a higher transaction confirmation speed than most bank cards. Other cryptocurrencies are still not close to showing at least comparable results, as Dash manages to be ahead of most digital and even fiat currencies.

    Moreover, Dash’s progress in payments is by no means limited to DashDirect. Back in February, the Dash team launched alpha testing of the new DashPay service. It is supposed to be a “social” cryptocurrency wallet with “human” usernames, contact lists, profile pictures, and instant transactions. However, the project got somewhat protracted – the wallet was expected to have appeared long ago. Back in 2016, Dash conducted a survey among its users to find out what is hindering the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. 90% of those surveyed cited complexity in use as the main problem.

    The idea is that widespread DashPay implementation will simplify payments by “humanizing” them. The service is already available, but it’s hard to say when to anticipate the final version.

    The matter is further complicated as the financial authorities of different countries continue to put pressure on anonymous cryptocurrencies. For example, it caused the Bittrex cryptocurrency exchange from January 15 to stop trading currencies with increased user anonymity – XMR, ZEC, and DASH got axed. Other platforms across the globe are also gradually phasing out Monero, Zcash, and Dash. In those cases, decentralized exchanges come to the rescue.

    To summarize. No matter how much the crypto community talks about mass adoption, there is still little that can be paid for with cryptocurrency in real life, especially offline. I would even venture to suggest that the current DeFi surge in popularity is directly related to crypto still being difficult to use as a day-to-day alternative to fiat money.

    If the Dash team succeeds in breaking away from this paradigm, the news will be both hugely positive and completely unexpected.

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