All posts by Joël Valenzuela

Joël Valenzuela is the editor of Dash Force News. He is a veteran writer and journalist in the cryptocurrency space, having written for Cointelegraph and the Dash Times, as well as for his personal site, The Desert Lynx. He also manages civic action organization the Rights Brigade and runs a taekwondo club.

DiscoverDash Lists Over 1,000 Dash-Accepting Businesses Worldwide, 116 in Venezuela

(DFN) Dash merchant listing site DiscoverDash has passed 1,000 listings around the world, with heaviest adoption concentration in Venezuela.

Initially announced in May of last year, DiscoverDash is a merchant listing site for Dash that aims to comprehensively list accepting businesses around the world, as well as provide usability functions and new user guides. Major adoption clusters appear in New Hampshire in the United States, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Australia, due to local communities pushing merchant adoption for Dash.

A clean directory with a live chat makes Dash more accessible and useful to consumers

What sets Dash apart from competing currencies is its success in reaching wide merchant adoption despite not having the significant network effect lead of Bitcoin. Having a single spot to list all the major Dash-accepting businesses possible not only makes it easier to quantify adoption, but also makes said adoption much easier to realize. A powerful site that makes spending Dash easy can help boost actual use. According to Dash Force Director of International Outreach and PR Mark Mason, several important projects and individuals came together to make this achievement:

“The new and improved DiscoverDash business directory website relaunched on March 30th with 792 worldwide listings including ATM’s. Within just 4 weeks of the website refresh we’re now over 1000 listings all thanks to international grassroots outreach projects driving Dash adoption forward, particularly in Ukraine and Venezuela. I’d also like to thank Discover Dash Support and Contest Manager Albert Arellanes who has been instrumental in the successful running of the site. Everyday new businesses that accept Dash Digital Cash for payment are being added to the directory and I don’t see this trend stopping anytime soon.”

Last month, DiscoverDash was re-released with an updated theme, giving a much smoother user experience similar to services like Yelp. Additionally, the new version of the site supports a live chat function, which allows users from around the world to directly ask questions, whether for support on the site itself, or on Dash in general, removing an additional barrier to wide use.

Venezuela and New Hampshire are proving to be testing grounds for Dash’s usefulness as a currency

The area with the most significant Dash acceptance is Venezuela, a country which has experienced a currency crisis and has reason to explore forms of sound money such as cryptocurrency. At present Venezuela has 116 Dash-accepting merchants listed on DiscoverDash, with 60 in the Caracas area. According to Business development head for Dash Merchant Venezuela Alejandro Echeverría, Dash is exploding in the region because it serves as a perfect solution to the problems facing the country right now:

“Dash is the perfect currency for Venezuela right now: instant, cheap and one of the most important this is that it represents a Store of Value. Right now we are living in hyperinflation, our currency devalues each day more and more, so we need a strong currency where we can protect our work, our earnings, our savings. Besides, our payments methods are collapsing right now, there is not cash in the streets and the POS network is not working, so you can be 15-20 minutes doing a simple purchase waiting for the confirmation. Dash is instant and this wont be a problem anymore.

Also, Dash is perfect for remittances, we are helping a LOT of people living overseas to send money to their family here in Venezuela. So Dash is actually one of the best options right now that Venezuela has to overcome our crisis.

With Dash Help Venezuela we aim to support and help people with problems and questions. With Dash Merchant Venezuela we aim to boost the adoption of Dash from merchants and businesses, 3000 merchants in 3 months. Dash Caracas is doing its amazing job with conferences. So, everyday I am more convinced that Venezuela will become the very first Dash Nation in the world, not just because we want, but because we need it.”

New Hampshire is another notable Dash hotspot, with 34 listings in the semi-rural state of roughly 1.3 million inhabitants, 23 and counting in the town of Portsmouth alone, amounting to more than one Dash-accepting business per thousand people in that town. Portsmouth’s concentration of Dash businesses was famously featured in a CNN news segment about living off of cryptocurrency.


Valenzuela: What Bitcoin’s Civil War Taught Me About Media Manipulation on Both Sides

(Dash Force News) I used to think that Bitcoin’s scaling drama would be over after the split to Bitcoin Cash. I also thought that those promoting Bitcoin’s use as a peer-to-peer currency were the “good guys” of the two sides. I was wrong on both counts.

Last week I noticed an article about Portsmouth, a nearby town I know very well, by The article touted a local shop as “Bitcoin-only,” and mentioned the dozens of local shops that accepted it as payment. The problem is, the shop itself accepts a variety of cryptocurrencies, especially Dash, and even stopped accepting Bitcoin for a while, and the local businesses receive over 80% of their cryptocurrency sales in Dash. The article, however, mentioned Dash not once, despite embedding the video of my CNN appearance where I’m highlighted spending only Dash all over town. After I complained, the word “only” from “Bitcoin only” was removed from the headline, and the video, the single strongest piece of news about the article’s central subject, was removed entirely. Anything to avoid mentioning Dash at all.

The experience taught me an ugly lesson about the communities behind two of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world.

There’s an “ends justify the means” approach to truth-bending

Both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash’s communities are out to push one narrative: their coin is the one that’s being used everywhere, and will win mass adoption. Granted, just about every coin under the sun is looking for the same outcome for their project, however most understand that this is not yet the case, that we all have a long ways to go before wide adoption is achieved, or one coin is crowned undisputed king. The difference is, both Bitcoins want to force the narrative today that their coin has already won wide adoption, facts be damned, and are willing to go to crazy lengths to manipulate the narrative to fit that conclusion. Because of that, I’d call both Bitcoin communities more dishonest than those of most other coins.

The fight isn’t over the best tech, but the “one true Bitcoin”

Bitcoin grew on its own merits as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that anyone could use anywhere and no one could censor or stop. Now, however, the struggle isn’t between which is better, but which is the real Bitcoin. This is a narrative struggle that only members of the two crypto cults really care about. The rest of the world doesn’t care for this holy war over a sacred title, it cares about the best technology that can enable the creation of wealth and free the world. That used to be Bitcoin, but it isn’t anymore, and the more people focus on making something “more Bitcoin” instead of better, the more it’ll fall behind in actual usefulness.

The narrative completely leaves out cryptocurrency advancements over the past few years

Bitcoin pursues complicated and experimental scaling solutions that will allow it to be efficiently used for smaller transactions as it was before, under the hubris of assuming everyone will use it instead of another more useful coin simply “because it’s Bitcoin.” There’s a similar frustrating attitude with Bitcoin Cash, with tough talk about experimenting with different double-spend solutions and considering developments to improve privacy. Dash already solved both those, four years ago. This attitude of ignorance about present-day tech and the advancements in the rest of the cryptospace presents an acute competitive disadvantage, with other projects able to sneak up and out-compete the two blinded projects.

Ultimately, neither Bitcoin nor Bitcoin Cash will win out

Then it hit me: neither Bitcoin nor Bitcoin Cash will be the cryptocurrency that wins out in the end. When you’re fighting over which is the true Bitcoin rather than which benefits humanity, when you ignore the rapidly developing technology in the space in favor of years-old tech, when you curate a media narrative that presents a false picture of the present state of cryptocurrency adoption and deliberately block out information that would run counter to that narrative, you will lose. Both projects had the opportunity to create something special that the whole world uses. They have instead opted to engage in a holy war. They have their reward.

Bank of America Stops Lending to Several Gun Manufacturers, Strengthening Case for Crypto

(Dash Force News) Bank of America will cease providing lending services to companies manufacturing certain types of firearms.

As reported by Bloomberg, Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the US, will no longer lend to firearms manufacturers involved in selling semi-automatic rifles deemed “military-style” to the civilian populace. This comes after a wave of pressure on banks and payment providers to restrict their services provided to firearms manufacturers in the wake of recent highly-publicized shootings. Increasing financial pressure could cause manufacturers to cease production of controversial items or risk harm to their business.

Centralized payment systems have a long history of shutting out controversial projects

Payment companies and the banking industry, with centralized control over services, have long posed problems for businesses and causes that have attracted controversy over the years. PayPal froze the accounts of supporters of the Bundy Ranch, an agricultural community in the US which was engaged in a dispute with the federal government resulting in an armed standoff. Wikileaks famously also had all its payment providers shut down due to is exposure of government corruption, prompting them to seek cryptocurrency as a way to get around the ban.

Dash is making strong inroads in censored industries like marijuana and alternative media

As the top cryptocurrency for payments, Dash is focused on offering better and censorship-resistant money, which leads to applications in traditionally underserved industries. Independent journalist Ben Swann came back after a year of censorship thanks to an exclusive sponsorship with Dash. Dash point-of-sale and business solution Alt Thirty Six aims to service the legal cannabis industry, which at present is cash-only due to banking restrictions. Finally, Dash is taking off in Venezuela, which has experienced currency issues and regulatory barriers, with over a hundred businesses accepting it for payments as of time of writing.

The firearms industry would be wise to explore Dash for payments seeing present trends of hostility from banks.

Dash Core Group Hires CFO, Relieves Growing Pains

(Dash Force News) The Dash Core team has hired a new chief financial officer to take over financial duties in the rapidly growing organization.

This week the Core team announced the hiring of Glenn Austin as the new CFO. Austin has nearly 20 years of experience in the finance sector, having worked for companies such as Chain IQ, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup. According to Austin, his interest in involvement with Dash involves what he sees to be the future of Dash as a globally dominant form of money:

“My interest in the cryptocurrency space has spanned several years, and in that time I’ve found Dash to be one of the most promising projects in the space. Dash’s unique decentralized governance and treasury model has positioned it to be a dominant force in the cryptocurrency space, and I fully believe within the next decade it will become the primary digital currency for payments at retailers globally.”

A further measure to address Dash’s growing pains

The hiring of a new CFO will assist the constantly growing Core team in maximizing its effectiveness. According to Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor, Austin has the necessary competencies to make this a reality:

“Glenn is a highly-skilled financial professional with well-rounded experience spanning strategy and operations, and after an extensive search we’re confident that he is the right person to enable Dash’s continued growth. His role will help the Dash Core Group optimize its growing operations and manage financial risks within the decentralized governance system that has set the Dash project apart. I’m looking forward to working with Glenn in the years ahead.”

Since early 2017, Dash has grown at a significant rate, as the price rise from around $10 to over $1,600 over the course of a single year led to a significantly larger monthly treasury. As such, the responsibilities of the Core team have grown along with its abilities, leading to growing pains
dealing with the increasingly large ecosystem. The hiring of a new head of business development earlier this year helped offset the burden on the CEO and others dealing with business integrations, and having a full-time CFO may similarly improve Dash Core’s financial turnaround times as well.

Dash’s budget has become extremely competitive

Demands have increased for the Dash treasury at a frenetic pace. At present, over $2.6 million are available monthly to spend to further the ecosystem, or 6,176.72 Dash. Of this, 9,641.05 Dash, or over 156% of the available budget, has been requested this cycle, with nine days left in the voting deadline at time of writing. While a significant portion of requested funds will not be funded this cycle, in future cycles, especially with potential price increases, the ecosystem appears primed for further growth and expansion.

Google to Ban Cryptocurrency Ads, Deepening “Crypto Blackout”

(Dash Force News) Google has announced that it will be cracking down on cryptocurrency-related advertising, furthering the “crypto blackout” online.

According to new policies relating to financial services to be rolled out in June, among newly banned content will be anything related to cryptocurrency:

“Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)”

While the spirit of the ban appears to be targeted at ICOs and speculation, it will also affect other cryptocurrency information as well, from simple usage guides to wallets, news sites, general information, and more.

Google joins Facebook in the crypto ad blackout

Google follows in Facebook’s footsteps in the crypto ad crackdown. Earlier this year, Facebook similarly banned cryptocurrency-related advertising. Now with Google joining in the ban, two of the most powerful online advertising networks have blocked out cryptocurrency. This united front will make reaching new users considerably more difficult, and will increase the value of earned media, solidifying gatekeeper status by major publications. Additionally, it may also give rise to more covert approaches to dodging ad filters, with cryptocurrency-related content packaged as something else.

Ad difficulties increase the importance of Dash’s partnerships and in-person promotions

Dash’s competitive advantage over other cryptocurrencies is its significant treasury, which can fund all manner of promotional initiatives in-house. However, the recent ad blackout has significantly complicated purely advertising-related proposals, reducing the ability to simply fund Dash ads to increase its user base. This situation increases the importance of other promotional measures such as conference sponsorships and speaking opportunities, as well as grassroots promotional initiatives including meetup programs.

Additionally, difficulties in running normal advertisements increase the value of strategic media partnerships. For example, rather than simply advertising on major ad networks utilized by media outlets, Dash sponsored US-based radio show and podcast Free Talk Live directly, bypassing ad bans by partnering directly with the media platform. Similarly, Dash exclusively sponsored independent journalist Ben Swann, lending his impressive reach to Dash, as well as making a strong statement about uncensored media made possible only by Dash’s DAO.

Dash Core Group Becomes First Legally DAO-Owned Entity

(Dash Force News) Dash Core is now legally owned by the Dash decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), a cryptocurrency first.

Unlike many other top cryptocurrency projects, Dash is a DAO, an organized and self-funding entity that nonetheless has no central authority and is open to participation from anyone. To solidify this theory in practice, Dash Core Group, the legal entity for Dash’s development team, set up a legal structure representing the network, which now owns Dash Core Group. According to Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor, this is a first, and solves many issues involving trust of a centralized party:

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time this particular legal structure has been established. The legal structure we created solved many issues for Dash. First, it enables DCG to grow to support the network without introducing risk that the legal entity or some set of owners of DCG could simply shut down, liquidate, and walk away with millions of dollars of assets, leaving the network with a substantial leadership and development vacuum. This also establishes a fiduciary duty back to the network, ensuring DCG is legally required to act in the best interest of the network.”

Most notably, this structure allows for a smooth transition in the unlikely event of the removal and replacement of developers and leadership:

“It also provides for a smooth transition path of the assets, organization, and human resources held in Dash Core Group should the network decide to replace its management. Taking all these benefits together, Dash Core Group is an enhanced asset for the network due to its vastly improved risk profile. This creates lower risks for funding initiatives, both those directly sponsored by Dash Core Group, as well as escrowed funds for other legal entities.”

Furthering decentralization by allowing the Core team to be network-owned

Taylor believes that this new structure allows the network to own various entities that it funds, without compromising masternode privacy, while still allowing them to directly vote on Core leadership, and have that decision legally enforced:

“The masternodes do not technically “own” Dash Core Group directly, which proved impossible to facilitate without requiring masternode owners to self-identify. There are two main benefits of company ownership – control and profits. Because DCG is not intended to generate profits, we really only needed to solve for the control issue to provide the benefits of ownership. The Dash DAO Irrevocable Trust is the legal owner of Dash Core Group, and ultimate control over Dash Core Group leadership resides with the Dash masternodes. The masternodes can feel confident that DCG leadership can be removed and replaced with another leadership team at any time they wish, through an explicit vote on the network. And the trustee must install leadership that the masternodes support.”

Decentralization is a hot-button issue in the cryptocurrency world, with many projects remaining completely open-source and volunteer driven. Subjects such as the employment by a single company of a significant portion of Bitcoin developers and controversy surrounding said developers’ scaling decisions (which ultimately resulted in the chain split to Bitcoin Cash), allegations of market manipulation by Litecoin’s founder, and similar dissatisfaction over faked announcements by Monero’s lead developer, all point to the importance of decentralized control over leadership decisions. Dash has a mechanism in place that would have proved useful in any of the three examples mentioned above.

An example for the rest of the network

While Dash Core may have been the first legal entity to engage in such an arrangement with the network, this first move may provide clarity to other Dash projects thinking of doing the same. According to Taylor, establishing legal ownership can assist in reducing the incidence of fraud or non-delivery by network contractors:

“I think this will have many benefits for the network. First, it creates a model that other contractors can consider emulating to improve their own risk profile and generate trust with the network. Second, DCG is now in a position to enter into legal agreements and escrow funds for smaller contractors, which should lessen incidences of fraud or non-delivery should the masternodes choose to hold proposal owners to a higher standard. In essence, the Dash network has a new tool at its disposal for making its investments deliver value more consistently.”

Finally, Taylor sees the specific setup as valuable for the establishment of nonprofit organizations under the network’s stewardship:

“Some legal entities serving the Dash network are doing so for profit, and that’s fine. But I believe that Dash Core Group is setting a strong example for other legal entities to follow when serving the network where profit is not the prime motive.”

Ben Swann Highlights Censorship-Resistant Media Empowered by Dash

(Dash Force News) Ben Swann has taken to various media outlets, making a strong case for why Dash enables journalists to resist censorship.

The host of the Reality Check investigative news segment and owner the the Truth in Media project recently became funded entirely by Dash following a year off-air. This was due to his previous employer, CBS 46 Atlanta, shutting down his segment due to the more controversial nature of the hard-hitting investigations that were the hallmark of his show. Swann then sought independent funding, prompting him to submit a proposal to the Dash treasury for exclusive funding, which passed by a wide margin.

Since rebooting his project, Swann has taken to a variety of media outlets and networks to talk about his return, and, in particular, how Dash has enabled him to defeat censorship, in particular on a recent segment of RT News:

Making a strong case at Anarchapulco for media independence powered by Dash

To highlight his relaunch, Swann attended the Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco, Mexico as a speaker. He used the opportunity to highlight the importance of independent media, as well as the censorship resistance provided by cryptocurrency, Dash in particular. He also talked at length about his new partnership with Dash in a variety of interviews at the event:

Swann also appeared on the Conscious Resistance speaking about independent media.

Cryptocurrency, and the DAO, could revolutionize free speech

Due to their decentralized nature, cryptocurrencies such as Dash can empower a great deal of activities, such as independent journalism, that might otherwise be at risk of censorship. A distributed payment network functions thanks to thousands of different actors around the world running nodes, mining, and developing the code, making it extremely difficult to shut down by a single centralized actor. Censorship-resistant financial technology empowers all manner of projects, individuals, or organizations that are at risk of losing access to funding if they run afoul of current power structures, as was the case with Swann.

Beyond simply being a cryptocurrency, however, Dash also functions as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The main difference in censorship resistance is that a normal cryptocurrency has to rely on organic initiative to build its infrastructure, and has to fund independent projects through crowdfunding or other similar community fundraising mechanism. A DAO such as Dash is not only self-funding (in Dash’s case to the tune of $4 million monthly), it also includes a governance mechanism for making decisions. This enabled thousands of masternode owners to review Swann’s proposal and decide to provide consistent funding, rather than using an inconsistent and unreliable donation method to fund the operation.

Cryptocurrency Divorce Cases Highlight Evolving Definitions of Property

(Dash Force News) Divorce cases have highlighted new legal complexities brought on by cryptocurrencies.

The increasing prevalence of cryptocurrency investments has caused issues in neatly settling divorce cases, as pointed out by UK law firm Royds Withy King, which views upcoming crypto-asset battles a “looming nightmare.” Several such cases have come before the firm already, with couples in dispute over the value of the coins, which could fluctuate at any moment, sometimes dramatically. As more investors get in on investing in cryptocurrencies, similar cases may become more prevalent.

Cryptocurrency significantly complicates property redistribution

The nature of cryptocurrency creates significant hurdles to the division of property, as evidenced by divorce cases. In cases where funds were purchased on exchanges or other similar services, verification of possession remains fairly simple. However, in cases where cryptocurrency was received for freelance work or from anonymous or peer-to-peer sales, that link is much more difficult to prove. Verifying ownership over digital assets, as well as tracing their move, poses significant difficulties. Even more complicating is the use of privacy techniques such as Dash’s PrivateSend, which can leave no discernible link to the end destination of a moved balance, meaning that hiding funds can be extremely simple.

Beyond mere identification of assets, cryptocurrency also poses problems in the actual redistribution process as well. Physical possessions can be relatively easy to locate and move by force, and banks and other financial services can be pressured or ordered by authorities to do the same. Cryptocurrency, however, can only be moved through possession of the wallet’s private keys, access to which is relatively easy to hide. Even when a balance is discovered, forcing its owner to give it up may not be possible.

Cryptography and cryptocurrency may redefine ownership

The end result is that the very definition of property and ownership may shift in a world where cryptographic identity and possession of currency are prevalent. A government may issue a repossession order for an individual’s assets, while the private key cryptography would not have changed. The law may say one thing, but the blockchain may say another. Additionally, individuals may develop a cryptographically-proven pseudonymous identity that is not at all tied to their “real world” identity. When an on-paper jurisdiction in one country claims that individual has forfeited their funds, the global online cryptographic jurisdiction may not concur, or associate the legal personhood with the cryptographic identity.

As more and more systems begin to validate cryptographic identity and take part in the use of cryptocurrency, old world legal structures may matter less and less.

Dash: The First DAO

(Dash Force News) The decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO is one of the most revolutionary concepts to take form in recent years thanks to advances in technology. Dash was arguably the first of such organizations, and certainly is the most successful one today, operating a rich ecosystem with significant funding. Here is a quick breakdown of the components of Dash’s DAO, and an explanation for how each concept works in practice.



As with any proof-of-work cryptocurrency, Dash’s base network runs on mining, running software to solve complex algorithms. This is used to both create new coins (diminishing over time until an eventual limit somewhere around 18 million) and run the network, processing transactions in exchange for minimal fees. In theory, anyone can be a miner and run the network. In practice, specialized machines called ASICs have a significant competitive edge in mining, and you’ll probably need one to get anywhere.

Miners receive 45% of the block reward, the newly minted coin supply.


The second part of the Dash DAO is the masternodes. These are nodes that run the second layer of Dash’s network and provide special services including instant transactions and private transactions through mixing of funds between peers. Most importantly, masternodes vote on major protocol changes and on the distribution of the treasury. Because of the importance of the masternodes, a proof of collateral of 1,000 Dash is required before operating a node. This ensures that an attacker can’t simply spin up thousands of nodes and hijack the network. In the future, masternodes will provide a host of additional functionality as Dash’s offerings expand, and as such may be required to run custom hardware.

Masternodes receive 45% of the block reward.


Finally, the key to Dash’s DAO is the treasury. This is a portion of the new funds created which can be spent monthly on anything and everything, pending a masternode vote. Originally this was mostly used to pay developers, but since then it has expanded to feed a whole ecosystem. A proposal includes text, a Dash amount, and a timeframe (most commonly a one-month, one-off duration). A net 10% of the masternodes have to approve it, meaning with 4,700 nodes it would need to receive at least 470 yes votes, 600 yes votes and 130 no votes, or any similar combination. Once passed, a proposal is paid out straight from the blockchain.

The treasury can contain up to 10% of the block reward.

How It Runs

Mining/treasury/spending ensure open participation

The most crucial element to a DAO is its decentralization, and a requirement of this is open participation. With Dash, anyone can mine to run the network and receive funds in the form of fees and new coins created. There’s no way of stopping a particular person from mining, and therefore acquiring Dash. Acquire enough of it and you can form a masternode and vote on how the network is run and how the treasury is spent, all without the permission of existing holders. Theoretically, every single person involved in Dash presently could be wiped out or otherwise censored, and the DAO would continue on. Someone could simply start mining, collect and distribute/spend Dash, form new masternodes, start putting in proposals to fund a new development team, and revive the whole network.

It’s also important to note that the incentive structure of Dash contributes to its healthy distribution. Its value is drawn primarily from its usefulness as a payments system, meaning that in order to remain valuable it will have to be spent and used in commerce, thereby distributing the funds far and giving opportunities to more people to form masternodes and participate in governance. Treasury proposals are paid out to fund various projects, which will either sell or spend Dash in order to operate, further distributing coins. Finally, both masternodes and miners both receive income from the network and incur expenses to run their operations, encouraging them to sell or spend Dash to remain operational, further distributing the coin.

Collateralization and balanced ecosystem ensure decentralization and harmony

Dash has a balanced ecosystem with many actors, but can be roughly divided three ways: miners, masternodes, developers. The development team writes the code upon which the whole network is based, and relies on both the miners and masternodes to implement the code, and on the masternodes to vote to continue to fund them. Miners run the code and process the network’s transactions, and rely on developers to write valuable code for them to run, and on masternodes to help with special functionality and make governance decisions that will bring value to the network. Finally, masternodes need miners to run a smooth network of transactions for which they can provide additional functionality, and need a strong development team to keep the network innovative and stable so as to increase the value of their investment. All three complement each other and need each other to survive.

An important principle that keeps Dash’s DAO running smoothly is collateralization. Masternodes have a significant financial stake in Dash and can’t afford to make decisions that lessen its value. Miners invest in specialized equipment to run the network, equipment which may or may not work well for mining other coins (and in the future miners may be required to hold some Dash as collateral in order to mine). Developers, rather than volunteering or being paid by some outside entity, receive their salary both from and in Dash. All elements of the ecosystem have a direct financial interest in seeing the network do well.

Treasury, incentivized nodes, and digital cash focus ensure full self-sufficiency

An important element that makes a true DAO is autonomy. Dash is completely self-sufficient, with every aspect of the network funded by the network itself. Masternodes are paid to keep their nodes active, and as such will be able to afford better hardware and higher bandwidth as the network requires. Miners are paid to run the network, and as they must process more and more transactions, the fees they receive increase as well. Finally, development, public relations, marketing, distribution, and anything else required to make a robust ecosystem is able to be funded through the treasury. All these ensure that no outside entity has to fund any portion of the network, and therefore has no ability to provide undue influence.


Finally, a key element of what makes a decentralized autonomous network an organization is consensus. While the network runs smoothly with each part acting independently, when decisions must be made for the network as a whole, consensus can be achieved through a masternode vote.

This was most famously demonstrated by the network vote on whether or not to raise the block size, cementing the network’s consensus to pursue a path to massive on-chain scaling through bigger blocks, rather than an off-chain approach using the main chain for settlement. This very issue was contentious in the Bitcoin community for years, until finally the coins split in two over an inability to find consensus over scaling. Dash’s ability to find consensus ensures that the network, while a decentralized web of thousands of individual actors, still operates under a singular vision.

What Is a DAO and Why Is It Revolutionary?

(Dash Force News)  First popularized by the ill-fated Ethereum project which resulted in the split to Ethereum Classic, the DAO is a bit of a blockchain buzzword. This innovation extends far beyond simple hype, however, and could revolutionize the way we structure organizations. Here’s a breakdown of what makes a DAO, as well as an explanation of why we should care.

What is a DAO?

“DAO” is an acronym for “decentralized autonomous organization.” In order to qualify as a DAO, an entity must complete all three requirements: decentralization, autonomy, and organization.


The first, and possibly most important, aspect of a DAO is decentralization. This means that no single person or group of people has control over the organization or can dictate its membership. In order to function properly, a DAO must have hard-coded rules for participation that theoretically could allow anyone to participate and have a say in how the organization is run without permission from existing members or founders. In order to test this theory in practice, an individual or group would have to participate in, and have some control over, parts of the DAO in a situation where founders and key members did not wish this to happen. A DAO has open participation and influence: just plug in members and it runs.


Another aspect that is as crucial as the first is autonomy. A theoretically decentralized organization that is not a self-contained ecosystem will have to submit itself to outside influences for funding and other support. This means that outside groups can control a decentralized organization simply by providing funding or other important functions, thereby rendering the organization centralized in practice. A true DAO, therefore, needs a self-funding model. For a currency-based DAO this simply means having a portion of funds set aside to self-fund the group. For others the model may vary, and may include token sales or group ownership over income-producing assets.


Finally, a DAO must be organized. An open-source project may be decentralized in that anyone can use or build on its services, and some decentralized projects may even provide internal funding for participants. However, in order to qualify as a DAO a project must have some sort of organizational structure that allows the entire group to come together and make unified decisions about the direction of the network.

A true DAO, therefore, has to be completely decentralized and open to participation from anyone who qualifies under its uniform rules, has to have completely independent funding and support, and must be able to come together as a unified network to make decisions.

[RELATED: 3 Reasons Credit Cards Are Blocking Cryptocurrency Purchases]

Why does the DAO matter?

That’s all well and good, and certainly exciting, but why does a DAO even matter? What problems does this innovation actually solve?

Trustless governance solves corruption

The main attraction of a DAO is how it enables trustless governance. This means that a true DAO will run itself automatically, without having to trust any individuals or entity to function. Historically, many theoretically decentralized governance structures have come to be, but with rules and laws written on paper. These systems inherently trust participants to follow the rules, or at best provide incentives to behave honorably, but can never ensure that the rules are followed. With a DAO, participants are limited to the rules of the system, with no room for corruption. A well-designed DAO can theoretically make decisions that are not optimal, but are technologically incapable of corruption.

Decentralized structure minimizes external threats

A true DAO also minimizes external threats, a concept commonly known as “censorship resistance.” A traditional organization that has somehow managed to remain true to its mission can nonetheless be conquered and compromised by force. A perfectly democratically-elected government or board of directors of a company can nonetheless be intimidated and taken over by a hostile group, and be forced to dismantle or centralize. With a DAO the rules of the organization cannot be modified through force, and the loss of a few key members does not jeopardize the rest of the group. Even if the majority of the DAO’s membership is destroyed or forced to exit, new members can simply join in and continue to run the group without issue. The implications of a truly censorship resistant organization on today’s global stage are huge.

Self-funding gives strength and autonomy

The final crucial piece of the DAO is self-funding. By functioning without any outside help, the organization remains immune to major conflicts of interest, or de facto control by powerful entities. A fully decentralized organization that doesn’t pay its own bills has to rely on donations, corporate sponsors, and other methods in order to continue to function, and those funding sources can completely control the output and actions of the group indirectly. Self-funding takes care of this problem and ensures the integrity of the DAO.

3 Reasons Credit Cards Are Blocking Cryptocurrency Purchases

Recently, several major card issuers have banned cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards. While it can be easy to think that this is a move specifically to attack crypto, let’s not forget that debit card and bank transfer purchases are still allowed. So why ban credit cards? Well, there are three main reasons why card companies would be very hesitant to allow this sort of exchange.

1: Chargebacks when buying a one-way currency is a recipe for disaster

Credit card transactions can be reversed. Cryptocurrency cannot. Trading one for the other all but guarantees that there will be those trying to game the system by buying cryptocurrency and later performing a chargeback, essentially getting something for nothing. Because of this inherently disadvantageous setup, as well as the inability for banks or other authorities to reverse cryptocurrency transactions, card companies have a very strong disincentive to allow this kind of activity.

2: Market volatility offers a very real risk of default

In these crazy times of wild market fluctuations, incurring debt for the chance at making an easy profit provides a very real risk of being unable to pay said debt off at a later date. The cryptocurrency markets have tanked over 50% since Christmas, and odds are high that many prospective investors have maxed out their cards buying crypto, which had the effect of simply throwing away over half of it. This puts a lot of investors in a bad position to be paying off debt.

Card companies make their profit through customers never fully paying off their debt, sure, but they do have to at least make payments. A significant market collapse means that the ability of a speculator to make bills would be drastically reduced. In those circumstances, paying off the debt incurred by buying crypto may be the last item on the list.

3: The risk of exit from the credit system is also real

Building off that last bit about failure to make payments as an outcome to be avoided by card companies, there’s another unacceptable outcome: exit. Assuming an attempt to short fiat by buying cryptocurrency to pay back a loan denominated in fiat at a later date has been successful, the credit card debt will simply be paid off. At that point, the customer is likely to be lost. After all, why continue to maintain debt, which costs you money to maintain, after you’ve already made enough profits to not need it? If profiting from exiting the debt-based fiat currency system has provided financial independence, why go back?