Proposal “DCG_Biz_Dev_EndMar_EndApr“ (Active)Back

Title:Dash Core Group Business Development (End of Mar - End of Apr)
Monthly amount: 266 DASH (91185 USD)
Completed payments: 1 totaling in 266 DASH (1 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2021-03-14 / 2021-05-12 (added on 2021-03-09)
Votes: 760 Yes / 53 No / 10 Abstain
Will be funded: Yes
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Proposal description

Dash Core Group March 29th Funding Proposals
DCG is submitting 3 funding proposals for the budget cycle that pays out March 29th:
1) DCG Compensation: 2,663 Dash per month (currently in month 3/4)
2) DCG Marketing: 266 Dash per month (currently in month 2/3)
3) DCG Business Development: 266 Dash per month (currently in month 1/2)
What is this proposal about?
This proposal requests funds for Dash Core Group’s ongoing business development expenses. The last time funding was requested for the Dash Core Group’s business development budget was in November 2020. We will present a look back at the 4th quarter of 2020 and 1st quarter of 2021 in terms of business development activity.

The DCG business development team is composed of two full time employees, supported by Ryan Taylor when needed; during the last 5 months this team completed 20 business development initiatives, averaging 10 activities per quarter, including a total of 12 new integrations. We foresee more account management activities continuing to take place as we grow our relationships with larger businesses moving from integrations into ensuring Dash secures prominent placing in partner solutions. Additionally, as we push into the institutional side of the trading ecosystem, we expect more integrations with partners who service this customer base. 

In Q1 2021, the Business Development team, has been heavily involved with supporting major regulatory initiatives to raise awareness with regulators and partners on how services utilizing Dash can remain in compliance with current and future regulations. This helps ensure Dash continues to be available in our services and markets. Additionally, given the rollout of regulations across several key markets that may impact our trading strategy, regulatory activities have been given high priority and incorporated as part of the trading strategy. 

In addition, we will conduct activities required to foster and grow Dash adoption such as collaborating with DAO orgs on strategic initiatives, marketing and educational activities, partner relationship management, integration support, etc. 

Dash adoption activities at the merchant level in Venezuela continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 current state of quarantine. The country has been operating on an open week-closed week quarantine regime, which slowed discussions and postponed launches we had previously planned. However, we expect to proceed with some of these high profile activities in the second half of the year. We have brought an external contractor in the country, Leury Fernandes, in order to allow us to complete these more complex solutions and guide new partners with meetings, educational sessions and business development activities with large partners, such as Megasoft and others in the pipeline.
Q4 2020 Business Development Activities were as follows:
Venezuela Strategy Pillar:  LocalCryptos (and the supporting Crypto Campus Tour), Excelsior Gama (Integration in partnership with Cryptobuyer), Church's Chicken (Black Friday Promotions)

Trading:, HolyTransaction (InstantSend integrations), Binance Loans adding Dash, WhiteBIT (Promotion), CoinSpot (Promotion), StakeHound (DeFi), Quadency, Liquid, HitBTC, KuCoin (Promotion)
Other:  ReadyRaider (Growth Support), regulatory activities across several markets

Our Q1 2021 to date Business Development Activities have been as follows: 
Venezuela: Church’s Chicken ongoing promotion activities, TopDash Caracas ecosystem (website + BD activities)

Trading: FTX (Dash Perpetuals Listing), RichHamster (InstantSend), StakeHound (DeFi) 

Regulatory:  Conference activities including speaking at 2 conferences Cofindec21 and BGIN Block #2. Other regulatory activities are ongoing and unfortunately we cannot disclose more specifics until they are complete

There will be at least two additional partnership announcements during March, but we are not disclosing names or details until they formally launch as agreed with partners.

We have attempted to provide as much detail as possible in our partnership descriptions. Unfortunately, many items, such as partner level costs are commercial in confidence. Disclosing exact dollar amounts would hinder our ability to negotiate future partnerships and complicate existing ones as the commercial terms would be made public and visible for everyone to directly compare. Generally speaking, the integration deals we directly fund are low-cost as evidenced by the large number of integrations and promotion activities funded by the previous proposal. Larger requests (above $20k) are always directed to the DAO for funding decisions under separate proposals. We also created a policy in Q3 2019, that restricts the maximum amount DCG can spend on any single partner per rolling quarter.  However, as we have learned to do more activities with a limited budget, we can share that we have been very far from reaching the 20k self-imposed limit on any integration completed during the Q4 2020-Q12021 period.
Additional detail on how we spend business development funds:
  • On average, 60% to 80% of these costs are for the direct benefit of the Dash user and to drive transactions via discounts, waived fees, or a small amount of Dash.
  • In such cases, the partner also has “skin in the game”. This can consist of matching discount levels or fee waivers, absorbing incremental costs, permanent fee reductions, dedicated developer resources, partner supplied PR and marketing channels, etc.

Total onboarding costs generally consist of direct integration costs, joint marketing and promotional activities, and on occasion other miscellaneous costs such as legal costs. 

What will the funds be used for? 
DCG is currently prioritizing our Hyperinflation and Trading strategies as these are the strategic pillars where we have seen real, measurable results in a number of integrations. These are also categories that tend to exhibit synergies as the broader ecosystem grows. However, we pragmatically consider excellent opportunities in other industries that could potentially have a positive impact for the Dash network and our partners. These opportunities vary by industry. For example, in Venezuela we have shifted our focus on pure integrations of points of sale, to projects and activities aimed at putting Dash in the hands of people who are likely to use on a regular basis, as we have understood the ecosystem has grown to a decent side in the retail side (Mostly in Caracas). The budget requested in this proposal is to cover a number of initiatives including:
Venezuela: Promotional and integration activities including more high profile merchants, part of the Megasoft network. To date, in tandem with Megasoft and Cryptobuyer, we are in conversations to add at least two large basic goods stores in the country, which would result in dozens of additional locations and hundreds of new cashiers to pay. All else being the same, these two integrations alone would more than double the number of transactions happening in the country.

We have shifted our focus from places to spend, into projects that allow people to receive Dash, which includes obtaining Dash as a result of work; receiving Dash as a result of a remittance; and receiving Dash as a result of online activities. We are pursuing self sustainable activities, therefore we focus on actions that do not require DCG providing monetary incentives other than at set up, and we focus on actions that solve a real payment issue in order to ensure we can build self sustaining projects.  

Trading Strategy: We have been implementing a multi-pronged strategy to provide fiat pairs and a full trading ecosystem to support our growing global community. We will continue to focus on forming long-term relationships with major platforms in the trading ecosystem, integrating Dash, InstantSend and/or ChainLocks into large, transparent and trusted exchanges, adding Dash derivatives and other pairs and services within the trading ecosystem, and educational initiatives. In Trading, our FastPass Network continues to attract new partners and users. We are now growing our integrations and services on the institutional side, working to attract professional and institutional investors to Dash, as well as continuing to release educational content, incentivizing traders to use the FastPass network through partner promotions, and new developing new tools to help leverage the network of InstantSend and ChainLocked integrated partners in the trading ecosystem. 
Funding will be used for additional large integrations, promotions and educational initiatives with current partners, and corresponding regulatory activities outside of Japan (including legal opinions). 

Remittances: We are currently pursuing two remittance opportunities in LatAm, but we have found these opportunities are slow due to the heavy regulations the remittances industry requires, in addition to the lack of regulatory clarity that cryptocurrencies face. We will either complete these two integrations, or move to other opportunities if we find they cannot be completed (to date, no monetary resources have been allocated to remittance activities)

If you have any questions, please direct them to Ernesto Contreras in this post to ensure we are notified of your request.

Requested funding is as follows for the March 29th budget cycle:
263.5 Dash for legal expenses ($61,920 USD @ $235 per Dash)
·     2.5 Dash proposal reimbursement
Total: 266 Dash

The exact same funding request applies to the April 28th budget cycle.

Note: Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future business development expenses and related taxes.

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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

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0 points,26 days ago
DCG is supposed to operate at optimal price to reduce tax liability, I am not onboard with their supplemental asks, period, they should have enough money set aside and avoid further tax liability, we didn't hire them to be a profit center.
0 points,23 days ago
Ernesto Contreras, our head of business development provided the following comment:

"Hi agnewpickens, thanks for your comment. We would like to clarify this is not a supplemental ask. These resources are used to support new Dash integrations, or grow Dash usage on existing strategic alliances, and usually all resources are spent supporting end user activities.
For example:
-In Q4 2020 Localcryptos announced trading of Dash in their platform, DCG supported the launch by providing Dash that was completely given to users as an incentive to get them to try Dash, there were several 100 USD prizes given to people who traded, as you can see on this tweet. As a result, we got traders to use Dash and we remain relevan on their platform in markets where we focus such as Venezuela or the US
- In Q4 2020 as part of the Quadency integration, we funded a promotion so users would begin to use their bot and provide liquidity to selected exchanges, which would enhance the Fast Pass network. See here

In most cases DCG funds part of the promotional costs, as we have never paid for listings. Instead we focus on activities that we believe will help grow and scale Dash usage, and most times split costs with partners, so that we can go a long way with the resources we have, as you can see on the average of 10 integrations per quarter.

To be clear, DCG is not a profit center, we evaluate partnerships on their benefit to the network, to the Network’s growth strategies, and not to Dash Core Group’s revenue. It does not benefit anyone at Dash Core Group to do so, nor are we structured in a way where profits can add value to DCG. Simply put, this proposal is for Business Development to continue to focus on bringing in valuable partners to the Network, keeping Dash operating in the markets we are in, and incentivizing usage of Dash on partner platforms.

Please refer to the Q4 presentation on our Youtube Channel if you wish to see more details. Please let me know if you have any more questions, I would be happy to address them."
0 points,22 days ago
My concern is DCG is building up to great a reserve and will have another major taxable event, what is being done about that?
0 points,22 days ago
Hi Agnewpickens, this concern is being addressed as part of our reserve strategy, and you can hear all details on how it is being addressed on the Q4 call, when Glenn Austin covered DCG's financials.

This concern is also unrelated to the BD request, as funds are not used as a reserve, but are spent (partially) on a monthly basis.
0 points,22 days ago
Thank you for your comments, and please let me know if you have any more questions
0 points,21 days ago
Can you give me the time mark? It is an over 2 hour Q$ call.
0 points,21 days ago
Q4 time marke on financials.
0 points,28 days ago
I don't agree with funding proposals for ongoing work with no specific goals, no way to measure success vs. what was approved. No open ended compensation for an open ended job.
0 points,23 days ago
Ernesto Contreras, our head of business development provided the following comment:

"Hi U99430, thanks for your comment. As stated on the Q4 call and previous calls, our goals are aligned around our growth strategy, which is focused on three key growth pillars:
-Trading, with a Fast Pass focus
-Venezuela: With a Digital cash focus
-Remittances and gaming: Where we are evaluating the best fit.

As specific results for these activities, during Q42020 and so far in 2021 we have achieved
-Three new integrations in Venezuela (Including the largest supermarket chain in the capital, with 24 locations)
-Six new trading FP integrations (Including, Holy Transaction, adding InstantSend, or Binance Loans adding Dash, among others)
- Eight other integrations or activities with key accounts, including a promotion with Church’s Chicken where they sold over one thousand units with Dash over a weekend, which gave us insights on what works on the ground, as well as consumer focused promotions with Whitebit, targeting european/asian markets, or Coinspot promotions, targeting the australian market.

For some partner activities, we are allowed to share Data, and other partners prefer to not disclose their data, which is something we respect due to having NDA with all partners. However, we do monitor this data, we evaluate the effectiveness of our activities according to the data, and make conclusions that result in learnings we use in future engagements.

For future looking activities, we expect to host at least 10 new activities/integrations per quarter, maintaining the average cost we have done historically (Averaging $3,800 per activity). Although as our strategy matures, we might do less activities with a higher profile; for example in the trading ecosystem we are already on almost all top exchanges, with the exception of Gemini in the US and a handful of other exchanges in Europe and Asia; so we are switching gears and focusing on promoting Dash on the exchanges or services where we can make a bigger difference and get higher volume traders such as with institutions and high networth individuals, exposed to Dash.

We try our best to share the cost breakdown for the lump of our activities, but as mentioned, partner level costs are commercial in confidence and disclosing exact dollar amounts would hinder our ability to negotiate future partnerships and complicate existing ones as the commercial terms would be made public and visible for everyone to directly compare.

Please refer to the Q4 presentation on our Youtube Channel if you wish to see more examples of the goals achieved and what we will do next. Here is the link at the moment I share the growth strategy achievement and next steps

Let me know if you have more questions or comments, I would be happy to address them."
0 points,11 days ago
You are doing great work. The results speak for itself. Thank you for taking your time with a detailed response. My hesitance is not with your mission or track record, it's with proposals without specific goals, and then learning only afterwards what was accomplished. Looks like I am in a tiny minority and I am happy with that! I understand your team performs the work and may or may not reach the desired result. I'd still like to see funding / staffing / time break downs to separate proposals for each BizDev goal, even high level if you need to hide confidential details, so we can upvote / downvote each initiative separately, not all or nothing.
0 points,1 month ago
You have my support.
0 points,22 days ago
Thanks qwizzie
0 points,23 days ago
Thank you.