Proposal “DIF-BTC-Echo-decision-proposal“ (Active)Back

Title:DIF Investment Decision: BTC-ECHO
Owner:TheDIF
One-time payment: 5 DASH (323 USD)
Completed payments: no payments occurred yet (1 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2020-03-15 / 2020-04-14 (added on 2020-03-13)
Final voting deadline: in passed
Votes: 611 Yes / 262 No / 17 Abstain
Will be funded: No. This proposal needs additional 113 Yes votes to become funded.
Manually vote on this proposal (DashCore - Tools - Debugconsole):
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Proposal description

1.0 What is this Proposal about?

After several funding proposals to build up the DIF's budget for investments, it is finally time for the first investment proposal from the DIF (Dash Investment Foundation). We want to make a cap table investment in the leading media outlet for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH region): BTC-ECHO (https://www.btc-echo.de). This investment will only be made, if you, the masternode owners, vote for it.

2.0 What is BTC-ECHO GmbH?


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/eO6OsfxWy_Mck_Ey5CWW0QDnsd4YYzUfBHPLptEcMFJlLzsUJLxAr4M3KzZpyPV3VPbg6rRbdyPkkeourL3O1OHYZhNHFsGtTe54eREK65TNEDirCgmSWi45_jWl3oEzFJGRcNEl

BTC-ECHO was founded in 2014 and developed from a private blog to become the leading and most trusted media outlet in the German-speaking market of central Europe (DACH region) for news about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. With over 300,000 users generating 1.3 million pageviews per month, BTC-ECHO is currently twice as big as its closest competitor. BTC-ECHO has offered a monthly investment magazine to the German market called “Der Kryptokompass” since 2017. It contains investment-related news, interviews, and portfolios, as well as DeFi topics like lending, staking, and chart analysis.

In addition to their well-established media platform, BTC-ECHO recently launched the first parts of its comprehensive ecosystem, including BTC-ACADEMY (e-learning) and BTC-NAVIGATOR (commerce). 

BTC-ECHO will also launch BTC-INVEST, which will be an investment platform with white-label partners. This match-making platform brings together startups and medium-sized enterprises with the right investor community. Additionally, BTC-INVEST handles the marketing of STOs and tokenization of assets (e.g. real estate tokenization). BTC-INVEST also carries out sophisticated research and assists companies through to secondary market trading.

BTC-ECHO is planning to launch English and Spanish versions of their services in this year. French will follow in 2021.


Key facts

Legal name: BTC-ECHO GmbH
Foundation: 2014
Founder and CEO: Mark Preuss
Co-Founder: Sven Wagenknecht, Dr. Philipp Giese
Offices: Kleve (Düsseldorf), Berlin
Employees: Fulltime (7), Interns (2)
Website: https://www.btc-echo.de

BTC-ECHO is an active member of the following German associations: Blockchain working group of Bitkom (https://www.bitkom.org/), ITSA - International Token Standard Association (https://itsa.global/) and Blockchain Bundesverband (https://bundesblock.de/)

Please see the following links for a detail view of the products and services offered by BTC-ECHO:

BTC-ECHO (Media outlet) - https://www.btc-echo.de
Kryptokompass (Crypto investment magazine) - https://www.btc-echo.de/btc-kryptokompass/
BTC-ACADEMY (E-learning platform) - https://www.btc-echo.de/academy
BTC-NAVIGATOR (Crunchbase for crypto) - https://www.btc-echo.de/navigator/


2.1 BTC-ECHO (Media outlet)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/JHDFy0eh2Ote7cbeqY9KbwoFhFI6BvFfGZG2uK12ODeNZM6lVpFHdpLXd_2BZkiug2N-ead7eAApL4IFbmp3HI8l0XswxcKtrC22z5tub5w3wbqLJ-QF8l-1jd7qjd0EyDuEPeut

Screenshot: BTC-ECHO https://www.btc-echo.de


About

BTC-ECHO is the leading crypto media platform in the German-speaking market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Leading means over 300,000 individuals are currently visiting the website each month, creating over 1,300,000 pageviews. With high direct traffic as well as a high returning rate of visitors, BTC-ECHO is the most trusted crypto media outlet in the DACH region.


Traffic history

Since its launch, the traffic of BTC-ECHO has grown significantly but indicates a correlation to the price movements of the crypto markets. In 2020, BTC-ECHO expects a significant increase to 28 million pageviews after the low season in 2019 based on substantial website and SEO developments as well as internationalization of the platform to an English and Spanish version.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/B1fH49lK-pPZT-uqerr-rlrXXonRL2FEYswqRddVTcHUNXxyJMdwwAOZ_tzsurQWXY1AxbKDQqCGIiMfxY_Xzu_EP3v9AIQ8eIkhXL0AhJOqx6inbihumlk3Z0zEPXN_CLAeHpmc

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/VOABHS3uoJQ_TB3lDHBkFHaC3UhjdtV13r99fwCWTdGrWDEmIjHPvK1P3kx1BiQKNA_AJrshK_OQioS-vHsNC5iVfpaB_SwaJjf2CSnB5V6Qv6nEP-aeFncDmF6HXIVn2hWRD9UY

Top rankings in search engines

BTC-ECHO reaches top rankings for most relevant blockchain and crypto-related keywords in Google (organic mobile and desktop), Google News, Google Discovery, Yahoo, Yahoo Finance (direct news integration), DuckDuckGo, Bing, Bing News, … 

With over 40% of direct traffic, BTC-ECHO has a very high degree of trusting users who visit the website regularly. (Returning rate of 45%). (Source: GA)

Traffic cost / net worth

With over 

26,000 keywords ranking in the top 100 and 
5,000 keywords ranking in the top 10 

Google search results of BTC-ECHO has a traffic worth of ~1,579,000 USD per month 
(desktop: 826,000 USD per month, mobile: 753,000 USD per month) if bought eg via AdWords.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/F6q5EXptMaqqDFM8nSicHlck4v7wKkbDdXNg4K45yz7-xNutzXr-hGCCS8XKN8qQu8s0nFOft-ugSBaRKUtqTcjBwxALPSmCmTc8nPXQIIr78hUGPMtsuSMO2zS5P34mWP258eY1

Keyword development (Source: Semrush)


This media valuation by organic search sets BTC-ECHO far apart from its competitors in the German-speaking market.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/aTu18pwxwzqXXzaNHXHrn7-g1ACMNuxyjs_JqTAyC5pk1M9aaRHOp82J4KOzaYfo8jo_-9QxkvRgmLeLHDk6pyg_h-J0qL6sY5I1N4GaD0VWzu9hjKRE6N_cZvytP9goA3MIubZd

Competitive comparison (Desktop): Organic search (y) and indexed keywords (x) (Source: https://www.semrush.com/)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/f-M5I2j6r3i8lUr3-RXQfESlQuN9lZQPDQhmZwL5PjlruNZqKVYIH50TZ6Kvk9QjyAvOnGiZJTK8nuBfdBGUsVaixcpYVikzb5iQvJ6gj7KId9fLP6svUJtRvV04locT_Wx0malk

Competitive comparison (mobile): Organic search (y) and indexed keywords (x) (Source: https://www.semrush.com/)


Backlinks

Over 3 million backlinks from more than 3,500 different domains regularly refer to BTC-ECHO.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/vO_NmeMqSkGZU7kP5I5DGkZrc_VXCAlWlPPTOzd7-nGK-XAQAQ824sVH4-jfAptHFY3m7bru-saLySpoxwsLxcZr6L6mU7TI1xtZq84lS9OHp6I5Ia_iwCDzXxx8pysmfZNO9qAc

Source: https://www.semrush.com/


The backlink portfolio includes leading media outlets like: 

T-Online - https://www.t-online.de/ - Page Rank Germany: 11 - https://www.similarweb.com/website/t-online.de
Spiegel - https://www.spiegel.de/ - Page Rank Germany: 19 https://www.similarweb.com/website/spiegel.de
Focus - https://www.focus.de/ - Country Rank Germany: 23 - https://www.similarweb.com/website/focus.de
Zeit - https://www.zeit.de/ - Country Rank Germany: 57 - https://www.similarweb.com/website/zeit.de 
Handelsblatt - https://www.handelsblatt.com/ - Page Rank Germany: 246 - https://www.similarweb.com/website/handelsblatt.com
Coindesk - http://coindesk.com/ - https://www.similarweb.com/website/coindesk.com
Cointelegraph - http://cointelegraph.com/ - https://www.similarweb.com/website/cointelegraph.com

and many more...


Content partnerships

Several smaller crypto media outlets regularly copy articles from BTC-ECHO. Additionally, BTC-ECHO partnered with mainstream media outlets to mirror their content via feed. 


Focus - https://www.focus.de/ - Country Rank Germany: 23 - https://www.similarweb.com/website/focus.de
t3n - https://t3n.de/ . Country Page Rank: 859 - https://www.similarweb.com/website/t3n.de
Finanzen100 - https://www.finanzen100.de/ - Country Rank Germany: 1040 -  https://www.similarweb.com/website/finanzen100.de


Page-Rankings

Different scoring tools show a significant increase in both global and local (DACH) rankings. Especially during the last SEO on-page and content efforts, BTC-ECHO was able to get much higher rankings and thus also make it more attractive for partners and increase the net worth of the website.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/NsfHQWIxlnomToipJICSox5_tOcCRN8hQt9Kl1sqj9HzDayvtFN_pZmNynERyMru8mBufWjrPPiGzS6lqk1RYG0_Hvd9GWvf0m9Ew440nh7CU44l4R6aeFFblLO0puu-0DwkU5U9

Sistrix visibility index 2014 - March 2020

Sistrix Visibility Index 2,6 / 10
Alexa Global Rank 23,150 https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/btc-echo.de#trafficstats
Alexa Germany Rank 670 https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/btc-echo.de#trafficstats
Similar-Web Global Rank 91,513 (https://www.similarweb.com/website/btc-echo.de)
Similar-Web Germany Rank 4,315 (https://www.similarweb.com/website/btc-echo.de)


Social Media

BTC-ECHO is in almost all social media channels available. However, the main focus of driving traffic in the past was via direct links and organic searches. Due to this past strategy as well as social media restrictions against cryptocurrency topics put in place in 2017/18, the social media follower numbers do not currently reflect the actual traffic.

Facebook fans: 21,000 https://www.facebook.com/bitcoinecho
Podcast subscriber: 15.000 https://open.spotify.com/show/7Mf4EUPt7GK3j2mUf5nO0A
YouTube subscriptions: 11,500 https://youtube.com/channel/UCrBObJKg_1DVmQxjnkhSbwQ
Twitter follower: 8,100 https://twitter.com/btcecho
Instagram follower: 4,800 https://www.instagram.com/btcecho/?hl=de
Discord users: 2,600 https://discord.gg/U535A3k
LinkedIn fans: 500 https://www.linkedin.com/company/btcecho


Revenue model: advertisements (articles, banner, podcast, newsletter), designated marketing campaigns, content corporations, affiliate deals and partner agreements.  


2.2 Kryptokompass (Crypto investment magazine)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/Z6nNzkjvdYHQI7f1U_n4GDYizhdydB0dax1EjH6CItDaqeXJQhv7G703t32o0ztgi2iIyzP2imugRbQBYOWBFfmUVINSYSfjMaJUTkhVfaBAFgbpyBy33SU5LW2tnFCwr6QsmR5z

Screenshot https://www.btc-echo.de/btc-kryptokompass/


About

With over 500 active subscribers, Kryptokompass is the leading German investment magazine (actually e-Paper, later also print) for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It educates its readers about current and future developments in the crypto market, provides market analysis, and helps its readers to make investment decisions. In addition, it contains exclusive interviews and analysis of specific crypto projects.

Kryptokompass appears on a monthly basis. Price per edition:

19,99 € each for a single magazine
14,99 € each on a monthly subscription
12,90 € each on an annual subscription


Revenue model: Kryptokompass earns money through sold magazines and advertisements. In 2020 the B2B market will be targeted for Kryptokompass licenses and bulk subscriptions for companies and banks.


2.3 BTC-ACADEMY (E-Learning)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/BdaQ5peCK3QawNa3osZ2qaLC-Uoj_FFpqbbVaCR6TOGgibkOgeMQYcV0m1ZK5-_WpsiWrKtDy0r2dOPko6j2B-0HZ2v27F8en3fnT88Acela5AtrUB_uU8oL_NFlShgyngwaeQXm

Screenshot: BTC-ACADEMY https://www.btc-echo.de/academy


About

Together with universities and other strategic partners, BTC-ECHO launched an education platform called BTC-ACADEMY in the beginning of 2020. On this platform, universities and business partners can start their own campus and offer free and paid online courses around cryptocurrency and blockchain. BTC-ACADEMY offers ongoing educational programs, such as certified courses that can be conducted anywhere in the world. Additionally, businesses can take advantage of the available B2B programs to conduct advanced in-house training for their employees. From the outset, BTC-ACADEMY benefits from the reach and trust built up for its mother brand BTC-ECHO.

BTC-ACADEMY aims to become the leading platform for blockchain and crypto-related e-learning content for the following topics

  • Crypto for amateurs and professionals
  • Legal and taxes 
  • Blockchain development (DApps)
  • Cryptocurrency payments
  • Crypto assets and tokenization

Partnerships

Currently, campuses are created by BTC-ECHO in partnership with the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center. Future campuses are planned to be created in partnership with Tezos, Bitcoin Suisse, law firms, Distributed Ledger Consulting, Neo, Bloxxter, Bitwala, and many more (16 additional requests outstanding from companies and universities).


Revenue model: Sales of B2C and B2B course units (30% share), setup and maintenance and licensing fees for courses, issuance of certificates


2.4 BTC-NAVIGATOR (“Crypto Crunchbase”)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/CaD0qcfFNQ5XWvUEddDfEzfhganBECy801a_6uUsW08JeCk0nG9zkLR6alSmHDOnIrWjlAX-4rUNNz_mNAr0R_xkB0gxy1fpgnoERqVl0yHb9cMvzuc22w9bA8cMpzLfTkxYQS6z

Screenshot: BTC-NAVIGATOR https://www.btc-echo.de/navigator/


About

BTC-NAVIGATOR is a marketplace for the emerging crypto economy. You can think of it as a platform like Crunchbase for crypto. BTC-NAVIGATOR unites the crypto ecosystem in one place and gives its users an overview of trusted exchanges, job offers in the crypto industry, and upcoming events and conferences. In addition, it also contains a fully developed multicoin merchant directory with shops, bars, hotels in the DACH region. From the outset, BTC-NAVIGATOR benefits from the reach and trust built up by its mother brand BTC-ECHO.


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/d6D7DmbyyUS3BUCwRWelTX_eRT93aTUXYUPY3WFI21mjj1TWn6mkDQV4BBQ8akbZPUw0x8X4zM0UANW9Mao6jjOpKOyVtPqh-sg4uzkvWlUvVvbM7rrvJvHIsDoa2WpNzHi5NQfc


Revenue model:
 Comparable to other marketplaces, BTC-NAVIGATOR earns money on partner commissions, advertisements, and listing fees. 


2.5 Roadmap

Even though BTC-ECHO already launched a couple of new services this year, there are further milestones to be achieved in 2020 and beyond:

04 /2020: Closing cap table investments
05 / 2020: Retail STO
06 / 2020: Launch print version of the Kryptokompass
08 / 2020: Launch English version of all services
10 / 2020: Launch Spanish version of all services
2020: Investment in Sales & Marketing team for media, Kryptokompass, Navigator and Academy sales 
02 / 2021: Launch French version of all services
Q1 2021: Launch BTC-INVEST

We are looking forward to seeing this development resulting in the growth of BTC-ECHO and its reach and valuation.


2.6 Valuation (Value per user)

In order to find the right valuation for a company like BTC-ECHO, we consider both the media value it is generating as well as its actual revenue. We are not allowed to share detailed numbers with regard to revenue due to an NDA, unfortunately.

IMPORTANT: Revenues from 2018 and 2019 were used to invest in the products of BTC-ECHO to follow the growth strategy. During 2020, BTC-ECHO will invest heavily in sales and marketing to increase the value of each user by actively accelerating sales in media, Kryptokompass, and Academy. Furthermore, BTC-ECHO will increase page views and reach by going international with the whole ecosystem. This means that BTC-ECHO might not be profitable in 2020. The last time BTC-ECHO was profitable was in 2017. Due to finishing the major part of the growth phase in 2020 BTC-ECHO is expecting to become profitable in 2021 again.


Value per user

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/tyXvK1rtNLbF8e-1CAw8jZtF-KyaHwxYL1N_MgpU7bH4_k6m9rpwIph07mPjLw92FTnBn_hY7kNGhgpN9FSP9sCdm-ETDcUeaWgn6Q0Onh_Ow6JxDMkVEZbqPa6qRyUWLdb6zjv6

*Forecast ** Comparable value per user 2011: Times  3.54 USD; The Guardian 1.53 USD; HuffPo 0,96 USD (Source: https://gigaom.com/2011/08/05/419-arpu-for-news-sites/)


3. Why does the DIF want to invest?

We want to invest in BTC-ECHO for several strategic and financial reasons, which we will explain by priority:


3.1 Profit 

Based on its annual revenues and the signed partnership agreements with advertisers and other partners (under NDA), we believe that BTC-ECHO will generate profits among all of their services and products during the next three years. Moreover, we are confident that the valuation of BTC-ECHO will increase over time since the forthcoming English, Spanish, and French versions of their services will allow them to address greater markets and open up more revenue potentials. Their planned STO in May 2020 will also have a positive influence on future valuation.


3.2 Media coverage

Because of its current position on CoinMarketCap, Dash is struggling to get the media attention it deserves in almost every region. An investment in BTC-ECHO will open up opportunities for articles and advertisements that Dash has never had before. This means that news around Dash will get published, partnerships will get promoted, and that the overall visibility of Dash will increase significantly. We strongly believe that this investment will be in alliance with existing and upcoming DFOs in the Dash ecosystem and support their marketing efforts, especially in Europe, where companies such as Worldline (Europe's leading payment company) are starting to integrate cryptocurrency payments and are demanding marketing activities in exchange for a Dash integration. (https://worldline.com/en/home/newsroom/press-releases-general/2019/pr-2019_11_08_01.html)


3.3 Developer education

With the upcoming release of Dash Platform, we see a huge demand for developers creating products and services (Dapps) on top of it. From our perspective, BTC-ACADEMY is the perfect fit for Dash to not only attract developers from all across Europe and other parts of the world, but to also educate them on how to utilize the infrastructure of Dash for their projects.


3.4 Collaboration in consumer activation

With BTC-NAVIGATOR, we have a fully-developed merchant directory and marketplace for the crypto economy in Europe. With it we could open up opportunities to highlight specific listings and thus aid consumer activation efforts together with a strong media partner.


3.5 Aligned goals and mission

Even though it wasn’t part of our decision to submit this proposal to the network, we want to point out that the general missions of BTC-ECHO and Dash are in alignment. Both parties want to present use cases of blockchain technology and achieve mass adoption for cryptocurrencies. 


4. What does Dash get out of this?

  • Equity and shareholder voting rights
  • Profits generated through revenue and increasing valuation through growth
  • At least four basic articles on BTC-ECHO per month on average 
  • 5% of the monthly banner impressions on BTC-ECHO DACH for advertisements 
  • BTC-ACADEMY campus for Dash Platform (including courses) 
  • BTC-ACADEMY campus for Dash Payments (including courses) 
  • 5 Job listings on BTC-NAVIGATOR per month
  • Unlimited Event listings on BTC-NAVIGATOR per month
  • A strong media partner for events, meetups, and marketing activities in Europe


5. How will this investment be managed?

In general, the investment in BTC-ECHO will be managed by the DIF's directors and supervisors. In addition, the DIF will open up the benefits of this investment (including media reach, advertisements, online courses, etc.) to DFOs such as Dash Core Group and Dash Embassy D-A-CH.

The DIF and its contractors will oversee all financials. If it turns out that this investment is neither profitable nor helpful for Dash from a strategic point of view, the DIF will get back to the network to make a decision on whether we should exit the company.


6. Risks

All financial investments have risk, and private equity investments are generally riskier than investments in traditional markets, such as stocks and bonds. The value, measured by market price, of this investment can go to zero. Various risks exist with this investment that can impact the market price including regulatory, economic, and technical. 

RISKS RELATING TO THE BUSINESS OF BTC-ECHO


6.1 Limited operating history

BTC-Echo has a limited operating history which may make it difficult to evaluate its current business and future prospects. BTC-Echo has encountered, and will continue to encounter, risks and difficulties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly developing and changing industries, including challenges in forecasting accuracy, determining appropriate investments of its limited resources, gaining market acceptance, managing a complex regulatory landscape and developing new products. BTC-Echo's current operating model may require changes in order for it to scale its operations efficiently. 


6.2 Risk of general economic conditions

BTC-Echo may be affected by general global economic and market conditions. Challenging economic conditions worldwide have from time to time, contributed, and may continue to contribute to slowdowns in the markets in which BTC-Echo operates. Weakness in the economy could have a negative effect on BTC-Echo's business, operations and financial condition, including decreases in revenue and operating cash flows. Additionally, in a downcycle economic environment, BTC-Echo may experience the negative effects of increased competitive pricing pressure. 


6.3 Forward-looking information

Certain statements contained herein are not based on historical facts, but are forward-looking statements that are based upon numerous assumptions about future conditions that could prove not to be accurate. Actual events,transactions and results may materially differ from the  anticipated events, transactions or results described. BTC-Echo's ability to consummate such transactions and achieve such events or results is subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the existence of demand for and acceptance of BTC-Echo's products, general economic conditions, the impact of competition and interest rates, results of financing efforts and other factors affecting the Issuer's business that are beyond its control, including but not limited to the matters described herein.


6.4 Failure to successfully implement a business strategy

If BTC-Echo is unable to implement its business strategies, it will be hampered in its ability to develop business and serve its customers, which could in turn have an adverse effect on its financial performance. Even if BTC-Echo's business strategies are successfully implemented, they may not have the favourable impact on operations that BTC-Echo anticipates.


6.5 Departure of key personnel

BTC-Echo depends on its key personnel. If any of its key personnel leave BTC-Echo, its operations could suffer due to the costs associated with recruiting new personnel and orienting them to its business. If the key personnel terminate their employment, its financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.


6.6 Investment risk

An investment in BTC-Echo is an entrepreneurial high risk participation. The purchase price paid for the BTC-Echo private equity is used for entrepreneurial purposes of BTC-Echo. Despite commercial diligence, it may occur that the development of the investments made with the purchase price paid is negative which may cause the DIF not to realise any exit proceeds. BTC-Echo does not warrant or guarantee the recoverability or positive performance of the investments made with the purchase price. 


6.7 Risk of non-tradability

The tradability of BTC-Echo private equity shares will be limited. First, all trades must receive approval from the board, and second, there will be no public market for as long as BTC-Echo is privately owned. Therefore, we would have to find a private buyer. This may be difficult, and depending on market conditions we may find it very difficult to liquidate the investment, should we wish. 


6.8 Regulatory regime

Regulation of BTC-Echo’s business model may change. Various legislative and executive bodies in Europe and in other countries may in the future adopt laws, regulations, guidance, or other actions, which may severely impact the regulatory landscape. Failure by BTC-Echo to comply with any laws, rules and regulations, some of which may not exist yet or are subject to interpretation and may be subject to change, could result in a variety of adverse consequences, including civil penalties and fines. There are a number of data protection, security, privacy and other government and industry-specific requirements, including those that require companies to notify individuals of data security incidents involving certain types of personal data. Security compromises could harm BTC-Echo's reputation, erode user confidence in the effectiveness of its security measures, negatively impact its ability to attract new users, and could ultimately lead to a decreasing value of the BTC-Echo private equity shares.


7. What is the price and what will be next?

As BTC-ECHO is seeing this investment as the beginning of a strategic partnership between Dash and themselves, Demelza Hays and Jan Heinrich Meyer were able to negotiate a discount on the valuation. Unfortunately we are not able to share further details on this, due to a signed NDA. We think this is absolutely understandable. 

What we can say is the price for the 4.76% equity on offer is reasonable based on the DIF’s independent analysis, valuation, and due diligence. Should this proposal pass, the DIF will proceed with the deal and initiate all necessary steps to fund and close it. Depending on the prevailing market price of Dash, we may need to ask for some supplementary funding. The deal on offer is a straight Dash-for-shares deal.

We hope for your vote and will be happy to answer all of your questions in the comment section below.

Best regards,

The DIF Supervisors










(Blank space left to allow visibility of full proposal)

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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

Submit comment
 
2 points,19 hours ago
After some calls I realized that some of the opportunities especially in regards to

"5% of the monthly banner impressions on BTC-ECHO DACH for advertisements"
"BTC-ACADEMY campus for Dash Platform (including courses)"
"BTC-ACADEMY campus for Dash Payments (including courses)"

might not be clear.

This is why I'll be available for a call during the next 2 hours.

I'm just one click away: https://meet.jit.si/btc-echoproposal

Looking forwardt to speaking to you,

Jan
Reply
1 point,20 hours ago
Is BTC-Echo really the best use of ALL the DIF reserves right now for investment purposes? I don't believe that to be the true. I believe there are far better opportunities out there.

We don't have to fund and approve every pitch that comes to the network. I'm grateful the network has been given a choice.

Even by the DIF's own admission on section 6.6 Investment risk - the investment in BTC-Echo is entrepreneurial high risk.

I don't see this as an outstanding profit making opportunity at all, nor do the DIF any time soon as they forecast in section 3.1 Profit - they expect it will be up to three years before BTC-ECHO will start to generate profit.

So please let's not pretend like this is an amazing once in a life time opportunity. Crypto publication websites are a dime a dozen and if blockchain goes mainstream it will no doubt be incorporated more into legacy traditional media outlets not the other way round. So the "there can only be one" investment approach is not a recipe for success. The publication market will become more saturated and their expansion plans into English language which is the most competitive market of all doesn't scream buy buy buy. If they can't turn a profit for last 2 years in a language they dominate in, how will they do it in other languages that have more competition? The odds are against them.

I don't think we should be allocating every duff from DIF reserves and then ask the network for more funding to invest in such a speculative high risk play at this point in time.

I would much prefer if the DIF implemented the rebalancing strategy they originally outlined especially in times of market uncertainty. We already would have a positive return from that strategy if it was implemented. So why gamble everything on on something far more risky and less liquid. I'm honestly not impressed by the calibre of this investment nor the opportunities that have been presented to the DIF to date. The DIF would be far better off in my opinion by splitting DIF reserves 50/50 and allocating 50% to rebalancing strategy and 50% diversifying portfolio by spreading risk investing in various funds or portfolio stocks like Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. which will increase exposure to multiple investments and asset classes that have dedicated industry professionals at the top of their game who are incentivized to perform which will remove any guess work from DIF supervisors at this point in time as respectfully my understanding is that none of them have any venture capital / private equity investment experience of this level or magnitude.

I think the truth of the matter is that the DIF can not invest in the attractive private equity opportunities they really want with reserves they have right now. That's not the DIF's fault as they can only entertain opportunities with the limited funds they have. I still think the DIF reserves could be put to better use elsewhere.

I also think section 4. What does Dash get out of this? - is very weak in what is being offered in return.

To be clear, this publication will still write articles on Dash as they have done before without investment. The 5 Job listings per month is not needed as we already have a treasury to fund projects and individuals. The BTC Academy is poor, currently 3 free courses by BTC-Echo and 5 paid courses from Frankfurt School Blockchain Center majority being 139 Euros. The course content is super basic, lacklustre and the information in courses is widely available for free online. Be honest. Take a look. Would you pay for these courses? I wouldn't. If you wouldn't pay for it, why would you invest in it? Also if Dash wants a course on academy then DCG will have to create content for the academy separate to this proposal but I would argue if DCG are going to go to the effort to make dedicated Dash course content it would be far more beneficial to host those educational courses on Dash in English etc. on official Dash channels and Dash website. DCG can also still submit course content to Academy without investment.

It's just incredibly disappointing. It's very difficult to get excited about this as an investment opportunity and media / marketing wise as it won't make much difference if we invest or not. So what's the point? Wait 3 years and cross are fingers it will turn or profit. I think we can do better than this.
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5 points,1 day ago
I'm speaking for myself and not DCG... I've received quite a number of requests from community members over the past 48 hours asking me to opine on this particular investment opportunity by signing an NDA, reviewing the financials and deal terms, and providing an independent assessment.

I don't feel that the network should be weighing in on this in the first place. This is not a decision that should be crowdsourced from MNOs, because I don't feel it would lead to more effective decision-making compared to empowering the DIF to deeply investigate opportunities and act on those they deem fit. We assign these roles so that they can understand the opportunity deeply *as our representatives*, to a level MNOs could not (and through an investment manager that has skills and experience the MNOs lack), and can invest the time and have access to information (e.g., financial details, competitive operations data) to which the MNOs cannot be granted.

Even if you feel the network should make the ultimate decision, I don't think my opinion on this particular opportunity is relevant as I don't have sufficient experience with early-stage investing, and the network shouldn't in part make its decision based on my irrelevant opinion. Further, I don't think it is possible to properly assess an investment opportunity on such a short timeline. Even if it were possible, effectively delegating votes to others that you trust would net necessarily be superior to delegating the decision to the DIF.

Investment firms typically do not defer decisions to their investors / stakeholders. We have the mechanisms to elect others if the current supervisors perform their roles poorly. I know this view will not align with everyone's opinion on the matter (and that's fine), but I don't feel the DIF should be seeking our approval. We delegated this responsibility to them. They have looked at the opportunity more deeply than any of us can. I think we either entrust them to do their jobs or we don't. Personally, I will be supporting their decision and evaluating them based on the outcome.

I'm uncomfortable providing an opinion or endorsement on the investment itself for the reasons I outlined. To those that were waiting for me to weigh in on this particular opportunity, I'm sorry, but I don't feel qualified to offer an opinion. This is an early-stage investment, which I have limited experience as an angel / early-stage investor. I have far more experience in Series B+ funding or public markets. I do a small amount of early stage investing on my own, but I've yet to see one of the companies I've invested in fail, nor have they reached maturity. So I don't yet have a single data point on just how good I am at it yet... and that will take many more years. I appreciate the trust, but I simply cannot offer an opinion in this case, which is why I personally feel compelled to defer to the DIF supervisors who have looked at this most deeply of anyone.
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1 point,23 hours ago
So you're telling us you feel you don't have the requisite experience in early-stage investments, and so therefore you're going to trust the DIF supervisors who appear to have even less experience in early stage investments.

I don't see waiting for outcomes and then replacing DIF supervisors as a viable approach. It takes too long and the number of appropriate candidates is limited. It's better IMHO to whip the current bunch we have into shape, and that means giving them lots of feedback.
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2 points,22 hours ago
I'm saying I have no advantage over the DIF supervisors in assessing the opportunity. They also have access to information I don't, and wouldn't have even if I evaluated the opportunity based on the documentation. One of the biggest advantages they have is discussion with the management team and ability to assess their professionalism.

If I were a DIF supervisor, I would probably have the most experience on the team.

These people are volunteering, without pay, and the criticisms seem rather outsized to me. They seem to be well-intentioned and doing their best. I don't think they deserve to be "whipped" into doing what you think they should, because what you think will invariably differ from another group of MNOs that will likewise wish to "whip them into shape". There will always be groups of MNOs that disagree with the approach they take. So I'm advocating for supporting them. What they proposed is not insane. It seems reasonable, even though it's not perfect. I'm therefore advocating for us to come together and support them.

I'm not claiming they are doing a perfect job. Even they know and acknowledge that. But they seem worthy of our support imo.
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0 points,21 hours ago
I support the DIF. I simply don't support this particular investment at this particular time.

You yourself have recently gone to great pains to elicit MNO feedback regarding possible decisions affecting Dash's protocol and SoV. This proposal is providing valuable feedback to the supervisors and is completely appropriate IMHO.
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1 point,21 hours ago
I understand and appreciate your stance as well. It is reasonable and I'm sure the push back the DIF is getting will shape their thinking going forward. At the same time, it's clear that the proposed investment is supported by the majority of the voters.

My fear is that getting 10% net votes might be impossible on *any* given investment because each investment will not align with the risk tolerance or myriad other factors valued by a significant number of the MNOs. At some point we need to let them succeed or fail. If we prohibit the DIF from acting this cycle, I certainly hope that isn't the case long-term. Because stagnation / impasse is the worst possible outcome.
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0 points,1 day ago
@babygiraffe (Ryan Taylor) at the very least investments should be made in our target markets don't you think? This project is not addressing our target markets. It is also not improving DASH as a payment solution to solve real world problems. Why spend investment money for such causes when we could be using it to get DASH established in our target market solving real world problems for people and businesses?

If the DIF really have a good investment proposal they would be able to give strong enough replies to the questions given by MNOs in their decision proposals. The answers given by Essra are unfortunately not that strong. Essra himself stated he in general agreed with what Andreas Antonopolous summary of target markets for crypto (
https://youtu.be/MfNzjkFb58s?t=120 ) i.e focusing the billions of people that are without a reliable financial infrastructure. Although Essra states he agreed with Antonopolous he then does the complete opposite in this investment? How does that make consistent business logic? The DACH region is not our target market unless there is a specific real world use case that DASH can be used to solve a real world business problem and the legislation is permitting of this - which is unlikely in the developed countries.

I also do not agree with your approach Ryan of remaining silent when someone such as myself is making valid and constructive criticisms in DCG proposals. You have invariably remained silent all the way through the DCG funding proposals and here you appear to be promoting the same "trust and give without question or accountability" strategy.

Let me propose just one business option to compare this DIF investment with in which we could solve real world problem in our target market.

With 200K we could buy 500 POS systems and 200,000 Dash Pay cards for all the shopping malls in Venezuela (459 shopping malls). The cards alone could be sold for $2 / card - making profit of 350,000 USD profit on the sale of the cards. Because we are buying in bulk we would also get reduced rates on the cards and could possibly make more profit than this but I'm using this as an example.

We could lease the POS devices at no charge to the parking malls and we could ask 10% of all transactions on those units to cover the cost of the units. Or the mall could opt to buy the POS systems and we make 50% profit on each sale. With the remaining 50K we could build a training and support website for the Malls and hire a team of 100 people in Venezuela for 2 months to get the parking payment system established. In each mall there are on average 110 shops and each mall has approx 5000 visitors per month that makes 2,500,000 customers - each one is an customer for the Dash Card.

Once the payment systems are established for parking for the malls a % of the shops inside the malls themselves would want the POS systems, as is the case now. By getting the systems established for parking anyone that parks would need to get a DASH pay card. That DASH card could offer a 10% incentive discount on all purchases from the shops in the Mall that have a Dash POS system. The merchants prefer DASH over bolivars so giving 10% discount for buying in DASH is not a big deal for merchants. This would encourage shops in the mall to buy or hire our POS systems and encourage people to buy the Dash Cards to get the discounts. 2.5 million customers x $1.5 USD profit per card = 3.75 million in profit on just the Dash cards alone.

The above solves a real world problem for people and businesses in our target market.

I have put these rough figures together however you can see we have more control and we have expanded the DASH ecosystem spending DASH in this way makes sense.

So which one would you rather spend the money on? This is just one example of how we could be spending the money.

We only have a limited supply of investment money. Which one would you prefer? 200k on speculative investment to non target market on a website or an investment such as I described above.

The role of the MNO is to ensure that good business investments are made. We cannot do that without doing what the DIF have done by posting a proposal decision. The MNO role is not to blindly hand over full financial control to people that have very little experience in this type of investing. I know you don't agree Ryan, because you invariable advocate not responding to MNO feedback in proposals.

If it is as you say that we either trust the DIF or not then you are not leaving us with much of a choice. I think the DIF made the right decision in putting the proposal to the network. I am certain the DIF team would have learned something from doing this which hopefully would enable them to improve for the future. What you appear to be promoting is a centralized unaccountable team of investors.

Let me be clear. We obviously trust the individual members of the DIF. This means we trust they are of good character and have the Dash network's best interests at heart. But it does not mean we trust they will take the right decisions. By putting the proposal forward for a vote it enables the DIF to test their assumptions and rationale if it really is a good investment. If the DIFs case and arguments are strong enough they will get voted through. It it is not then the best thing for the DIF can do for the network is to wait until a worthwhile investment arises that is a good investment i.e. addresses one of our target markets and solves a real world payment problem for business or customers.
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1 point,22 hours ago
My point is not whether or not this investment is high quality or not. I'm saying I'm not qualified to offer an opinion, and therefore voters should not be relying my endorsement for or against this particular investment. Further, it is not my position to determine the investment approach of the DIF. Should they optimize purely for investment returns, or for "intangible benefits" such as new functionality (or in this case press exposure) for the network? I don't believe there is a correct answer. A mix of both is not unreasonable.

As an investor, I know that no matter what the investment is, it will have shortcomings. It will carry risks. It won't align perfectly with our goals. High growth? It probably lacks cash flow. High return? It probably carries significant risks. In our target markets? It probably isn't the best risk/return profile compared to other investments in the world. You will *always* be able to offer "valid criticisms" of the DIF's choices. So unless all MNOs agree on the priorities (they never will), the risk tolerance (they never will), and the value of "intangibles" (they never will since those are subjective), no proposed investment will ever get the 10% net votes.

If the network wants DIF supervisors that will only invest in Venezuela as you do, they should elect DIF supervisors that base their candidacy on that basis. If the MNOs are unhappy with the direction the DIF is taking, maybe it will elect new supervisors. In the meantime, I believe the only way we begin this experiment is to allow an investment to take place.

I am unqualified to make a decision on this investment. I would assert that all of the MNOs are probably just as ill-equipped as I am without access to financials & operating metrics, discussions with the managment team, and other information that the DIF has had. If the results are poor, I'll vote for new supervisors who vow to replace the investment manager. If I want to see them invest in regular securities like stocks, I'll vote in supervisors that would support that change.

I'm NOT saying the DIF supervisors are not accountable. They are. I will vote to replace them if I'm unhappy. I just don't pretend that with my limited information that I know better. And I recognize that aligning 1,000+ MNOs - all with differing opinions - around a single investment is nearly impossible. We either move forward together or no investment will ever be made. I don't believe that a vote "test[s] assumptions and rationale if it really is a good investment". I believe it simply illustrates that we ALL have differing opinions about what a "good investment" is. The members of the DIF are hard working and well-intentioned. I say we rally behind them and support them, and let their results speak for themselves, regardless of my personal opinion on this one investment.
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0 points,22 hours ago
Oh, and I answered your question on the DCG proposal 13 days ago. You posted the question after the voting period was over, so I hadn't seen it right away, but I did answer you.
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1 point,1 day ago
Weighed the pros and cons, and I believe that there is more than enough upside here to justify the risk. This initiative has my support.
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2 points,2 days ago
I have the feeling that the impact of this proposal might not be clear enough. It's not only a promising investment from a financial point of view. It would also help us to integrate Dash into Worldline, which is one of the biggest payment companies in the world. They are operating all around the globe. They will start a pilot for crypto payments in Switzerland this summer. They are willing to integrate Dash, if we support them in marketing, which could be done through BTC-Echo. After the pilot in Switzerland they will expand their crypto operations. This includes other parts of Europe but also other parts of the world. in addition Worldline recently bought ingenico, which is the global leader of payment terminals. These devices are being used everywhere in the world!

I honestly can't understand why people are voting no.

Please support this.
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3 points,2 days ago
The notion that Worldline, a multi billion dollar company, will integrate Dash into Ingenico terminals if we are willing to "support them in marketing" is ridiculous.

This isn't the first time that DACH has shoved giant companies with a bazillion users in front of the DAO which turn out to be nothing like we were led to believe.
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-1 point,1 day ago
@Essra, OK, let's see what actual substance there is to your claims of integrating DASH to worldline by sending the answers to the following:

1. Provide a written signed agreement between Worldline and DASH stating that with "advertising" on BTC-Echo Dash they will integrate DASH into their payment systems. Also include the exact extent of the so called advertising they need in order to do the integration.

2. Can you provide a written agreement from BTC-ECHO and DASH confirming that they are prepared to provide all the advertising demanded by Worldline for DASH integration as outline in point 1 above?

3. State specifically what date DASH will be integrated into Worldline for the "advertising" they get on BTC-ECho and provide the signed written agreement showing this.

4. How much money does the DIF currently hold in USD equivalent with today's exchange rates?

5. Is there a risk that the funds held by the DIF will not cover this proposed investment amount? If so where is the DIF going to get the extra money from?

6. I would also want to know the exact how much money that would be involved in this investment? We need to know without having to sign NDAs. I do not see how knowing this information will damage BTC-Echo in any way. The NDA for individual MNOs is not practical because what good will it do once an MNO knows the amount of the investment if they cannot speak to other MNOs about that amount? MNOs are not going to sign NDAs which means the actual investment amount is being kept from the MNO network.

If you can't provide answers to the above then your carrots are purely speculative and have no substance.

MNOs just consider these points:

If we don't know the answers to these questions then we simply cannot make an intelligent investment decision.

Investment money would be better spent on real world use cases of DASH in the regions of the world that need it. We could do so much more with this money investing in real world use cases of DASH, in parts of the world that need DASH solving real world problems for people.

The DACH region is not a target market for DASH. This point is also highlighted by Andreas Antonopolous in the video below: https://youtu.be/MfNzjkFb58s?t=120
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5 points,1 day ago
Exactly. "They are willing to integrate Dash, if we support them in marketing, which could be done through BTC-Echo" This is one of the most bullshit statements I've heard. It's an attempt to get voters excited over a vague hope. Worldline is already interested in crypto. They will end up integrating crypto into payment terminals if it is profitable for them to do so, not because we bought 4% of an unprofitable startup German media company.
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0 points,2 days ago
I really don't get what the big deal is with this. We appointed a bunch of people to oversee the DIF and they all think this is worth it, so what's the point of having investment managers if we are not going to trust them. Micromanaging the DIF seems like a very bad idea to me.

But here we are so let's see what this is about. Investing into a growing company in the crypto space. Seems exactly like what i expected not sure what all this worry is about them not having a profit. The whole point of the DIF is investing in stuff that will help us. And that means we might not make an immediate profit of these investments which is totaly fine. And from what i have seen here given a longer time horizon it is quite likely that this will turn a profit in the end. So thumbs up from me.

And beyond the profit this will give us a great marketing tool something , I think, we desperately need. Dash has many awesome things going on that nobody outside the comunity knows about.
And as essra said this will increase our chances to get added to the worldline pilot. And if such a large company coudl potentiall add Dash we need to do everything we can to increase our chances of this happening.

So this is an obvious YES from me.
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2 points,6 days ago
view: it's a poor investment because we haven't even delivered 'digital cash' yet (ie. economies do not switch to a currency that's in the 'very volatile' category--economies prefer currencies in the 'very stable' category) Delivering 'digital cash' has to be the #1 priority.

Hence, the DIF should be investing in developing an in-wallet hedging feature (as based on Debnk whitepaper for ex)
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-1 point,4 days ago
@Currency_use_case. I totally agree with what you say, and so does Andrea Antonopolous in this video below:

https://youtu.be/MfNzjkFb58s?t=120

For me at least this is not a good investment for the reasons I gave previously in this proposal (please see below messages)

I am also not comfortable with the fact that the DIF cannot release the amounts being invested without MNOs signing an NDA. Signing an NDA is unrealistic for MNOs due to privacy concerns. I also do not see any reason why the amounts being invested cannot be disclosed because what damage can actually be done to BTC-Echo -they are a virtually unknown company. I certainly have never heard of them before. We are talking about a website for god's sake not a high tech bio company that has patented technology it has to keep strictly confidential. To me the requirement to sign an NDA is preventing the majority of MNOs knowing how much will be invested and therefore they will not be able to make a sound decision.

I had recommended in the DIF fundraising proposal to start small in their investments so they have a chance to learn and get feedback. I do hope they are following that advice of starting small?

Personally I do not have a good feeling about this proposed investment.

MNOs we must not vote favourably for anything were we are not in receipt of the full information to make a sound decision. It could well come back to bite us as it has done in the past many times previously. We need to know what the investment amount is without signing an NDA. If the DIF cannot do that then MNOs should vote NO because we do not know what we would be agreeing to. Since we don't know the extent of the investment we don't know what legal financial obligations we will have to meet if the DASH price decreases etc.

I had previously recommended in the DIF funding proposal that the DIF hold funds in USD or USD stable coin to ensure we know where we stand when making an investment decision. I also stated previously in the DIF proposal that "top ups" is not a risk the DAO treasury should have to bear on any investment with the DIF.

How much money does the DIF currently hold in USD equivalent with today's exchange rates?
Is there a risk that the funds held by the DIF will not cover this investment amount?

It would be financially unwise to blindly vote to commit funds to something which we don't know the extent of our investment is.
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1 point,1 day ago
I'd like to know just how informed your opinion is: what do you even know about that "virtually unknown" company? That statement to me sounds like "nothing at all" and I don't understand why one would express blatantly uninformed opinions instead of just asking people in the region you deem irrelevant anyway because AA says so (btw: no US projects too according to that logic. Nothing at all outside of emerging mkts actually).
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0 points,6 days ago
Been against this DIF thing the whole time.

Now you reveal you want to invest in some German only Bitcoin Core blog site? The 90'ies called and want their fascination with blogs back.

I'm not sure a more worthless investment could be found if one tried.

Just flush the money, seems any DIF money is headed that way anyway.
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1 point,5 days ago
Hello 3d1409ae,

thank you for your reply. It seems that there are some misconceptions about what BTC-Echo actually is. May I ask you to reread the proposal description carefully? If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Best regards,

Jan
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1 point,7 days ago
It would be great if the fund manager, @damelza answers some questions probably more informative
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6 points,10 days ago
the more i think of it the more i think its a bad idea for the dif here is why:

we recently had a funding round, some companies might have joined, that we could have done business with in the future.
We have refrained from doing business with them in order not to be accused of taking advantage of them or them being accused taking advantage of their position as a shareholder.
Even though their offers for business have been better than any other we do not make business because so called "Vorteilsnahme" is a serious issue.
So if we rely on getting more media coverage because of investing into something, we could actually face the opposite.
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0 points,9 days ago
Hello Moritz,

thank you for your comment. Honestly speaking I'm a bit surprised of this statement. If the scenario you described would apply for the BTC-Echo investment opportunity, why is media for equity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_for_equity) such popular model? I know that this proposal is not media for equity, but it's quite similar when we are talking about "Vorteilsnahme".

An example that might work better here would be the collaboration between Axel Springer (Europe’s leading digital publisher) and Boerse Stuttgart (Germany’s leading floor-based exchange). They developed https://www.bsdex.de/ as a joint offering (https://www.axelspringer.com/en/press-releases/boerse-stuttgart-axel-springer-and-finanzen-net-develop-a-joint-offering-for-the-digital-financial-world).

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that.

Best regards,

Jan
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5 points,9 days ago
@essra the "media for equity" model is applicable when the advertising is for a product or service that has a real world use cases to the audience being marketed to i.e. they have an actual market with customers that want their product. Since this deal will be primarily for German speaking market at this moment I don't see any real world use case for DASH - meaning there are no customers for DASH other than speculators. traders and so called investors. Dash is not yet solving real world specific problems for companies that normal fiat cannot already solve yet. I would be more in favour of funding a media company when DASH actually has a market i.e. actively sort after by companies because it solves a real world payment solution. I do not yet see any real world use cases for DASH in Europe because our product offering is not yet solving real world payment problems for companies and customers.

You stated privacy of DASH this is not real world use case, this is a property of DASH, you mentioned Worldline - again not a real world use case it is simply a payment option, you spoke about attracting institutional investors, again not a real world use case these are speculative investors on mass. You talked about training courses -that also is not a use case for DASH that is a way to train developers and there are more efficient ways of doing that by paying for a specialist firm to create courseware. We don't need equity in a media company to do that.

This investment idea could be interesting if we actually had a set of payment solutions that solved real world problems for business, yes then the advertising is useful. Currently the locations where real world use cases exist now for DASH are countries with distressed currencies because then we can compete against those currencies. We need to invest in businesses that are creating or could create payment solutions that solve real world problems preferably in the EU or USA/ Canada so that we have a balance of DASH investment. However you have not yet once given me a single real world use case for DASH in Europe. So I see little point in paying for advertising exposure for DASH in those locations until we have developed solutions that can be used by business now and out compete EURO and USD.
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2 points,8 days ago
Hello DeepBlue,

I adressed some of the concerns you are raising in this comment in a reply to another comment of yours below. That's why I hope that it will be ok, if I just answer the concerns that are ontopic in regards to what MoKa posted above.

In fact there are products related to Dash that are interesting for the target audience of BTC-Echo. Such could be Neptune Dash, Bitcoin Suisse (Dash Staking), Vaultoro and several other services connected to Dash. With an investment in BTC-Echo we could help those partners to succeed while increasing the visibility of Dash and by this helping Dash to succeed.

From reading your posts below I understand that those types of services are not in line with your strategy for Dash. That's fine for me. I think it's very healthy that the DAO as a whole is following different strategies.

Thank you for your time,

Jan
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0 points,8 days ago
@essra, I've read all you replies. You want to make Dash more attractive to speculative investors. I want to make Dash a better digital currency solving real world business problems. Not one of your "real world use cases" is solving a real world business problem. Your proposal is to build up and promote DASH to speculative investors and to institutional investors (which are just speculative investors en-mass). Vaultoro = gold =speculative investment, Staking with Neptune DASH and Bitcoin Suisse = speculative investment.

My personal view is we have limited financial resources and we need to be investing in companies that can make DASH a better digital cash solving real world problem for businesses. You say this is not the DIF's function. I say it is the DIFs function to find these opportunities with existing companies and to invest in them with the aim they will develop those solutions.

Therefore we will have to agree to disagree.

My decision therefore remains the same. Voting no.
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3 points,8 days ago
Hello DeepBlue,

I have the feeling that you don't want to understand my comments. I said that investors should be part of the strategy of the DAO. I did not say that this is the exclusive purpose of this proposal. It's not black or white. This proposal is focused on the success of Dash in Europe. This means supporting business development activities, increasing the number of transactions (payment & trading), attracting developers for plaform (who hopefully will build the services you mentioned earlier) and yes, also to become attractive for investors as this will secure the budget of the DAO. Last but not least this proposal is about creating a revenue stream for the DIF.

I don't aim to convince you anymore. I just want to make sure that all aspects of this proposal are presented in the comment section.

Thanks,

Jan
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-3 points,4 days ago
@essra, I think that you have not understood my points either.

I believe in building a house on a solid foundation, one that will last. It may take longer but it will stand the test of time. For me that solid foundation is to build a solid cryptocurrency payment solution solving real world problems. Right now, with what we have with DASH tech now that is in locations that actually could use DASH now because normal fiat cannot compete. Building a foundation on speculative investment is like building a house on sand. The slightest shift and the house will fall.

You mention developers being attracted to a project due to the advertising etc on your the website you want to invest in. My view is that what really gets developers willing to invest their time and money into is developing solutions that will make a difference in the world. People need to feel a sense of purpose like that contributions means something. Advertising DASH before we have payment solutions that can work in Europe is a just simply not the right order of events in my opinion at this stage of Dash's development.

I saw an interview recently with Andreas Antonopolous and he said exactly the same thing as I'm saying here now to you. DASH's offering right now is most suitable for countries where they need it now.

Perhaps could take some time to watch the video interview where Andreas highlights this very point. https://youtu.be/MfNzjkFb58s?t=110

We have limited financial resources. Therefore we need to make the best decisions with the use of the money we have. The best use of money right now is improving the DASH payment solution by investing in companies that can make DASH a better payment solution for countries that need it.

As I said previously it seems you have a completely different view from myself. You say I don't want to understand your comments. Actually I totally understand your comments. I just don't agree with them.
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0 points,3 days ago
Hello DeepBlue,

I'm more or less in line with what Andreas is saying, even though he contradicts himself sometimes, so I can't agree with him completely.

Would you be interested in having a call with me? I think this might be a chance to get out of this spiral.

I think it could be beneficial for both of us, no matter if this proposal passes or not.

What do you think?

Best regards,

Jan
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0 points,8 days ago
Hi Jan,

First of all, please take note that I think your example is misleading:

Boerse Stuttgart is a stock exchange and its product and competition is in no way comparable to DASH.
BTC-echo is a Marketing enterprise. They are by far not Axel Springer and since we don’t get the numbers we could assume that they are far from self-sufficient.
Axel Springer is generating revenue that is beyond imagination (at least this is what an old friend of mine, working at AS M&A makes me believe).
Axel Springer might me Germany’s biggest media publisher, but it first and foremost is an SE.
The „deal“ Finanzen.net (which is a subsidiary of Axel Springer SE) & Boerse Stuttgart have which you were referring to is - after reading the article - basically a deal between Finanzen.net and Boerse Stuttgart with The SVP of „New Business“ of Axel Springer simply being part of the board for the sole reason of AS being the parent company to finanzen.net. (basically BTC-echo is not comparable to Axel Springer rather to finanzen.net)
To my understanding both AS & Boerse Stuttgart are putting in funds to develp something new!

Partnership based on a joint venture 30/70 is something totally different than acquiring shares from a company.



You might be right „Vorteilsnahme“ in press is not a legal issue, like „Verdeckte Gewinnausschüttung“ when actually doing business.
However, as soon as someone looks into the corporate structure of BTC-echo and sees the DASH investment foundation as an investor, one could assume that the possibly increasing number of articles about DASH might come from the DIF buying into the company. Just to call DASH out for throwing money at companies to get more media coverage.

This puts us at risk to be called a „marketing-scheme“ even more than we already are (your and my experience in Germany seem to differ alot regarding this issue)
Usually these voices are louder among the crypto community than BTC echo itself.

Also: Do you really think that the goal of the DIF is to facilitate the marketing of Dash with BTC-echo?
Might this just be a new scheme to throw quite a lot of money onto media coverage?

The DIF has been partly brought into existence in order to make sure to be able to invest in something new, after several pure marketing proposals have failed severely.

I assumed, by you taking the path to expand more into networking and forming partnerships rather than marketing as the D-A-Ch CEO (and I really respect you for this step and support you in doing so!), you would know best about this issue.
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0 points,8 days ago
Hi Moritz,

I only brought up the BSDEX example to explain that it's ok to partner up with companies you can take advantage of and that "Vorteilsnahme" is not an issue here.

BTC-ECHO and we (DIF supervisors) discussed the credibility. With a stake of 5% the DIF would not be able to control the whole company. This is why we don't think that it would put neither BTC-ECHOs nor Dashs reputation at risk.

In fact it seems that our experience with media and reach differ. I doubt that some hardcore crypto people will be louder than the leading crypto media platform. Especially as BTC-ECHO is aiming for a bigger and more mainstreamish audience.

Thank you for your reply,

Jan
Reply
2 points,10 days ago
we would face NEGATIVE coverage instead of positive
Reply
9 points,11 days ago
I appreciate the work that has gone into this pitch, but I'm going to pass on this one. I especially object to the "pay to play" impression I am getting from the media coverage section. I've been against paid articles, and having "guaranteed" a certain amount of coverage just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think we need to focus on our product and the use cases for it, not focusing on the visibility of it. The developer education section of the proposal is the most appealing to me, but we already have other initiatives for that, and I dont think we need to purchase equity in a company in order to do that.

As for whether or not the company will be profitable, it's very difficult to ask the MNOs to vote for this reason when most MNOs are not going to be arranging to do an NDA to really be able to do a due diligence analysis on the risk reward. I would defer to the DIF supervisors on this front as well as to any MNOs who have truly looked into it. But I think regardless of the valuation, the company doesn't seem like a good fit to me at this time. My vote is not set in stone however, I am open to changing my mind before the end of the cycle.
Reply
0 points,11 days ago
Hello TroyDASH,

thank you for getting involved in the discussion. As mentioned we did intesive due dilligence on this investment opportunity. The outcome convinced us to submit the proposal. The access to all financials via NDA is an additional offering from BTC-Echo, which I really appreciate. In this way MNOs don't need to trust the DIF supervisors, but can do due dilligence themselves.

According to "pay to play": I think I can understand how you are feeling about this. But in fact this investment opportunity is more about creating a long lasting partnership for content creation, consumer activation, marketing campaigns and developer education than just a simple pay to play. We could have pay to play without doing a cap table investment.

As explained in an answer I posted to BlueMoon BTC-Echo is not making any profits right now, because they are following their growth strategy. They could make profits, but they decided to grow again, which I think makes a lot of sense, because the profits will be bigger in future.

I'm in line with your statement that BTC-ACADEMY is appealing. Especially because BTC-ACADEMY will benefit from the traffic on BTC-ECHO. It's exactly this what makes the difference between BTC-ACADEMY and other initiatives of this kind. BTC-ECHO does not need to build a brand and increase their visibility to reach developers, they already got that covered. At least for the German speaking market, but as said the platform will become available for an international audience during 2020.

Take care,

Jan
Reply
8 points,11 days ago
Reality check time…

All that info in proposal description about web analytics and no mention that the business isn't profitable is incredibly misleading. You should update this ASAP as the masternode network can not make an informed decision without it. Masternodes shouldn't have to refer to the comment section to discover this information. It's like you intentionally left it out by design. That is not only irresponsible, it's incredibly worrying and deceptive that you decided to not report that to the network.

BTC-Echo has a monopoly on the German speaking market but they haven't made a profit for the last 2 years (2018, 2019).

Expansion plans are to go into English speaking market which is the most competitive of all and that will also mean more BTC-Echo expenses for more personnel etc. for an already unprofitable business.

Sounds like a winning formula...

Case and point. If BTC-Echo can't make a profit in a market language they dominate, expanding their reach to more languages where they won't dominate will not change anything. If the business can't make money in German speaking DACH region it's highly unlikely they will make a profit in other languages. Harsh but true.

They shouldn't be scaling their business until the business model is proven and turning a profit. Right now they require external funding in order to survive and remain operational.

An STO is not a reason to invest, it's a reason to stay away!

This should not be pitched as an investment. It's been dressed up as a marketing / investment opportunity however looking closer at the details it seems more like charity. It is abundantly clear that BTC-Echo are only seeking to raise money offering equity in their company in exchange for capital because they are currently unable to cover the operational costs of the business as they are not profitable at this point in time and for the foreseeable future.

We are told it's attractive because of expansion plans and website analytics but the reality is the core business model isn't generating a profit. This isn't just high risk, it's pure speculation of the highest order. The expansion plans are listed as what they hope will help make them a profit. Expansion plans meaning adding support for English language as well as BTC-Navigator and BTC-Academy both solutions that have been operational since the start of the year and BTC-Echo is still not currently making a profit.

I don't think the DIF should be throwing every duff it has at this and then have the audacity to ask the treasury for more Dash to invest in a business that isn't making any profit and is currently operating at a loss.

DIF Supervisors, I appreciate that you are very eager to put something in front of the network based upon reading Amanda's DIF blog updates. If it's the case that you require more reserves in order to unlock more attractive, higher calibre investments then for the love of Duffield just tell the network that, we will understand. In the meantime if you are going to do anything please do the rebalancing strategy. If you had followed the strategy that Demelza presented you would have sold Dash for Gold at $125 meaning the DIF would be in a MUCH better position today than it's currently in. This is what you told the network the strategy and plan of action was in the DIF Quarterly Report Call - Q4 2019 video. Based on past performance one option is clearly more superior and less risky than the other.

Putting this investment pitch before the network as your first investment opportunity was a very poor choice and is truly disappointing if this was the best investment pitch to come your way.

So the reality is should the network vote to use all of the DIF reserves that we have spent a long time accumulating from the treasury for investment purposes on a marketing initiative that most likely won't make a profit for years if not at all.

Shock, horror... my answer is no.
Reply
-2 points,11 days ago
Hello BlueMoon,

thank you for your comment. BTC-Echo was not making profits during 2018 and 2019 because they were investing every dime they earned during that time periode into the development of additional products like BTC-ACADEMY and BTC-NAVGATOR.

The money they are raising now (no matter if through cap table investment or regulated STO) will be used to expand to other languages/regions and for sales. Of course they could stay focused on the German speaking market only and make profits during 2020, but they decided to enter a larger stage. BTC-Echo does not need any external funds to survive in the current stage. They need them to grow faster than they could by relying on internal ressources, only. This is a very common growth strategy.

It's not the cases that we (DIF) wanted to put something in front of the network following a whatever it takes approach. We submitted this proposal because we believe it makes sense to do so. May I ask you to to take a look at the answer I posted on the comment of DeepBlue, please? I don't want to post this double.

Thank you,

Jan
Reply
4 points,11 days ago
Due to the recent economic downturn in markets right now the networks focus and priority should be to reallocate treasury funding to DCG to make sure project development remains sustainable. I mention this as there is zero benefit in investing in a marketing initiative if Dash can no longer fund its Core Team to build and develop a product. There won't be anything to report on or advertise if we don't have a Core development team.

Sadly, the DIF reserves in USD price terms are now worth very little for investing purposes. So an additional multi-month treasury request to fund this 'nice to have' is no longer necessary or required. In budget treasury downtime I'm afraid the DIF needs to take a back-seat as it's not a necessity, it's an add-on. Whereas DCG funding and product development is indispensable.

This is bad timing.

If the Dash USD price remains low I think the network should vote to redirect all of the DIF reserves acquired from the treasury back to DCG to fund development so the Dash project can remain sustainable. The survival and development of the project is far more important than the DIF at this point in time. Without DCG development we have nothing. We can revisit the DIF at a later stage when the market recovers, it's not needed right now.

The DIF in my opinion should also withhold submitting any more funding requests for additional reserves until Dash Core Group has provided an update to the network on its sustainability and its own reserve status. I expect drastic measures will have to be taken. I hope the DIF supervisors elected by the network will be prepared to do the right and honourable thing for Dash to prosper and succeed in these difficult times.
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0 points,11 days ago
I really think the first thing to do right now is to not panic. It’s easy to throw the baby out with the bath water when the media, governments and markets are telling us all the sky is falling...

Crypto in particular is extremely volatile, we’ve only got to look at the dash price since the start of this year to see that.

The DIF team has met today and are in agreement that it will continue to execute on its strategy and will endeavour to make investments if/when the network indicates it wants us to.

Remember: even if the network indicates approval for an investment, it doesn’t automatically translate into a deal. It’s just permission/approval from the network for the DIF to go ahead and try to execute a deal that the network sees value in. There are many reasons why a deal may not go ahead even if it receives dao approval; private equity investments can be complex and risky, and -as you’ve already highlight - we may not have the funds to proceed in any case, for example.

So whilst I understand and respect your points of view, I think it’s important not lose perspective, act in a reactionary way, or to concern ourselves with external factors that we have absolutely no control over.

Sure, if the Dash price was to continue falling and stay below this level for a prolonged period then we will have tough decisions to make, but your recommended actions need not be taken in haste, nor may they ever need to be taken imo.

Let’s see where the dash price settles once the markets calm down, we will have a much clearer picture in a few months time.

Regards

Walter
Reply
4 points,13 days ago
I've read all the feedback on BTC-ECHO proposal. I honestly do not understand the logic behind funding this type of project at this stage of Dash's evolution.

Dash is not at the stage to be investing in marketing and advertising firms because we have little worthwhile yet to market - except as a speculative investment.

At this stage of DASH's development we need to be investing our money on projects and proposals that build the DASH product itself up to something that is actually worth marketing.

You are focusing also on the German market with this advertising so could you explain actual use cases of Dash in the German market right now?

The uses for DASH right now are currently in countries in which there are problems with the currency. Why? because this is one of the few areas where DASH can actually give a better customer experience than the local currency.

I would suggest you look at the DCG target markets and look to invest in those areas where DASH would get a substantial boost to its infrastructure.

If we improved the DASH project e.g. with a twin Dash stable coin then we might have a chance of use cases in Germany, Austria etc since then it can compete against the Euro.

https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/what-dash-needs-to-set-it-above-all-other-cryptos.43036/

Marketing a product before it can even compete against a currency like the Euro in Europe seems to me diverting valuable financial resources away from projects that could bring much greater value to DASH by improving our actual product.

What would be smarter is to do intensive market research to find particular niche markets that DASH could, right now, outperform the Euro and USD e.g micropayments etc and invest in firms that could create micropayment solutions for DASH.

In terms of marketing strategy. The best marketing strategy right now for Dash it to find a market niche payment problem that normal currency cannot solve but DASH could if we developed a customer payment solution that solves the problem for the customer. I would suggest finding a large industry that already has the customer base we need and aligning our product to solve that problem by building a custom solution. This way we accomplish several strategies in one step. We get access to a large market - instantly with no marketing, we get transference of the brand name of the company that has the payment problem to the Dash brand name and we build our infrastructure to improve our offering as a payment solution for other projects.

I simply do not understand the logic of this funding request when there could be many better projects we could be investing our money in that actually boost dash real world use case. We are not yet at that stage.

If we also look at the return for our investment in this project I think it is pretty miserable honestly at this stage of Dash's development.

I strongly suggest the DIF focus on investing in projects that will solve real world problems with DASH and building our infrastructure and offering first to the point we can first compete against the Euro in niche areas and then later on the Euro on all payment areas. Then we can look at marketing our product - when its actually useful.

Voting no.
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-1 point,11 days ago
Hello DeepBlue,

I can understand your concerns, but I personally don't agree with all of them. Of course emerging markets should be in the focus of Dash, but I don't think that the DAO should focus on them exclusively. Why? Because if Dash does not succeed in e.g. Venezuela we might have a problem. Even if we succeed there, I doubt that this will take any influence on the price of Dash and by that on the budget of the DAO. Why? Because of the very low purchasing power in that region and because I don't think that succeeding there will send an investment signal to the rest of the world.

You are right, BTC-ECHO is focused on the German speaking market right now, but they are preparing to expand to other European countries during this year. Of course this does not change anything in regards to the competition between Dash and the Euro. But what this does is increasing the number of users from high GDP countries. Now why do I think that this is a good thing?

According to BaFin (German Regulator) the number of certificates based on crypto-assets increased from less than 50 in May 2019 up to over 1,000 in December (please take a look at the attachement of this article: https://www.bafin.de/SharedDocs/Veroeffentlichungen/DE/Meldung/2019/meldung_191126_Marktbefragung_Derivate.html). I'm convinced that Dash will benefit from this development, if it's part of it. I'm convinced that BTC-Echo is a perfect partner to achieve this. Why? Because a potential investment in BTC-Echo and the connected media reach that we would be in control of would allow us to convince the certificate emitting companies to offer Dash certificates. Why do I care about certificates anyway? Because they allow institutional investors to invest in crypto. Being available as a certificate of course does not garantee that people will invest in it. This brings me to my next point: Worldline

Central Europe is not about investment or trading only. Worldline, the leading payment company in Europe will integrate crypto payments into their payment terminals starting in summer 2020 (https://worldline.com/en/home/newsroom/press-releases-general/2019/pr-2019_11_08_01.html). We (Dash Embassy D-A-CH) are trying to convince them to integrate Dash into their solution. They expect marketing/media in return. A potential investment in BTC-Echo would allow us (DIF/Embassy) to make this happen. Of course one could ask why Worldline wants to offer crypto payments to their clients. No matter what's the reasoning behind this, it's a fact that it's happening. In Central Europe. I guess it's very likely that this will create an investment signal for the coins involved. This is why I think that we (DAO) need to make sure that Dash is part of the party.

I'm convinced that the potential revenues from this investment and the opportunities listed above are good reasons to make this investment happen. But as said in the beginning: I can also understand the focus on emerging markets.

I hope I was able to explain the reasons (at least mine) behind this decission proposal.

Thank you for your time,

Jan
Reply
1 point,9 days ago
@essra thank you for your reply. I understand about Worldline which is a leading payment providing wanting to integrate cryptopayments however simply integrating a payment option does not mean that it will be used. Technology gets used when there is a real world problem that it is solving. If DASH or any other crypto is not solving a real world problem it will only be taken up by speculators. What we have in speculation is the rollercoaster situation we have right now with the price fluctuations. We need to get away from situation as much as is possible and the way we can do that is to develop solutions that solve a real world problem i.e. have a practical use for the coin.

Please note, I have no problem at all with projects in EU or USA countries, infact I would welcome them, as you point out it provides balance over only focusing on distressed currency countries. However, provided they are focused on projects that are solving a real world problem that normal currency cannot solve. Currently I do not see that. I asked you what real world problem could DASH solve that the Euro cannot solve that we could apply DASH to now - however you have not provided a solution.

Micropayments seems to me to be one of those possible areas where DASH could compete against the Euro or USD because currently there is no payment system to deal with very small transactions. New business models could evolve in developed countries with micropayments for a specific industry type. If DASH could find projects with real world practical use cases this is what I prefer to see rather than marketing at this stage.

In countries with distressed currencies there is a real world application of DASH. That is one reason I support those projects. Practicality leads to real demand and real use. Real use leads to value increase for the company or individual using our technology and therefore demand. Demand leads to greater awareness of Dash and therefore greater demand and this ultimately will lead to healthy price increase of the coin.

I prefer focusing our money, time and resources on where DASH can be used in real world situations solving real world problems now. It is not so much distressed currency countries that I focus on it is real world use cases that I focus on, and right now that happens to be distressed currency countries because DASH is not good enough a product yet to compete against normal currency. I honestly do not see how investing in marketing in a region where we do not have any practical real world use cases of DASH right now achieves real world use.
Reply
0 points,9 days ago
Hello DeepBlue,

I understand your point and I respect your decision to not support this investment. Let me just add what I missed to answer in my comment before:

1.) Payment use case: Digital payments that protect your privacy, unlike PayPal, GooglePay, ApplePay, VISA, Mastercard, ...

2.) Competition against Euro: Due to Corona the whole world is heading an economic crisis (I think this was going to happen anyway and that Corona is only accelerating). Central banks are increasing the money supply significantly. ECB just announced a € 750bn purchase program (https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/lagarde-fires-bazooka-2-ecb-announces-eu750bn-pandemic-purchase-program). It might sound like a tin foil hat statement, but I guess that due to the actions taken by central banks (not only ECB but also FED) the economic crises will end up in a global financial crisis. I think that Dash should prepare for this to take advantage of it.

In regards to "simply integrating a payment option does not mean that it will be used" I can only reply that this is exactly the reason why we need a strong media partner for consumer activation. No matter if we are heading a financial crisis or if we "just" want to help people protecting their privacy.

One last thing I want to mention is how small the crypto market actually is compared to every other market in the world: http://money.visualcapitalist.com/worlds-money-markets-one-visualization-2017/. Unfortunately this visualisation is outdated, but the relation between the assets is more or less the same today as it was in the end of 2017. What I'm trying to say here is that besides to the payment use case (no matter if in emerging markets or in the first world), Dash needs to consider to become part of financial markets with high purchasing power. Why? Because this will be the only way to get rid of volatility. If this doesn't happen we won't be able to succeed on the long run, in my opinion. BTC-Echo would be able to help with this so that Dash is not going to be left behind other blockchain projects.

In addition this investment opportunity also allows us to get access to developers, which I believe is also very important for the future use cases of Dash (Platform).

However, please keep in mind that this proposal is not about strategic investment only, it's also about making a return on our investment. Due to the current crisis BTC-Echo is surpassing their own expectations by far when it comes to revenue and traffic for this month. One could say that this already takes influence on the current valuation.

I hope I was able to outline all aspects of this proposal. As said in the beginning of this post I can understand if you are following a different approach. If that's still the caseI think we can at least agree that we don't agree.

Thank you for your time and engagement,

Jan
Reply
0 points,9 days ago
@Essra thanks for your answer. Before we come to the conclusion of agreeing to disagree I believe we should fully understand each others point of view. I really do appreciate the DIF have done a lot of work on this and it is not to be dismissed without giving it a thorough discussion it deserves. I'm presenting points of view for the DIF to consider and you a presenting points for us to consider. By doing this both sides will better understand and perhaps learn from each other.

Let me address your reply.

I think you may not have understood my points of finding and investing in real world use case. It is solving a real world specific payment problem that a company or organization has. I am not referring to properties of a coin e.g. Privacy and Printing of money as use cases. These are not use cases.

1. Privacy - correct DASH offers privacy but that is not a real world use case it is a feature of our coin.
2. Again this is not a feature if anything the USD is likely to increase in value and quite possibly the Euro also during a crisis people take money out from investments into cash. If we are looking the decrease in purchasing power of Euro Vs Dash there is no comparison. Dash is a terrible investment at this stage to hold its value.

So far you have not given me one single actual real world use case for DASH in the EU. You have talked about a payment gateway - again no use case this is the means to make payment. You talked about the possibility of institutional investors - again no use case.

You then raise the issue of attracting developers. I agree we need to attract quality developers but is investing in a publication the best way to do this? Could there be more effective and focused ways to attract developers? e.g paying for courseware to be created for us? From your feedback it seems DASH is going to have to provide most of the training material content anyway. So why don't we go to a dedicated training production company and just pay them to create the courses for us. We don't need to invest in a media company to do that.

I disagree with your point about about integrating into a payment solution could be a good thing for DASH because it would attract "institutional investors" . I personally don't want institutional investors at this stage - they would just be speculators on mass. I want companies actively wanting to use DASH because it solves a real world and specific problem they have.

Some ideas of real world solutions DASH could provide that normal currency cannot compete against and could work in Eurozone and in USA. Companies involved with any of the following would be an interesting investment in my opinion:

1. A micropayments payment solution for website content creators so that they can monetise their content websites. e.g. payments to access premium content or a micropayment e.g. 10c to remove all advertising on a website. This would involve a full

2. Airline industry payments. Ive discussed this use previously in detail. Norweigan air is developing a crypto based payment system linked to a stable coin. We could do something similar if we had a Dash Stable coin.

3. Vending machines industry. They work on very tight margins - typically making only 3.5% profit margin after all costs. A big issue these companies is security of their machines with large amounts of cash and coins inside and day to day maintenance of their machines. Maintenance includes emptying the machine of change which has to be done frequently and is costly and time consuming. Dash could provide a payment solution linked to tokens. The customer pays in DASH which buys tokens for the customer to buy what they want. The DASH is instantly transferred to Euro or USD in real time in a secure location and the customer gets credited with tokens to buy from the vending machine. The tokens will retain their purchasing power.

4. Copyright registration services. Website content creators could register their content on the blockchain along with files that support the evidence they are the copyright owners e.g.version drafts, sources etc. These could be registered online with date time stamp. The blockchain forms an immutable records of the content which give the copyright owner strong evidence they are the copyright owner. A big problem for content creators online is plagiarism and proving copyright ownership is not easy. DASH could solve this problem because we also offer registration of the content on the blochchain- something normal fiat currency cannot do.

4. Contract registration services. A similar service to the one above however for business contracts. Businesses pay a fee to have their contract registered on DASH blockchain.

These are examples of real world use cases were DASH could compete against normal currency. I want DASH to focus on these types of real world use cases.

I feel very strongly that we need to build the dash infrastructure by providing real world solutions and then real world business starts using our coin. This will lead to steady, healthy increase in the DASH price not speculators, and not marketing.

I would also like to highlight the following regarding investing in a media company. Not only do I think this is not a good investment for DASH right now, I also think it is not a good investment for BTC-Echo. The reason is that their publications may lose credibility with the readership once readers know that DASH has invested in their business. Once those doubts are voiced by readers BTC-ECHO then feel obliged to not be favourable towards DASH in its editorial simply to prove the point that they are independent. My view is that a publication needs to be independent to avoid doubts from the readership that they are biased. I think that BTC-ECHO need to think very carefully themselves about accepting investment money from any crypto coin if they wish to retain their credibility and readership trust.
Reply
0 points,9 days ago
Hello DeepBlue,

thank you for coming back to me this quick. I think your definition of use cases differs from mine.

Your suggestions are containing a lot of great ideas, but most of the business models you are talking about would need to be created from scratch. I don't think that this should be the purpose of the DIF. In fact those types of businesses might be very risky investments.

In regards to the vending maschines: most of them are using ingenico terminals for cashless payments already. Wordline recently bought ingenico. I will not repeat myself in regards to Worldline, as I think you can see where this would be going.

In regards to independence of media outlets: As far as I know a big number of media outlets aren't independent, anymore. SadIy. I see your point, but the world is developing in another direction.

It looks that we are disagreeing on many things, especially the necessity of first world money and institutional investors in the crypto space to decrease volatility. Those investments are happening already, anyway. One of the best examples is BlackRock and fidelity being invested in Neptune Dash (which by the way is very sucessfull at Frankfurt Stock Exchange).

We (DIF) decided to submit this proposal for a reason (after taking a look at several other inquiries). I think I expressed my points of view and the reasoning behind this decission very detailed. I heard your voice and you heard mine. For me it seems that we don't agree.

Maybe it's time for one of the other five supervisors to follow up on this conversation. I don't feel that I have something to add here anymore.

Thank you for your time and thoughts, DeepBlue.

Best regards,

Jan
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0 points,8 days ago
P.S.: sorry, I forgot to answer the developer paragraph...

We could ask a company to create e-learning content and pay for that. But in this scenario we would still need to advertise these courses and actually get in touch with developers. I guess we would need to advertise those courses on e.g. BTC-Echo. At least for the DACH region, as several established companies are already offering development jobs on BTC-Navigator.

The creation and the advertisement for e-learning courses would be included in the BTC-Echo investment.
Reply
8 points,14 days ago
I am starting to wonder if now is really a good time for the DIF to put all its eggs in one basket with this BTC-ECHO investment deal, when there is such instability in the financial market / oil market / crypto market and companies worldwide are so very cash-limited. Would it perhaps be better to grow the DIF funds some more and diversify them in a time of less instability and over a number of deals / partnerships that already have a history of profit making ?
Reply
4 points,14 days ago
This is my point exactly. My advice is to put all illiquid investments on hold until we can get a better understanding of the current crisis, what the likely response will be from governments and regulatory bodies, and what that portends for cryptocurrency projects.
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0 points,14 days ago
Hello qwizzi,

we thought about that, too. There are a couple of reasons to follow the approach you described. Of course putting all eggs in one basket can be a risk. On the other hand media outlets are benefiting from crisis, because people want to read about them. It's similar to exchanges, which earn money on trades no matter if the price is going up or down.

Investing in a company that has a history of profit making would maybe provide a lower risk, but would also demand a higher investment. And even in that case there would still be no guarantee that a company like that would be a secure investment, as we can see these days.

We are very confident that BTC-Echo will be able to succeed.

Thank you for your comment,

Jan
Reply
0 points,14 days ago
I forgot the "e" again, sorry qwizzie. I hope that this will never happen again.
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3 points,15 days ago
Also in section 4. What does Dash get out of this?

"BTC-ACADEMY campus for Dash Platform (including courses)"

Who will pay to create these courses?

Also can you tell me how successful or popular the academy courses have been to date? Any metrics like: how many users? number of courses sold etc.

The proposal states that BTC-ACADEMY launched in the beginning of 2020, are you able to publish any financials on how much money it has made to date? So we are able to gauge how much value this actually provides as an investment opportunity.
Reply
0 points,14 days ago
Hi Mark,

as stated in the proposal description we are not allowed to share any additional data, unfortunately. This will be the case for most equity investments the DIF might make in the future. I can assure you, that we checked all data thoroughly. Otherwise this proposal would not have been submitted.

Nevertheless we (DIF supervisors) can understand that not being able to deliver full disclosure might cause uncertainty among the Masternodes. This is why we reached out to BTC-Echo and asked if they can think of any solution in regards to this problem. The result of that call is that they offer MNOs to take a look at all the numbers, if they are willing to sign a NDA with BTC-Echo. Signing a NDA will require KYC (via passport). If you want to do this, please reach out to me via PM or email. I'll be happy to connect you.

Of course this process will be possible for every MNO. Whoever is interested in this offer, please reach out to us via email (hello@dashinvests.org). But please keep in mind that this will cause additional efforts for BTC-Echo and the DIF supervisors and that we (DIF supervisor + Demelza Hays) already did extensive due dilligence on this investment opportunity.

In regards to the e-learning content (BTC-ACADEMY): the courses would get created in collaboration between Dash (could be DCG, DACH, ...) and BTC-Echo. We (Dash) would need to provide all information. Together with BTC-Echo then the content (videos, text boxes, questions, ...) would be produced. After that BTC-Echo would publish it on their platform.

I hope this answsers your questions.

Best regards,

Jan
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4 points,14 days ago
Hey Jan,

Thanks for the reply, it's very much appreciated. I'm interested and curious in the academy for marketing purposes.

To be clear, it sounds like any creation of courses will need to be funded and created separate to funding of this proposal. Is that correct?

As in section 4 of proposal it's listed as something Dash would get in return for DIF investment.

I'm just trying to ascertain what will be still possible in the event this doesn't get approval.

In the worst case scenario, will Dash still be able to have a course on the academy if the network doesn't approve proposal?

From the proposal description it says they take 30% revenue from courses sold. So are courses in academy free to submit?

Also I'm very grateful for the coverage that BTC-Echo has published on Dash in the past.

https://www.btc-echo.de/?s=dash

Is it safe to assume if the DIF doesn't invest in BTC-Echo that Dash will still get coverage on the publication?

Thanks for your time.
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0 points,14 days ago
Hi Mark,

I'm happy to hear that you are curious about the opportunities this investment would bring to the table, besides from the potential revenue for the DIF.

An additional funding for creating the courses won't be necessary, as they would be created in collaboration between Dash and BTC-Echo. The "only" thing Dash needs to spend here are some working hours for providing comprehensive information and being involved in the content creating process.

The opportunity for creating a campus and courses would still remain, if the DIF does not invest, but in that case Dash would need to pay for the creation of the content, pay a setup fee and pay an annual fee for being listed on BTC-ACADEMY. In addition to this Dash would need to sell the courses and pay 30% fee on every sale. If the DIF would be invested the courses could be offered free of charge.

The current media coverage on BTC-Echo is depending on press releases and the good will of the editorial tem, because those releases only get published if the editorial team believe they are worth it. Of course articles like that would still get published without the DIF being invested. But with the DIF being invested it would also be possible to get coverage for topics that are not as clickbaity as the BlackRock investment in Neptune Dash or the release of Dash Platform. You can think of topics like: "Mining vs. Masternodes", "Chainlocks vs. Hashrate", "Advantages of instant transactions". Those articles would help to get the message of Dash to the public and increase the overall awareness for Dash. I guess DCG, you and other POs would be able to create some good storylines together.

I hope this answers your questions.

Cheers,

Jan
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1 point,14 days ago
Voting no.

This may be a good thing to invest in at some point, but right now is not the time to spend ANY funds from the DIF IMHO. The world is going through some unknown financial cataclysm. We don't what the landscape will look like when it is over.

Also, I want the DIF supervisors to demonstrate that they can actually diversify the funds they are holding before we allow them to make any investments.

Also, why did you present the DAO with the percentage ownership we would receive and not the actual amount of money we are investing or the percentage of DIF funds instead. I feel like that would have been given the MNOs a better idea of the scale of this.
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2 points,14 days ago
If the DIF is required to keep the amount of this investment secret from the DAO as part of the NDA, that would mean that the DIF can no longer report its exact financial holdings to the DAO. Am I wrong?
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0 points,14 days ago
Hello geert,

the DIF will keep reporting its financials in the way it's reporting them right now.

Thank you,

Jan
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-2 points,13 days ago
You're admitting to us that the DAO will end up violating the NDA they've signed. Complete incompetence on your part IMHO. The DIF is liable to be sued over this breach.
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2 points,15 days ago
I'm excited about the DIF and it's potential but I want to make sure I fully understand the details.

In section 4. What does Dash get out of this?

"Profits generated through revenue and increasing valuation through growth"

What does this actually mean? can you please elaborate how this would work.

Does this mean Dash will get Dividend payments if BTC-Echo makes a profit? Can you please explain how will profits generated be passed back to the network?

This needs more clarity.

Please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm assuming in order for the network to lock in any profits from any revenue made we will have to find a buyer to sell the equity to. Can you please confirm that this is the case? If that is indeed correct, the network needs to understand how the world of private equity works. As finding a buyer can prove difficult as it's not very liquid when you want to sell. Also we need to factor in the board meaning BTC-Echo typically would need to approve new buyer of equity as well. So we are not really in full control of investment and there would be risks involved. Can you confirm this for me please?
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1 point,14 days ago
DIF Supervisor here... As it stands, DIF would profit from its exit strategy, ie. selling the shares in the future. If the BTC-Echo shareholders decide to issue a dividend we would get the dividend back. Yes, this is a private equity deal, it's not an open market stock. Less liquid for sure. One thing we should mention is that BTC-Echo is not profitable due to the fact that they are expanding/growing. We believe that we have negotiated a good deal in a well run company that has the potential to succeed as well as provide Dash strategic coverage in the DACH region. It's up to the MNO to let us know whether to move forward in discussions.
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5 points,14 days ago
Hey unchained. Thank you for the reply and confirmation.

Please tell me if I am understanding this correctly?.... as I'm finding this all a little too hard to believe. I'm scratching my head in confusion....

Right now it seems like the DIF is asking the network to give consent via governance proposal to invest ALL of the DIF's reserves built up from around 9 months of treasury funding in addition to requesting MORE Dash funding from the treasury to invest into a business that isn't currently profitable. It has no dividend payouts and that's IF BTC-Echo starts to make a profit, and when the DIF wants to sell equity regardless if investment made gains or not it's a cumbersome process to not only find a buyer but also requires BTC-Echo boards approval of new buyer?

Do I need my eyes tested? or am I missing something?... When you read that out loud it sounds absolutely ludicrous. Seriously what is going on here... there must be more to this..... this was not what I was expecting from the DIF as its first investment opportunity to be presented to the network.

What happened to the rebalancing strategy the DIF presented to the network with Demelza?

Are you not going to buy Gold or do that anymore? With recent economic events that particular investment strategy would have been much more wise and sensible in my honest opinion. Wait a sec, surely the strategy should have triggered a buy for Gold with all the recent market movements in Dash USD price? Can I conclude that the DIF doesn't want to buy Gold or do the rebalancing strategy anymore? I think a lot of masternodes were expecting this to happen due to the DIF video indicating that was the plan of action.

Please answer this question: What year did BTC-Echo last make a profit?

If you can't answer that question then it's an instant no from me.

Don't get me wrong, its not personal. I'm thankful to the DIF for presenting this to the network as a governance proposal but in order to make an informed decision as an investment opportunity I feel more details are required as this currently doesn't look good.
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0 points,14 days ago
Hello BlueMoon,

it's important to ask those kind of questions to create a better understanding of what this proposal is about, so thank you for your comment.

The last time BTC-Echo has been profitable was in 2017. Since then all revenues were invested in the platform itself (e.g. for building BTC-ACADEMY and BTC-NAVIGATOR). The current captable investments (the DIF would not be the only investor in this cycle) and the upcoming STO will be used to invest in the internationalization and in sales. This said it's very unlikely that BTC-Echo will become profitable again in 2020. But the investments in the product itself will take influence on the overall valuation of the company.

From the outside it might look tough to realize profits by selling shares at a higher valuation in the future, because there is no open market comparable to a stock exchange for this. But as mentioned in the beginning of this comment we are not the only investors and I'm aware of traditional media companies that are interested in buying the whole company. Right now the team of BTC-Echo does not want to sell shares to institutions like that, because they are looking for strategic partners from the cryptospace and aim to increase the valuation before an exit. The plan to not pay out any dividends will last until the new ecosystem is generating stable revenue. After that there will be payouts.

This brings me to the reasoning behind our decission to submit this proposal. Of course we want to make profits out of it, but we don't see BTC-Echo as a profit related investment only. We believe that it's the perfect mix between return and strategy, as the media value the DAO would get out of it can be used to promote Dash and it's partners all across Europe. In combination this investment would not only benefit the DIF but the entire Dash ecosystem.

We will still be following the rebalancing strategy of Demelza in future, but as the name of that strategy says it's for rebalancing. From our point of view rebalancing is not the main purpose of the DIF. The mission is to invest in companies to grow the Dash ecosystem and earn some money while doing so.

I hope I was able to answer your questions. If there is anything left you want to discuss, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Best regards,

Jan
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0 points,11 days ago
With regard to rebalancing strategy specifically - due to ongoing challenges with regulatory and compliance we have been unable to open the accounts required to execute this strategy thus far.

We continue to work hard to make this happen, however, this has never been done before and compliance departments of exchanges and banks are very stringent on their requirements. Ownerless and memberless entities fall outside the bell curve when it comes to compliance.

We will update the network when we have overcome these challenges.

Walter
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-1 point,15 days ago
BTC Echo is the contact point for German language Cryptonews. In contrast to most Cryptonews portals, research is also important there. The range of BTC Echo goes far beyond the German speaking area. BTC Echo also operates a discord that links thousands of crypto users from the DACH and provides them with information.
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-1 point,15 days ago
One can assume majority of the funds DIF requested will be going to this investment if they still need additional DASH to buy in

The way the current markets are and the fact that it seems we are paying for advertising by gaurunteeing articles etc

Becoming nothing more than a dash echo chamber.

Voting No
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0 points,14 days ago
Hello Realmrhack,

I think it wouldn't be bad if we could manage to make the leading crypto media platform in Central Europe, their copycats and their content partners from the mainstream media Dash echo chambers. But I guess this is kind of unlikely to happen, unfortunately.

Best regards,

Jan
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1 point,13 days ago
Jan what i mean is if we pay our way into it the public will just view it as 'paid your way' mentality

Thanks
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