Proposal “DIF_2nd_TRANCHE_FUNDING_3MONTHS“ (Completed)Back

Title:DIF 2nd tranche funding - 3 months
Monthly amount: 250 DASH (17018 USD)
Completed payments: 3 totaling in 750 DASH (0 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2019-10-16 / 2020-01-13 (added on 2019-10-11)
Votes: 733 Yes / 227 No / 9 Abstain

Proposal description

What is the purpose of the DIF?

The Dash treasury system can create no more than a maximum amount of Dash at month-long intervals. While this model works for funding many of our needs, it’s often not ideal for interfacing with the traditional business world.

Some months, we're presented with more good opportunities than we can afford to fund. Then during other months, we have more funds available to us than we have good opportunities to put them toward.

The Dash Investment Foundation (DIF) solves this problem by providing the network with a way to save units of Dash over time. Those funds are then ready for use when well-researched, great opportunities knock.

In short, the DIF can act as a “savings account” for the Dash network. We're here to actively research investment opportunities, and when good ones arise, we’ll come to you (the Dash network) with a governance vote/poll to determine whether you’d like us to use your saved funds to pursue said opportunities.

What is the DIF's investment process start-to-finish?

  1. Parties seeking investment approach the DIF (if they were not actively approached by the DIF first) and pitch their opportunity
  2. The DIF does due diligence on the opportunity to assess its potential
  3. If deemed a good opportunity, the DIF submits a decision proposal/poll to the Dash network along with supporting analysis and information
  4. If the network decides in the affirmative, the DIF will use its reserves (and any additional requested funds, if necessary) to execute the investment
Who is running the DIF?

Amanda B. Johnson.............Internal Organization and Inquiry Management

Michael Lewis.......................Investment Analysis and Technical Background

Jan Heinrich Meyer...............PR and Business Networking

Hytham Abdel-Karim............Investment Analysis and Thinking Outside-the-Box

Directors......................Legal & Accounting

To Be Decided.......................Investment Management (upon reaching $300/Dash and/or at least $1mm in reserves)

What will the DIF invest in, and why?

We’ve chosen the following three high-growth industries because they’re ripe to increase global use cases for Dash. Furthermore, it will be advantageous for the Dash network to have influence (via financial partnerships) with key businesses in these industries, because influence often leads to Dash integrations which may not have happened otherwise.

Anything to do with crypto trading, buying/selling cryptocurrency for fiat/gold, and future DApps on the Dash platform. 

Anything to do with crypto payment service providers, payment terminals/points-of-sale systems, loyalty programs, remittance services, and gift cards.

Consumer Tech:
Anything to do with web and mobile services, household and/or consumer electronics, and related fund management.

Why is the DIF asking for funding each month?

Reason #1:

A predictable monthly amount makes sure that Dash’s stakeholders, as well as all proposal owners, can budget ahead of time, rather than getting blindsided by a big DIF ask during a single month. The more predictable that treasury asks are, the better masternode owners/shareowners can do their jobs.

Reason #2:

We must prevent a scenario in which the DIF is forced into a breach of contract by the network. This could happen if the Dash network first agrees to pursue an opportunity (for example, via a multi-month funding proposal specific to a single investment), but then de-funds the agreement before all payments are made. This could happen even if the proposal doesn't lose any votes over time, but is simply surpassed by other projects which come to have more support.

Remember that the Dash network is a fluid body — its stakeholders change month-to-month — and the DIF must not risk breaching legally-binding contracts with outside companies due to the network shifting its priorities, which has happened in the past.

Why two proposals with a 4.5% budget ask for the next three months?

After feedback from the Network, we have decided to split our 9% ask into two proposals of equal size, 4.5% each. The last thing we want to do during the bottom of this bear market is push the network into a binary choice to either fund the DIF at a full 9% at the expense of other valued projects, or not to fund the DIF at all. Making two smaller proposals allows the Network the freedom to vote no funding, part funding, or full funding during every month over the next three months.
Funding both DIF proposals would be optimal for the DIF because it will provide enough funds to be able to do something meaningful within the next year or two. We respect, however, that the Network has a difficult task during this period when Dash has recently slipped to near multi-year lows in price. We would be delighted if both proposals received funding, but we would rather that be an act of commission from the Network than of omission on our behalf by not giving you the choice.
Also, always remember that any funds allocated to the DIF remain under network control. The supervisors and directors maintain a fiduciary duty to the network.

What's more, 9% is not set in stone in the future. It may decrease or increase over time as the network's resources change, and as voters develop specific desires and expectations of the DIF.

DIF quarterly update:

It has been a busy first quarter since the DIF was established. Below are some highlights and achievements during the last quarter:
   -  DIF supervisor team elected by the network.
   -  Weekly meetings between supervisors to assign tasks and manage progress.
   -  Secured DIF related web/social media assets such as domains, social media handles etc.
   -  Developed website with internal skills and resources. This has cost the DIF zero, just a small hosting fee for continued operation and storage of backups. Future maintenance and updates will be done internally at zero cost if we continue to          have the skills internally to do this.
   -  Email, communications and productivity solutions have been set up and configured. Again, this was done by existing internal resources to keep costs to a minimum. We are using GSuite for much of our internal communications/collaboration. This has a cost of            around $6 per month per team member.
   -  Creation of DIF Constitution document (viewable here).
   -  Poll conducted via DashWatch to give the DIF guidance on how to store funds received. The majority preference was to keep all DIF allocated investment funds 100% Dash at this time. We will review this on an annual basis.
   -  The DIF successfully submitted its first funding proposal last cycle and received the full ask of 512 Dash, approximately 9% of the treasury budget available.
   -  Michael Lewis appointed Chair of DIF supervisor meetings, Amanda B Johnson appointed Secretary. Both roles are for a provisional 3-month period and are designed to help with the internal coordination and management of the DIF supervisor Team. These roles        are voluntary and unpaid.
   -  Three DIF supervisors attended the Dash Europe Convention in Zurich last month. After a short introduction from Fernando Gutierrez the supervisors conducted an extensive, unscripted AMA style Q and A session on-stage, and we hope this was a useful and                      constructive exercise to all who participated, and to those who watched via the livestream. We have certainly received lots of valuable feedback which will help shape the DIF going forwards.

What is the DIF going to do next?

  1. We’ve already received inquiries from many businesses within the payments and blockchain industries. We’ve informed these businesses that we’re still in the phase of acquiring seed capital and a mandate from the Dash network, and that we’ll be able to more confidently interact with them after two or three funding cycles.
  2. In the meantime, we’re screening the inquiries we have received (and continue to receive), as well as doing background research on the more promising ones.
  3. We’re developing a PR and communication strategy to maximize our impact.
  4. The Directors are continuing to work through the technicalities of opening bank accounts, and exchange accounts in preparation for when the DIF is instructed by the network to put some of the Dash seed funding to use.
  5. In response to some feedback on Governance we are exploring the possibility of bringing forward the appointment of two new supervisors. The original plan was to replace outgoing supervisors who are also Directors when all 6 supervisor positions go up for election in July 2020. We believe that a more sensible approach may be to stagger this process to ensure greater stability and a smooth transition should there be multiple changes in personnel. It makes for better governance of the DIF. The Directors will, of course, remain in their very important roles as Directors of the DIF, but it was always the plan that they would step down as Supervisors once the DIF was up and running properly. They have indicated early support for such a plan, and we will update the network in due course with more details should we decide to take this course of action.
-----We're looking forward to receiving your support and are happy to answer your questions. -----

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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

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3 points,10 months ago
"We are currently exploring the addition of an investment consultant(s) to the DIF's efforts. In our original estimates, we thought it wise to wait until Dash reached $300 and/or we had at least $USD1mm in reserves, but we have since revised this stance and are actively exploring consultant options."

- Amanda Johnson

To invest $200,000 or less, which is a tiny seed round, we are now going to have to pay for "investment consultant(s)". Is there any logic to this?