Proposal “DashCoreGroupBizDevJuneJuly“ (Completed)Back

Title:Dash Core Group Business Development June - July
Monthly amount: 247 DASH (6912 USD)
Completed payments: 2 totaling in 494 DASH (0 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2021-06-13 / 2021-08-11 (added on 2021-06-10)
Votes: 727 Yes / 96 No / 1 Abstain

Proposal description

Dash Core Group June 28th Funding Proposals

DCG is submitting 3 funding proposals for the budget cycle that pays out June 28th:
1) DCG Compensation: 2,472 Dash per month (currently in month 2/3)
2) DCG Marketing: 247 Dash per month (currently in month 1/2)
3) DCG Business Development: 247 Dash per month (currently in month 1/2)
What is this proposal about?
This proposal funds Dash Core Group’s ongoing business development expenses. The last time funding was requested for the Dash Core Group’s business development budget was in March 2021. With the funding we received during the first two months of the year, we have enough resources to continue funding activities at a similar capacity to that of the recent bear market. This funding request is intended to begin expanding our scope of activities. These activities include:

  • Enter the gambling and E-sports market more aggressively: There is a clear match for Dash and E-Sports/Online Gambling, but due to the higher ticket cost to enter (Anything below 10k is not relevant at all), we had to pass on many of those opportunities in the past. With additional funding, we can promote this use case from a “tertiary” to “primary” expansion opportunity.
  • Maintain higher priority key account management activities with large, strategic partners in Venezuela such as Cryptobuyer (e.g., Pizza Hut, and large supermarket chains) or Church’s Chicken: Now that Dash is integrated into larger, mainstream brands, we want to make sure we can have meaningful quarterly activities with select partners in order to push Dash beyond the initial crypto userbase, and into larger mainstream usage.
  • Run tests on remittance corridors, especially to Venezuela: Operating a remittance company typically entails high compliance and regulatory costs. Budgetary support for remittance opportunities will help remove many of the financial barriers to enabling a remittance channel with Dash to strategic countries and will support further exploration  of the potential of these activities (We are looking at one South American country to Venezuela opportunity, and hope to re-engage with Mexican opportunities). Remittance use cases also serve to supply Dash into Venezuela, which can help Dash succeed there by expanding the user base.

Below we provide our integration count, total annual spend, and an accompanying brief analysis to demonstrate both our performance with “doing more with less”, as well as our spend per integration from 2019 to date.

  • During all of 2019 we launched 53 integrations, with a total spend of 143,890 USD
  • During 2020, we we launched 55 integrations, with a total spend of 147,489 USD
  • In Q1 2021, we announced 5 new integrations, spending a total of 10,655 USD

All in all, our average integration costs the Dash DAO 2,673 USD, and ~75% of the time, that cost is due to a consumer promotion cost, where we enable Dash users to receive some type of Dash incentive. 
Some of these promotions include:

  • Whitebit, Europe: InstantSend and staking campaign: Some fast Dash deposits received a total of 5,000 USD in prizes
  • Tauros Card, Mexico: The first crypto Card in LatAm -Launched in Mexico- Users who selected Dash as their native token, would receive 1% Dash back on their purchases

DCG also provides funding to enable an integration, activities aimed at developing a missing part of the system, or preparing a point of sale system to accept Dash. Examples of these activities include:

  • Burger King, Venezuela (Cryptobuyer partnership) Training clerks on how to accept Dash as a payment method, as well as promotional expenses aimed at letting consumers know Dash is accepted at the store.
  • Ready Raiders (North America, E-Gaming strategy) Held the first Dash contest, where gamers could win prizes in Dash, exposing gamers to the use and low fee capabilities of our network.

In all of our promotions, we share costs with our partners, ensuring the partners have “skin in the game” and limit the amount of Dash that is given away, in order to maintain a low spend rate.

This low cost approach has been effective during the bear market, but has deterred us from entering more complex verticals such as gaming, remittances, and larger key account management activities in Venezuela, where we are currently dealing with world recognized brands such as Pizza Hut, Burger King, and large retailers such as local supermarket chains with dozens of locations.

The largest percentage of the additional funds requested will mainly be used on opportunities we have identified in eSports and iGaming. Previously, we had identified the aforementioned segments as strategic areas for adoption. However, due to our business development budget constraints, we were unable to engage with the segment due to its need for higher-budget marketing. In comparison to a standard payments integration ($2k-$5k USD), an eSports or iGaming partnership can cost an average of $30k USD per partner on the lower end of the spectrum. However, these partnerships can generate substantially larger volumes than typical retail integrations.

We will test our new vertical by taking the following steps. 
  1. We will integrate Dash and - where relevant - InstantSend (some platforms use a third party to confirm transactions for instant payments across all their crypto offering). 
  2. We are simultaneously building an eSports, iGaming landing page to funnel winners of tournaments and betting events. The goal is to provide the option to spend in Dash instead of immediately exchanging Dash following a winning. The Dash provided to the users will be through co-promoted events such as eSports tournaments, or iGaming events held by the platform operators. 
  3. Currently, when a user wins some Dash, they are most likely to withdraw the Dash. The reason being that many will not know that they can spend Dash in their favorite stores. To address this, in the withdrawal page, there will be links to the landing page where various partners will be strategically marketed to the users to spend their Dash.
  4. We will be gathering data through our partners and through our own tools. Following an announcement and any type of promotional event relating to Dash and these partners, we will be analyzing the data and incorporating learning into subsequent joint promotional events. Our partners are also spending a significant sum of funds in these promotions. Partner spend total amounts and proportion to DCG spend, of course vary by partner. 

The results expected are that with every step we place for the user, some users will trickle out of the funnel and exchange their Dash for cash, while there will be a percentage who continue down the funnel in order to spend in Dash and leverage promotional incentives, while simultaneously avoiding exchange fees. The percentage of retained users and the points at which users drop out of the funnel will be measured and improved leveraging the data, with the objective of converting platform users into Dash users. 

In Venezuela, we plan to ramp up our promotional and educational activities including conducting larger activities with high profile merchants that utilize the Megasoft point-of-sale system (which has integrated Dash) and other retail systems we are integrating. To date, besides the two high profile supermarket chains already deployed, as well as all of Pizza Hut, we are in conversations to add at least a dozen large basic goods stores in the country. These will result in hundreds of additional locations and thousands of new cashiers with direct integrations into the PoS’s of those retailers. DCG is aiming to surpass the threshold needed to realize network effects, and become regarded as an expected payments option, and we need to seize the opportunity, and offer Dash at a large number of mainstream retailers to the customers of these stores.

We have also expanded our focus from only places to spend, into projects that allow people to receive or earn Dash through remuneration in Dash as a result of work; remittance transfers; through conducting activities online; and by receiving change in Dash (e.g., customers paying in USD and receiving change in Dash). We are pursuing self sustainable activities, and a few key account activities aimed at exposing Dash the the hundreds of thousand of users in these locations, we are developing projects such as Dasherpay (a payroll solution), that can become sustainable, and do not require DCG providing monetary incentives other than at set up, as we focus on actions that solve a real payment issue to ensure we can build self-sustaining projects.  

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

Requested funding is as follows for the June 28th budget cycle:
· 244.5 Dash for legal expenses ($41,000 USD @ $170 per Dash)
·     2.5 Dash proposal reimbursement
Total: 247 Dash

The exact same funding request applies to the July 27th budget cycle.

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

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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

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3 points,3 years ago
Partnership is really important and we should continue with that. But i also agree with BlueMoon that we need hard data.
In future partnership the sharing of data could be a bullet in the terms even. As we are decentralized we have to rely on data.
Also i hope we can expand outside of Venezuela into more countries. Not that there is anything wrong with that but i like us to expand more.
0 points,3 years ago
Hi Vampyren, thanks for your comments, please read the reply I just posted to BlueMoon.

In addition, I'd like to point out that as we expand into more massive merchants, the relations get more complex, so getting Dash into them is the first step, and we have prioritized making sure they feel confident with the system, before pushing more into Data Sharing. But now that we are already in three national chains, it is less difficult to ask for permission to share a consolidated snapshot of Dash for example (This is something I will ask our partners, so as I mentioned to BlueMoon it is something I can not promise that will happen, but I will definitely keep requesting).

If you have any thoughts or references on how to collect and share data, please let me know, I'd be happy to explore ways to showcase Dash's growth in usage in Venezuela.

Regarding expansion, we are now hiring for a BD Manager for Brazil which is another fintech country in the region, with literally direct ties to Venezuela, as it is a position we feel that will further boost our adoption in the region, and allow us to keep growing.

Thanks and let me know if you have any more comments,

2 points,3 years ago
Can you explain why DCG decided to post a new job hire for a Business Development Manager in Brazil?

I'm very curious to learn your reasoning behind this decision and how you concluded that Brazil is the best fit other other regions.

As I thought you were in charge of Latam region?

If I understand correctly. DCG currently has no Biz Dev operatives in South East Asia or Europe. Surely that should be much more of a priority than doubling up in the same region you are currently operating in?

Especially when the results of that region are very questionable.

Thanks for your time.
0 points,3 years ago
>Especially when the results of that region are very questionable.

Why do you say this, btw? You can see from here:

That Venezuela is the largest and most successful region for Dash. Have you not seen this data before?
0 points,3 years ago
> Surely that should be much more of a priority than doubling up in the same region you are currently operating in?

Europe is a dead market that is affected by the same 'mafia-style' hate against Dash as the U.S. We've had plenty of U.S. proposals for years yet the U.S.'s active android wallet growth has been stagnant and steadily declining even according to dashwatch.

Meanwhile, Jamaica surpassed the U.S. A country with 1/100th the population of the U.S.A has 2000 more active android wallet users per day. Also, Venezuela and Brazil are both growing, while EU regions show years-long stagnation, just like the U.S.

But in Latin America its a different story. They just care about what works, not about who can grease the most palms, so they want Dash.

Therefore, it makes more sense from a business standpoint to doubledown on our previous successes, instead of chasing unicorns in regions that refuse to 'play ball' with us out of spite.

My .02 duffs.
2 points,3 years ago
Is there any evidence or data insights you can provide that supports organic Dash adoption that proves real-usage in Venezuela?

Please exclude any Dash transactions from Venezuela efforts that have been fully subsidized from network. If they are spending Dash from the treasury that's not organic.
0 points,3 years ago
Hi BlueMoon, thank you for asking. The larger POS companies, or retailers have still no decision to make their transaction data public, or allow us to share details about their operation.
But an independent research company called "Ecoanalitica" included Crypto as one of their researched items on their "Methods of payment survey" earlier this year, and to their surprise, they found that about 2% of the payments done during the time of the survey were done in Crypto. Here is a link to their account sharing the news
Their director commented on a podcast that "Anything above 1% is completely relevant, especially when if we realize the amount is similar to that of Euros, which were massively pumped into the country (He also commented the results were a snapshot of a few days, and to get more conclusive data, they'd have to see how the trend evolves over time)"

The data we have seen constantly at places is that Dash is the most used, or second most used crypto in terms of transactions in the place where we survey, and that is the reason why more large merchants begin accepting Dash as a method of payment.
One of the projects I am trying to get out the door is some type of counter or flag system like anypay uses. But this is still in the early concept stage.

Please let me know if you have any more thoughts or comments, I'd be happy to address them.

Ernesto Contreras
1 point,3 years ago
Thank you Ernesto for the reply.

I'm afraid that tweet doesn't verify or show any organic growth, adoption, or usage of Dash in Venezuela.

The network has funded Dash projects in Venezuela for 2-3 years now, yet we have no reports or any insights to measure Dash growth or adoption.

Why won't POS companies like CryptoBuyer or retailers make their transaction data public, or allow you to share details?

As it's the network approving and paying for these promos, they should share the data and results with the network.

The network needs much more transparency on Venezuela operations. It's very hard to justify and make an informed decision to keep allocating network funding to Venezuela without any metrics.

How do we know as a network that Venezuela has been a success? We just have to trust your word. I'm not very comfortable with that.

Respectfully, after DCG's involvement, promotion and funding of projects like Alt-Thirty-Six, based on that track-record I'd much rather verify and make network funding decisions based on actual data than trust your word alone.

Other DFO's have to report deliverables, stats etc. to the network via Dash Watch, DCG has being operating for far too long with zero accountability. That needs to change.

If we can't measure your performance, why should we continue to fund you?
0 points,3 years ago
Hi BlueMoon thanks for your interest,

I can understand from your reply that what would be preferred is to have fully transparent blockchain data like Localbitcoin or such, but that is something that I have not seen any non-crypto company do yet, so I am afraid I will not be able to share this type of reports now. Especially because in Venezuela we are pushing more and more into massive, traditional retailers, which are less focused on the crypto side of business, and more on how it can solve their or their customers' problems (For them Dash is an additional, better payment mechanism, and a better way to get access into Digital dollars)

What we have from our work on the ground are different pieces that when put together, highlight the growth in adoption and acceptance of cryptos, and Dash in particular. These insights include:

1. Growing acceptance of multimillion Dollar retailers: Excelsior Gama, Church’s Chicken, Traki, and the newly added BioMercados are multiple location stores that would not add Dash or any crypto if it wasn’t interesting for them from a business perspective. And even though they decide to add us, please keep in mind that in aggregate we are at the most 2% of their TX volume, so as a business, they will not allocate many resources to the crypto projects, until we gain their trust and grow in usage, which is one of the reasons why we want to dedicate extra efforts.
2. A trend of increasing Dash wallets, and Dash active wallets in Venezuela (This is a dataset I can work on including into some of our reports, and because it is from the Google store, I believe it can be taken as a good source of third party data) Please see a screenshot from the last Quarter on this link
3. Third-party research and well-recognized media keeps finding on their own how Dash is, alongside Bitcoin, the main crypto used in a country that consistently ranks amongst the top place globally for crypto usage (Despite cryypto usage still not being mainstream). For example today Reuters published this piece on crypto in Venezuela and it names only two cryptos: BTC and Dash. Read here
4. Additionally, there is the privately shared data we get from our partners about Dash being used as the highest, or second most used coin on their systems. I will try to get some of them to share data publicly but cannot promise anything on their behalf.

From these points, only the fourth one relies on the network believing my findings, so I believe it is a fair share of information to show that usage is growing more in Venezuela, than in other places.
I wanted to integrate Anypay into some of our closest partners' locations, as their colored map functionality is good to show when a POS has been used, but that has not been possible up till now. If you have any suggestions on tools that would help me collect, and share better data with you, please let me know, I am really interested in finding and sharing better information.

What I will do, is collect and include some Venezuelan-specific datasets from our app (Such as the trendline and active wallets in the country) and share them on our quarterly call.

DCG reports deliverables, stats, the current state of development, and more on our quarterly calls, and this includes a lot of very granular information, it is in my opinion, a very complete outlook of what the DCG teams do during every quarter. Here is the link to the one we held with data and results from Q1-2021:

Finally, please remember that this proposal is intended to cover additional, more meaningful activities in Venezuela with the goal of accelerating results; as well as initiating more activities on the E-Gaming front, as we keep a strategic approach to growth, doubling down where we see meaningful results beginning to happen, and also keeping an eye out for new opportunities so that we can win in one market and eventually open up several fronts of real use case for Dash.
0 points,3 years ago
Thanks for your comments,

3 points,3 years ago
I feel we are very close to an emperor has no clothes moment.

The network has been told repeatably by DCG leadership that Venezuela remains the priority, yet DCG have nothing tangible to show for years of network funding efforts there. It's become a passion project. Dash isn't a charity, the network is designed to fund only those that add value to the network.

As the Head of Biz Dev operations in Latam you are financially incentivized for the network to continue supporting and funding Latam efforts for your own job security. This is why we need full transparency.

Don't trust, verify.

The network can't keep giving DCG Biz Dev funding from the treasury for Venezuelan initiatives and you not be able to show the network the results of how that funding was spent.

Any network funding that the DCG Biz Dev team allocates to future promotions in Venezuela or any partner contests, giveaways etc. should be under strict conditions that the network gets to see the results.

Otherwise, how will the network (your employer) know if these promos/integrations have had any traction at all?

Can you understand why this information is absolutely essential for us to know.

Many MNO's suspect that most of the transactions taking place in Venezuela are being fully subsidized by treasury funding and there is no organic growth at all. I was initially a big supporter of Venezuela but now I've joined the other camp as after all this time we have no data or info to prove otherwise but are expected to just keep on funding your efforts.

I'm also very concerned by the data you have presented.

The wallet download data on Google Play Store you mentioned is heavily skewed and not organic growth due to Kripto mobile device sales which I recall was revealed that the majority of Venezuelans that purchase these mobile devices were not actually redeeming the free Dash on scratch-card included in the device box. They just want to purchase cheap android phones and don't care about the free the Dash at all.

There appears to be only pay to play efforts funded by the network in Venezuela.

I'm not convinced by any of the efforts we have seen. They all look staged. From the outside it appears the only way we can get Venezuelans to actually use/spend Dash is by giving them free Dash from the network to spend. That is not a sustainable business plan.

I think it's time we be honest with ourselves.

Is Venezuela really the most strategic play for global Dash Biz Dev efforts and funding right now? Can we can utilize network funding far more effectively in other areas of Biz Dev.

If results in Venezuela were disappointing I honestly don't think you would inform the network. I think both Ryan and yourself have talked up Venezuela so much that you are both now desperate, as 'only words' are no longer enough. You need results to show the network for all the years we've been funding efforts there and you're both either too proud or too scared to admit to the network that it's just not working.

It really doesn't matter what major-chains you name in Venezuela that are accepting multiple cryptocurrencies via POS solutions such as Cryptobuyer or MegaSoft. If we don't have the data for Dash, it doesn't mean anything because it doesn't prove anything. It certainly doesn't justify to the network to continue funding. As a network we have no way of knowing how effective the work in Venezuela is doing.

As for eSports, that user target market and demographic sounds much more appropriate for Dash, however after ReadyRaider and other Gambling integrations by DCG I seriously hope your business plan or strategy this time is a bit more well thought out, as giving away free Dash for tournament prizes etc. is not the best use of Biz Dev funds. I was initially excited about ReadyRaider but it's been quite disappointing overall.
0 points,3 years ago
Yes from me. It would be nice to see more valuable partnerships form throughout 2021.