The Big Interview

COO Robert Wiecko says Dash is ‘cheapest and fastest’ in entire payments industry

Dash COO Robert Wiecko says its technology is the fastest and cheapest in the entire payments industry - the next step is to work on adoption and integration

Dash doesn’t need much introduction. Like all cryptocurrencies, its graphical evolution has followed a familiar path in recent times. Its all-time high reached a colossal peak at the start of 2018 – and price then promptly fell over the edge thereafter.

Dash – with the goal of being digital cash – suffered more than most, losing over 90% of its market cap and tumbling out of the top 10.

Yet, unlike other cryptocurrencies, Dash is not meant to be a speculative asset. Despite the loss of market cap, its network has been building.

“Dash is all about payments”, insists COO Robert Wiecko in a recent interview with Coin Rivet.

“We don’t want to create multiple use cases. For us, that is our area of focus.”

What Dash does differently

The Dash architecture may draw criticism from some camps within the industry. Its master node system is often labelled as being akin to centralisation. However, Wiecko believes that not having the same type of blockchain as other cryptocurrencies has allowed Dash to excel. He says:

“It has allowed us to develop a technology that’s probably the cheapest and the fastest in the entire payments industry.”

Dash lets users transact in less than one second for less than a penny. “I don’t think that any better competitive solution exists at the moment,” says Wiecko.

However, the astute COO concedes that Dash is not naive. The network still has a lot of work to do with the payments industry to gain greater implementation.

“We don’t expect the entire payments industry to disappear just because we exist, or drop the billions that they put into their infrastructures. No, we need to find our place in this industry.”

Where Dash is being adopted

Wiecko says that cryptocurrencies particularly shine in countries with hyperinflation, in remittances, and in industries where chargebacks are an issue. He says that Dash is making cross-border transfers between countries like Mexico and the USA faster and more viable for all.

While users can achieve the same goal with Bitcoin, Wiecko explains that Dash is “faster and cheaper”. He continues:

“Look at Venezuela. For them it makes a huge difference whether they pay a penny or half a dollar or one dollar. Some of these people live for one dollar a day… it’s one day of their life…

People are looking for an alternative that works. They cannot use cash, the local currency, because they would need to bring large amounts like boxes or trucks of cash… Can you imagine a merchant accepting this amount of cash? It’s impossible, right?”

Credit cards are also not an option since the settlement takes place around three days after payment. “Where there is 2,000,000% inflation, you’re losing all your income and even paying for the transaction,” he remarks.

Dash is among the most active cryptocurrencies in Venezuela and is now accepted by merchants in over 3,000 places. The team on the ground there is working hard to increase awareness throughout the country.

Where else is Dash being used?

Other large markets for Dash are (unsurprisingly) Colombia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Although, Wiecko explains that it’s not only places with hyperinflation, but countries in which there’s no longer any trust or where the traditional financial system has collapsed.

Dash is also gaining traction in cash-based industries. He says:

“A great example is the legal cannabis industry in the United States and Canada. It’s a legal, highly regulated industry. However, they have issues with another highly regulated industry – the banking industry.

Banking regulations don’t allow them to open accounts for the legal cannabis industry so they end up handling cash transactions. This means that they need security like a vault, they need to hire companies to transport cash, and they need to build an entire framework around cash. And this costs between 12-15% of their incomes… We’re giving them transactions below a penny, no storage needed, security, more income, and convenience.”

What’s the next step with Dash Evolution?

Dash Evolution is a little complicated to follow, and it’s taking a lot of time to implement. However, the network is making giant leaps in improving usability and recording industry-firsts like instant transaction confirmations. So, where is it at right now? Wiecko laughs:

“Right now, using cryptocurrencies is horrible. You need to be almost a technical expert to start using cryptocurrencies and you have to have a lot of knowledge. It’s not like Apple Pay that’s so easy – you push a button and pay. For crypto, there are issues… Dash’s goal is the simplification of user experience.”

This includes converting the lengthy combinations of letters and numbers used for wallet addresses today to simple usernames that people can remember easily. Dash is also working hard on merchant adoption through development kits, APIs, and simplifying backend integration.

Getting rid of volatility

Another challenge for Dash as a payments cryptocurrency is volatility. Wiecko admits:

“The first step is to improve user experience, to bring more merchants, and to stabilise and eliminate volatility. The more daily transactions, the less speculation, the better for the network, the more stable the price… You can not develop a successful payments solution if you’re having ups and downs constantly.

So you need stability to provide people with a tool to transact, not to speculate. Dash is not an investment instrument. We are not developing the solution to speculate – it’s a payment solution.”

Interacting with the business world

Dash has also worked a lot on its legal structure alongside its technological solution. Why? Wiecko replies:

“We do not exist in an artificial reality. We exist in a world where you have to deal with other entities, and you cannot deal with them without legal structure. If you want to hire an external company, or hire people, for example, you need to make a contract. So we need a legal entity to handle all the legal aspects.”

He explains that a team of five people in the same office is not a challenge. But when you become a multinational with 60 people around the globe with differing needs and legal constraints, “HR stuff is different and it’s more complex”.

This is why the network created Dash Trust – to be able to work with entities in the real world as well as internal workers. “We’re looking at the bigger picture,” he says.

“We’re also launching the Dash Investment Fund, which allows external companies to invest in Dash development. The most interesting part is that this is the first structure like this being created around the world.”

The takeaway

Dash is all about payments, and that’s the takeaway Wiecko wants to reinforce:

“We don’t want to create multiple use cases for us, that is our area of focus. User simplification is the direction for us. We want to be professionals around professionals. It’s not a small business anymore. That’s why we created all this structure so that we can deal with professionals as professionals.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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