Coin Rivet: Why has Venezuela become such a major market for you?
BZ: As a payment network, Dash is focused on solving problems in the payments space, specifically where we see the greatest need and greatest fit.
Hyperinflation, like what we’re experiencing in Venezuela, breaks every form of payment because the underlying fiat is broken. In that respect, we see Venezuela as having the greatest need.
Additionally, while the volatility in cryptocurrency is a disincentive to spend in most economies, in Venezuela it’s the Bolivar which is more volatile – the paradigm is turned around which provides a more compelling value proposition.
“The clarity that regulation will provide will only be beneficial in the long run to cryptocurrency adoption – everything from helping to clean out bad actors to providing guidance to businesses on how cryptocurrency is to be treated”
Coin Rivet: What would you say to those retailers who might be considering a move to cryptocurrencies but are wary of the time and costs associated with adapting payment systems, staff training etc?
BZ: Give us a call. That’s the value proposition in having an entity like Dash Core Group; part of business development is our capabilities team which works directly with partners on integration. We have a further network of partners we can also bring into the conversation to ensure it shouldn’t not take a lot of time or money.
Additionally we work with our partners on marketing and promotion and driving value back to them. There’s a lot more that a proactive network, like Dash, can provide to business partners than passive ones.
Coin Rivet: Cryptocurrencies continue to attract a great deal of criticism. How do you respond to the accusation that they are all hype and no substance and a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist?
BZ: That criticism is fair in many cases, and the ICO explosion of last year is a great example where there was a lot of junk or ideas with non-viable business plans. Dash, however, is different. We have real-world use cases, such as our Kriptomobile partnership which provides a fully loaded Dash mini-ecosystem on low cost Android smartphone for Latin America markets.
Additionally, our real-world merchant adoption is strong. Over 2,400 merchants now accept Dash in Venezuela and we’ve just launched our partnership as the exclusive cryptocurrency payment option for all Church’s Chicken locations in Venezuela.
Coin Rivet: The UK Treasury Committee recently labelled Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a “Wild West industry” and called for regulations in order to protect investors. What’s your take on regulation in this space?
BZ: Personally, I welcome the regulation. The clarity that regulation will provide will only be beneficial in the long run to cryptocurrency adoption – everything from helping to clean out bad actors to providing guidance to businesses on how cryptocurrency is to be treated.
This doesn’t mean the industry should simply wait for regulation to come. I think we should be active participants in the conversation and have a seat at the table.
“While the volatility in cryptocurrency is a disincentive to spend in most economies, in Venezuela it’s the Bolivar which is more volatile – the paradigm is turned around which provides a more compelling value proposition”
Coin Rivet: What can we expect from Dash in 2019?
BZ: We have a full pipeline and will continue to work on business integrations, new use cases and driving transactions to our existing partner network.
On the development side we’ll be releasing Dash Evolution – the next upgrade to the network. This will radically change the way that people transact using cryptocurrency by allowing merchants to directly invoice their customers, rather than simply providing a payment address.
There are additional features we’re working on, but it’s really around creating an easier UX for the Dash users, businesses and developers. While the current bear market is, of course, not much fun, we’re looking forward to the future.