Early Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem, co-founder of now-defunct Bitcoin exchange BitInstant, is pursuing a new venture, a Dash-branded and Dash-accepting debit card. Rather than seeking startup funding through more traditional means, however, Shrem has instead sought funding directly from Dash itself.
Instead of the entirety of the block reward going to miners like most other coins, Dash gives 45 percent to masternode stakeholders, and 10 percent is set aside for development and other community projects.
As this card would constitute a community project to grow Dash’s ecosystem, Shrem submitted a proposal to the masternodes, seeking funding from the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) within Dash itself. The proposal currently counts an overwhelming majority of favorable votes, meaning that it will be funded unless an unexpected torrent of “no” votes materializes.
Cointelegraph spoke with Shrem about his proposal, seeking to become involved with Dash and his history in the cryptocurrency movement.
Cointelegraph: Congratulations on your first Dash treasury proposal doing well! What led you to pursue this avenue?
Charlie Shrem: I’ve been working with Payza since 2014 on various crypto integrations. Recently, in Miami, I met the Dash Business Development team and introduced them to an exchange that has integrated Dash. I then increased my position in Dash as I got to understand the project better. I like the concept of MasterNodes and the simplicity behind it. I decided to put together my own plan to launch the Dash debit card and put together a budget. I realized that people would be more comfortable holding Dash as a store of value if they could spend it whenever they wanted. I created a pre-proposal and the excitement grew!
CT: How did this, doing business with a coin itself rather than a company, differ from traditional ways of doing business?
CS: It’s really interesting and I know other coins have tried this. Steem for example, when the witness payouts were higher, the witnesses would allocate funds to various projects. With Dash, anyone can submit a proposal and if they receive 10 percent net yes notes, the protocol automatically allocates the budget to them. It’s awesome self-governance and economic incentivization.
CT: Has this changed the parameters for how to do business, like in terms of what you can accomplish with this card?
CS: This card has two great things to it. Merchants accepting Dash can now instantly withdraw their funds and use the card to pay bills. The second is psychological. When you are holding a form of value, the harder it is for you to spend or use it, the less you want to hold it. One of the things that give Bitcoin its utility as a store of value is the widespread belief by holders they can sell/spend/buy whenever they choose anywhere they choose. There are over 20 different Bitcoin debit cards available, it’s time for a Dash card.
CT: You've been involved in the world of cryptocurrency for a long time. What first got you involved? What was that one moment or aspect that ignited your imagination?
CS: What got me passionate about crypto was a lot of things, for the first time people didn’t need to rely on their individual liberties being defended by governments or corporations, rather we take our own rights and defend them with technology.
CT: Does that remain the same today?
CS: Of course.
CT: Back in the day it was Bitcoin’s world. Is that any different today?
CS: I don’t think it’s changed, but there are a lot more businesses and services around Bitcoin now, so you can use a custodial wallet but you have less freedom and can be frozen, or use your own wallet.