In terms of adoption by merchants, businesses, and other “real world” applications, the rest of the cryptocurrency community lags severely behind Bitcoin. Recently, however, certain altcoins have begun to make inroads in business adoption (Scotcoin for example). Dash, currently the fifth most prominent cryptocurrency, debuted a vending machine at the 2016 North American Bitcoin Conference, Dash N’ Drink, to showcase Dash’s InstantX instant secure transactions. Last month, a DashPayments for WooCommerce plugin was released, further expanding the cryptocurrency’s adoption possibilities.
Cointelegraph spoke with Moocowmoo, Dash developer behind Dash N’ Drink, about the state of the cryptocurrency’s marketplace adoption.
Cointelegraph: What made you come up with the idea for the Dash N' Drink machine?
Moocowmoo: [Dash developer] solarminer was the driving force behind that project. He asked me what it would take and I built a prototype over a couple weeks. I was excited to show off what InstantX could do for point of sale transactions.
CT: How was the reception?
MCM: Everyone I spoke with were very interested in how Dash had solved the problem of trusting "zero-conf" transactions. After a few minutes explaining how collateralized masternodes secure the network and how quorums are leveraged to enforce input locking, most were very excited! Some were incredulous, but understanding how the network works in a five or ten minute conversation is difficult. The speed of the network consensus lock is surprising, usually taking about a second. Since then, one exchange, Exmo, has implemented InstantX for deposits and (I believe) withdrawals.
CT: I'm sure one-second confirmations are very different from what Bitcoin users are used to. Do you find a lot of people dissatisfied with Bitcoin's current slower confirmations?
MCM: I think it depends on the use case. When the Bitcoin network is not backlogged, waiting an hour for full confirmation is fine for ordering a shipped product, not so great when moving funds between fiat gateways and exchanges, and unusable for any brick and mortar transactions. Even if a merchant chooses to accept single-confirmation transactions, the recent Bitcoin unconfirmed transaction backlogs could make that confirmation take hours. Ignoring that, requiring, on average, a ten minute delay to finalize a purchase precludes a lot of real-world commerce. InstantX was built to bridge that gap.
CT: How educated on Dash would you say the average business owner is?
MCM: I'd say the average business owner knows next to nothing about the cryptocurrency landscape, Dash included. Most of the online business accepting cryptocurrencies are using turnkey payment gateways which immediately convert the submitted cryptocurrency to fiat. I doubt many of these merchants don't even know (or care) which coin was used in the transaction. To prepare for better merchant integration, Dash is currently working with financial service providers Crypto Capital and Vogogo as well as developing open-source integration libraries for Coinapult, Shapeshift, Deglet and Copay. Together, these services will allow merchants to flexibly manage their cryptocurrency income.
CT: In other words, the approach to merchant outreach is multi-coin?
MCM: Not specifically, although conversion is an expected requirement. The approach to merchant outreach starts with a capable management infrastructure. The services being created today will become a transparent component of Evolution. The goal is a robust and capable toolset abstracted behind a user-friendly interface. The biggest difference to current gateway models is that the merchant would retain full control of all of their funds regardless of their class (fiat/crypto) or coin type.
CT: How does Dash compare to other coins in terms of actual current real-world use?
MCM: Besides being a store of value, Dash earns about 10% interest annually for users which run one or more masternodes. Masternodes are the network backbone that support Dash's advanced functions like InstantX and PrivacyProtect (transaction history deletion). As of this interview, there are 3772 (an all time high) masternodes, each being collateralized by 1000 Dash. The 1000 Dash that back a masternode are free to move at any time but, if moved, the node leaves the network and the interest payments stop. This incentivisation model is one of the reasons Dash has over half as many full nodes as Bitcoin (3772 Dash/6689 Bitcoin.) Subtracting the collateralized masternodes from Dash’s total market cap, leaves just over $18 million USD "liquid" (not-earning interest) market. A majority of that is probably in exchange order books. So even with gateways accepting Dash, I'd say merchant usage is still very small.