The Basics of Dash Evolution
Dash Evolution uses a tiered network design, which allows users to do various jobs for the network, along with decentralized API access and a decentralized file system. Evolution is a Decentralised platform which acts as Wallet/Marketplace. It will have the feel of a service such as Paypal except users will retain control of their funds. In addition it will not be subject to AML/KYC laws that a centralised service such as Paypal must adhere to.
For this article’s sake I am going to assume you already have a basic understanding of Evolution. So if the brief overview above was not enough for you, then please watch this interview of Evan Duffield, Dash’s Lead Developer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlPEniN-LEA
The Implications of the Merchant/App Store
Evolution’s Merchant/App Store is in my opinion a huge deal and a deal that I think most people haven’t quite realised yet. An easy way to understand what the Merchant/App Store means, is to compare it to things that already exist, so let’s get going.
The Merchant/App Store can easily be understood when looking at platforms such as Facebook. Facebook like Dash started with a basic product, Facebook’s product was all about the user. Facebook allowed users to connect with one another and create somewhat of a social profile.
For Facebook this was only the beginning, they soon expanded from what I would call a product into what I now would call a platform. This platform build out was initiated through the creation of Business pages and the opening up of their API. This allowed merchants and developers to tap into Facebook’s huge user base, which was enough of an incentive for developers/merchants to build out the platform for Facebook.
By bringing Merchants/Developers into the picture, Facebook provided more value to the consumer which in turn brought more users to Facebook and then in turn brought more Merchants/Developers, which in turn brought more users. Anyway, you get the picture, the snowball effect had started and Facebook had just left their product phase (sole value creators) and moved into a platform in which developers/merchants helped create value with them.
Dash on the other hand similarly started with a product, it allowed users to send, receive and store a digital asset. This digital asset provided better interest than a bank (masternodes), as well as allowing private and instantaneous transactions.
This was a great start but just like Facebook it was only the beginning. Dash is now looking to expand from this product like state into a platform. Dash is doing this through the Launch of the Evolution which will allow businesses to create their own profile, as well as the opening up of DAPI (decentralised api). This will allow merchants and developers to tap into Dash’s user base and begin the expansion from Dash as a product to Dash as a platform.
As we mentioned earlier when you bring Merchants and Developers into the picture, you end up providing the consumer with more value, which in turn brings more consumers, which in turn brings more merchants. Once again, you get the picture, this is the beginning of the snowball effect for Dash and the transition from Dash as a product (sole value creators), to Dash as a platform in which merchants/developers will help create value along side us.
For more details on the Merchant/App store, check out this interview of Evan Duffield explaining it in-depth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7T-a2xm5c0
How will Dash’s Platform get its Initial Traction
Building a platform is a step in the right direction but building a platform does not automatically mean that you get traction. To get that snowball rolling you need to make sure that incentives are aligned. So are there enough users for Dash to incentivise merchants/developers to use Dash as a platform or are there enough merchants/use cases to incentive users to hold Dash?
At the current levels, I would say that Dash barely has enough users to incentivise merchants/developers to use the platform. It might get the odd few but many won’t join in on the action unless there are more users or some other kind of an incentive. So how do you get more users and is there more than only one incentive for merchants/developers?
One way that Dash is aiming to get more users is by the creation of their Evolution wallet, which will have interest bearing accounts, direct access to the merchant/app store and a nice clean user interface that has usernames and passwords, instead of alphanumeric addresses and backups. This product alone should bring in more users and get the ball rolling but there is more than one way to skin a cat and Dash’s core team might have found it. Dash’s core team have got plans to explore a more direct approach to getting merchants and developers onto the platform through utilising Dash’s Self Funding Model.
Dash’s Self Funding Model allows for Dash to put paid agents/integration teams on the ground. By having agents/integration teams, Dash can seek and find willing early adopting merchants and then set them up with accepting Dash, free of charge and hassle free. This will get things moving in terms of merchant adoption, which in turn will begin to bring in more users.
It is critical to get the ball rolling, as once you get the ball rolling you will begin to see a positive feedback loop kick in. This positive feedback loop will take form in more users coming on board because the agents/integration team are doing a good job of recruiting merchants/adding use cases. When more users come onto the platform then the job of the agents/integration teams will become a lot easier, as they will be able to give the merchants/service providers the incentive of tapping into a large user base, free of charge and hassle free. Who would say no to that.
Every business today is faced with the fundamental question that underlies Platform Thinking: How do I enable others to create value? Dash has found this answer and is working towards executing it as we speak. The next year or so is going to be pretty exciting to watch Dash slowly move from a product to a platform!
P.S. If you would like to see a preview of Dash Evolution then check out this video from Amanda B Johnson, she gives us a great preview of what is to come.