It’s been five years since payments platform Dash made its debut, which makes the project about 35 in crypto years. The Dash team has revealed that it’s not easy to keep the fire burning year after year, and we would venture that it’s especially difficult in a bear market. Not only must a project “deliver on promises” but they must also keep the community interested, which can be particularly challenging when your name is not Justin Sun.
Dash has not gone unscathed by the bear market, and the price is wavering around $70, after trading above $800 this time last year. As we’ve seen with multiple projects, the crypto winter has the ability to divide a community, and Dash is no exception.
Bear Market Brings Out The Wolves
One masternode owner, under the alias SavingPrivateDash, launched a failed proposal to demote Dash chief Ryan Taylor to an advisory role for allegedly “breaking promises and missing deadlines.” Taylor has been at the helm of Dash Core Group since 2017 when founder Evan Duffield stepped down and transitioned to an advisor.
One of the “missed deadlines” that critics took issue with was the launch of Evolution, which is designed to catapult Dash into the mainstream. The original roadmap for the multi-phase rollout of Evolution set an “ambitious goal” that has since met with several delays.
After the proposal failed, the insurgent masternode threatened to resubmit the same harsh rebuke in January 2019, this time gunning not only for Taylor but also Chief Marketing Officer Fernando Gutierrez and Head of Business Development Bradley Zastrow.
However, that “proposal has not been resubmitted,” Gutierrez told Crypto Briefing. That might have something to do with the “monster release” of v0.13, which makes all transactions instant by default. Gutierrez told us:
The development is advancing at a very good pace. ChainLocks will be part of the upcoming v0.14.0 and then Evolution will come right after that. The next event we will see is v0.14.0 in testnet.
Lots On The Line
ChainLocks is one of those updates whose importance can only be compared to Ethereum’s Constantinople. According to Dash CTO Bob Carroll, ChainLocks is a protection mechanism against 51% attacks, to which Dash and other proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies are vulnerable. ChainLocks will be integrated into the v0.14.0 update, for which no exact date has been set. That’s one way to avoid missing deadlines.
One Reddit member surmised: “Not gonna lie, 0.14 is a key upgrade restoring so much lost faith in DCG
I hope that it will arrive in a timely fashion…of course, safety first.”
By and large, the Dash community has been forgiving of delays, with one community member pointing out that software deadlines are “impossible to meet” anyway. Dash certainly isn’t alone in this, and we can think of at least one other project that has struggled on this front of late.
Budget Constraints Continue To Haunt Dash
Despite moving further down the roadmap, Dash isn’t out of the woods yet. In the latest financial update, management revealed that some salaries were on hold amid budget constraints. And while the next financial update remains weeks away, the bear market has continued to take its toll.
As Gutierrez noted,
Many people in Dash Core Group have foregone salaries and many others have voluntarily reduced their salaries, the situation has not changed.
Dash Core Group submitted a funding proposal for the Feb. 1 budget cycle that includes compensation of $257,000 across “developers, administrative, business development, marketing and support staff.” The budget includes “drawing down on a buffer in order to pay for the current shortfall in funding.” Dash Core Group had 47 people on staff at year-end 2018, which is down by five since November seemingly as a result of resignations and the “non-renewal of certain contracts.”
But there’s still plenty to celebrate for the cryptocurrency, as it rounds out half a decade of fast payments. In case you’re wondering, the traditional gift associated with five years is wood, which represents “strength and durability.” If they make it to 50, Dash will officially reach gold status.
The author is invested in digital assets, but none mentioned in this article.