An upcoming election could give the Dash community greater control over its developers. Dash Core Group, the company responsible for developing and promoting the cryptocurrency, will soon be governed by ‘Trust Protectors’ elected directly by the community. A DCG board member has said this “radical” shift will give power back to the Masternode network.
The first election for Dash’s Trust Protectors will conclude at the end of March. As explained in a blog post, the Protectors will give the community final say in the project’s direction. The position is open to any individual, as long as they are of legal age and not a citizen of Iran, Cuba or North Korea.
Six candidates will be elected by the network’s 5,000 masternodes to become the directors of the new Dash DAO Irrevocable Trust. The New Zealand-based Trust owns 100% of Dash Core shares, effectively making them the overseers of the company.
This gives the Trust Protectors the power to replace the board, or even dissolve the entire Dash Core organization. Fernando Gutierrez, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, likens it to shareholders in a public company. “Protectors represent the beneficiaries,” he explained to Crypto Briefing, “The Trust owns DCG [Dash Core Group] therefore making them [the Protectors] its ultimate owners.”
Elected for a year-long term, the position is not a day-to-day commitment. Instead, Protectors will only be called to make a decision in an emergency situation, such as one in which a group representing the network’s beneficiaries can resolve a dispute.
Masternodes play an important part in the Dash ecosystem. They provide advanced services to users, such as sending private or instant transactions. Although they have voting rights in the Dash DAO, until now, they have only been able to exercise indirect power through treasury allocations.
A Dash masternode needs to hold at least 1,000 DASH tokens – worth roughly $90,000 at the current market rate. This incentivizes them to act in the best interests of the network, fostering better decision-making and preventing rogue actors from causing too much harm.
The incumbent Trust Protectors are representatives of Dash Core. Gutierrez said this was simply a temporary measure until they could properly set up the elections. To prevent conflict of interest, current DCG members will not be able to stand for election.
Could Trust Protectors become a threat?
In crypto, trusts and foundations are intended to provide communities with a say in the project’s direction. They are supposed to compliment the lead developers, but in the past year, some have become antagonistic. Last year saw a very public feud between IOHK and the Cardano Foundation, and the Tezos Foundation had a year-long boardroom dispute with the project’s founders.
Crypto Briefing asked Gutierrez whether there was any concern that something similar might happen between the Dash Core board and the Trust Protectors. After all, Protectors could defund or dissolve Dash Core at any given time.
Gutierrez admitted that it would be a big and expensive “inconvenience.” But he believes the ‘skin in the game’ factor will ensure Trust Protectors act in the best interests of the community. Masternodes are unlikely to elect anyone who could put the network in jeopardy, he says, as they will be the ones who will lose out the most.
Furthermore, Trust Protectors don’t have any power as individuals, only when they vote as a group. “Even if a Protector does go rogue, it won’t be the end of the world, as decisions are taken by a majority,” Gutierrez says. “Convincing another three Protectors to vote with them would be a hard feat indeed.”
The author is invested in digital assets, but none mentioned in this article.