TL;DR: At the end of October, a key marketing jewel in Dash adoption strategy, its focus on Latin America (Dash Latam) was scrapped. Dash’s governance funding mechanism body determined Dash Latam would no longer be supported. More than a year of headline-grabbing work, 80 employees spread across 8 countries, was suddenly without a home. In an exclusive interview with CoinSpice, the project’s head, George Donnelly, explains how he has since regrouped, recommitted to the region, and is refocusing his energy on promoting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to over 1,000 previously Dash-centric merchants.
Dash Latin America Adoption Leader Leaves in Favor of Bitcoin Cash
George Donnelly is not new to crypto. Having led adoption for Dash during 2018-19 in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Perú, Guatemala, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago and Ecuador, pioneering merchant and consumer adoption, building interest and use where before there was little or none. He describes his mission as “the end of statism and universal prosperity through direct, local, voluntary governance.”
Donnelly values heavily the informal market, where he sees a great opportunity to introduce cryptocurrency adoption. The result of this belief is Prosuni, (the website, he told CoinSpice, is still very much under construction) his new successor project.
CoinSpice: What happened with Dash Latam?
George Donnelly: I was a very successful proposal owner in the Dash treasury system, winning at least one proposal every cycle for 15 months straight, and as much as 10% of the overall treasury. My proposals were frequently among the top 5 most popular in any given cycle, as voted on by Dash masternode operators.
Every month is a new funding cycle in Dash. Masternode operators are at best fickle and at worst derelict in their duties of evaluating and voting on proposals. Hence, every cycle is a battle to retain funding, particularly if you are not part of the insider clique, which I was not; and in fact refused to be, since to do so would have required compromising my integrity.
With Dash, I built a team of more than 80 hard-working advocates, educators, salespeople, media creators and more across 8 nations (Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Perú, Guatemala, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago and Ecuador) on a shoestring budget in record time.
I started in June 2018, just myself with one employee. I pitched small businesses here in Medellín, Colombia on accepting Dash, initially with just my smartphone and a Dash mobile wallet. By September of 2019, we had 1,160 active Dash merchants, having lost relatively few to attrition.
We also pioneered consumer adoption work for Dash with a live transaction tracker connected to the Dash Retail [point-of-service] project, which I co-founded and played a key leadership role in.
I estimate we reached at least 50,000 people across Latin America, giving them the experience of using cryptocurrency and teaching them the basics, about 95% of whom had never heard of Bitcoin.
After months of knives in my back from Dash insiders for doing honest work, for speaking the truth about the challenges of Dash adoption and for offering constructive criticism of current Dash activities, and after being suddenly cut off 1 month into a 3-month proposal, I was left at the end of my financial and emotional resources. It was no longer possible for me to continue with Dash.
Now, with the new Prosuni organization, the former Dash Latam team chooses to adopt a more long-term view on crypto mass adoption with a highly decentralized structure. We will do what we can with what funding becomes available to us and will focus on projects that can generate income without becoming hostage to any particular cryptocurrency project.
That said, one of our top projects is to educate our merchants about Bitcoin Cash.
Is there a reason for this new push for Bitcoin Cash in particular?
Bitcoin Cash understands and values merchant adoption from what I can see. It is a top 5 crypto, this gives people greater trust when accepting crypto. There are existing innovative tools for accepting and paying with Bitcoin Cash, also liquidity is good. Local.bitcoin.com is particularly interesting because P2P liquidity is where it is at here.
The community seems to be supportive of diverse efforts, it seems to be a constructive environment from the outside. Roger Ver and I are both voluntaryists and I believe his vision is similar to mine. Decentralized development is a plus. We remain interested in DAI and DeFi, they can play a complementary role with BCH.
What do you think is the future of Dash and Bitcoin Cash in Latin America?
Dash has no future of any note in Latin America because Dash decision-makers are not interested in building that future. They are caught in a hype loop, looking for easy solutions to increase the price, which continues to fall relative to other cryptos.
I see Bitcoin Cash making some interesting moves but they are small moves so far, as far as I can see, unless I missed something.
To dominate in Latam, a coin would need to take a Latam-centric approach. Copying and pasting things from other regions is a recipe for failure. There needs to be a focus on P2P liquidity and a wallet that enables easy, painless and cheap exit to a trusted stablecoin so that consumers don’t have to experience constant anxiety about their money losing purchasing power suddenly.
Tell us more about Prosuni.
Prosuni is a decentralized organization dedicated to playing a key role in the inevitable creation of universal prosperity. Our field of action is Latin America to start. We propose to achieve important goals in this area through cryptocurrencies, education, and entrepreneurship.
Prosuni is the successor to Dash Latam, an organization that managed to introduce Dash and cryptocurrencies to 50,000 people in Latin America during 2018-19.
Prosuni itself is simply a place where people committed to our goals can come together to be informed, learn, talk, find collaborators, get mentoring, form projects and contribute to the mission of universal prosperity.
Becoming a Prosuni member is as simple as joining our news list for now. Prosuni members can found projects and find people and resources within the Prosuni community. Prosuni does not direct the projects. Prosuni and the projects are independent, although associated.
Initial projects include (a) giving more form and formality to Prosuni itself, perhaps as a DAO or DAC; (b) a platform where any organization or person can request humanitarian aid; and (c) the education of the 1,160 active traders we get as Dash Latam on how to use Bitcoin Cash.
There are 4 partners/founders located in Colombia, Venezuela and Spain. We’re just getting started and are accepting founding members.
Where do you want to take Prosuni?
Prosuni itself is likely agnostic. But the continuation of the merchant project within it is going to be focused on Bitcoin Cash. So the 1,160 active merchants we built relationships with for Dash, we are going to teach those guys about Bitcoin Cash. Ideally, we will find other things we can do with Bitcoin Cash too, maybe something with the SLP tokens, we’ll have to see where that takes us.
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