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Targeting Guns

The originating idea behind the creation of cryptocurrency was to create a system that allowed people to take back control of their financial lives from centralized authoritarian institutions such as governments and banks. While the target audience is literally the entire world, there are certain marginalized segments of society that need this freedom sooner rather than later. “Normal” people living in North America, Europe, Japan, etc, don’t have a strong need for cryptocurrency yet as the current economic system generally works pretty well for them, but not everyone is “normal”. There are many people and groups who have beliefs or engage in behavior that the so called powers-that-be have deemed to be unsavory, and the number of people and groups who are being deemed as unsavory is increasing. These fringe people and groups are who we should be targeting for adoption. 

Among those being discriminated against is the gun community. There is increasing pressure by politicians and media against transaction processors such as Visa and MasterCard to stop processing gun sales. Google is demonetizing YouTube channels that feature guns and shooting. The mainstream news is hyper-focusing on violence where guns were used while completely ignoring the times when guns were used to stop violence. The gun community is under attack and this creates an opportunity for Dash. 

Guns sales are a huge business in the United States. According to the FBI, there were over 26 million background checks performed last year, which is a decent approximation of how many new guns were sold in retail establishments. While guns range in price from under $200 to well over $3000, I’m going to guess that the average gun sells for $800. That’s over $20 billion in sales per year. As I said, guns are a huge business in the US and Dash needs to capitalize on this by providing a way for them to escape this increasing discrimination. 

There are two primary groups within the gun community that I think we should target – YouTube personalities (guntubers) and retail stores. 

YouTube Gun Channels 

I think the easiest nut to crack will be the YouTube personalities as they are losing money right now thanks to Google taking away their ability to earn revenue from ads, forcing them to other platforms such as Patreon for their income. Most of these guys have to pay for their ammo and whatnot out of their own pocket, and when you’re a regular shooter, that gets expensive real quick. 

There are two avenues that I think we should explore when approaching guntubers. The first is simply getting them to accept Dash donations. The amount of work they would have to do upfront is minimal – they simply create a wallet and start including a QR code in their video descriptions and then make mention of Dash during their normal “please donate to my channel” spiel that most of them include in their videos. Then any donations they receive can easily be cashed out with Uphold or Coinbase, or spent with gift cards from eGifter, Bitrefill, etc. It’s very little work on their part to start bringing in a bit of extra income. It’s important to explain to them though that at this point in time, very few of their viewers will know anything about cryptocurrency, and even less about Dash, so it’s imperative that the guntuber knows to promote Uphold and Coinbase alongside their promotion of Dash in their request-for-donations spiel so that their viewers learn how easy it is to acquire and give Dash. People of the gun are ideologically driven and will make effort to support anything that is pro-gun. If they think donating Dash to their favorite channels will help, they’ll go out of their way to do so. 

The second avenue to promoting Dash to guntubers are sponsorships of their channels – give them Dash in exchange for promotion. I haven’t talked to any of the guntubers yet about this, but I don’t imagine that it would cost a lot of Dash to buy promotion time on their channels. I think it would be worth exploring the idea of putting in a proposal to the treasury for funds to sponsor some of the more popular gun channels. However, with the current price of Dash being so depressed, and with how tight the treasury currently is, I would wait until greener times before going down this path.

Gun Retailers

Getting gun retailers onboard is going to be tougher than getting guntubers onboard because right now, gun retailers are only under threat of losing their ability to transact, they haven’t actually lost that ability yet. So in this case, the approach would have to be more preparatory in nature, laying the foundation for when those restrictions do happen. I believe a strong relationship with the owners of the shop will have to be developed in order to get them interested as I don’t think some random guy walking into their shop pushing some crazy internet money will get much traction. 

I spoke with one of my local shop owners who is a “dot the i’s and cross the t’s” type of person and strictly adheres to the law, and to the best of his knowledge, there is no restriction on accepting alternative currencies, so I don’t think the legality of crypto is going to be a big roadblock. I think the biggest roadblock is getting them to integrate Dash payments into their current workflow. Unless we can get their current payment processor to accept Dash, which is highly unlikely at this point, the shop is going to have to run a second payment processing system concurrently to their primary system, and for how insignificant their Dash sales will be, I don’t see most shops wanting to put in the effort and deal with the headache of accepting Dash. The only shops who will put out that effort are the ones who are truly forward thinking but unfortunately the vast majority of gun shop owners are staunchly conservative. 

I think with gun retailers, we first need to establish a relationship and simply get them thinking about the looming threat and ways around it. Don’t expect them to sign up right away, it’s going to take time and effort on our part. With gun retailers, it’s about first laying a foundation.  As I said, most gun shop owners are very conservative, but many, if not most, have libertarian leanings. So with that in mind, appeal to their desire to defend and take back their freedom. While few of them are anarchist, they all pretty much agree that the federal government is too large and too controlling and has deviated significantly from the original intent of the founding of America. Explain to them how there can be no freedom without financial freedom, and financial freedom is not possible when the government controls the money and dictates what people can or cannot buy. Paint a picture of how Dash is a path to regaining the glory of early America, of getting back to our roots. The idea is to get them to want to accept Dash, not just accept it because they feel threatened. If they want Dash, they’ll promote it that much harder. 

If you’re a shooter, start talking to your favorite guntubers and retailers. Get them thinking about how Dash would be beneficial for not just them, but the entire industry. If you don’t know a lot about Dash, that’s OK, just start the discussion; you can always summon me or someone else from the Dash community to assist. In order to further this agenda, I’m going to create some documentation and templates on how best to promote Dash in the gun community; if you have any ideas and want to participate, hit me up, I’d love to hear from you. 

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The Problem With Dash’s Perception And How To Fix It – Part 1

Dash has a perception problem. We’ve been attacked relentlessly by trolls and FUDsters since the very beginning. I don’t think any other crypto project has had to endure the lies and twisted truths to the degree that we have. We’re accused of being a scam, of being trash, of being an insignificant clone, of being a shitcoin. It’s goddamn exhausting and it’s time to fix it. 

First, we need to identify why we are perceived so poorly; we can’t solve a problem if we don’t know the cause. While this is a complex issue with many facets that contribute to the problem, there are a few ideas in particular that I think need to be discussed. 

Cult of Personality 

Take a look at all of the (real) crypto’s ahead of us in market rankings – what do they have in common? Very strong and outspoken leaders, many of whom have turned into outright cult of personalities. Other than Bitcoin, all of these coins have one person you can identify as the de facto leader, the visionary. Ethereum has Vitalik Buterin, Bitcoin Cash has Roger Ver, Litecoin has Charlie Lee, EOS with Dan Larimer, Craig Wright with Bitcoin SV, Ricardo Spagni of Monero, etc. Bitcoin is a little different because its visionary and founder(s), Satoshi Nakamoto, isn’t known and disappeared many years ago. While I believe that Ryan Taylor, the CEO of DCG, is a terrific leader and has built a really solid foundation to grow from, he simply isn’t the leader of Dash, he’s the leader of DCG. That’s a fundamental difference from our competitors. The only person in Dash who could rightfully fulfill this role is Evan Duffield, the founder of Dash, but he isn’t interested, which is perfectly fitting because we’re a DAO. We’re aren’t just giving lip service to decentralization, we actually walk the talk.     

The immediate and direct effect of not having a centralized project leader is that our ability to control our narrative and get appropriate media coverage is diminished, which in turn hurts our valuation in a market based on hype, not fundamentals. Loud and brash garners more attention than quiet and dedicated. Our competitors can say whatever they want about us and we don’t have that strong personality to counter them and whom we can rally behind. There are a number of us who fight the FUD to the best of our abilities, but we’re not the leader of Dash; our messages don’t carry the weight and authority that a project leader does. 

Am I saying that we need a cult of personality to rally behind to be successful? No, absolutely not. Based on our ethos, a centralized leader really can’t exist, and if one ever comes to the forefront, be wary as that person is likely trying to rebuild Dash into their image for their personal gain. Instead of looking for a cheerleader, we have to do the opposite. We need to focus on utility instead of hype, deliverables instead of promises. The path to redeeming our perception is to deliver an amazing product and get it into the hands of so many people that we can’t be ignored and the FUD won’t matter. 

Unfortunately, this downside to this approach is that it’s slow and requires patience and dedication – we have to be the tortoise, not the hare. We need to play the long game. Dash is an unstoppable force, don’t ever forget that. One thing we can do right now though to make up for a lack of a distinct leader is to compensate with quantity. We need to mobilize as many people as we can to get the word out. We need more people willing to get into the trenches and fight the FUD and lies. Anytime someone spreads a lie about Dash, a dozen of us need to pop up and counter with facts and logic. It should be our goal that no lie or FUD of Dash is ever left uncontested. If you’re a Dash supporter and you aren’t active on social media – why not? We need you! 

To aid in the media battle, I will be creating a resource section on this site where I’ll develop and share articles and arguments you can use or direct people toward. 

Stay tuned for Part 2

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