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Adding Structure to the Dash DAO

What I want to start a discussion on is adding structure to the DAO in order to improve efficiencies and our chance of success. First, to be abundantly clear, the structure I’m proposing would be entirely voluntary. There would be no change to the protocol or anything of the sort. The MN’s would still be voting to disperse treasury money as they do now. Anyone in the world would still be free to submit their own proposal directly to the network. Also, I’m primarily talking about adoption and outreach programs; there are many potential DFO’s that wouldn’t be well served by this structure. 

What I’m proposing specifically is organizing the various outreach and adoption programs into hierarchical teams in a Division -> Region -> Area -> Locale format such as LatAm ->South America -> Venezuela -> Caracas where each team is answerable to the team superior to them. Instead of each individual team putting in their own proposals, the Division team would put in a single proposal and would then distribute those funds to all the sub-teams as required. In order to keep this system accountable, the director or team of directors of the Division would be elected by the masternode network.

The biggest benefit of organizing in such a manner would be better focus and coordination. To date, Dash’s outreach and adoption efforts have been helter skelter, bordering on chaos, and the results so far have been moderately successful at best. Instead of throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks like what’s being done now, a structured organization will be able to develop a comprehensive plan with tangible goals and then execute that plan. Since it will be easier to share resources and knowledge between not only local teams, but also teams on different continents as there will be a better structured flow of information, it will be far easier to execute the plan on a global level.  

By structuring in a regional manner, we’ll be able to quickly respond to rapidly changing market conditions all the way down to the local level. If one of our initiatives gets a nibble, resources can easily be shifted to it so the initiative can be developed more aggressively. Conversely, if a market suddenly dries up due to government regulations, change in sentiment, or another solution taking hold, we can more quickly reallocate those funds to a region where they’ll have a greater impact. 

An area that I think that Dash struggles with currently is brand cohesion and awareness. With our current organization, or lack thereof, it’s very hard to develop a consistent and recognizable brand. By adding some structure to the DAO, we can more easily create a congruent brand image that we can disseminate down to teams and adjust according to their regional needs. Not only will this improve our image, it will relieve some of the burden of smaller teams having to create their own marketing campaigns allowing them to focus on other needs. 

Every team in the Dash DAO submitting their own proposal isn’t scalable. If the price stays low enough where the the proposal fee isn’t an insurmountable burden, the MN network may become overwhelmed with proposals. And if the price rises significantly, only large projects will be able to afford the proposal fee and small projects will fall by the wayside. By distributing the funds in a hierarchical manner, it will be easier for smaller teams to acquire the funding needed for their project.

I think an underappreciated aspect of our lack of structure is how it leads to a lot of time and effort wasted by PO’s (proposal owners) fighting other PO’s for the scarce Dash the treasury doles out, which leads to bitterness and burnout and creates tribalism in the community. This sense of frustration is made doubly worse by the fact that PO’s have to go through the proposal process every month or three with no guarantee of funding even if they perform well. I’m sure most PO’s would rather spend their time working on Dash adoption rather than fighting for funding.  

Another benefit of creating a structure such as this is that it will ease the burden on the voting MNO’s. Reviewing all the proposals every month in order to make an informed vote isn’t easy and takes a fair amount of effort which leads to voting fatigue. If an MNO wants to make an informed vote, there is a lot of minutia they have to wade through. I think MNO’s could better serve the DAO by focusing on the big picture; let area managers worry about the details. 

Lastly, an advantage of this structured setup would be that bad actors can be removed without causing too much disruption. For example, recently George Donnelly of Dash LatAm let his ego get the better of him and he ragequit. Now his remaining team is scrambling to pick up the pieces and having to submit their own proposal if they want to continue. If we were structured as I’m proposing, George quitting wouldn’t have interrupted the work currently being done any more than a regional manager quitting in a normal business would (I’m not going to discuss the results of Dash LatAm’s efforts in this article, I’m merely using this as a means of illustrating my point). A voluntary hierarchical structure will bring much needed stability to the Dash DAO. 

Adding structure to the DAO clearly has some merit, but there’s a lot of questions that need to be answered. Is this centralization? If so, is centralization within a greater decentralized system a detriment? What is the risk of this structure becoming entrenched and entities in the structure losing their sense of accountability? How would we even implement structure if we wanted to? Is structure going to naturally arrive regardless of our efforts? I believe this topic needs to be discussed in more detail; I look forward to your questions and responses. 

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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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