Dash was used via NFC wristbands at the I Land Sound Music Festival on Estonia’s Illiku Isle and resulted in around 1,000 people of the total 4,000 attendees spending over €19,000 EUR throughout the four day festival.

Dash Force News caught up with Mr. Siim Rull, Project Manager, about the motivations, organization, and outcomes of Dash integration at the festival. Mr. Rull started off by discussing how they were seeking a solution to payments at music festivals, which are often hectic since it is difficult for people to carry around money at festivals.

“We are innovators and we simply wanted to solve the problem of long queues and cash handling that we personally experienced in multiple festivals. Going cashless is the current trend among large festivals and we wanted to bring it to the next level by using blockchain technology.”

He attributed the high Dash usage to how the Dash NFC integration was announced prior to the festival and the team “had Dash recharge/top-up tents in strategic locations at the festival area”. Mr. Rull added that “[t]he festival organisers were very excited and closely co-operating with [the team] since before [their] proposal”. The cooperation was motivated by Dash’s goals aligning with the festival’s goals of making a “cashless solution [that] is optimising multiple things (like queues, ease of use and security) for festival organisers and guests”.

Dash community solving problems to provide better consumer experiences

The event did start off with one technical difficulty since, as Mr. Siim Rull said, “[t]here are lots of issues with organising a 4000-person event at a desert islet with little (if any!) infrastructure.” On the first day, some of the WiFi connected POS devices stopped working, but were up and running again within hours. However, due to the hiccup, festival organizers decided to also accept cash and card payments, whereas the initial plan was to be 100% cashless. Nevertheless, this technical issue and decision had the unforeseen effect of providing an excellent natural experiment. Consumers were now free to choose whether they wanted to pay in Dash, cash, or card and the results showed that around 25% of attendees opted-in to using the Dash-enabled NFC wristbands as a payment method.

Mr. Rull highlighted that “once [they] fixed connectivity issues of day 1, [they] got very good feedback about the system (regarding ease of use and speed)”. They found that the 5 bars and 2 specific food vendors were the most successful.

The Dash-enabled NFC wristbands were facilitated by a treasury proposal to develop the technology and incorporate it into the festival. The funds were used to provide POS systems to the vendors, supply Dash-branded merchandise, cryptocurrency workshops, and some music. The NFC wristbands differentiated themselves from mobile wallets by eliminating the cumbersome act of teaching attendees how to use a wallet at the event registration or the attendees having to worry about their phone battery dying. This route was a new one for the Dash community, but nevertheless was solvable and gave insights into new and easy ways to spend Dash.

“We contacted top local companies of this field, but nothing worked out due to long time-frames or ridiculous costs. After several failed attempts at outsourcing the job, we started hiring several developers and built a very strong team. We are happy that we managed to develop our own technical solution in time.”

Overall, the event demonstrated how Dash is focusing on methods to make Dash easy to spend in everyday common scenarios, as Fernando Gutierrez, Chief Marketing Officer for Dash Core Group, pointed out.

“We don’t try to do a thousand things. We try to do payments. It’s a killer app that everyone has to do every day, many times.”

The team is also “planning on continued development of the POS system and future roll-outs to various festivals and local nightclubs” to further improve Dash’s everyday usability.

Dash focuses on enabling everyday payment scenarios

Dash is continuously working on maintaining and improving its network to ensure Dash is optimized to be used by average individuals in everyday transactions. Dash is able to do this because of its unique structure that is built around economic incentives that have worked for centuries. Dash is able to allocate 10% of its block rewards to a treasury, of which Masternodes, whom must stake 1000 Dash, vote on how to allocate to various proposals submitted by the community. This allows Dash to fund its own development and community outreach teams without relying on third parties that might have different incentives than that of the Dash community. Plus, the Masternodes are incentivized to act in the best interests of the network since they have a large vested financial interest with the 1000 Dash stake.

This unique structure allows Dash to consistently maintain record low transaction fees, fast confirmation times, and security when compared to its peers. Plus, Dash has been able to demonstrate that it will be able to maintain these features as it continues to scale with its rapid growth. The Dash-enabled NFC wristbands at the music festival in Estonia enabled attendees to quickly buy drinks, food, and merchandise so they could get back to enjoying the music and experience. Merchants were able to quickly serve more consumers and save costs associated with traditional payment methods. Thus, Dash helped significantly improve the lives of average individuals by focusing on making an inexpensive, fast, secure, and easy method of payment.