Note! This report draws on information contained in confidential communications and sensitive documents, which cannot be publicly revealed at this time. Readers who are not comfortable with the confidential nature of the report should independently verify the information contained therein, and investors and masternode owners should do their own due diligence before directly acting on this information.
BitCart’s Dash integration agreement
Early this year, BitCart and Dash Core’s business development department entered into discussions regarding an integration of Dash into the platform. An agreement was reached in March, and Dash was integrated into the platform in exchange for financial compensation to cover the developmental costs of providing this new service. This was initially done via a mutually-signed memorandum of understanding. Also specified in the agreement was the initial 20% discount for using Dash to purchase gift cards, while Bitcoin retained the usual 15% discount.
As a result of this integration, BitCart’s volume grew more than had been anticipated, leading to performance issues that made clear that the current platform was inadequate to support said volume.
A mutually-understood long-term partnership
Discussions continued between Dash Core and BitCart as to a continuing partnership. In May, a second memorandum of understanding was signed, in which a 12-month exclusivity deal was signed for BitCart to only support Dash, and no other coin, on its site. Additionally, Dash Core agreed to support BitCart’s long-term developmental roadmap, including the construction of an automated system for processing gift cards efficiently to support the increased volume experienced. The roadmap can be found here.
To reiterate: BitCart undertook a significantly increased order volume, and committed to the Dash community to provide an automated and improved platform to shield this volume, based on a signed agreement from Dash Core to provide vital assistance in reaching this goal.
An unexpected communication breakdown and its effects
Several months ago, following the previously signed memorandum of understanding, regular communications between the two parties ceased. During the months of August and part of September, BitCart did not receive a prompt response from Dash Core’s business development department. More importantly, the next stage of anticipated funding was not able to be acquired. This provided complications when BitCart was ready to pursue the next step of developmental roadmap. Communication was then established with Dash Core’s CEO, who was handling some business development work, but was unable to give that department the attention it required.
As BitCart moved to Phase 2 of its developmental roadmap, which would enable seamless automation of its service for a smooth customer experience, Dash Core was contacted for financial support as previously mutually understood. However, BitCart was informed that, due to complications arising from the unplanned sabbatical of a key team member, and because of a policy change away from more casual memorandums of understanding, previous agreements would need to rewritten, formalized, and combined into one. BitCart CEO Graham de Barra emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating “it’s vital that we answer to the Dash community…” on the 24th of September. At time of writing, no formal agreement between the two parties has been reached, and as such no additional developmental funding was provided to BitCart.
As an end result of the lack of expected support, BitCart’s present ability to deal with presently incurred volume, as well as fulfill expectations of continued development, remain hampered.
BitCart’s difficult present position
Due to the inability to fulfill their obligations, BitCart, as well as its affiliated project Festy, decided to seek support directly from the Dash masternode network, rather than wait to see if Dash Core would once more become a viable partner, and submitted a proposal to fund both ventures. After pushback from the community (much of it arguably due to the absence of the information contained in this report), BitCart attempted to resubmit the proposal to diffuse the requested budget over several months:
“We have resubmitted this proposal as requested by members of the community. The proposed payment is now split into 3 installments instead of the one-off payment. It should be going live shortly, we have contacted support as we actioned the amended proposal approx 7 hours ago and suspect it has been blocked by a security measure that protects against spam (the title of the new proposal is the same as this one).”
At time of writing it has been over two days since the proposal has been resubmitted, however it has yet to appear on Dash Central. Support staff for Dash Central remain unreachable.
Finally, BitCart expressed a longtime desire to avoid any complications with, or appearing critical of, Dash Core, due to the two parties’ previously fruitful business relationship. This may have been integral to the shape of BitCart’s communications regarding their service disruptions, which in the past revealed very little as to the nature of the issues they were experiencing, potentially in an attempt to avoid putting their business partner in a difficult position. According to De Barra: “I much prefer the style of fixing problems outside of the public, as the saying goes one shouldn’t hang one’s dirty linen out in public.”
Dash Core Group will be contacted for a follow-up in order to accurately represent all parties involved.
Thanks for the inside information, such solid reporting helps DASH investors, entrepreneurs and users make crucial decisions.
Thanks man. I hope no one crucifies me over this.
The plot thickens. This should be copied over to DashCentral. I had heard that one of the core team was no longer on the core team, and ryan was working like a crazy man to try to cover the gap. While my information is not official in any way, it would fit your description of events. If events occurred as you describe, it would be a shame for BitCart to be defunded.
Are you referring to Daniel Diaz, aka Minotaur, head of business development?
Yes. I have no direct knowledge of that, but it would fit.
I personally don’t suspect that this is intentionally at all. Do it should be clearly up. From my point of view communication from Core is the Achilles heel for Dash, and it has been for some time.
I am not accepting miracles but I also don’t think it really that hard say hello once every 2 weeks or so. Just post a update in discord announcements. It really does wonders in all the other coin channels. A simple: we found a new bug, we are on testnet, we found a memory-leak. That really should not take more than 15 minutes of a day.
I am not saying that just for my ease of my mind. But I am also saying this because it’s a easy attack-vector for other to attack us on.
thank you Joel.
Thank you for this article Joël, this shows there is another side to the Bitcart story i was not aware of
and changes my perspective on their recent budget proposal.
For those who don’t know me, I’m part of the Dash Core Team.
@joelvalenzuela:disqus I don’t have direct knowledge of every communication with Bitcart by everyone in Dash Core Team, but I’ve been part of a lot of that and you’ve been feed with some false information. It is good that you say that you’ll reach out to us in the future for follow up, but it would have been even better that you reached out before to fact check.
It’s true that our head of biz dev has gone into a sabbatical and he left a few things unfinished, but several Bitcart people, including CEO, have my mobile phone number. I’ve been in their office in Cork and know most of the team. Graham and I communicate frequently and when he was not getting responses somewhere I’ve helped him. All this silent core thing while things fell apart is false.
On Sep 24th we were all at the Dash Conference and Graham de Barra was in South Korea. All the rest of the Bitcart team was in the Conference. All comms those days were about who was gonna come to the Conference. We even organized they had a slot so they could update the attendance about their development (Darren, COO, did the update). No desperate call was made at any time and we all had a great time together.
As for the reach of agreements reached, it is not as deep as you imply. From the narrative one would say that Bitcart is just a front and core team is funding every expense. That would not make any sense. Again, I can’t speak for people who are not around anymore, but the docs I’ve seen don’t show the picture you paint.
I’ll look for the information that I don’t have and talk to Graham directly. Joel, I’m happy to talk too whenever you want.
” It is good that you say that you’ll reach out to us in the future for follow up, but it would have been even better that you reached out before to fact check.”
I totally agree with this.
I was not fully in the loop on this article but I did know a little bit about what was going on. I do know that there has been some communication issues between core members and members of Dash Force. Direct communication within the Dash ecosystem is very important IMO. Only people on the outside should be forced to have communications first go through a 3rd party (Wachsman PR).
I agree that we should communicate directly, but I don’t see that communication problem. Whenever someone from Dash Force has reached out I’ve always answered and I know it is the same with everyone in Core. And whenever I’ve reached out to someone in DF, I’ve got my answer. Of course, not everyone is equally responsive, but that is to be expected.
Expecting more than that is not realistic because everyone around Dash is extremely busy making this an awesome project. Even inside each of the orgs it is impossible to be fully aware of everything. I know I’m not aware of everything going on in Core and you have just said that you were not fully in the loop on this article. And that is fine! Decentralization is not as coordinated a centralization, but I think that I can speak for all us when I say that we all prefer it.
A full time communications person is what is needed IMO. They would have my votes for sure.
I am abstaining from this proposal until things are cleared up. I may vote no if bitcart does not respond and provide the documents they claim they have. They can always resubmit next month.
Here is my response to Ryan’s post in the bitcart proposal on DC…
“As for the Dash Force News article, I received confirmation from our PR agency that because of Money2020 last week, the author had agreed with one of the PR team members (Casey) to give us through Monday the 30th to reply to their questions. That obviously wasn’t honored, and I’m uncertain as to the reason why they published the article anyway. Contrary to the author’s claims, myself nor any other member of Dash Core Group leadership team was contacted with these questions directly.”
That was regarding another set of questions, not Bitcart. You should have been contacted and given time to respond to the bitcart article. I don’t know if that was done or not, for some reason I was not even given the full details until the article came out. From what I have been told Dash force news has to go through a 3rd party (Wachsman PR) to communicate with you and that slows down all communications. Mark and joel might not have bothered to contact you on this knowing it would be too late and voting would have been over by the time they got a response. I don’t know if that is the case or not but in that situation they should have reached out to tungfa or someone who is in the know and has authority to speak on such things. I don’t know if that person exist but from what Fernando has said that maybe him.
Going forward I will personally make sure the Dash Core team has a fair amount of time to respond to any allegations involving them that is published by Dash Force News.
Thanks for what you say about giving us time to respond to allegations, that will help.
I’m not sure about the full time comms person. Usually the problem is not the information dissemination but the lack of it. That person would not be able to give an update on the roadmap (because there is none yet) or would be unable to know every corner of the project. Core team is around 50 people working remotely from a lot of different countries and time zones… centralizing info from such a setup is tough. Also, some of the things simply can’t be shared (to avoid competitors taking advantage, because a partner is not comfortable with things being dealt so openly or for some other reason).
I think that the needed improvements can only happen if communications are something the team does, not someone individually. I would encourage anyone who wants to know something to avoid sending everything to Ryan or Andy (they get crazy amounts of request) and talk with more people. I’m happy to answer if I can or to look for an answer. And so is Tungfa. And Kot. And Chuck. And Alex. And probably any of us who you can see on the different discussion channels or social media.
Below is a comment from Graham on Bitcart latest budget proposal on Dash Central (which splits the proposal in three months as requested by many masternode owners) and does show a lot of frustration from Bitcart towards Dash Core Team (particularly from CEO of Bitcart towards CEO of Dash Core :
As these questions were directed at me personally, I will take this one.
Fernando and I do call monthly and he is our biggest advocate within Core. However talk is not enough. We need to pay our devs with Dash not words. So this is not sufficient.
We sent 10 of our team mates to London and Darren gave a keynote speech. None of my team were approached by Ryan. I have to this day not spoken to Ryan. Why would a CEO not feel it important to talk to it’s strategic partner and keynote speaker? My team expected a sit down meeting with Core which did not happen.
My attendance in South Korea supports my last proposal, which we are delivering on. I can’t say the same about Core’s delivery of funding since July. Why have we not been paid? A contract was signed. We see this as a violation and it is not in our power to fix this. The ball is in Core’s court and comments like this should really be qualified with a disclaimer by Fernando that we have not been paid. The rest is not relevant when taken in the context of our developer’s not being paid and our team facing irrevocable consequences as a result.
Are you happy that your CEO has not paid our developer’s and violated a signed and dated contract from May?”
I hope we can get to the bottom of this soon and get an official statement from Dash Core Team regarding this issue.
There we go! Nothing like a Free Pres to wake up Core. Suddenly they are communicating. Well done!
Ryan Taylor comment on DashCentral page: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/87de03f1166bfd48136e0f3376e9db293ffab510e5caeaea1d50e09a127dc552.png
Great article Joel!
Lack of communication has been a problem with DASH since as long as I can remember.
Biz Dev – Joint Statement by Bitcart and Dash Core Group
Joint statement by Bitcart and Dash Core Group. I posted in the forums in the closed thread because I think we need to focus on solving things between us and avoid further discussion through forums and comments, but Graham and Darren can confirm that this statement is agreed by both parties: