After listening to the above-linked lengthy call by Dash Core to summarize Q4 of 2017, here were my top most important takeaways:

1: Evolution and development updates

The question on everyone’s mind: when is Evolution coming out? When is the roadmap getting an update? Core clarified that an updated roadmap would be released soon, and that the team was still aiming for summer 2018 for an initial release. One reason for sparse details on Evolution’s full scope has been the finalization of defensive patents to keep Dash’s technology free to use by all, rather than claimed by a patent troll or a company.

A reported seven new developers were hired last quarter to expedite the process. Optimizations of Bitcoin code compatibility are also nearly caught up.

2: Core is now DAO-owned and rapidly growing

Dash Core is now legally owned by the network’s trust, making it the first DAO-owned legal entity in the world. Core is also working on a “replacement plan” for how to fire or replace the team should the need arise, rather than the present messy process of simply defunding the entity and hiring a different team, which would in some cases have to start from scratch.

Over the past year Core has grown from around 25 mostly part-time employees to 60 mostly full-time, and is implementing a new scrum-based delivery process. There is new position growth in finance, integrations, business and marketing areas, indicating that Core is growing far beyond a simple team of developers.

In Q1 Core will work on community updates, diversifying banking relationships(?), finalizing defensive patents, and developing retention programs for Core members, a team that has so far only had one developer leave the project in its history.

Business development

The business development department, rebranded as Business Solutions, will focus on larger integrations instead of small- to mid-sized businesses to grow adoption much faster. Smaller enterprises will still be a priority, but this will be handled mostly through building a simple merchant onboarding system/site for businesses to be able to self-service. Core has also hired a new regional business development manager.

3: Logo redesign nearly finalized, new marketing plan coming

A redesign of the Dash logo with Ogilvy and Mather has been progressing nicely, with a new logo testing really well universally and equally across all global demographics, including a version of the logo that’s tried and true Dash logo with a refresh. The rest of the branding, including color schemes etc. to go with the logo, is being worked on.

Q1 will include the first draft of the comprehensive marketing plan, as well as preliminary online ads for testing, and the hiring new marketing managers.

Bonus: Answers to two key questions

Finally, during the question and answer period, a couple questions came front and center in importance.

What treasury proposals does Core see as needed, and what are there too much of? More development proposals for businesses are needed, including integrations, development, long-term partnerships, etc. What is seen too much is the funding of startups or other completely unproven businesses that could easily not pan out, instead of the less risky option of partnering with an existing and proven business.

Is there a contingency plan in case of disaster befalling the Core team? At the moment, 38 people spread all across the world have commit access, and there are multiple backups in place, making the likelihood of disaster very limited.