What does it take to make a town a “Dash Destination?” There is a group in Cancun Mexico trying to figure that out.  They have weekly meetups that Dash sponsors and in mid-June there was a business focused conference held at a beautiful resort hotel in Cancun funded by a Dash treasury proposal.

Bitcuners Marketing happening and Business event Owner: JZA   240 DASH (2 payments of 120 Dash)  $74.75/D (added on 2017-04-19)  $17,940 Votes: 965 Yes / 367 No / 42 Abstain Dash.org Forum pre-proposal discussion

Meet the Bitcuners:  Bitcuners is a 2 year old crypto user group spreading their knowledge to the people that live in Cancun. It is a beautiful beach town in the southeastern part of Mexico that caters to people from all over the world with almost 6.5 million tourists each year.

Bitcuners has grown to a 30+ strong group that hosts meetups every week where people can talk and share experiences on different aspects of cryptocurrency. They have a program that allows people to get involved with DASH instantly through a reimbursement program “Dash for Drinks”.  Bitcuners Meetup Info

Business Conference: Here are links to two postings from attendees of the business conference. They both enjoyed it very much. My first ever DASH sponsored conference in Cancun! and Success! DASH Sponsored Crypto Currency Conference.  It seems that a beautiful hotel with an open bar is sure to provide a fun conference. Wish I was there;-)  For some video where you can watch 2 of the conference presentations (one English one Spanish) check out the Bitcuners YouTube Channel.

Weekly Meetups: There are 2 previously funded proposals for the Bitcuners to support their weekly meetups:

Bitcuners Meetup Proposal Owner: JZA Monthly amount: 16 DASH (48 total)  (added on 2017-02-20)  Votes: 1089 Yes / 493 No / 76 Abstain

Bitcuners – Help grow our local crypto user group!!  Owner: JZA  48 DASH over 3 months  (added on 2016-11-25) Votes: 587 Yes / 172 No / 0 Abstain

I see Bitcuners as trying to make Cancun more Dash / crypto aware and drive utilization so I wanted an assessment of what is working or not working to better understand if this would work for other cities.  I asked the group organizer JZA a few questions:

What is the Bitcuners group trying to accomplish in Cancun?

JZA:  First off, let me explain the original idea and how it was organized. There were 2 different strategies. One for business another for users. The users were going to be approached through traditional advertising mediums, flyers, billboards and digital media.

The second approach was for businesses, we scan the city for business owners and decision makers that could potentially implement DASH in their businesses. Previously we were lucky with a couple of entrepreneurs in our group adopting crypto for their businesses. So we felt confident that with proper promotion more businesses could also step in.

How do you think your efforts have worked out so far / What is missing to help drive adoption of Dash in your community?

JZA: We had many discussions regarding now being the right time, or just having enough people technically savvy enough to support these businesses. We sort of agree that this might not result in businesses accepting DASH yet. So all we want is to introduce them to crypto currency as a payment channel and other business reasons on why is a good idea.

We wanted to promote 2 solutions for businesses to answer the question ‘How do I accept DASH. But there were setbacks, one was the lack of a production release from the DASH POS, combined with the problems Blockpay had, leaving no clear solution to give to a business.

What we can assure is that in the beginning no business had even heard of Bitcoin, and by the end of the session they were interested and feeling this could be a solution for a lot of things like headaches with banks, and foreign customers.

In the end, we achieved our goals since we got around 40 people to the event. We also were able to massively show the DASH brand, and finally get new visitors to our Bitcuners meetups to learn more about everything they might need.

Tell me more about how your Bitcuners meetups work.

JZA:  Our group has always been a diverse crowd we got people from different walks of life, from retired senior citizens to young college students to housewives. We also have an organic setup, just like a chatroom on slack or telegram, people are invited to participate and talk about what they desire as long as is related to crypto. It goes from investment strategies and general crypto market speculation to more technical oriented topics.

Since the beginning of the year DASH has been sponsoring these meetup through a reimbursement program where people buy their coffee on the venue (Starbucks) and we reimburse their amount in DASH. This helps us solve a big issue we experienced in the past. Before, people were struggling most of them were not tech savvy so it took several weeks before they could get their first cryptos. Right now, everyone is leaving with DASH from their first meeting with the group.

Actually using cryptos has been the best education for most of the people to help justify them coming back to the group to keep learning. I think this was a genius move that should be tried all over. I don’t think passive visitors easily become crypto users. But having someone actually have a wallet on their phone and watch the 5 bucks literally grow in their hands makes them a believer.

What does the future hold for Bitcuners?

JZA:  We believe this is the start and we have also introduce the whole Treasury process to the group and we now see people wanting to enterprise their own ideas into the DASH Treasury so Bitcuners will be a hub for different initiatives.  Ideas like having a business friendly program where they could lease equipment and software so they can TRY crypto before they buy, and such. I hope soon all these ideas get matured enough to make it to the Dash proposals and we can operate at different levels and targets.

One of these is currently a football coach that has been thinking on introducing his team and also their college following to DASH.

This is the Pre-proposal: creation of an University Dash Ecosystem by sponsoring Anahuac Cancun’s football team  It is not yet fully fleshed out but seems to be asking for approximately $54,000 of funding to use Dash to pay for meals for athletes.

It is up to the Dash masternode owners to decide if this use of funding is worth supporting in the future.  For me personally while it is great to see a Dash billboard and wrapped buses I am not sure they are effective tools for “branding” at this time when such a low portion of the general population have any idea what is being promoted.

This conference Meetup in Monterrey Mexico on July 1, 2017 seems to have been organized in a much more cost conscious manner and seemed successful at bringing Dash knowledge to it’s audience.

Dash Force is excited about sponsoring local meetups especially those that encourage merchant adoption.  We need to support as many local efforts as possible to better understand what works best to get people and merchants using Dash.  Where is the “Dash guide to running a successful local meetup group” or presentations on various topics that could be used for local groups?  I know there are good videos that could be used but are there also powerpoints?