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Dash adoption in Venezuela has exceeded 2,500 merchants as the country becomes the top source for wallet downloads.

This week, the total number of merchants accepting Dash for payments in Venezuela listed on Dash merchant listing site DiscoverDash passed 2,500, sitting at 2,517 at time of writing. This is well over 50% of the total known number of Dash merchants around the world, which is currently at 4,482 globally. Transaction activity has also increased, according to Dash Merchant Venezuela’s head Alejandro Echeverría. He has seen daily transaction counts rise several times over, currently comprising hundreds per day:

“It is important to mention that this is in our POS where we can measure, but there are a several merchants that prefer to charge directly from their wallet (example: small kiosks where the owner is always there), so the number of transactions is even higher.

This have been possible thanks to the joint efforts of all the teams here doing promotion, particularly our activities for “incentivizing consumption” (stage three of our strategy for adoption) where merchants do discounts, promotions and we support them on-site. Besides, the influencer campaign we did on Instagram was very successful and this created even more awareness.”

Dash Merchant Venezuela has mainly focused on onboarding new merchants, leading to a merchant-heavy adoption picture. Future efforts may aim to increase consumers and liquidity in order to increase the customer base supporting these merchants.

Wallet downloads have taken off in part thanks to KRIP mobile phone purchases

Additionally, wallet downloads have surged in Venezuela as well. According to Dash Core’s CEO Ryan Taylor, Venezuela now ranks as the top source for downloads of the official Dash wallets, indicating a strong growth in use in the region. A significant portion of these may be related to the KRIP mobile phones, low-cost smartphones that come pre-equipped with a variety of Dash apps including a Dash wallet, Bitrefill gift voucher service, and Uphold brokerage app, allowing new users to seamlessly both buy and spend Dash on the device. Additionally, new phones come with a paper wallet pre-loaded with a small amount of Dash so that users can get started before their first purchase.

Reportedly, over 66,000 KRIP mobile phones have been sold as of the beginning of this month, potentially accounting for thousands of new wallets created. KRIP mainly targets Venezuela at the moment, increasing user percentages in that region.

Purchases and point-of-sale transaction counts are on a steady rise

User counts, transactions, and purchases have been on a steady increase despite the natural disincentive provided by the harsh bear market, which has seen Dash’s valuation fall significantly since its all-time high one year ago. Echeverría does not believe that wide adoption has yet been achieved, however he is very optimistic after the substantial progress achieved this year:

“We are not so, so close yet, there is a lot of work to do, but we have advanced a LOT this year. In just one year we have 2,500 merchants including big brand names like Subway, Papa Jonh’s, Church’s Chicken, we have an exclusive support center for help users (Dash Help), we made it possible to use Dash without internet (Dash Text), and many more amazing things.”

More importantly, Echeverría sees progress in Venezuela so far as a blueprint for future success, showing what concentrated effort in Caracas has been able to achieve so that it may be replicated elsewhere:

“The most of the work has been done in Caracas, 95% of the merchants and users are here in the capital. But it is the right way to do it: focus on one specific place/city, prove the strategy, and then scale it. So, since we already proved that our strategy works, we need to repeat and scale it. Also, one of the things we need to solve is the liquidity issue. For this we already set up and alliance with Bitnovo for the Dash remittances project. In this way we will “get Dash into people hands” and Dash will flow in the economy. Repeat and scale, that is what we need to do. Besides, we will look to onboard big supermarkets and pharmacies.”

Outside of Venezuela, other teams continue to make important progress as well. In neighboring Colombia, Dash merchant adoption has similarly experienced a surge, with local teams reporting 311 merchants onboarded so far.

Update: Several hours after the publication of this article, Dash Core released a blog post which, among other things, clarified that the actual figure of KRIP mobile sales is 66,000 (not 7,000), and this article has since been updated to reflect the new information