This proposal aims to provide an in depth look at a specific segment of the marketplace.  The gold and jewelry business has been around “forever” and focuses on the more “upscale” segment of society. So understanding why or why not a very establishment business segment is interested in using Dash seems worthwhile.

Understanding the barriers to adoption of Dash by UK businesses and merchants in the Gold and Jewellery Sector (Phase 1)  Owner: CaptAhab  103 DASH  (added on 2017-07-19) ($162.24/D or $16,711)  Votes: 739 Yes / 80 No / 27 Abstain

Problem: There are few merchants in the UK who accept Dash. The lack of merchants accepting Dash is holding back uptake by the UK consumer. Engaging with the 3-4 million businesses in the UK is a difficult task. So how do we reach out to survey them?

Solution: We use business networks. In the UK there are many hundreds of Trade Associations (TAs). These are networks of businesses. TAs are trusted bodies that sit at the heart of business sectors.

The project team has provided us with this project plan:

Project: as a pilot project we will work with the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) to;

  • Promote Dash and this project to UK gold dealers and jewellers, alerting entrepreneurs and Chief Executives that digital cash, specifically Dash, is heading their way.
  • Survey the 2200 NAJ members on their attitude and plans for future use of Dash, and what’s stopping them using it.
  • Incentivise completion of the survey by providing a Dash prize to 10 respondents. First prize 5 Dash with 9 runners up getting 2 Dash each.
  • Capture data on companies who wish to explore becoming Dash merchants.
  • Undertake feasibility studies conducting technical assessments with four companies to understand their existing online sales processes and the size of the task in signing them up as Dash merchants and develop an outline plan for implementation. If we do not have enough viable interest we will offer a free technical seminar to all interested members.
  • Report back findings to Dash community and development team, to inform future work.

They have also provided solid reasoning for why they wanted to start with this business segment.

Why this group?

  • UK gold dealers are a natural group that should understand Dash as an asset as well as a currency.
  • This proposal will increase the number of high net worth individuals aware of Dash.
  • In 2014 this industry in the UK was worth £5 billion (manufacturing) and £7.3 billion (retail).
  • Increasing consumer confidence in Dash and offering the hesitant consumer tangible assets that can be bought with Dash in the form of gold will be significant. Proving that one of the oldest symbols of value can be bought by one of the newest.

I look forward to the survey results.  With nothing to base my bias on – I would think the gold and jewelry industry  is filled with very conservative “gold bug” type people that would be derisive / afraid of a new digital store of value / currency.   Of course, I know there are a number of precious metal dealers that have been some of the earliest businesses to accept Bitcoin so as usual its best not to stereotype.

I interviewed Steward Bean (CaptAhab) the project owner about marketing and this project:

What is your experience marketing to associations?

I headed up a best practice body for Trade Associations in the UK, which had 300 Trade Associations in membership. I had an extensive network of people in Associations – usually  the CEO, and the senior leaders.

How did you come to pick the NAJ?  Did you have some previous relationship?  What was your process for setting this program up with them?

I chose the NAJ because of their membership, and our product, and I thought we would be an ideal match. They represent a way to reach people who buy jewellery and gold. A group who are very wealthy, and I hope would be keen to buy into Dash.

I thought the dealers themselves would see that Dash could fit with their existing business models and they could easily trade in Dash the same way they trade in precious metals.

Ultimately, for Dash to become more mainstream, we need more merchants using it. Increasing the number of merchants will encourage people to take the leap and buy Dash – especially if they can buy gold with it and effectively cashout. Once we get more circulation, adoption will sky rocket. I have spoken to Coaex, a gold dealer who only trades with cryptocurrency; Their business is booming and they have surpassed 2016’s turnover by the beginning of August. But they are finding Bitcoin almost impossible to use because of the long transaction time.

What do you see as “success” for your campaign? Creating avid investors in Dash? Awareness of digital cash / Dash?

I would hope that we could do some of both. We will certainly raise awareness of Dash, within the sector, and demonstrate that Dash is reaching out. We are giving away Dash as a reward for completing our survey. This will raise awareness, and increase the number of wallets in the sector.

Fundamentally though our aim is to understand any barriers to using Dash and help overcome those barriers.

What do you think is the value of awareness / basic education of something like Dash?

I think it is everything, we know that amongst this group there will be people who will be early adopters, if we can just get to them.

Is there some “formula” you think would work to promote Dash across different associations?

We will see – but if there are positive outcomes then I would seek to roll out in other sectors.

From your proposal you say you will undertake feasibility studies conducting technical assessments with four companies to understand their existing online sales processes and the size of the task in signing them up as Dash merchants and develop an outline plan for implementation. — from your work so far do you think this will happen?

We are in the first phase of the project – we will be submitting a proposal for this next phase shortly but we do believe there is an appetite for this in the UK.

Will you be providing some sort of educational / how it works information on Dash to the NAJ membership?

We are producing a Q&A document which we hope will be referenced in the article in The Jeweller and we will certainly be sharing as part of the survey.  If there is demand we might run seminars for association members.

How did you get started with crypto? What about the other members of your project team?

I got into cryptocurrency in 2012/13 but didn’t buy Dash until Apr 2014. I was excited by the potential and was convinced that its unique attributes would power forward.  My colleagues have become involved due to their specific skills to help deliver this project.

Do you think your  audience will be confused that you are suggesting Dash when Bitcoin has more exposure in the press etc?

We have to address that.  Our main argument will be that Dash transactions are much faster and cheaper – something we think they will value.

How will you address merchants’ natural concerns about security?

By providing clear and simple guidance concerning wallets and transactions.

The team is composed of people with direct experience in conducting surveys of this type so we should expect to get a professional report back that can be used to guide other projects in the future.