Dash has had an impressive run in Venezuela, with thousands of conference attendees and dozens of new merchants.
In September of last year, the newly-formed Dash Caracas group launched a series of monthly conferences in Venezuela to promote Dash, the first several being shorter informative events, with recent conferences lasting all day with the addition of a “Dash City” afternoon portion focused on demonstrating a Dash-based micro-economy. The first conference drew over double the projected attendance, with a relaunch of the first conference drawing over 350. Subsequent conferences have since been funded, and five conferences on four subjects have been held so far. Now, a new conference has recently been funded, expanding the team’s impressive adoption record so far.
According to Dash Caracas founder Eugenia Alcalá Sucre, reception from conference attendees has been far beyond projections:
“The reaction has gone way over our expectations. People are very interested in learning about blockchain, cryptocurrencies and Dash. Also, they are very excited about having the opportunity of putting theory into practice through Dash City. Also, now we have enough experience to help other teams to create new proposals, and to take this events to other mayor cities in our country.”
In total, the five conferences so far have drawn an estimated 2,210 total attendees from all walks of life, including about 50 entrepreneurs for the Dash City portion.
Heavy interest as money that holds is value, as well as fast and cheap transactions
Dash has had an impressive showing in making gains as a payments system in Venezuela as well. So far, an estimated 80 or more merchants have begun to accept Dash payments in the country, with many of them already listed among the current 674 and counting on DiscoverDash. Alcalá sees this as a result of Dash’s low fees and instant transactions, which set it apart from slower and less secure payment systems, including most cryptocurrencies:
“Transaction speed makes people go “Ooooohhhh!!!” Also low fees and the governance system.”
Venezuela has experienced severe devaluation of its currency, causing hardships for its businesses, which see the value of their sales rapidly decrease. Dash, despite being affected by the volatility of its emerging market and speculative field, offers merchants a superior way of retaining the value gained from their hard work, according to Alcalá:
“They are very interested in having a way to store their value safely, because it is a protection from hyperinflation. That makes them able to continue in business. They have had a learning curve in how to change Dash into VEF, but they are confident the new exchanges [Colibit and Cryptolifex] will resolve that problem.”
The Dash City portion of the conferences helps demonstrate exactly how a city run on Dash would function in the real world, allowing vendors and customers to experience the new world economy first-hand before making a decision to start using Dash.
Two new exchange integrations to further facilitate the buying of Dash in Venezuela
In addition to merchant onboarding, Venezuela will also gain two new exchange integrations. The first is a peer-to-peer trading platform, Cryptolifex, and the second is the Colibit exchange. According to Colibit’s founder Rafael Useche, the demand for Dash in Venezuela has been rapidly rising due to various outreach efforts:
“Dash’s community in Venezuela is growing every day. Events and meetups like Dash Caracas and Ciudad Dash have been attracting public attention and with that demand for Dash. It is important because people that come to events ask themselves: where I can buy or sell Dash?”
In addition to integration, both platforms have set up promotional measures to help spur interest in Dash. Cryptolifex will have a presence at future regional Dash conferences, and will run advertising on social media, radio, and television. Colibit will advertise as well, but has also set aside 10 Dash to give away to new verified users. Useche sees the increase in buying options as critical for adoption to catch on, and hopes to see a spike in interest from Colibit’s Dash promotion:
“Having more fiat gateway is crucial for adoption. Also, it is important to mention that proposal include a giveaway of 10 Dash for the first 5,000 verified users, it naturally will create more interest and approach to Dash technology in Venezuela.”
Interest holds strong even in a market downturn
While Dash has experienced major growth over the last year, so far 2018 has seen a significant downturn with a general market crash, which can be challenging when reaching out to new users. According to Alcalá, this has not been without its challenges:
“When we submitted our proposal Dash was 800 USD. We had a chance to pay some of our expenses in advance, so we has a chance to make the most of our budget. But yes, it has been challenging. I am considering several ways to sort this difficulty at a financial level.”
However, despite the market troubles, Alcalá has not seen any significant evidence that the price drop has turned away many new users or merchants:
“Well, next Friday we will have a workshop with new entrepreneurs, and will be “the truth hour” when we will have the opportunity to answer their questions in this regard. So far we have not had any complaints. Actually, right now I am having lunch in a restaurant that accepts Dash, and they are okay with it.”
Overall, Dash has had an incredible start to the year, claiming over 20 integrations and partnerships in just the first month, or a rate of five per week, nearly one everyday. In terms of strict integrations, Dash claimed at least 12, or about three per week.