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In three quarters of 2018, $927 million was stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges and it is estimated to pass $1 billion after fourth quarter amounts are tabulated.
The attacks range from simple password guesses, insider thefts, complex SIM-swapping techniques, complex hacking, and multi-national thefts. The significant attention that these hacks have gotten do not inspire the most amount of confidence in potential new users.
However, each case highlights that only the exchanges were hacked and not the blockchains, which is often confused by mainstream news outlets. Most of these articles also do not mention information pertaining to the fact that individuals can increase security by owning their own private keys rather than defaulting to an exchange.
Taking back full control of money
Cryptocurrency was created to give back more control to individual consumers, but many cryptocurrency investors only store their money on exchanges, which is not too different from the current financial system. However, a new campaign, ‘Proof of Keys’, has been started to encourage individuals to take their cryptocurrency off exchanges and into wallets where the owner controls the private keys. Some have even advocated for individuals to spin up full nodes to process the entire blockchain. There have also been individuals calling the ‘Proof of Keys’ event a ‘run on the bank’ since it is reminiscent of the run on the banks in the early 20th century when individuals became worried that their banks did not have enough to cover all of their liabilities (individuals’ savings).
Depending on how the ‘Proof of Keys’ event plays out, it could encourage more individuals to own their cryptocurrency and take financial responsibility. However, if a significant population still choose not to participate and keep their money on exchanges, it will demonstrate that consumers are still accustomed to the current financial system, do not want to take on extra responsibilities, and want to defer their money to an institutional manager.
Dash focused on adapting to consumer behavior
It is extremely difficult to change consumer behavior and that is why most brands find what consumers prefer and adapt their product to consumers’ desires. So Dash posits that consumers not wanting to manage their own financial and monetary independence is routed in a deeper sentiment of fear, uncertainty, or some other attribute that makes cryptocurrency seem intimidating. That’s partly why Dash has focuses so much on making evolutionary Digital Cash very user friendly and intuitive, including private key management. The lower the switching costs, physical and emotional, the more likely consumers are to adopt Dash.
Dash has been accomplishing this not just via evolution through Dash Core Group, but also through independent developers in the Dash community. Spark, AnyPay, and QR.CR are making simple to use POS systems so it is easy for merchants to integrate Dash and use it everyday. Groups like Dash Embassy D-A-CH, Dash Embassy Thailand, Dash Help, Dash Venezuela, and other community outreach groups are making it easier to learn about Dash and provide a space for consumers to comfortably ask questions. Then there is the vast Dash Documents and online community for anyone that wants to learn more about Dash. This decentralized effort to focus on what consumers and merchants want out of cryptocurrency rather than just focusing on cool technology has allowed Dash to grow to over 4,600 Dash accepting merchants, worldwide.