Last weekend I spoke at the Texas Bitcoin Conference, and had the unique opportunity to speak with the hundreds of attendees. Through doing so, I learned quite a few things about how the crypto world perceives Dash, and I learned a few things about Dash myself that I didn’t know before.

Dash has an energetic, decentralized team

I lost count of how may times I heard mentions along the lines of “The Dash guys are super nice” or “You guys are so energetic.” In a crowded field of excited professionals promoting their various projects, Dash stood out. This team included no members of the Core team, yet was professional and well-prepared regardless. Rather than a centrally-organized group, the team spontaneously came together from various parts of the ecosystem: former media contractors (presently retired), a vendor, a radio show host, a representative of a company contracting with the network, and of course Dash Force. All independently volunteered their time and felt part of the official team.

Most were quite familiar with Dash, few knew how well it was doing

From my time educating the cryptocurrency world about Dash, I previously knew that not many were completely up to speed about how it works. I was surprised at how many conference attendees showed the opposite, and were well-versed in its workings. What didn’t surprise me, of course, was how few people knew how well the project was doing, from how many merchants were using it, to how many big companies had a recent integration, to especially how I was able to live exclusively off of Dash

Setting up users with a new wallet was the ultimate test

As part of the Dash pitch, I set up nearly 20 new users with wallets and their first $10 of Dash. Users ranged from fully crypto-competent to complete beginners. Nearly all were fairly surprised at how easy it was to set up a Dash wallet and receive funds. This is mostly due to the availability of great wallets for both iPhone and Android users. Users simply searched the easy to remember “Dash wallet” and came up with the right one right away, both with very fast turnaround times from installation to the initial receipt of funds. The Android wallet by Hash Engineering was particularly frictionless and easy to start using for beginners.

Too much of my pitch relied on BitCart

Much of what I talked about in my conversations was related to how I was able to live entirely off of Dash. A big part of this relied on mentioning BitCart, which allows me to buy gift cards with Dash, opening up a whole world of further options, from the gift cards that I used to stay at the conference to the Irving gift cards that I use to fuel my car, to the very computer I’m writing this article with right now. While this speaks well of the usefulness of BitCart, I also felt uncomfortable that so much of Dash’s present usefulness as a money relied on a single company. I would feel much better if there were a few major options available.

Many people had worked with the Dash network

In any group or situation when I had a moment to my thoughts, I played a quick game: how many people and groups represented here have taken Dash treasury funds in the past. The ratio was strikingly high. On the media panel, for example, three out of five of us were presently taking funding from Dash treasury proposals. Talking to various members of the ecosystem revealed many were planning on creating their own proposal in the near future. As time goes on and the network grows, I have a feeling that Dash will make more “offers they can’t refuse.”

Everyone is secretly trying to be Dash

While in the public cryptocurrency coverage and social media scene Dash often has the place of the redheaded step child, behind the scenes everyone is trying to copy its model. Specifically, the Dash DAO has set the standard for decentralized autonomous organizations, and many projects are actively and openly copying its governance model and self-funding mechanism. While in public this might not be verbalized, in one-on-one conversations it’s pretty clear: everyone wants to be Dash.