Dash Adoption on the Rise: Dash-enabled Smartphone Booming in Venezuela

Nuno Teodoro

After its announcement in late August, more than 7000 units of the new Dash-enabled phone have already been sold in Venezuela.

The Dash-enabled phone, KRIP, is the result of a partnership between Dash and Kripto Mobile Corporation. Featuring five different models, the KRIP phone comes with a built-in Dash wallet and ecosystem, including some Dash in a paper wallet and several crypto apps such as Uphold (crypto exchange) and Bitrefill (gift card). The Dash Merchant team supports consumers setting up the phone and redeems the Dash from the paper wallet.

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“Money is changing, so should your phone” - KRIP Slogan

 

 

In order to reach citizens without smartphone or reliable internet access, which still represent a substantial portion of the Venezuelan population, Dash has developed Dash Text. Announced in November, Dash Text allows anyone to create a wallet and transact cryptocurrencies using an SMS-based system.

Over 3000 Dash wallets have already been created using this new system. One of the co-founders of Dash Text, Alejandro Echeverría, has stated that the use of Dash Text is mostly concentrated on rural regions:

 

 

“In % rate, rural has almost 100% of Dash Text wallet (natural reasons). But in the city the rate has been very high since people have noticed that using Dash Text is easier than using the normal smartphone wallet (no downloads/ internet required) and since our POS from Dash merchant already has the Dash text feature it is very convenient to use Dash Text for everything.”

 

 

Amidst the worst economic crisis in national history, Venezuelan citizens are playing a key role in the adoption of cryptocurrencies. From local grocery shops to major retailers, airline companies to large food chains such as KFC and Subway, there is a long list of merchants who accept cryptocurrency payments (Dash alone claims to have a list of 2400+ merchants).

How Cryptocurrencies are Helping Venezuela

Venezuela prospered under the leadership of former president Hugo Chavez. The growth however, proved unsustainable, as it was overly reliant on oil products, the cornerstone of the Venezuelan economy.

These factors made Venezuela an apparently fertile ground for crypto adoption. President Nicolas Maduro this year decided to experiment with the first ever national cryptocurrency, the Petro - although many have questioned the as well as the credentials of the asset's whitepaper, as well as the government's claim that it is backed by oil.

As the bolivar lost most of its value, to the point of being worth less than the paper it was printed on, many Venezuelan citizens have turned to cryptocurrencies to combat inflation. Crypto adoption has also helped citizens with financial inclusion, allowing access to a variety of different financial services - e.g. savings - that otherwise wouldn’t be available.  

Buying food, medicine, and basic goods - many times ordered from other countries due to supply shortages - has also been made possible due to cryptoassets.

Zcash 'Company' Changes Name to 'Zerocoin Electric Coin Company' for More 'Clarity'

The Zcash company, which supports the ongoing development of the Zcash (ZEC) platform, a leading privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, has rebranded to the Electric Coin Company.

According to an official company blog post, the name change from “Zcash company” to “Electric Coin Company” was made in order to have more clarity. Explaining that the “legal name” for the firm was always “the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, LLC”, the organization clarified that it had been referring to itself as “the Zcash company.”

However, the company’s blog noted that the development of “Zcash” is a community-based project and that some of the privacy coin’s business-related initiatives may involve the Zerocoin Electric Coin commercial entity. Moreover, Zerocoin’s operations are not directly associated with the Zcash Foundation - which in itself is a “separate and independent” organization, according to the z.cash blog post. Notably, the Zcash Foundation has “its own mission, team, and board of directors.”

Rebranding Process: New Domain, Change Office Sign

Acknowledging that it will take the company “a little while to get the new branding right, launch a new domain, and change out the sign at the office”, the company blog mentioned that “the name change is public.” Except for the name change, the entity associated with Zcash explained: 

We are the same team, with the same mission: to empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity. We developed and help steward Zcash.

Zerocoin's Research & Engineering Projects May Not Be Integrated Into Zcash 

Notably, the Electric Coin Company is currently working on “research and engineering [projects] that may, or may not” be integrated into the Zcash codebase, the blog noted. At present, the Electric Coin team consists of around 30 professionals from across the globe that are involved in the following initiatives:

  • “Product Development and Support”,
  • “Builds Zcash software”,
  • “Participates in cryptographic research”,
  • “Works with third parties to perform regular security audits of Zcash”,
  • “Improves the safety and security of the Zcash network”,
  • “Works on the Zcash user experience, such as the reference wallet” 

Company Website, Social Media Accounts To Be Changed/Updated Soon

In addition to working collaboratively on the initiatives listed above, the Electric Coin company helps in “translating content into different languages”, creates "educational content”, and supports the overall development of the Zcash platform.

As mentioned in the company’s announcement, the Electric Coin company “information will be moved from https://z.cash/ to a new domain with its own website.” Social media accounts associated with the company will also be updated.