To me, Ryan Taylor is one of the most mysterious characters in the cryptocurrency space. I managed to ask him some questions about Dash’s plans, advantages of their technology, and upcoming projects.
U.Today: Hello, Ryan. Thank you for joining the interview. Can you tell us what brought you to the world of blockchain technology?
Ryan Taylor: I had read a few articles about Bitcoin back in 2012 or 2013, and decided it was time to investigate further. At the time, I was an analyst covering payments companies for a hedge fund, so I was always educating myself about payments. Bitcoin was obviously just a small niche of the payments space at the time, but it was different and interesting enough to catch my attention. The more I learned, the further down the rabbit hole I fell.
U.Today: In your opinion, why does the world need Dash? What payments is Dash most suited for?
Ryan Taylor: Dash is solving a number of use cases for digital currency, particularly at the point-of-sale. The vast majority of consumer purchases still take place at a register, so users need a way to transact that takes seconds. This makes Dash better suited for the vast majority of payments than other digital currencies.
Dash is also focused on improving the user experience. We’re aiming to eliminate the need for consumers to interact directly with addresses by introducing network-wide usernames. With that functionality, we can replicate the user experience of applications like Venmo. The more familiar and relevant we can make the user experience, the faster we believe that adoption can take place.
U.Today: What about security?
Ryan Taylor: In addition to proof-of-work, Dash introduced two additional layers of security that actually make the Dash network more expensive to attack than any other cryptocurrency network. InstantSend locks transactions within about 1.8 seconds, making them double spend proof. This allows the recipient to safely accept payments without the risk of transaction confirmation failures. Last year, we added ChainLocks, a technology that eliminates chain reorganizations. This makes the Dash blockchain completely immutable within 4-6 seconds after each block is added to the blockchain.
We are also focused on end-user security, which is arguably a bigger opportunity. With our forthcoming username based system, users will no longer need to coordinate payment addresses via email or other messages outside of the network, which are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks (in which the attacker changes the payment address to their own). Instead, the Dash network will coordinate the addresses through the network itself.
Image via https://blog.dash.org/
U.Today: There are other privacy coins apart from Dash, like Monero and Z-cash — what are the main differences between them? What are the advantages of Dash?
Ryan Taylor: Dash is optimizing for an overall user experience, of which optional privacy features is one part. While Dash utilizes a privacy technique called CoinJoin, it remains a fully transparent and auditable blockchain allowing exchanges and other money services businesses to remain fully compliant with the same solutions they leverage for Bitcoin.
U.Today: Dash is now in 19th place on Coinmarketcap. Are you planning on reaching the top-10? Any timeframes?
Ryan Taylor: The team tries to focus on the metrics that truly matter… specifically user and transaction growth. Dash has been consistently growing to record levels of activity each quarter throughout 2019, and 2020 appears to be headed for yet another record.
I sincerely believe that growing utility and use are the keys to long-term sustainability, and that projects focused mostly on attracting speculators will underperform. Eventually, the market will begin recognizing that, too.
U.Today: When will the next Bitcoin all-time-high be? What about Dash?
Ryan Taylor: The timing is hard to predict, but as usage and access continues to expand at a rapid pace, I think we’ll see new highs eventually. Dash grew transactions at a triple-digit pace last year, and with that kind of compound growth rate in use, it should happen eventually.
U.Today: What are the most interesting projects you can single out in the market?
Ryan Taylor: There are honestly too many to name. There are so many experiments happening right now in governance, defi, consensus mechanisms, and scalability. Most will not succeed, but the industry will learn from each of the failures.
I’m very intrigued with the growth of defi and can’t wait to see what developers will build on the Dash Platform, our next major release, that will enable this type of functionality on Dash’s network.
U.Today: Are you currently brainstorming any new projects? Can you share with us your ideas or at least give us a hint?
Ryan Taylor: Dash Core Group is very public about the projects we’re pursuing, and actively solicit feedback from the Dash community. The biggest project has been Dash Platform, which will enable applications to be built on Dash and easily interface with legacy applications through a decentralized API. It is currently running on a public testnet, so we encourage developers to come evaluate the capabilities of the system. Second, we started a conversation about improving Dash’s properties as a store of value.
We’ve been doing a lot of research on how to improve the economics of the network and will be proposing a set of changes to be voted on by the community. Both efforts will be incredibly impactful for our growth.
U.Today: Do you believe that mass adoption will be implemented soon? What needs to happen first?
Ryan Taylor: People tend to talk about mass adoption as though it were a light switch, waiting to be turned on. In fact, adoption is a process, not a destination. I think Dash is making great progress on adoption. Through our initiatives in Venezuela, we’ve learned a lot about what works and what the stumbling blocks are for attracting and retaining both users and merchants. We’ve also learned a lot about the mechanisms to grow users and merchants and how to incentivize the growth of each to keep them in better balance. That knowledge is hard-won, and I believe today we are more effective than we’ve ever been at capturing growth efficiently.