A Venezuelan company launched an SMS based payment service in Venezuela recently. The company – Dash Text – launched a solution of the same name which facilitates the sending of Dash cryptocurrency without the need to access the internet. Through the platform, the user can send and receive the cryptocurrency and check the available balance in his/her cryptocurrency wallet simply by sending a text to a designated number.
As well as making it unnecessary to have an internet connection whilst sending and receiving Dash, it also makes the process easier for users. There are no hard to remember addresses required as the receivers phone number becomes the reference point rather than a long crypto wallet address. The sender just has to enter the beneficiary’s mobile number, the amount required to be sent and the transaction executes once the text has been sent.
The solution has been created specifically with the Venezuelan market in mind. Dash Text doesn’t charge a fee for the service in the country – the only cost incurred by the Venezuelan user is the cost of the text itself. Many people in Venezuela don’t have access to home or mobile internet. This is the primary reason which necessitates the creation of this service. The company has established the service within the borders of the South American nation. However, it plans on rolling it out to more countries in the not too distant future. Just like Venezuela, there are other nations in the developing world where not all of their citizens have internet access. This service enables access to cryptocurrency for people who otherwise wouldn’t be in a position to access it.
Dash have targeted Venezuela for growth. Presumably, it sees more potential in nations experiencing high levels of inflation for increased use of their cryptocurrency. There is no hard data with regard to any uptick in Dash usage in Venezuela. However, it has been suggested by some in the industry. It’s certainly something that the Dash Core Group claim as highlighted in an article on that subject in The Bitcoin Mag back in August.
Bradley Zastrow, Global Head of Business Development at Dash Core Group commented on the launch:
“Venezuelan’s living abroad send an estimated $2 billion back home in remittances. This process often takes too long and costs too much, making it a huge pain point for many users. With Dash Text, we are providing real solutions that address real problems. People need easy and cheap ways to send money home, and we’ve done it in a way that expands the Dash ecosystem to those without smartphones. Dash Text offers the perfect solution to ensure that everyone can become part of the Dash family, regardless of what phone people own.”
Dash Text has launched the service in public beta mode, allowing citizens to access it via a five digit short-code on the Movistar and Digicel networks. To register a mobile phone for the service, the user simply sends an SMS to the short-code number with the word “DASH” followed by the word “CREAR” to create a dash wallet. That is all that is needed to authorize the user to send or receive dash cryptocurrency.
The Director of Dash Text gave his thoughts on the service launch:
“[Dash Text] will help thousands of people have more economic freedom, as we’re working together with all the different Dash initiatives in the country to spread the word and get Dash Text into the hands of the people who need it. Dash is the only cryptocurrency that can scale as a massive payment method in Venezuela at the moment – it is instant, safe, has cheap transactions, and offers an entire ecosystem of projects, solutions, and exchanges to support it, which is something other cryptocurrencies do not have. Users need easy-to-use solutions and easily reachable information, not a dark cloud of doubt. I can’t wait to watch people paying with Dash easily on feature phones without internet all around Venezuela – it’s coming!”
To facilitate the service offering, Dash Text has partnered with BlockCypher – a blockchain web services company, and utilizes an API it developed. According to Karen Hsu, Chief Revenue Officer at BlockCypher, “Using Blockcypher, Dash Text is able to pay users who refer others to Dash Text. For a limited time, each Dash Text user will receive a bonus when a person they refer to Dash Text starts using the service.” That referral program will be launched by Dash Text in the coming weeks.
In order for there to be further uptake in the use of cryptocurrency, efforts have to be made to make the experience easier for consumers. To their credit, Dash seem to be making such efforts and this development through Dash Text is evidence of that. Dash Text have identified that 47% of the Venezuelan population are without internet. 60% of the population are without a smart phone whilst 7% rely entirely on remittances in order to live. The provision of Dash Text extends cryptocurrency access to more people whilst also making the process much easier to navigate.