The recent crypto downturn is putting pressure not just on investors, but on the coins themselves. Dash, a fork of bitcoin, has not escaped the bearish sentiment with its value slipping around 90 percent from its all-time high above $1500. This alone might not be unusual, but the coin has also fallen comparatively within the crypto ecosystem—dropping from 7th position to 13th as measured by Market Cap.
This downward slide has cast the company’s policies into doubt, and one masternode owner has proposed that CEO Ryan Taylor should be deposed, based on the notion that he has failed to accommodate for the effect of the downturn on the Dash ecosystem.
The proposal, put forward by ‘SavingPrivateDash’, suggests that Taylor should be demoted to an advisory role, and that HR should be instructed to replace him. In his lengthy proposal, the disgruntled user claims that CEO Ryan Taylor has “destroyed the market’s confidence in Dash by repeatedly breaking promises and missing deadlines”, and that despite the “millions of dollars available to him”, has failed to keep the promises of 2016.
Speaking to Brave New Coin, director of the Dash bounty program Jim Bursch offered an alternative perspective, saying that while the frustrations SavingPrivateDash expresses are understandable, the solutions he proposes are misguided:
“It was a mistake to publish a roadmap with delivery dates that set unrealistic expectations, but I believe it was an honest mistake based on best estimates at the time. The thing you have to appreciate, from a technology standpoint, is the breathtaking scope and ambition of Dash 13.0 [Dash Evolution]. It integrates several cutting-edge technologies (like IPFS) in a way that has never been done before, and this is very complex and difficult to do. And it has to be done right the first time it is launched because we are dealing with digital cash - real money - that can't just be redone if something goes wrong.”
The threshold for complete chaos
Along with delays in development, the motion also alleges that because the price of Dash is “now below $200”, CEO “Ryan has grown his company irresponsibly.” SavingPrivateDash claims if the DASH price goes below $80 “not only won’t there be funds for any other community projects, but also not enough to pay the salaries of DCG [Dash Core Group] employees.”
“The threshold for complete chaos” he says, “is probably around $150-$160, because there are other financial obligations that they need to meet besides salaries.”
Crunchtime for crypto companies?
As a masternode owner, SavingPrivateDash has a direct stake in the future of Dash, and in exchange for providing computing power to the network, is afforded the right to participate in governance by putting forward and voting on proposals like this one. While this is a lauded model of decentralised governance, and one that has been implemented by many copycat coins, it also means that grievances are aired publicly.
Some crypto pundits claim that Dash would not be alone in facing financial difficulty, and that market conditions are making life difficult for crypto companies generally. Without a working product, Ethereum-backed ICOs are likely being hit the hardest, with many projects being forced to cash out their crypto in fear of losing all their funds before they make progress.
Jim Bursch, however, suggests that because prices are based on speculation, they move independently of the technicalities: “The market price of Dash has very little to do with the technological facts of Dash or the development of Dash 13.0. The cryptocurrency market is dominated by speculators who are trading everything from Aelf to ZCash and on the whole have at best a very cursory understanding of the technology involved.
Sure, it was nice when Dash was trading at $1,000, but it was also distracting. Now it is trading at $150, so we have to make adjustments. It wasn't very long ago that it was trading at $150 [June 2017], so it's not like we are at an historic low.”
As for SavingPrivateDash’s proposal, it seems like the majority of the community disagree—only 154 users have voted in favour of the motion, with 960 against and 25 abstaining.