Privacy network Dash has announced the release of a crypto-SMS service (“Dash Text”) where residents of Venezuela can pay for goods and services via SMS. The service is currently in beta testing mode. Dash has a strong presence in Venezuela after the complete collapse of the economy which rendered the national currency worthless.
Dash Text goes live
Dash Text was created through a partnership with BlockCypher and allows customers of the Movistar and Digitel networks in Venezuela to send and receive DASH. The ability to send and receive cryptocurrency without a smartphone or internet connection could prove very advantageous to the people of Venezuela, given the incredible amounts of hyperinflation sweeping through the nation. Only 40% of residents have access to smartphones and the country experiences frequent internet and power outages, so the new form of financial access could become very useful.
Dash text also removes the complexity associated with cryptocurrency transactions. Users simply text ‘DASH’ to 22625 and “CREAR” to create a new Dash wallet. This should further serve to facilitate cryptocurrency adoption as people become familiar with sending and receiving the currency. Co-founder of Dash Text Lorenzo Ray stated that –
“I saw how many people wanted to use Dash but couldn’t due to poor signal or bad cellphones, but the idea came from a similar service in Venezuela that uses SMS for payments in bolivars. I started to look if there was something similar already in crypto and found Cointext. I tried to contact them but got no response, and decided to develop it on my own.”
Could Dash take off in Venezuela?
Using SMS to send and receive cryptocurrency is not a new concept, though Dash is in a unique position to market the idea in Venezuela, where the people desperately need a means of exchange. Dash also has a significant market presence in the region. The Venezuelan national cryptocurrency, the Petro, is said to be a clone of Dash in many respects, and this clone is now being enforced by the government.
However, the public is unlikely to want anything to do with centralized currency given recent events. Additionally, Dash has inherent privacy based features that are attractive to those who fear centralized tracking of transactions. It may be too early to say that Dash will gain a significant presence in Venezuela, but it is certainly well placed to expand its user base, having no real competitors.
Litecoin also recently launched their own SMS-based cryptocurrency service in conjunction with Zulu. Lite.im could serve to bridge the gap for those familiar with text messaging but unfamiliar or reluctant to deal with cryptocurrency. Line, Japan’s leading messaging service, has also created a “Link” cryptocurrency which it will market to its user base of over 200 million customers.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.