Dash Point-of-Sale App Spark Wins Start-Up Challenge, Integrates CoinText
Spark, a point-of-sales system for Dash is continuing to build itself on a lean budget by innovating in both funding and code during the cryptocurrency bear market.
Kodaxx, developer of Spark, detailed how the platform has recently received $5,000 USD towards the business, 10 hours of pro-bono legal counsel, and office space for 1 year through The WTBC (Wyoming Technology Business Center) Sheridan’s 2018 Start-Up Challenge. Previously, Spark received funding from one proposal in the Dash Treasury, one in Dash Boost, and his own personal funds. Kodaxx said that 40-50 entrants were whittled down to 5 finalists, of which 3 winners were selected. The prizes can be viewed as a grant to catalyze business in Wyoming since Kodaxx did not have to offer anything from Spark other than register as a business with The State of Wyoming. Kodaxx expects to stretch the additional funds as far as possible to help carry the business forward.
By my estimate, it could pay for 20-30 extra hours of development work, the new hardware prototypes, and a marketing strategy (put together by a real marketing agency), business development plan, branding, etc.
Additionally, Kodaxx told Dash Force News that just yesterday he completed integration of CoinText into Spark, which will allow non-smartphone users to use Dash via SMS text.
The CoinText integration further adds to Dash’s ability to be used by a wide demographic of individuals and for Spark to be on par with competition. AnyPay, another POS service, recently integrated CoinText and Dash Text recently integrated their own SMS payment option into Venezuelan point-of-sales systems.
Utilizing unique features to separate Spark and Dash from competitors
Kodaxx detailed what he presented to judges that enabled him to win the competition.
My presentation gave a run through of Spark with a few screenshots, a demo video using Square + Spark, and some talk about the cryptocurrency market. What I emphasized most in my presentation was fiat conversion through Uphold, InstantSend, ease of use, and the traction that Dash has in places like Venezuela and Colombia.
He believes that his steady work on a usable product is what made him stand out in particular.
If I had to guess, they liked that I have a live working product. There were various stages of completion amongst the finalists, some only being at the conceptual stage. It probably also helped that I showed them some infographics charting the growth of the cryptocurrency industry.
Kodaxx went on to explain how Spark is currently available for the web, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux which makes it a very diverse POS system. He added that “Spark is completely functional and stable at this point” and he just has to “continue to plan for scaling, remove weak points, and add features to the system”. He highlighted that when enhancing Spark, his “biggest challenge is time“, “but the DAO and contests like this are making it possible for him” to dedicate time to the project. Kodaxx also added that another challenge he is facing is “trying to keep everything decentralized to a point”.
Having things like transaction history is hard to do without a database, or collecting data without compromising user privacy. I understand the need for data to figure out where best to focus development efforts, but I’d like to do it in the right way.
He recognizes that it is important to optimize development by staying lean and focusing on what users want, but this requires data. However, he also does not want to violate tenants of privacy that is important to many cryptocurrency users.
Finding funds to improve services while remaining decentralized
The bear market in the cryptocurrency sector has forced developers to trim their workload to only focus on the most valuable product for consumers. When cryptocurrency was at all time highs, many were able to dedicate a lot of time to developing many features and the Dash Treasury was able to fund many more projects when evaluated in fiat. The change has caused individuals to seek alternative sources of funding, work more efficiently and lean, and potentially not dedicate as much time as before. Dash at least offers a few alternative sources of funding aside from the treasury, including Dash Boost, Dash Roots, DashDonates, and soon Mega Dash Raffle.
Another source of funding for projects that solves multiple problems will be Dash Ventures, which will allow the Dash Masternode network to take equity in projects it funds. This will enable more funding for projects, while also generating revenue for the Masternode network to reinvest in the network and other projects. Dash’s multiple methods of network funding not only increases developments on and for the Dash network, but also mitigates the incentive to take funding from third parties that can eventually create a conflict of interest.
Justin Szilard is a writer with a formal background in economics and research from the London School of Economics. He is a fan of cryptocurrency, the potential it holds to help bring about a better economy and society. This article first appeared at Dash Force News.