The year 2018 has flown by at a fast pace but a lot was achieved. Overall, we are proud of how far we have come as a community. We have learned from our mistakes and embraced our achievements. But still, there is a long journey ahead of us. The goal is to do it bigger and much better in the following years. But for the time being, let’s take a moment and reflect back to Dagcoin’s breakthrough year of 2018.
Our team has grown from around 30 people at the beginning of 2018 to more than 100 people now working on different parts of the ecosystem and platforms. Our main focus is on the development of technology and creating solutions for the community to increase the possibilities to use the currency. Even though right now is the time to hold your coins, we want to make sure that there are plenty of platforms and services to use once Dagcoin and the cryptocurrency sphere is more matured.
We started the year 2017 from three smaller offices in Estonia – one in Tartu and two in Tallinn. In February 2018, the two offices in Tallinn were united into one 500 sqm office in the city centre. To ensure a solid flow and development of Dagcoin and its ecosystem, we took an additional 1000 sqm space in December where work started at the beginning of January 2019. This year we are looking to grow even more and we have already signed an agreement to add another 500 sqm space in the middle of the year.
The growth in 2018
In general, 2018 was a horrible year for the cryptocurrency markets. Most of the popular cryptocurrencies lost 85% of their value, numerous currencies totally collapsed, and ICO projects failed due to mismanagement of the cryptocurrency assets. The “hype” turned into disbelief which definitely affected all coins, including us.
The growth we expected for 2018 did not happen, yet we managed to grow our community from around 25 000 to more than 150 000 people. This clearly shows that despite the challenges we had during that year, people are still looking for better financial systems and possibilities.
Dagcoin user community
Our 6x growth last year has actually made Dagcoin one of the biggest cryptocurrencies out there. We are not big in terms of valuation yet, but what characterizes our community is a large number of coin holders with smaller amounts. There are holders with a little bigger amounts as well but the majority is very widely spread.
Having the coins distributed widely makes the currency much stronger. When compared to those where the communities consist of investors with bigger amounts. Just waiting for the right moment to take out their profits. This kind of people have affected our community as well and caused confusion in others. Butwith steady growth and patience, we will always overcome them.
Dagcoin merchant community
During the summer of 2018, we started an incentive for the community where we reward them for growing the merchant community around the world. As a result, over 700 merchants have now signed up for the Dagpay platform. From the 700 companies, around 250 have created their profiles on the Merchant Finder. We are helping the other merchants to have their profiles completed as well, as the Merchant Finder is a superb platform for them to gain exposure and increase business revenue.
Our wallet saw great improvements in 2018 as the design became much more user-friendly and reliable. At the beginning of the year, we faced a lot of issues due to the funding hub system which was required for normal use on the Byteball chain. After abandoning the Byteball platform and launching our own chain, the number of support cases dropped tremendously, which resulted in higher customer satisfaction.
The key importance is the user experience which has to be seamless. As the CVO of Dagcoin, Kris Ress, very often says, the wallet has to be so easy that even our grandmothers could use them. When it comes to usability then less is more. Creating a very simple yet comprehensive solution always takes a lot of designing.
Currently, we have two teams working on our wallet – one is making sure the current version is up to date and fix any bugs that may come up, and the other team is working on the new wallet – of which we showed a teaser at the Bali convention in October. The launch of the new wallet is planned in the second half of 2019.
At the moment, we have a wallet for our mobile devices, desktops and laptops. In addition to this, we have a web based wallet as well. They will all be redesigned in 2019 – something exciting to be ready for!
We have always drawn a lot of attention to the need of regulations in the cryptocurrency industry. As with crypto, we are talking about money, nobody should behave as in the Wild West. Dagcoin’s focus is on the global market, connecting people all around the world, therefore it is rather complicated to create a unified compliance system. Especially with today’s rapidly changing regulations. It is easier to focus on a small market but challenging to work on the solution for the global market.
Even though there are not many visual results of the progress, the legal team has been tremendous as extensive work has been done. We have faced several challenges due to the changing regulatory situations in various countries. These changes very often have override our efforts in the respectable market, but we have been getting much closer to our goals. We were one of the first cryptocurrency companies that was given licenses from the Estonian government to operate a cryptocurrency business.
Another advancement, which will definitely affect every member of our community, is the cooperation with one of the world’s leading identity verification companies. The verification process will be covered within a few minutes in the whole Dagcoin ecosystem. This makes the whole concept much more transparent and faster to use – both for the users and merchants.
In May 2018, Dagcoin left the Byteball chain and moved on to DAG-chain developed by the Dagcoin team. Until that time, Dagcoin was an asset on the Byteball’s platform. The development decisions of that platform were very much controlled by the founder of Byteball. With all the platforms we are developing we needed to be able to sync with the developments of the core technology very often.
Being the main developer gives the freedom to create and update additional products/features much faster and to create solutions others do not have yet. And this is the reason why we developed our own DAG-chain. It gives usthe freedom to develop custom solutions benefitting our community the most. Surprising to see that there are already a few companies who have copied our chain and wallet and started their own cryptocurrency. It is important to understand that proper technology is just one part of a currency. The concept and approach play a very big role as well.
Furthermore, there is much room for improvement in technology as well. Until the second half of the summer of 2018, we were very actively recording our progress in GitHub. The team on the core tech has been working on a major upgrade since the summer which we hope to release in the second half of 2020. As the upgrade is still in research phase by our scientists group, the specifics of the technology will be revealed to the public at a later stage. The purpose of the upgrade is to increase the reliability and capability of the chain, advance the identity management layer, add transparency and further compliance layers.
In October, Kris shed some light on the projects that are in development by the Dagcoin team. More details on this topic will be revealed at a convention in Dubai in the end of February 2019. Kris will give insights on what more is coming, what is the progress with certain platforms and features, and what we can expect in the future.
The importance of developing such an ecosystem is to ensure that the foundation for this currency is strong and the community has the services and products they want to use. We can fulfil the mission of disrupting the financial world by becoming one of the fastest and most easy-to-use cryptocurrencies in the world. After the Dubai convention, we will make a summary of the future developments and partnerships here on our blog.
Cryptocurrency valuation concept
We would like to emphasize here that there is no clear regulation what exactly a cryptocurrency is – is it centralized or decentralized, is it built on blockchain or some other distributed ledger tech such as dagchain, does it have an open source code or not. Therefore, nobody can say what is right and what is wrong. What can be said is that we want to create a stable payment system with near instant transaction speeds and unnoticeably low transaction fees. A system people can rely on and use for their everyday transactions.
The price of such a currency is determined by the people using and holding it, merchants accepting it, and the ecosystem surrounding the coins. Once this currency has gone viral, the valuation can be based on everyday exchange value. Until that time, it should be based on stable fundamental parameters.
Response to valuation concept
Such concept met a lot of support from the more active members of our community. The volatility of the manipulated currencies has been a show stopper for a lot of people, merchants, and institutions. For more passive members of the community this concept has probably not sank in yet, but as we speak and explain it more and more it becomes clearer. Especially when hearing about situations happening with the prices of other currencies, it makes a lot of sense.
Of course, there are people whose only goal with a cryptocurrency is to invest money, profit and take money out. If they are trading, they say our system is wrong. If they do it long term, they understand that Dagcoin is the perfect coin to hold long term.
Probably one of the key components of the Dagcoin ecosystem is the Dagpay platform which saw loads of improvements and developments during 2018. Starting from the complete user interface overhaul, extra features were added to the platform.
Merchants could start sending out email invoices to customers which can be conveniently paid with one click. They could integrate a plugin into their online shop on the WooCommerce or Magento 2 platform within a few minutes allowing to accept dagcoins from the customers. Merchants could start keeping track of every transaction and use them to advance their business even further. Major ongoing and future upgrades and developments will be covered at the Dubai convention in February, 2019.
Dagcoin on public exchange
Initially, in 2017, we had a plan to take Dagcoin to different public exchange platforms as this was the standard in creating a cryptocurrency. As a new currency with a new technology, several exchange platforms looked at us skeptically and were not interested in listing us before we had proven ourselves.
This was the time of the biggest cryptocurrency bull run ever. Exchanges had thousands of applications from different currencies that were either clones on the bitcoin blockchain or tokens built on Ethereum. So the exchanges were not going to put in the effort to do the custom developments that were required for our currency as it was not financially reasonable for them. The other coins were already using familiar technology.
During that period, we realized how much manipulation is happening on these platforms with the trading of coins. We felt it was a good thing we’re not listed. The solution was to be listed on smaller exchanges where the majority of speculators and manipulators are not present. So the community could exchange fiat currencies to cryptocurrency and vice versa.
Our own exchange
In addition to this, we decided to create a platform ourselves which would be extremely easy-to-use. Unfortunately, our inhouse development team was completely busy with other developments so we had to hire another company to create the exchange. This cooperation quickly became one of our biggest headaches as they had a delay of nearly 6 months in delivering the ready platform, which even then was full of errors and bugs.
Once we had assigned our inhouse team on the exchange, we managed to build it from scratch and get it properly running from the beginning of September 2018. Since then people have been exchanging between euros, dagcoins, and bitcoins with nearly zero commissions fees on trades. From the launch, the team has been working on improving the back end, trading engine, and on the final simple solution which is the end goal of SwipeX – extremely user-friendly currency exchange.
Biggest challenges of 2018
All in all, 2018 was a great year of learning and growing. Some things worked out exactly as planned, some things went unexpectedly well, and some things were a disappointment.
On the development side our biggest lesson is to have more time. We want to create an incredibly big and strong ecosystem for the currency as fast as possible. This means that the schedule for releases is very tight. Sometimes even the smallest hiccups might interfere with the schedule and cause delays in processes, which in turn end up delaying the whole release. We are taking it a little bit slower now to have more mercy time in case of unexpectancies. There will always be unexpected obstacles when creating something completely new.
A factor which has slowed down our growth and several partnerships, is the carefulness of the banks. Extremely strict KYC and AML regulations have made banks super cautious when it comes to anything related to cryptocurrency. This has caused very long delays in working with partners, corporations, and government departments. Fortunately, this is a passing scenario as more regulations in the industry will settle the terms when conducting business related to cryptocurrency.
Biggest lesson from 2018
The biggest lesson from 2018 is understanding the mentality of people in the cryptocurrency sphere. There is a group of people who are in it for the short-term gain and do everything possible to benefit from the market. The mentality that crypto is a financial instrument and meant only for buying and selling is promoted very strongly. This has harmed the whole industry and affected us as well.
Supporters of other currencies have been pointing fingers and saying we are wrong because we do things differently. This is actually jealousy and ignorance – we are doing things differently from the way that is simply not working.
Hopefully, 2019 will set things straight and make people understand that cryptocurrency is meant to be used as money. It’s main purpose is not to be used for trading. It is very welcoming to see that some people in the whole crypto community have already started to support and spread this message, in addition to our community.
A more serious note
We have received information about people who try to harm the project by spreading false rumors and information, blackmailing and cheating people by either getting them into selling the coins for a very low price or straight up scamming them out of their coins.
Most of these actions classify as financial crime and will be treated as such. We encourage you to always send us information when something like this happens. We will help to take preventative measures against such situations and bring those people to justice.
Nils Grossberg is an entrepreneur from Tartu, Estonia. Nils Grossberg graduated from the University of Tartu with a bachelor’s degree in History. He is the co-founder and former CEO of Dagcoin OÜ, the software company behind the development of Dagcoin cryptocurrency and its ecosystem.