Rodrigo described to DFN how his motivation for the project came about when he was in Venezuela filming the Dash Venezuela Documentary and witnessed the actual process of businesses accepting Dash.
“The owner of the business must be present at the cashier because they use their own cell phone, so there is a trust issue”.
He described how some business owners may trust their employees to use their cell phones or use a device bought specifically for accepting Dash, but this is not the most conducive solution for small businesses. Rodrigo also told DFN how there is concern among merchants in third world nations to display a permanent paper address since that is security risk since anyone can look up the address, see the amount of Dash, and potentially physically threaten individuals in the store for the money. Additionally, Rodrigo commented on how Dash accepting merchants had a sticker on their door, window, or register, but they were not too prominent.
So the solution they came up with is Eletropay, which allows merchants to securely and prominently accept Dash without having to use an expensive separate device or worry about individuals snooping on their Dash wallets. The flagship devices will allow the merchant to store up to 25 rotating wallet addresses so no consecutive transaction uses the same wallet. The device allows the merchant to enter an amount via keypad, then displays a QR code on the e-paper display, and once the transaction is confirmed, the ‘Dash Accepted Here’ sign flashes and can make a noise such as ‘ding-dong’ or say ’40 dollars received’.
Making the technicalities possible
For this project, Rodrigo teamed up with a previous contact, Nelson Kameda, who is “extremely smart, knows a lot about technology and programming, and is the brains of the operation”, Rodrigo praised heavily. Kameda owns a business that handles numerous ticketing/vending/scanning machines, and other POS systems around Brazil so is very familiar with the technology.
“We didn’t want to have a product that has online connections that anybody can hack into and replace the QR code so it goes to the hacker’s wallet instead.”
Rodirgo went on to describe how “the merchant can store up to 25 addresses from any wallet” and it connects the devices by having the merchant “create a private IP address between [the merchant’s] internet connection, laptop/cell phone, and the machine”. The merchant “copies and pastes their addresses into the machine, but the tricky part is that to save the addresses … in the POS sign, the merchant has to physically press a button on the POS sign or otherwise the [new] addresses cannot be saved.” This provides an additional security layer since even if a hacker gains access to the webpage connecting the devices, they cannot do anything unless they are physically able to press the button on the POS sign. The machine will also only be able to receive information from the blockchain so it can flash and sound in approval after confirmation on the blockchain.
Rodrigo told DFN that they have already spent $80,000 dollars of their own money to make this possible, but after he delivers a working product he plans to submit a proposal to get reimbursed by the network since he has found this method to be better because MNOs are weary of risky projects. He said that they already have lined up two factories in China for production and will be buying the e-paper screen from a third party. Rodrigo and Kameda plan to have two working products in the next two weeks, which he plans to use to make a commercial in Colombia! From the budget they have already allocated, they will be making 100 devices and will keep 10 to demo at various expos and conferences. Of the other 90 devices, Rodrigo plans to distribute 10 units to the core team, 20 to Dash Colombia, 50 to Venezuela (25 to Eugenia and 25 to Dash Merchant), and 10 to a Dash contact in Switzerland. Rodrigo said he will ask these parties to distributed the devices to their “trusted merchants … and have them answer a survey”. Rodrigo and Kameda will then make any necessary changes/improvements based on feedback and subsequently enter full production.
They are planning three tiers of devices that range from under $20 and up to $55 dollars, but the prices are not yet confirmed. Rodrigo said that they are selling the devices “at-cost” and “will not make any money because that is not the purpose; the purpose is to provide a solution to the merchants”. The lowest tier will not have the e-paper screen and will only be the sign that flashes upon transaction confirmation, the medium tier will have the e-paper screen that can cycle through up to 25 wallet addresses and feature the flashing sign, and the top tier will also feature a receipt printing feature to display transaction details.
For those interested, EletroPay will post pictures of the research, current working units, designs, and more onto their official twitter page. Rodrigo highlighted how mostly everything is done, the hardware works, and it is now just tying up lose ends.
Dash meshes digital world with physical world to increase adoption
Rodrigo highlighted how Kameda’s ideas represents the importance and capabilities of hardware working with cryptocurrencies. Rodrigo summarized Kameda’s proposition that it would be “incredibly simple to remove everything from the POS signage, just use the hardware, which might cost $20-25 with modifications, and then put it inside any soda machine with a wifi connection to accept Dash right away”. This is not Dash’s first foray into hardware to make adoption easier and more enjoyable. Recently, a group in Estonia created their own POS system with NFC wristbands to make paying with Dash at concerts effortless. Other POS systems that have integrated Dash include AnyPay, Coinify, QR.CR, and Spark; each have their own unique features to service merchants around the world.
While Rodrigo’s method of funding is only possible to those with the necessary cash flow, he still depends of reimbursement by the Dash DAO. Other networks that do not have a treasury have to strictly rely on volunteerism, which is possible, but does severely limit innovation capabilities. Dash, however, can fund these countless software and hardware developments to increase Dash adoption by making it smooth and simple to use Dash for everyday transactions in the physical world.