A Venezuela-based company has introduced the first SMS wallet service exclusively for Dash transactions, enabling payments to be sent and received in the country without a smart phone or internet connection.
Venezuela Turns to Dash
Last month, Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group, said that it was “seeing tens of thousands of wallet downloads from the country each month.” Hyperinflation and economic instability within Venezuela is forcing many citizens to turn to currency alternatives.
As a peer-to-peer digital currency for payments, with over 1,000 per cent year-over-year growth in both value and trading volume since 2015, Dash is providing an inexpensive and fast alternative to Venezuela’s bolívar. Yet, while Dash is becoming a popular choice not everyone is able to take advantage of it.
Figures from Newzoo, a global market intelligence company, found that as of September Venezuela only has a near 41 per cent smartphone penetration rate. This means that a significant number of people aren’t able to access Dash even if they wanted to.
In order to solve this Dash Text was launched. The platform was created by Alejandro Echeverría and Lorenzo Rey, who is also the company’s CTO. By sending the organisation a text message, even from a non-smartphone, it creates a wallet for the phone user straightaway. This is controlled by a phone number and doesn’t require internet access to set up.
Speaking to SunshineCrypto, Rey said that the response so far has been “extremely good.”
“This service is a real necessity because millions of people do not have good smartphones or internet connectivity,” he added. “We want to expand to other countries and that is something that is in our roadmap, but for now we want to focus on the users in Venezuela.”
Once set up a user can send and receive Dash with simple user commands and actions performed. This is particularly handy when it comes to remittances. According to reports, it’s estimated that Venezuelans who have left the country send at least $1 billion to friends and family back home. Even so, a change in remittance rules is seeing many struggling to receive the money they need.
“At Dash we understand that cross-border transactions are expensive and take long, and in Latin America, there is a clear possibility to help millions of people that need to send money home in any one of the remittance corridors,” said Ernesto Contreras, Dash’s business development manager for Latin America.
For the secure savvy, though, the use of a text message to send and receive Dash payments may not seem very secure. Rey, however, stated that Dash Text is as secure as any messaging app found on a phone, which, in most cases, people share a lot of private information.
“By keeping your phone locked with pin or password even if someone steals your phone they won’t be able to access your funds,” he added. “However, if you are not careful with your phone’s security someone could steal your funds just like they could steal your private pictures or messages.”
He goes on to state that they don’t advertise these SMS wallets to be used as a primary storage. Instead, they should be used for convenience and utility with small amounts.
“Similar to how you shouldn’t carry your life savings in your physical wallet, you shouldn’t carry your life savings in Dash Text either,” Rey said.
The company is hoping that with the adoption of Dash Text it will be a perfect solution to monetary barriers currently seen in Venezuela.
Featured image from Dash Text.