Dash has recorded yet another adoption milestone driven by special circumstances in Venezuela, with the sale of more than 66,000 KRIP mobile phones that are designed with special cryptocurrency enhancements optimised for the Dash ecosystem. According to the company, from launch in August 2018 to present, the vast majority of the devices have been sold in Venezuela, making it by far the world’s biggest market for the cryptocurrency-enabled phones.
It will be recalled that in August, CS reported that Dash signed a deal with Kripto Mobile Corporation (KRIP), a South American company that manufactures mobile phones that come pre-equipped with the Dash ecosystem, Dash wallets and the Bitrefill app. According to Dash CEO Ryan Taylor, the deal was expected to bring the Dash ecosystem to more than 10,000 new Venezuelan users every month – a target that has been significantly exceeded with the sale of 53,000 phones in a little over three months.
Dash/Kripto Mobile Partnership Bears Fruits
Information provided to CS shows that of the 66,000 KRIP K1 phones sold wholesale and shipped under the terms of the Dash partnership, more than 53,000 have been sent to Venezuela alone as consumers and retailers in the country increasingly look to cryptocurrency adoption as the solution to dealing with non-availability of hard currency and hyperinflation which has rendered the Bolivar all but worthless.
Giving the partnership another dimension, Dash and Kripto Mobile have also partnered with DiscoverDash.com, a global Dash merchant directory to develop a mobile app version of the website which has been included in all existing and future KRIP smartphones. The implication of this is that in addition to having access tot he Dash ecosystem, users will also be able to locate and browse through merchants that accept Dash in their locality.
Commenting on the news coming out of Venezuela, Dash Core Group Global Head of Business Development Bradley Zastrow said:
Our focus since the launch of our KRIP phones in August has been to make this incredible Dash ecosystem as complete and inclusive as possible. That we have already sold and shipped over 66,000 phones in only two and a half months clearly shows we are achieving those goals. Now, with Dash Text and the DiscoverDash.com app, we’re expanding our partnership and enhancing the user experience, making it easier than ever before for the Venezuela community to use and transact in Dash in their everyday lives.
After Venezuela, Dash Targets Latin America
Dash has made no secret of its intention to use Venezuela as a staging point to expand adoption across the region, and to this end Dash Text is explicitly identified as a key part of its Latin America strategy. In November, CS reported that Dash Text provides an SMS-based cryptocurrency transaction service for Venezuelan users, cutting out the need for smartphones or high speed internet connections in a country with just 41 percent smartphone penetration.
All KRIP K1 phones come with a suite of Dash ecosystem apps designed to make a 360-degree Dash transaction experience possible. These apps include Dash wallet for custody, Bitrefill for spending Dash and Uphold for buying Dash. According to information provided by Zastrow, this strategy is proving successful with some strong results recorded since launch in August.
Zastrow revealed that first time Dash wallet downloads in September and October increased by 23 percent over the corresponding figures for July and August. He also revealed that there has been increased volume driven to Bitrefill and Uphold, along with a new retention increase after 15 days.
In his reaction to the news, KRIP Venezuela Marketing Manager Andrea Coll said:
The results to date have been exceptional, and we’re thrilled to now build on that success by expanding to now include Dash Text and DiscoverDash.com. These phones provide users around Latin America with an affordable way to acquire and use cryptocurrency for everyday transactions, like buying groceries or sharing money with family. Dash’s InstantSend feature and low transaction costs makes using cryptocurrency easy and efficient for users, and will help build momentum for cryptocurrency as a viable and stable alternative method of payment.