by: Darren Tapp
A call has been made for leadership of the DIF. In my view there are two types of leaders.
Leaders that are structurally installed. (e.g. the US President)
Leaders that earn our respect through a clear voice, results, and charisma.
In my view it is not necessary for the DIF to have a leader of the first type. I believe Robert's Rules have streamlined committee action very well in the past. If the DIF adopted Robert's Rules I think they could preform their work more efficiently.
As a candidate for the Dash Investment Foundation, I bring much experience chairing meetings. I can also serve as a parliamentarian when not chairing a meeting. I imagine, once elected, the DIF will want to appoint a chairperson. I am willing to serve in that capacity if asked.
This past year has been a very difficult investment environment. The wisdom of the masternode network might have picked up on this and as such, not funded some DIF proposals. In my view this is and was not a failing of the DIF, it was a strength.
From my assessment Dash is and remains undervalued. So given the two choices:
Obtain fiat denominated assets
Never issue Dash to begin with
the second choice is very attractive. Sometimes the best investment is no investment at all.
Expected Market Conditions
To put it bluntly, this is one of the worst investment environments in past decades. In my view, it is best to wait until the environment improves before allocating resources to investments. As such, if elected to the DIF, I would vote for the DIF to not put forth a network proposal for at least a few months and wait until there is a better environment.
Venture capital (VC) is a very difficult industry to be in. During the ups of these crazy markets I went to VC friends and asked them about participating in these markets. My VC friends told me that generally only 1 out of 10 startups actually survive. My friends also impressed on me the difficulty of avoiding poor investments. As such, I would not like the DIF to consider VC until assets under management will allow for substantial risk taking. I would not expect this to be the case until about 2025 or so. I expect the DIF will remain available to accept equity for third party proposals.
I consider offering the Masternode network the opportunity to invest in a startup last year to be a mistake. The work required to evaluate this proposal was substantial. In addition, the proposal had the DIF playing the role of investor in the company, but the proposal also had the network playing the role of customer. All of this together makes the proposal impossible to valuate.
Current Assets of the DIF
Given the proposals above, what is to be done with current assets of the DIF?
Depending on your financial situation, owning gold might help provide some protection to a portfolio. I consider the press that the DIF received by buying gold to be positive. I would generally be in favor of keeping gold in the DIF's portfolio.
The decision to keep the gold should be based on market conditions.
If the price of Dash goes down significantly, then the gold could be used to acquire cheap Dash.
If the price of Dash stays the same, then the current gold holdings might be sufficient.
As the price of Dash goes up then maybe the gold holdings could be added to. In this case less Dash is needed for acquiring gold.
I am generally concerned when couterparty risk is involved with cryptoassets. One of the whole points of Bitcoin when it started was that it allowed currency without counterparty risk. As such, I would encourage the DIF to not use a staking service that will introduce conterparty risk. I also consider it a conflict of interest for the DIF to operate masternodes.
Given this viewpoint I would want the DIF to own Dash outright and forgo possible gains. This Dash could be used to reduce the amount requested from future network proposals. It could also be available if market conditions change to provide for a clear course of action.
Having the DIF organized as such provides the network the ability to receive equity in exchange for the funding of projects. I would hope the DIF continues to exist to receive equity from third party proposals. Until market conditions change, I am not in favor of the DIF seeking out equity in companies.
The Dash Investment Foundation does provide a novel interaction with a DAO. A few beginning hiccups are to be expected. I look forward to watching the DIF evolve over the coming years.