Dash Text Brings SMS Payment Options to Venezuela

November 8, 2018 / by Angel Reyes

Venezuelans have suffered at the hands of a hyperinflationary currency for the majority of 2018. The price of a cafe con leche hit an unbelievable 2 million bolivars in June, which reflects the 98% drop in value the bolivar has suffered over the past year.

Government restrictions in place to limit access and use of U.S. dollars and other foreign currencies means cryptocurrency is a natural alternative.

Dash — the most popular cryptocurrency in Venezuela to date — has gained a following since Caracas-based exchange Cryptobuyer added it to its tradeable offerings. With increasing merchant adoption and awareness, empowering the average citizen with access to Dash would heavily increase adoption.

Dash Text allows for non-smartphones to access wallets and send and receive Dash. Powered by one of the three main telecommunications companies, Movistar, users simply text “DASH” to 22625 and then “CREAR” to create a wallet. They will then be able to access the full wallet from their phones.

The other two telecommunication companies are working with Dash Text to extend full public access by the program’s full release. The project will operate through SMS signal only allowing 80% of the country access to a stable currency option.

BTC and other cryptocurrencies have previously operated by SMS, but are not aimed at providing services needed by developing countries. The most anticipated use case is Venezuelan occupants receiving money from relatives across borders. Dash offers a fast and low cost method for sending much needed value.

Dash Text CEO and co-founder Lorenzo Rey hints at “many plans after the official release” but said he can’t yet speak about some of them. Among these is a payment integration that can connect to WhatsApp and Telegram and a point-of-sale system for better commercial use.

Along with these projects, widespread access to converting Dash in bolivars is needed for now. Until Dash is fully integrated into the economic system, Venezuelans will heavily rely on and need businesses and exchanges that deal in Dash. Reports on the number of these operations are inconclusive.

Regardless of this, Dash provides an alternative to a currency with a plummeting value. One that can provide relief and accessibility to tens of millions of people whose government is failing to set things right.