For those of you that haven’t heard of Dether yet here is a brief introduction. Dether aims to break the barriers to Ethereum mass adoption. Currently, buying and selling Ether is a long and difficult process. It can often take weeks until an account gets approved on an exchange, computer illiterate users may find the procedure too hard and some exchanges are not even available in certain countries.
Dether will make it possible for anyone to buy and sell Ether with cash, and to spend it in nearby shops. The company plans to achieve this with a peer-to-peer network they are currently building. The Alpha is expected to be released in Q3 2017.
I am strongly convinced that Ethereum can only go mainstream if several “killer apps” are developed on top of it. The internet needed a search engine to structure all its data. Ethereum needs a platform that enables everybody to acquire Ether. This is where Dether comes into play.
As this project is of great interest for me, I was lucky enough to interview Hamid, one of the co-founders of Dether.
Ok Hamid first question – When did you first get into Ethereum and what were your initial thoughts?
I got into Ethereum at the beginning of 2016, while listening to one of Vitalik’s interviews. I knew Bitcoin and had already heard of Ethereum, but I only realized in 2016 the amazing opportunities that Ethereum could bring to the world.
I love traveling and go back to North Africa often, as my parents are from Algeria. While listening to Vitalik and exchanging with Ethereum community members, my initial thoughts were that Ethereum could bring so much to excluded populations, by finally giving them the opportunity to have access to cutting-edge financial services, while enabling them to participate in decentralized autonomous organizations.
It made me realize that the Ethereum blockchain is such a powerful technology that will bring more transparency and opportunities to people who actually need it, without having to rely on a centralized third party.
I remembered the huge demonstrations that happened in North Africa and the Middle East back in 2011. I thought that if these populations had the chance back then to have a decentralized social network, for example, it would have prevented a lot of activists from going to prison, as they were constantly identified through social media. And when I look at all of the decentralized applications that are being developed on top of Ethereum, it only consolidates my initial idea that more and more people will use it and that one of its challenges is mass adoption.
What was the inspiration behind Dether?
It all started with a text message sent by my cousin, Mansour, who’s living in Oran, Algeria. He was facing some financial difficulties paying his rent and was asking for my help. Of course, I was willing to help him, but instead of sending him euros through Western Union, which is costly and takes time, I simply sent Ether to his Jaxx wallet on his phone. It’s easy, very cheap, and almost instantaneous.
But I didn’t realize that it’s almost impossible to change Ether to Algerian dinar or use Ether as a means of payment. None of the online cryptocurrency exchanges accept Algerian dinar. And even if they did, my cousin didn’t have a bank account at that time, as it’s expensive to have one.
So, he had two options: either he had to convince his landlord to accept Ether as a means of payment, or he had to find a way to change his Ether to Algerian dinar so that he could pay his rent. And many French-Algerian citizens, just like me, who have access to cryptocurrency in France, go back and forth between the two countries. They can easily become sellers once they’re in Algeria. That’s when I thought that if my cousin Mansour in Algeria is facing this problem, many other people all over the world are and will face the same issue as well. And it’s an issue that creates barriers to Ethereum mass adoption. So, the idea of creating Dether, a mobile decentralized application that enables anyone to buy Ether and spend it at physical stores, seemed obvious.
Do you think Ether sellers on your platform can create a sustainable business out of doing arbitrage?
Since Dether is a free market and sellers are free to set their own commission, we definitely envision arbitrage opportunities for sellers.
What about larger transactions? Do you think buyers would be comfortable to meet with an Ether seller with $5000 in cash in their pockets?
Yes, we strongly believe that buyers and sellers will be comfortable with larger transactions. Cryptocurrency buyers and sellers already carry out larger transactions with existing cryptocurrency marketplaces and with less guarantee (funds are not held in smart contracts and not always in escrow).
And Dether brings even more security to users. The smart contract reputation system enables any buyer or seller to know they are dealing with someone trustworthy since they can see their well-earned reputation. A user’s reputation is based on the number and volume of transactions. Users will probably start with small transactions in order to try Dether and be more comfortable with the app, the transaction process and especially the smart contract reputation system. The more a buyer or a seller uses Dether, the better his or her reputation will be. Then, they will probably move to larger transactions. For example, if a buyer wishes to buy Ether with $5000, he’ll be able to check the seller’s reputation and also see that the seller actually has the amount of Ether requested secured in his or her Dether wallet.
So, starting with small transactions is an option if you want to get used to trading Ether with cash. But then, since the user’s reputation is public, you can see those who have successfully made many or large transactions. You can trade with them according to the state’s legislation you’re operating from.
Moreover, using cash for big purchases is strongly linked to the country’s culture. In Germany, for example, people buy cars with cash. In Algeria, people buy houses with cash. So overall, I think that having a smart contract reputation system is one of the key features of Dether’s future success.
What makes the ÐTR token interesting for investors? Is there a mechanism for it to appreciate in value?
In order to embrace our vision of creating the world’s first peer-to-peer Ether network, Dether introduces the ÐTR token. We are currently working on a mechanism that appreciates the value of ÐTR tokens as Dether’s success worldwide increases through time.
Our model is simple: a small fee will be taken on every trade made through Dether all over the world. So, as the number of users will increase on Dether through time as well as the number and volumes of transactions, the more the volume of the fees will also increase. These fees raised will be used to increase the token’s value of DTR tokens. So it will be very interesting for investors to own ÐTR tokens from Day 1.
Where do you see Dether in 5 years from now?
In 5 years, I see Dether all over the world! Building a decentralized network like Dether only makes sense if it’s being used on every continent. That’s why we’re going global from the very beginning. It will become a decentralized solution that will be driven by its community who will shape its future developments.
Ideas and proposals won’t only come from Dether’s team, but also from its users, who will know best what’s needed to make Dether the game-changing app for Ethereum mass adoption.
Where can people learn more about Dether and the ÐTR token?
Dether.io has a roadmap, additional information about the project, and links to our social platforms.