Leah Stella Stephens

@stellabelle

I Just Told A Robot To Send a $60 Tip To My Electronic Wallet

WTF?

Am I living in the future?

I‘m pretty sure I just experienced the future of money while in Dash’s Slack community, and I have to admit, it was crazy! For those of you who might be confused by certain parts of my title, let me break it down.

Slack is an app that allows people to work on projects remotely. It’s used by global teams, companies and organizations. I’m familiar with Slack because when I was a writer for Interesting Engineering, they used the slack app for communication purposes. It makes organizing and group messaging a lot easier to manage than email.

I didn’t receive the tip in $USD. I received it in digital cash, called Dash which was equivalent to $60. It’s similar to Bitcoin but has some features that Bitcoin doesn’t have.

An electronic wallet is a place where Dash or other digital smart coins can be sent and held. Think of it like an email address, except the content in that address is money, not messages. But it’s kind of the same concept as email as far as the addresses go. It’s a lot more secure than email, though, because it has security features that email doesn’t have.

So, how did I find myself in a Slack chat room, telling a robot to send money to my electronic wallet? This sounds insane, doesn’t it?

A few days ago I began researching this new digital cash called Dash. I had noticed the price of Dash had gone up a lot recently and I wanted to understand why. Before the recent spike, you could buy one Dash for $20, but now one Dash is worth $60. In other words, if you had purchased 10 Dash when it was $20 each, spending $200, you could sell your 10 Dash for $60 now, which would amount to $600. You would have just made $400 in profit. This sounds crazy doesn’t it? Digital currencies are like start-up companies and they are all competing for your business.

What’s their business?

Currency.

There’s now a market for currency, just like there is for shoes, cars and coffee.

These new digital currencies can experience huge growth spurts which makes early investors a lot of money. They can also experience swift declines, too. The main reason I’m seriously looking into Dash is because early Bitcoin pioneers are saying that Dash has huge potential to be embraced by the mainstream. Dash’s organizational structure is more suitable for mainstream adoption because their community has one thing that most digital currency communities lack: cohesion. Even Bitcoin’s community is divided right now, which makes investors and people like me nervous about Bitcoin’s future.

I recently wrote a Medium article that explains Dash to newbies and also made a parody video that included a segment about Dash. The response I got from the Dash community was overwhelmingly positive. I created a Twitter Moment with the title, What is DASH? which was shared on the official Dash: Detailed Twitter page. Not long after this I was contacted by a Bloomberg News journalist about why I have been buying Dash. And then the next day Tao of Satoshi sent me an invite to Dash’s Slack channel via Twitter. I accepted the invite almost instantaneously, deciding to follow the natural course of synergy.

Anyway, when I arrived into the Dash Slack community, I was welcomed very warmly. My video had been shared in the #dash_talk channel and people seemed honestly amused that I had shown up so quickly to the Slack channel.

Slack app logo

If you’ve never been in a Slack chat channel before, you should try it out. There are many different kinds of bots in Slack, all of which have different functions. There are welcoming bots, so when a new member enters a chat room, they are welcomed immediately. There are also info bots that provide current stats or data on particular topics. There are bots that can send money to electronic wallets, too. The one I interacted with was called @dashbot and apparently it’s the production version of Tipbot. The bots are mostly friendly and serve some functions that are considered too mundane for humans.

So, after my warm welcome and introductory greetings, the Dash community members began doing something that was completely foreign to me:

They began sending me tips in the form of Dash digital coins!

I was suddenly flooded with many tips, I think from 5 different people. It was crazy! I had no clue what to do with the tips because this was the first time I’d experienced this!

Here is what @dashbot said to me:

“Hi there @stellabelle, you just received .02 Dash from @UserA ! This message was used to send the tip: tip @stellabelle .02 dash (clapping hands emoticon).
tell the bot to withdraw an amount to an address. You can also use all to withdraw your complete balance (minus the transaction fee).
@DashBot withdraw 1 DASH to XekiLaxnqpFb2m4NQAEcsKutZcZgcyfo6W

I’d never received a digital cash tip before in Slack and I certainly had never told a bot to send me money! After the fifth member sent me a tip, I decided it was time to try telling the bot to send the money to my Dash address. My first attempt wasn’t perfectly executed, but the bot understood what I wanted to do. Here’s the exchange I had with @dashbot:

Me: withdraw all DASH to XekiLaxnqpFb2m4NQAEcsKutZcZgcyfo6W
@dashbot: @stellabelle we don’t support that currency yet!
You want me to withdraw .14 DASH to XekiLaxnqpFb2m4NQAEcsKutZcZgcyfo6W.
Is this correct (yes/no)?
Me: yes
@dashbot: Great! I will continue…….
Withdrawal of .139900000 Dash to XekiLaxnqpFb2m4NQAEcsKutZcZgcyfo6W
transaction: link here

I’m not sure why @dashbot didn’t understand my command, but I was happy to discover that @dashbot was pretty intuitive and knew what I wanted done.

The thing I noticed with this bizarre and futuristic experience was that the friction has been completely removed when sending money from person to person. The only thing remotely similar to this would be PayPal, but even with PayPal, you’d still have to log into your account then send your money through PayPal’s website. This new digital cash method didn’t require anyone to log into their account. Instead, it relied on cryptography and private keys.

This is a radical idea, if you think about it. This means there’s no financial institution between your money and your friend’s money.

There’s only the blockchain which ensures that the transactions are secure and legitimate. And because this blockchain is open and viewable by anyone, it makes it unlike any banking experience you’ve ever had. It’s an exciting new world and I think it’s the future of money.

If you’re new to digital currencies, the long string of alphanumerics can look confusing. That’s your wallet address. The wallet address shown above is not my own wallet address. It belongs to the richest Dash wallet in existence. That wallet contains 257,500 DASH ($16,440,121 USD). Isn’t it weird that you can see this information? This alone should send you deep into the digital cash rabbit hole…..

Disclaimer: I am invested in Dash, starting from a week ago. I consider myself to be a Dash noob who is learning a lot every day. The Dash community’s welcoming attitude and acceptance of newbies is why I am really excited about it. I might add also that if you go into Dash Slack and expect to get tips, you’re on the wrong track. Expect nothing. Give as much as you can.

Technology is only as good as the people who are building it and using it. In the end, it is people, not bots that count the most in building a community worth living in.

More by Leah Stella Stephens

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