Governance is the hot topic in Africa, the continent of never-ending coups and presidents for life, that is until life comes to a sticky end as the victim of the next coup. The long-suffering Zimbabweans have had enough of a nightmarish future featuring a Mugabe dynasty and effectively deposed the dictator before his wife could grab the reins of power. At least, so far, the military coup has been without any loss of life and a semblance of civility continues, to what eventual end no one can guess.
In observing the Zimbabwean shenanigans it could not escape notice that some of our wealthier cousins north of the Limpopo (Kipling’s “great grey-green greasy”) river immediately ran for financial cover when the army appeared on the streets of Harare. This meant going online to their cryptocurrency exchange and buying Bitcoin in large amounts, to the extent that the local value of Bitcoin increased to more than double its global value in USD.
It’s a reasonable question as to why the local “value” of an internationally traded commodity should exceed the going price by such a margin. One can only assume that the exchange found itself short of supply of Bitcoin while demand continued to rise, and the basic law or markets governed while the exchange couldn’t complain about massive profit margins. If nothing else, it’s a salutary lesson in the outcomes of panic as, once the dust settles, the purchasers of high-priced Bitcoin would find themselves holding an asset valued at the much lower global price, that is unless they have the patience to let the general value trend catch up.
All that brings us to the matter of Bitcoin’s own governance, in which a major difference of opinion caused the “fork” of the currency into the parent and Bitcoin Cash, with the original Bitcoin presently trading at over $7000 and Bitcoin Cash at around $1200, Since then another “fork” has occurred and Bitcoin Gold has appeared. All this revolved around Bitcoin’s speed of transaction, relatively slow and throttled by the capacity of the block in Bitcoin’s block chain. The latest instability in Bitcoin’s governance caused a major loss in value, which translated into a healthy rise in the value of Dash.
Meanwhile, from the safety of the sidelines, the Dash community observed Bitcoin’s internal struggles and was determined that the same would not happen to Dash. Using its consensual governance, a major project was launched to upgrade the Dash block chain’s software to prevent the Bitcoin phenomenon affecting Dash. This was promptly implemented and the stability of Dash was ensured for the foreseeable future.
Our point is that healthy governance is the core to any successful undertaking, irrespective of whether a country or a cryptocurrency. Since its outset Dash has had democracy as the foundation of its community and is governed by consensus as far as that is practicable; so far, the “fork” remains in the domain of those who cannot achieve communal agreement. Maybe, the next time a coup threatens, the Zimbabweans will buy Dash instead, better still, be invested in it as a way of life.