Angst01 for ZCG (June 2022)

Zcash Community -

It’s with a lot of excitement and a little nervousness that I’m announcing my candidacy for ZCG!

About Me: No doubt my background is a little unusual for a ZCG candidate, and in the spirit of transparency (under consent!), my knowledge of the more technical aspects of cryptography and blockchains are limited to what I’ve picked up from investing in cryptocurrency and undergraduate coursework in computer science. I studied economics as an undergrad and after college worked as a commodities trader at a major firm for just shy of 2 years, trading futures/options as well as physical commodities, coordinating procurement and delivery logistics, and was also involved in the buildout of a specialty green coffee business. I changed career paths in order to pursue what had been a dream of mine - to become a Physician and work in a field dedicated to promoting the broader well-being of my community I subsequently went to medical school, did a residency in General Psychiatry, and am currently in my final year of a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship. It keeps me pretty busy, but that isn’t to say I can’t make time for important things, like Zcash.

My Crypto Story: I first started investing in Cryptocurrencies back in 2016, trading Bitcoin and Ethereum. My relatively low enthusiasm for both of these as anything other than vehicles for speculation waned even further when I became aware of the implications of the radical transparency that both of these blockchains impose on their users and how dangerously they expose data. The analogy that occurred to me is as follows - would anyone knowingly consent to a new regime wherein upon turning on your car, a tracker broadcast in real time to any interested (including both law enforcement, and extra-legal malicious entities) the exact description and specification of your car, your current speed/location/trajectory, and the complete history of all these things? While there might be some comfort and protection in that, the implications for freedom of movement, safety from non-state and state actors, and the presumption of privacy would be absolutely appalling. While the “trad-fi” system approximates that in some way for personal finance, public blockchains take us all the way there, extending this car analogies to all of our bank accounts and nearly any/everything we do.

At the very beginning of 2021, I came across a youtube video of Zooko talking about Zcash and Zero-Knowledge proofs applied to blockchains and it blew my mind. I went down the Zcash rabbit hole and became acquainted with the cryptography (or at least the rudiments), the team, and the community. I realized that Zcash could be both incredibly attractive as an investment AND a system compatible with and in furtherance of a freer, more humane world for myself, my children, and people the world over. I started gradually buying in. I’ve since accumulated a pile that represents a meaningful proportion of my net worth. I also started lurking on the forum around that time and have since been a frequent participant in conversations especially regarding grants and governance issues, and have maintained “regular” status. I make it a priority to stay in the loop on and active in discussions around grant proposals, RFPs and RFIs, as well as staying current on ZCG minutes and any other issues pertaining to ZCG. I believe that this gives me a solid underpinning for understanding the role of ZCG and the work of its committee members. I’m also active on Twitter in promoting Zcash and themes broadly pertaining to privacy, as well as to a much lesser extent in the telegram community. I am a passionate believer in strong privacy in general, and passionate more specifically about Zcash for reasons that I have laid out in forum posts. I’m also particularly keen on ZCG as a means of promoting and improving on Zcash.

Goals for ZCG: While I am invested in the mission of Zcash and the power it has to change the world for the better, I’m also and more tangibly invested in Zcash as an…investment. I believe wholeheartedly that the best way for Zcash to fulfill its promise is to grow adoption, and that growing adoption won’t be likely until Zcash goes up in value and becomes something that people broadly want to hold and see as a safe-ish asset. So all that is to say I will evaluate all projects with the question first and foremost in my mind: how does this bring value to Zodlers? For Zcash to succeed and achieve its promise we need to make Zodling rewarding. In my mind, we do that by improving Zcash usability and visibility, through useful tools (notably Free2Z comes to mind most recently - I am especially excited about building on Zcash for the purpose of private fundraising) and marketing/education projects that provide a good bang-for-the-buck.

What I bring: I would be the first Psychiatrist on ZCG! How historic! I kid partially - I’d like to think I represent broadly knowledgeable and tech-savvy early adopters at the level of hobbyist/enthusiast/amateur research. I think, however, that with my unique background (economics/finance/medicine/behavioral neuroscience) I bring an analytical lens to ZCG to help sort through chaff, clearly identify conflicts of interest, and to work with the others on the committee to figure out how we can best create RFPs/RFIs to target the areas we most want to attract developers and other entities to.

Disclosures: Not much to disclose!

-I do own some other cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Algorand) but Zcash is by far my largest holding and the only one that I continue to expand.
-I have never been employed or funded in any way by any entity related to a blockchain or digital asset of any sort (apart from receiving staking rewards from ETH2 and Governance on Algorand)
-Not actively involved in any other communities
-I’m a member of ZCAP

I appreciate your reading this, and invite any questions or comments. Good luck to all those running!


Thanks for your thoughts here:

I share your concern for the options that will be available to our children, and I very specifically wish to address the current options of zodlers.

As I mentioned here: Announcing Zingo!

zingo will implement a feature called:

Direct Feature Bids <–(contingent name)

There are two manifestations of a problem with a common underlying cause:

(1) UX is sub-optimal (as @tokidoki has mentioned)
(2) zodlers are unable to engage

In fact, the root cause is that there is no option for Zodlers to become directly involved.

Direct Feature Bids provides that option.

Suppose a Zodler wants an app with a Stake My Zcash button. With zingo the Zodler will have an option to directly communicate ZEC value, and perhaps much more importantly valuable ideas directly to the DevUsers. When a Zodler is able to directly effect to evolution of zcash technology, they immediately become more than a User they are empowered to fix they problems in their User Experience. They become active participants in the development cycle.

zingo directly addresses both the issue of engaging zodlers, and enhancing UX.

Oh, and we’re also huge free2z fans!

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