Thank you so much for asking these thoughtful questions! I tried to provide thoughtful answers, so apologies - it is long (again). Let me know if you have follow up’s and I will do my best to answer.
It definitely didn’t take 2 years for me to assess where Zcash was in the market, although I will say that as markets continue to evolve, especially as rapidly as the crypto market does, it is really important to constantly be evaluating your project’s position in the market. That being said, I think your comment about the current Zcash position being minuscule is really important to address.
I both agree and disagree with the statement you made. I think that Zcash’s cryptographic breakthroughs have landed it solidly in the annuls of crypto history as an important contributor to the space. In my experience, Zcash is respected by many long-term projects and platforms in the space for having solid technology and a strong moral compass. However, relative to the innovation that flooded the market in recent years, Zcash has struggled to keep up with meaningful utility and extensibility for its users and developers. The Zcash market cap has declined such that many in the space do not pay attention to it any longer. This has been a notable hindrance in forging new partnerships, particularly partnerships outside of the crypto-native space where market cap is seen as a strong indicator of success.
To more directly answer your questions about partnerships - some successes off the top of my head were Edge Wallet, ChangeNOW. Ripio Wallet, BTCPay, OKcoin, Arctic Wallet, Bybit, and new Coinbase products like their commerce platform. There are also a few larger items that are still in the ECC pipeline that I am under NDA for and cannot mention, but hopefully, they can provide updates on and will continue moving forward in my absence.
I believe that ZCG is funded by the dev fund but the key difference is that I would not be a full-time salaried employee, I would be an elected committee member with a stipend. I, along with others on the committee, am directly accountable to the community in appropriately allocating funding to projects with the most positive net impact on the community.
As a side note - I like this question a lot because it touches specifically on one of the major challenges I faced working on partnerships at ECC, which was funding. There was absolutely no money available to offset costs of partners to add Zcash to their platforms and very little (if any) to promote partnerships. Most partners will make their revenue on a per-transaction fee basis, this means that they are specifically looking for projects with built-in users where it is likely for them to generate meaningful revenue. They use market cap and transaction volumes as barometers for this. In lieu of these numbers, they will take listing fees which is how many newer projects with large treasuries are generally added to prominent players.
ECC lacked the funding available to pay listing fees and the token’s current market cap made it difficult to move a lot of potential partners forward. I see working on the committee as a way of potentially allocating community resources to expanding Zcash accessibility and functionality. Very candidly, if I am elected, I will advocate funding projects that will directly attract new developers and new users - unless Zcash focuses on these two critical things, we will sink further behind in innovation.
This is a challenging question to answer because most deals I have worked on in my career have NDAs associated with them and I cannot discuss them in public forums. Zcash is the first open-source project I have ever worked on and was still under NDA in several instances. What I can do is share some of the things that make partnerships fruitful that I would look for while serving on ZCG.
Does the partner have strong value- alignment? This will determine if a partnership will last. In particular, when it comes to Zcash we need to fund projects and ideas with longevity. I don’t want to fund projects that aren’t going to have legs to stick around and continue to build, continue to innovate. Anything less is of ZERO benefit to the community in the long term.
What accountability mechanism do we have available to us? If you receive funding from the community, you are accountable to the community. Holding recipients accountable is part of the job of the committee. This will be easier if we do the item above correctly but also making sure expectations are clearly outlined, understood, and followed through with is something I am really passionate about and focus on in partnerships. Also, it is not simply enough to know HOW people are accountable, we also need to know what happens if they are not - what recourse does that community have if a recipient does not uphold their end of the bargain?
What is the network effect of this partnership? This one is critical and goes beyond just understanding the business case for the deal (although that is important!). We must also understand the ancillary benefits to the community/users and future partnerships. IE: does funding this proposal give a cool feature that 5% of the community wants? OR does it unlock new users? This feature is expensive - what other potential partnerships or added value does it unlock for the community?
I know that might be a disappointing response, but I can’t break NDAs with companies I previously worked for.
(Regarding Ideation and Strategy)
I am not going to lie, this question gave me pause and took me some time to consider. I think that at ECC, strategy, and vision are tightly controlled by the executive team and most of what the individual contributors strategize about is specific to their function. For me, that is most related to deal structures, who to target, and why. When I first started at ECC, I outlined a partnership strategy but was required to pivot it several times as I learned more about Zcash’s position in the market, the market turned down, and regulatory uncertainty gripped a lot of the industry.
All that being said, I think it is important to note that there are many decisions that the leadership team at ECC made that I did not/do not agree with.