Free2Z 2024

Hey everybody! We haven’t declared our last milestone yet for the grant we got: Free2Z: Preparing the Garden For Spring

We still have some juice in the tank and we want to hear from the folks here on the forum about Free2Z! Where should we take it? Is there anything you love and want to see more of? Are there things that bother you? Can you think of any low-effort changes that could make a big difference?

Try it out and throw us some feedback and ideas, if you would. We did over 300 releases to production so far in 2023. But, there is still some time left in the year!


Sometimes people will make a reference to kickstarter as a successful thing to copy with Zcash and wonder why we don’t just copy it. From 100,000 km away, this may sound reasonable.

There are many reasons why this is extremely challenging. GPT4 mentions a few big ones here that are pretty relevant. Still, there are always ways forward from where we are towards what people envision. But, the idea, “ya know, kickstarter but with Zcash” is not specific enough.

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I’m not against what you are trying to do. but it is an example of why i believe it’s an edge case beyond the scope of block rewards funding, i think you should be funding the project and then charge 5% of all money raised to recover your investment and make a profit. Isn’t Monero a good example for a community funding solution?

Can you tell me what you mean specifically?

go to monero website and then go to community crowdfunding. it’s pretty good and obviously works very well for the project

Monero CCS - Random thoughts

You’re talking about this?

Hard to tell exactly how it works because the funding-required is blank.

It’s weird, you don’t have to put down a monero address to get paid? I guess monero is super punk because they don’t make any effort to comply with anything - no AML/KYC, no OFAC? Just, punk rock, I guess? But, OTOH, it seems all of the funds go to a central “trusted” authority that decides whether to pay out?

I think Free2Z UI is way easier than their git-based process to get started, although points to them for using git as the database.

The UI/UX has some problems.

It’s definitely slow and ugly but, let’s not hold that against it.

One thing I will say is that it’s kinda’ cool that they don’t give an inch on compliance or AML/KYC lmao. I guess they just grab their gonads and say, “whatever, what we’re doing is blatantly illegal and non-compliant and so what?” That’s what it seems like to me. They use git as the database for grants and then just send the Monero out with no OFAC compliance? It’s not peer-to-peer that I can tell. There is a central donation address and whoever runs collects all the funds, judges the milestones and sends the funds?

It’s weird that I don’t find any monero addresses anywhere except the main donation one. The real content is in gitlab and not trace of a monero address there that I can see: · master · monero-project / CCS Proposals · GitLab

TBH I’m not sure exactly how it works. But, it seems like a “trusted” central authority collects all the funds (escrow/custody), determines if milestones are met, and then YOLOs those funds out to unknown individuals? It looks like they had about 12 projects completed in 2023 for something around $200,000 worth of monero?

So, with your 5% take for the platform model, this would be run in a for-profit manner for ~$10,000/year? Or, a platform like this would be part of the overhead of the ZF? I’m confused what your vision is in this space.

GPT4 didn’t seem to know how Monero CCS approaches compliance or how it works. I’m maybe more confused after this conversation than I was before:

Copy Kickstarter

On the other end of the spectrum, “copy kickstarter.” I think these are almost polar opposite ideas. Monero CCS is looking to process a very small number of grants that would never amount to a profitable business or platform. And, I guess it’s so small that they just fly under the compliance radar and do it out of the goodness of their hearts / cypherpunk ideals.

For “copy kickstarter” I think the idea would be to do big, big numbers and not necessarily put Zcash/Monero front-and-center. Honestly, if the only market is people who have shielded ZEC at the ready in their pockets, we are talking about only a few thousand people at most in my estimation. This is not enough people for a general crowdfunding site that needs many potential donors to make it useful. Free2Z is intended to be more on this side of the spectrum where Zcash is “just a tool” and not the sole focus of the platform. Free2Z could have positive externalities for ZEC in that people may be interested in Free2Z initially and eventually get turned onto Zcash because it’s a good option/tool.

Starting from scratch and taking on a company with VC funding that has done billions of dollars across 100s of thousands of projects over 15 years is a tall order. Hypothetically, do you think that a new platform would be helped or hurt by supporting and promoting Zcash, if the platform’s mission is to compete with the likes of Kickstarter at scale?

I’m working on a really great update for Free2Z right now. I shouldn’t spend so much time on the forum looking at janky Monero sites :smiley:


you are absolutely right. you should be the expert and creator.its not something zec holders should be funding; and if you create something people will want to use they should pay you directly.

my vision is zcash is a platform. the simple way of thinking about it is people who create on top of the platform pay a fee for use of the blockchain. they charge customers and keep the difference.


What about a scaled, granular, efficient ambassadors program for Zcash? Where would something like that land in your estimation?

Perhaps, in place of some big, speculative, or long-shot $1,000,000 grants, what about 10,000 $100 grants with flexible governance over the process based on feedback and data? Just a thought. I tend to think that, to get big things done, you often do need expensive, dedicated people who can work over a long time, at great expense, towards a far off vision. But, in terms of marketing and adoption and reach, there does need to be a constant stream of early adopters who are willing to learn and give feedback as a part of the software development lifecycle. If Zcash/ZEC/ZSAs are going to attain wide adoption, there needs to be early adopters who are willing to stub their toes a few times and grow with each other - both businesses and “customers”.

I think that the ambassadors program has been relatively efficient compared to some of the dev fund uses. But, IMO, it could be a lot more valuable and efficient (and larger). Even if the call to action is “spend everything on software development!”, you need a family of users for testing and doing QA and support and evangelism at this stage.

Quality QA and support could be attained relatively cheaply with an expansion of something like the ambassadors’ program. The lack of enough quality support and QA has been a huge problem in the past couple of years. This lack of support, QA and efficient product development feedback cycle is one of the main reasons that ZEC has underperformed? Quality relationships could result in dozens or hundreds of new developers in the ecosystem as people up-skill. It’s not that hard to imagine a virtuous cycle starting from the efforts of (ZF/ZCG) - Free2Z, Zcash Espaňol, ZecHub, Zcash Brazil, Zingo!, … Are all of these edge cases, in your view of the ideal?

we need QA for sure. we have failed miserabley at QA.

my view is zec will never work as a fiat alternative, that means it will never work as a currency for scaled payments for goods and services. zec is more like digital gold. and who uses gold to buy things? no one… gold is collateral for the monetary system. we have a “soft peg” to gold. BTC appears to be taking a place next to gold; not a currency for payments for goods and services. yes you can use it that way. but most peope will not. it’s also too volitile. so, just like gold was the collateral for currencies when they first were invented, crypto as money and at scale will need collateral to give it stability and trust and that’s short term goverment bonds (or any collateral that is ultra low risk and vol in the short term)

so IF the vision is for billions of people to have private transactions, then zingo, zgo, ambassaors, and everything thats for zec as payment was prioritized too early. we need this new vision to re prioritize the critical development needed to apply privacey to the currencies people want to use. not what we want them to use. to me that means USDz 100% backed by treasury bonds. we don’t need any evangelism telling people to buy ZEC in order to buy goods and services because it the a failed concept in my opinion. Now if we had both zec as a utility token and USDz, Euroz, and others. then there would be something to talk about.