Free2Z: Preparing the Garden For Spring

Elevator Pitch:

Free2Z is a web3 platform that allows creators to privately and securely share quality content with their communities and earn ZEC in the process. We successfully completed a grant last year to launch this application and now we are requesting additional support from the Zcash community to take Free2z to the next level with:

  • improved user experience
  • live streaming capabilities
  • improved content discovery and delivery
  • media library and uploads
  • scalable infrastructure
  • hardened security
  • proactive, A+ attention to privacy
  • integrated AI tools (with privacy)
  • compelling marketing
  • education campaign focused on Zcash promotion
  • Zcash protocol upgrades and continued collaboration with developers across the Zcash ecosystem

Our goal is for Free2z to demonstrate the potential of Zcash to power a new generation of privacy-oriented applications with integrated secure payments.

Applicant Background

Free2z has been developed by 2Z Inc, a software development company founded by Skylar Saveland (CEO) and Jonathan Bird (CFO). Both Skylar and Jonathan are experienced software engineers with a background in crafting performant and scalable software solutions. Skylar has worked as a senior software engineer at JPMorgan Chase and SAP. Jonathan has worked as a senior software engineer at SAP and previously developed microservices for identity verification at JPMorgan Chase. In the past year, Skylar has been architecting and building out the software stack for Free2Z, while Jonathan has been working on the legal and financial stability of the organization.


Zcash provides the ideal solution to handle the payments layer of a privacy-oriented social media platform, but its adoption by social media has been sparse. The initial proof of concept of Free2z was a step in the right direction but still has a lot of room for improvement. Free2z seeks to become the privacy-oriented social media platform of note and help drive Zcash adoption as a consequence.

With sufficient development and user education, Free2z could provide an alternative to the ad-driven, big tech platforms that dominate the market, offering privacy, security, and the option of anonymity. With a focus on real user feedback and lean, efficient, iterative software development practices as well as a strong focus on privacy and the absence of ads or tracking cookies, Free2Z has the potential to become a popular choice for creators and communities looking for a more ethical and sustainable alternative to the data vampires and panopticons of big tech.

With rich pages, interactive livestreams (Free2Z Live), peer-to-peer micro-transactions (2Zs), cloud storage and content delivery (Free2Z Media), and unique features like threaded comments with Free2z-flavored markdown, AI assistance (Free2Z Storytime) and creator-to-creator subscriptions (Free2Z Circles), we aim to grow and maintain our platform to continue providing premier services to the Zcash community. Free2z has been developing at a rapid pace with over 125 releases in the last 90 days and now we are requesting additional support from the Zcash community to develop Free2z from a robust Proof-of-Concept to a polished, scalable application that is ready for mass adoption. With this new grant, we seek to transform Free2Z into an even more powerful tool for creators and the Zcash community that will help to showcase the power and utility of Zcash as a technology and help to promote increased day-to-day use of Zcash by the public at large.

Proposed Solution

The proposed solution is to develop Free2z into a rock-solid platform for content creators that offers a variety of features and tools designed to support creators and communities as they share and support each other’s work. These features and tools include:

  • Free2Z Live: Interactive live broadcasts that can be used to engage, collaborate, teach …
    • Scalable, high-quality, features-rich meetings, webinars, screenshare, chess games :eyes:
  • Free2Z Pages: Receive donations, showcase projects, share content, open discussions
    • Math, Code, embeds, anonymous zcash comments, threaded comments
  • Free2Z Cloud: Upload files to secure cloud storage
  • Free2Z Media: Upload and use images and video assets throughout the platform
  • Free2Z Circles: Pay to follow the content creators of your choice and get exclusive content
  • Free2Z Converse: threaded comments make long conversations easier to understand
  • AI Integrations: Access AI tools to improve and generate content, as well as develop images and art based on a prompt (Free2Z Storytime)
  • Peer-to-Peer donations
  • Micropayments: Pay or tip content creators instantly!

Marketing and Education

Free2z is powered by Zcash and one of the key takeaways from our POC was that there is a deeply symbiotic relationship between Zcash and Free2z. Users who had never heard of Zcash but were interested in using Free2z automatically have to learn the following to use the application:

  • What is Zcash?
  • Zcash wallets and how to sync them
  • Peer-to-peer payments with QR codes
  • Shielded versus Transparent transactions, etc.

At the same time, the learning curve of Zcash/crypto knowledge was a bit too steep for some users, dissuading them from using the product. This is why improving the state of Zcash education in general is a top priority of the Free2z team. We would like to produce the following:

  • More written content on Free2z explaining Zcash and what it is
  • Content on Zcash integrations on Free2z
  • Printable graphics/content on Zcash and Zcash with Free2z
  • Video content explaining Zcash on Free2z, Youtube, and TikTok
  • Both written and video tutorials on Wallets, Payments with ZEC, and Free2z
  • Since there is a strong interest in Free2z in Latin America, we will be developing content in both Spanish and English

We would also like to leverage Free2z to generate hype and excitement about Zcash through contests to win ZEC and other ZEC giveaways, like:

  • Contests: thisJanuary Free2z hosted its first non-fiction writing contest with a top prize of 3 ZEC, won by Yendira Digital
  • Wallet promotions
  • Bug bounties paid in ZEC
  • User feedback bounties paid in ZEC
  • UA-only airdrops

Another major education effort will be refactoring the documentation website to a powerful new experience powered by Docusaurus, including:

  • Improved searchability
  • SEO optimization
  • Easy-to-use UI

Our docs will include a wealth of information about both Free2z and ZEC.


Free2z is running on a modern, robust cloud architecture leveraging Kubernetes and following current best practices. However, we need additional funds for scalability, security audits and consultations.


  1. Cloud Build: Cloud Build is a fully managed build service that compiles source code, runs tests, and builds containers. We will use Cloud Build to automate the build and deployment process for our platform, ensuring that it is efficient, consistent, and scalable.
  2. Bazel: Bazel is a fast, scalable, and efficient build system that can handle large codebases and complex dependencies. We will use Bazel as the build tool for our platform to ensure fast and reliable builds.
  3. PostgresSQL, an open-source relational database noted for high scalability will handle the application’s data storage needs. This will allow us to store and access our data in a scalable, secure, and reliable manner.

The use of Free2z’s modern cloud stack necessitates non-trivial costs. However, it has huge potential benefits for Free2z in the long term such as:

  • Portability: Kubernetes means that we can move our infrastructure to virtually any cloud provider if necessary to avoid censorship…
  • Scalability: Cloud infrastructure allows for on-demand scaling, which means Free2z can deploy or scale-down resources based on current needs
  • Reliability: Cloud Providers have enormous infrastructure and can guarantee our users >99.99% uptime and reduced risk of data loss compared to running our own infrastructure.
  • Security: Cloud Providers continually updates relevant software and other security measures to stay ahead of new threats

Live Meetings

Free2z will make it extremely easy for creators to start a Zoom-style live stream from within their Free2Z Page. Creators will be able to broadcast to large audiences (scalable to thousands) and even to bring participants up on stage for conference style discussions with full streaming video.

  • Live broadcasting panel discussion
  • Real Time text chat
  • Polling

Video On Demand

Many users find video content to be more engaging and dynamic than text. Video on Demand on Free2z will include the following features:

  • HD quality
  • Securely stored (to avoid copying or downloading videos)
  • Easily uploaded and shared on Free2z profiles

Creators will also be able to securely upload image content to their Free2z profiles.

User Interface Improvements

Free2z users have been clear that the User Interface needs to be improved. For this next phase of development, we will completely refresh the UI while adding a ton of new features to make the experience more attractive and easy to use. Since the Free2z team does not have any UI/UX experts we will hire expert consultants to redesign the site and improve the frontend codebase. We’ll also need to hire a part-time QA resource to find regressions in the flood of new feature development.

It’s also time to polish the UI and add new features that will greatly enhance the user experience. While serviceable, the comments section of each zPage can be a bit tricky to navigate when conversations get interesting (as they often do). Free2z will implement comment threads to make it easier to follow and understand comments.

We will also move to a cleaner UI for the main search page featuring individual cards that are responsive and show off the key information about each Free2Z Page in an actionable way.

Free2z will feature modern styles and animations throughout the new design including a sweet new loading animation loaded with short nuggets of text wisdom.

Other new UI features:

  • Member Circles (fan-following)
  • New logo and color scheme
  • Homepage updates
  • Updated design of profile page
  • Optional authentication with external providers like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Artificial intelligence

One key point of innovation will be the integration of AI throughout the user experience. Creators will be able to use AI to generate text content based on user prompts. They will also be able to generate art and images based on text prompts or text context. This full integration of AI will allow users to increase the pace, sophistication and scope of their content generation. It will make developing content easier and fun than ever before. The wide variety and quality of content should also improve user engagement on the platform.

Micropayments backed by Zcash

Another key aspect of the proposed solution is the integration of 2Zs, in-app credits that can be thought of as a “layer 2” for Zcash, offering unique and flexible, high-throughput micropayments backed by Zcash. 2Zs can be used for a variety of purposes on the platform, such as

  • boosting pages,
  • paying for storage
  • subscribing to creators
  • upvoting or downvoting content
  • Accounting tools to keep track of in-app credits

Users will be able to purchase 2Zs with Zcash, and the ultimate goal for 2Zs is to allow users to withdraw their balance to shielded Zcash. However, finding the right accounting and legal footing for this feature may be challenging. Initially 2Zs will be used as in-app credits only.

Impact on Different Groups

Retail ZEC holders: Our solution for Free2Z will provide retail ZEC holders with a platform for using their ZEC in a variety of ways, such as supporting content creators, boosting pages, and subscribing to creators. The integration of 2Zs as a “layer 2” for Zcash will also allow retail ZEC holders to engage in high-throughput micropayments backed by Zcash. Additionally, the use of 2Zs on the platform will create demand for ZEC, as every 2Z sold will be backed by shielded ZEC.

Zcash core devs: The proposed solution for Free2Z will provide opportunities for collaboration and exploration between the Free2Z team and the Zcash core devs as they continue to grow and innovate together. Free2Z will continue to be a significant user of Zcash at scale, running nodes and working on the CI/CD of Zcash upgrades and test environments, and exploring potential innovations such as running Zcashd on k8s.

Wallet devs: The proposed solution for Free2Z will provide wallet devs with a platform for developing integrations and interfaces for Zcash and 2Zs, potentially leading to new opportunities for wallet development and adoption. Free2Z will have a growing user base that is using ZEC on a daily basis, providing wallet devs with a significant user base to develop for. We will be using and contributing to all of the Zcash wallets. We are already prepared to be the first customers for a WASM library and ZSAs/UDAs. We may also open source idiomatic libraries for interacting with zcash RPC in multiple languages. We will track important libraries in the Zcash ecosystem, contribute to them where possible and necessary, open-source code in the Free2Z ZUU (Zcash UI Universe) and generally work with the entire Zcash community in git/github.

DeFi users: The proposed solution for Free2Z will provide DeFi users with a platform for using their ZEC and other cryptocurrencies in a variety of ways, such as supporting content creators, boosting pages, and subscribing to creators. The integration of 2Zs as a “layer 2” for Zcash will also allow DeFi users to engage in high-throughput micropayments backed by Zcash. Free2Z will also explore possibilities for blending web2 and web3 in interesting ways, potentially resulting in the creation of 2Zs as one of the first “ZSAs” (Zcash shielded assets).

Zcash community participants: The proposed solution for Free2Z will provide Zcash community participants with a platform for engaging with content creators and supporting their work, as well as the opportunity to participate in the development and growth of the platform as it expands its capabilities and offerings.

Budget and Milestones:


Type Hours Rate Subtotal
Free2Z Feature Development 1,900 $110 $209,000
UI/UX $15,000
Cloud Security $15,000
QA $13,000
Education $23,000
SEO $7,000
Infrastructure Scalability $38,000
Video/Livestreaming $13,000
Total $333,000


Milestone 1 - Free2Z Live, AI tools, Infrastructure, Security and Uploads - estimated completion date: 3/17/2023


Deliverable 1.1*

  • Free2Z Live, Creators can launch a live stream from their profile, with:
    • Zoom-style panel discussions with multiple participants on stage
    • Real time text chat
    • Polls
    • Play a virtual chess game in a livestream

Deliverable 1.2*

  • AI Tools integration
    • Intelligently generate text content based on a prompt
    • Leverage AI to generate images based on a prompt

Deliverable 1.3*

  • Cloud infrastructure including:
    • web servers
    • Storage (database)
    • Deployment of Kubernetes containers
    • Build and deploy code using Cloud Build and Bazel
    • Deployment of full Zcash node on Cloud

Deliverable 1.4*

  • Security min-audit.
    • Security analysis from security expert(s)

Deliverable 1.5*

  • Upload an image to a user’s media library
  • Cloud storage working

Milestone 2 - Layer 2, Security and Privacy - estimated completion date: 6/17/2023


Deliverable 2.1*

  • Development of 2Zs as “layer 2” for Zcash, including:

  • Boosting pages

  • Donating to creators

  • Subscribing to creators

  • Setting a subscription price

  • Upvoting and downvoting

  • Making Comments

  • Generating images and text with AI

  • Managing Free2Z Circles

  • Uploading members-only pages and media

Deliverable 2.2*

  • Security and Privacy
    • Another security audit. Follow up from the first security audit especially reviewing amelioration of any issues found in the first security audit
    • Review privacy practices and explore opportunities for improvement

Deliverable 2.3*

  • New docs experience powered by Docusaurus, including:
    • Improved searchability
    • SEO optimization
    • Easy-to-use UI

Milestone 3 - Education and UX - estimated completion date: 9/17/2023


Deliverable 3.1*

  • Videos on Zcash education in English and Spanish on Free2z and popular social media platforms.
  • Content (text and video) on how to use Zcash on Free2z
  • Zcash for beginners series published on Free2z
  • More contests and giveaways, UA-only airdrops, etc.

Deliverable 3.2*

  • UI/UX redesign, colors, usability, homepage, etc
  • Animation and performance enhancements (loading animations, etc)

Deliverable 3.3*

  • Video on Demand. Video uploads and HD streaming video.

Deliverable 3.4*

  • Free2Z Converse. Flexible and lucid comment threads

Deliverable 3.5*

  • Auth options. Oauth authentication with Twitter and other common providers (maybe Github, Gmail or Facebook). Other possible options, based on what creators want, possible MFA and recovery options.

Total proposed value of grant: $333,000 USD

We’ve been thrilled by the support from the Zcash Community and Zcash Foundation and are so grateful for all the feedback and encouragement from this community as we continue to develop tools for content creators and communities. Overall, our proposed solution will involve a combination of technical development, Zcash education and promotion, and community engagement to continue to grow and improve the Free2Z platform.


I don’t love the name, but it’s good to see a team excited and actually building on Zcash.

Also nice to see a focus on UI changes.

1 Like

Give me 15 alternative names?




Here’s one: ChatZKP

Let me try. In random order:

  • Disquisso
  • Chattu (Chat in Malayalam)
  • Preva
  • Czat (Chat in Polish)
  • Diallo
  • Hollo
  • Anonymo
  • Hira (Conversation in Hausa)
  • Privati
  • Cotalk
  • Chatio
  • Diskusi (Discussion in Indonesian)
  • Speaksy
  • Banterway
  • Chatify

I’m not really feeling them as much as

Free. To. Z.

Where Z is any discrete point, destination, goal. ℤ

ABC, 123, A2Z, p2p, b2b, f2z …


How long would you say you’ve used the site, how many times? Do you have a profile, have you created a page? Have you ever found someone on there and donated ZEC? @pkr @tokidoki

Curious if this is feedback from users who know the site well or an impression from a distance.

Having an alphanumeric domain is just harder to parse/remember. I get it though — it’s your baby so to you it makes perfect sense.

I’ve not signed up because I don’t create content on others platforms much anymore (I run various websites along with FTE so don’t have time for all that).

I have browsed around. Reminds me of steem a bit.

I do think it has potential but the branding is just not really that good.

I love the mathematical meaning of Free2Z, and visually I think it looks cool because of the whole parallel action going on between the 2 and the Z.

1 Like

Keep in mind you’re technically literate so again it speaks to you.

If the goal is for wider distribution amongst the general population (which I would hope be the case), something more punchy and memorable would be what I would suggest.

My .02 cents.

Chattu and Diskusi sound really dope. Could work for a peer-to-peer messaging app or something.


Thanks for the ideas! If you come up with something super punchy let us know :slight_smile:

1 Like

Free2Z (I like the name) has not only been a platform to generate content through its different functions and monetize, it has also played a great role in the history of Zcash as a platform to carry out successful fundraising campaigns, without commissions and where financial privacy is the foundation, I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows or thinks this way within the community.

The potential of this tool is very broad and we have only seen a little of it in recent months, users enter the platform with the intention of generating content, but the vast majority end up dabbling in Zcash because of the link they maintain.

Yes, there is still a way to go in the UI and so I would like to see the UI/UX advance and thus be more attractive to the average user who likes to enjoy the UI in the tools they use, but I would be lying if I said that it has not been done. advanced in this aspect, a few months ago the creators did not have a profile, today we enjoy that and more.

Regarding the name (I repeat that I like it), perhaps what is needed is dissemination of what it represents so that they can understand it, being generous with users, because if we look for successful applications with bad names, we will surely get many of which their users don’t know what it means or where their names come from.

I just like it and I hope they can continue to advance in the development of Free2Z, that more and more of us use it and that the link with Zcash continues to be one where users are educated and thus the adoption of Zcash is more accessible.

2Z - ZSA :sunglasses:


Great application free2Z,

I think this team has created a great zcash tool! They have vision to keep pushing it forward with an eye on general user adoption.
Can you share some analytics of unique visits to the site, user numbers to get an understanding of your past performance?

Good Luck !!!


Thanks @kworks! We intentionally don’t have any user tracking code like google analytics on the site for privacy reasons so our user tracking is pretty close to non-existent at this point. However, as we continue to build out the application we’re going to have to think more about privacy-compliant ways of understanding user behavior. It’s been gratifying though to hear directly from users about how fundraising campaigns for medical issues, etc. have changed their lives so we’re excited about the impact that Free2z is making there!


Hey! Good idea. We don’t have advanced analytics and, like Jonathan said, we definitely prioritize privacy. But, we still have some basic numbers. Number of users and zpages are actually available through the public browseable API:

688 creators:

Have created 488 pages:

We have been thrifty and the only marketing we’ve done is modest ZEC donations to free2z creators and a Twitter page that has about 800 followers. I think the site has only very recently started to get to the point where I’m proud enough of it to think about marketing. After another round of improvements, I think it will be cool enough to put in front of unfriendly audiences - like niche podcasts unrelated to Zcash.

I can look up hits in our logging later. I imagine it’s well under 10,000 visits a month.

Our Twitter:

An article about using the f2z API:

F2Z API has a lot of untapped potential IMO.


At this point, I don’t think the importance of Free2z can be overstated. In a short time, Skylar and Jonathan have created a platform that is generating positive results for Zcash users and communities in a way that no other project in Zcash is doing.

Forging a new path, like this, is difficult work, especially for a small team. But, this team’s contribution goes beyond the web platform they’re building. Their work with and within the various Zcash communities is helping to build bridges, connecting us. As evidence for this, look no further than the collaboration tools that are being developed, launched and revised, with frequent requests for user feedback. Features like Free2Z Live, on-demand streaming and multi-lingual support.

Community fundraising is what the Dev Fund is all about, at it’s heart. The way I see it, Free2Z is amplifying and distributing that fundraising opportunity to individuals and groups that don’t necessarily have access to the core Dev Fund organizations. The people who are getting funded via Free2Z are often then creating more value for Zcash, drawing attention and participation with their stories and new content being created with the resources that were made available because of that funding.

This grant proposal is an easy and enthusiastic, “YES!” for me.

@birdify and @skyl could you join us on Discord on Thursday at 18h UTC to talk about this grant and your experience with Zcash fundraising?

:zebra: :zebra: :zebra:

Also, check out the Free2Z presentation at Zcon3 :shield:
:movie_camera: Free2z: Peer-to-Peer Giving - Skylar Saveland & Jonathan Bird at Zcon3 - YouTube


@skyl has been an active contributor to ZingoLabs projects in his “off time”.

@birdify and @skyl are interesting thinkers that help me understand things in new ways, for example when we interact on their Monday Night TV Show.

I’m a big fan of free2z and in favor of this grant being funded.

@Edicksonjga 's 2z - ZSA comment was interesting…


Free2Z has come a long way since I stumbled upon @skyl last February and encouraged them to apply for a grant to ZCG. As a privacy-preserving technical project, it’s less likely to have user analytics collected, but there are clear ways to evaluate its impact and social good for Zcash. I am looking forward to the user experience improvements this grant can bring to Free2Z.


Ryan’s comment perfectly defines the momentum that Free2Z has generated in the adoption of Zcash through its users in the different communities.

As a moderator of Zcash en Español I can say that you can see the gratitude from the users who have received donations, they end up committed to Free2Z and Zcash, although their stories speak for themselves and contribute a lot to Zcash, they do not stop there, they begin to generate valuable content, learn and then share what they have learned, they collaborate so that the adoption continues to grow and often are more active than other users who have been in the communities for a long time.

Creating a platform that helps to accomplish all and more of the above is not easy, Free2Z is achieving it and beyond the Forum or the Communities, Free2Z is another space where we Zcashers make life, create content and receive feedback from our readers.

What is your z?
Free2Z, collaboration for growth.