Gavin from Knowable, we’re working on Namada’s public goods funding experiment. There are plans for Namada to allocate NAM token inflation to a grants pool, operated in collaboration with Zcash ecosystem participants, that will fund projects that benefit both the Zcash and Namada ecosystems.
I imagine that we’re asking some of the same kinds of questions that the Zcash community may be asking. We’re pretty new to considering these questions, and perhaps we could explore together.
1. How are you thinking about meaningful real-world adoption of privacy-preserving payment rails?
We think that this will be a key question to answer for Namada as well, especially for prioritizing the kinds of contributions to incentivize.
2. Who needs private payment rails? We’re wondering if there are there particular communities and/or grassroots organizations that would value privacy enough to adopt private payment infra at an early stage. We’re thinking about starting small before going big, in terms of community size.
3. How will privacy-valuing communities best use Zcash payment rails? Like do we need to onboard people into crypto first, or do we need a way to integrate into existing software without them having to know much about crypto? A Zcash-specific wallet or a Zcash integration? Or something else?
With ZGo, we’re working to integrate with existing applications (Xero and WooCommerce so far) so Zcash can be an option for vendors, knowing that only a fraction of their customers would use ZEC and they still need to be able to serve those that only use TradFi.
It’s a chicken-or-the-egg problem: if you ask a vendor to accept ZEC, they’ll want to know how many customers would pay with ZEC before trying. It’s not worth the hassle to implement just in case someone shows up with ZEC; if you ask a person to use and pay for things with ZEC, they want to know there are places that accept it.
I think the best shot to jump-start a ZEC economy is to find a community of vendors and their customers who all agree to use ZEC with each other. Convincing just vendors or just customers is not enough to get the cycle going.
Another strategy could be to incubate businesses that use Zcash. I think this was one of the reasons why Ethereum was successful:
MetaMask co-founder Dan Finlay spoke about the early days on the Epicenter podcast.
“ConsenSys was this wonderful, just kind of chaotic incubator at the early stages. I don’t know, there must have been hundreds of different experiments getting validated and tried out there. And there was a really exciting energy,”