My name is Jason McGee (aka aquietinvestor). I am a long time ZEC holder and active member of the Zcash community. I have a strong background in finance, accounting, and management. I am the former Head of Operations for a well-known hedge fund in NYC where I managed a team responsible for all daily activities related to trading operations and fund accounting.
Working in this capacity, I designed and implemented a framework of policies, procedures, and controls to create efficient organizational workflows. I also served as a project manager overseeing the development and maintenance of technology systems including a firm-wide trade order management system, security master database, and automated portfolio performance/risk management reporting suite. I am very organized and process driven. I believe my experience and skills would add an important and valuable perspective to ZOMG.
I left my job at the end of 2017 to focus on crypto full time. I currently work as a self-employed trader and investor. I do not have any other professional obligations and am able to dedicate a significant amount of time and energy as a ZOMG committee member. I could perhaps be the designated point of contact for ZOMG committee members and also help out other committee members who are busy with their day jobs.
I am all in on Zcash. As an investor, ZEC is my largest portfolio holding and it comprises a significant percentage of my net worth. I also spend a significant amount of my free time working on Zcash-related initiatives. I am a regular on the Zcash Community Forum, and I am also an active member of the Zcash Community Telegram group where I serve as a moderator.
I am probably best known for being outspoken about the Zcash Foundation. On multiple occasions this past summer, I asked the Foundation to operate with increased efficiency and better communication, honor its commitment to transparency and accountability, and better serve Zcash users and the Zcash ecosystem. From what I hear, at least one member of the Foundation considers me the Bill Lumbergh of Zcash (“Yeah…about those quarterly transparency reports…”), which, admittedly, I think is both hilarious and somewhat fitting in this instance.
My interactions with the Foundation, both online and via telephone, were always respectful and constructive. I believe the Foundation generally (more or less) agreed with my assessment. In fact, in late September they resumed producing and distributing the Quarterly Reports required under ZIP 1014.
More recently, I’ve been focused on addressing and resolving some of the organizational issues Chris and ML brought up related to ZOMG. In September, I formed the ZOMG-ZIP 1014 Independent Review Committee and led discussions on how to improve ZOMG’s structure and amend ZIP 1014 accordingly. The discussions resulted in a proposed amendment to ZIP 1014, which permits ZOMG a discretionary budget subject to 501(c)(3) restrictions that allows committee members to operate with more independence and autonomy.
I believe my track record within the Zcash community speaks for itself. I am hardworking and passionate about Zcash, methodical and process-oriented, and a team player who works well with others in a collaborative manner. I believe these qualities will serve me well as a ZOMG committee member.
My vision for Zcash:
- The mainstream alternative to BTC. A private store of value and medium of exchange.
- The privacy layer for crypto (i.e. ZSAs/UDAs)
- “Greener than fiat:” ESG is becoming increasingly important in the world. The narrative that proof of work harms the environment will be incredibly difficult to overcome. As such, I would like to see Zcash gradually move to proof of stake.
My vision for ZOMG:
I would like to see the Zcash ecosystem become more decentralized. Currently, Zcash is a 2-of-2 multisig governance model between ECC and the Zcash Foundation. ZCAP exists, but only as an “advisor” to the Foundation, which can vote against ZCAP’s recommendation. We need to do more to continue to diffuse power and become more decentralized.
In September, I conducted an informal poll, and the majority of respondents (1) would like to see ZOMG receive more independence and autonomy and (2) would not oppose an amendment to ZIP 1014 to make ZOMG a fully independent third entity. ZIP 1014 represents the community’s sentiment at a particular point in time. It is a living document that can be amended and changed to better serve ZOMG and the Zcash ecosystem.
I think there are interesting questions about the future of ZOMG, its role in a more decentralized Zcash ecosystem, and whether or not it should eventually be a fully independent entity. However, these changes cannot happen overnight. In the immediate term, we should focus on making ZOMG more effective and more efficient so that a year from now we’re not in a situation where 4 of 5 incumbent members don’t want to run for re-election because they’re unhappy with structural issues that were never adequately addressed. Over the long term, I would like to see continued dialogue on how to improve ZOMG and evolve its structure in the future.
- More standardized process development around reviewing and assessing grant proposals
- Increased transparency and accountability for both ZOMG and grantees
- Create an Advisory Board to mentor current committee members comprised of (1) prior committee members and (2) members of similar organizations (e.g. Ethereum, Tezos, and Algorand Foundations).
- Aggressive outreach to encourage smart people to build on Zcash
- More networking with existing crypto relationships to source ideas and talent
- Experiment with Gitcoin, DAOs, etc.
- Actively support projects that bring more users to Zcash
- Actively support projects that add utility to Zcash and value to ZEC
- More focus on non-technical ways to bring more users to Zcash
- Fund the publication of education materials and position papers on relevant topics to educate the public on why they should be using Zcash and how to use Zcash
- Fund the creation of regulatory-friendly marketing campaigns
Two additional projects I think would be valuable:
- Regulatory fellowship: The biggest risk to Zcash is a global regulatory crackdown. I propose creating and funding a regulatory fellowship program (2-3 year terms) focused specifically on Zcash. The fellow could work at an established nonprofit, like Coin Center, and focus on global and domestic regulatory issues. The ideal candidate would be an established attorney, like Jake Chervinsky or Preston Bryne, currently focused on regulatory issues related to crypto.
- Global ambassador program: Zcash is too US-centric. I would like to see ZOMG fund a program that sponsors “ambassadors” in European, Asian, and South American countries to host meetups and other educational events focused on Zcash. Perhaps these ambassadors could be future ZOMG committee members.
What’s impressed me most about Zcash is the team and community. The development team is incredibly smart and passionate, they operate at a higher level of integrity and intellectual honesty, and they are very thoughtful and careful. The community is open and vibrant. When the other folks (i.e. Monero) slander or troll and resort to ad hominem attacks, we take the higher road and focus on the issues. I very much appreciate that and am proud to be a member of this community.
Thank you to everyone who reached out to encourage me to run. I believe I have a lot to contribute to the Zcash community, and I would be honored to be selected as a ZOMG committee member. Or, as Bill Lumbergh might say, “Umm, yeah…if you could just go ahead and vote for me…that’d be great.”