Mastodon / Fediverse Support

Where are the Zcash users on Social media?

Most of us are on Twitter, which is fine, but is it really aligned with our mindset?

A while ago, Mastodon, as great an alternative as it appeared, did not seem like an option as it was a fairly empty space. So practically speaking, the network effect wasn’t quite achieved, and logically it couldn’t realistically replace Twitter. Now, things are different; Mastodon / Fediverse has a fair and quickly growing number of users.

We ask civilisation to take a major turn and to adopt blockchain money, one that lives on the Internet, without anyone that can answer for it. Crazy idea really, but we all believe in it. Mastodon / Fediverse is asking for much less, but are embracing similar values to ours. Shouldn’t we be the first to try to help them, even if that’s simply by using their platform instead of the centralized alternatives?

Currently, I do not think that there are any instances dedicated to zcash or even blockchain. That may change in the future, but that’s not too important. What I believe is important is that we all are somewhere on the Mastodon / Fediverse network, engaging with a community that is very much aligned with ours.

https://mastodon.social is an instance that is open to new accounts and managed by the creators of Mastodon. Very neutral, very stable.

https://infosec.exchange is another instance that you may find interesting.

More instances: instances.social

Please share your Mastodon / Fediverse handles in this thread and even better, maybe in your Discourse profile. Looking forward to connecting with you all.

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I’m glad to see new Zcash communities growing. :roller_coaster:

Just a reminder to everyone regarding Mastodon. It’s better than Twitter in some ways, but it doesn’t solve many issues about social media.

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Some excellent points indeed!

Just like Zcash, Mastodon / Fediverse is just getting started. Also it is very much like this forum, that we have all accepted. For the more privacy inclined, they can have their own instance, which would solve the majority of privacy concerns.

Personally I simply redirect sensitive conversations to proper E2EE IMs.

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We’re building a beach-head: The Zeal Center

We’ve already encountered a Cardano instance and one that seems to be more generally crypto-related.

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Excellent read on this matter:

I have noticed that a lot of crypto people are poking fun of Mastodon (including @zooko liking posts that would make fun of that alternative). This is rather disappointing.

Like I said in my first post, we are never going to be credible asking the world to use some kind of weirdo opaque internet money if we, ourselves, are not even able to leverage better alternatives for discourse.

It looks like it is behind a paywall?

Weird. Hopefully you are able to read it there: If Twitter goes down, where will crypto Twitter migrate to? – Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain

Sorry, I meant that the zcash mastodon server requires paid registration?

There are no zcash mastodon server at this point, I don’t know what you are talking about.

What’s the zeal center then?

Ah, the server was offline for a while but apparently is back online. I personally don’t know anything about them as you can tell. But thankful they are trying to move the needle in their own way.

We’re requiring registration through shielded memos, we’re encouraging to donate for the server upkeep but it is not required.

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The server did have some storage issues related to the large influx of people leaving Twitter. I have mitigated this and the server is doing well.

That’s the idea. There are a number of things I hope to accomplish through this:

  • Give the Zcash community a space in the Mastodon network, obviously.
  • Create a small ZEC economy. Zeal Center gets donations in shielded ZEC and covers its costs with shielded ZEC. No fiat :grin:
  • Activate the community. We need to start doing things together, for ourselves. If people feel like the community is centralized around ECC and ZF, then we need to start building things ourselves, for each other. In time, I hope to have a diverse group of Zcashers join, have community moderators and admins, and cost sustainability. I like the PBS model, if it works for them, it can work for us.

And if it doesn’t work, at least we fail while daring greatly.

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When hearing about this funny elephant-named rails app, it may sound like a flash in the pan, like the latest whitepaper in a bull market, or the latest mobile social app (I see Hive is the one getting press now). I believe that’s not the case.

Mastodon is implementing the ActivityPub protocol which reached W3C Recommendation status in 2018. That is, it’s built on open mature standards. It fits naturally alongside other internet standards, using DNS domains as moderation boundaries and urls to get the same linkability across the web as tweets.

The idea behind this model is straightforward: Alice has a username on domain X and Bob has one on domain Y. Alice wants to see Bob’s posts in an activity feed on X, and have her reactions and replies relayed back to domain Y where they’ll be incorporated into the conversation happening there. Neither person needs to go make an account on the other domain.

I’m hopeful that this protocol will get more adoption, now that this network has gotten a surge of interest. It’s exactly what any site purporting to be a public town square should be adopting. A twitter handle should be written and thought of not as “@username”, but “@username@twitter.com”. If twitter doesn’t join this federation, we should ask why they are walling themselves off from the wider world.

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Here’s a post today from the admin of a popular instance I joined, hachyderm. Hachyderm’s focus is “a curated network of respectful professionals in the tech industry around the globe”.

I’m very encouraged by the growth they’re reporting over the course of the past month:

November 3rd : 720 Users
November 13th : 6,000 Users
November 23rd : 25,000 Users

and that’s just one of many instances.

Besides that though, the post has interesting thoughts and details from someone in the middle of this experiment.

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After a month on Mastodon, here are a few thoughts on what I have learned.

  1. I’ve had more direct interactions on the Fediverse in 4 weeks that my entire
    time on Twitter. These interactions have been incredibly diverse in age, race,
    gender, nationality, sexual orientation, etc.

  2. Crypto Twitter is an echo chamber. Through the interactions from point 1, I
    learned of some pretty bad experiences these diverse people have had on Twitter
    and that it is only getting worse. What is really eye-opening is that I don’t
    see any of that on my Twitter feed, I’m inside the crypto bubble and the
    algorithm insulates me, I guess. I think this is a bad thing. Bad for me, because the
    algorithm is deciding what perspective I should have for me. Bad for spreading
    ideas of privacy and financial freedom, because people outside the bubble are
    being insulated from our community, our discussions and our ideas.

  3. I will be focusing my social media presence on the Fediverse, both personally
    and for ZGo. I believe there is more potential for spreading ideas organically
    on that platform, where normie people in your social graph will see your Zcash
    posts just for being part of your graph, not just when an algorithm decides they
    should see it. Also, there are many others like myself, starting out on the
    Fediverse and exploring it. I think this is a great opportunity for the
    community to be out there meeting people that are asking “what else have I been
    missing out on?”.

  4. The current platforms the Zcash community uses to communicate are walled
    gardens. No one is going to stumble into the forum, the Discord or the Telegram
    channel. I think the Fediverse has an advantage, that people can “overhear”
    about new ideas from their social graphs. One of those ideas should be that
    privacy is normal and Zcash can help with that.

I hope you consider joining the conversation.

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I’ve been running my own Mastodon instance since 2019 and you can find me at @matt@oslo.town and am also semi-regularly updating a list of Mastodon instances - but that’s been quite a job to keep on top of since Elon Musk bought Twitter and hundreds of new instances have popped up overnight.

In regards to @tokidoki’s quoted tweet:

Mastodon admins can:

  • see your hashed password and all user data
  • read all of your DMs
  • take over your account

I don’t really know why people are making such a fuss over this on Twitter - as if all the moderators and staff at Twitter can’t do the same thing. In fact, Mastodon devs are moving away from using the terminology “Direct Message (DM)” and have decided so far not to chase encrypted messaging that apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Element, etc. can do.

Note: If you are looking for a Mastodon instance to join, please do not join mastodon.social because it’s got soooooo many users already. The whole point of Mastodon is that it’s creating a decentralised network - and allowing so many users on one server isn’t… great.

Generally though, I look forward to seeing you all toot using the #ZEC and #Zcash hashtags! See you on the fediverse!

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