The Messari Crypto Theses for 2022: Privacy is a Feature?

Ryan Selkis recently released Messari’s Crypto Theses for 2022. In it he writes the following:

"…But the smartest thing I ever did was reverse my dummy-dum-dum “super ZEC long” trade last December and plow it back into ETH where it belonged. I’m writing this with tears streaming down my cheeks, but Multicoin was right about privacy as a feature, and I’d rather make money than be right. ZEC is still 1% of my portfolio, and I still love Zooko, but it’s no longer in my top 5. (Others have outrun ZEC. It’s not my fault!)…

Why is Ryan Selkis and Multicoin wrong (or right) that privacy is a feature?

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Sounds like some weird cope to justify making money as a primary goal. You don’t invest in Tesla in 2010 hoping for amazing returns the same year and saying the electric vehicles are a feature. You invest in Tesla because you believe in the team and realize we have to have sustainable energy in the future, at the very least because fossil fuel won’t last forever. Same with Zcash, you invest because you like the team/community and realize we have to have to privacy for user security and a more free society.


Nicely put. 100% agree.

And, I would be grateful to hear some perspectives on why Multicoin is wrong and why privacy as a feature is a less optimal approach. Perhaps someone from ECC/ZF/ZOMG could provide a perspective?

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Anyone have a perspective on this?

I think privacy could be seen as a necessity if not a requirement for a blockchain. Similar to https being a security requirement for the internet.
Zooko explained why privacy can’t be added ‘in flight’ with his toothpaste analogy. Once the toothpaste(data) is out of the tube it’s too late to put it back in.
Privacy as it’s own offering/as a segment of the market might be the wrong way to look at it. Privacy as a primary building block of Web 3.0 might be a better way to frame it.
I also think Grayscale are making that argument for ZEC, framing ZEC as ‘data privacy’ for Web 3.0.

I think there’s always a way to explain price history. Reminds me a bit of the arguments that Defi value might not accrue to Eth earlier this cycle.