Zcash Foundation Weekly Update • July 29 – August 2

Cross-posted from our newsletter — here’s the original.

Quick Note

You were supposed to receive this newsletter on Friday. My apologies! Apparently I’m still getting used to the weekly schedule.

I’m attending Defcon this week, where I will host a Zcash Foundation happy hour on Thursday evening. And two Monero Village workshops on Friday and Saturday!

:wave::zebra::partying_face: HAPPY HOUR DETAILS :partying_face::zebra::wave:

Come say hi! And tell your infosec or Las Vegas friends!

You won’t get another newsletter this coming Friday, because I’ll be too swamped at Defcon to write it. Back to the usual schedule on August 16.


July 29 – August 2

Zcash development funding — why, how, and who? The debate continues. Catch up on progress:

(The summary and megathread have both been updated and improved!)

People are using the Twitter hashtag #ZcashDevFund to state and discuss their opinions.

Justin Ehrenhofer hosted an open livestream conversation on Sunday. Many community members attended to share their personal thoughts, both on video and in the YouTube chat, including Zcash Foundation and Electric Coin Company employees. Watch the full recording on YouTube:

ZF hired a director of engineering — please welcome George Tankersley!

“George will take responsibility for all of our engineering efforts, especially our independent Zcash node Zebra,” and replace executive director Josh Cincinnati as the Foundation’s Zcash Improvement Proposal editor.

We got the last word, literally, in a Cointelegraph article about whether Bitcoin is digital gold:

Bitcoin’s lack of privacy and related lack of fungibility are serious drawbacks that undermine its censorship-resistance as well as users’ other practical security needs. Teams like zkSNACKs have made significant and commendable progress in providing BTC users with more private options; I would like to see that continue. However, there is no substitute for future-proofed Layer 1 privacy, due to the probabilistic attacks to which decoy-based systems are vulnerable, and the rewards for successful high-stakes deanonymization.

Zcash Ecosystem Highlights

OB1, the company behind OpenBazaar, has launched a mobile app for P2P ecommerce! Download Haven Privacy to spend ZEC, BTC, BCH, and LTC — or set up your own store!

In similar happy news, Flexa’s wallet SPEDN now supports ZEC. Details from the ECC blog post:

Flexa enables tap-and-pay Zcash spending at thousands of major retailers. Using only your smartphone and Flexa’s SPEDN wallet, you can pay with Zcash for everyday purchases — like a cup of coffee on the way to work or take-out dinner on the way back home. Zcash is immediately available to all SPEDN wallet users.

The announcement was made as a part of joint work by the Electric Coin Company (ECC) and Flexa on a pilot program called the Crypto Community Project. The program brings together young people in the South Bronx, Aug. 1-2, with a goal of increasing crypto-awareness and adoption in underserved communities. Participant students will be able to access the SPEDN wallet and begin using Zcash at any of the 39,000 Flexa-network-supported retail locations.

(But next time, zebra stripes!)

:point_right: Crypto Community Project :sunglasses:

Brett Schor and Jonathan Rouach of QEDIT explained the importance of standardizing zero-knowledge proofs:

Standards created for the physical world are incredibly useful trust-building tools so it’s no surprise that they’re found in practically every industry and market segment imaginable. They also serve as anchors in virtual space where cryptographic standards have become the central nervous system of our global economy. We rely on them for digital banking, e-commerce, file sharing, online registration and a multitude of other applications. […]

As the world becomes more digitally connected, particularly through the imminent use of shared ledger technology, it’s increasingly critical for solution providers to adopt a widely-trusted standard that keeps sensitive data private, without inhibiting collaboration.

As you may know, the Foundation is among the sponsors of ZKProof, a group that actively works on standardizing (you guessed it!) zero-knowledge proofs.

Last but not least, Zcash Foundation board chair Andrew Miller vlogged himself unboxing products that he’d purchased with Zcash: