Zeboot: ECC + community workshops

The Zeboot agenda has been posted here: https://electriccoin.co/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Zeboot-agenda-Jan-24.pdf. It includes discussions on the current state of the Zcash ecosystem, Zashi, proof of stake, user research, Zcash adoption opportunities, and plenty more.

Please note that these sessions are meant to foster meaningful dialogue to inform the ECC roadmap. The discussions at Zeboot will help ECC determine what we build and support moving forward, and there are many participants in the Zcash ecosystem that have their own mission and objectives.

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One thing that seems to be missing is discussion about claims and attestations like proof of citizenship etc. While it might not be a priority for 2024 I think for a longer roadmap it should be considered. A good example of this stuff is the work ZKPass is doing. I think it’d be worth exploring how claims and attestations can play into the Zcash experience.

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Something along those lines is proposed in the functional architecture I previously posted as a potential ID verification and attestation service with zkIDs. We’ll be diving into this stack as we work through options and priorities.

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I’d like to also raise 2 real world UX issues I’ve experienced to reflect on during discussions.

  1. Most people that accept crypto still base their prices in a different currency. In my case it was AUD. Can Zashi please support an updated zip321 to support different base currencies?
    URI - ZIP321 add an amount param in other currencies - #34 by GGuy

  2. An electrician I know holds crypto did work on my house. It was not the place or time for me to convince him to install a Zcash wallet. Chances he would have accepted BTC for payment. I don’t hold BTC, I hold ZEC. We need to get to a place where my Zcash wallet accepts a BTC address and BTC amount and handles all the conversion automatically for me in the background.

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Interesting idea. First though, this would require what we are all waiting for: DEXs (sure we could use Changelly but, probably not a good idea here). Actually, that’s more of a feature I would expect from a DEX app than from a regular wallet, but everything is possible.

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I hope that we are responsible about this. There is a huge confirmation bias risk to sampling Zcash users of today in search of how to chart a new and better path for the future.

My belief is that our target user base of the future aren’t here today. If we continue to poll the users of today, we risk accidentally boxing out the ideal user base of the future.

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This is a very thoughtful reflection.

I’d like to add that we also need to look around. If you listen to the latest ZK podcast, their main sponsor is Aleo, which advertises as programable as ethereum, scalable as a roll up, and private as Zcash

Basically they say we are a Zcash killer but in friendlier terms

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Governments will build their own solutions for this, so I’m unsure how big this target demographic truly is.

If anything, some developer can build that into ZSAs down the line. No need in wasting time at Zeboot talking about it, IMO.

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Easier said than done.

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Your point about confirmation bias is valid, @noamchom. However, if we carefully frame our questions, we can gain valuable insights. For instance, asking “What prevented you from convincing a friend to use Zcash?” could be revealing. Here are the challenges I’ve encountered:

Scenario One (Non-Crypto Users):

This effort didn’t succeed due to several hurdles:

  1. Difficulty in acquiring ZEC.
  2. Inability to set AUD as the currency in QR code transactions.
  3. Lack of a Zcash-based stablecoin (e.g., zAUD).
  4. Challenges in using the ZEC to restock the drinks from the grocery store where only traditional payment methods like MasterCard, Visa, Gift Card are accepted.
  5. The complexity of sending ZEC to someone who doesn’t already have a Zcash wallet.

Scenario Two (Crypto Users):

I faced a specific issue here:

  1. The inability to pay for services, like an electrician, with BTC from a Zcash wallet, which limited the opportunity to discuss Zcash further.

Scenario Three (Family Non-Technical):

Non-technical family members often find the concept of cryptocurrency daunting due to:

  1. The complexity and perceived risks associated with managing security phrases and hardware wallets, often leading to a fear of losing funds.

Understanding these barriers from all Zcash users can guide us in addressing the right issues, potentially making it easier for everyone to introduce Zcash to someone new.

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Exactly! Anyone who believes a country will give up their sovereignty and local currency for a global fiat as defined by ZEC is not of this world. I have read the polls and they are very biased questions which will certainly lead to the wrong answer. Especially since whoever created the question also created a limited and predefined set of answer choices that they want you to choose!. ZEC as global fiat is a total loser. The questions and answer choices from the polls and recent survey are designed to continue down this path of ZEC as fiat. Unfortunately, ZEC nor Monero, nor BTC have the flexibility needed for billions of people to use as a global fiat. One size wont fit all. ZEC is most likely a collateral token as it is constructed. No fixed supply commodity (such as gold which is not really all that fixed), or BTC or ZEC will work as a means to pay for goods and services on a local or global level at scale. Anyone who would have locked into a contract for receiving ZEC as payment knows this. Imagine having locked into a development contract to get paid in ZEC at 200! You certainly would have defaulted on the contract. Its literally impossible to use a highly volitle commodity as a means to transact over short, or even medium to long terms. People like to know when they work for a day and earn 100, that its worth 100 at the end of the day. Commodities can not provide this certainty. The sooner people realize ZEC wont work as a fiat alternative the better. While we try to figure it out, BTC is becoming a reserve currency such as gold upon which fiat uses as collateral. If we continue down the path of ZEC as fiat, I would love to see the day one of our orgs, or developers, or anyone starts to hedge into ZEC and will accept ZEC under long term contracts even when ZEC falls against the local currency. Spoiler alert. I wont hold my breath.
(Meanwhile our orgs hedge out of ZEC because its simply too risky. Money is not supposed to be risky. So lets build something you want hedge into–>Today, not tomorow). If anyone should be doing this its you and if you dont who will?

That is the problem, we are framing questions to get to the answer we want. We should not have to convince anyon to use ZEC. We should be able to show them mathematically that it is less volatile than the local currency. However, you know it, I know it, and anyone who ever owned it or looked at it knows it. And, customers, know this immediately because people are smart! Let’s not pretend we have fools for customers. We all know, especially ZEC deveopers that accepting ZEC for payment is risky. The way to make it less risky is to add a collateral layer. That is like adding a shock absorber to a car. Shock absorbers make the ride less bumpy. People like that. So the way to make ZEC less bumpy and more acceptible is to use it as a collateral or utulity token upon which a fiat sits.

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Or, are they?

ZEC itself can become many things, and I cannot predict the future. However, we could envision one where Zcash is where a country may decide to deploy their virtual currency. It wouldn’t work on today’s Zcash, but it would on tomorrow’s. In such case, ZEC could become a precious governance token. Again, it can become many things, so that’s just one quick thought.

Take a look: Improving UX with detection keys - #36 by Dodger

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That is why I bought ZEC! To be the platform upon which a (or any) country could issue a fiat. If this is the vision, its not being communicated effectively or at all.

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Well, if that’s the vision, the 21M variable is a roadblock more than a feature.

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it’s not a roadblock because it’s the collateral. you need to buy the collateral to issue your fiat. you want to issue more fiat, you buy more collateral. it lets countries retain their sovereignty and localization. zec as a global fiat won’t work. not every country will have the same fiat / collateral ratio because they are not equal in terms of output and productivity etc. so markets will decide how much collateral they need because their fiat will rise and fall accordingly

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This. ZEC is the protocol. It has value because it powers the apps/contracts, which can be stablecoins or anything else — just like ETH. If anything, ETH 2.0 over BTC, imo.

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I can predict the future :crystal_ball:.

Porridge and sausage will be priced in ZATs.

Dollars and Dirhams will also be priced in ZATs.

You’re thinking too small and short to medium term. Fiat is on its way out. The citizens of many countries in the world today use USD because their currencies have failed and not even worth the paper they’re written on. The list of these countries is growing by the day. Major currencies will follow suit. The USD will be the last.

ZEC/ZATs will be there as a reliable, fair and global unit of account everyone can trust. First tho, it needs to go through a mega price discovery phase, stabilise relative to gold/silver, and be as efficient as visa/mastercard.

The future of money will be built upon the traditional values of value (think gold and silver coins era) + modern day technology (which is what ECC, ZF, SL are in the process of building).

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As you mention, that’s the constant challenges of Zcash, and that’s why there should always be educational and informative options within the ecosystem.

Ambassadors, communities, marketing, podcasts, campaigns… there should always be because yes, these are real obstacles for the end user that we want to use Zcash.

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Not for the consumer (which is who you are probably referring to). It should be so easy to use that you don’t need to even think.

The incessant push for education is a time sink. Make the UI/UX more intuitive. There you just solved your education issue(s).

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:100:

Even if we needed marketing, podcasts, campaigns, which we probably will need some of these things in the future, its simply too early by a year (especially now with ZEC at anything below 100). The blockchain is not done even for an MVP version that would require marketing etc. We dont have ZSAs and stablecoins or gas/fees, a working wallet, instant sync times (which will 100% be required for consumer to retail transactions) or so many things. By pushing education etc… which happen to be related to what you are trying to sell to Zcash, it has hurt the development of ZEC and timeline for getting critical work completed. Why not wait until Zcash is ready? Hopefully Zeboot is a recognition that ZEC as a fiat replacement isn’t a viable path forward and we can reprioritize critical development projects to start moving forward again. Just as important, by waiting, it will help deliver the right messaging with regard to what comes out of Zeboot and the final product when its ready.

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