Inspired in part to government corruption and censorship, Zcoin is a cryptocurrency committed to the ideals of privacy. As project steward Reuben Yap told me, currencies should be “free from control, free from censorship, and free from being seized.”
For the past 5 years, Zcoin has built a cryptocurrency to ensure privacy of transactions. But like many early web 3.0 initiatives, Zcoin is still struggling for legitimacy in the eyes of traditional institutions. Reuben says that privacy focused cryptocurrencies like Zcoin are still “seen as taboo” by the banking system.
A decentralized funding model means they are more free from bias.
Zcoin set up an open collective, where a community can support and sustain their work of privacy on the blockchain.
Reuben told me that they see their fiscal host, Open Source Collective, as not just a way to get funding, but a collection of free and open-source people. “I think those connections are what’s really valuable.” He continued, “there is a real problem that people are facing. Not just us, but any open-source project. The norm is to raise from VCs or an ICO, and get millions and millions of dollars. This isn't really the spirit of Zcoin or open source.”
Setting up a collective was easy, fast, and global—Reuben got paid in Malaysia within a day. And the transparency and recognition to donors has already made a difference to both Zcoin development and the community it serves. Reuben says, “People feel more involved and engaged in the project.”
Being part of Open Source Collective helps Zcoin break down silos for sustainability.
“Especially in the cryptocurrency space, a lot of us operate in silos. Cryptocurrency itself often operates in its own silo. We don't talk to the Linux guys; we don't talk to the other software providers that we use. But if you take a look, there's a lot of synergies. I think OSC is building a community of people who are creating free software and getting paid for it. And we can talk and share ideas, even though we're from different backgrounds. I think that's pretty amazing.”
(Interested in the full conversation? Come by our LINK for the transcript.)