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Motivation and overview
When introducing someone to any cryptocurrency, a question they invariably ask is - “Where can I spend it?” The objective of PayWithZ.cash is to answer that question. I expect the site to serve as a critical resource for the community and to help accelerate usage of Zcash.
I built PayWithZ.cash on a free, ad-supported hosting service, Hostinger. Using this service is a good way to get the info on the internet at low cost, but there are factors that could be improved, such as eliminating advertisements, improving the design, and reducing off-line time. Paying for professional hosting and professional web design will elevate the user experience.
Team background and qualifications
I’ve been following Zcash since the inception in October 2016; I’ve been mining and running a node since 2017; and I built PayWithZ.cash in February 2018.
As Zcash grows in usage and acceptance, PayWithZ.cash will grow with it.
The site is for information purposes only. A disclaimer about not endorsing or evaluating listed merchants is at the bottom of the main page. Also, there are no plans of monetization with advertisements or paywalls.
With the current amount of merchants, they can be plainly organized under category headers such as clothing or restaurants. I anticipate it would take 30-40 hours to complete a professional website design. Merchants will be added to the site continually as they are discovered.
Budget and justification
$1k to $3k
Ad-free hosting service. $125-360 (0.5-1 ZEC).
Re-skin site on professionally hosted service. $700 (2-3 ZEC)
Professional web design. $0-3,000 (0-12 ZEC)
Email address for direct contact
In my opinion "accelerating acceptance of Zcash" is not (on its own) a reason that fits well enough for the Foundation's mission. One reason is that it's something that everyone holding Zcash has an incentive to do, so it's not something that the non-profit needs to stimulate. However, an independent website tracking places that accept Zcash could be useful for other reasons besides that.
Is there a process to get listed on the website? Do you have a plan to periodically check in on whether the sites listed are still active / still accepting Zcash?
This collection of info is critical. I do cryptocurrency outreach every day. Showing that there are real places to spend Zcash demonstrates to others that it is a currency and not just another token. It has features and a reason for existing: privacy. That's a big reason the vape shop in my town (listed on your site) takes it. I see this site growing to becoming a major resource for Zcash enthusiasts, including interactive maps like some of the other coins have done to show you where you can spend near you (CoinMap, DiscoverDash, etc).
@amiller (accelerating acceptance of Zcash is) "something that everyone holding Zcash has an incentive to do, so it's not something that the non-profit needs to stimulate."
I hear you. You're right. Consider this: Is everyone who's holding Zcash actively working to accelerate its acceptance? Is it 90%? 50%? It's probably more like 20% if you follow the 80/20 rule, and it may be much less than that.
Given this thought experiment, how much faster could Zcash become widely used if the Foundation did incentivize stimulation? Is the request by @ezvaughn a modest amount if it could increase adoption by 1%?
People people who are building tools to benefit Zcash users, if empowered, can make our favorite cryptocurrency a real-life medium of exchange everywhere. I appreciate the efforts he's already put into his merchant locator tool and look forward to seeing what he can produce with a little bit of funding.
I think this is probably in line with the foundation's mission statement: building Internet payment and privacy infrastructure for the public good, primarily serving the users of the Zcash protocol and blockchain. I am not sure if an actively curated list of merchants is technically infrastructure, but if not, then neither is the Google Maps functionality in searching for a local hardware store or coffee shop or whatever.
I am a little skeptical of claims about accelerating adoption, though, it seems accessory to the point. The existence of a directory like this won't necessarily make it easier for zcash users to persuade their landlords to accept rent in zec, for example.
@b-g-goodell : "The existence of a directory like this won't necessarily make it easier for zcash users to persuade their landlords to accept rent in zec."
Respectfully, what could possibly do more to persuade a landlord to accept Zcash than to show them where they can use it? In my experience setting up dozens of retail stores to accept cryptocurrency, nothing is as effective at driving adoption as pointing to the other places that accept it. Invariably, "Where can I spend it?" is the first question they ask.
Landlords don't spend their rent money at Walmart or Amazon, they use it to pay off their mortgages. Verizon doesn't care if they can use your cell phone bill at a nice little italian restaurant that accepts zcash. Etc. Respectfully.
A small business owner is more likely to look at this site and say "aha, I can use this at Home Depot," sure, and such a website would be valuable... But I don't think the primary attraction here would be to accelerate adoption so much as to provide a veritable "yellow pages" for zcash.
In the early 1900s the Michelin tire company wanted to accelerate the use of car tires, so they made a guide of restaurants that were worth driving to, and some of them may have been nice little Italian restaurants. The Michelin Guide made a lasting impact on both the usage of car tires and on restaurant visits.
@ezvaughn, can you say more about your intentions to expand the site? What new information or process will it include?
Feel free to attach sketches.
BTW note the related page https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/ZcashFoundation/wiki/Organizations-that-accept-Zcash-donations .
The Zcash Foundation Grant Review committee has reviewed your pre-proposal, including the above discussion, to evaluate its potential and competitiveness relative to other proposals. Every pre-proposal was evaluated by at least 3 (and typically more than 4) committee members .
The committee's opinion is that your pre-proposal is a promising candidate funding in this round, and the committee therefore invites you to submit a full proposal.
I'm thrilled to inform you that the Grant Review Committee and the Zcash Foundation Board of Directors have approved your proposal, pending a final compliance review. Congratulations, and thank you for the excellent submission!
Next steps: Please email email@example.com from an email address that will be a suitable point of contact going forward. We plan to proceed with disbursements following a final confirmation that your grant is within the strictures of our 501(c)(3) status, and that our payment to you will comply with the relevant United States regulations.
Before the end of this week, the Zcash Foundation plans to publish a blog post announcing grant winners to the public at large, including a lightly edited version of the Grant Review Committee’s comments on your project. The verbatim original text of the comments can be found below.
Grant Review Committee comments:
Thanks for supporting PaywithZ.cash!
Thanks again, Eric