Josh Cincinnati on the challenge of blockchain governance

Josh Cincinnati, former Executive Director of the Zcash Foundation, joins the show to talk about his tenure at that organization, and lessons he’s taken from the experience. In this episode:

  • The genesis of the Zcash Foundation
  • Prior foundation mistakes that Josh sought to avoid
  • The difference between governing a non-cryptocurrency FOSS project and an open source protocol with an explicit monetary element
  • Why Josh chose to step down from the Zcash Foundation
  • How the monetary distribution of Zcash was initially devised and how the founder’s reward became a developer fund
  • The dynamics around the trademark sharing in Zcash
  • Trademarks as a last resort tool of power in blockchain governance
  • How public blockchains are ‘Marxist in their goals, Leninist in their implementations’
  • How the mandate of the Zcash Foundation was broader than simply the Zcash ecosystem
  • The current outlook for funding Zcash development
  • The subtle change in the social contract underlying development funding
  • Why poorly formalized social contracts risk opening up projects to capture
  • How ‘aid dependency’ is relevant to blockchain governance
  • Why blockchain insiders hide the true mechanisms of power
  • Why coin votes might be more of the output of power rather than the input
  • Josh’s advice to a founder trying to devise funding for a novel cryptocurrency
  • Why Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance is so important in determining initial conditions for a monetary protocol
  • What Josh is working on now
  • The story behind
  • Why there is no good satire in the crypto industry

Content mentioned in this episode: