BTC Private For Investors #5 – How Will Bitcoin Private Be Funded?

Tai Zen: Okay so earlier when we were at lunch, we were all discussing with Marco about different… Leon was asking who’s gonna fund your project. That’s why we had Marco on this. How are you going to keep the development going for Bitcoin Private.

Leon: You already saw what happened with the Zclassic where the development kind of died off because no one was paying for you.

Tai Zen: You got a family and kids. You couldn’t work for free.

Leon: So how do you propose without this founders reward that Zcash has. Do you have any ideas?

Rhett: Great so I think we talked about it a little bit. I think that we have learned that, I mean I don’t really have a solution at this point.

So the bottom line is like I know that’s definitely a big concern. And it’s something that I know that like we’re saying incentive structures are everything. That’s what we’re all doing here in Crypto.

We’re designing these peer-to-peer networks with built-in incentive structures that is motivating us all work together in some way. And there is not very good… There is no real long-term incentive structure designed it in place ready to go for Bitcoin Private right now.

And so I think that like longer-term, I mean so there’s two choices. We could either try to design something that will go in before the fork. And then as we all decided to join this fork as a community.

Then you’re sort of… you’re starting with a set of kind of… that’s sort of how all these communities start is they all kind of have some core set of beliefs that they have to sort of start out and agree with.

The alternative is if we wanted to make sure, like with Zen. What they wanted to make sure that development kept going long-term. So when Zclassic and Zen split they added some kind of development fund to the coin, Iike Treasury.

Tai Zen: You wanna comment on that, Marco? Why is it important that the project has some type of funding?

Marco: Actually we called it Decred tax because it sounds a little funny. I agree so you need to be able to perpetuate a project. If you don’t have any funding in place, you gotta pay bills together, you know, send your kids to college.

So there’s you have costs right? As a project, you need to have a continuous funding mechanism, especially if you want to attract more developers right and keep the project going longer-term. So that’s very important.

Another thing that I heard you guys talked about a little bit is tension in the system. You need to have the proper amount of tension in the system so that everybody is properly incentivized right. So you don’t over incentivize one area.

For example, you see a Bitcoin vast majority of power…miners. So you need to have some sort of tension within the system so that the miner gets a bit, the holders get a little bit, the developers get a little bit right and in it, all need to make sense right?

In Decred, we have the majority of the block funds do go to the proof of work miners because they have actual costs for Hardware left. But they have to share the power if you will, and I’m talking about the power within the system itself. So you have to come up with something to perpetuate your project.

Rhett: Yeah I mean I was just learning about the Decred governance model and it’s gonna sound really amazing. You’re doing on-chain voting. I think you are the only blockchain that does on-chain voting?

Marco: As far as I know, currently we are the only one to do on-chain voting, and that is a binding boat. Once the votes get tallied, the code has been dormant. It gets activated or not. So if the vote is a yay, then the code is activated and hard for it happens at that point.

Rhett: That’s really cool. And I mean so the Dash model as off-chain but that has also been working at least like pretty well for a long time. And so I guess anyway, what was the question again?

Tai Zen: We were talking about the funding.

Rhett: What we know is that I mean I’m very concerned with your long term, Bitcoin Private has a lot of technical advantages. If it’s a faster private version of Bitcoin, there’s a lot of reasons why people would want to use it.

But there needs to be some incentive to keep driving it, keep driving the development. So we don’t really have a solution in place for that right now.

Tai Zen: So at lunch, we talked off-camera about you said that, hey there’s gonna be potentially some Zclassic whales that could possibly sponsor you, support you. But in the short term, we can see that happening…

Leon: Are you concerned about what happened to Zclassic where Zen coin, I believe has a Treasury correct? Are you concerned that someone in a group within the Bitcoin Private community does what Zen coin did and then branches off and calls it something else? And that would fracture your community which I don’t think we want that to happen.

Tai Zen: Cause you’re the one who started the Bitcoin Private community. Are you okay if they fracture off in the future or do you not want that to happen?

Rhett: Right, so we have a choice that we’re gonna have to make. And if Bitcoin Private launches with no kind of long-term incentive structure, what’s likely gonna have to happen is down the road, it may not even be me.

It may be somebody else will say, hey we want an incentive structure to keep innovating to keep things going. And it will fracture off the community just like it does with the Zclassic and Zen.

I would prefer obviously not to have that happen. Because I think that will be a lot stronger if we stay as a cohesive community. But this is where, you know, we have to mix, we have to get some proposals, we all have to learn some things. I think that we all just… I don’t know what the answer is.

So I put out a little bit of a test feeler for, what would the market sort of say about that, you know, what people say about a Treasury fund. And I asked Twitter and I wrote a medium article. There were more people in favor of a Treasury fund than against it. So we know that.

And there were some very loud voices that were against it. Now I suspect that if we haven’t had a Treasury fund that we can look at what the market price is and how the activity around it quite private, I suspect people would still want that.

Tai Zen: I’ll bet you if you figure out away. I don’t know how you would do it technically, but if you had a voting system where you say, hey send me half a Zclassic here, if you want me to build a Treasury, or if you don’t want it to send me a quarter of a Zclassic here.

Just a different number right? Let the vote there and you can see for yourselves…

Rhett: You can see the sock puppets on Twitter.

Tai Zen: Exactly. Because I know where I would vote. I’d vote for a Treasury.

Leon: Yeah and I would too. Because your choices are neither…As far as I know, you either have a Treasury, or you have a premining as Bitcoin Gold did.

And it just seems a Treasury model maybe less of the lesser evil of the two than what a Bitcoin Gold that, you know you can either just… It seems fairer.

Marco: Well, so it is inherently fair because you know the value upfront. If you set your tax at 10% then that should be the value forever. So then you can, as a user sign up or not sign up for it.

If 10% is too much for it, you can walk away. It is absolutely fair. And from a technical perspective, skipping off 10% of the block is way easy compared to any other thing you’re going to do there.

Tai Zen: Yeah because like when we, you know, when we participate in contributing to your a Bitcoin Private project, we don’t want to see you fail. But if you’re the founder and you have your team, you recruited a team of engineers and you’re building it, you’re making it work.

I don’t want it so that five years from now…I don’t think any user wants it so that five years from now, it builds to zero. We wanted to keep developing on it.

So if you say, hey I need to say 10% off the top. You had tweeted to me, and you said you suggested like 5% or something like that. And I said no, that’s not enough a minimum of at least 10%.

I even suggested 20% so that you have enough to keep the project going. Because as long as the project keeps going, the community will stay there.

Leon: And the value will keep increasing…

Tai Zen: Because we know that you’re there to help work on it.

Rhett: I mean, I think this is all a big experiment. And you know we’ve been learning, we can now see the difference between projects that have these Treasuries and the ones that don’t.

And I know that I’m observing things like, you know Dash is taking over Monero because Dash can spend 4 million a month on marketing. And Monero can’t.

So I think that on this issue, I’m definitely going to need to do some more research. I’m gonna need to talk to experts about this.

Leon: The big issue with the Treasuries is how the governance around that front, how do you spend that money. Is it like Zcash which is just going to a corporation and they decide what to do with it, or is it something like Decred or Dash? Or they have a proposal system where the community vote on it.

I mean, I’m not telling you what to do. But that’s a difficulty about having a Treasury.

Rhett: One thing I don’t like the Zcash model because they just get the money goes to a corporation. And then it’s completely private whatever they do with it.

I mean, they have some transparency and X% goes to investors and whatever. But basically it’s private.

Tai Zen: One of the things that we like about the Decred project is when they do their governance in their Treasury, from my understanding and correct me if I’m wrong, Marco, but you guys have setup so that the funds go into a Treasury bucket or war chest or marketing a fund. And the community votes on that, not the devs (developers) like you or anybody.

Marco: No, so stakeholders. If you own Decred, you are allowed to vote on the proposals. That system is about writing actually. So we’re all being employed here pretty soon.

But that will give people with tickets. So people were allowed to vote on Decred actually, the capability to vote on proposals. And then we’re gonna have a dispersal system that’s going to go with that.

For example, I’m going to develop these features that have cost me a hundred Decred a month for six months. And then you would set a payment schedule to disburse that money automatically as time goes by.

Tai Zen: And that’s all done on-chain, so there’s no human involved.

Marco: Right. Well, so there are two things to note here though. There’s going to be on-chain and off-chain voting you’re going to need that.

So a thousand-dollar marketing budget does not need to go on-chain. The only thing that goes on-chain for that is actually the payment. That is too much additional information that we would have to carry in a blockchain that essentially has no value.

So the way we’re gonna do that is going to have a two-tier system. We currently have to work the on-chain hard forking mechanism so that is directly voting on-chain, and then you know, activating some new features.

The second portion is signaling. We would like to…so you create your wish list, we get 10 things. And then the stakeholders can vote on those proposals, so those can literally be, you know, a thousand Decred for this marketing thing.

We’re gonna go to the Miami Bitcoin Conference, so we need to disperse pawns for that. Does it make sense? So separating hard forking from signaling is what that means.

Rhett: Well if you’re interested in learning how to be a blockchain developer, one of the best things that you can do is just start reading the code. And one of the things that we need in the community is people to review things like these new wallets that are coming out.

Because there are a lot of new members of the community that came in to participate. And it takes a lot of work to vet everyone and all the lines of code.

And people have a lot of incentive to try to steal other people’s crypto. So anyway, just the thing that you can do to help out is to help review pull requests.

Tai Zen: But to me when you say something like that, you guys are getting flooded with all these pull requests right now to update the software and check the wallet software and stuff. That’s just to be more reasons and more grounds to have some type of Treasury.

So you can hire people to do that. Because I remember they’re paying him a crapload of money at Dell computers before he retired. Thanks to the Bitcoin investing in the Crypto investing that we’ve done on our channel.

But before then I would always tell him, hey man, why don’t you go and volunteer and help out Bitcoin project. Because why would I do that? They’re not gonna pay with what Michael Dell is paying me.

Rhett: Right. You have to work.

Marco: Well actually don’t forget that PR is actually more worth typically to review than it is to write and that is a misconception some people always just submit all these PR. Well, guess what, if it’s gonna go on the blockchain, I’m gonna spend hours noodling over that thing making sure that is going to work always.

Rhett: And that’s actually been one of the things that have kept Zclassic from getting hacked and having any problems for all these years is I’ve been actually really careful not to accept anything into Zclassic other than pull requests that have already gone through Zcash.

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