The Zcash Foundation, the firm behind privacy-centric cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC), has donated $40,000 to a Canadian non-profit group Open Privacy Research Society. The group is working on Cwtch, a decentralised metadata-resistant messenger, has received 1,044 ZEC from Zcash, the organization announced on Dec. 3
According to Open Privacy founder, Cwtch is focused on building a decentralised infrastructure. It can’t be reliant on Visa or Venmo unless there is a way to remove that metadata. The project is still in an early stage of messaging between roughly a dozen node and server operators.
Open Privacy is looking into multiple options, including bitcoin, diverse on-ramps and liquidity.
Integrating anonymous payments based on Zcash’s tech
With an anonymity-focused vision, Open Privacy is also working on providing Cwtch users with anonymous payment options. The firm has implemented a prototype system relying on Zcash Foundation’s native crypto wallet, ZecWallet.
In the announcement, Open Privacy note that Zcash is one of few cryptocurrencies that directly provide a way to transmit significant data alongside a payment and wouldn’t compromise the metadata resistance goals of Cwtch. However, the Zcash-based prototype doesn’t allow users to spend tokens as it was only written to demonstrate Zcash integration.
Open Privacy will have to overcome the user experience challenges. Even the zcash option will rely on shielded transactions, which requires a node that very few people know how to operate. Part of this fund will go toward hiring a designer and conducting more research, Lewis said.
The app works almost like bitcoin in that everyone downloads a ledger of all the messages, some of which are public. The difference is, private keys and user identifiers can be used to unlock certain conversations, including private group chats and direct messages.
Open Privacy, founded in 2018, is funded primarily through user donations of bitcoin, zcash and monero.