Hi Zcash team. Some questions:-
Up until now I have been an investor (and user) of Dashpay, but I am now also considering Zcash, at least for the purposes of speculation.
I have just finished reading 'The Zcash Catch' that outlines the problem of Zcash's trusted setup dilemma.
This is a significant problem.
An additional concern to me though is the relationship between Scipr-lab and Zcash, particularly as Scipr-lab is predominantly a group of cryptographers from Israel who have connections with (and have been financed by) factions of the Israeli government. For example, to what extent does the "Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology, and Space" (that is recorded as a sponsor) benefit from ZCash's existence?
I would imagine one does not simply become an Israeli cryptographer overnight. Due to the precarious military situation in the area which requires mandatory military service for all Israeli citizens, it is reasonable to assume anyone compentent enough to deal with ground-breaking cryptography would have considerable connections with Israeli signals intelligence - or in other words, the Israeli equivalent of the NSA. Is that not a reasonable cause for concern, particularly in combination with the issue of the trusted setup?
All reports indicate that no-one really understands how Zcash works, except for the creators. Given the project is demonstrably an Israeli-US alliance (an alliance renowned for the genially deceptive Stuxnet program) how would you be able to assure potential investors such as myself that a similarly genial backdoor in Zcash won't be providing US and Israeli groups a treasure trove of information concerning private transactions for the time Zcash is operational?
Also, if Zcash has global aspirations, how are these fears likely to play in areas such as the Arab world, China and among libertarian groups?
I am intrigued as to what Zcash has to offer for the purposes of speculation, but what concerns me is that a cryptocurrency that tries to define itself by obfuscation while having such demonstrable ties to government apparatus (particularly in sensitive geopolitical areas) is likely to be overwhelmingly rejected by the paranoid protagonists of its key userbase - whether you're a Syrian refugee fleeing a warzone, a Chinese disident seeking democracy, or a US libertarian advocate who simply wants to enjoy economic privacy without being scrutinized by groups and governments, whether domestic or foreign.
Thanks in advance.