I sit here, at the end of 2022, reflecting on things. I’m listening to Pearl Jam and eating Chipotle, purchased with Zcash. Life is good.
Over the last 5 years, Pay With Zcash has been here to answer the question “Where can I pay with Zcash?” It’s been a fluid answer, but I believe continually answering this question accelerates adoption and ultimately empowers financial freedom.
But what does financial freedom mean? I’ve heard a dozen different answers to this question. To me, financial freedom means breaking the chains that are core to the current financial order and widely accepted as normal. Things such as devaluation of fiat currency, surveillance, and third parties that routinely lose, abuse, and mistreat your data. Using Zcash breaks those chains.
Looking back at the progress of Pay With Zcash over the past year, there are several improvements worth highlighting.
- ZECmap. There’s now an in-person merchant map in the Pay With Zcash directory. Find it in the header menu or at zecmap.com. Users can enter any location worldwide and see a map of real world Zcash accepting places nearby.
- Language Drop Down Box. Zcash users who speak English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Ukranian can now access the content on paywithz.cash. I hope to add even more languages in the coming year, as more and more users around the world start using Zcash.
- Global Ambassador Program. Speaking of users around the world, it’s a pleasure to be a member of the GAP. Through this program, I help educate about the benefits of Zcash through videos, blog posts, and social media, as well as in person at meetups in the Carolinas. It’s been a privilege interacting with and supporting other global ambassadors who do amazing outreach and education in other parts of the world.
- Zcon3. This year the Zcash Foundation annual conference was in Las Vegas, Nevada in August. Pay With Zcash had a table in the foyer/lobby of the conference, where we gave out hundreds of stickers and met some phenomenal people.
- New Merchants. Some awesome new merchants started accepting Zcash in 2022. In June, Chipotle (yes Chipotle!) began accepting Zcash, through Flexa network’s SPEDN app. Locally, Elevation Church (my church), Florence Crittenton (a safe home for pregnant and parenting mothers), and The Steak & Hoagie Shop (where I eat regularly) were added to the directory. The Zcash en Español community added several new Spanish-speaking listings. After a brief pause, Njal.la resumed accepting totally shielded ZEC payments. Also, the Zcash ATM map added thousands of new locations to buy ZEC.
We’re all allowed to dream of the next. What do you want to see next year? ZSAs? Proof of Stake? Shielded cold storage?
My wish for 2023 is the Zcash community will engage more merchants to accept Zcash. If there’s a business you enjoy shopping at, please email them or ask the owner if they could accept cryptocurrency like Zcash. If there’s a charity you donate to, ask if you can give Zcash. I promise you they will listen. If successful, it’s not just another link on paywithz.cash. It’s an actual, real place you can support. Every one of us can break the chains to help create financial freedom, for yourself and for others who come after. We’re all building the future we want to see together.