Interview with Zcash on Their Asia Focus in 2019

In the last year, the Electric Coin Company, formerly Zcash, has been moving beyond the technical and scientific cypherpunk community towards those with a need or desire for an alternative store of value (SoV). And for that reason, Electric Coin Company has begun focusing on countries in Asia as primary targets for their research, marketing and business development efforts.

As Josh Swihart, Electric Coin Company’s head of business development and marketing, highlighted in a company post in January, Electric Coin Company will begin focusing on Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. The team also intends to lightly engage in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. 

For this interview, we invite Josh to share with us his thought process for onboarding users in Asia, with his outline of the customer decision journey, focusing first on SoV use cases for near-term full adoption and then exploring medium of exchange (MoE) use cases in an effort to find product-market fit. 

Josh and Zooko also recently went to a number of countries in Asia and held a number of local meetups.  Below is the full interview transcribed.

Joyce Yang 

Hello everyone. Welcome to the Global Coin Research and Messari conference call with Electric Coin Company formerly known as Zcash, with the Head of Marketing and Business Development Josh Swihart. At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. Later on you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions during the question and answer period. So please note, this call is recorded. Should you need any assistance, please let us know by emailing us at hello@globalcoinresearch.com. That’s hello@globalcoinresearch.com.

To kick it off, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Joyce Yang and I’m the founder of Global Coin Research, I’m one of your co-hosts today. Global Coin Research is a paid subscription newsletter that brings you the most important news and insights on Asia directly to your inbox. We offer you the resources to understand and get smart about Asia exchanges, mining and projects, and we host conference calls such as this, and online and offline events exclusively for our subscribers. We’re delighted to be hosting this call today with Messari. So today we have Eric from Messari here. Thanks for coming Eric. 

Eric Turner 

Thanks Joyce. Yeah, so just a brief introduction; my name is Eric Turner, I’m the Head of Research at Messari. Messari is a crypto data and analytics company focused on bringing smarter decision making and transparency to the crypto asset space. Among one of the many things we do, we run a registry for disclosures for projects and use this to bring transparency to the space. And one of the projects on our registry is Zcash, so I’m happy to be on the call today. 

Joyce Yang

Wonderful. So now it’s my pleasure to start a call with our celebrity guest Josh Swihart. Is that how we should be pronouncing your name Josh?

Josh Swihart 

Its close, it’s actually one “i” so it’s Swi-hart. 

Joyce Yang

It’s Swi-hart, okay, I’m so glad you clarified it, I apologize. So Josh, thanks for coming on the show. Josh is the Head of Business Development and Marketing at the Electric Coin Company formerly known as Zcash. At the start of 2019, Josh and the team shared on a company post that the Electric Coin Company will begin focusing on crypto adoption, specifically in Asia. So namely; Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. I wanted to invite Josh here to speak with us today on the team’s thought process for onboarding users in Asia and also share his most recent trip takeaways with Zuko the founder of Electric Coin Company when they were in Asia together. So thanks for coming Josh, can you give us and our listeners a quick background of yourself?

Josh Swihart

So you know, I’ve been in software all my career but only professionally within cryptocurrency since about a year, and with what was then the Zcash Company and now the Electrical Coin Company. I started as a dev, and so I started my computer career professionally when I was in high school. Started coding for a company and kind of moved through a number of different roles and acquisitions and ran a practice for a services company and lived out in India, did that for a while, I was a lead C++ dev for a telecom implementation in America, and then a CEO, I’m a part owner of another software company here in Denver, Colorado where I’m based, that’s focused on the [Wordmissed03:56] industry. And then I also had spent a couple cents at another startup that was eventually sold to private equity where I was the Senior Vice President of Marketing for them you know, growing that business over a few years to get your private equity exit. And then really got fascinated with the cryptocurrency a number of years back and just as kind of a bystander and hobbyist and then I started watching some projects and like watching some clips for the Zcash and had a good fortune to come on board and work full time for the company.

Joyce Yang

That’s great. You’ve written in your blog post at the Electric Coin Company’s site that the company is thinking an strategizing on going to Asia and kind of really articulating a methodology. The folks that we’ve spoken to at Global Coin Research you know, many companies and projects had the desire to find adoption Asia, but they don’t really know how to go about it. How are you guys thinking about this adoption journey from a high level? And you know it sounds like from offline we’ve talked about your experience previously in your prior experience also taking companies to Asia and kind of go to market there. So we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences from that as well. 

Josh Swihart 

Yeah, so one of the things we’re talking about earlier is just how do we apply some of all this great work that’s been done with technology adoption of things outside of the cryptocurrency industry and how this can go and apply. This thing is really unique and really big with what we’re trying to do. So our mission at the Electric Coin Company was really to empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity and this very big, broad and maybe kind of [Word missed05:55]. When you think about what we’re trying to do and what other projects are trying to do, we’re supporting the development of a top digital currency with the intent for this to be a world currency with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake as of today and potentially billions or trillions in the future and use the complex cryptography on top of nascent technology and lack regulatory clarity as regulators figure it out and the whole industry is moving very fast. And we’re competing against some of the most powerful and insurance forces in the planet, so with a big commercial interest in big banks, and we’re trying to do it in such a way that is privacy protected. So we’re fighting for individual liberty. And you know for us at the Electric Coin Company, we didn’t have a, ICO or anything like that, so we’re doing it really with the budget of a small company, kind of operating as a startup. So anything about like marketing and adoption, in our world marketing, that’s what it really means is user education and adoption of Zcash. And you know one of the things we have to do is kind of recognize where we are in the cycle. And so again it’s nascent technology, regulatory clarity just isn’t there, the user experience is terrible you know, liquidity is getting there but it’s really low, access is still a problem and awareness and education is going really early. So you know, we have a really big global job and very limited resources to try to execute that. So where we’ve really focused and we said look, we really want to focus on economic freedom for people and we want to provide great privacy, the best best-in-class privacy, we believe in doing it at Layer 1, but that’s where it needs to be done, and we’re going to deliver it to scale. And so then that requires a lot of partners and people that are out there in different contexts to be able to use the currency and figure out, consider it in the right product market fit, but we need to engage with some rich folks. So we started with some fundamental economics, so thinking about how local currency is going to take on it, what are the phases if the currency kind of moves beyond the speculative aspect to the store of value and the relative exchange, who the users are, what do we think they’re going to be, what are their needs, what’s the context. So that could be like psychographic kind of information, it could be demographic information, geography.And then we start to map those places which really help. With these journey Maps, then it kind of represent these cycles that news may be between early stages like having a need to finding, to learning about our currency all the way to acquisition with the goal of them ultimately building the flywheel so that people can go get a great deal of success with it in that they are using a currency they’re going to gain.

And so what we do is we started mapping each stage, but what’s really important when you’re looking at this [Word missed 09:31] is actually the vectors between the stages. So you know, how do you get somebody that has a need to the place to where they’re finding you. Once they find you, how do they get to a place where they’re learning more about you? So it’s just not the content you know, what are the things that you’re delivering in each unique stages, but how do you remove the friction between the stages. So for a number of things are coalescing just like there’s really interesting kind of financial momentum and capital flows, so part of it is following the money, there’s broader privacy concerns in Asia that you can talk about some regulatorystuff, and then we were also concerned with some misunderstanding and potential flipping pages based upon what would be listed in fashion in Japan exchanges, buying the coin check out actually. So we wanted better for understand why it happened and understand like the contexts, local perceptions and start to engage in a way that we hadn’t done before. 

Joyce Yang

Yeah, to film in a little bit, can you highlight the different vectors in the customer decisions journey that you highlighted? And where are the friction points that the hash is looking to solve primarily and at least initially for now?

Josh Swihart 

Yeah I mean, I think the stages are different based upon the persona. So if it’s, and there’s sub-segmentation of that. So for example if it’s a commercial user, first day we’re really targeting somebody that’s interested in Zcash as a store of value. We need to kind of again understand what are the basic needs for that person. So they may never have a need to store the asset to be able to transact safely, they need access to liquidity, they need regulatory clarity to ensure that it’s okay, what they’re doing okay with the clients, with your local regulations and things like that. So those stages and the vectors between the stages is just really vary based upon who that person is, but it’s kind of moving out of this mindset of this is our project and this is what we’re trying to accomplish, and instead contextualizing it to the people that you’re trying to reach and say do you really understand them and what the needs are and how they make decisions. And can we help come alongside them rather than to kind of force them into our way of thinking. 

Joyce Yang

Yeah, that makes sense. And it sounds like for example that the friction with Japan is the kind of dialogue with exchanges at least for now and other regulators to understand why they decided to make certain decisions about listing and delisting Zcash. 

Josh Swihart 

Yeah, Japan is really interesting because we thought before going on this last trip out there, we thought Zcash had been banned, and that’s not right. Actually be Zcash wasn’t banned, it’s not approved either. So there’s kind of a subtle distinction between those things. And so then when everybody was under everybody after the Coin Check hack you know, [Inaudible13:12] engaging with JFSA in putting together guidelines for exchanges and kind of start out a broad set of things of expectations. And one of those things was that the currency shouldn’t be used broadly like in dark markets and things like that. And so part of the work is to work with the regulatory community and kind of help them understand the importance and the benefits [Inaudible13:47] integer currencies and providing information about how the currency is and not being used, and then working with local exchanges who may be interested in supporting Zcash if they feel like JB CEA and JFSA are open to it. And I will say one of the lessons I learned on that trip was really when you do engage in Asia, you have to be in Asia. So we’ve had these conversations for months and have done this research and got more done in a 60-minute meeting and learned more in 60 minute meetings than in a month to month to research it from here in the states. 

Joyce Yang

Yeah, that’s wonderful to hear, I’m based in New York City but I’m focus on Asian and I probably have to make a trip about once every month to go there and go into different countries as well every time because there are so many things happening and things are changing in different jurisdictions. Along with your you know, it sounds like a really interesting problem that you’re solving there with the Japanese FSA. What other kind of obstacles are you facing in this kind of journey that you have embarked on?

Josh Swihart 

It looks like there are obstacles everywhere. It’s also nascent and it’s moving really fast and it’s all big and this is all really just like it’s one big experiment. And we think it’s going to succeed and we believe in it, but being an experiment, but being such an important like this conceptual piece of all humanity the in terms of commerce, it being almost you know, it’s communication tool between people and this exchange of value. It’s really really big and all this stuff is very entrenched. And so some blockers are, just the way that people think about money. And whether you can trust this technology or whether you trust people or whether you trust banks or not. So that’s when I like to challenge that the lack of regulatory clarity and the inconsistency everywhere, it’s pretty brutal. So not knowing what India is going to do; are they going to ban or not ban or they going to create their own version of the digital rupee you know, what’s happening with RBI. I mean all of that stuff, it makes it very very difficult for example in India, first for anybody that’s operating in a crypto space to invest significant time and money to try to build the infrastructure, so just not sure if it’s going to get crushed. So in some cases it’s easier to work with some jurisdictions of it that are more favorable than that.

So I think regulatory commissions are one, I think we still don’t have the talent that we need within the industry to deliver all the kind of capabilities that’s coming and it’s been coming, and we have some amazing engineers or cryptographers, best-in-class, but there is a lot of rigor that whether it’s from legal or marketing or other disciplines that is needed. And so it’s been really difficult with in the myths of crypto [Wordmissed17:21] to recruit people overly if like lots of people leave, then go back to the traditional pack. So that’s about challenge. And then again with like all these searcher points around, like how do I acquire, it’s still too hard. If I I’m interested in acquiring any digital asset, then I’ve got to go in a regulated exchange, I got to give them all my information, I got to tie it to a bank account, I’ve got a get funded, I’ve got to wait till the funds to arrive. And then once I get there, I purchased it, maybe I want to move it off to a wallet and that’s super scary. And I’ve got to cut me some address and then send it and cross my fingers and hope that it gets to into my wallet and maybe try to watch confirmations on chain or something like that. It’s way too hard for most people to use. So it’s just a lot of stuff, we’d better [Inaudible18:14] over the books you know, within the next month the years as you guide to authority adoption. 

Joyce Yang

Yeah. I’m on the flip side of that. I wonder, has there been any kind of better than expected conversations that you had there you know, you guys are also looking at Singapore and Hong Kong with more English speakers and generally more transparent if not you know kind of laid-back regulations. How has that been going or is that relatively better than perhaps Japan who after all this hatch seems like they’re kind of closing off rather than opening up a little bit to the folks outside?

Josh Swihart 

Yeah, like I would start with Japan. I’m like Korea and Hong Kong guys, I still don’t understand very well. I don’t claim to understand off any of these really well, but we’re learning. But Japan is really interesting right, because they’re going to have a [Inaudible19:17] next year. So they’re going to have all these people coming into the country and I keep hearing these rumors of this potential opportunity for people to convert crypto into funding things like a Japanese rail car or something like that. So I don’t know if those things are going to be there, they may be, and I haven’t gotten I mean, I know that the exchanges under these improvement orders have some pretty rigorous requirements right, so there trading with traditional financial services and mostly like just startups. So is that good or bad? I don’t know, but it’s not a lack of support, it’s just trying to make sure that the citizens of Japan are safe, and they’ve set the way there already. And I think that more than anywhere else in the world, I’ve seen the potential for cryptocurrencies to move to meeting their exchange and maybe even skip over store of value, and in fact that trend. Because we broadly talk about Bitcoin being a store value, there’s a lot of people that believe that’s what its primary use case is, and I believe that the Zcash is a good long-term store of value as we build liquidity and things like that. [Inaudible20:39] system, then it becomes a better meeting exchange, but we may skip that piece in Asia. I’m not sure I saw more hope there on that trunk. So Japan is really interesting on that side to see what that kind of user adoption looks like, I think there’s similar things in Korea. It sounds like and I’m not positive, but it sounds like Korea may be modeling some of their exchange requirements in a manner that’s consistent with what JD CEA has done with JSA.

And you know Koreans are used to I mean, there’s a couple of different kinds of things in Korea in terms of [Inaudible21:21] quality, but using these series of mobile apps to do everything. And again, it may be a place where you know, right now in Korea you can’t do some trading in your scale, but you could go to see trader stands and have banking relationships today, but it may move to the app set that creates this use every day and bypass some of these kind of more traditional evolution. Singapore is interesting because I didn’t get the sense that they were really pushing for broad adoption of cryptocurrencies in Singapore for Singaporeans. What I got was they want to be the place for research and trade which maybe is consistent with what Singapore has done. And so they’ve got these big government programs where they’re funding all of this work. Binance is now there and there’s some kind of interesting ties with Binance and Singapore, but there’s commercial entities that are being funded, and there’s educational work that’s being done, and MAS has engaged with…. So the Monetary Authority of Singapore has engaged to look at Mikey on a number of research projects, and they’re trying to bring talent and knowledge and research to Singapore. I just didn’t see the same intent on actually using the currencies.

Joyce Yang

Yeah. That’s really helpful and I think I realized that there will have to be a time where we have you come back and talk about each country and their challenges and I mean, kind of the go-to-market strategies independently because they’re all so different. Do you have any additional questions that you’d like to ask Josh?

Eric Turner 

Yeah Josh, I hear you talking kind of about speaking with exchanges and talking about regulation and things like that. In terms of what your overall strategy is for Asia you know, not just this trip, but kind of in the future. Are you guys in a target, like is that your strategy is to target service providers that are going to get Zcash into the hands of people or is it also you know just going after the end user and getting people excited about Zcash over there?

Josh Swihart 

Yeah, I think it’s both. And maybe it involves more as we learned more. So again like we’re focusing on privacy and also some Layer 1 scalability, we believe that all of that should sail at Layer 1. And we only have so many resources, so we need if we want to encourage people to build on top of that. And so some of that work is needed towards those service providers to support Zcash. Also we’re doing some proof of concept work around kind of different type of market set scenarios. So we have a couple that we’re looking at here in the US, but the goal would be as we get a better understanding in Asia and as we deepen our relationships out there, to look for some of those where they’re kind of microcosm. So they might not be kind of the big L1 use cases, it’s more like for example, is there a significant financial market in Asia that would benefit from relay at the site you know, online marketplaces paying them in a cryptocurrency, and can we start to create some of these loops where they don’t ever have to get a bank account but that money can come through the payment of using the work that they do to look through [Inaudible25:25] but the knows give that give us information about like the product that we produce and who user experience and where the gaps are and what’s working and what’s not working, and helps maybe open some eyes, so that’s another case. And then we are part of it and be completely engaged with regulators. Yeah I mean ultimately you know, we talk about Bitcoin being kind of HTTP and Zcash being HTTPS right. And in the past where there was a lot of confusion in the early internet days, everything was transparent and open and so people will be able to see all of that traffic.

And we realized all the time for getting the commerce over the web, we need encryption. And so one is to provide some education both with citizens as well as regulators is importance of privacy in financial dealings. So what that means in terms of the security of the citizen also for businesses so that we know for example we know which seed was the laws in places like Europe where we have GDPR and Zcash is compliant with GDPR because all of that customer information is hidden but businesses don’t want to make their wallets broadly available online so then we can see all their transactions in the mail but this is sort of featherstone. And again it’s not safe and it’s not in the best part, it’s not good for the business either to give all that information. And then finally just from a national screen side, certainly we’ve seen the US with Facebook and [Inaudible27:18] and all that concern where you have now foreign state actors who can track and trace yours actions and then try to use that information, the data they collected to influence. So in the case of the U.S, a forward actor tried to influence the U.S election cycle. But likewise, if data is not encrypted, then not only can you know, if an ex-spouse or a competitor see information and see all that kind of financial data and all the metadata associated and aggregated with all the rest of the database that they can get about you, then North Korean hackers have access that information, other foreign actors who may want to use that information in a way that the damages national security or has the potential to make things unsafe for citizens. So meaning that message is really important, people come to understand the implications so that we can move to a world where there’s an expectation of privacy, it’s not an edge case. There’s no such thing as a privacy point because all of these currencies have privacy built in, because it’s a necessary piece with handling financial transactions online.

Eric Turner 

Yeah. And for you it sounds like part of the problem is getting people, convincing people that privacy is important and they should use Zcash, but also just getting service providers to do things like enable shielded transactions. So you know, exchanges and wallets or whatever it may be, making sure that they understand the privacy side of Zcash and enable those abilities. 

Josh Swihart 

Yeah Eric, I think that’s right. I think there’s both sides; right, so at some level if you think about when you’re using a bank, you have an expectation that that bank is protecting your privacy, that when you send money, your account balance is not being disclosed to the world. And you have to think about it, you don’t have that cognitive load of “okay, is this transaction or if I set up this checking account in this Bank, are they keeping my information private?” You just expect it. And part of that expectation comes through expectations that you have as an individual, and part of that comes through an inherent trust that the regulators that are regulating that Bank are ensuring that your privacy is protected. And so there is a kind of a grassroots awareness that’s really important for people to understand, but a lot of folks will default to keeping things very open and transparent because that’s the easiest thing. And so the water will find the easiest path down, and so we’ve got to work on both sides of that within all of these kind of different geographies or contexts. And so there’s an expectation that neither that [Inaudible30:42]. 

Eric Turner 

Yeah, it totally makes sense. Joyce I’ll hand it back to you. I know we have a couple of questions that people wanted to ask, I don’t want to take up all the time. 

Joyce Yang

Great, thanks. So at this point, I also like to open up the questions for a Q&A. So for our listeners who are online. If you could press *6, that will unmute your phone and you could ask a question. So if you press *6, that will unmute you and you could ask a question. We also have some questions coming from readers offline, and one of them was that Josh, culturally the idea of privacy is kind of last culture in Asia because there’s always a recognition, kind of this invisible hand that is the government, as the need for private money transactions may not be as strong in Asia as it is you know in North America or at least kind of culturally, that appears to be the case. Do you get that kind of pushback in Asia when you’re there, and generally in kind of how are you guys thinking about that?

Josh Swihart 

So Joyce before I answer that question, I’m curious what your opinion is on this question. Is it true that people in Asia are not as concerned about individual privacy?

Joyce Yang

So I could speak specifically about China, and I do think that in China, people don’t care about privacy, and there’s specific types of privacy you know, it’s about their information being spread around the internet and kind of shared to where the government is monitoring you on your WeChat conversations, that is something that people are very cognizant and aware of, and they kind of just kind of throw their hands up in the air and admit to that and that life style. And in exchange for that essentially, what the regulators are inherently promising is generally a well-run society of a billion to 2 billion people who won’t be provided this generally good standard of living. So the argument has been from the folks I’ve spoken to in Asia and China specifically is that in exchange for this privacy loss, folks get in return of a more well-run society. That is, they are able to identify the bad actors faster, they’re able to efficiently ban crypto transactions across the board if they wanted to, and prevent folks from getting scammed. And that is specifically in China, but I would say that this desire for privacy…. and I think that for financial transactions, I think there is still a strong desire across the board in Asia as it is with anywhere else like you just mentioned in your examples. In terms information is a little more different by region, it’s how I perceive it. 

Josh Swihart 

Great. What you said, so in the context of China you’re saying the Chinese people trust their government. They’ve kind of made a deal. 

Joyce Yang

 Yeah, I want to they trust them. Yeah, they made a deal. 

Josh Swihart 

They made a deal. And at some point, maybe they’re hoping that it is interesting that the government behaves well, and that actually doesn’t make life worse for them because of the lack of privacy. But also then I would wonder, does the Chinese government care if folks like the US can see all of the transactions of all of their Chinese people. Because that’s the reality, if you don’t have privacy but you support an open and public blockchain, then all that transaction information is out there and available to everyone, so even if they are hoping or trusting in their local government, the question may be not even their local government, but it may be foreign actors. 

Joyce Yang

Yeah, that make sense. 

Josh Swihart 

And that’s the series of conversations that we’ve had with folks here in Asia, maybe they’re just being nice. It seems to make sense when we have this conversation. The question is always, it kind of comes back to what about these other cases where the currencies can be used for the various things [Inaudible36:08] and you know, we all know the stories about the U.S. Dollar really being the Number 1 currency in the world use for things like that, but some of the things can happen, but the reality is that [Inaudible36:27].

Joyce Yang

Yeah, that’s very helpful. So if folks still have a question, you can press *6 and you’ll be unmuted. And another question that we had our readers ask. What’s the reaction from folks in the US when you tell them you’re going to market in Asia? You know, I think there are multiple numbers of protocols have launched in the last year, [Inaudible37:15] has been around relatively longer than most, and I think you know the general concept of going to market in Asia is it’s still quite new for most folks. I guess, what is the reaction from folks there?

Josh Swihart 

Some folks still do that?

Joyce Yang

Yeah. 

Josh Swihart 

Yeah, you know it’s like it’s a mix of things. So it’s like in some cases, everybody’s like self-interested, they’re interested in what’s happening in their own little world and so it’s like “oh, that’s nice.” And I think that it’s a huge slide spot in the industry, I was talking actually to somebody who is an investor who spend a lot of time back and forth. They’re [Inaudible38:04] and they… like he was saying that he’s shocked that the conversations that he has back in the states with some level of indifference when there’s so much activity that’s happening, there’s so much innovation is happening in places like Korea. And that most folks in the US aren’t allocating a significant amount of funding to go after that region. I don’t know like in the past, when was with the company I work for, they were marketing at least you know, we had to cover Asian bargain strategy. There’s a lag, and it was for enterprise software, and there was a lag, so the expectation was that it is first going to be adapted in the US, and then some big names are going to use it, so it’s going to be the Amazon, the Microsoft or somebody like that is going to use the technology. And then maybe they put in the [Inaudible39:06] and they buy a bunch of this 5 eventually. I don’t think that same pattern is holding up here, I think that there’s like just a massive amount of innovation and energy in Asia where Asia may be the driver of this and the U.S may not. U.S maybe a funding mechanism but not the innovator.

Joyce Yang

Yeah, that’s fascinating especially when you mentioned the innovation not coming from the US. I think folks up here in North America have been focusing on building more robust and scalable solutions, while in Asia folks are kind of more experimental and testing out lots of different kinds of business models and adoption. So I do see an increasing divergence between the 2 regions and it’s really interesting that you mentioned that and I mean, I’m very happy as someone who created a platform focusing on Asia that you’re saying that. So it’s obviously validating what we’re doing. But, so what are the incremental learnings that you’ve taken away from your recent trip with Zuko?

Josh Swihart 

I think one of the things that I mentioned before, it’s like if you were to engage in Asia, you have to be in Asia. It’s an investment, I don’t think you can play around. So making sure that trust is really important, sitting across the table and sharing a meal or things like that is really important. And I think it’s an important signal if your based in U.S [Inaudible40:55] that you make the time and that you treat people as important not as transactions. And so going is the signal, and spending time is a signal, and learning is a signal. So I think that’s important, I think you need to be genuine about it. So that was one thing that was a big tickler for me. To mention before, I think it made the move from the speculative asset to a medium of exchange faster you know, but expect things like that in Hong Kong or some other things where you know, potentially those trends might be used to onboard more people faster. It might be like the less Bitcoin maximalism in Asia, and more it’s just kind of interested innovation, but less religion around the place specifically, they may be here. And then another kind of and interesting takeaway is the regulators you’ve had. So they want to build restriction but they also want to be seen as innovative and progressive you know, they don’t want to rock the country out of an incredibly powerful wave that’s coming. And so regulators wanting to understand what other regulators are doing is interesting, and that’s something I’ll really expect. 

Joyce Yang

In your conversations with Korea, they’re asking what did you talk about with the Japan SSA. Like for example, that’s kind of, that sounds very interesting because this is the first time I think regulators have to think very globally as well around something that’s so digital in nature. 

Josh Swihart 

You’re totally right you know; they do have to. Because it’s like a potential trade war or something like that, they want to be on the front side of it. Careful, but they don’t want to fight for it except in places like you know, we’ve seen some pretty interesting moves by China, and in the BJP in India have been very kind of negative, but in some of these other places like some of the countries we visited, it wasn’t that case. It was more competitive. I think we also learned that not many people in Asia know very much about Zcash. They just know it has another currency in the exchange, and they don’t know certainly I mean, there’s like a full history with Zcash right, [Inaudible43:43] really being one of the original psycho punks and engaged very very early on in this whole movement and what happened with the fact that they needed to do work on the cryptography and Zcash has been very highly of being used in other projects, well not just for privacy preserving things but as an official potentially way to scale blockchains, as a potential way to be able to handle identity management and things like that. So when we see that kind of innovation and we take it for granted, that other people understand that stuff is happening and you know, that a lot of this research in Zcash came out of the top universities looking like the UC Berkeley and [Inaudible] and like that, but they were just I mean, that was like we had 2 dozen meetings and 3 meetups and met hundreds of people and very few where they kind of understood what Zcash is or what it’s about. It just kind of reinforced that we need to research more, we need to spend some more time in that region. 

Joyce Yang

Yeah, that’s definitely really good to learn that, and then those takeaways are really valuable. At this point I wanted to see if anyone else had a question. If you have a question, press *6 and then you will be unmuted. Eric, did you have any other questions?

Eric Turner 

I think that was all on my end.

Joyce Yang

Okay. I have one last question and I think we’re about to hit the end of the hour. So I want us to quickly ask Josh how much time and kind of effort is Zcash looking to spend on Asia in kind of a year, and maybe perhaps down the road? 

Josh Swihart 

Yeah, so we had plans to open an office and a higher tier firm and do a whole bunch of stuff in Asia prior to the big drop in November, the financial big drop in November. And so that put financial strain on all of us. So you’d say what happens with any kind of business or any kind of startup. If you have a home office and you put your vote offices [Inaudible46:20] if there’s economic trouble, then you kind of retreat, then you don’t set that much plans for expansion. So we just press pause, so just said like we need to see like how long is this [Inaudible]. Again our funding mechanism is a little bit different, so we’re not as heavily capitalized at some other projects, but it was it was really important that we started the engagement process. So whether or not we set up an office this year or next year or things like that, not ready to commit to some of those things yet, but our plan is to go to go pretty aggressively. And again, you know that it requires some real present in order to make that happens. So you know, I’ll probably be out there again, I don’t know q3 or so, kind of on another trip, and then just you know, some of the activities associated with a trip, whether it’s kind of establishing the base or keeping the relationships kind of [Inaudible47:31]. Yeah, we’re incredibly interested in engaging people. 

Joyce Yang

Yeah, that’s wonderful and I think a lot of folks in Asia will probably be really interested in learning more about Zcash since we did a meet-up in Singapore last time and the turnout looks like it was pretty successful. 

Josh Swihart 

Yeah, Singapore maybe a place too where maybe there’s some work that we can do because of our academic route, there may be some additional work that we can do on the academic side in Singapore, that might actually might be useful for the whole region. So they’re exploring some of those studies like that. 

Joyce Yang

Yeah, wonderful. We’re looking forward to hear more about your efforts there and just kind of generally sharing learnings there because I think a lot of folks are looking to kind of a source and project to look up to who’s kind of finding adoption there. So thank you so much again for coming on this call. How can our listeners and readers learn more about what you guys are doing and follow you?

Josh Swihart 

Yeah I mean, we published everything out, the website, the blog is [z.cash], and there’s much information there about Zcash and how it works and all the background there, that’s a great place to engage. We follow that up on Twitter @zcashco, and my twitter account @JSwihartand we publish a bunch of information there. Again the company recently renamed, we were going by the Zcash Company and renamed to Electric Coin Company, but still manage a lot of those letters as assets. So there’s a kind of give great way to get engaged and then there’s also the Zcash Foundation. And so all facing off the top of my head with their exact URLs, but you can go find them online and they are a good source of information as well, and they’re really ramping a lot of groups on top of it. 

Joyce Yang

Wonderful. Thank you so much again Josh for being on the call, and us the Global Coin Research. And also I’m so very grateful for you to share with us your experience, and also thank you to all the listeners for dialing. So thank you so much again. 

Eric Turner 

Thank you everyone.

 Josh Swihart 

Thank you.

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