Zcash + Open Index Protocol Integration

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Read the full proposal on GitHub

Zcash + Open Index Protocol Integration

In addition to private finances, to live freely we need public & private spaces online protected by code rather than terms of service.

Applicant background

Hi, we’re Amy & Devon James. We had the idea for using a blockchain to index metadata with file and value transfer addresses to facilitate completely decentralized media distribution in 2014 and built the first implementation with Ryan Taylor (Web Developer, formally at ECC & Livestreamer for Zcash Foundation). Here is a 5 min overview video and some project highlights + links to apps & demos we've done since.

Also, some exciting news - NYC property records will be published to OIP, building on our work with Wyoming & Overstock subsidiary Medici Land Governance.

Description of Problem or Opportunity

There are not decentralized public and private spaces on the web.

Information access and communication on the web is dominated by siloed, centralized spaces like YouTube, Reddit & Twitter where it is common practice to censor information, demonetize creators, and prevent people from communicating both privately and publicly.

Proposed Solution

To live freely, we need to be able to speak, share and transact in both private and public. Private finances & private spaces need to be interoperable with public transactions and a public space.

We propose to add interoperability with Zcash to Open Index Protocol (OIP) - initially for private payments to unlock indexed information, and ultimately to create private indexing of information using the Zcash encrypted memo field. In Phase 1 of our work, we'll also build a Zcash branded YouTube-style web app we've been calling "Ztube." See details on Github.

We’ll also create 4 Zcash-focused videos as part of our What Kind of Internet Do You Want? series

Solution Format

We’ll deliver open source code and documentation to run “Ztube” on a web server, including:

  • “Ztube”, a Zcash branded YouTube style web application, written in html, css & js, using react & redux with a MongoDB User Database.
  • OIP daemon & ElasticSearch DB
  • PIN QT full node & explorer
  • Zcashd full node & Zcash explorer

Videos will be released via:

  • YouTube, Instagram & Ztube (others TBD).
  • Promoted on social media
  • We will also give ZOMG mp4 files of the videos under a Creative Commons license

Technical approach

OIP is a layer two specification for how to index information in a fully decentralized way. It uses the Public Index Network (formerly Florincoin) to store public metadata, initially used BitTorrent & currently uses IPFS for file storage & distribution, and uses BTC, RVN & PIN for payments.

For Phase 1 we propose to 1) add both transparent & shielded Zcash payments to unlock content to the OIP daemon 2) build a Zcash branded web app (Ztube) for content distribution with private payments, and 3) build upon Zcash’s past work with ZEC-BTC atomic swaps to integrate ZEC into a PIN-based DEX so that ZEC token holders can publish content to the public index and avoid additional KYC/AML hurdles involved in joining another exchange.

See details for Phases 1 & 2 on Github.

How big of a problem would it be to not solve this problem?

Centralization and censorship on the web threatens privacy, information freedom, and freedom of speech. Online freedom is at stake and losing freedom online could threaten our ability to live freely in our real lives as well.

Execution risks

We don’t have prior experience working with Zcash, so there could be unknowns in implementing shielded payments that cause delays. We’ve allocated time for research, and will draw on the experience of advisor Ryan Taylor as needed.

Unintended Consequences

Public content distribution and private payments could be used by criminals to attempt to distribute illegal content like underage pornography or pirated materials. However, evidence of these crimes will be available to prosecute them because the index is public and indelible.

Evaluation plan

Each milestone has objective metrics for testing software development success and includes one video release.

Schedule and Milestones

Read on Github


We budget $46,584 per month for 9.5 months. This is based on 3 developers at an average of $11,219 per month, part-time sysadmin at $500 per month, video creator/project manager at $4000 per month, part-time production contractor at $2000 per month, Zcash advisor at $200 per month, and 10% overhead. The total is: $442,548.


Tips Received
Accepted without fundingThis proposal has been posted publicly, but isn't being funded by the Zcash Foundation.


a year ago
Requested Funding
Open for Community Donations