Number Go Up

  • Is it a good thing for crypto projects to be focused on?
  • Is it beneficial or is it detrimental?
  • Is it undesirable but an unfortunate necessity?
  • Or is it just a distraction from the main goal?

To answer this question we need to step back and take a look at the main innovations Bitcoin brought into the world. Why? Because Bitcoin is upstream of everything else in the entire cryptocurrency space, It was the first crypto currency to succeed, and is still by far the most successful crypto currency project in existence. All other cryptocurrency projects must at a bare minimum pay close attention to these innovations or they risk creating something so removed from it and so close to the current fiat system they are seeking to replace as to make their project a crypto version of all that is wrong with our current fiat system.

There are many innovations people argue Bitcoin brought into the world, but the main ones are only few, and exceedingly simple:

Neutral money

  • There is no root access & no central authority controlling Bitcoin. Not even a nation state level actor can corrupt the ledger or confiscate someone's Bitcoin. The only way to lose your bitcoin is to lose control of the private key
  • No one can prevent you from creating a bitcoin address or de-bank anyone from Bitcoin

A hard cap of 21 Million coins

  • One of the most egregious problems with our current fiat money system is that those with root access can, and frequently do, print more money at will, debasing its purchasing power for all those who hold and use it.

These seemingly 2 small innovations, being an asset that can’t be stolen or debased to zero, are actually quite significant.

So what does this have to do with Number Go Up?

Even though Bitcoin has solved for the issue of currency debasement by having a hard cap of 21 Million coins in its issuance schedule, what it is actually attempting solve for is protecting the purchasing power of savers, accumulators of bitcoin. In practice it means that a Bitcoin holder can buy the same, or more of a given product or service in the future as they can now at the present moment.

So when one looks at the interaction of the bitcoin price as compared to any other currency, If that other currency is being debased and losing its purchasing power and Bitcoin is retaining its purchasing power, then the price of bitcoin as denominated in the debasing currency will go up. It is indisputable, basic mathematics. This gives Bitcoin the potential to be a great store of value.

If the number stays the same or the number goes down, then it is losing its purchasing power as quickly or faster than the currency it is being compared to. So it is a bad store of value.

Number Go Up is not just some silly meme, it is the very foundation that Bitcoin stands on. Without Number Go Up Bitcoin would be completely meaningless.

So how is any of this relevant to ZCash?

The ZCash v USD price chart since ZCash's inception

Because out of the 26,000 publicly traded cryptocurrencies, ZCash has one of, if not the most horrific price chart in existence.

ZCash, whilst praised for its revolutionary & pioneering tech, is also at the very same time derided as the worst performing cryptocurrency. The fastest way to go from Billionaire to Broke. Down Only

ZCash had ambitions of taking the innovations of Bitcoin and adding privacy, arguably the single most significant thing that Bitcoin was missing. But if your purchasing power is getting eviscerated this badly there is absolutely no reason to use or hold ZCash, and you may as well just use fiat money, you’re even better off holding Argentine Pesos, they’re retaining their purchasing power as well as if not marginally better than ZCash, and the Argentine Peso is currently experiencing out right hyperinflation.

The ZCash v Argentine Peso price chart since ZCash's inception

As the meme at the top of this article correctly and so eloquently portrays, those who deride Number Go Up are midwits. Every crypto currency that starts to get over their skis and believes they are smarter than or are better than Up Only for any reason, fails. It doesn't matter whether this is due to arrogance, hopium, misguided altruism or stupidity.

There are many possible reasons the ZCash price has been such an abject failure, from the conspiratorial to quite plausible, but because i strongly believe in the goodness of people and have an aversion to conspiracy theories (even though they may turn out to be true) the main reason i believe the ZCash price performance to be such a failure is:

There are people with outsized impact in the organisations that manage ZCash who, whilst well intentioned, are incorrect in their views on what is best for ZCash, and think that Down Only is a good thing for ZCash because of their altruistic belief that if it is cheaper per coin, the poorer and more marginalised people, who they are altruistically trying to help will be able to buy more, and this will help them more.

The reason this is so insidious is because too many people in the ZCash community are also altruistically minded and this is a powerful story that aligns with their desire to help people. We want to help the poor and marginalised, how can you be against this? Well, I do also want to help poor and marginalised people from 3rd world countries. I just believe that in order to do so Number MUST Go Up. And there have not been enough people like me to push back on the Number Go Down desires of these other altruistically minded people in positions of power within ZCash and they have so far accumulated too much power and control, enabling them t0 enact policies that have succeeded in their mission to drive the ZCash price down.

In suppressing the price of ZCash and making it constantly go down, they have inadvertently removed the sole reason the very people they seek to altruistically help would own it. The retention of purchasing power is the single most important goal, privacy is only secondary to this, and when the number goes down, you are losing purchasing power, and in so doing, there then becomes no reason to own ZCash at all.

Why do people in Argentina and Nigeria flock to USD and other crypto currencies? Because their home fiat currency is losing its purchasing power so much that these alternate currencies are a better store of value than their own fiat currencies. So if you were an Argentine or a Nigerian why would you even consider ZCash if it is the equivalent of taking your hyperinflating argentine pesos or nigerian naira and lighting them on fire? You wouldn't.

The fact that ZCash is perfectly private is irrelevant if it can’t maintain what USD, Bitcoin and other crypto currencies provide.

I too, want to help all these people, but in order to do so we need to understand what problems we are solving for them. Unless we can save ZCash from the mind virus that thinks “Number Go Down = Good” then ZCash will never be part of any solution to anyones problems.