Why I’m advising Tezos

This disclosure note was written by copying and editing Why I’m advising the “Basic Attention Token” (BAT) team.

Quite a while back, I agreed to serve as an advisor to the Tezos team. This blog post is to state why.

But first, I want to emphasize that this does not constitute a recommendation that you participate in the upcoming Tezos crowdfunding. People sometimes ask me for investment advice, but I never give investment advice. I always just say:

  • Never risk more money than you can afford to lose, on something new.
  • Never invest in something you don’t understand.

(Also see this investment advice from Fred Wilson.)

I will receive $25,000 worth of Tezzies (Tezos tokens) in return for my service as advisor, half upon launch and half a year later. I will not buy any Tezzies myself in the sale, because I don’t have time to think about such decisions! (If I had time to think about such things, I’d probably use Fred Wilson’s recommendation of dollar cost averaging.)

So why am I agreeing to serve as an advisor?

The core idea of Tezos — formalized and automated governance of a decentralized protocol—is a deeply powerful idea, and I want to see it implemented and deployed, in the hopes that it can greatly help humanity.

The Tezos leadership team of Kathleen and Arthur Breitman are people that I know and trust. Kathleen has given me valuable business help and advice over the years, and Arthur has served as a technical advisor to the Zcash project throughout its life so far. I consider them to be able, intelligent, and ethical people.

They already have made substantial progress in the development of the ideas and implementation of Tezos, well in advance of the upcoming fund-raising.

The exchange of ideas between they and me has already benefited Zcash, and by serving as an advisor to Tezos I hope to give back and also to keep the mutually-beneficial ideas flowing. The two projects share a culture of openness, transparency, and scientific knowledge-sharing.

Some people think cryptocurrencies (such as Zcash and Tezos) are primarily competitive. They think this for entirely valid reasons involving network externalities. They might turn out to be right, but I think that the network is bigger than any particular cryptocurrency—the network is all cryptocurrencies. In fact, the network is much bigger than that—the network is all of the scientific and economic activity of all of this planet’s people. It is urgent and imperative that we leverage and multiply the value of that network, and I’m happy to cooperate with Tezos to do so.

No more!

I’m now advising three different projects (Basic Attention Token / Brave, Tezos, and the company that I founded and am still an owner of — LeastAuthority). At the same time, my responsibilities as CEO of The Zcash Company are continuing to balloon as Zcash is rapidly expanding in multiple markets and garnering a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and investment. I am absolutely maxed-out and will not be agreeing to advise any more projects, not matter how good they are, because you can’t squeeze time from a stone.