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Near the end of Q1 2019, NEO Colorado hosted Tyler Adams, co-founder of City of Zion (COZ) and Moonlight, as a guest speaker. Adams discussed his experiences developing Moonlight, open source development opportunities with COZ, and local impacts of the Colorado Digital Token Act.

NEO Colorado is a community-established entity that aims to introduce NEO blockchain technology to the broader Colorado, national, and international blockchain industry. Prior NEO Colorado meetups have included in-depth 101 of the NEO blockchainNEO’s path to network decentralization, and a recap of NEO DevCon 2019. Other NEO Colorado events have included Lightning Talks presentations about an intro to NEO and developer tools for the NEO blockchain.

In total, around ten individuals were in attendance, which allowed for an interactive discussion throughout Adams’ presentation.

History with COZ

Adams began with his background as a co-founder of COZ. He described his entrance into the (then Antshares) ecosystem in 2017, and his previous work with mission-critical distributed systems that was relevant to concepts within the Smart Economy.

As Adams sought to learn more about Antshares’ delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus algorithm, he discovered there was not much documentation written in English. Adams joined a group of other interested individuals who began to translate documentation from Chinese to various languages. The group was comprised of many developers which subsequently led to tools such wallets, trackers, and compilers beginning to appear.

This group became the foundation of COZ, “a global, independent group of open source developers, designers, and translators formed to support the NEO core and ecosystem.”

As COZ continued to grow, the developer group received funding from the NEO Foundation, which was used to create a pool of rewards for open-source ecosystem project contributors.

COZ has also used the funding to sponsor international events such as hackathons and workshops. Further, COZ funding has been distributed to dApp developers, authors of documentation, and research competitions.

Historically, COZ has acted as what Adams refers to as “a turn-style for on-boarding product developers into the blockchain community.” In this capacity, individuals spend time working with and developing tools in the NEO ecosystem, then move on to other projects. Examples of such projects include Nash Exchange, Bridge Protocol, nOS, O3, and many more.

COZ internal reorganization and change to the rewards model

Recently, COZ went through an organizational restructure, which includes a new method of distributing rewards to open source software developers. During this reorganization structure, the community identified three areas of improvement:

  1. Focus resources on the products that provide the most value to the NEO ecosystem.
  2. Increase leadership through the definition of roadmaps, task priorities, and overall vision.
  3. Increase transparency in the rewards system with a more straightforward process that is easier for new contributors to understand.

The new model distributes rewards by a tasks impact and quality. Eligible projects for rewards now include an impact label, which is representative of the importance of a task, and reward for completing the task. Work performed and the amount rewarded are transparent with transactionid’s provided in a community audit.

At the time of the presentation in March 2019, a rotating list of 80 projects were eligible for COZ rewards.

Currently, COZ has launched and is optimizing a framework to distribute grant funding to projects that contribute to and enhance the NEO ecosystem. Adams steered the final portion of his discussion towards potential impacts for developers in Colorado.

COZ, NEO, and the Colorado blockchain community

A handful of COZ and affiliate NEO ecosystem groups reside in the State of Colorado and have hosted a variety of meetups, workshops, and hackathons since Q4 2017.

Adams believes the COZ platform and grant funding, in conjunction with local NEO resources, can be used to grow the broader Colorado blockchain ecosystem.

Further, Adams highlighted the potential positive benefits from the recently enacted Colorado Digital Token Act. Blockchain startups now have clearer definitions on regulation and an indication that the State government is willing to work with the community.

Though, Adams stated there is “a lot of work for the blockchain community to expand clarification and grow adoption,” he concluded with “let’s build in Colorado!”

Please find the video of Tyler’s presentation below: