"A Call for Ethical Governance in Zcash: Navigating the Dev Fund Transition"

Numerous proposals have emerged recently, aiming to bring a transformative shift in the “governance fabric” of the Zcash ecosystem (e.g. “en-masse” nominations for ZCAP, the sudden appearance of a “Zenate,” or a proposal on “weighted coin voting”). What adds intrigue to the situation is the peculiar timing - these proposals rushing to come out all at once, and all of them coinciding with the impending expiration of the dev fund in just over a year. Equally intriguing is the fact that most of these suggestions originate from individuals who have been profiting from the Zcash dev fund, and, in some cases, have openly shared their intentions to continue to do so.

For this, I’d like to put forth a suggestion to both the powers-that-be in Zcash as well as to the broader community: Let us approach this situation with the utmost ethical consideration. If we were to come up with a new governance structure that would have an impact on how it is decided whether to extend the dev fund or not, I believe the only truly ethical approach to it would be to either exclude anyone who has ever profited from the dev fund or founder’s reward from having voting/vetoing power under any “new regulations,” and if this is not digestible for the powers-that-be in Zcash (something tells me it won’t), then the community should definitely refrain from altering the rules prior to ZCAP voting on a potential dev fund extension for another cycle, as to prevent any potential “foul play”, or abuse of the “governance loopholes” in Zcash from anyone who would stand to profit from a dev fund extension.

Beyond the evident “power struggle” and the technical and adoption challenges Zcash is grappling with, the most pressing issue this project faces is its severely tarnished reputation among the crypto masses (it would not be too hard to argue that this massive negative perception of Zcash and its main players might be merited, by the way). This reputational crisis is not only shared by the broader public but also among many within the Zcash community - the regular zodlers who form its core.

In my humble opinion, it is imperative that addressing this reputational crisis becomes a priority for the community. Most approaches that would give way to changes in Zcash governance prior to the vote on whether to renew the dev fund would almost certainly be perceived as “suspicious” by both regular zodlers, as well as the crypto masses (who we desperately need to stop thinking of Zcash as a “scam/honeypot” coin), and even more so when the initiatives are being pushed by people who have either been profiting from the dev fund and/or who stand to lose in case it does not get renewed.

To summarise, I do believe a change in Zcash governance is urgent and that it would be ideal for it to take place prior to the decision on whether to renew the dev fund for another cycle, but only if this change is approached in a way that would prevent people who have conflicts of economic interests from having a say on whether they get even more money from zodlers or not. If this is not palatable for the people with conflicts of economic interests vis-a-vis this topic, or to the wider Zcash community, then the governance rules should definitely stay the same as to not further taint the reputation of Zcash in the eyes of zodlers and the crypto masses.

Zcash is in need for desperate change, but definitely not for a change that would mainly strengthen the hand of the same people who are in great part responsible for the multiple crisis the project is going through, or for a change that would tarnish its reputation even more.

At least in the eyes of this long-time zodler.


Welcome to the forum.

I dont think you have read anything Josh and others have proposed to reform Zcash governance.

I will defend Jason. He has done more than anyone to strengthen the voice of the community and demand greater transparency and accountability of ECC and ZF. His reputation is stellar.

No one can take you seriously when you use conspiratorial language when talking about good proposals for greater community involvement in the protocol and governance.

There is no ‘intrigue’, or ‘peculiar timing’ or ‘rushing all at once’ or ‘coinciding with the impending expiration of the dev fund’ or ‘suspicious’. It natural and normal for these proposals to come up now when there is a discussion about the future of the Dev Fund.

You are making baseless accusations when you infer something is amiss without evidence to support it.

To suggest, that anyone that has ever received or hopes to receive from the Dev Fund should not take part of the conversation or put forth proposals, is ridiculous. Your lack of understanding how Zcash Governance works is showing.

Read the text not the minds.

I havnt seen any proposals from you.

But what I have seen… is this, illuminating (and perhaps suspicious) paragraph:

You would rather keep the status quo than to work towards a governance model where more ZEC holders are included and have a stronger voice.

Thank you for your troll contribution.

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I did not say they can’t make proposals, you’re either being intentionally misleading or simply “incapable of understanding” what I said. Words are hard to grasp for some people, I understand.

Same goes for understanding the political economy behind things, it clearly isn’t for everyone.

I’m all for that, but changing the rules exactly when we’re about to vote whether to extend the dev fund or not, obviously is an enormous red flag, specially when the change of rules is being pushed from the very same people who stand to profit or lose depending the results of the voting. If you can’t understand why it is an enormous red flag, then you just can’t be helped.

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Overall a strong critique and proposal (for governance change), but I agree with others that some of the verbiages are overcharged!

I feel that in short, you’ve identified a Catch-22 that is challenging the community right now.

There is a broad consensus that ecosystem Governance needs to be improved, and that the Dev Fund debate/ action in late 2024 creates a dilemma (where conflicts of interest may be over-represented, and so in a Governance update, the new model could over-represent the current model).

Do we collectively trust the current Governance model to make the most prudent decision/ action about the Dev Fund in 2024? Or do we feel that Governance needs reform prior to that decision/ action event?

“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to.”

Are we crazier to change Governance sooner, or later?

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I assumed this would be the case, atleast it’s what I intended when I posted my ideas. Unless the community had strong opinions to vote on changing the governance model first, which Id be very hesitant to support, I think we are on the same page here. I hope this alleviates some of your concerns. :heart: