Arjun Balaji's "2019 predictions"

To claim that the Foundations Governance Panel was a “closed circle” of insiders is wholly inaccurate. Pretty much anyone who wanted to be on the panel could have asked to join , and many community members did such as @kek @root @garethtdavies and many others including myself.

You can see the reasoning, selection process, and results outlined here:


Problem is, this has been done before ASIC’s were announced (in April if I read correctly). I myself havent had a single reason to doubt Zcash before the decision not to fork away was “voted in for”. This stands the same for probably majority of the holders back then. I haven’t even had a forum account back then.

I had no reason to doubt the decision making abilities, but now I do.

Of course its the closed circle, the decision could have been made on a much larger scale. You ignored the wishes of community ( the real community, not your little group of friends who got in early/bought their place in like Roger Ver).

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Where does this 80+% number come from, and how representative is it of the community? We can’t just cherry-pick individual metrics or votes that support our particular desires. We need to be inclusive of the whole community.

And as I already said above, I agree that the community is much more than the people who voted on the governance panel (though as @Shawn correctly recalls, the panel was open to anyone who wanted to participate).

Again, where does this 80+% “vote” number come from, and how representative is it of the community?

It’s true that ZcashCo developers did not write code to fork away from ASICs immediately (though it should be noted that anyone else could have chosen to do so, and did not). This was for a solid technical reason: it would have been completely reckless and dangerous to try and deploy that kind of wide-area-effect consensus rule change without any time for research, development, testing, auditing, or quality assurance. There was indeed a section of the community who would have happily installed immediately whatever binary we published, but that section is not the whole community, and it doesn’t take into account any of the rest of the developer ecosystem, libraries etc. that would need updates to be deployed and integrated into however many third parties might be using them. And with Sapling already in full swing (consuming all of our development resources well into late 2018, and there’s still more to do), it turned out to not be feasible to deploy any PoW changes until the Blossom network upgrade in October 2019 (which is when Harmony Mining is proposed for).

If Zcash is to be a mature, mainstream cybercoin, changes need to be made in a responsible manner in order to provide the best assurances of safety, security, and privacy that we can, as well as providing time for the changes to be deployed by the numerous third parties (mining pools, exchanges, wallet devs, app devs, merchants…) involved in the network. The current network upgrade pipeline takes about a year from late-stage research and feature-selection through to on-network activation, and this was informed directly by what we learned (and the pain we went through) while deploying Sprout, Overwinter, and Sapling.


If you say you will do a job for X amount of money, and then later on change the amount of money mid job because its gonna cost more than you estimated, it is controversial. People started using ZCash based on what was presented at the time. To change it later, like ASIC-RESISTANCE is being dishonest to the people that supported the original plan.

Many polls were done at the time, All of them showed a 80% in favor of forking away from ASICs. Im not cherry picking anything, most of the community was AGAINST ASICs, please show me otherwise.

Let’s talk about ASIC mining didnt become the most used post because it was fun to read, it was because it was the most important topic and people flooded in to show their dislike of ASICs.

And now, here we are, 6+ months later with a Team Member saying, “how representative is it of the community?”. Maybe try reading Let’s talk about ASIC mining , the MAJORITY of the people did NOT want ASICs. Yet here we are…fully ASIC network now.

Here are a couple polls I had saved, there is atleast 2 other polls around on the internet showing the same thing. Also the offical 19/45 vote was very misleading, ASIC resistance did not have to be adopted as a PRIORITY, but it should of been worked on at the time, and had a plan within 3-6 months to fork away. This would of been a disincentive for people to buy equihash ASICs knowing the network is forking soon.

Why is this one so different from the others? This is not representing the community.

Please…dont act like you would of accepted said code even if it was tested and proven to be bug free, sapling was the priority and anything that might effect it was “to much risk”, it would not of been added.

Like I said, it would of never happened, even if we had 100% secure and tested code for the new algo. So why even bring up this strawman argument saying “anyone else could have chosen to do so,”.

Than in the same paragraph, infact almost the same sentence, you say "it would have been completely reckless and dangerous to try and deploy that kind of wide-area-effect consensus rule change"

It would never have been accepted into the fork. So why even pretend and say that in this post?

Yet other much smaller dev teams(several of them) were able to have a anti-asic fix in place within a week of ASIC annoucements. AND it didnt cause any security issues. Why is ZCash so different?

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Out of the entire ZCash community, you had 64 people vote. How representative is it of the community?

If anyone was able to sign up and vote, why such a small amount of people voting?

Did people know they were able to vote on these issues? I didnt know I could “ask” to vote in the panel. This is the first time I heard anything about allowing anyone who asks on the forums to vote in the panel.

EDIT: And Sorry, I think you guys have done a great job, however, some of the statements and changes that have been made have left a bitter taste in my mouth about ZCash. I had very high hopes at the end of 2017 for ZEC, and to see it fall so far, is sad. But please, keep up the great work, and I hope ZEC recovers.

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Technically the Foundation Governance panel was made up of people who have had any Community involvement, but the Zcash Foundation Board had the final say:

I said anyone could have asked to be part of the panel, all you had to do was show you were part of the Zcash Community, the bar was not super high imho. So I think if you were passionate about Zcash and had asked, Josh @acityinohio would likely have approved you.

And Sonya posted an open call on the Forums for more people to join: Community Governance Panel

But this is kinda getting bogged down with the past Foundation process, which ultimately had zero effect on Zcash Companies decision on not rushing a protocol change to brick ASICs.

So the real question in my mind is what is a “better way” to measure Community sentiment for changes to consensus? It seems like no matter how inclusive of a system is designed we are always going to have people later say that they missed the email, or post, or the system was rigged, etc…

If we want to move the conversation forward the first question to tackle is the one of how to measure the entire communities opinion not just a vocal few.


See, posts like these are what make me second guess anything you guys say now. First you say ANYONE could ask to join, as if there was no requirements and anyone was accepted. And than you come back and say…

"Technically the Foundation Governance panel was made up of people who have had any Community involvement, but the Zcash Foundation Board had the final say "

Sure the bar was set low, but this is why people didnt ask to join to vote. They did not think they were allowed to. From the link you listed earlier.

Community Governance Panel

In accordance with these guidelines, we compiled a list of Community Governance Panel members by actively reaching out to people, both individually and in broad public posts, to request participation. Ultimately we recruited 72 Panel members, and 64 of them voted, comprising 88.88% turnout. The voters weighed in on six ballot proposals and nine Board candidates.

Where on here does it say anything about, JUST ASK and you will be accepted. It said YOU GUYS reached out, not that we could sign up for a spot on the panel. THIS is why people didnt vote. They didnt think they could.

Wasnt only 64 people a red flag that hey, I dont think people are understanding they can vote on these things. 64 people voting should of been a clear sign, that people did not think the voting was for them. Out of hundreds of thousands of people in the community, you only had 64 voters…how does this not raise any questions about the sign up process?


Neither of the two polls you posted give any indication of who participated in it, so I cannot evaluate whether they are representative of the Zcash community at all.

It’s nothing to do with whether ZcashCo would have accepted it, but whether the community would have accepted it. We cannot and would not stop anyone from running whatever code they choose to (it’s one of the reasons we are strongly against auto-upgrades of node software). All we can do is say whether or not we would develop on, and provide ongoing support for, a particular chain. So while yes, code written by another entity to implement an immediate fork away from ASICs would most likely still not have been included by ZcashCo in the Sapling upgrade (due to aforementioned security and testing concerns), it could still have been proposed to the community as its own upgrade.

There is the separate question of which chain would be called “Zcash” after this kind of competing upgrade, which is defined by the trademark holder. But that is getting wildly off-topic for this thread, and there are discussions about that elsewhere.

See the following links for information on how the Zcash Foundation (which is separate from the Zcash Company) processed applications, and the full list of participants (so you can judge for yourself how successful the Zcash Foundation was at their goal of obtaining a representative sample of the community).

The call for participants to sign up was posted about right here in the forum:

I appreciate your sentiments :slight_smile:

Agreed. We need bettter ways to include more voices, and to figure out how to make such a process scale. There are some good Rust 2019 posts being made at the moment about similar scaling problems in decision-making within the Rust community, which I think could be very useful for us.


Any number of systems could have been implemented for voting, I suggested one few weeks back and detailed it. It doesnt take a big imagination to create improvised vote.

  1. Current hashrate vote at that time before ASICS were on network would do the trick. All in favor option A switch to pool A, all in favor option B switch to pool B.

  2. Voting with Zcash by sending 0.01 Zcash to Address A for option A, and sending 0.01 Zcash to Address B for option B. How much your vote weights would be measured by your remaining amount of Zcash compared to current mined supply on your wallet which would be done by a script.

  3. Combining power of those 2 (getting vote from both holders and miners).

But no, I think your inner circle knows better.

At the end people voted, with their wallets unfortunately as they couldnt find any other way.

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How about we try coming up with a better method if we’re not happy with the method used the first time? A poll posted on Twitter, and a Google form can both be gamed.

Edit: that’s an interesting idea @Trololino

It was, but now all the network is run by ASICS, and there is no point in such vote.

As for the holders, ASIC have been receiving mining rewards past 7-8 months, and dissapointed GPU miners sold, so we can guess the winner there as well.

You can ignore the polls all you want, the MAJORITY of the community was against ASIC. Can we agree on this alteast? All the things I have seen showed around 80%, can you show me anything that says different?

If we created a fork(new chain) with anti-asic code, it would not be ZCash then. I dont even know why you are saying this? Of course we can run whatever code we want, but it would not be Zcash. It would be a new coin…

So out of ATLEAST tens of thousands of ZCash people in the community, it didnt raise any red flags when 64 showed up to vote? Clearly the message to get out and vote was not heard. Re-reading the “call to vote” even now knowing I can sign up, still doesnt seem like its a call for the average community member on the forums to vote. It sounds like you guys are “PICKING” people.

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I have nothing more to contribute here on the topic of ASICs and the governance vote that has not already been covered elsewhere in this forum. And as this thread appears to be veering off-topic, I’m going to stop contributing to its off-topic-ness :slightly_smiling_face:


Zero-knowledge voting systems have been proposed, but even for them the problem is registration which, if youre going to vote at all, has to happen as it is the only prevention against double voting

(So if you didn’t ask to register… )

You couldnt double vote as the script would check balance after voting has ended. If the balance has moved, that vote would not carry any weight.

Say there is 5M zcash, and I own 1000.
Lets also say not all vote, but users with 4M coins participated in the vote.

I then send 0.01 Zcash for vote. My vote would count as 0.00025 % of the votes. But if I moved those 1000 to a different address to vote again, script would detect that 1000 coins were moved, and my vote would carry no weight (it would no longer be worth 0.00025% of all votes).

What prevents me from voting from as many addresses as I choose?
Z addresses remember?

ok… Let’s say you manage to whinge everyone into compliance - the entire Zcash community starts marching to the beat of your drum. Then what? What miraculous future do you foresee if you get your own way? And how is continued development paid for?

Yeah voting from Z addresses wouldnt work in this model. This isnt a perfect model for voting. I just think it would have been better than the one where 64 people decided for all.

Voting isnt anything new and many coins have it implemented already. Why Zcash hasnt added it, is a bigger question - maybe they dont want the community to decide.

Even Horizen is working on DAO for community voting.

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But does it matter? I show polls, I show posts, but that isnt evidence enough. They can be “gamed”. Well the panel was “gamed”. The community was clearly against ASICs. The majority did not want them. So I dont see why my evidence, AKA polls are invalid, but your poll is valid because you “vetted” the people.

Thanks for your time and explanations! Keep up the great work!

We all would have liked more than 64 people