Community Sentiment Polling Results (NU4) and draft ZIP 1014

Zec does not disappear, and the process of extracting from the reserve requires study separately, this is not a problem in my opinion

The devil is in the details, you’re talking about setting up a new organization that has the legal and technical ability to store and distribute this zec, and is better than ECC in deciding how to spend ZEC by a large enough factor to justify its own cost. Perhaps this can be achieved, but just sayin it’s far from trivial.

Here’s a specific point I’m wondering about: say the ECC wants to give an employee a certain amount of ZEC per year. In this setup do they have to make that amount public?

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Changes in wages can also take place within the company, this issue also affects the future, and again this information does not become public. These are all points for discussion, but what do you think will be managed by a company that will have all zcash? It is possible that shareholders and owners will receive good dividends and there will be no opportunity to hire employees, I remind you that this is not a classic company scheme with a turnover, it all depends on the price of a coin. You can spend everything and there will be no opportunity to make up for the loss and not pay motivation and dividends are not possible, because you need to keep the best. My idea is that there is no better approach, so what should work just the same, it’s just not what ECC wants for some reason
(I don’t agree with the arguments, because the minuses there are also obvious, paying the rest in zec is then there will be no money to go through the market decline, if people see the future they will work, otherwise why only buyers should see the future?)

You read my State of the Foundation! Glad you followed those links. I hope you don’t mind following a few more.

Since it’s my opinion, yes, it is true that I feel that way, and those statements are not contradictory. It’s hard for the Foundation to hire the right people without offering the equivalent of “early equity,” but as the past year has (finally) shown with four fantastic engineering hires on the Foundation side it’s not impossible.

Our hiring practices aside, I’m not against upside for ECC employees as I’ve said multiple times here and elsewhere:

Here’s where I still have an issue @mika. In the ECC’s official explanation they said:

However, the Electric Coin Company currently does not see a path to succeed at recruiting and retaining a world-class team, and aligning them around the Zcash mission long-term, if we are constrained by a fiat-denominated funding cap. Unless the Electric Coin Company could find a solution to that issue, we would not accept the funds.

Since ECC wrote “unless they could find a solution to this issue”, I believed it was imperative to brainstorm solutions that would still enable the ECC to accept funds if the community decided they wanted a cap. I encourage you to read my full reply regarding the ECC’s main points, but I’ll quote the germane portion here:

I provided an example of how this solution could work here, and reiterated that it’s possible for employees to still have upside with a cap in other replies.

I asked multiple times for explanations why this solution wouldn’t work, and didn’t get a direct answer until much later in this thread:

@joshs responded here:

I didn’t respond to this comment directly as I wanted the community to move on to focus on polling all available options, but my personal view is that all these issues are manageable within the confines of a cap. Since we’re here now, here’s how I would deal with these issues in the ECC’s shoes:

  1. Necessary upfront funding of a pool is indeed something that would constrict ECC spending, but it’s manageable by both raising the cap and making promises for existing employees require longer-term vesting while the ECC “saves up” the pool.
  2. The tipping point could be alleviated by proactively raising the cap, and fully funding the incentive pool is exactly what would need to happen with a cap here.

In other words, it’s harder and it constrains the ECC more — but in my opinion it is still possible to provide long-term ZEC alignment with employees in the presence of a cap. And thus I am still disappointed in their official explanation, particularly since I believed that if a viable solution could be found then the ECC would accept funding with a cap, even with all the constraints it would bring.

That said, the personal, unofficial explanations from @daira, @joshs, and others are much clearer and reasonable to me: they want flexibility not just for employee incentive alignment, but for spending on other initiatives. That makes much more sense to me — as a conscious accountability trade-off as I’ve written above — and is one of the reasons I’m voting for no cap despite my concerns around the official explanation. That is my honest, not-ironic, truth.

Some have privately told me they were surprised and disturbed to see me write about my disappointment about the official explanation. But what would you prefer? That I didn’t challenge the ECC, that I didn’t aim to hold them accountable? That the Foundation didn’t seek to preserve the legitimacy of this discussion and process? That we simply rubber stamped whatever seemed expedient?

Incidentally, do you know what I find more disturbing? After an extraordinarily difficult, protracted, and involved community discussion around dev fund proposals, we are finally reaching some degree of convergence. That convergence is at risk thanks to the calls to participate in a fundamentally flawed staked poll process to “share coinholder voice” about the latest poll because it’s “permissionless and no one can stop them.”

Just because it’s permisionless and on a blockchain doesn’t make it valuable. Even without borrowing ZEC, if the turnout is within an order of magnitude of the last poll, those “coinholder voices” can be easily drowned out by the cacophonous sonic booms of ZEC associated with the ECC or Foundation.

I don’t think either organization should view the results of that poll as anything more than a novelty until a staked-vote process can be constructed that resolves the issues brought up countless times before in the last thread. I fear that someone will aim to use the results of that easily manipulated poll to challenge the results of the Helios vote, which combined a broad swath of Zcash community members from this active forum and the community advisory panel, wherein only a minority of the participants are associated with the ECC or Zcash Foundation.

My opinion above is again borne out of a desire to keep us all accountable. As I replied to you above:

I believe that deeply, and I can understand (and appreciate) your desire to keep me accountable. It’s critical that we do so; one of the best parts of the Zcash community is our ability to have reasoned, civil debate. That’s what helped us get through the trademark dispute, what has motivated this dev fund debate, and what will steer us in future crises.

The responsibility can be frustrating and hard for me, and it routinely strains relationships that I value deeply, but when it comes down to it I value my duty to the Foundation and the Zcash community more — and it comes from the same belief that many at the ECC have expressed so eloquently about the long-term societal benefit for truly private, digital, uncensorable money, and a belief that no single entity (whether the Foundation, ECC, or anyone else) should have unilateral control over that future.

On that note, I was really encouraged to see @zooko’s thoughtful considerations around converting the ECC to a nonprofit; it was a great post that I feel was lost in a flurry of other activity, and I encourage everyone to read it.

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(Moderator hat, although obviously I also have an opinion on the topic.) It’s very clear that the coin-weighted voting discussion is derailing the conversation about ZIP 1014, and should now be moved to its own thread.

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Agree. I have moved coin-holder voting comments to the existing thread on a stake weighted voting system to keep this thread on conversation pertaining directly to ZIP 1014/Helios voting.

Please direct further comments about coin-holder voting to that thread when the move is complete.

EDIT: comments have been moved, thank you for understanding

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Folks, the Coin-Holders Petition is not a threat to the credibility of the Community Governance Panel. Zcash’s governance process is not such a fragile flower that it needs to be protected from hearing the opinions of the coin-holders.

On the contrary, attempting to discourage the coin-holders from expressing their opinions undermines the legitimacy of the process by allowing onlookers to question if the coin-holders wanted to say something that we didn’t want to hear. That’s not the case. The Zcash governance process, which requires — among other things — the Zcash Foundation board and the Electric Coin Company to jointly sign off on the use of the trademark, is robust. The Foundation’s earlier call for others to gather different measurements of the community’s opinion was a good idea, and still is.

The risks of the Coin-Holders Petition being attacked are overblown. Everything can be attacked, including all of the other sentiment collection processes that we are using, and including every conceivable other process that anyone could invent. But that doesn’t mean they are illegitimate. Everything has trade-offs, but the benefits sometimes outweigh the drawbacks, and in my opinion the benefit of respecting and including the voices of the coin-holders far outweigh the drawbacks. If you’re curious why I think this, please see my earlier post, in which I set out that and three other reasons why it is good and right that we as a community listen to and respect the voices of the coin-holders.

Let’s please dial down the alarmism and the uncharitable misrepresentation of each other. Those are real threats to the legitimacy of the governance process. The simple act of encouraging coin-holders to speak, and of listening to them respectfully, is not.

P.S. If you disagree, and you think the drawbacks outweigh the benefits, that’s fine. Good and reasonable people often disagree with one another about such complex trade-offs. If you agree, and you think coin-holders petitioning is good, here are instructions to participate.

[Dear moderators: this is a post about governance not about the Coin-Holders Petition. :heart: —Zooko]

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You were asked earlier if you’d take a firm position on whether and/or how you (as an individual or as the head of ECC) would interpret the results of this pollvoteprocess as part of the governance decision. Can you please do so here, specifically? I’m very tired of seeing a lot of back-and-forth on this.

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I’m happy to see the ZFND achieving a significant reduction in conflation with the company. However, the ZFND is lacking at it’s current stage and in comparison to the ECC competence in some areas, which you agree on by stating

If the Company were to disappear today, that would be a tragedy for the ecosystem. It would set us back by years if not decades

in your last year’s State of the Foundation - especially given the time frames in your statement. The ZFND has it’s own strengths on the other hand.

Given this - and despite all the conflicting interpretations - the distribution of power including funding should be done in such a way which does not endanger the evolution of Zcash. I’m aware of the fact that the interpretations about what’s “good” and what’s “bad” will differ, nevertheless this is something that should always be kept in mind.

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I am puzzled, because I think it’s pretty obvious that @acityinohio contends that “The company would not be able to use rights to future monthly Zcash coins as part of a package to attract and retain top talent.” is not complete or sufficient because of what that sentence actually means.

Josh is saying, it’s not true that ECC wouldn’t be able to use rights to future monthly Zcash coins as part of compensation. He suggested a mechanism for doing just that.

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Hi everyone.

I think the pitchforks are unnecessary. It seems that some view the legitimacy of sentiment gathering through the governance poll is being threatened by various community members requesting the option for coin holder sentiment, by @amiller providing a means for them to provide their perspective, and by @zooko elevating it. The legitimacy of the governance panel vote is orthogonal to the legitimacy of the voice of the coin holders.

Different community members have different perspectives on the coin holder voting and its risks. Those perspectives are valid.

Some coin holders want to express an opinion through coin holder voting. That’s valid too. Coin holders are valued members of the community. Is it anyone’s right to say that coin holders cannot express an opinion through this means? We shouldn’t censor them for wanting to express an opinion in this way. Whether you chose to listen to them is a different thing.

ECC’s position is the same as it’s been. We will assess sentiment, as will the Zcash Foundation. Hopefully we will agree on what the community wills (I have high confidence that this will occur). A decision on funding will be enforced through the 2-2 multisig trademark agreement and the ultimate ratification of the community’s decision will be made by the community through its support (or not) of NU4 upon activation.

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I don’t think anyone is seriously saying this, as has been pointed out previously.

This is what I asked about earlier. Unless I’m missing something, nothing in your comment or @zooko’s comments has addressed whether or how ECC will treat the results of this coin poll. When you say you will “address sentiment”, can you please be more specific? I truly don’t understand why this isn’t being stated openly.

(Edited for typo)

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My honest and simple but perhaps unsatisfying answer to this is, “I don’t know.”

But that is independent of what I believe about what the coin holders have the right to do, and I don’t want to throw out all sorts of unlikely hypotheticals and edge cases that could lead to unnecessary debate and frustration. I think we are collectively on a good path.

I think you meant “assess sentiment.” If so, that means that we’ll look at the sentiment data that’s been gathered, form an opinion, hear the perspective of the Zcash Foundation, and then work with the Zcash Foundation to get agreement on the path ahead.

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I must admit that I am worried about opening up and encouraging particular methods of sentiment-gathering without a more clear understanding of how they will be applied. Others have indicated similar feelings.

This isn’t about anyone’s right to make their voice heard. Anyone is free to send memos or join this thread or post on their social accounts about their views, and nobody here is suggesting that sharing opinions is a bad thing. The opposition is about encouraging methods that are unsafe or unclear, and then failing to identify how those particular methods would be assessed as part of a formal process.

Sorry, but this answer really doesn’t seem adequate to the seriousness of the governance process.

(Edit to add) Yep, I meant “assess sentiment” and used poor wording!

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We take governance very seriously. The governance process isn’t tied to a coin holder vote. It isn’t tied to any particular sentiment analysis (though I wholeheartedly support the foundation’s polling as good and legitimate!). This is the governance process:

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Right, I apologize. Removed.

To be annoyingly clear, will ECC commit to anything more specific than this regarding what governance signals they will apply?

(Edit to add) The reason I ask is that having a pre-commitment to signals helps to assure others that the selection of signals will not depend on what those signals say.

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It’s absolutly ok that coin holders express their opinions, the problem lies elswhere and it’s fascinating how again the opposition which shows the flaws of the current coin weighted mechanism is called “saboteurs and such like.”

[Moderation edit by @daira: the only use of the word “saboteur” in this discussion was a comment by @zooko where he said “I think that in practice, coin-holders who sincerely believe in the future of Zcash are willing and able to speak with a much louder voice than saboteurs are.” In context, it is clear that this was referring to potential attackers who could exploit integrity flaws of the voting protocol, and not to those arguing against the use of that protocol (or against use of coin-holder voting/petitioning more generally). @zooko’s statement is of course highly disputable, but that is not the immediate issue.]

IF it’s all about giving coin holders a vote and voice, so it be, but the current problem lies as well and not that coin holders should not have a voice:

  • If it’s that important for the ECC, Zooko, you, where have you been the last months? Why didn’t you all use the time to inform coin holders that such sentiment gathering will be an option? You guys just waited several days until the official helios voting begun and than introduced it without preparation, without anything out of nothing. Which could be seen as it’s a tool for insiders only. Damn, there isn’t even an announcement on the ECC page/twitter account. So how the hell do you think coin holders will express their opinions and views expect the view choosen holy insiders?

  • IF the coin holders voicces should be heared, why use pure weighted voting? Make it a 0.001 ZEC voting and i could bet at least 50x more coinholders would join, including me. As this doesn’t seem to be an option for you it seems the intention is to use the big voting power of the insiders only instead giving smaller coin holders the same voting power.

  • Coin weighted voting, especially for not that much technically advanced coin holders is a risky game. Is it really necessary IF the intention is to gain sentiment? With a 0.001 ZEC voting you eleminate the risk of loosing or exposing funds. But again, I would go even that far as saying that the there are many unnecessary burdens and traps that prevent coinholders from using the current coin-weighted mechanism due exactly these risks.

I doubt you will get an answer on this one bevor the voting ends. Thumbs up for having the endurance to ask this important question again and again!

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We have no plans for anything more specific. We are waiting for the outcome of the community governance poll next week and intend to respond and engage with the foundation following. We continue to commit to honoring the community’s wishes and I have high confidence in a positive outcome. I’m happy to answer questions to the best of my ability but propose that we move on from this discussion for the time being.

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Exactly as i thought. Waiting for the results and than decide if what when how to use…

I think this is a very, very important comment folks ought to keep in mind when reviewing ECC’s assessment of community sentiment throughout the governance process.

While it’s wise to be open to new views and opinions that arise, I think it’s also very important (as several others have stated earlier) to make it clear why observers should trust that ECC does not use the results of signals to influence their selection of signals to use in their assessment.

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