Community Sentiment Polling Results (NU4) and draft ZIP 1014

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.


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!


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:


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.


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!


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.


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.


Here we agree. :slight_smile:

I hope there is both goodwill and scrutiny, from and for all interested parties.
A healthy Zcash community will balance both.


~ personal perspective not ZF perspective ~

How will ECC handle it if, for example, results from the coinholder survey diverge sharply from the Foundation’s sentiment collection?

Frankly, I do not trust this. Not because I think ECC is full of liars or whatever — not at all — but because humans are phenomenally good at deceiving themselves, and incentives matter. Incentives shape the reality that each of us perceives and thus inhabits. If it’s good for you to do XYZ, you will rationalize it as being good for everyone if XYZ happens. That is a general human tendency, or at least I believe it is.

I do not trust any person or entity to not express biases in that way, including myself. Cui bono? It’s always relevant.

ZF staff are the same — also human — which is why we pre-committed to specific signals from a specific process! When you don’t pre-commit, you implicitly maintain optionality. It’s understandable for community members, including myself, to feel nervous about ECC maintaining optionality in this way. Especially since it feels like ECC is refusing to acknowledge that it gives y’all the opportunity to convince yourselves that whatever you want to do is what the community asked for.

Again, I am not proposing that ECC staff will sit around scheming about how to screw everyone. Rather, I am proposing that humans tend to think, to believe in their hearts, whatever is advantageous to them personally. That’s how the species got this far; our survival instincts go all the way up and down the stack, profoundly affecting cognition and reasoning as well as everything else.

On top of that, ECC has a history of baffling vote interpretations. How you got from “abstain” to “I’m okay with this,” I will never understand. You can’t do things like that and simultaneously expect me — or anyone else — to trust your judgment unilaterally. Because that is crazy, okay? Conflating abstention with approval is bananas, and it does not engender blanket trust.

I trust your good intentions. I trust that everyone wants a good outcome, and that everyone is earnestly and sincerely advocating for what they think is best. Including me! But that’s not good enough. It’s never been good enough! The whole reason why cryptocurrency exists is that trust is insufficient. Trust can fail and when it fails it fails hard.


May I ask a couple clarifying questions? I’m not intending to argue any particular point on behalf of ECC or myself. It came up on the livestream, in another conversation today, and I’m not sure that I understand the answer. Perhaps its in this thread somewhere.

Is it the Zcash Foundation’s position that it will accept the polling results as definitive? In the previous poll, I believe the foundation used its best judgement to assess sentiment, propose a new zip, and is now using the current poll (with input from ECC on the questions) to further zero in on community sentiment.

This is all I can find:

"The Foundation believes the results from this poll will be clear enough to assemble a final ZIP based on the community’s will — one which the Foundation can honor in the Zcash trademark agreement and support in Zebra.” Source:

For funding levels, what will the foundation recommend if there is no clear majority? Will that necessitate another round of polling? Are there other things that might necessitate additional polling?

Thanks for the help.


I find the canonical Zips site’s text quite hard to read: the combination of gray text (color: #6d6d6d), gray-textured background (background-image: url(../images/body-bg.png), less-than-default font-weight (font-weight:300), and text-shadow (text-shadow: 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,0.8)) all serve to decrease useful contrast.

Here’s a sense of how it looks in Chrome/MacOS:


Any chance the site maintainers can nix some of those CSS flourishes, to make the readability more like the starker text here in forum threads?


Here’s what I wrote:

we pre-committed to specific signals from a specific process

You’re shifting goal posts.


This is already being worked on! :upside_down_face:


I wasn’t responding to you personally Sonya. I am asking for a foundation position on the path ahead and how it intends to resolve any remaining ambiguity that may result due to the structure of the poll.

On another note,

I feel like there are presumptions being made about ECC and why we take certain positions by some members of this forum. I think Sonya is right that “trust is insufficient.” I won’t ask you to trust me, only to hear me, as both a fellow community member and someone that represents ECC.

For Zcash to be successful, we (ECC) must cede power, not to the Zcash Foundation, but to the Zcash community. We shouldn’t simply shift power from one entity to another. I think we all agree on that in principle. It’s why we fought so hard to get language in the trademark agreement that limits the power of both ECC and the Zcash Foundation, mandating that each commit to representing the community’s will.

I understand this process is uncomfortable for anyone that would like ECC to take a strong and definite position on all things. But to cede power runs counter to human nature, and as such, I think people are inherently distrustful of those that attempt to do it. I don’t know, but would guess, that it’s why Satoshi simply disappeared. It is hard to cede power. And it’s hard to take arrows and risk being publicly maligned for doing it.

I believe the polling of Zcash Foundation’s governance panel is legitimate and will result in strong signals. I also believe that’s imperfect and not broadly representative, but that it’s the best means we have today for assessing sentiment. And I steadfastly believe that the ultimate signal will be given by the community through the continued adoption and support of Zcash.

We at ECC are Zcash community maximalists. That means that we believe that all voices in the Zcash community should be heard, for as much as they want to speak, and so we’ll tend to err on that side. We believe this and act in accordance with this, even though it’s hard and uncomfortable, for the long term success of Zcash.

I won’t ask for your trust. But I will ask for thoughtfulness. Thanks for hearing me.



But do you acknowledge the very real concerns that others have expressed about how unreliable of a signal the coin pollvoteprocess is? Once again (and I feel like I’m saying this far too often), this isn’t about whether or not voices should be heard. This is about whether particular signals even permit an accurate assessment about whether you’re hearing voices at all.


I completely acknowledge the concerns, and share them.

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Then I don’t really understand your position as I read it here. I get that you don’t want to restrict the types of legitimate signals that might be available to you, but I suspect it would be very reassuring to hear that unreliable signals will not be given weight. Someone else noted earlier that during the previous iteration of this process, they felt that ECC was giving a lot of weight to an unreliable signal.