Decentralized Participatory Voting through VESTING

Think about this- what if we replaced (or created a hybrid mechanism) for STAKING votes at a protocol-level to a VESTING mechanism- like VC’s? (i.e votes are weighted by the amount of crypto multiplied by time vested to valuate the ‘weight’ of a vote.)

In this scenario, voting weight would act more so like the incentives/ interest seen in a Bond market:

In a bond market, you will receive more interest for purchasing a bond which is repayable over 10 years v.s. 1 year. With this Vesting Mechanism proposal, a community member would be able to VEST ZEC - in other words, receive more weight for their vote by locking up an x-amount of ZEC for a determined period of time.

In comparison to a STAKING mechanism, the amount of currency staked is not the sole deciding factor of the weight of the vote, instead, voting weight would be equal to amount of ZEC multiplied by TIME vested. There should probably be some sort of minimum threshold for the amount of ZEC needed to stake per vote, and there should also be some sort of meritocracy mechanism whereby the more active forum members can receive a discount on this minimum voting threshold…

but ultimately the benefit here is that those willing to vest long-term can have a participatory vote in governance without having to solely compete financially through ZEC ownership.

I can explain the meritocracy stuff in more detail if the community is interested.


I like this idea. Well thought out. Only issue that I continue to see with some of these proposals is that it rewards those who hold larger bags. Those with more ZECs would probably be willing to stake shares for longer periods of time.

I’m not saying that those who have put a lot of money into the network shouldn’t have a say, but it parallels our current economical system of those with money tend to make the decisions. There should be a way within this system that guarantees a balance to make sure some of the newer or smaller bag holders are represented.

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  1. How is the vesting duration calculated and verified?

    In particular, how does this work for shielded funds (held in z-addresses), which we hope will become the most common way to hold ZEC?

    Also, what happens to users who move their funds internally, e.g., to/from a hardware wallet, or paying part of a utxo/note and sending the change back to themselves? Do their lose the voting weight of the utxos/notes that were used up? Or do they somehow still get credit for the old holding period? This is crucial.

  2. If you hold ZEC, in principle you can lend it and gain interest income. But it sounds like this would nullify your voting rights. Conversely, if you want voting weight, you can borrow ZEC (and presumably pay interest on it). So effectively, this becomes “pay to vote”.

  3. Please do explain the meritocracy part.


Yes I’ve been putting some thought around this too and will be writing a more thorough post shortly. Thank you for your comments :slight_smile:

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Hello! Thanks for all the questions, I’m working on a response over the weekend and will hopefully be able to get back to everyone by Monday or Tuesday!

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Hi @ttmariemia,

This looks really similar to the type of voting system I proposed for a decentralized dev fund. :slight_smile:

copying the relevant section here:

Voting System Requirements

Here are the general properties of the mandated voting mechanism. I don’t want to specify the technical implementation details, since I believe this is a job suited for the engineers building this system.

  1. Voting should be private.
  2. Only Zec holders can vote.
  3. Voting should happen on-chain.
  4. In order to vote, you must lock your zec so it cannot be spent for a period of time. This is to force the voters to have ‘skin in the game’ and prevent someone nefarious from buying a lot of zec just before an election and then dumping it immediately after.
  5. Voters can choose how long to lock their zec, and their voting power is proportional to the time that the zec is locked. For example, someone who votes with 10 zec and locks it for 6 months would have the same voting power as someone who votes with 20 zec and locks it for 3 months. Of course there must be a maximum lock time, perhaps a year, to prevent anyone from getting ‘infinite’ voting power by locking their zec permanently.
  6. The final results of the vote should be transparent to and verifiable by everyone.
  7. The system should be totally open and allow anyone/any organization to compete for funding to develop zcash.
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These are very good points you mention and i bet there are way more.

I’am as well not sure if this would be really fair. Just a fictive scenario:

One VC or single person holds for example 100,000 ZEC and on for the same time 100 devs hold 1,000 ZEC for the same time but work on Zcash. In such a scenario one person would have the same voting through vesting than 100 active devs with 1,000 ZEC each. I don’t think this is anyway near fair, honest, for good and for decentralization.



Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Please do, you have not described a meritocracy.

This would reduce the ability for zec to be considered actually useful. And it seems like a pretty strong measure to enforce “loyalty”

But I have made no secret that I dislike the voting aspect. - For example I will never prove or lock up any zec. Should this mean I am excluded from this process?

I am part of something called “the community governance panel”

This is an unpaid job and has no mandate to do anything or enforce anything. However we will be considered when weighing up the dev fund options. - we get a vote (but so does everyone else) - I would like to note I only joined this year so that whole tardigrades v zebras fiasco was nothing to do with me! I was on team waterbear.

I would argue that this method is the best we can realistically achieve. Everything else seems to be “ethererum” based voting style. zcash currently isn’t built for that. it is a privacy coin.

I personally believe that anything that makes me use my zec for anything except store or transfer of value (doesn’t have to be monetary, could be information in the note section) is not what the initial protocol was designed for.

I know we are all looking at future plans but people are complaining about the high barrier for technical entry into zec. Now you have added a really high financial one too. Where only the deepest pockets get to decide what happens to us peons and the future of zec. Unless maybe I could get a foundation grant to vote one way or another.

I think the French had a revolution about this exact scenario. Where the everyone was equal but some were more equal due to finances and/or lineage.

Also, we still don’t know the result of the last stake based voting. What is NU4’s code name? an entire 3 ppl voted. 5zec, 1000 zec and 5000 zec (5k zec was 250k usd at that time)

I just see it a bit like this, you can get some deep pockets that know nothing about zec suddenly controlling it. I would prefer people who knew a lot about zec no matter what the size of their pockets are to be able to discuss and shape the future, without being overruled by money.

This is, of course just my opinion.


I’m really happy you wrote this. It makes a lot of sense. thanks, @mistfpga

Also, @tromer, @boxalex, @aristarchus @Jmo0615
I’ve been thinking about all the concerns you’ve raised as well.

What about a utility token which is awarded to users who are active participants in the community?

You don’t have to use your ZEC and it’s merit-based.

Kind of like how on this forum you get badges for doing things? Same sort of idea? You get tokens for doing things and contributing?

Just a quick thought.

You actually described it yourself!

“I would prefer people who knew a lot about zec no matter what the size of their pockets are to be able to discuss and shape the future, without being overruled by money.”

^ That’s basically what a meritocracy means.