Dev Fund 2024: Community Poll & Discussion Megathread

I keep hearing that Synthetix governance model is working well - separating decision making and funding decisions by functional area. I don’t have any direct experience but it looks intriguing.


The beauty of the dev fund is that theoretically it can self-fund all the things you talked about instead of having to rely on outside capital which would want to capture value to its owners/investors. But the question is, does the “ZEC only” model of equity have enough incentive alignment? I do think it does if we can kickstart the “virtuous cycle” by increasing the value of ZEC through improved usability and adoption tactics. It also relies strongly on agile governance mechanisms to allocate resources well.


I need to highlight and second this. I believe this can help address many of the fundamental issues currently expressed and felt by many of us.


Yes. Shielded Staking.


I like what is on your list, but I feel like it is neglecting the very real threat that Zcash use and development might be banned in every major jurisdiction. We literally saw a tornado cash developer get arrested in the Netherlands under a year ago. I am not saying it is inevitable, (the US Supreme Court could prevent a ban on development), but it would be irresponsible to not prepare for the scenario where zcash has to be run as an underground network.

There needs to be integrated network level privacy for both validators and wallets. We also need to keep the validator requirements low to enable a large set of validators. We probably need to find some way to make the chain smaller, like more efficient zk-proofs or something. Proof of stake is also pretty important from a censorship resistance view, because we can fork out compromised stake, we can’t fork out malicous mining power.


Keep in mind my list is not exclusive. I agree with many of @earthrise’s points and some of the already ongoing work in the ecosystem. Also we need to be agile and update these lists on an ongoing basis. By my list as of today with cost estimates in USD:

  1. [Millions] - A Suite of Native Apps - ZecShielded, ZecTransparent, ZecStorage, ZecChat, ZecChrome, ZecFile, ZecPassword, etc. All have a similar professional look and feel. All are aware of each other and can launch each other and pass data when necessary. This can’t be done without a focus on APIs as mentioned by @earthrise. (Names of apps are placeholders)

  2. [Millions] - Financial Instruments - Add support for native financial instruments. QEDIT is already exploring “options” (i.e. atomic swaps). Withstanding a review of how options pan out we should consider what it would take to support other financial instruments like futures.

  3. [Millions] - Research and Feasibility Work - Zcash still needs to solve big problems (e.g. scalability). Continue this work. Zcash should also actively explore other forms of consensus. Hierarchical consensus is one form of consensus that might be a good model for interacting with transaction aggregation but not the only one. We should continue reach out to experts outside Zcash on these issues.

  4. [Millions] - Pay for Verification Key - We should be able to approve transactions with ZKPs other then simply proving we hold a key. Maybe there are other sets of on/off-chain rules that users want to use to approve transactions. Think off-chain smart contracts.

  5. [Millions] - Proof Of Stake - Energy efficiency is important for future adoption as is the ability to stake.

  6. [100,000s] - Browser Extensions - Browser extension wallets, apps, explorers. This is a re-mention of the browser parts in (1). Make sure no matter where people are on the web their browser allows them to interact with Zcash.

  7. [Millions] - Media/Education - Continue investing in education and media. If we want people to care about privacy and what we stand for in the Zcash community we need to broadcast it to the world.

  8. [Millions] - Zcash Prosperity Fund - We can keep version 1 simple but I believe the ZPF can be a core part of Zcash’s infrastructure and governance into the future.

  9. [100,000s] - Claims and Attestations - The Zcash memo field has to potential to provide core infrastructure for apps and services using it for sharing data. Unfortunately other then for text messages we barely use it. Zcash needs to decide on some standards for this type of communications (CBOR/CWTs?). We should also reach out to other teams that work on attestations as their day job (e.g. ZKPass).

  10. [Millions] Improved Regulatory Clarity - Users will expect clearer regulations that provide a better framework for usage and investment.

All these items individually could be delivered to users in under 4 years. The amount we can do in parallel is dependant on our ability to fund. Keep in mind there are pools of money besides the dev fund that can be used for these things (e.g. What are everyone’s thoughts on these priorities?


As a VP of growth I would think it would be in your job description to actually use other products and garner the feedback yourself.

Sidebar here, but I disagree with the notion that Elon Musk made twitter better for the end users. Yikes. I’m about ready to delete my account, full stop.


Based on all of our historical information there is no possible way for your 10 item list to be delivered in 4 years.

Funding is not the blocker to creating deliverables in this ecosystem, it is primarily an issue of productivity against technical and social challenges. If funding were the blocker for productive crypto building then you would be explicitly arguing against the material success of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Monero, Ethereum Classic, and countless other successful projects that have built better and created greater adoption than Zcash on notably less funding.

The main Zcash ecosystem teams have spent about $1,000,000 combined avg per month for the past 3-4 years and the results (poor) speak for themselves; the issue here is not a lack of funding. Attempting to introduce parallel deliverable workflows would only strain productivity worse at my estimation. The deliverables teams have all struggled on single focus deliveries in the past few years with the case studies being: Halo to mainnet, the recent wallet sync/ fee mechanism mitigation, ZF zebrad enhancements, and Zcash Media content suite v1.


Why not?

  1. A Suite of Native Apps - Steps for ZCG.
    (1) Contract out work for wireframe designs.
    (2) Continue to pressure ECC for better native APIs required for these applications to exist. Work already underway but we can do better by communicating developer requirements.
    (3) Contract out the implementation of app. Short milestones. Contract risks cancellation and on failed delivery.

  2. Financial Instruments - Already started.

  1. Research and Feasibility Work -
    ECC should prioritise this -Shielded transaction aggregates · Issue #4946 · zcash/zcash · GitHub
    ZCG should prioritise this -

  2. Pay for Verification Key - ECC should prioritise this
    Pay-to-verification-key payments · Issue #2425 · zcash/zcash · GitHub

  3. Proof Of Stake - ECC has already started down this path.

  4. Browser Extensions - As said in (1). ZCG should hire someone to wireframe the whole thing and contract out the work.

  5. Media/Education - Zcash Media has already begun.

  6. Zcash Prosperity Fund - Shielded Labs hopefully can work on this.

  7. Claims and Attestations - ZCG need to get in contact with the ZKPass team. The Baseline Show: w/ zkPass part 1 - YouTube

  8. Improved Regulatory Clarity - ECC working on this.

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To clarify, I am not equating FROST with SSS. Rather, I am stating that understanding SSS would inherently enable one to comprehend FROST, considering that both techniques are fundamentally rooted in the principle of Lagrangian polynomials. In essence, these concepts are based on relatively straightforward mathematics.

Perhaps there is a misunderstanding regarding my perspective. I certainly do not advocate for the ZF to engage in legal action. Instead, I am expressing concerns regarding the duration it takes for the ZF to develop a functioning library, particularly when others have already put forward their own.

The behavior of the ZF might give the impression of intentionally withholding a technological advancement, potentially due to apprehensions about being perceived as having no other important tasks to perform.

I think it would be prudent to concentrate our efforts on resolving the present concerns before embarking on highly aspirational initiatives that may not come to fruition. As the adage goes, “One must learn to crawl before attempting to run.”
At this point, I would personally be satisfied by the successful realization of even one of these initiatives.

However, I do not believe them to be essential to the success of Zcash.

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The library has been functionally ready for months. The reason it’s not being advertised as so is that is hasn’t been audited yet (the audit will start soon) and that the RFC has not been published yet (it takes time due to CFRG bureaucracy that is outside ZF control).


Dev Fund 2024: Town Hall Meeting on Twitter Spaces

@David_Heisenberg and I are hosting a Twitter Spaces event Thursday, June 1 at 12:00pm PDT / 3:00pm EDT / 19:00 UTC to discuss Dev Fund 2024. Twitter link will be provided early next week. We will plan on recording the event for those who are unable to attend live. Community members are welcome to join to listen in, ask questions, and contribute thoughts and ideas.

Co-Host: @aquietinvestor
Co-Host: @david_heisenberg
Moderator: @decentralistdan
ECC: @joshs
ZF: @dodger
ZCG: @brunchtime
Community member (support): @earthrise
Community member (oppose): @noamchom


I really like this way of envisaging the activities and flow of funds in the Zcash ecosystem. Here’s my iteration:

PS: Here’s the original Google Drawing for anyone to copy and adapt


I think you mean 19:00 UTC?


Good catch, thanks. I have updated the time to reflect 19:00 UTC.

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(Epoch timestamp = 1685646000)


Block 2106738


stardate 101013.23


Social scalability is an important concept to keep in mind in regards to the dev fund and proof of stake debate.