Dev fund proposal: Carbon offsetting
Summary/abstract/main characteristics of this proposal:
Proof of work cryptocurrencies incentivise miners to use intense amounts of electricity in order to mine blocks. Although proof of stake protocols have been constructed, it seems that the zcash community has accepted proof of work as a necessary evil, at least at this point in time. As we’re thinking of new ways to alter the funding baked into the protocol, it seems like a good time to suggest that we use some of the funds mined to directly offset the carbon impact of mining. The percentage is completely up for discussion (is it possible to tie together the difficulty and the amount that goes towards carbon offsetting? is a fixed percentage of the block reward better?)
This can be composed with any other of the other dev fund proposals.
1 - Header
Title: Carbon Offsetting Fund
ZIP Status: Draft
**Community Status: Request for comments **
License: public domain
2 - Terminology
To understand this ZIP it is critical that people understand the right terminology so their requirements can be quickly checked.
The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and "OPTIONAL"
Have special meaning and people should familiarise themselves with it. - https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2119
3 - Out of Scope for this proposal
This proposal does not specify any funding for development. It could easily be combined with pretty much all other suggested changes to the dev fund that cover sustaining the development of zcash.
4 - Abstract
This proposal suggests that we reserve a portion of the newly minted coins in each block for offsetting the carbon footprint of mining the block itself. A set of carbon offsetting entities would be eligible to receive these funds. The fund would not be miner directed. The amount of the reward going towards carbon offsetting could either be tied to the difficulty of the block, or alternatively be fixed to some reasonably estimated upper bound on the carbon footprint of mining a block.
5 - Motivation
This is motivated by not wanting to have “destroying the planet” as one of zcash’s most prominent achievements.
6 - Requirements
Carbon-offsetting companies chosen by the zcash community must receive a portion of each block reward large enough to cover offset the carbon footprint of mining that block
7 - Specification
The community comes to consensus on one or several entities who is trusted with carbon offsetting, and then either we partner with this entity/these entities and directly transfer a portion of newly minted coins to their zcash address with each newly mined block, or a semi trusted third party receives the newly minted coins to their address, and then somehow publishes that they transferred them off-chain to the entities involved in carbon offsetting.
The amount transferred to this address could be tied to the difficulty of mining the block, or alternatively could be a fixed percentage that we would expect to reasonably comfortably cover offsetting the carbon footprint of mining that block.
Issues & Further Discussion
Raised objections and issues so far:
I’ll raise some:
- It is not yet decided whether the amount going to offset is tied to the block difficulty or is a fixed percentage;
- It is not yet decided what the percentage would be, if a fixed percentage of the block reward was chosen;
- It is not yet decided which entity/entities will do the carbon offsetting;
- It is not yet decided how those entities will receive the funds.
- 2019-08-31 initial post
- 2019-08-31 update to be more like a zip draft