ECC Roadmap Update

In May, Zooko announced that ECC had restructured to better serve the interests of Zcash while reducing costs and increasing sustainability of the organization. In that post, he summarized two categories of our efforts moving forward: further increasing Zcash decentralization and focusing ECC. This post is intended to provide more detail and an update on our current plans. We welcome the community’s feedback.


This brings to mind a question I have: Why is ECC investing in developing and shipping a commercial mobile wallet when several independent teams have funding from ZCG to develop the same thing? What are the advantages and disadvantages of ECC shipping its own wallet compared providing support to those teams with SDKs and protocol improvements that make their wallets more usable?

What I see as ECC’s greatest strength is its ability to design and develop novel and secure cryptographic protocols, and then successfully execute them in network upgrades. How should we balance the effort needed to ship an ECC-branded commercial wallet against other things ECC would be great at, like developing a browser-extension wallet, making usable SDKs accessible in more programming languages, or making deep scalability/performance improvements that all wallets can benefit from?


Another question is: which areas relating to security is ECC intending to pass off to the community. The blog post about restructuring mentions passing on zcashd support outside of ECC’s roadmap. Does that include security support (e.g. responding to vulnerability disclosures), or is that something ECC still intends to own?


Perhaps due to the difficulties of translation, the expression itself is not clear to me “commercial wallet”.

What is meant by the word “commercial”? In Russia, this is usually the antonym of the word “free” - that is, it does not require payment or subscription.

Or it means “wallet for payments”.

For example, ywallet, zecwallet, zingo… etc are this commercial wallets?


That’s a good question. In this context I interpret “commercial” to mean high-quality, intended to be launched as a flagship product and marketed to end-users.

The closest-matching dictionary definition in English is “to earn money”, but colloquially it’s used to mean “desired, on par with other offerings, able to be marketed”, like when you tell a music producer, “your mix is commercial quality.”

I’m not sure if that’s a common definition or if it’s what ECC means, but that’s how I interpret it.


Good question.

There are two primary reasons.

ECC’s is focus on the user as the method to determine what and how any protocol changes should be made. This necessitates proximity and direct interaction. We want to understand user behavior. We want to see support tickets. We want to make UX decisions that inform protocol design and SDK decisions. We want to experiment with A/B testing and iterate quickly. As an example, how do Zcash users want to interact with a Zcash PoS chain? What do we need to build in the protocol and SDK to support that interaction?

Secondly, our focus is on the ZEC holder. We may ask ZEC holders to provide more feedback or information on use that they normally would. We may look at mechanisms that allow ZEC users to express opinions through the app in different forms. As you’ll see, what we will ship this month is a bit of a blank slate on which we’ll build more based on what ZEC users tell us they want and need it to do.


As you know ECC has an extremely tight security and communications process. For those unaware, the public disclosure process is documented here: Security Overview · zcash/zcash · GitHub. It runs through ECC today. We then have a number of internal processes and controls used to manage coordination, validation, remediation, testing and comms.

We will be releasing more information about various decentralization efforts as we work through plans and recommendations over the coming weeks. Security is an area that we are evaluating.


We struggled with that word. :wink:

The intent is to communicate that it will be publicly available on app stores, of high quality, and actively supported.


Our research team will publish a top-level roadmap and proposed timeline to move Zcash from proof of work to a hybrid solution, and then potentially pure proof of stake. We’ll publish this information this month and then host a workshop at Zcon4 to continue the discussion. This version 0.1 proposal is an early step in the design process, published specifically to garner feedback and collaboration across the Zcash ecosystem, and to ensure this significant transition proposal is well understood and addresses community needs.

This is exciting


It would make much more sense if you said you want to own the customer and the customer experience. That makes sense and I dont disagree this is helpul. My frustrations is you let others spend a lot of their lives doing it, because ECC refused to. Now after they have, you want to.

Instead of bringing already made wallets in to ECC and using what they’ve already learned youre starting over, seems anti open source methodology. Mobile apps have a stupid long update cycle and alot of pitfalls I dont think ECC is ready for or should waste their time on learning. Takes years for a good app to be formed when you use this method of learn by feedback. Beyond the fact most customers dont know what they want. Sadly this feels like we’ll get an “App by committee” instead of out of Expertise and vision.

It feels like someone from 2000s is trying to make an app by feedback vs an expert with experience of making hundreds of great apps making the perfect app for zcash company/community in 2023.

Why is the app wheel trying to be re invented? Why is zcash app any more complex from the hundred apps already on my device I use and why does it needs to be so feedback looped and reinvented?



It feels like someone from 2000s is trying to make an app by feedback vs an expert with experience of making hundreds of great apps making the perfect app for zcash company/community in 2023.

Why anyone would trust ECC with any thing at this point is beyond me. Reputation is tarnished with current leadership running blind.

Secondly, our focus is on the ZEC holder.

:joy: :joy: :joy: :joy: You had years (!) to prove that. I don’t believe that for one second.

I think feedback-driven development is necessary. It’s been missing for quite a while, which has led to strategy and resource use not being the best they could be, in my opinion.

Given ECC’s expertise at protocol engineering, I hope there’s a place for feedback between ECC<->developers as much as there will be for feedback between ECC<->end-users. I think that’s a missing piece too and it could help solve some of those kinds of problems.

In general the wallet devs I’ve spoken to seem to be pretty aware of their users’ needs, which is great to see.


I suggest look at it from the other side.

There will always be a lot of users patterns. Some people need a simple wallet without advanced options, but they want to be sure that this is a really reliable official wallet (by the way, absolutely most of the people I talked to are sure that ZecWallet is an official zcash wallet).

Others need a wallet with advanced settings and the ability to use it in various usage scenarios. This is a necessary segmentation, which, by the way, allowed to attract a lot of talented people to study the protocol, who continue to expand the infrastructure. And then this is absolutely the right strategy.

Also, do not forget that there is an SDK from ECC that allows you to deploy the functionality of shielded zcash transactions in absolutely any multi-currency wallet, for example, first-class EDGE and Unstoppable wallets already use it. However, in none of them will you be able to organize feedback directly with the protocol developers - in which the developers can be sure that you are really a Zcash user and you really notice flaws, and not just some kind of troll from the outside. I definitely welcome this ECC initiative.


To all of you saying that feedback is necessary for a wallet user’s perspective… what feedback other than it sends and receives in a timely manner without crashing do you need?

P.S. Try flagging and hiding this comment and while doing so, just admit you can’t handle the truth.

Screenshot 2023-07-08 at 8.37.05 AM


I agree that getting basic wallet functionality right is pretty obvious without much feedback, but when I consider the wider context of protocol upgrades being made without (much) user validation, feedback-driven protocol development feels like it will be an inflection point for ZEC.

One non-obvious piece of feedback that will be important is to understand what level of privacy different groups of users need, which will be important when designing privacy-vs-performance trade-offs into the protocol, e.g. to fix the scanning problem.

Eliminating scanning will almost certainly need some kind of privacy trade-off, so without that feedback we risk keeping wallets too slow in order to retain kinds of privacy most users don’t need, or on the opposite end, mistakenly giving up kinds of privacy that some groups rely on for the sake of speed. Understanding our users and their use cases is the only way to get that balance right and make sure all users have the options they need.

Other kinds of feedback I’m interested in are: “are the privacy risks of t-addrs adequately understood by users by the wallet’s UX, or is there a false sense of security?”, “is staking easy enough to do, and do users understand the risks of slashing?”, “what are our users using their wallets for, which use cases/platforms should we invest more into?”, “do users have a place to buy and sell ZEC?”, etc. Feedback from developers is important too: “What’s getting in your way of building your idea that uses Zcash for payments?”

I’m hopeful that the User Adoption Working Group that Shielded Labs is spinning up will also help answer some of these questions.


Right now there are no users who are truly using it as a payment solution. If you want the closest userbase, just look at Monero. That’s your answer. People want privacy so they can buy private things. They probably also don’t want to wait a long time for the transaction to clear. As a consumer, it’s either private or it’s not. I shouldn’t even be concerned with what a scanning problem even is.

This coin is run by academics, therefore, perfect is the enemy of good.

I also find it kind of ironic that as much as Zooko loves to tout (and re-post) the screenshot of Hal talking about adding privacy to Bitcoin from Bitcointalk, he’s also opposed to removing T-addresses. I think maybe I thought they could be useful at one point, but it just convolutes the narrative.

It’s a privacy coin, but it also can be used as a transparent coin. But it’s not private by default. And every wallet has their own implementation of it. Oh and we have this thing called universal addresses now which is another thing you need to know about.

Just stop making things so complicated. It’s really not that difficult.

As long as the ECC is running the show (and ZFND pulling the strings in the shadows), this coin will never make it. And for good reason. It’s a complete F-U to the community of wallet developers now that the ECC wants to magically hop in and build yet another wallet. What about all the money spent on YWallet, Nighthawk, Z-go(NeWithTheWind)? Pretty disrespectful maneuver to the community, IMO.

I’m not holding my breath on Shielded Labs, but it is good to have some sort of change. Growth and “product strategy” for the past 5 years hasn’t shown any meaningful progress on that front…


If they weren’t able to take dev feedback until now, why would bring an app in house change that?

The current apps get lots of feedback, it’s not lost or missing. ECC just dind’t ask for it and collect it.

Why would protocal experts be good at making mobile apps for android and apple that are heavily GUI and custom interaction focused. Cypher punks and programmers are the worst people in the world to make GUIs and good interfaces. It’s ass backwards IME.


Once there is an Offical Zcash app why have others? How many twitter clones, discord clones do normal people use? None. The only people who will use the other apps will be hardcore users making those app struggle to get funding and supported bringing us back to only 1 option. If it sucks or takes years to get right then we all suffer.

I don’t understand why the current apps can’t provide this feedback, could even be on chain to increase usage, anonymously that way there is also a check and balance for how custom data and usage is used. If ECC owns all the data and is all internal now how do we really know what’s going on. We have to audit system to verify adding much more concerns and issues. At least now there is competition and some check and balance. That all goes aways once ECC internalized it all.

Using stacking as a justification for this is just another red flag stacking isn’t right for Zcash or if it is, it’s not the right time to change.

This is a perfect example. You say you want user and customer feedback well it’s right here, but if you don’t agree it gets filtered? Do you really want feedback or just control? You only want to hear good feeling stuff. Not real feedback. You need to be clear on that. If you sensor feedback you need to post and tell the customers and community why? Make it stupid clear.

In a day of gov scum and non-stop media abuse. Censorship of feedback wont be accepted by me. This is the fastest way to lose my support and me as a customer. If I keep seeing this I’m out.


This is so obvious to me with the amount of posts of mine that have been hidden. If Zcash wants a community, then it damn well better listen to it, otherwise it will continue to consist of about 30 “die-hards” and a bunch of other sock puppets within an echo-chamber.