ECC update for Jan 20 2024

Hi friends,

A few updates from ECC this week:

Zeboot: ECC is getting together in Palm Springs the week of January 29th, a long with a few of you who are actively contributing and building with Zcash, with the first and last days (29th and 1st) being reserved for the ECC team only. The following is a more detailed plan for the workshops with named facilitators:



Monday, Jan 29

Pressing ECC’s reset button - ECC only (90 min) : Refocusing our efforts to drive Zcash adoption

Tuesday, Jan 30

What users want and need (3 hours)

  • Welcome and review of the agenda (15 min) : Josh

  • A vision for Zcash (30 min) : Josh

  • Making it personal (30 min): @adjychris

  • Break (15 min)

  • User research findings (30 min): @peacemonger (ZURE)

  • Current state ecosystem assessment: friction and gaps (30 min) : Josh

  • Current state of Zashi and lessons learned so far (30 min) : Chris / Richard / Zashi Team

Access, earn, store and spend (3 hours)

  • Defining the target user of ECC products (1 hour) : Josh

  • Exploring opportunities where ECC can have the greatest impact on Zcash adoption (1 hour) : Josh

  • Break (15 min)

  • Functional prioritization (45 min) : Josh

Wednesday, Jan 31

Protocol engineering and R&D (3 hours)

  • Overview - Setting the Stage (15 min) : @nathan-at-least

  • Current state of PoS research and findings Comet BFT vs alternatives, timeline (90 min) : Nate, @daira , @ebfull

  • Break (15 min)

  • Comet BFT vs. alternatives (30 min) : Open discussion

  • Alternative R&D focus areas and impacts based on prior day activities (30 min) : Josh

State transition (3 hours)

  • Debt and Zcash ecosystem obligations (90 min) : Josh

  • Break (15 min)

  • NU6 possibilities and timeline (30 min) : Josh

  • Governance, assessing community sentiment, and dev funding (45 min): @paulbrigner

  • Community support - commitments and desires (30 min) : Josh

Thursday, Feb 1

Pulling it all together (ECC only) (90 min - done before 11am)



Zashi wallet: All in all, it was a little slower week due to some health and personal circumstances on the team. The team continued to work on existing performance issues with the week ahead focused on dynamic block sizing and using old anchors. We also need to provide the option to change lightwalletd servers as the server used in the wallet was down the latter part of the week. We are also bringing on board a product manager with commercial mobile product experience. She’s going to start with us part-time and will be at Zeboot, and then move to full time March 1 after transitioning out of her current work.

R&D: The TFL DAG has been updated with the goal to complete Phase 2 ahead of Zeboot.

Other:

  • Daira and @nuttycom spent time on possible solutions for Binance to quickly address their need for a new transparent address type. While we prefer a UA-based approach to help drive UA adoption and a better user experience, we are open to Binance’s direction. Please note that the possible solution doesn’t compromise privacy any more than is already compromised by KYCing with Binance and using an existing transparent address type. While the engineering change is trivial on our end, most of the work required will be on wallets to support the new address type.

  • We are bringing in someone to lead finance and operations as of Feb 1, on a 6 month contract. A primary focus will be on treasury management and financial modeling of scenarios based on the entirety of our balance sheet.

  • I met with some of the @mayaprotocol team (a Thorchain fork) about their interest in adding ZEC support to the DEX. Great people! We need to first understand the status with Thorchain and then define next steps. I believe we’re not technically far off from realizing support on one or the other.

  • Also good follow-up meetings with @cwgoes at Anoma and Johnathan at Qedit on status on possible paths ahead.

Onward.

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Thanks for the update Josh. Will there a recording of the event/key moments?

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No recordings, chatham house rules. We’ll summarize and publish.

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:clap:
Introducing the new crypto wallet for Zcash, named Zashi, where your transactions are secure and snazzy, making your crypto journey incredibly flashy.

Notes: feel free to use the above copy :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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@joshs a new other for you that’s worth discussing at Zeboot.

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Thank you for the update! I’m excited about the following steps and projects.

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Thank you for meeting @joshs ! Hopefully we can make this happen :handshake:

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Gas/fees are critical to the future of decentralized development and a viable economic ecosystem. Just as important, gas/fees creates organic buying for ZEC to offset inflation. Until we can use ZEC as collateral or ZEC as staking token, the price just fluctuates based on speculative use cases. Will gas/fees be on the agenda for a path towards a viable ecosystem?

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The topic of fees is not explicitly on the agenda, but these are workshops and it may come up.

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@joshs Appreciate the reply. If I may ask re the economic model. Is the thinking internally that transaction costs will indefinitely be buried inside inflation (and subsided by ZEC holders) or that costs will eventually be included at the transaction level and paid per transaction or otherwise paid at the transaction level as use cases evolve? To illustrate, hypothetically, if we have 14m coins outstanding and issue 1m coins this year to new buyers, the 1m coins issued are subsidizing the transaction costs associated with the 14m existing coins. So at a price of $20, that means the transaction costs associated with the existing 14m coins are around $20M (being used to pay 80% mining and 20% development). Lets further assume there are 20m transactions for the year, which wuold mean the cost per transaction is $1. So, even though there are transaction costs (of $1/txn in our simple example) associated with the 14m existing coin group, they are paying ~$0 per transaction for their share of the costs while the new 1m ZEC holders are paying for ~100% of the costs ($20 per coin in our example $20m/1m issued coins). Then the game starts all over again with new coins issued again and again and again…when does it end? It has a “pyramid” feel to it that I hope we can resolve somehow. As a person who studies business models, I think it would help your cause to work on this or provide clarity as to how the economics of your ecosystem will work if you do intend to move away from the current inflationary model.

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The current model is capped at 21M coins, I’m not sure that counts as inflationary.

I’m not sure what new economic model you have in mind, do you think ECC or ZF should somehow tax transactions directly? I don’t know of any decentralized cryptocurrency currency that follows that model.

In Ethereum PoS for example, the gas and fees go to the node operators that maintain network consensus for transactions. This is their economic incentive for running the nodes that secure the network. Additionally Ethereum EIP-1556 burns a portion of each transaction, effectively making ETH a deflationary asset.

Having a portion of the block reward going to support development is significantly different than a direct tax on transactions themselves, I would be concerned that that kind of model would make Zcash a security in the eyes of government. Allocation of a portion of block rewards in Zcash avoided a pre-mine like Ethereum did and helps provide ongoing economic incentive for developers to make Zcash better since their pay rate is directly tied to performance of the network. Miners effectively opt-in to this model by choosing to run the software, and thereby opt-in to giving a portion of their reward back to help support the network.

If we switch to PoS in the future, there will be a cut-off date for mining, and the question is what chain height would that be at, and what would happen to the remaining coins that would have been mined? Say the switch happens at 17-18M coins in circulation, then that’s 3M coins left to be “issued” somehow, to existing coin holders, some could be set aside as a development fund, or perhaps simply not issue the rest to make Zcash more scarce.

Either way, I don’t think it makes sense for centralized entities, especially in the US, to try to make a development funding model that relies on transaction fees like Visa/MasterCard does, that seems extremely risky.

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In theory. I think its becoming more and more clear that the 21m cap wont hold under a status quo scenario. We already have people wanting to increase the cap; and I expect the demand to increase the 21m cap or otherwise change the halving scheudule will get louder.

We need to think about the economics of the ecosystem and worry about the politics later…There wont be an ecosytem to worry about if the funding model isn’t working. I dont think it works as we have it…I think its much more risky to not have gas. Etheruem is using this model and I think Bitcoin and everyone will eventually move to a fee based model (gas is just another name for fee). Its the most fair and sustainable economically. Etheruem is charging more in gas than they pay in costs; its this differential factor that makes the ecosystem so valuable. And the way they charge and split fees also decentralizes the development. We need something like this down to the transaction level. So when I want to move my coins, it creates a charge. As an example, I moved an ERC20 coin from a CEX to my wallet. It costs between $2-$5 (for a coin worth $2). We charge $0. Whether we call it a fee or gas is just symantics. I think it needs to be built into the protocol and split to avoid centralization. And if the gas is split in a way that makes sense, it also can remove the dependence on the orgs.

When a user transacts and you charge him for the transaction and the creator of the transaction gets the money (or a chain of transactions with different players getting their share) that is absolutely not a tax. That is revenue, gas, a fee; but not a tax. The way we do it now is a tax.

Is etherurm a security? That is what they are doing. The gas fees are supporting development aren’t they? It can be worked in a way that is more aligned with the energy or something; but I think it needs to be at the transaction level. I dont even see how its avoidable to have a sustainable model.

You mention Visa/Mastercard. Its a good analogy. They have established through intensive competition that there is tremendous value in what they offer. So much value that people are willing to pay 2%-3% fees!. I used to think the goal was to get this down to 0.5% from crypto. But now after seeing the costs of crypto, I think the goal is going to be to still charge 2%-3% but give consumers so much more for their money that they are going to choose to pay 2% rather than 0%. Why? Because the person charging 0% wont be able to offer the value, the customer experience, trust, or reliability that the network charging 2% will offer. As we can already see, its very hard to fund development using our model.

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The gas fees are paid to validators, such as myself. I am not an ETH developer.

For small amounts, 1% seems negligible. But for larger amounts, customers will rather pay in cash or through direct banking.

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Strongly disagree, as far as I can see nobody from ECC, ZCG, or ZF has stated that they think the cap should be raised. The only person I know of that keeps floating the idea up is yourself.

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You are kinda new from what I understand you left the boards. . There is a group here floating several ideas. So I am repeating what people are saying on the boards. People have floated at least two options: Option 1 - change the halving schedule to a “curved” issuance. This change, based on the diagram, increasing the coin supply in day 1 compared to simply following the halving schedule b) Option 2: get rid of the coin supply cap and 3% inflation. Then we just have the logic of what happens as we get close to 21m I dont think inflationary issuance, will hold based on my understanding. But Im open to understanding why it will hold. Transaction fees/gas also liberates development from the ZEC price and focuses development on what is most important and thats transactions. with well functioning fee structure, it doesn’t matter what the price of ZEC is…

Absolutely! That is why I suggested a gas floor and cap. A min gas fee of X and max of Y and everything else in between is 2%-3% range

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There are the remaining issues that zcash would be the only currency that charges a fee based on the transaction amount and that doing so would also reveal the amount of the transaction.

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I suggest you check my profile vs yours before making that statement.

I did stop logging in for a time, but still checked in. A few random posts making suggestions do not make a large movement or consensus.

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I hear we have some smart privacy guys that Im sure can figure out how to hide the fees.

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Thats besides the point. The point is some people on these boards are suggesting an increase in the 21m cap and or changing the block rewards scheme. i am absolutely 100% against an increase or change in the current halving schedule. And gas’fees help to avoid it. we are cash strapped. we need more develolment. and fees/gas are already widely accepted. we are not doing anything not market based by adding gas. and it’s a real cost.

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I’d be more cautious about assuming technical aspects.

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