Electric Coin Company (ECC) has decided to cancel our plans to implement the feature of Splitting the Founder’s Reward (FR) in the NU2 Blossom upgrade. Ultimately we’ve decided the opportunity costs for shipping Split-FR outweigh the benefits. Also, we believe we can achieve some of the benefits through other means.
To recap, some of the intended benefits of splitting the Founders Reward were:
- To improve transparency about the use of those funds by showing top-level structure.
- To separate ownership and control of funding streams at the consensus layer.
We are already working on other means of transparency, and while not as tangible as literally codifying the funding streams into the Zcash ledger, we believe they can achieve some of the same benefit.
Separating ownership and control of funds would indeed be a valuable improvement to the robustness of Zcash. However, ECC and the Foundation are already well functioning US corporations, with a track record of transparency and effective collaboration. While on-block-chain robustness is powerful, the period of time to which it would apply would be the approximate 12 month period between NU2 activation (October 2019) and the end of the Founders’ Reward (October 2020).
Aside from these benefits and costs, which are primarily about Zcash development organization and funding, we don’t foresee this change impacting Zcash users in any direct manner.
What do we gain by canceling the Split-FR feature?
By removing this feature goal from NU2 Blossom, we reduce the technical and security risk of that upgrade which now is focused solely on increasing the block rate. Furthermore, the ECC engineering and product teams are able to focus more on other valuable ongoing efforts, including:
- We are continuing to improve the Zcash Reference Wallet,
- proactively working with wallet vendors on shielded address support,
- developing NU3 proposals to maturity in collaboration with the community and Zcash Foundation, and
- researching scalability, programmability, and consensus security improvements.