Engaging and Polling the ZF ZCAP

@Dodger, do you envision a means for the community to be able to engage with and poll ZF’s ZCAP directly?


Any reasonable requests to poll ZCAP would be reviewed by the ZF board.

To my knowledge, the only request we’ve received to date to poll ZCAP was the ZIP 1014 amendment that established the ZCG discretionary budget.

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Is the ZF open to a community administered process that is inclusive of, but not wholly subject to, the discretion of the ZF board?


I can’t speak for the rest of the ZF board but, for my part, you’d have to be a lot more specific than simply saying “community administered process”.

PS: By “more specific”, I mean similar in specificity to the protocol that ZF proposed last year for administering ZCAP membership:

Specifically, we propose that:

  • We invite nominations from the Zcash community (via the forum) for organizations and individuals who may meet these criteria. Additionally, ZF or ECC may accept nominations via other channels they deem appropriate, and post them to the forum (so that the community can provide feedback).
  • The deadline for nominations shall be 09:00 UTC on Monday June 6, 2022.
  • After this deadline, ZF and ECC shall review the nominations, and indicate to one another whether they agree with or object to each nomination.
  • If both organizations agree with the nomination, the nominee will be added to ZCAP.
  • If both organizations object to the nomination, the nominee will be rejected.
  • If one organization agrees with the nomination, and the other organization objects, the decision will be escalated to a vote of the ZF and Bootstrap Project’s board members (with votes weighted appropriately – e.g. each ZF board member’s vote counts as 1, while each ECC board member’s vote counts as 1.2).
  • In the event of a tied vote, the ZF and Bootstrap Project’s boards may jointly select (using the weighted voting mechanism described above) an independent arbiter to decide whether the nominee should be added to ZCAP.
  • If the boards cannot agree on an independent arbiter, the question of whether the nominee should be added to ZCAP will be added to the next ZCAP poll.

We also propose that a similar protocol be used to remove ZCAP members whose interests are not aligned with the Zcash community’s, or whose membership of ZCAP is otherwise inimical to its purpose.

Specifically, we propose that:

  • Either ZF or ECC may raise the question of whether an existing member of ZCAP should be removed.
  • If both organizations agree to the removal, the member will be removed.
  • If both organizations object to the removal, the member will remain on ZCAP.
  • If the organizations disagree, the matter will be escalated as described above (i.e. first to the ZF and Bootstrap boards, then to an independent arbiter or to ZCAP itself).

We believe that this approach will unlock significant improvements in terms of making ZCAP more independent and representative of the Zcash community.


Let’s ideate here on the broad strokes, and then we can spend time on all the minutia if we see openness to a possible path forward.

What works or doesn’t work with the following?

  1. Create the Zenate through a ZCAP process. ZF is one of five founding members, as is the ECC.

  2. Move the ZCAP under the Zenate.

  3. Zenate is tasked with creating an objective process for bringing things to the ZCAP. For example, a request might be made by someone in the community in the forum, and at least three of five in the Zenate sponsor it as something to surface to the the ZCAP.

  4. It’s still non-binding and consensus changes follow the ZIP process.


i’m against any more organizations that are not committed to moving away from block rewards as a funding mechanism.

i think to be part of a zenate; it must be represented solely be zec holders. i believe a minimum of 10k zec should be a threshold requirement.

otherwise we get people just looking for money or to fund pet projects. and it’s just another entity doing the same things with a different name.

we need to stop funding edge use cases and focus on the core blockchain and SDKs so 3rd parties can fund and support their believed edge use cases.

zenate should have a veto right on major grants. not sending ideas to zcap. zenate should block all extreme edge use case funding, have veto over marketing spending, and be a strong and forceful fiduciary and advocate for zec holders. first on the list should be a voting mechanism for zec holders and remove ad hoc polls from decision making.

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50k minimum.

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Hi @Dodger - any thoughts on this proposal?

Additionally, what is the current process for submitting requests to the ZF board?


I am adamantly opposed to ANY threshold amount requirement to participate. Here is why:

1). If the proposed governance model is approved and it works well, the token price will theoretically improve. That, in turn, means the barrier to acquiring 10K or 50K ZEC dramatically increases. That means we are locked into a governance model that only gives a voice and power to the wealthy/those who were early to the project. That could seriously prohibit people from developing nations, like Ghana or Nigeria who love ZEC but were not early from participating in the future of their favorite project. It will mean we are stuck in a governance model where the ruling power is likely to remain the same old “powers that be” and make it difficult for new people to enter.

2). I am very opposed to a participation system that rewards the wealthy for being simply that - wealthy. I want to see a participation system that allows anyone and everyone to contribute based on a true desire to earn that privilege. It is communities that should decide who holds positions of power, not wealth or entrenchment - we have that problem with Zcash now.

3). ZEC is for all human beings. The key words there are human beings. If we make a hold threshold like this, it could allow for a whole host of other problems like companies/foundations/etc. buying seats for themselves and concentrating power. ZEC of for people. - make them prove they have some, but do not define an amount required.

We should be rewarding dedication, ideation, innovations, and passion - not wealth.


I agree, there are more than an ample amount of Zcash authority roles filled by only people who are paid ZEC through the block reward, but there are essentially no roles explicitly defined to give ZEC holders a direct voice. Its a backwards model, where the stakeholders of ZEC are not given a position to affect project priorities and actions.

The Zenate would be a great institution for ZEC coin holder polling/ voting, and could also seat 1 or 2 individuals with demonstrated large allocations of ZEC ownership.

If this project wants to reform itself and become a successful business, rather than an arbitrary cryptographer’s research garage, then the project needs business and investment privy decision makers. In the first 6-8 years, Zcash is clearly hurting because it has never been lead by business-minded leaders.

To Beth’s point, a good one, there should be multiple seats. 1+ representing small ZEC holder opinions, and also 1+ representing large ZEC holder opinions. Both parties have skin and the game, both should have direct representation in the Zenate.

We should be rewarding all of: dedication, ideation, innovation, passion, and wealth

This is an ecosystem where the material interests of everyone need to be brought into alignment. Currently there is no common alignment vector. Some parties feast on large grants, but deliver products that are not adopted. Some parties are on perpetual salary, researching and building, yet it is ZEC holders who hurt. Zcash has got to create a shared alignment, or else we’ll continue to suffer the splintering problems of now.

  1. the goal is to create something of value. Not to create worthless tokens. By definition if ZEC accomplishes its mission, it’s going to help wealthy people. Let’s try to make poor or less wealthy people wealthy instead of trying to make wealthy people poor. We need ZEC to be a store of value and not make this a us versus them.

The people who are funding the block rewards should have the most to say proportionally to ownership.

The current system is exactly the opposite where people with no stake are listened to. And it’s more of a feeding frenzy based on hyperbole, ad hoc polls, and speculation about what people “should want”; but not based on how people actually behave and act.

  1. where is the rewards? zec has no yield, and no utility. it’s pure speculation. You are leading the people of nigeria over a waterfall.

The community is ZEC holders. no one else. The concept is not to exclude anyone. But just like the dev fund needs ZCAP, and a centralized body as a “gatekeeper”, ZEC holders need to have a manageable group to have a voice. Ad hoc polls represent grant recipients and not ZEC holders.

  1. zec is for zec holders. yes anyone should be able to own it. But it has to be represented by actual owners not some mysterious undefined “community”. That is a red herring for “we know what’s best” for the world. and the reality is you don’t. A threshold amount is needed because we have no voting rights. so this is an interim solution. if the threshold is too low, then it’s not manageable. At the same time is has to represent a large enough % of total to be representative and material.

If you are not about creating and maintaining wealth, you should get out of the money/currency business. Find a nice charity,

I agree with this sentiment, but I fail to see how implementing a ZEC ownership threshold to participate solves any issues. It simply recreates them with new actors (and probably a lot of the same old ones). I don’t know why anyone thinks the concentration of power based on wealth is a good idea whether it be a community member or ECC/ZF.

we already have this. but the power is with grant recipients. they are the main ones (and i believe majority) with incentive to spend time on the pollsters. There really no incentive for zec holders to waste time on these polls. we just hope and pray the boards of ecc/foundation do their jobs.

so zec holders are voting by selling. the price should tell you something and it’s not all because of the current market wide winter.

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I said right in my post that it is okay to make people show they have ZEC - it is NOT okay to define how much they must have to participate in decision-making or have a voice in the project.

I do not have a problem with people generating wealth, and frankly that is a pretty big leap to make based on my post. I have clearly outlined that my concerns are about concentrating power based on wealth.

If the token was a ratio of 1 to $30,000 USD - the ability to acquire the requisite 50K ZEC to participate in governance would be unobtainable for many. That very clearly means that we end up with power and governance in the hands of a few entrenched people

Zcash should not be exclusionary of someone because they are just starting their crypto journey or were born without capital to acquire 50K ZEC at $10 USD, $50 USD, or $500 USD.

Frankly, it sounds like you don’t want to make ZEC governance fair for everyone, you want to make it fair for you.

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then fight for zec holder voting. in the intermin, we need a manageable group to act on behalf of zec holders.

why aren’t you making these same arguements against zcap/ECC/foundation?

i would not even qualify for a high zec holding. i just want zec holders represented and it needs to be around 20 people.

how many people make the decisions now? my bet is less and it’s not based on voting and it’s not represented of ZEC holders with exception of some people at ECC/foundation that probably do have a personal stake in the outcome of ZEC.

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we should be rewarding vision and an increasing zec price. all of the other things should be rewarded only as a derivative of an increasing zec price. All of the attributes listed are nice qualities, and make it all enjoyable. but if the zec price doesn’t go up, there should not be a reward.

and governance should be dominated by zec holders. sure a minority voice can be given a community; but it should not be equal to the owners of ZEC. It’s very easy to give away others peoples money. But when it’s your own, you tend to pay a little more attention.

My goal is to see ZEC increase in price. Not based on hype or marketing, but based on real fundamental value.

You said —- make it easy for people to “enter”. My assumption you meant a low zec price. If you meant participate in voting, then I agree, everyone should be able to participate proportionally to ownership. There could be situations where a combination of shares and dollar value would be important voting thresholds.

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It seems that this is the debate being held:

Is Zcash welcoming to an Activist(s) investor takeover? particularly to the context of Poor Performance by the past-current project leadership.

I personally believe that a balance hybrid model is best. ZEC Activists certainly are null represented today, and in the future deserve a lot more representation.

But I also don’t think total abandonment of the rent-free (ZF, ECC funded without discretion to performance) leadership community of today makes sense either.

A responsible balance needs to be found. Respect to the critical value risks of ZEC, but also keeping an R&D exploratory nature in Zcash

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According to messari - there is one address with >$10m and more than 1m zec. maybe that’s greyscale? this wallet would be the activist from preliminary view.

there are 55 addresss with > 1m usd.

there are 14 with > 100k zec

so there really doesn’t seem to be an activist investor out there based on wallet address.

I would expect that @zooko is already talking with the large holders. and he might even be considered the activist depending on who he is taking with.

plus absent a voting mechanism, a real activist campaign is impossible. let alone a large holder that we can see.

we just need voting where zec holders are not forced to sell if they don’t like the direction things are going.

@joshs and @quiteinvestor are the only real vocal activists i can see who are vying for block rewards or control. but it’s not based on ownership or taking any personal risk (as far as we can tell).

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ZEC Activists can only be as effective as ZF and ECC allow. There cannot be any takeover. We have to be realistic. Actually, ZCAP can’t even end the Dev Fund. ZCAP is advisory and none of the polls are binding, only when electing ZCG committee members.

We need to convince ZF and ECC that it is good for Zcash and the World to open up, to listen to the community and let go.

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