@Dodger Please consider amending the ZCAP Eligibility Criteria for the 2022 ZCG Election to include active members of the Zcash Community on Telegram who joined prior to March 2021.
Over the past two years, the Telegram Community has become a reputable and popular place to discuss Zcash. The Community used to be overrun with trolls, FUD, and spam; however, we now have a number of dedicated moderators in different parts of the world who cover the channel 24/7, and it’s made a huge difference. A number of Zcash regulars hang out there, including members of ECC, ZF, and ZCG.
The Telegram Community is also monitored by a “Zcash Admin” group that includes @joshs, @winfred, @fireice_uk, @JRGB, me, and a few other long-time Zcashers, which further legitimizes it as a recognized Zcash community.
The Community has been around since 2017 and is often referenced across varying outlets, including this forum, and is also acknowledged by companies such as eToro and Coinmarketcap as an authenticated Zcash community. Additionally, the z.cash website lists the Telegram Community as a volunteer-led group.
Extending an invitation to the Telegram Community will help further expand the ZCAP and ensure it is more independent and representative of the greater Zcash community.
I would support the prominent, verified members of the Telegram group entering the ZCAP, but allowing all the members who joined the group prior to 2021 would be a mistake due to the following reasons:
majority of them have been inactive (from the group of 2700+ members)
there are times when misinformation-based conversations prolong when the mods are not around
a decent size portion of the participants are looking for price signals in the group
unsure if there is a way to filter members who’ve joined prior to a specific date
Beyond the ZCAP, I believe moving to a coin-voting mechanism will give the true voice to holders.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that all members who joined the group prior to 2021 be automatically added to ZCAP. Zcash Foundation requires those who are interested in serving as a member of ZCAP to fill out a form. So, inactive accounts would likely not be aware of the ZCAP expansion period.
I agree with your point about having additional ways to filter Telegram members since the community has much more relaxed rules than the forum. I will talk to the mods and see if there are additional filter mechanisms we can use to ensure high-quality members are being added to ZCAP. Perhaps the answer is to provide members with badges that confirm they are active and constructive members of the community.
EDIT: Telegram tracks activity so it’s easy to determine the members who are active vs. inactive. I will work with the mods to assign badges to regular, active members.
The criteria could be that members have been confirmed by moderators as active and regular (with a badge). Does that sound like a fair eligibility requirement @Dodger? If so, we can recommend a few members to be added during this expansion?
I had an opportunity several days ago to look over the list of people on ZCAP who were eligible to vote in the last election. I hadn’t seen this list recently because I hadn’t participated in a ZCAP election in a long while. I was pleasantly surprised that I recognized almost everyone on the list as someone who has contributed something meaningful to Zcash – everything from community developers to participating in our past trusted setups.
There was at least one exception on the ZCAP list, but I’m hopeful that the new process outlined in the blog post of expelling members from the ZCAP whose interests don’t align with Zcash will rectify this.
I still think that ZEC holders are not represented well in ZCAP (as the blog post mentions, this is difficult) and setting up infrastructure for ZEC holders to make their voice heard will be really helpful for governance purposes. I am afraid we (as a community) will wait until the next ZCAP vote to set up this infrastructure, which will end up looking haphazard and illegitimate, and be seen as an attempt to subvert ZCAP or some other allegation.
I’m definitely interested in expanding ZCAP’s “catchment area” to include venues and fora other than the Zcash Community Forum, as long as we can maintain objectivity (or have a mechanism to eliminate the risk of bias, like the ECC/ZF protocol outlined in our blog post) and Sybil resistance.
I reached out to @SirHODL and, with his permission, I’m pasting a screenshot of the salient parts of our conversation so far below.
The tl;dr is that I’m not comfortable rushing to put a new criterion in place in time for the upcoming June election but it’s definitely something I think is worth exploring ahead of the next poll. In the meantime, we have a potential route for folks from the Telegram community to join ZCAP: the “organizations and individuals whose membership of ZCAP would make it more independent and representative of the Zcash community” criterion. If ECC are willing to work with us on that, we can use that route to get some Telegram folks on ZCAP straight away.
I welcome ZFs commitment to making the ZCAP more independent and representative of the Zcash community and working to ensure that ECC/ZF staff, board members and associates do not have disproportionate influence on ZCAP polls.
I also want to echo all @aquietinvestor’s points about the Zcash Telegram. Adding, there are Zcashers that prefer instant chat rather than the long form forum to discuss debate and otherwise have a conversation about Zcash, financial privacy, personal sovereignty, among many other topics. Instant chat is just better way to have a conversation. Rapid back and forth discussion is great to dissect a topic thoroughly. It is the closest to verbal communication.
I believe that the Zcashers on the Telegram group (and other platforms) are an integral part of the Zcash community even though they might not be active here. Their voices should be heard and listened to as well. I appreciate @Dodgers willingness to expand ZCAP beyond the forum. I’m disappointed the Telegram community won’t be eligible to participate in the upcoming ZCAP poll, but am happy they will be included in future polls.
I want to take the opportunity to commend @sirhodl for managing the Telegram group so well and so long. We are such a strong and active community because of him.
I want to draw attention to an important section of this blog post, which I’m reproducing here:
Finally, we believe that there should be two more criteria for ZCAP membership:
organizations and individuals who have made a meaningful contribution to the success of Zcash, and
organizations and individuals whose membership of ZCAP would make it more independent and representative of the Zcash community.
However, neither of these criteria are objective. Therefore, we propose that ZF and ECC work together to establish a protocol to make it possible to use these two criteria. 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).
I have today sent an email to ECC formally inviting them to participate in the process as described above.
There are just 12 hours left before the deadline for nominations of organizations and individuals who have made a meaningful contribution to the success of Zcash, or whose membership of ZCAP would make it more independent and representative of the Zcash community.
Anyone nominated after 09:00 UTC tomorrow (Monday) will be considered for addition to ZCAP after the upcoming poll.
In the interest of clarity and for the avoidance of doubt, I consider ZEC holders to be members of the Zcash community and, therefore, would be valid nominees under the second criterion.
I’m quite sorry if this information is available in writing somewhere already, but could you or others point me to the requirements for ZCAP membership (not eligibility, but ZCAP responsibilities, financial disclosures, time commitment, disclosure of other activities)?
Edit: I’ve been informed that no disclosures of any kind are necessary.
Membership of ZCAP involves no responsibilities other than voting in ZCAP polls. No financial disclosures are required, the time commitment is limited to voting (plus whatever research the member wishes to carry out to inform their voting choices), or disclosures (other than those required to satisfy the membership requirements).
So, the final response from ECC to our invitation to work with ZF on expanding ZCAP using the two new criteria (organizations and individuals who have made a meaningful contribution to the success of Zcash, or whose membership of ZCAP would make it more independent and representative of the Zcash community) can be summarized as “No”.
This is obviously disappointing.
However, ZF will continue to fulfil our responsibilities under ZIP 1014 (“The ZF SHALL continue to operate the Community Advisory Panel and SHOULD work toward making it more representative and independent…”).
Additionally, James Joseph will be removed from ZCAP.
Once we have reviewed the new applicants and nominations from existing members and carried out the necessary admin (e.g. confirming email addresses, etc.) we will update the list of ZCAP members on our website.