Future of Zcash dev funding — megathread / everything in one place

I agree that what ZFnd has to do to keep their 501c3 status is very desirable.

Here’s a further thought - ZEC reserves are held in multisig and cannot be spent on ZFnd costs… that could be enough to preserve their status.

EDIT: Doesn’t prevent ZFnd & ECC from colluding (ie: pay me & I pay you) so far from perfect. Transparent & accountable plus appropriate changes to their bylaws might work.

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I’d much rather see this scenario as well if we were to continue a block subsidy. There is less of an ulterior motive at play as opposed to directly funding ECC.


I’m talking more about how the money actually gets to them is the tricky part, it cannot be mandated in any way (this refers to that choice thing which isnt exactly clear) and it cannot come from the ECC (no question)
Otherwise they’re on their own basically

The only reason they have any sort of guaranteed funding now is because there is a large group of Trustees who believe in the project

Its complicated because the trust system like now and the trust less system like how we want are completely incompatible

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The topics I see suggest a split between Zfnd and ECC. Is there a proposal that exists that’s funding for ZFnd only?

There was one, it prompted a really good essay from Josh - its a good read & there’s a link further back.

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@TheJerz @mista.mist I’d be surprised if VCs or hedge funds lift a finger to fund Zcash development. As a firm, it would probably make more financial sense to write off the investment, versus ponying up $13+ million yearly… even collectively! (Modulo investment time horizons.)

Grayscale, Placeholder, Amentum et al have given no indication of willingness to foot the bill. Granted, it is possible that a no-dev-fund outcome would prompt them to step up. They could be biding their time to preserve optionality.

My guess is that investment firms with large ZEC positions would prefer protocol-based dev funding. Externalized costs are more attractive than internalized ones, after all. If I’m right, strategically it wouldn’t make sense for investment firms to offer a lifeline for Zcash dev funding unless forced. Even if it’s an option they’re considering behind the scenes.

OTOH, maybe a smaller amount than ECC’s current ask would be feasible? Or I could just be wrong, and institutional Zcash investors are willing to spend some of their ZEC reserves to defend the value of the rest.

But to the tune of at least a couple million each, minimum? Yearly?

I’m not sure where else the money could come from. If there are a bunch of Zcash whales keeping an eye on this discussion, they certainly haven’t identified themselves as such or volunteered to contribute funding.

That said, I don’t think no dev fund would kill Zcash. Set back progress? Absolutely. Change the trajectory? Also yes. But kill it altogether? No.


It will not kill Zcash that much we can all agree on. Yes there will be a setback, but the trajectory can still be kept or maybe something better will come along unknowingly. To me that’s worth the gamble. But i do not see how $1 million per month can even be considered. It’s an absurd amount of money and will just end up killing the price of ZEC even further. Organizations like the Litecoin foundation don’t even that in their reserves lol
(my apologies for naming other projects on this thread, no ill intent…Im just stating examples)
Is there an official proposal suggesting a 90/10 miners/ZF but no allocation to ECC? I would definitely vote for that. Zooko needs to understand that as a founder of Zcash it is his baby and he shouldn’t just leave if he doesnt get what is demanded. Surely he must’ve thought of “what happens after 4 years” he wrote the damn code after all no?

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No (at least not by himself), the Authors of the original Zerocoin Paper are Ian Miers, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Aviel D. Rubin
The Authors of the current specification are Daira Hopwood, Sean Bowe, Taylor Hornby, Nathan Wilcox
I think Zookos biggest role was in bringing this all together really (and that could be false too but I think its pretty fair)

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I see this mistake made often, I assume because in most of the rest of the cybercoin space (particularly pre-2017) the project lead was the same person who originally forked some codebase and made changes. Zooko has not written a single line of code in the zcashd codebase (source: authors.md).

Zcash was an implementation of the Zerocash paper, not the Zerocoin paper.


Apologies, so many z’s and coin cashes I get confused, its also hot where Im at :sun_with_face: (sweating profusely)
Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Christina Garman, Matthew Green, Ian Miers, Eran Tromer, Madars Virza

(Ive made that mistake before)

No one has proposed minting $1m more ZEC. At most, the proposals are to reallocate $1m from mining to development. So it’s not coherent to say $1m more would kill the price… you’d instead really need to argue the $1m is better spent on more hashpower.


Not quite but i see your point Andrew. Though miners are totally entitled to $1m extra per month, some kind of monthly allocation would still be necessary for overall development. Im sure miners would agree to that. But we cannot say for certain that all miners will liquidate their ZEC to cover monthly expenses, versus ECC who would need $1m to stay afloat, not to mention they are requesting a year’s worth of funding in advance as part of the renewal. Sorry to have to say this but yes it will hurt the ZEC price even more, and i dont see any strategies being undertaken to tackle the constant price decline, aside from brand awareness events which maybe in the very long term will make an impact.

There is very little demand for ZEC on public exchanges and the bulk of the daily traded volume comes from Lbank, notorious for insane wash trading.
There is also a lot of chatter on social media about the roadmap being extended to 2050, yet many wont live that long to see it happen lol. Would love some clarification on that 2050 target and if it’s really a vision of the roadmap, because we’re talking 30 years here. This doesn’t resonate very well with investors sorry to say


this is not how it’s works in reality. if zcash already been mature and well settled tech - then maybe. but for now, imho, the sufficiently competent to continue productive work on zcash are those who already standing behind it. outsourcing much more often poisons/destroys products, rather then improves. that’s why current decisions are kinda hard. from one point of view, zcash poorly keeps up with bitcoin, lags in adoption, underdelivers some expectations. in big picture it looks not that bad, but its understood why more short sighted holders/investors/users are enraged and find that devs/founders/execs are to be blamed too. but, imho, changing horses at this stage will damage zcash in a matter of time. some simple minds object that this is all an extortion. and will be right from some simple point of view. i’d rather say there’s just a hard decision, nothing more.
approve continuation = give chances for zcash to try. ecc/zfnd arent looking stubborn, from my point of view. they seem to understand what they are doing and what has to be improved. yes, not all expectations are met for now. some of them were a matter of their hands, some are up to market and current zcash position upon it. bitcoin also had its dire time. but every survival brought gained confidence and brought impressive rewards. so, give zec chance to survive and thrive from current stage is not bad consideration at all.
cut off = deprecate in a matter of some time. there’s no even mid-term economic reasons in cutting rewards. temporary decrease in selling pressure, but die-off later because of stagnation? i dont think its a smart choice.
if someone is not comfortable with current situation, he can always sell his holdings, write off losses if any, and even try to margin short zec to the ground. market will tell if he’s right or wrong.

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After Zooko’s Medium post and ECC’s recent statement, and further by watching yesterday’s YouTube video, I can say I am definitely not convinced that a dev fund based on block rewards is the way to go. I am not saying that I am opposing the idea altogether but I believe in a more fair and decentralized way of funding development.

A dev fund will always be controversial and will split the community even more.

That said, I love following all the discussions (even in my extremely limited free time) and will support any ZIP the community decides on :slight_smile:


Explain to me please what is the point of disassembling the question of further financing if the company and the fund are not interested in the value of their assets, I have asked many times what will happen if the cost falls to 1, neither 20% nor 100% is enough, what to do then? But seriously, what's the point of taking a part from the block if you cannot find investors for the rest, you don’t want your direct financing, why do you focus on irrelevant things such as continued financing and not basic ones, such as reducing the value of an asset (your- in the role of financing for development and people who bought or will buy -investment). If the coin were in the balance of value (for example, 350), you would have enough money to develop in the next 4-6 years.
If the coin were in the balance of value (for example, $ 350), you would have enough money to develop in the next 4-6 years.
If financing is continued, then you will encounter the same problem as now, lack of funds, but an increase in the percentage (more than 20%) will look even worse than now.

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what if the price falls to 1$? game over, shop is closed, startup wrecked, asset/product/brand did not survive. its obvious. happened before, will happen more.
why they assert that they are not interested in price of the asset they are building? its their flavor in this game and/or safe legal position.
this is crypto. its not even ipo/startups to claim some hard expectations. risks are even more boosted. rewards also.

That’s actually a very weak argument. Some (philosopic) counter points against this argument:

  • Someone not holding a single ZEC today could buy/tomorrow ZEC worth for $100k+ IF he believes things are right.
  • Does someone being against the venezualian dictatorship have to be a Venezualian only?
  • Is interest in Zcash only measured in ZEC? What about these that have invested countless thoughts & time? Just a reminder that time is the most expensive asset in the world as it’s the only one you can not regain under any circumstances. If i lose 1000 ZEC i can buy them again, but how do i get back time?
  • Could it even bet that a small or non ZEC holder interested purely in privacy be more objective and more unbiased than the big ZEC holder?

I think you refer to his explaination in the live talk why he thinks the opt-out would be seen as voluntary.
I’am pretty sure, actually absolute confident, he is wrong in his final conclusion. I absolutly liked his explaination and like the intention behind it. It’s actually very close to voluntary, but not close enough to make it indeed a voluntary donation for the foundation.
The problem, at least in my opinion, is that it is a mandatory choice without the choice to donate “nothing”. Or another formulation would be a voluntary choice on a mandatory enforcement. It just lacks the attribute of being a real donation made in good will & voluntary.
An interesting comparision would be with your paycheck. At the end of the month you would given the choices to donate 20% to your employer, a foundation, some other related parties or to throw the money out of the window. I doubt someone would see this as a voluntary donation, no matter the choice where you donate is limited voluntary as you have only limited choices, and these setuped by someone else, not yourself as a donor.
This is really important in my opinion as in case i’am right with my definition of voluntary & mandatory donation it could legally backfire at least in 2 casees:

  • The foundation loses it’s tax exemption status
  • Some of the donors, especially bigger ones like Bitmain could sue the recepients claiming they never did want to make any donations.

Don’t get me wrong. These proposal is one of my favourite ones, even more after i listened to Andrew Miller in the live talk but the foundation donation part should be checked for-up by a realy good foundation expert attorney.

I have asked this in my proposal and it’s one of the few questions i got answered actually and the answer is NO, this is only for the ECC.

Actually this is exactly a sum up of what i think as well. No other options are even considered and as a multi-company owner myself i know that there is always room for cutting costs, to economize, to be more efficient and of course to work with what i have.
Especially one thing that makes me wonder is that there are plenty of job offers on the ECC. Of course, this is indeed not really our beef, but still, it’s somehow strange that a company that seems to strangle with $800k expenses is raising these expeneses bevor a reliable founding has been made.
I personally have been several times in such position and the logical acting normally is to economize until a new funding stream is found so the time span of surviving gets longer not shorter.

Good question. With keeping this code and working on it seems to be more time & resources intensive than maybe alternative or a new code. At least i get the impression that for many projects it seems easier to implent Zcashs privacy code than having Zcash competive scalability.

Actually i had exactly such proposal with 2 options, mandatory and voluntary funding but i withdraw it after i realized that the foundation would not support such proposal. I still think it would be the best compromise for all sides involved due the following factors:

  • The community would get way more transparency, accountability.
  • The foundation would be real independent
  • We would move to a more decentralized design
  • Work on the code would, or at least should, be more competive as other groups could as well bring in value tech, ideas, directions and at the same time the ECC would get competition which in it’s principe alone should lead to better results.
  • There are of course more benefits, but this would get too long on an anway too long post.

+1, that pretty much fits up the problems for the foundation in my opinion. Charitable donations and tax exemption isn’t that easy to manage and even the current donations by only several founders are allready borderline in my opinion, and having a donation stream from the ECC to the ZF is just impossible for a charitable foundation, it would become automaticly a corporate foundation.

I had one, but withdrawn as i realized the foundation would not support it.

Not necessary. There are enough possible scenarios where it makes a lot of sense for such to at least finance part of the expenses. It’s a bit of gamble for them but that’s anyway what they are good in.
There are really many examples where investors invest into a not finished product because they realize the impact the finished product could have, hence as well a price/market increase of the product of course and hence a huge profit for themself.
In short i think it would be like that:
Early investors that bought there position at high prices above $200-300 indeed might be better by writting off their investment.
New investors that bought in under $100, especially at $50-65 could make a good profit by investing more into development.

It’s all about IF an investors/fund sees potential in a given project that will lead to it’s price increase of if the company is directly funded to it’s market share price increase.

Actually while thinking a bit more about it, it would be even a good signal IF VCs/hedge funds invest directly as it would show they have faith in the project even at low prices like today and some months ago. Or reverse, why should the small investor donate/support a project that doesn’t get supported even by the biggest position holding companies?

Of course it would be foolish to await that a VC or hedge fund voluntary will make such offer as long as their is an more easy option for them that doesn’t cost them a cent, that development is paid by others. Just human, natural and profit oriented thinking nobody can accuse them, that’s their job, to make the maximum profit with minimal expenses.

Of course and for sure, there is just no way they can make it ever public upfront. Hence the reason they advocating the 20% mandatory block reward and not for example a mix of different sources, including them but not only them but as well Bitmain for example who might have even a more bigger interest than the VCs and Hedge Funds.
That’s why in my opinion and in my proposal different sources should be used and not only the block reward which again could, nearly sure would, lead to higher sell pressure.
The block reward dev fund option is just the easiest one, but in my opinion as well the most unfair one.

Nobody can see without having the proposal makers given more accurate numbers in the meaning what is needed for what. We even don’t know how much is planned for wages and how many employees are there. Without having them providing a detailed budget plan it’s impossible to say if a smaller amount is doable, on the other side, with the current hiring offers someone could as well come to the conclusion that intentionally the expenses are raised.

Seriously Sonya? In Germany there is a nice saying “there are so many trees i can’t see the forest”, lol, just kidding a bit here.

Now seriously, Bitmain & Innosilicon would be my first adress. I’am pretty sure a “voluntary hardware dev fund” of 5% per sold unit might be like a christmas present for them. Actually it would be more a contract to stay asic mineable while Bitmain/Innosilicon “donate” 5% per sold unit which is a bargain offer for them for sure. At 100,000 sold units at $2000 this would bring in $10M. This should have been done allready after the first batch of asics was delivered but it’s still not too late in my opinion, at least it’s worth thinking about it.

Selling ECC company shares. One of the most used ways to get additional funding is the selling of company shares. This isn’t even being considered in my opinion but should as well a naturally option that should be included.

A change from open source to licensed software. I have no idea what impact this would have. In my opinion it would have a huge impact if it was a community driven project, but as ECC is a centralized for profit organization i assume that the impact wouldn’t be as big. But as said, i have no idea, but it’s an option. Every new funding option is for a given group unpopular, so will be this one. Actually one positive outcome would be that actual direct competitors using Zcash Tech for free would have to give their dev funding for this contributing as well to the development they use for free so far. Makes somehow sense, not?

There are for sure many more options which combined should ensure more than enough funds for development, enough someone wants to explore and use them, which doesn’t seem the case at all.

Actually i’am thinking about making such an alternative proposal as none indeed goes into this direction but at least it is an option as well.

I’am with mista.mist on this one. I personally came to the same conclusion that this will indeed create additional sell and price pressure.
In first view i as well though it doesn’t matter if 20% are going to the ECC or 20% to the miners, but actually it has an impact, how big exactly is up to complicated calculations and estiminates but for sure it will impact sell pressure and addtionally enforce further mining centralization.
The logic behind this the less the miner gets the more he is forced to sell immediatly to keep mining operations going. The ECC 20% part gets sold immediatly anyway and there is no chance that it gets holded like an extra profit for the miner for example, or at least in most scenarios where the price of ZEC covers the $1.1M . And as an additional effect mining centralization would increase as again miners that would have these 20% as a buffer for staying profitable would get forced out and this mining power filled by low electricity region mining operations.

I think a 20% dev fund from block rewards will increase sell pressure. IF this effects price has to be seens as it could be balanced or softened by the halving effect.

Uhmm, roadmap to 2050? If this is true i will be 80 than, quiete a big time span …

+1, same feelings here.

From a pure financial point of view it’s a bad flavor, mostly because it hits their own funds they have to work with. I mean if you sell a product in US$ you should have a very interest that the US$ has purchasing power or it doesn’t make sense.

In case price and purchasing power doesn’t matter than it was badly choosen to go with a founders reward and possible with a dev fund from block rewards paid in units you don’t put much interest in.
In such case an ICO would have fit way better, you get the funds in US$ and are done.

As a non ZEC holder i personally don’t care about the ZEC price, but it bugs me that with each single US$ less worth the ZEC gets the funding for the ECC and Foundation gets as well less. Or in short it is in their own best interest to have as much as possible purchasing power tied to the ZEC.

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This is not serious.
What a safe legal position means, what the team now says and does is harming investments in them and in the development of the coin, the position may be safe from the point of view of accusations of not fulfilling promises, but I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about the purposeful development of the coin and the idea a part of which is investment, and to say that investment (which is obtained by multiplying the number of coins by the value) is not important for us, while saying that investment is important for moving on does not contradict each other? Once again, how to get a positive result by taking this position? The development itself will pass and the price will go up and after that the question about financing will disappear, it does not happen.
No investment, no development, and investment less and less for obvious reasons.

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of couse not. not fully.
serious and sane person in a stable state of mind will not bet on 1000% gains and be ok with 90-100% losses. fully serious people in crypto are the ones that estabilish their own currencies. exchanges. and other for-profit venues. and of course various breeds of scammers.
also, programmers and scientists that have a chance to get another source of funding of development for their groundbreaking or dead-end ideas.and psychologistst that have enormous ammounts of data from observation of human behaviour in crypto sphere.
investing/trading with this - is a pure opportunism. or degenerate gambling. take it as you like.
i’ve been here long time. had enormous gains and losses.
if you take crypto seriously - you will lose 99%. if you take everything is going/declared with a huge grain of salt and a bit of experience - you have some chances.
some like front row tickets. some like discount ones. pick yours and enjoy the show.

Then why, in principle, plant a topic with suggestions about the future fate of the coin, if our task is to look from the outside? I asked questions, answers to which will help to understand the essence of the necessary changes, and I believe that what is happening now cannot in any way help in choosing, or rather in the existing alternative of choice.
Give your suggestions, but we are not talking about our capabilities and needs - what the author of the proposal should do, guess? Specifying 2 percent will probably be small, 30 maybe not so much, and so on.
It is necessary to make a proposal on the basis of development plans and not just like that, but there are no plans, we just need money and we will work as we worked.
How to attract investors so that the percentage of the block equals the needs of the company, the response of the company is not important for us the price, the result is no investment but there is a percentage of the block, then why do it all now.
The Foundation can hire any company, but it will not do this because it does not make sense, they have developed and know the coin best of all and will continue and not start over.
We need the money 1.1 million + needs of the fund, further more, let’s choose a further model for financing, what to choose when to find about 2 million dollars a month, what is the point in what is happening, what will happen if the model with an insufficient percentage of the unit wins at the current rate What will happen if the course will decline, what’s the point?
I am against hypocrisy and deceit, but no one can answer my questions, why? But there are discussions of options that are generally not suitable for work (for example, the lack of further support, because the answer has already been given that no one will work for free, and other sources are not considered)
After what I heard, I will no longer invest in zcash, I will exit at the opportunity.
My wallet before the split Sun 21 May 2017 18:23:31 (2 years ago)