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

Final edit: This forum thread is now deprecated! Please refer to the ZIP process website and the Zcash Foundation’s governance page for future information and updates. Forum discussion will continue in the protocol subcategory.

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(The number will be 53, not 35.)

Summary version: Future of Zcash dev funding — high signal, low noise


This thread is for comparing and contrasting proposals (e.g. which ones can be combined?), commenting on the general trends of proposals so far, discussing and defining the feedback process, and hopefully moving toward broad consensus or something close to it.

I will update this post with new information as needed. If you think I missed anything, or want to point me toward something to add, send me a message or tag @sonya in a comment.

On the threads (or GitHub issues) for specific proposals, discuss the pros and cons of those specific proposals, or suggest improvements.

ZIP Process

After forum discussion, the next step is creating and submitting a formal Zcash Improvement Proposal. The ZIP process is defined in ZIP 0.


NU4 deadlines:

Event Date
ZIP draft submission deadline Aug 31, 2019
Feature selection done October 31, 2019
Testnet beta code release March 31, 2020
Testnet activation May 31, 2020
Mainnet activation October 2020

Proposals for NU4 must be submitted as draft ZIPs by August 31.

The active ZIP editors are @daira, representing the Electric Coin Company, and @gtank, representing the Zcash Foundation.

ZIP editor context

Who is George, and why isn’t @acityinohio the Foundation’s ZIP editor anymore? See the quote below.

Note: the merged ZIPs include some editorial changes. They supercede both the original pull requests, and the draft proposals on the forum threads. If you are a ZIP author and see a change that doesn’t reflect your intent, please contact @daira.

Draft ZIPs

Withdrawn Proposals

click to expand

Zcash Foundation Statements

Executive director @acityinohio:

Electric Coin Company Statements

Electric Coin Company CEO @zooko: “State of Electric Coin Company” talk at Zcon1.

@zooko on Twitter:

A catalog of the major results that the Electric Coin Company has delivered to the Zcash community over the last three years: Animating Zcash - Electric Coin Company

This is in the context of the Zcash community deciding whether the “Strategic Reserve”/“Dev Fund” was a good use of funds.

PDF timeline

ECC published a statement on Zcash dev funding sustainability. In particular, please note these details:

ECC will release assessments of each proposal submitted to the Zcash Community site. We will first work with authors or champions on these proposals in order to formalize them into PreZips (pre Zcash Improvement Proposals) and ensure they reflect the author’s intent. Proposals might include non-funding mandates, such as Aristarchus’ mandate for a voting mechanism.

Each PreZip must have a champion who is the author and/or someone willing to advocate for the proposal. The ECC will then draft assessments of each PreZip that will include how its adoption would impact ECC funding, how we believe it would impact the Zcash project, and how the company would likely respond if such proposal was adopted by the community. We are likely to advocate for proposals which would allow ECC (or another organization in its place) to continue the kind of ambitious, strategic and integrated operations that we’ve demonstrated in the first years of Zcash.


I’am resigning/stepping back from this proposal but if someone else thinks it’s worth to continue he/she can of course do so:


  • I wasn’t aware at time of writting this proposal, neither did the foundation mention it in this proposal that due legal reasons they do not want to become the sole recepient of a possible new dev fund. Having this in mind it makes zero sense to me to continue this proposal.

  • The needed ZIP process, no matter how easy it may look for the tech-skilled Zcash/foundation team is something i don’t think i have to deal with to have a valid good proposal that at least deserves consideration. Even less as a non-native English speaker. I daily invest hours of thoughts, posts, calculations, critics, reading the forum and commenting posts and seriously, i think it should be the response of the foundation and/or ECC to make proposals ZIP ready. I even would go as far and say that this is the exact reason why we see so much hesitation and only a view proposals at all, none of which anyway seems to get finished.

  • With the current ECC twitter post linking to placehoders proposal i think there is even no more need for any other proposal. I have mentioned above that i have a feeling that some proposals get favoured over others, this recent ECC twitter post from a 76k follower ECC account just strengthens my impression that it’s not about real fair election of a given proposal but more pushing through “their” wished proposal, or in other words pushing through a continued 20% dev reward.

As said, this is my personal impression and someone can agree or not agree but for me it doesn’t make any sense to further put anymore time into a proposal when there are obviously openly favoured ones, no matter this should be considered a conflict of interest.

I wasn’t good in playing theater allready in school, i’am even less today. Hence i’am not going to take part in a “farce”…

Edit: Just saw the foundation, ECC & Foundation members as well re-twitted the placeholder proposal. Nice!

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Relax man, yes there are legal implications but they apply currently, the new system will just have to comply in the same regards it’s not hopeless by any stretch
You don’t need to write a zip because they suck and nobody knows how to do it, that’s why we’re doing it here
I told you it’s going to be decided by a community vote and by the foundation (if the ECC feels confident in being able to dispel any retroactive rumors that may arise like with the mpc and powtau then they should I suppose, maybe theyre not worried, maybe we shouldn’t be either idk)

I think you are reading too much into re-tweets. Even if the proposal becomes ZIP/Consideration the proposal itself states that it should be ratified by a proper poll from the community.

The only way to counter a proposal that you don’t agree with is to also make a proposal and put it against the one you disagree with. Then whatever polling system is created can include it as an option for a vote. This is not a binary thing, there will likely be multiple choices.

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@amiller brought it up here Inactive/For reference only:: Dev fund proposal: modified 20% combination; 40/60 ECC/choice - #10 by amiller

Maybe due my bad English i can’t read “we won’t be recepients of a potentially new dev fee” into it…
But even if someone can read it into it, this my proposal stays allready 20 days here, nobody from the foundation thought it to be necessary to discuss this issue here? Hehehehe, come one…

You are correct, it wasn’t in the original plan for the FR.

Remember, doing nothing and funding expiring is the default and will happen unless members of the community rally support for some sort of change to the codebase. And even after a change has been proposed, it’s still up to the node operators/miners to choose if they want to run the software. The ECC or Foundation can’t force users to run anything.

Don’t feel frustrated, we all know this is a polarizing issue and different opinions are bound to cause some friction. I would suggest posting your thoughts on the proposal (as @boxalex has) in that thread so new users just visiting can see both sides of the story.


I think you may be thinking of a post by @acityinohio Josh where he said the Foundation does not want to be only receiver of a potential developers fund.

I don’t think that means they would refuse partial custody/responsibility for distribution of a fund. Perhaps @amiller could clarify

Edit: here is the post from Josh I was thinking of:

There is nothing bad about having different views, different opinions and even having a lot of friction. The thing i don’t agree is how different proposals are differently traited. Unpopolar for the ECC below 20% reward proposals don’t get a a tweet by ECC and as it seems a lot of employess of the ECC and for some strange reason even from the Foundation.

Maybe we have different visions on what a fair discussion, fair election/voting means or should mean. Hence why i wrote this is getting a farce. IF only favoured by the ECC/Foundations/its employees/it’s stake holders proposals get “advertised” and made available to the wide public than i consider this an absolutly unfair process.

I quoted the text autotunafish has linked as he referred to this.

Ok, that post from May 29th makes his statement clear:

Fine, still leaves the question why nobody from the foundation commented this for 20 days to find a possible solution for this?

We can change this proposal to make the foundation 75% receiver and the ECC 25% and it would fit into point a.) he made.

Now i’am more than curious what happened with point c.). From what i can see the proposal the foundation favours doesn’t have such opt-in mechanism while this proposal here has one. Seems point c.) doesn’t matter much…

I appreciate your efford shawn, but something is not right …

Perhaps for fairness, the ECC could agree to also tweet each proposal? Or tweet all ZIPs after they have been submitted for consideration?

What do you think @joshs

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This proposal has been updated and been edit:

Changes made:

Edit: This proposals has been updated after i got aware that the foundation does NOT want to be the sole recepient. The change consists of 75% opt-in or mandatory dev fee go directly to the foundation, 25% go to the ECC.

With these changes ALL 3 main points of the Foundations "to be supported requrements are meat!

The Foundation would only support proposals that:

a) don’t rely on the Foundation being a single gatekeeper of funds
b) don’t change the upper bound of ZEC supply
c) have some kind of opt in mechanism for choosing to disburse funds (from miners and/or users)

Yes, we will gladly tweet a link to a summary with links to all the ZIPs when they have been submitted.

Box, why not 75% foundation 25% block distribution? its cool, this is a non issue. I got it covered already in my proposal.

I bet this is not going to happen. Only proposals with a 20% continued founders reward will get a show case place on the offical twitter accounts…

This should have been the solution from beginning without favouring publicy any proposal.

And meanwhile continue to popularize ECC’s favourite proposals on twitter and/or other social media?

Hi, sorry, I didn’t realize this was going to be a point of confusion but I should have. There are two reasons why the Zcash Foundation doesn’t want to be the sole recipient or steward of dev funding. One is that would negate the decentralizing effect of having multiple institutions, which was among the reasons to create the Foundation. The other is that it could raise legal risks, but we held this stance [edit: on being a single point of failure for dev fund distribution] before starting to examine the specifics of how that might play out.

I’m pulling the tweets from @ZcashFoundation about dev funding proposals and will report back here soon. It may take a little while. But then we can all review them together.

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Yesm, it caused confusion, even more the 100% to foundation proposal stays here over 20 days without any response by the foundation why this is still not a prefered solution for the foundation and a clear NO, we won’t support a pure “foundation funding proposal” would have given time to change the proposal way more in-time and fine tune it better. However, i edited the proposal anyay due the foundation stance and now it’s 75% foundation and 25% which should be fine with the foundations requirement NOT to be the sole recepient.

Thx, i think this is the only way to garantee a fair voting/polling/election for given prosposals without favouring in advance any given one.

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I understand that concern. I made that call because the level of research in that post is exceptional and I thought the research would be beneficial for the community as they consider funding options. We will happily surface ZIP submissions on company social media accounts per my previous note, but we also reserve the right to elevate thoughtful information and research for the benefit of the community.

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Okay here ya go. I am personally accountable for all of these because I run the Foundation Twitter account. I scrolled back to April 23 (unfortunately couldn’t just use search). Hopefully didn’t miss anything, but others should feel free to double-check. Listing direct tweets first, then RTs.


I could have sworn that we also retweeted Andrew’s own tweet about this, but I couldn’t find it. Ran some searches on his tweets for “funding” but that didn’t turn it up either. Possibly I’m just misremembering.





And the retweets:






That said, @boxalex you’ve also mentioned concerns about engagement on the forum.

That’s sort of a grey area, IMO. For example, I use this account to make announcements on behalf of the Foundation and answer questions about our work, but I also use it to generally participate in the conversation. It hasn’t seemed to cause problems so far, but maybe I should make a separate @ZcashFoundation account for announcements? Or be really clear with disclaimers about whether I’m speaking for the Foundation or myself. I try to do that informally through phrasing (“Personally, I think…”) but perhaps it isn’t enough :thinking:

Think people are reading way too much into what a ‘like’ or a ‘tweet’ means…

I don’t tweet but I did ‘like’ a funny cat video this morning - doesn’t mean I think the cat has the answer for dev funding.

Placeholder’s contribution was really excellent, not sure I agree with all of it but they’ve certainly raised the standard for these proposals.