I agree with your sentiment, and Zcash holders including myself fund everything here with the inflation in supply for now.
I believe @Dodger is doing his level best in keeping Zcash Foundation operations compatible with the requirements of the US jurisdiction all whilst responding to the last-minute requests from several parties that ZF deals with on a daily basis. Based on my experience with crypto foundations, ZF has been extremely transparent and quick in action.
I understand the limitations of being a 501c3, but ZF and ZF-affiliated individuals have been the main obstacles to getting any form of coinvoting factored into broader Zcash governance. That includes using ZEC holders as a mere veto body, nevertheless give us the proper voice we deserve (we pay for the thing, pro-rated to our holdings).
I think it’s very unhealthy to have a Zcash foundation that simultaneously plays as steward of the ecosystem and frames the modes and means of governance. There is a little bit of magical thinking going on here. Some people seem convinced that “private corporation” = “bad” but somehow a non-profit and its satellite individuals completely evade capture or entrenched interests. Why? duh because it’s in the name “non-profit” so it has to be altruistic. Obviously, it’s wrong.
There is only one form of governance that properly maps one’s influence over the outcome to their actual exposure to the outcome and it’s coinvoting.
In order to be truly representative of holdings (and not something that can be gamed with loans) it seems to me that it would be necessary to have the duration of those holdings somehow factor in to the vote weight. Also, are you at all concerned that coin-weighted voting might not get outsize influence to exchanges, who hold coins for their customers? A single exchange may hold tens or hundreds of thousands of coins at a time, and it’s unlikely they’ll provide any mechanism for their customers to participate in a coin-weighted poll without withdrawing their coins (which would also be indistinguishable from a loan situation.)
Let me discuss a contentious but important area, which is what license to choose. I’ll say “BSD” to cover MIT, X11, BSD, Apache, and similar licenses, and “GPL” to cover GPLv3, LGPLv3, and AGPLv3. The significant difference is the obligation to share back any forked versions, which prevents any entity from capturing the software, and thus keeps it “free”.
From the little I understand, Hintjens’ thoughts on BSD vs GPL, may be very helpful for the MIT vs BOSL question.
Just sharing this with the hope that it helps. If it doesn’t you may simply ignore. Thank you.
This is disheartening. There are only a few people on this forum whom I respect for their achievements. Some have posted in this thread. You are one of them. @zooko is another. So much fighting.
To be fair, Professor Green, I should hate you for inventing Zerocoin. You gave me an excuse to continue not loading up on cheap BTC while I was awaiting real privacy. Thus, you proximately caused me to be poor. I think you owe me something like a hundred million or a billion dollars, or whatever. You also consumed too many hours of my life with your blog on cryptography.
Zooko is old-school cypherpunk. To those of us who have been around for awhile, his leadership at Zcash gave the project some serious cred early on. I think he has made some mistakes, which I tend to presume are from being a bit naïve and overly idealistic; insofar as I could see from an outsider view, I think it was probably similar at Least Authority. But under his leadership, ECC has been producing good technology. He also does superbly in explaining what people just don’t get: Why Zcash offers strong privacy that coin-mixing schemes do not. He has also done some other good cryptography work recently, such as his involvement with BLAKE3.
Zcash had a pretty good start, all things considered. Those who are new to this tend not to realize that Bitcoin had been declared dead innumerable times, by the time it was Zcash’s current age. If Zcash stays the course, instead of wrecking itself with drastic fundamental changes based on myopic fear and greed and fads, then I think it has great long-term potential.
Very few people (and very few of the people who are currently involved in Zcash governance) are in any way important to that. But I think that you and Zooko both are.
Who needs permission? Did Satoshi ask permission to let him fucking build things? Cypherpunks write code.
Oh, I see what is getting in your way…
Zooko knows from DigiCash, and we all should know from Bitcoin: Decentralize, decentralize, decentralize. Why is there so much focus on “governance”? Who needs “governance”? What happened to the Principal Principle of Least Authority?
I suggest that the Zcash Foundation’s strategy should be to bootstrap the community until the Zcash Foundation is obsolete. Bitcoin needs no “Bitcoin Foundation” (and indeed, it was almost destroyed by such a thing). And ECC can settle into a role analogous to Blockstream—being a leading ecosystem development company, without the exclusive burden and responsibility of doing all the critical work by themselves.
Snipes from Bitcoin Envy are a stereotypical sign of a dying altcoin.
Do you realize that Zerocoin was originally invented for Bitcoin?
Do you realize that Zcash copied its foundational codebase from Bitcoin—thus getting a faster initial time-to-market, saving millions in development costs, and gaining an excellent, entirely MIT-licensed upstream codebase from which fixes and improvements can be freely taken?
There is only one project in the world from which Zcash has taken, and taken, and given nothing in return: Bitcoin. It would be fair for Zcash to share and contribute back some innovative open-source code and technology. It would be basic decency for Zcashers not to make petty, meaningless snipes at Bitcoiners. I am seeing that with disturbing frequency here. It was not that way five-plus years ago. What happened?
In the right conditions—a big if, which looks like a “no” right now—in the right conditions, an excellent implementation of ZSAs would put Zcash directly in competition with Blockstream for one of its major B2B products. (I admire Blockstream—but if Zcash has a better offering, then Zcash should compete on the merits.)
I believe that the current strategy of desperately pursuing retail is pure folly. The niche retail market for privacy coins is already saturated. ECC has already achieved one of the key requirements for absolutely dominating that niche: Getting rid of the “trusted setup”. And it is not a market that will be expanded by advertising on social media. With the exception of some public figures (such as Snowden), people who really care about privacy eschew social media!
Retail will be brought in by B2C, if there is a better strategy for showing retail businesses what they have to gain. Bring retailers to see the value to themselves of accepting Zcash, and then let them deal with their customers. (Yes, I have ideas for how to do this.) Outside of the privacy coin niche, one of the best approaches to retail is indirect: Sell to the middleman. Another is to build whole new horizontally- and vertically-integrated platforms for this purpose (more ideas…).
And look beyond that! There is big money in B2B and in other sophisticated, high-value financial usages.
As a part of what I call the “privacy elephant” in a yet-unfinished essay, my vision for Zcash is to position itself to compete head-on with Blockstream Liquid. Bless their hearts, most retail BTC sat-stackers don’t even know that Liquid exists.
Stable ZEC economics. Any major change of coin economics (including, but not limited to POS) destroys confidence in the ecosystem and its long-term stability.
A Bitcoin-friendly ecosystem. Big talk about replacing BTC is a fantasy—and it is self-defeating. Hostility towards Bitcoin drives money away. This forum didn’t have that type of toxic culture in 2017. For comparison, note that although I mentioned somewhere here my dislike for Ethereum, in the same breath, I praised the Ethereum Foundation for working with ECC. Unless it were to be contextually relevant (e.g., perhaps in a discussion of “switch to POS” rheoric), this is not the right place for me to be nursing the grudge that I’ve had against Ethereum since their “irregular state change”.
An excellent implementation of ZSAs. Needs to be designed and reviewed for suitability for business use cases, not only flashy retail stuff. I will take a look soon. Not to restrict use cases, but to make sure that use cases aren’t missed, a point-by-point comparison with Liquid should be done.
A trustless or trust-minimized 2-way pegged bridge for zk-BTC, plus other trustless bridges. Preferably built with zero-knowledge proof technology, like the =nil; Foundation’s project for a trustless bridge between other blockchains. Hey, are there any world-class experts in zero-knowledge proofs here?
Not to beat a dead horse, but I think that catching the node up to parity with upstream would also help. Also, maintaining API and protocol ecosystem compatibility with Bitcoin is critical. Being a Bitcoin-like coin with strong L1 privacy is a Microsoft strategy: Embrace and extend. I’d thought that that was Zcash’s original design.
Beyond that: What do exchanges do, if they want to settle between themselves a large block of BTC without inciting Twitter speculation about an impending pump or crash? Sometimes, I wonder about that—and about other Liquid use cases not discussed on “crypto Twitter”.
I recall that long ago, I saw a quote from Greg Maxwell explaining that a lack of privacy is a major deterrent to business adoption of Bitcoin. (Spent too long searching for the source, in support of intended essay about the privacy elephant; cannot yet find.)
I myself observe that the majority of ordinary individuals do not care about their own privacy. Proof: Google and Facebook exist. Proof: Most people accept doing KYC. Proof: After the Snowden revelations, nothing really changed. Proof: PGP is over 30 years old, and most people still don’t use it. Proof: …I could continue all day.
Businesses care about their privacy. Money talks. Commercial espionage is a thing. Leaking your financials (and your financial relationships!) to competitors on a global public ledger is bad for business.
I think it’s is no coincidence that Maxwell invented Confidential Transactions, and that Blockstream originally adopted that for Liquid.
I think that would be a great position for Zcash—if Zcash wishes to choose that direction. And though I don’t imagine that ZEC will ever replace BTC, I think that a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship between the two ecosystems would bring a flood of value into ZEC.
To suppose that people would embrace Zcash for high-value financial uses without buying into ZEC is an unrealistic concern, in my opinion. Not even for fees, which I advocate should be kept low as practicable; I disagree with the comparison to ETH gas. Just because people who come to depend on the Zcash ecosystem for high-value usages will probably wind up buying ZEC—even using it as money!
In addition to the benefits of such an arrangement in itself, I also see this as one of several ways to push for real privacy in Bitcoin, as Zcash establishes itself as the privacy leader. Win-win. Good for Bitcoin, good for Zcash—and it makes the world a better place.
No. Before that: Community fractures over the so-called “Bitcoin Foundation” starting around 2013 (Zcashers take note!), which devolved into the Fork Wars from around 2015, etc. By the way, I think it’s likely that if the so-called “Bitcoin Foundation” had not served as a vehicle for Mike Hearn to sow anti-privacy, anti-fungibility memes, maybe Bitcoin would have strong privacy by now. Many, perhaps most Bitcoin maxis love privacy. Hearn is long gone, but Bitcoin is still a battleground between pro-privacy and anti-privacy forces.
Speaking for myself, I like a few altcoins that made their own tokens and their own chains from genesis—but I have an unlimited hostility towards all of the scam-forks and attempted scam-forks: BU, XT, BCH, BSV, S2X, “Bitcoin Diamond”, “Bitcoin Gold”, et al., ad nauseam.
Many (not all!) Bitcoin “maximalists” have their own special altcoins that they dearly want to succeed, like me with my ZECs; many are more or less privacy-oriented. For instance, the Bitcoin Forum’s administrator is publicly known to have some sort of affinity for GRIN. GRIN has enough privacy that unless I am misremembering, it’s suffered some FUD delistings for “oh noes, untraceable money!!!”
Way too many do BTC+XMR. I think that some of them would be more receptive to Zcash now that the “trusted setup” is dead. Discussing privacy coins with people in those circles, the one and only argument I could never entirely answer was “trusted setup”. Now, it is gone—but POS is a dealbreaker! That is Zcash shooting itself in the foot—in so very many ways.
This is all relevant to ZEC and to the Zcash Foundation’s long-term strategy, for reasons that should be obvious—plus one that is too easy to ignore, as I mentioned in my prior post on this thread, and elsewhere: Bitcoin is the one and only coin from which Zcash has taken so much MIT-licensed code in the open-source spirit, without ever yet giving anything back.