Let’s Give ZEC Holders a Voice - feedback requested

As Zcash governance progressively decentralizes, creating a mechanism where ZEC holders, aka ZODLers, can voice their sentiment on chain is a valuable and worthy endeavor.

ECC will facilitate a non-binding coin-weighted ZEC holder poll ahead of NU5 activation to gather sentiment regarding the development priorities for Zcash and Chris Burniske’s proposal to amend ZIP 1014.

Details of the poll, including proposed questions and timeline are outlined in this blog. [post will go live in a few minutes]

Here’s how to get involved:

  • Provide feedback and suggestions to this approach and the proposed questions in this thread.
  • We will collect community feedback until Friday, September 10th.
  • Participate in the poll starting on Monday, September 27th.
  • Instructions will be posted in the Zcash community forum the week before polling begins if not earlier.

Helpful links to previous polls

9 Likes

Hi Elenita,
I appreciate you posting this. I have a couple of questions for whoever decided to do this, and for the Zcash community as a whole:

Given that 1) Zcash is an anonymous currency 2) the substantial compensation ECC executives have gotten from the dev fund, what assurances do we have that the vote will not be manipulated? What assurances do we have that ECC investors won’t vote by proxy for Zooko’s positions?

I ask because if the democratic CAP vote and this disagree, then many will certainly argue that Zooko bought what he could not convince the community of. And indeed that this was the entire point proposing a last minute coin holder vote when the CAP vote closes in about 8 hours. And I’d like to know how we tell them to establish there’s no way this happened.

Zcash has been run, from the start, on the principle “trust, but verify.” This applies to the blockchain and it’s zero-knowledge proofs, and the cryptographic verifiability for the Helios backed cap vote. How do I tell people to verify this coin weighted “vote” isn’t manipulated?

7 Likes

Are there any plans to address the numerous privacy and personal security concerns that have been raised in the previous “straw poll”, and how you’re actively encouraging people to unshield their funds and correlate them with their public votes, in order to “have their voice heard”?

Asking just because I hear Zcash has something to do with privacy, despite the declining shielded transaction counts.

9 Likes

For those missing context on past discussions of coin-weighted voting in Zcash, here are some pointers.

Beside these privacy/safety issues, there has been critique of coin-weighted voting even in principle, and aborted (as usual) attempts to design it rationally for Zcash.

(Sorry for so many self-quotings, these are just the posts it was easiest for my to locate by memory. Similar sentiments were expressed by many others, on this forum and elsewhere.)

In today’s post, ECC says says:

We believe the benefits outweigh potential risks, and one of the best ways to mitigate these risks is through this crawl, walk, run approach.

Very well, the baby step already happened in July 2019. And then again in August 2019, when the same baby was unofficially but prominently consulted by ECC on allocating a ~$100M Dev Fund.

As far as I can tell, nothing has changed, it’s the same “giving ZEC holders a voice” happy-talk as last time, dismissing the many ways in which it’s misleading and dangerous. So let’s be clear: this baby has been crawling for over 2 years, and appears to have a serious developmental disorder.

So with that in mind, it’s great that ECC’s post at last calls for:

more nuanced discussions based on user feedback and engagement

Perhaps it would be good to start by addressing the issues that have been on the table for the past couple of years, awaiting that nuanced discussion.


P.S. On a personal note, my frustration with ECC’s irresponsible conduct in the above polls, and their stonewalling of rational constructive discussion as evidenced above, is a big reason for why you see me less often on this forum these days. For the sake of avoiding redundant waste of everyone’s time, I don’t intend to engage in this discussion at depth yet agin, unless the already-elaborated issues start getting addressed in earnest.

12 Likes

Love to see it :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

1 Like

I like the idea of these types of polls, but I’m going to participate with only a token amount of zec because of security concerns.

I’d like to see the protocol devs introduce ‘voting keys’. These keys wouldn’t be able to send zec, and could only be used to prove a ballot is being cast by someone with x amount of zec.

10 Likes

If this is part of your new marketing strategy I’ll say it comes off a little weird. That previous attempt was ill-fated, if not because only 3 people (I think) participated after some others said they just wouldn’t do it at all, but because the whole scheme was abandoned for 2 years and now rehashed seemingly out of desperation as though all those issues were resolved, looks weird. This plus PoS, it’s as though you want to be portrayed in a weird way. Why do you think someone who can throw around monies that constitute years worth of a normal persons wages intrinsically knows better and is more qualified to decide about something than that other person? (Lol maybe wealth management right!?) Why do we keep circling back like this? If it’s something you were really concerned with then why so late? It’s like that “expel zcap members” thread, I don’t think those people are actually concerned with that but something else and it looks weird. Everything we do is in the public good so maybe for that good we should stop kidding ourselves into thinking the whales also care about it more than accruing more wealth.

3 Likes

Making the coin voting process safe & secure for ZEC holders must be of utmost importance. With a coin voting within 3 weeks, it seems like a tight timeline to gather feedback and implement changes.

I haven’t taken part in any on-chain coin weighted voting in Zcash, but is there an easy way for novices and new ZEC holders to vote? Like having a downloadable Qt app with simple UI which can run cross-platform to receive a transaction or pass-through coins to sign?

Or is it entirely command line based? (which drops a large number of end users from taking part in voting).

6 Likes

More than 3 participated, apparently ~30 did though hard to say if some are sybils.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kQcTuZNbeWgtJF1tmzpVudwZesBK4E4FgibQLLVpna0/edit#gid=0

7 Likes

One reason I’m still interested in coinholder polls is that they’re permissionless, you don’t need anyone’s permission to call a stakeholder poll. In fact if you’re a coinholder and want to be heard, you also don’t even need to wait for someone to convene a poll to do this.

To offer some innovation now that it’s been over a year, here’s an even simpler mechanism than before. You don’t need anything other than a wallet supporting the payment URI, like Zecwallet Lite, and Zec Pages for coordination.

Basically I copied a fresh T-address from Zecwallet lite, then I made this payment URI by hand:
zcash:?address=t1Vpu4kuqFzM7FbMQETfBtNs7X5dq5fZ7nM&amount=1.0&address.1=zs1j29m7zdhhyy2eqrz89l4zhk0angqjh368gqkj2vgdyqmeuultteny36n3qsm47zn8du5sw3ts7f&amount.1=0.001&memo.1=SSdtIGEgd2hhbGUgYW5kIEkgd2FudCBteSBjb2luaG9sZGVyIHZvaWNlIE5PVyE
It posts a message to Zecpages, and it also places 1 ZEC on the fresh t-addr.

As long as I don’t touch that T-addr until I feel seen, then that T-addr UTXO will stick around, and when I’m done just sweep it to a shielded pool.

image
https://zcha.in/transactions/1e16ee0732744d3a6bedf1f3a3b16d66c46354b78cd915412c0bc7ab8ca2b309

This is different from before because it is only 1 transaction, in the previous one, you had to first send to a T-addr and from THAT authorize a shielded memo in a second tx. This is a little different since you’re sending money to the T-addr but not proving you control it. So looking at the total balance of the T-addr might not be as meaningful as looking at the UTXO’s sent in the same transaction as the memo post. Also it’s different in that it uses zecpages existing public view key rather than creating a new one.

9 Likes

This isn’t even pay-to-play, it’s show me yours I’ll show you mine, it’s ridiculous. I’m not cutting on the method, I think it has potential maybe but throwing a pile of zec alongside it and saying it’s now more valuable an opinion? gtfo

2 Likes

Cool, why not !
This is permissionless it will be interesting to see if Zec holders outcomes is the same as the Zcap poll outcomes.

Btw, I’m also not sure why I feel the ECC gets defiance, last I heard they are the ones with a fully functionnal zcashd node, aren’t they ? I know the ECC wants Zec to succeed and I assume they are doing this in good faith. Peace.

4 Likes

tbh I don’t see how can anyone make a decision on which should be the priority based on anything else than the gut.

Ok, there’s zsas, programmability and pow to pos, but how to relate to each other? What’s the timeframe for each of the developments? What’s the dependencies?
pow to pos brings might bring less value to zec adoption that the others but if any other points will require further complex changes due algorithm changes it might be important to know beforehand.

As far as we understood a possible transition would take years to be roll-out, would any other development be halted until the transition occurs?

There seems to be 3 main enhancements in the future roadmap, is there any technical reason why they can’t be taken individually and developed in parallel? Maybe even released together/2+1/1+2 or they can’t due lack of developers?

4 Likes

When i bring up this rushed transition to PoS along other current events, its terrifying but the recommendation is to quit Zcash and get a different equihash coin if this rushed mind state that started as soon as the ZF went off the block reward persists…

We lasted what 1 year since they came off mommies nipple?

P.S. I am out here day trading, cry me a river you don’t get paid off the block…

What do you think of the idea of dispensing with holding-weighted votes, but giving everyone a vote with the same weight who has some relatively modest Zcash holding over some period of time (say >10 ZEC for >1 year as an arbitrary choice)?

The interests of “whales” as a class can and certainly do diverge from small holders and drown them out, and their opinions aren’t necessarily any more educated or valid. I definitely see there as being a compelling interest for broader community input but weighting by holding size probably means we’ll just continue hearing the same voices over-expressed. That said it should be restricted to people with a genuine interest in the well-being of Zcash, just not sure exactly how to demonstrate that or what the threshold should be.

I beg to differ. PoS will bring in more users because you earn money by staking. It’s one way to get compensated for the ZEC inflation.

1 Like

(Speaking for myself, not ECC.)

I’m with @tromer on this topic. None of the criticisms of coin-weighted voting (either the specific mechanisms previously used, or more general obstacles) have been addressed in the intervening time since the first experiments.

Mainly, that’s because some of the problems are probably insoluble, and for those that might be soluble we’ve been too busy doing other things. In particular, ECC engineers will still be busy doing other things for NU5 throughout the period before the proposed date of this poll in September. I can’t see that we have any time available to either do protocol design for coin-weighted voting, or an adequate security analysis of any proposal by others.

To be clear, votes using the mechanisms previously used, and with the expected turnout, are easily manipulable in practice.

I would also like to express my frustration that this blog post was published with, as far as I know, zero review from ECC engineering staff who have protocol design expertise. I’ve complained about that problem in the past and have been ignored.

13 Likes

To echo @daira’s point, ECC engineers have no time for anything other than NU5 at the moment. :slightly_smiling_face:

This is why the “crawl” phase mentioned in the blog post utilizes a technique that had been used in the past requiring no dev cycles.

3 Likes

I usually try to limit my interactions on the forums to engineering-related posts or responses. In the case of this thread though, I must say the level of toxicity and accusation is disappointing. This type banter is the primary reason myself and others from ECC don’t participate in the forums that often. ECC’s intent is simply to give coin holders a voice and nothing more. I’ve never looked in detail at Andrew’s straw poll mechanism but I understand some things could be improved upon. A constructive conversation around how to make improvements would be valuable and welcome.

6 Likes

I’m confused.

If ECC’s cryptography/protocol engineers do not have time to work on this cryptographic voting protocol (and are surprised it’s even invoked), the Director of Engineering hasn’t reviewed it either, and ECC’s CEO has refused to engage in a requisite technical discussion for nearly 2 years now…

Then who has analyzed this voting protocol and decided to encourage the community to use it, despite dire warnings from domain experts and others community members?

And who will analyze and act on the feedback within your 2-weeks window?

And whence this sudden sense of urgency to revive a protocol that’s widely considered problematic and dangerous, and invoke it on such short notice?

8 Likes