Let’s Give ZEC Holders a Voice - feedback requested

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.

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(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.


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.


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.


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?


FWIW I appreciate the privacy concerns you and others have raised with this system. However, I know this will be non-binding and I adopt an @amiller mentality from the thread you linked back to:

The parts that resonate with me are:

their voices do matter and I want to help boost them.


What I do know is you made a deliberate speech act.

While the current coin-weighted voting system is not perfect and some individuals will abstain due to privacy concerns I do appreciate ECC’s desire to leverage a permission-less system to enable the voices of ZODLERS who cannot have their voice heard via ZCAP. There are some here who are passionate about the project, have good intent, and are not on the ZCAP like myself.

Personally, I have had periods of lurking, reserved engagement, or forum inactivity just like you, just like @steven-ecc, just like so many others who have come and left for a while due to toxicity present here. This and other life events in the past have led me to miss opportunities to join the ZCAP. I feel that a lot of us could be better listeners, better communicators, and perhaps be a little more mindful about other views.

Additionally, I personally have not engaged much in the past in prior governance conversations due to the fact that I knew that I was not on ZCAP and thus my voice would not be considered in the final tally. There are likely others like me out there. I have chosen to speak up and participate more this year regardless.

:clap: :clap:


We all applaud the “voices heard” narrative, but it’s been two years and I’m still waiting for ECC to explain why voices can’t be heard via safe, privacy-preserving zecpages posts.


I don’t see how zecpages could work. The purpose of using T-addresses is to try to minimize (as much as possible) the possibility that a large holder could be inflating the vote in their favor, is it not? I know it’s not perfect based on previous discussions you’ve highlighted, but if a large holder could make 1,000 posts @ .001 ZEC each spending only 1 ZEC to inflate the vote, that is much less useful than a system where you know that a sender sent only one message indicating their stance, is it not?

Am I missing something?

Could we design a system so that shielded funds could somehow be marked in the pool to delineate that they have been accounted for in the voting process? And if someone tries to rotate out and back into the pool before the capture window is up their original vote is no longer verifiable and nullified to prevent gaming the system? Maybe there’s previous discussion buried in here somewhere.

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@wobbzz, do we want voices heard, or weighed?

If you want voices heard then zecpages is perfect.

Conversely, if you want voices weighed, and you think that holding more coins means the holder’s opinion matters more…
Then first, this is suddenly less of a feel-good democracy-vibes happy-talk, right? I note that ECC did not title this post “Let’s Give Rich ZEC Whales A Voice”.
And second, what does “holding” even mean? Should the coins be locked? For how long? What happens if you need to move them between your own wallets? By the linked discussion, people don’t agree, and many versions are easy to manipulate!

So let’s not pretend that having good intents and saying nice words means that the first voting scheme we think of is any good. Getting voting right is hard, even before we add the extra complexity of doing it on a privacy-preserving blockchain using real money.


I think the ECC made it very clear that they want voices weighed, specifically voices of investors, aka Zodlers, which is why I do not suggest Zecpages as a consensus gathering mechanism. Note: I edited the statement you quoted to say Zodlers so you do not interpret my support for this effort as a viable means to obtain democratic consensus. It was not my intent to frame this discussion this way.

You are right, the topic of this discussion is Let’s Give ZEC Holders a Voice. But you come across as though the voices of investors do not matter. Do you think the voices of investors matter?

FWIW I think both investors voices matter AND I believe in assessing the voice of the many through a democratic system. For now the best that this community has come up with for assessing many unique voices in a democratic fashion is the ZCAP. I’m not here to say whose opinion matters more or which group is larger at this point. But I do think it’s important to hear both perspectives and when we use results from these assessments their context is appropriately considered.


The magnitude of their voice should not matter


This argument is spot on.

Providing an opportunity for people to put forward, anonymously if they wish, arguments that may not otherwise have been considered, is a significantly less manipulable option than a coin-weighted vote. If two people make essentially the same argument, that needn’t and shouldn’t be viewed as twice as important as one person making the argument.


Since we know that both zecpages and coin-weighted polling can be manipulated do you think it would be better if the ECC or ZF hosted a thread on Zecpages that people can respond to in addition to the coin weighted option? I certainly think it would be appropriate especially given the privacy concerns some have raised here (and I very much appreciate these concerns!).

But I also think coin-weighted voting is important for investors that want to express their voice as well. Investors play an important part of this ecosystem and amongst the group of investors, I think it’s important to establish what their priorities are as well.

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I think the magnitude of their voice should not outweigh the needs and desire of the democracy. 100% agree with that. I still think their voice is relevant and should be considered though. Coin-weighted voting gives them a voice and specifically helps identify the priorities the group of investors align with.

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Plutocracy replaces democracy, one takes money and the other takes effort. You’re using your voice right now to advocate for excusing what I might venture to define as some of the least philosophically aligned people in the world from having to do a fraction of what you are and they don’t deserve it.

I’m advocating for the investors that have bought Zcash because they believe in the philosophical reasons behind why Zcash was created in the first place and want Zcash to succeed. I’m advocating for the people that have invested their time and money into mining, securing the network, and perhaps didn’t want to sell out of the vision completely. Plain and simple.

Yeah there are bad people out there that want to be manipulative and greedy. But there are also good people too and we shouldn’t look at all investors as bad apples that are here to turn this into a plutocracy.

Do you ever invest in things you believe in?

The overall cryptocurrency market cap appreciation that is occurring is bestowing wealth upon people who have come from humble beginnings, believe in decentralization, freedom of speech, financial freedom, privacy, and so much more simply because they mined or bought into a vision in the beginning and held on for 10 years or less.

Do you really want to alienate those people when they are here to support Zcash? Their Zodling helps create a floor for the price of ZEC that keeps grants, this forum, ZF/ECC development, etc funded.

I advise caution when broadly referring to investors as philosophically misaligned and looking to establish a plutocracy. You run the risk of alienating well intentioned people and making them not want to support the project.


Right ! I think the ECC has invested heavily in R&D all these years and has made such groundwork and important milestones that now they can rightfully direct their focus towards “what the market want”, eg listening to Zcash investors in order to reap the fruits of hard work.

If I may – and I don’t want to be mean to seed investors / founding team, because I respect their help to the core of what is Zcash – here’s what I perceive : it’s a bit rich that inactive people feel they are entitled to criticize the only team that actually maintain the only working node zcashd, the ECC. Moreover, the ECC isn’t even getting the biggest slice of the dev fund reward, can you imagine how frustratring that should be ? Yet, the ECC members are so sweet & helping, they are imho incredibly strong mentally to take all the flak.
Some people walk the talk, and others just talk the talk… and I’m sorry but it doesn’t look sustainable and healthy in the long run.


We’re here to win. :wink:


Well if your advocacy is ever reciprocated here then I’ll stand corrected but I think that will have (by demonstration) negated the need for all this.

Right now, in terms of making protocol upgrades, Zcash is a 2-of-2 multisig governance model between ECC and ZF. ZCAP exists, but only as an “advisor” to ZF. ZF can vote against ZCAP’s recommendation. ZOMG does not have a vote as it is not an independent entity.

As Zcash becomes more decentralized, I would love to see coinholder voting play a role. Currently, it’s controversial because it favors founder’s reward recipients who hold large amounts of ZEC. But at some point in the future, large amounts of money from institutions and ultra high net worth individuals will flow into ZEC, and these investors will want their coin-weighted voices heard. I think that will be a good thing. Their participation in coinholder voting will help level the playing field, albeit among whales.

I agree pure on-chain governance would result in a plutocratic system controlled by the rich. I don’t want that. But what if, for argument’s sake, a future iteration of Zcash governance looked something like this (% = % of vote):

  • ECC: 20%
  • Zcash Foundation: 20%
  • ZOMG: 20%
  • ZCAP (or similar community representation): 20%
  • Coinholders: 20%

Does coinholder voting seem so bad in this scenario? It’s really just another input in a more decentralized governance process. Note: I gave all entities 20% to make it simple.

I agree with @steven-ecc. I’m happy to see ECC facilitate a non-binding poll, and I look forward to future discussions on this topic.