Moving the Dev Fund discussion forward

During March, a number of proposals for a new Dev Fund were drafted, shared and discussed:

One approach would be to simply poll the community to ask which of a list of proposals they support. However, that strikes me as somewhat simplistic. There are certain commonalities across these proposals that signpost some key questions that can help us move towards a broader consensus regarding a potential future Dev Fund - less of a restrictive choice between a small number of “set menus” and more of an “á la carte” approach (credit to @Alex_ZF for this analogy).

Note that this table doesn’t include some other suggested variations (e.g. AidenZ’s) but the underlying commonalities persist.

Q1: What percentage of new ZEC issuance should be allocated to a new Dev Fund? (the “Percentage of ZEC Issuance” column).

Note that this implicitly encompasses the question of whether there should be a new Dev Fund at all, as “0%” is a valid answer. It’s worth noting, however, that we already have evidence that indicates that the Zcash community is in favour of a new Dev Fund.

Q2: How long should the new Dev Fund last? (the “Duration” column)

Q3: Which organisations should receive a slice of the new Dev Fund?

I’m aware that GGuy’s proposed “Unissued Reserve” is not, strictly speaking, an organisation, so if anyone has a better suggestion for how this could be worded, please speak up!

One notable absence from the list of proposed recipients is the Financial Privacy Foundation.

Q4: How should the new Dev Fund be split between the Recipients?

Beyond these commonalities, we start getting into questions that are specific to individual proposals (e.g. “Should there be a new community-elected governance body to oversee fund adjustments and pivotal decisions?”) but, for now, I wanted to get feedback on this “á la carte” meta-proposal.

Something else I wanted to share is a spreadsheet model we’ve created to aid understanding of what the economic implications would be for a specific Dev Fund allocation and ZEC price. There are instructions at the top for creating your own copy of the spreadsheet so that you can play round with, change the numbers, etc.

@GGuy If you want to create a model that simulates the impact of the declining shares from your proposal, I can add it to this?

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Can you double check that we’ve all got permission to make a copy?
I’m viewing this in a private browser session and that function is not enabled.


As for the abstraction questions, it seems like the community should also specifically weigh in about their preference for the NU6 to either 1. Include governance reforms/ additions, 2. Have no impact/ scope on governance

The topic of baking in governance changes feels like an enormous effort that is unlikely to be feasible in the small window of time remaining until November.

You need to be logged into Google to be able to make a copy (which then gets stored in your Google Drive).

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Hi @Dodger,

I’ve updated my proposal to 23% dev fund and attached a model in my thread.

I’m curious what the best wording for the dev fund % should be. I adjusted the model to show what the average % would be over 12months which I feel is a better way to compare my proposal with others.

I’d like to widen the Overton window here and include possible values: 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, 15% as reasonable points of discussion.

I think that there could be a negative correlation between how much of the issuance the devfund entities receive and the price of ZEC. For USD-based budgetary purposes, 1% of $500 ZEC is equal to 100% of $5 ZEC. The correlation will not be so perfect; but, it’s worth considering.

We should also consider designs that decline smoothly. Maybe it starts at 20% and goes down every N blocks until it reaches 0% or 1%, for example.

Maybe “organisations” is a key problem with the current issuance. What about designing something very different? One idea might be that the issuance goes to a wallet controlled by a large threshold signature where each devfund applicant must get the keyholders to approve/sign funding rounds. This is just a vague idea and would require some thought and engineering; but, I think we should put some thought into a bigger change. Ideally governance is in the protocol closer to a DAO rather than traditional corporations.

Dynamically? Maybe it should change month to month as the DAO participants meet and decide what to fund. Maybe the current devfund orgs should get votes/keys instead of a static portion of the issuance.

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ZecHub should be included in the list of orgs. Specifically, at a minimum, I think the community should allocate a very small percentage of the Dev Fund to the ZecHub Bounty Program, which is managed by the DAO. I believe ZecHub has proven themselves over the past two years and deserves a sustainable source of funding. The Bounty Program is a worthwhile initiative.

cc: @squirrel @dismad

Zcash Sustainability Fund (if/when implemented).

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agreed! @squirrel @dismad and the ZecHub community have created an enormously worthwhile endeavor. would be a shame if it was no longer funded.

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@Dodger Maybe there is some way to make sure the poll to work in these situations?

  1. I support a 23% dev fund if the 3% is effectively being allocated to the ZSF which my proposal does.

  2. I only support an indefinite (no expiration) of the dev fund if governance is changed that allows the community to regularly adjust the Dev fund (e.g. every 9months) and a declining schedule is employed.

  3. I only support funding ZSF if both the miners reward and Dev fund both contribute to it. My proposal approximately taxes miners and dev fund at 3%. This is because I assume the ZSF will largely be used to help fund mining when the issuance drops below a certain point and it wouldn’t be fair for the dev fund to be the only issuance contributing. I also only support entities like ZecHub if I know the community will get to vote on adjustments regularly (~9months) so we can adjust based on performance and needs as my proposal does.

  4. For me the split will largely depend on the dev fund percent. My split for a 18% dev fund would have a very different split than a 23% dev fund. My splits would also be very different if I knew the Dev fund was effectively locked for 4years vs adjustable more regularly (~9months).

Thanks for doing this @Dodger but I wonder how we can structure this in a way where we end up with an 18% dev fund that also adds ZSF, QEDIT, and ZecHub all locked in for 4years when nobody actually voted for it.

I would love for more of the community to chime in here about ZecHub. Is the work we are doing worth our relatively small cost or should ZEC funding stop completely. Appreciate honest answers only :ear: :zebra: :student:

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This thread has to be joke. None of this good for zcash.

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Have a better idea for future Zcash structure? Feel free to make a ZIP proposal like others have so it can be part of the discussion.

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Is there an option to let the current fund expire and not replace it? Would that require a ZIP?

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Do you mean like this or something different? In my case the funds go to the Zcash Sustainability Fund after the decline but I feel that is vitally important to miners as it’s my understanding the majority of the ZSF funds will be used to subsidise mining once issuance drops too low.

Right, something like that. But, I’m not sure about the ZSF idea.

My main problem with the current issuance scheme is that there is little incentive to hold, use, and circulate. Furthermore, there are mandatory liquidations built into the current setup. Instead of ZEC being widely distributed, a small number of people receive the block reward and sell it.

Fix the consensus, fix the issuance, fix Zcash. I don’t see much in these proposals that corrects where Zcash has gone wrong. Correct me if you feel otherwise.

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This subject is very complex. If the fund runs out, it will harm and discourage the development of Zcash, but if the fund continues, it needs to be well thought out so that the resources are well directed.

I like the idea of there being a fund, I like the idea of having an organization managing the development. everything looks very professional.

In my opinion, ECC and the entire community had to stop depending on the development fund, there had to be another way of generating income.

It’s very easy to come here and give ideas, often disconnected from reality, talking is easy, it’s difficult to have an attitude and awareness of what is actually best for zcash. I’ve only known Zcash for a short time, so I don’t know very well how the environment works. I could very well give irrelevant and even harmful ideas to Zcash, imagining that it would be the best for the future. But I know one thing, I want Zcash to succeed and be widely recognized and used.

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All evidence is to the contrary of this. The dev tax has stifled innovation in the zcash ecosystem compared to other opensource ecosystems by creating a no pay no play mentality. There has been no indication that continuing funding would improve the number of non-dev tax recipient developers (aka organic growth) or that having a development fund has or would improve roi for zodlers. Recipients of the funds have no accountability to deliver milestones or continue operations.

There is an entire zero-knowledge world that has sprung up over the last few years. Wallets, L2 execution environments, zkvm’s, conferences. Zcash isn’t apart of this innovation because it has the luxury of the dev tax shielding it from having to make friends and investors. Zips have been managed by recipients, wallets are managed by recipients, social media managed by recipients, etc etc there is no incentive to collaborate with the out group.

:clap:let :clap: the :clap:fund :clap:expire.

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In my opinion, there is a good side to the development fund, I believe that developers are more committed, goals are achieved according to the deadline. If the fund didn’t exist, I don’t think there would be as much commitment from developers, because if they aren’t making money, there wouldn’t be any reason to dedicate hours and more hours, losing nights of sleep just to reach the goals according to the deadlines, even more so there would be an external audit of the codes and no tests. That’s why I’m in favor of the development fund, I feel that Zcash evolves much faster.

If the development fund exists or doesn’t exist, I believe this has no impact on my life, since I don’t earn anything from the fund, if I want Zcash I have to spend money from my pocket to buy it.

In my opinion, the development fund only has an impact on miners, this discourages the number of miners, perhaps it has a greater impact in terms of there being a greater selling force, since developers and everyone who gains from the development fund tend to sell and exchange Zcash to obtain money to live in the real world and pay everyday bills, since they are earning Zcash as a salary, it is not a hobby, but the salary for working and that is why they need to sell and not accumulate Zcash, but miners also have the same behavior of selling, so in my opinion the existence of the development fund doesn’t make much of a difference.

I believe that all the selling pressure will only decrease when Zcash migrates to the POS, at least there will be no more miners.

The only reason the orgs “made money” was because the coin price was higher. Deadlines were still missed - look at NU5, Zebra, Zcash Media… three projects from the 3 dev fund orgs that all had issues delivering on schedule.

Look back and reread the folks that left ECC and what they said on the way out.

ZK tech isn’t a Zcash benefit anymore. And for that matter, Zcash isn’t the only privacy coin out there. So what’s the market differentiator to using Zcash?

If this is true then we are officially done.

I personally don’t believe so considering there’s not one coin/project in the top 10 that fundamentally revolves around ZK tech. I think the market hasn’t priced in ZK tech yet (still busy with memes and ETFs).

But to your point, if you ever wake up and realise that the ZK cycle is happening/has happened and Zcash is still “figuring it”, pack your bags and move on.

99% of Zcash’s success will be because of ZK tech (or that’s what people will believe and buy into at least).

@hanh disproves your theory.