Moving the Dev Fund discussion forward

What theory? That ZK tech isn’t this huge selling for Zcash anymore?

This one.

EDIT: i wasn’t even replying to you! Get an avatar or something :laughing:

8 year downtrend should signal that things aren’t working.

Brazen to keep going back to the well, which hurts holders with constant dump pressure.

We have a wallet and we have a private coin product.

If Zcash can’t pickup steam with the existing offering, no additional offering will save it.

Let the dev fund expire and let people raise their own capital.

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100%. You had 8 years (!!). If you couldn’t pad your reserves and reach escape velocity in that amount of time, why would I trust you would be able to do it with another 8?

Dev fund = parasitic. Time to move out of mommy and daddy’s house.

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If you look back at the transparency reports, ECC was burning more than they took in for a long time. That is not a sustainable model. Hard to build reserves when your outflows exceed your inflows.

If the development fund runs out and no developer wants to help Zcash anymore, wouldn’t there be a risk of Zcash sinking even further due to lack of developers?

What scares me is that Zcash will stagnate, it will no longer evolve and this won’t help anything, it will harm more than one imagines.

If ECC and the foundation close, if Zcash no longer has an organization behind it to support, wouldn’t it be worse?

Many said that if zoko left the lead, the currency would rise. Zoko left and came to nothing, nothing changed.
I believe that if the development fund runs out, it will be worse for Zcash, it will be abandoned, no one will want to continue the project. If you, Zcash holders, are already getting discouraged, imagine the developers when they stop receiving their salaries.

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@joshs I, we need the development fund, I’m afraid Zcash will be abandoned if the fund runs out. creates an innovative proposal, creates rules to provide greater efficiency and ensure that the Zecs collected are not lost due to inefficiency. surprises the community.

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Guess what? You can’t predict the future. So stop all this fud and let it play out.


In the post, I advocated for a grants-based model. Even if the community opts to allow the current fund to expire without a replacement, and the current beneficiaries are forced to find other sources of funding, Zcash will be better for it. :wink:


Speaking for myself here, not ZF.

I think it’s good ZF isn’t pushing a model forward, but is instead channelling community ideas.

I’m proud of ZF for it’s work on “block and tackle” with Zebra and Frost and offering ECC an assist with ZcashD deprecation. Infrastructure isn’t always the most sexy but this core work is essential.

I’m proud of ECC and Josh and Zooko for work on Zashi (I love Zashi!) and cool partnerships with Filecoin, Brave, Namada.

I’m proud of ECC and ZF for both of their work with Ledger on private self custody.

I’m proud of Zcash Community grants for so many experiments they took the lead on, from ZSAs to international meetups.

I believe Dev Fund renewal is essential, as an Advisory voter I will vote to continue it.

I believe the simplest, “occam’s razor” or “goldilocks” median solution is 1/3 to each of these three recipients.

It would be nice to grow the number of recipients to enhance decentralization. The most interesting idea on the table to me is Shielded Labs. But it is just an idea right now. If something happens between now and Dev Fund approval advisory vote that shows Shielded Labs has some umph behind it, I’d amend my view to 1/4 each for 4 recipients to include shielded labs as my preferred vote.

Total percentage of Dev Fund reward is not something I have a strong view about, other than increasing that total from status quo somewhat does make sense given the state of this project.


I have a question: how is voting carried out? Is a poll post open? I’m new to the community and I still don’t understand how it works.

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There will be a poll (actually, likely multiple polls) of ZCAP.

The first poll could look something like this.

NB: This forum poll is purely a strawman proposal to stimulate discussion and invite feedback regarding how a ZCAP poll might be structured. You can vote in this poll if you like but your votes will be public, and the results will not be in any way binding.

Q1: What percentage of new ZEC issuance should be allocated to a new Dev Fund?
  • 0% (i.e. there should be no new Dev Fund)
  • 0-15% (i.e. more than 0% but less than 15%)
  • 15%
  • 15-20%
  • 20%
  • 20-23%
  • 23%
  • More than 23%
0 voters

Unless a clear majority of respondents voted for one of the single options (i.e. 0%, 15%, 20% or 23%), this poll question would serve to narrow down the options that would be presented in a second poll.

Q2: How long should the new Dev Fund last?
  • 1 year
  • 2 years
  • 3 years
  • 4 years
0 voters

Again, if there is no clear “winner”, the option(s) with the lowest support could be dropped in a subsequent poll.

Q3: Should Dev Fund recipients’ allocations reduce over time, with the balance allocated to the Sustainability Fund (assuming it’s approved and deployed) or to an Unissued Reserve, as proposed by GGuy?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

@GGuy: We would need to link to a description of just the declining issuance element of your proposal, which would need to describe how it would interact with the issuance smoothing proposed as part of the ZSF.

Q4: Which organisations and programs should receive a slice of the Dev Fund?
  • Bootstrap / ECC
  • Financial Privacy Foundation
  • Shielded Labs
  • Zcash Community Grants program
  • Zcash Foundation
  • Zechub
0 voters

Have I missed anyone off that list?

The organisations/programs that garner >50% approval could then progress to the next stage, which would be to determine how the new Dev Fund should be split.

Anyone who wants to express support for a specific proposal would vote as follows:

GGuy’s proposal Noamchom’s proposal JGx7’s proposal Josh Swihart’s proposal
Answer to Q1: 23% 15% 20% 20%
Answer to Q2: ? 4 years 4 years(?) 1 year
Answer to Q3: Yes No No No
Answer to Q4: Bootstrap / ECC, ZCG, ZF, QEDIT Bootstrap / ECC, ZCG, ZF, QEDIT, Shielded Labs Bootstrap / ECC, ZCG, ZF, QEDIT Bootstrap / ECC, ZCG, ZF

The same poll would likely include questions that ask

  • whether the community approves of adding ZSAs to the Zcash protocol (and there may be some additional questions relating to ZSA issuance and transaction fees), and
  • whether the community approves of the various elements of the proposed Zcash Sustainability Fund:
    • smoothing issuance,
    • issuing all unissued ZEC into a ZSF pool that changing the way unissued ZEC is accounted for so that the unissued balance (ZSF_BALANCE) can be added to (e.g. by GGuy’s proposal), and
    • diverting a % of transaction fees to the ZSF pool be added to ZSF_BALANCE.

@aquietinvestor: Does that cover the different aspects of the ZSF proposal?

Depending on the outcome of this first poll (e.g. this might all be moot if everyone votes for 0%!), a subsequent poll would seek to:

  • reach consensus on the size and duration of any new Dev Fund,
  • determine how the Dev Fund should be split amongst the recipients,
  • confirm the details of declining issuance (if it’s approved),
  • decide how the ZCG/Major Grants program should evolve (if it’s selected as a Dev Fund recipient), and
  • cover off any other Dev Fund-related details, such as
    • strengthening the requirement that any software whose development is funded by the Dev Fund be released under the Apache and MIT licenses (to avoid any future BOSL-style debacle),
    • clarifying and strengthening the Transparency & Accountability requirements to avoid a situation where a recipient promises to publish the relevant information but then refuses to do so, or disputes the definition of what’s required by the ZIP, and
    • anything else that arises from the results of the previous poll.

As I’ve stated above, this is a strawman proposal. It’s not intended to be perfect and final. It’s intended to invite constructive feedback. ZF has been criticised in the past for the wording of ZCAP polls; this is me listening to that criticism and trying to do better by making the process of designing these polls more open and collaborative.


Hi @Dodger. Fwiw, these questions don’t reflect my proposal. Hopefully we can clear that up today.


If there is a dev fund, ZecHub should be funded a small % either directly or via ZCG. If there is not, us community members should donate funds to ensure it continues being run.


2 posts were split to a new topic: Zcash transaction fees

Hi @Dodger. Thank you for posting this straw man proposal and for your willingness to design the poll in an open and collaborative manner.

Shielded Labs has decided not to pursue funding from the Dev Fund and will continue operating as an independent, donations-based organization. I will make a formal announcement in the next week or two, but wanted to give you a heads up so that Shielded Labs is not included as an option when you poll ZCAP.

I think it’s premature to poll ZCAP about the individual components of the Zcash Sustainability Fund. We are only halfway through development and are still in the process of building consensus. Additionally, I would prefer the ZSF not be included in a poll about the Dev Fund to avoid potential confusion, as the ZSF is not directly related to the Dev Fund.

This description inaccurately portrays the modification to the issuance mechanism. All unissued ZEC is not issued into a pool. Rather, it remains unissued and is accounted for according to the consensus rules.



Understood. Are you still hoping that the ZSF will activate as part of NU6?

Apologies - I’ve amended my description above to reflect the terminology used in the relevant draft ZIP.


From what I understand, there are several possible paths for the dev fund, and the survey needs to thoroughly represent each one in a neutral manner, so that the survey data can clearly point to the path the community wants to follow.

Before a survey can be designed, all the choices available to us need to be acknowledged and clarified. Without that, the survey will be biased. This is my attempt to understand what’s going on, so please bear with me, and correct me if I’m wrong/fill in missing pieces:

At the highest level, there are two options.

Option 1: The dev fund goes away. ZF and ECC wallet addresses are removed from the protocol, and 100% of mining rewards (instead of the current 80%) goes to the miners.

Option 2: The dev fund is renewed. A percentage of mining rewards goes into a new dev fund to be invested into the development and promotion of Zcash. The community needs to agree on the percentage, duration, and how those funds are allocated. There are two possible paths and decisions for each. I’m going to call them Default Recipients model and Grant-Based Funding model.

Default Recipients (direct funding model)
Addresses of an X amount of recipients get baked into the protocol and receive guaranteed funding for Y amount of months/years. A percentage of mining rewards goes directly into each wallet. These are some of the questions we need to answer using the survey data:

  • What % of mining rewards should be allocated to the dev fund, and how long does the guaranteed funding last for each recipient?
  • How many recipients? Which organizations/individuals? Who decides this? Who wants to be included? Who decides who is nominated to be included?

Grants-Based Funding (non-direct funding model)
A percentage of mining rewards goes to a multi-sig wallet for Y amount of months/years. A community-elected body of representatives and/or groups of builders and community members decide on the allocation of the funds. These are some of the questions we need be able to answer using the survey data:

  • For how long should the multi-sig wallet receive the funds, what percentage of the mining rewards should it receive?
  • Which individuals/groups get to vote on fund allocation and how? How can individuals/groups be added or removed from the group of decision-makers?

As we break down the main options into decisions that need to be made for each path, the survey logic and flow will emerge. The first step could be to simply vote on whether or not the dev fund goes away. If the data says that the majority of respondents doesn’t want the dev fund to go away, the next step would be to run a survey that will decide how the funds should be allocated. Given what I understand, the choice is between “Default Recipients” and “Grants-Based” models. There may be other proposals, like pure coin-holder voting.

Before we design any survey, all these options need to be flushed out. Ideally, a document outlining and explaining the options should accompany the survey, so that the community members can make fully informed decisions about all available paths. A summary of pros and cons can be contributed by the advocates for each option. These conversations are still in progress. There’s still much to be discussed, so I would wait before running any survey, even a test one, as it can introduce sticky biases that linger and corrupt the data. This topic is too important.

The questions and multiple choice options need to be worded in a neutral language that doesn’t lead respondents down a particular path. The questions and the multiple choice options also need to cover all the possible paths forward, not merely give an illusion of choice by omitting some of the options. A survey is a very powerful tool. In addition to gathering feedback, it can present new ideas and educate. It can also be a subtle way to manipulate data, mislead and misinform. I know that’s not what we want here.

Today, the dev fund decision is the most important decision we are facing as a community. How things get funded in the ecosystem determines the future direction of Zcash. Do we want more of the same? The words of my econ professor stuck with me for life as one of those fundamental truths: people respond to incentives. The incentives of the current model are screwed up. We can all see the results of that. This is an opportunity to create a better system of incentives. One that fosters healthy competition, rewards innovation, and holds leadership and receivers of funds accountable, leaving power in the hands of the community. We have a real opportunity for positive change here. Let’s not screw this up.


when a customer buys a product, it’s the best and most direct form of retroactive funding.

  1. a fee based ecosystem is mandatory to evolve and become fully decentralized, to reach customers with market based products, and

  2. there can be an unlimited amount of products created in a healthy ecosystem. Think Apple/google/microsoft/ and now ethereum, they built platforms that make it very easy for virtually anyone to build on.

  3. The key is building the right economic model that is simple yet splits the fees to the right creators in proportion to the value they provide. The simple top level splits are a) miners, b) L1 (the foundation/unclear if ECC is here) c) L2 (Qedit) and d) edge (ECC/wallets). for some reason the orgs are happy to pay third party fees (flexa/DEX/ithers); but they won’t charge fees for themselves to decentralize development. if their products or stack generates transactions they get a part of the split. no middle men. it creates a survivor bias where the best products thrive and the losers run out of money. Inflationary issuance is not customer based funding.

Zcash has an unsustainable funding model. It charged the customers 0 for transactions that have a real cost. does zcash or any org truly understand their costs? It creates a serious problem because zcash has not focused on scale and cost. (or product attributes to connect with average everyday people)…ethereum and bitcoin scaling massively in real time as they will be forced to figure out how to bring costs down to scale transactions up. And every day that they progress in this regard, the barrier to entry will get higher for competitors like zcash.

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No. In order to be included in NU6, development needs to be completed by the summer. We won’t meet that deadline, so the ZSF will be a separate network upgrade.