Principles for deprecating t2t transactions

Thats roughly what I meant by mob rule. You are suggesting that if we agree on a principle — an obvious one at that ---- it risks us being stupid and hurting ourselves by doing some concrete action too early. So it seems the solution is agree on the principle and not rush to judgement on execution. If or when the time comes, have a legitimate and serious debate about “: {removing [t2t] too early; removing [t2t] altogether if it prevents some functionality like atomic swaps; disincentivizing them gradually but too quickly; or any number of possible missteps}.” I have faith that discussion will be reasonable among ZF, ECC, and ZOMG. And we will be careful.

Your argument is that Zcash’s governance process is so broken that we can’t have that discussion independent of principle. That the mere idea of a world without t2t addresses is sooo dangerous it cannot be allowed to come to be a goal. I suppose mob rule is a label for that argument and we could come up with others , but the reasoning isn’t a straw man. It’s literally what you just said.

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I don’t think it’s super dangerous one way or the other, just it’s creating an unnecessary appearance of conflict and possibly a delay in action. I’m not gonna commit to proclaiming my goal is X when actually it’s Y. To turn it around: Are you in opposition to the claim that increasing shielded adoption is the ultimate goal? If so, what’s the downside that’s stopping you from agreeing with that?

Well, you and Zooko are putting a hell of a lot of energy into arguing over it for something you don’t think is a problem. And the only reason it causes an appearance of conflict and risk of delay is because you are arguing.

The ultimate goal is private transactions for everyone. And a principle of eventually getting rid of t2t transactions supports that in a way “increasing shielded” doesn’t. It ensures the default thing users get access to is private at the protocol level. And its more true to what we want: As I said upthread, If you increased shielded usage but in doing so increased transparent usage by even more, you would have net decreased user privacy. This is bad, and it looks bad. The fact that we can’t say something so simple as we should remove the non-private thing in our privacy preserving currency makes it look like we are paying lip service

I agree, we should increase shielded adoption and that can be a principle. And nothing we do should get in the way of that, it’s the “first do no harm” rule. I think the goal of “users should get privacy” we should remove transparent transactions eventually, and we should only do things that increase shielded usage are all compatible. So why are we arguing?


It’s not like Zcash has millions of users or transactions. All these arguments about t2t enabling shielded usage are moot. You have leverage & autonomy to do things when you’re small, & it would even harder to do things later or time progresses.

@amiller it’s high time for setting up ZF poll (regd. t-addr, t2t, UDAs, shielded pool treatment etc).

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As far as I understand, there are 3 goals bandied about here:
(a) increasing the number of shielded transactions
(b) increasing the fraction of Zcash transactions that are shielded
(c​) Zcash becoming fully private / eliminating t-addrs

Clearly (b) implies (c​), but reasonable people can disagree about which is more important, (a) vs. (b).

I agree with @amiller that in the grand scheme of things, (a) is more important than (b).
But I believe that none the less, we should mostly focus on (b) instead, as @secparam says.

Huh? How does that make any sense?!

Because I think that if greedily keep our eyes straight on (a), we will fail completely and achieve nothing.

First, because if we don’t improve (b), and thus fail to build a widepsread and justified realization that “using Zcash protects you”, then very few people will be using Zcash at all.

Second, because it’s proving way too tempting to try to maximize (a) by just pushing for t-address adoption, and hoping that shielded will happen later: “if even 1% of the 10 billion prospective t-address users will eventually convert to shielded, then we’ll do great on (a)!”. Which practically means Zcash becoming little more than a Bitcoin clone with an origin story, because why would anyone bother with the pain of adding shielded support, when the ecosystem is t-focused anyway? Now, this slippery slope may be possible to avoid, but it takes planning and discipline. Such as figuring out how we eventually do capitalize on that captive base of t-addr users by encouraging and incentivizing them to transition to z-addrs. This planning and discipline are what @secparam is calling for in this forum topic, so the push-back seems to make my point.

Yes, both of these are instrumental reasons for practically focusing on (b) even if the underlying goal is (a), and here too, reasonable people can disagree. Preferably with explicit, well-reasoned arguments.


On further reflection, there’s another important point:

When we’re evaluating our metric-driven goals, we have to ask: what’s the baseline alternative to those transactions that we’re counting?

My framing above implicitly assumes that if these transactions didn’t happen on Zcash, then they’d happen in some cleartext chain like Bitcoin. Under this assumption, obviously: adding t-addr users doesn’t hurt them (and might help them move to shielded in the future), so let’s just focus on shielded count. Hence my preference for (a).

As @secparam alluded to here, this assumption isn’t obviously justified. To use another of his scenarios:

Suppose we could convince the whole world to switch from physical cash to Zcash, at the current ratio of shielded-to-transparent. This would be wonderful for goal (a), maximizing shielded count. But in reality, it would be terrible! Transparent Zcash is much worse for privacy than physical cash!

Goal (b), maximizing the shielded fraction, is oblivious to this scenario, which is less bad, but isn’t the right answer either.

I wonder what’s the correct goal framing, that properly takes into account the baseline alternative.


My gist of all these discussions is existing Zcash governance doesn’t seem to be working, we need on-chain based governance (it’s not trivial — do you consider t-addr user votes for deprecating old shielded pool? If you ask ECC, they will say yes)

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Suppose we had magically fair, secure and private on-chain voting. How would it help here?

We are grappling with understanding deep questions and crystallizing shared priorities. This stage requires discourse.

Voting would be useful for straw polls to inform the discourse (for which forum polls are quite serviceable), and for ratifying actionable alternatives (once these crystallize from the discourse).


Don’t you think we have asked all sorts of questions & discussed various perspectives, what else needs to be discussed before we move ahead?

At the end, who gets to pick the goal? My answer: governance

Right now, ECC leadership is calling the shots, setting goals & priorities for Zcash. What happens after 4 years? we need to fund things that helps Zcash move towards the goal.

We allocated a bunch of money for them to be the primary developer, they hang out in the pull request threads :nerd_face:
(Also, sometimes, it seems like your stereotyped view of us ‘nay-sayers’ makes effective responses unnecessary)

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A better response from Matt on this:


Interesting to see ECC employee liking this response.

I’m very disappointed by @Autotunafish’s response: Your response is implying ECC doesn’t have to take community’s feedback because it makes effective responses unnecessary.

What would that mean for all of us here?


Find out the opinion of the majority? All disputes here are nothing more than creating the appearance of working on something important, this will not lead to anything in the end, because to move forward you need to make a decision and who will make him accept people who are not profitable? A lot of ideas were expressed, what we came to at this stage, to nothing, there is no task and there is no guide to solve it. Previously, the situation was different, someone brings an idea and collects opinions, but the one who brought the idea and executed it, now the idea came from the outside, and who should bring it to life does not participate in the discussion at all, and rightly so, why should he do it, because you can do whatever you want and you won’t get anything for it.
Can we opt out of ECC management services now? And if it was a requirement of the community, it would be a different conversation, no matter how ineffective the promotion of Zcash is, the community can either do the work for free or leave the project, but we cannot influence the project and the paid workers, this is the real problem, in in the real world, everything is different, I’m already tired of talking about indicators that can be relied on in analyzing the success of work on a project, so that one can conclude that the work done is useless and that someone would be responsible for the lack of success, ineffective managers are fired in business, and we have?
Personally, ECC feeds with promises but does not offer to openly discuss the success or failure of their actions and strategies, this year there will be something that will allow the project to become correctly assessed or not and what exactly in their opinion it will be, you need to demand more results and not wait, because money they stand out not for the process but for the result, I understand correctly, because if it is just for the fact that someone will work, it must be stopped.
The average number of transfers has become slightly higher than 4 years ago, but the peaks have dropped, this is a development over 4 years of work, I’m not happy.
The network speed has gone down for a long time, I said that if the price falls, miners will leave, this is a beginning or a temporary phenomenon, well, who cares :slight_smile:
The number of addresses has grown a little, but still zcash is now losing to itself 3 years ago and to direct competitors.
Listing on exchanges does not help to become more popular among ordinary users, articles in the press do not give an impetus for the growth of active users, the growth of the entire market does not give rise to the capitalization of the project, what are we moving towards and why ECC assures that this year will be a year of confidentiality (with which I I agree) but do they mean zcash or will there just be a year that will focus on privacy and zcash will go its own way which has been going on for 4 years without growing popularity?


(a) cannot be the underlying goal, because it can be trivially achieved
by just one entity doing thousands of meaningless self-spends every day.

To be perceived as a taking privacy seriously, Zcash MUST strive to make unshielded transactions the less attractive option, excusable only for special (hopefully temporary) use cases that shielded cannot easily accommodate.


Agreed. There’s implicit qualifier here, that the counted transactions are “real” or “organic”, which of course is very fuzzy. So definitely don’t take this as a literal metric.

And this raises important questions beyond definitional nuances. In particular:

Should z2z messaging transactions count towards the number of “real”/“organic” shielded transaction count, being maximized?

  • On one hand, this messaging is good: presumably has value for its users, and moreover increases the anonymity set of all transactions to some extent. It may also increase technical development and adoption of the Zcash protocol.
  • One the other hand, many have gathered here with a focus on financial privacy, and may take the view that messaging is a distraction at best, and a resource-hog at worst.
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Yes, this is an issue and cannot be a metric in itself, but saying something like x of y exchanges should support z. is not a massive deal, saying all exchanges should use some form of z2z so the t cannot be traced is.

Then you can use x number of submitted z transaction, and pay out in t2z. as a bare minimum then we are well on the right roadl.

This is the goal more z right?

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I disagree. I believe T addresses reduce shielded transaction and I’m strongly in favor of deprecation

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Most of the community agrees with you. Unfortunately that does not matter because we don’t have the support of the Zcash trademark owners. I still have not given up on changing their minds.

I actually want to avoid this trap ( i even labeled a related thing as off topic at the start of the tread). Yes, some think the existence of taddrs reduces shielded usage. Zooko thinks it’s “the best of both worlds.”
We don’t need to settle that argument to make it clear on the principle: we want them to go away.

@tromp I think has given one of the clearer reasons we can’t just have “increase shielded usage” as a principle.

Because its not really a principle, it’s a metric. And a gameable one. Lets say we change the protocol to include cover traffic and increase the number of shielded TXs being used by 1000%. Cearly this isn’t useful. But why? what principle tells us its not. Well the entire principle of Zcash is financial transactions shouldn’t be public to everyone. We actually want there to be less of that.