Proposal authors, please read: Help making ZIPs

Hello everyone,

I’ve noticed a substantial number of dev fund proposals which mentioned the author being wary or uninterested in participating in the ZIP process. My goal is to help with that and make it as painless as possible. I’ll be refining this as I go.

If you are a proposal author, here are the steps you can take to help your proposal become a ZIP:

  1. Edit the post to add Advocate: <name> to the top of your post.
    • It doesn’t need to be the original author! If they don’t have time, they can ask others to carry the proposal forward.
    • If you can’t find anyone else to become the advocate, and you aren’t available, or no longer support the proposal, you could put Advocate: none.
    • The markup looks like **Advocate: <their name>**
    • This includes if you are withdrawing your proposal. This way everyone can still see the idea even though they know you’ve withdrawn your support. If you have withdrawn your support, it can also help to add a comment at the top as to why.
    • Note: if you are already following the official ZIP format, use the Author metadata rather than the Advocate field. They are intended to mean a similar thing, except that a forum Advocate won’t be required to do the markup and github pieces.
  2. If you are a proposal Advocate, don’t worry about understanding the ZIP process.
    • I will work to ensure somebody from ECC or the Foundation or the community will guide you through each step.
    • You won’t need to use github, deal with markup metadata or things of that nature if you don’t want to.
    • However, you will need to continue to refine and edit the proposal text to remove ambiguities and incorporate suggestions/answers from feedback.

Ok, that’s it for the first steps. Once you’ve done that, I will ensure someone follows up with you to see the proposal through the ZIP process, such as by helping you get the proposal into github, adding any necessary missing pieces, removing ambiguity, preparing for key dates.

Editorial Guidelines

There are some general content guildelines I have for proposals (some already do this well). The primary purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that in any decision making process people who want the same proposal agree on what they want.

We want to avoid a situation where a proposal is selected through some decision process, then after that the people who supported that proposal disagrees about what it means.

Separate Out Sections

Separate out the precise details of what the proposed terms are from the motivation for why it’s a good idea, as well as splitting out background and intro.

If your proposal has a lot of background text, especially with a lot of data or charts, consider placing those at the end in an Appendix section, then in the main Background section just summarize the data.

Remove Undecided Options or Alternatives

Remove any unresolved choices from the proposal unless the proposal also says how those decisions will be made.

If you want readers to consider the other alternatives, move them into a separate section called Unproposed Alternatives. These options can include different terms for your proposal, or also which organizations will fulfill specific roles.

So here’s an example of a proposal text with undecided options:


Allocate between 10-12% of new block rewards to a dev fund that goes to three different organizations.

Here’s how to remove the undecided options:


Allocate 12% of new block rewards, such that 4% goes each to the Zcash Foundation, Monero Research Labs, and Coin Center.

Unproposed Alternatives

If those organizations would not accept these proposal terms some other organizations to approach could be Parity Tech, ECC, The EFF, The Cryptoanarchy Institute, or the Ycash Foundation.
Some may consider 12% too high, or maybe only two organizations would agree to this scheme, so maybe a lower allocation like 10% would be a good idea.

Note: I hope it’s obvious but I just picked a random assortment of organizations out of the blue and don’t mean to imply anything by the choices, except that I personally admire something about each of them so they were on my mind.


  • 2019-07-25 - I expanded the “Editorial Guidelines” section with much more text. I hope it’s clear and helpful. I’ll begin following up with each proposal advocate to see if those guidelines are clear.


(I added my name, I intend to retype up all my proposals though, that is not done yet)

And I will repeat what I said over in the other thread by Sonya.

If people want help with their zips, or feel they want someone to follow through on their zip, message me and we can sort something out. I will champion zips I disagree with to the best of my ability.

Basically anything I can do to make this happen, I will. just ask.

Please note I am not affiliated with any organisation involved with ECC or the Foundation or decision making process - I am not a volunteer and have no status within these organisations. I am just a community member like you.

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Thanks @mistfpga for volunteering to be an advocate for any proposal! That’s really awesome and helps me with my main goal here which is to make all proposals clear leading up to any decision making process.


We are on the same side. sorry for the late reply, been really busy. I have one person who has taken me up on the offer. Hopefully my current example zip and template will either help people make their own or allow me to do the donkey work for them.

The more voices that get a hearing the better the process can be.

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Hello again. In this topic and thread I’m focused on working with proposal authors to improve their proposals. I just posted a related but different thread about how ECC will publish assessments of the proposals: ECC Dev Fund Proposal Assessments

I request that proposal authors read that post which clarifies a timeline of when ECC will post an assessment of each proposal.

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