Proposal for the Zcash 2020 Network Upgrade

Let me explain again why I was harsh (which I stand by): Blocktown’s proposal reflected such ignorance of context that it was disrespectful to everyone involved so far. Blocktown’s desired arrangement contradicts the principles that we’ve been painstakingly, arduously implementing for more than a year.

Sonya, please be explicit - this will help a lot!

Why does “Blocktown’s proposal reflect such ignorance of context”?
Why is it “disrespectful to everyone involved so far”?
Why does “Blocktown’s desired arrangement contradicts the principles that we’ve been painstakingly, arduously implementing for more than a year”?

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Fair enough.

I pointed out the worst error immediately: As written, Blocktown’s proposal cannot make it through the ZIP process.

It beggars belief that such a crucial detail would escape Blocktown, had the people drafting the proposal done their research. In fact, “research” is an overstatement — it’s not hard to read a list of links that have already been collected in one spot. This oversight is the main thing that upsets me.

This bothers me less, since anything is on the table for discussion, but it doesn’t make sense to say that you want a single, for-profit company to receive a perpetual development fund, and then “implore” “for the sake of decentralization” about anything.

The whole reason why the Zcash Foundation exists, why recipients of the Founders’ Reward chose to personally pledge large amounts of ZEC, why Josh has written several detailed blog posts about the dynamics of Zcash governance, and the reason why we’re all debating about this, is that Zcash shouldn’t be controlled by any single entity.

To change that, Blocktown will have to convince ECC to go back on very public commitments. Again, how were they not aware of that?

Anyway. I have made other specific criticisms upthread, and I’m not going to rewrite all of those, but here are a couple more, quote by quote:

As @NealJayu said on Twitter:

Please don’t refer to this as the ‘Founders’ Reward’. There’s no such proposal on the table to continue payouts to initial investors. The only proposals have been for a #ZcashDevFund (or lack thereof).

People are already confused by the Founders’ Reward. Let’s try not to make it worse.

Perhaps it would be fiscally irresponsible, in a notoriously volatile market, to allocate ZEC based on assuming that it’ll 10x by a certain year. Even if we grant a value-based investment thesis, the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

Maybe that’s an acceptable risk — it’s not for me to decide — but it’s nonetheless a huge risk. Zcash inherits a lot from bitcoin, no argument there. But ZEC is not BTC. The ecosystems are vastly different. Why doesn’t Blocktown address this obvious concern?

Addressed here and here.

There are also aspects of Blocktown’s proposal that I think are well-informed and reasonable (which, please note, is different from agreeing that we should do these things).

  • Wanting to reduce to 10%

However… wouldn’t it make more sense to have a dev fund that narrows down and then ends, rather than a perpetual 10%? Especially when you’re assuming that ZEC is going to drastically go up in price in the near future.

  • “The prohibition of privacy-centric cryptocurrencies will only continue to tighten with adoption. To withstand this pressure, Zcash’s greatest strengths are its decentralization and network security.

That’s certainly a valid argument, IMO.

  • “As we explain in the subsequent sections, the Founder’s Reward weakens both decentralization and network security.”

I think there’s an argument here too. But like… if something weakened by the Founders’ Reward weakens decentralization and network security, and those are Zcash’s greatest strengths, aren’t you decreasing Zcash’s comparative advantage by creating a new dev fund at all?


It is already 10% (of total distribution). it goes to zero. then how much % over what time do you think they should get. and should it be block distribution or block reward that this comes from?

To be fair I cant see why this has caused so much upset. well I can, but still not for me to judge. Would you like some help in making it more compatible with the zip process, and getting up to speed on what has already been discussed.

Sonya has done an excellent job of collating all the latest info. but it is still changing on a daily basis.

I know I cant keep up with all the proposals, but it does state at the very top of sonyas megathread (High signal, Low noise) that I will help people and have written guidelines.

Let me know if you would like some help. (I am just a community member im not affiliated with the ECC or foundation.)


Just adding 2 sources where this proposal was mentioned:



We are not advocating a perpetual 10% for the dev fund as you indicate in this thread. We propose setting a precedent/establishing a social contract of halving the dev fund % of the miner’s reward every 4 years. For example, 2016-2020: 20%, 2020-2024: 10%, 2024-2028: 5%, etc. This would be in place of just keeping it at 20% by the next halving, which would set the precedent that the dev fund will be perpetually 20% (what’s to stop the ZF/ECC from asking for a collective 20% in 2024?).

This perpetual FR/dev fund/tax on the network is what scared many investors away in 2016 who were looking for a private currency that adhered closer to the principles and network/mining incentives of bitcoin. I know because I was there. Our proposal sets a precedent for the Zcash network to rapidly approach the decentralization and security of bitcoin, while simultaneously providing funds for further development during Zcash’s infancy.

Regarding the projected value of ZEC over the next 5 years. Choosing a price of $50 to value ZEC at for your dev fund projections is extremely speculative. I don’t know if you’ve been investing in this space as far back as 2013, but cryptocurrency prices don’t just hold steady for years. In crypto, projects either grow in value or they become illiquid (die) over a course of 5 years (by next halving in 2024). We aren’t investing in railroad tracks here. Zcash will be worth a lot or will be worth nothing in 5 years. Which camp are you in?

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If the Zcash community shows support for our proposal of decreasing the dev fund from 20% down to 10% for this next halving, then we would be happy to create a proposal that meets the guidelines of the ZIP process. Thanks for the offer and if the demand is there, would be great to have your assistance!

-James Todaro


I think your proposal, as all others is a valid option one and deserves to have it made ZIP ready.

I personally still have no idea how the final proposal will be choosen by the community with still no mechanism in place, but i would make it ZIP-ready for what it’s worth later has to be seen.

Just out of curiousity. Did you go through all the other proposals as well? Me personally is more than curious to have opinions from non-forum regulars and especially VC’s as these are seen rarely in the forum.

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I wouldn’t worry about getting support before the proposal. The process doesn’t really work like that. There are a number of proposals that give more than 10% from this halving to the next. (5% of total issuance)

The way the proposals work at the moment is you can propose anything. It then gets a first pass filter from the community and ECC/Foundation in a non official capacity.

edit: just in case I wasn’t clear I agree with the post by @boxalex which is why I went straight to I will try to get something done for you by tomorrow.

I don’t know if you have taken a look at my proposals yet or the megathread (there is a lot to digest, which is why I am offering to help, I have been breathing this topic for about 2 months now)

This is what we are trying to get done for the 31st. So to get past this first pass filter is has to be in a reasonable but not yet standardised format. (I writing in British English, or as we call it in England, English. heh) - There are a few obvious (to me) parts of your proposal that I think are non essential to what you are trying to get at but stop it from being considered (a bit like some of my second proposal, link at the bottom)

I don’t have time tonight there is a football (soccer) match on I want to watch at the pub. Tomorrow I will take what you have written and try to rewrite it in a way that passes the basic sanity checks and highlight where your proposal made some basic, yet understandable and fixable misunderstandings.

I will do this via pm or private document.

Here are a couple of my proposals. They are very different to yours. I am 99% sure the stop the FR one will pass. That passing makes a lot of others change so you need to keep this sort of thing in mind when writing them (but the community can do this for you.)

This or something very similar will pass 100% sure of that. (the ending of the FR, the new mechanism, if there is to be one is what is up for discussion)

This maybe, maybe not. (and certainly not as it is currently worded)

Even though they are different to yours I will still give you my best. but you will have to work with me on it. I don’t think you will find it that difficult, its just getting up to speed on already covered ground.

  • in my opinion every voice should be heard, and I will do my best to make that happen. If I have the right to my voice being heard, so do others, even those I disagree with.

The ECC has said that this part of the NU4 selection process will be slightly delayed because it is important we get it right.

Oh and I don’t really write short messages. heh. (feel free to PM me for my email or if you just want to keep the discussion on the forum but in private)



As far as I can tell, this was not actually stated in the proposal. Maybe you could write a practical summary, focused solely on the concrete details of Blocktown’s envisioned setup? The existing high-level summary is mainly philosophical.

Ideally, well-balanced governance of Zcash.

Camp “it ain’t that simple.” Consider this example:

  • Bitcoin debuted in January 2009 (as a live blockchain).
  • Five years later, in the beginning of 2014, the price was ~$770 USD.
  • If someone predicted in January 2014 that BTC would reach $7,700 by 2016, they would have been wrong and stayed wrong until late 2017.
  • What if that person was counting on a 10x price increase by January 2016 to fund operations in 2016, 2017, and beyond? They’d be in big trouble for about two years.

Directionally correct is not good enough, unless you have the luxury of a long time horizon. If you need the money in a couple of years (which ECC has said it does), the timing matters.

I’m not even saying that Blocktown’s price projections are implausible. But they’re projections, which is a fancy word for “guess.” We can’t take guesses out of this process — it’s impossible to know the future — but we should acknowledge the risks.

I agree. This detail may have gotten lost in the proposal.

Our proposal for a decreased dev fund of 10% is only hardcoded for the next 4 years (2020-2024). We do believe that whatever decision is made for this halving though will set a precedent for the future halvings (e.g 2024, 2028…).

If it remains at 20% for 2020, then we believe the precedent will be set for 20% again come 2024.

If it is decreased to 10% for 2020, then we believe the precedent will be set for a continual halving of the percentage every 4 years. (e.g. 10% for 2020-2024, 5% for 2024-2028).

Nevertheless, it will ultimately still be up to the zcash governance system to determine if they follow precedents. This is why we didn’t specifically outline a roadmap on this beyond 2024.


I have seen similar proposals. I haven’t had the time I wanted to work on your stuff. but I get the core of it.

Once I have that in some kind of state you think represents your ideas (wont take long but wont happen until tomorrow uk time) - we can go over the nuance of it, if you like. Sorry if it seems like I am forcing myself on this, it is not my intent.

I want your proposal to at least be considered. The ECC are looking over stuff at the moment. So by removing a lot of the extra stuff and pinning down the detail on the reasoning you should get some really good feedback from the ECC and Foundation.


Thanks! We are actually putting together a proposal that adheres to the guidelines and clearly articulates our proposed path forward for Zcash. It will be pretty concise.

As it has been mentioned before, our proposal at the top of this thread is more the background/philosophy supporting our selection of a 10% dev fund after the halving. In any case, we plan on releasing the more detailed proposal by Thursday. If you don’t mind, I’d like to run it by you before we publish to get your thoughts/comments.

-James Todaro


Cool, that would be really good. Saves me some work too.

I’d love to give it a look over for you. no worries at all. Glad you are engaging in the community after getting a bit of a ‘baptism of fire’ as it were.



@mistfpga @JamesTodaroMD / @Blocktown this is great to see, thanks so much for being open to collaboration :slight_smile:


Hey Steve, I just private messaged you a draft of our formal NU4 proposal. Look forward to hearing your thoughts!



We just published a Blocktown Proposal that includes Dev Fund allocation, governance, and recipients of the funds in a new thread Blocktown Proposal for Zcash 2020 Network Upgrade

Hope to hear your thoughts!


This proposal by Blocktown has been expanded to include governance as well as adhere more closely to the ZIP format and can be found in this thread.

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@Blocktown I noticed you now have three separate threads pertaining to your proposal. Would you like to close the older threads and direct users to only comment on the latest version of your proposal (to avoid confusion)?


Yes, please do so. Thanks.

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Closed per Blocktown request. Please follow the latest thread for continuing discussion: Blocktown Development Fund Proposal: 10% to a 2-of-3 multisig with community involved Third Entity