Staked Poll on Zcash Dev Fund Debate

Hi, Ian. Thanks for your comments. In answer to your question, I wrote above why I think it is important to continue iterating on permissionless Coin-Holders Petitioning. In short, it is because coin-holders are a vital part of our community and they are essential for the future of Zcash, so I think it is important to show them that we value them and we listen to them.

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You mean the voices we know can be bought for $600? And don’t bother to turn out. Idealism is all fine and good, but we have cold hard reality to contend with.

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I don’t think that $600 number is a cold, hard reality, I think it is a speculation, coming from “Perfectionism and Worry (PAW)”. I think that in practice, coin-holders who sincerely believe in the future of Zcash are willing and able to speak with a much louder voice than saboteurs are. If I’m wrong, let’s prove it with cold, hard reality, on the blockchain.

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As you well realize, the only way to make the real adversaries come out and actually conduct attacks is to make it worth their while, i.e., suffer the consequences. That’s why we cryptographers and security engineers (by which I include you, @zooko) try to understand what an adversary can do and is incentivized to do, proactively, and prevent that. “Secure until demonstrated otherwise” is a very weird attitude for you to take.

Added: Especially when domain experts are already arguing to the contrary (e.g., Vitalik and Placeholder). More here.

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Also the only way to make real users and coin-holders come out and exercise their voice. Which is what I believe happened last time and what I expect will happen this time. If I’m wrong and instead a wild adversary appears who risks losing millions of dollars of their money just to interfere in the Zcash governance process or in order to prove a point, that would be a fascinating event to learn from! But even if there is such an attack, I think that the sincere Zcash coin-holders are much, much more numerous both in terms of number of individuals and in terms of total stake. As I’ve said, honoring those people and empowering them in Zcash governance is why I believe that this is important to continue pushing forward on, despite the problems and the risks.

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(Speaking for myself.)

These seem like weak arguments:

  • Is now, given the importance of polling on ZIP 1014 to Zcash’s future, a good point at which to be doing unproven experiments?
  • Even if sincere coin-holders collectively own much more ZEC than an attacker, this doesn’t address Ian’s argument that the amount of ZEC that actually turned out last time is too low for any semblance of security (and its holders would not know, until the coin-weighted poll is over, that they needed to turn out in order to counteract an attack).

For the record, I think @secparam’ and @boxalex’s arguments against a coin-weighted poll are compelling, as are @tromer’s arguments stated here, and I will not be participating.

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This is simply not true. The reason you can ‘borrow’ that much on binance for a low rate is because they don’t let you withdraw it, only trade with it, so it can’t be used for voting. Obviously in the real world no one is going to lend you bearer assets worth millions for only $600. Vote buying may be a real concern but you are pointing to invalid data.

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If you were borrowing the ZEC, you’d have to put up collateral, obviously. That doesn’t change the cost of borrowing the ZEC.

That said, you might find someone willing to execute the transaction on your behalf. Then they only risk they’d be taking is the operational exposure from putting money in a hot wallet. People transfer 5 million in BTC fairly frequently, so I don’t see this being a major issue either. Provided you pay someone to deal with the bother.

And again, that was $600 to buy the entire vote outright, not just change the result. I’m guessing ECC, ZFND, and Zooko personally have enough ZEC on hand to shift the result if it’s even reasonably close.

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I think we agree that vote buying is possible, but we don’t know the actual amount a ‘whale’ would ask to vote on your behalf. To do a tx involving millions in zec, I suspect the whale would ask for a lot more than $600, but probably not too much to make vote buying infeasible. Again, I agree its a problem but we really don’t have hard data on the actual costs of an attack.

Those 3 are all legitimate voters :).

No, it does change the cost because the cost of ‘borrowing’ zec from someone who lets you trade with it but keeps the keys is necessarily different from the cost of actually borrowing the zec and putting up collateral.

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What happens if someone with a large number of zec vote in the cut with the main vote? It doesn’t work out that ECC takes this position because the CEO is in favor of this method? Despite all the risks and opportunities to lead a hidden game when voting coin holders? As the third round of voting is brewing for me.

Nobody knows, there are enough possible scenarios where whales could simply get together and use the amount of ZEC for price manipulation through voting.
We have witnessed enough groups in crypto space that get together just with the intention of manipulation.

Seriously? I have a different opinion why these would not be legitimate voters:

  • IF the ECC uses it’s ZEC reserves for voting i personally wouldn’t see it as legitimate as the reserve or any ECC holdings so far are allocated to the ECC for different reasons, not for voting.

  • IF the ECC, Zooko or anybody else involved use there ZEC holdings for voting they have a clear advantage, even more if such voting is introduced a sudden soon bevor the voting closes. This is a clear expose of advantage and insider knowledge if these people use their ZEC to influence a vote where nobody else is even aware about.

  • In theory i could see even a problem if the ZF would use it’s funds for voting for similar reasons + in my opinion the ZF should stay neutral in voting, that’s of course just my personal view.

  • Another problem i see is double voting. I personally allready have a problem that the community advisory board is filled over 1/2 with ECC/ZF/close to ECC people. Now if the ECC or ECC employees that allraedy vote on the advisory board are going to use their ZEC holdings another time with coin weighted voting for me it’s no different than double voting, with the difference it’s not just a double voting but a x voting (up to the amount they hold).

  • Last but not least i see some kind of conflict of interest. I have again problems if a party which is fighting for slices/funds gets that much voting power on voting/elections/petitons/whatever that affect their own funding. How would it be seen if in the next US elections Donald Trump gets 50.000.000 votes he can use additionally for himself just because he holds several billions US$?

Does it really matter if it’s $600, $1000 or $5.000 ?There are so many possible scenarios how ZEC could be borrowed or just used for free by exchanges, venture capital companies. Additonally a whale and holder of another crypto currency could easyly exchange temporary his holdings into ZEC, vote and exchange back to his original currency which even could result in a temporary price increasement and profit for this whale.

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I realized I didn’t answer your specific question, which was “Why now?”. The answer is because community members asked for it (Community Sentiment Polling Results (NU4) and draft ZIP 1014) and Andrew Miller said he’d be the scorekeeper.

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@Zooko you keep falling back on the same rhetorical trick of appealing to hope without addressing the valid points everyone is making.

You: " I think that the sincere Zcash coin-holders are much, much more numerous both in terms of number of individuals and in terms of total stake." We should be inclusive and hear their voices.

Everyone else: But thats not the case. The voices we heard last time we did this were tiny and could purchased in their entirety for $600 in interest plus temporary collateral.

You: But the honest voices would outnumber the attack and we need to hear them. And we should stay positive. No one would do this just to make a point.

Everyone: It would have cost $600 dollars to buy those voices last time, nothing stops someone from buying them this time. We have no way of knowing they are honest and many reasons to think they won’t be. And the attack wouldn’t be to make a point, it would be to manipulation the vote and get more money from removing or keeping the cap. The attacker is very well motivated.

You: But that’s just a theoretical attack. No one actually did it. We should be optimistic.

Everyone: Yeah, that’s not how security works: you look at what an attacker could do. And we know they could have bought the vote for $600. Things aren’t secure based on optimism.

You: " I think that the sincere Zcash coin-holders are much, much more numerous both in terms of number of individuals and in terms of total stake."

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I absolutely agree with you, to call for risky actions is completely reckless, the more useful the data is more than doubtful. I would also understand voting by type: a photo of a monitor with an open wallet where the number of coins is visible, and a written address on a piece of paper, this is completely safe for the holder, even if it temporarily removes from anonymity. Especially in the post they talk about unofficial voting, just collecting opinions and not accepting their votes along with the official voting.
And this is only one person asked, I am alone and ask to cancel the vote of the coin holders until there is an acceptable mechanism, or is my voice less important than the other person?

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Honestly with regard to the coinholder “vote” all I’m seeing is one side with inflated expectations of the value of the vote and another side with over-exaggerated claims of doom/gloom for a completely opt-in consensual process that isn’t even binding on any decisions.

Talk about literally anything else please… :slight_smile:

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Ian, please don’t put words in my mouth. That’s not what I said. What I said is available for you and anyone else to read here.

Honest question: if there’s no way to know if the poll/process represents honest players, and it’s not binding, then what is its purpose? “Gathering viewpoints and sentiment” seems like an ideal purpose, but if there’s no way to know if that’s actually the case, what is actually gained except doubt and confusion?

Ah more rhetoric based on emotion and no engagement with the actual arguments people are making. I’m sorry Zooko, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth, I believe that was an accurate summary of your position. If you feel it miss represents your position, my apologies.

Here is a version using quotes instead.

You: " But, what we have in Zcash already works, and it is a beautiful thing. We used it last time around, and it was a success.”

Everyone else: But thats not the case. The voices we heard last time we did this were tiny and could purchased in their entirety for $600 in interest plus temporary collateral.

You: “But even if there is such an attack, I think that the sincere Zcash coin-holders are much, much more numerous both in terms of number of individuals and in terms of total stake.

Everyone: It would have cost $600 dollars to buy those voices last time, nothing stops someone from buying them this time. We have no way of knowing they are honest and many reasons to think they won’t be. And the attack wouldn’t be to make a point, it would be to manipulation the vote and get more money from removing or keeping the cap. The attacker is very well motivated.

You: “I think it is a speculation, coming from “Perfectionism and Worry (PAW)”. I think that in practice, coin-holders who sincerely believe in the future of Zcash are willing and able to speak with a much louder voice than saboteurs are. If I’m wrong, let’s prove it with cold, hard reality, on the blockchain.”

Everyone: Yeah, that’s not how security works: you look at what an attacker could do. And we know they could have bought the vote for $600. Things aren’t secure based on optimism.

You: " I think that the sincere Zcash coin-holders are much, much more numerous both in terms of number of individuals and in terms of total stake."

Also you “Warning: some cybercoin experts say that doing this would be dangerous and disgraceful! So if you’re the sort of person who responds to that kind of finger-wagging exhortation, you’d better not participate. See also extensive warning labels plastered all over the instructions.”

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A result that seems to contradict the Helios poll outcome would be potential ammunition for FUD. That’s not harmless.

I considered using my ZEC to vote for discounting the results of the coin-weighted poll (like whoever voted 155.6054747 ZEC to do that — that wasn’t me but I wholeheartedly approve). I decided that I can’t justify the security exposure.

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Every company I’ve ever worked for had a CEO who did the occasional daft thing… its their job to make sparks and play with new things, right? I don’t work for ECC but we’re all connected via Zcash so it kinda feels the same.

The coin-petition is ‘zooko being zooko’ - its a fun idea, no effect on the formal vote, interesting concept to play with & in the future who knows.

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