Staked Poll on Zcash Dev Fund Debate

These comments seem to conflate whether it’s desirable to determine coin-holders’ views and whether it’s possible to determine them in a representative way using this method.

Most commenters (including me) seem to think it’s desirable; however, it appears that because it could be so easy to game this particular approach, it’s not possible to know if the results are representative. I argue that means the approach is flawed, and the results cannot be relied upon.

(Edit to add) This also doesn’t address the other myriad issues with the approach, including its safety.


Maybe if someone borrows or buys millions of dollars worth of ZEC, risking tremendous loss to themselves, in order to make a statement to the Zcash community using the world’s first uncensorable, private, publicly-verifiable blockchain, then that’s still meaningful?

I mean, maybe it partially depends on what the statement is? Last time around someone demonstrated ownership of a huge amount of ZEC and then instead of voting on the NU4 ZIP they just referenced a Bible verse. Was that “meaningful”? I thought so. :slight_smile:


Sure it’s meaningful: it suggests that someone found a way to monetize the process. For example, I don’t want to start a discussion of hypothetical market manipulations here, but suffices to say that a bad vote outcome could profitably dovetail with a short position, both facilitated by the same loan.


@amiller, can you say more about this? What’s the difference, and how would we interpret and aggregate the raw ballots in such a “petition”? It seems that ECC interpreted them by just adding up the coin-weighted votes, which seems inconsistent with @zooko’s desired to have small ZEC holders be “heard”… Are there other algorithms/methodologies on the table?

Also, I’m frankly confused about this “signal” vs. “vote” vs. “poll” vs. “petition” terminology (with “elections” occasionally thrown into the mix), so sorry if I’m using it differently than what you intended. Is there any difference in how ZF would interpret the outcome, depending on what we call it?


A ‘petition’ is simply a request, given strength by the number of people (in this case, coins) who join it, nothing to do with decision making. At least that’s my understanding of what a petition is.

Although… if a massive percentage of the money supply requested something it would make sense to listen. By some freak chance we’re doing exactly that to get a new constitution in Chile !


To each of us as individuals, yeah absolutely. I certainly paid attention to the coin vote, and it influenced my thoughts on the entire debate. I just don’t think we should ordain any such method as official sentiment collection as it functions today.

Agreed. I love that polling / petitions are happening, regardless of their lack of official governance impact


Except the only thing you can really learn from such a poll/petition is “an unknown number of entities, who are self-selected and may have unknown incentives, and who may or may not have borrowed their votes, think X”, right? I would be very hesitant to assign meaning to this.

Learning what people/organizations think about governance decisions is crucial. But I do not think this is the way to do it.


Self-quoting myself earlier in the thread because I think it applies here.

The last time this was discussed the ZF board was extremely skeptical (except @amiller of course :slightly_smiling_face:) of the poll due to the many shortcomings. This time is no different; the Foundation will use the results of the combined forum participant + community advisory panel Helios poll as the basis for evaluating community sentiment on ZIP 1014.


Excuse my extreme ignorance, but I do not know where to begin to stake and vote.

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Just gave the current coin-weight voting some more thoughts and some horrible scenarios would be possible in theory, just some examples:

  • An exchange could use the holdings (or a larger amount of it) to vote, including with the incentive of price manipulation. This as well would not represent the wish of the real ZEC holders which ZEC holdings would be used in such case by a third party, in this case exchanges.

  • Same, or very similar, with big/bigger venture capital funds. These would have access to a large amount of ZEC, but would such vote really represent the real coin owners wish? In my opinion the real coin holder/investor in venture capital funds/average joe is the real owner and the ventural capital fund just a temporary one. This is even very similar to a mining pool situation where the mining pool leads to greater centralization.

  • Coin-weight voting is discouraging for the average joi ZEC fan. Within the last vote i myself played with the intention to buy about 1000 ZEC and test the voting (due it’s low price), but when i saw the first whales votes incoming i realized it makes 0 sense. It would need 1000’s of small ZEC holders to vote to even have these votes noticed, leave alone have them changing something. This said, who the hell is voting if upfront it’s clear the whales behind the scenes decided the outcome allready?


Somebody used their 155 ZEC to post saying that this petition is a terrible idea. :laughing:


Regarding the question of coin-weighted ballots are supposed to be tallied/interpreted, there’s a fundamental question here, that affects future protocol design.

Ideally, should the voting mechanism expose only the final tally, or also the individual ballots?

I was under the impression that we’d only look at the final tally (as ECC did), and therefore ideally should expose no more: both to maximize privacy, and also because the finer-grained information can be faked anyway. And we can cryptographically achieve this.

But this would eliminate the visibility of the small coin holders. Which @zooko appears to believe is achieved by the present mechanism (despite the lack of clarity on how to interpret such voices, and why to believe their authenticity when Sybil attacks are trivial).

So what are we even trying to achieve here? @amiller, @zooko, it would really help move this discussion constructively if you’d stick your neck out by concretely defining your desired voting/polling/petition/signalling functionality, including what information should revealed and how it should be interpreted. (You can assume away all implementation issues, but not inherent ones like Sybil attacks.)


And somebody else used their 0.09742148 ZEC to say “I’m not fake I have sentiments.” I want to tell that guy “I see you.”. I wonder what a reblochon is.


According to Google… “a kind of soft French cheese, made originally and chiefly in Savoy.”

Edit :-


Can it be used for voting? I’ll bet this is a Monty Python joke.


Reminds me of Long live tartiflette!


Apparently… eeerrrrmmm… maybe ?


Happy cake day prof :birthday: :zcash:
(Maybe he means robloncho, those blanket scarf things)


Even more interesting is the user who managed to get exactly 4242.424242 ZEC to vote :exploding_head:


That is interesting, so I looked it up on a blockexplorer. Looks like the 4242.424242 ZEC was deshielded January 18. :thinking:

There is not any other information on the blockchain about the source of these funds.