Here are the goals the Electric Coin Company has for the next few versions of our
zcashd software leading up to the “Blossom” network upgrade in October of this year:
- Harmony Mining, including time-locking of mining rewards from mining alg-B, using the Equihash-150,5 variant that Beam made and is running in mainnet and has commissioned open source GPU implementations of. The purpose of this is to get mining power and to let coins be earned by multiple factions/types (ASIC miners and GPU miners), as well as to provide long-term incentive-alignment between miners (starting with the new alg-B miners) and users/holders.
- Shorter Block Times; The purpose of this one is to increase the capacity of transactions per hour that the Zcash network can sustain (meaning that we can onboard more users and more usage without raising transaction fees), to increase the reliability of the time-to-finality — i.e. to make it so that an incoming transaction to you is almost always finalised within 40 minutes (or whatever the time-to-finality turns out to be) instead of usually finalised within 40 minutes, potentially to reduce to the time-to-finality, and potentially to increase the security against rollback attacks.
- Split Founders Reward; The purpose of this is to make it so different recipients of the Founders Reward are not relying on the Electric Coin Company to handle their coins for them, and to provide more transparency to the public about the distribution of FR.
- keep v4 transaction format working until NU3; The purpose of this one is to make sure Ledger and Trezor and other such devices continue working smoothly through the NU2 upgrade, and to make it easier for the maintainers of those products to provide high-quality Zcash support.
I know a lot of people (but not all people) on this forum have said they really hate the time-locking of alg-B mining rewards piece! I value your presence in the community (especially Peter from Flypool!) and I value your opinions, but after extensive consideration and consultation with a lot of parties, I’ve decided that it is better for the users and the entire network to go ahead with that piece. I also think that most people who’ve thought about this are misunderstanding it, because they think it means fewer Zcash coins for alg-B miners, but in fact I think it will turn out to mean more Zcash coins for alg-B miners (provided that they are above-average in terms of their loyalty to Zcash, and pretty much anybody who bothers to read this forum is above-average! The average miner probably doesn’t even know the first thing about what Zcash is or how it differs from any other coin, and the time-locking feature is ultimately going to make mining less profitable for such average miners and more profitable for the more Zcash-specific miners like you folks.)
You can see on The Network Upgrade Pipeline what the process is from here. We’re a few weeks behind schedule, but hopefully now that the “Feature Selection” phase is done we’ll be able to get the rest of it on track.
Note that this whole process (and probably another round of controversy!) is about to start again! Because it is time for us to start coming up with ideas for NU3! The only change the Electric Coin Company is making to the NU3 process versus the NU2 process is that we’re (a) writing up all of our own ECC-generated proposals as Draft ZIPs before NU3 Feature Selection, and (b) inviting others to submit their own Draft ZIPs that ECC will consider adopting during NU3 Feature Selection. See Daira and Cin’s ZIP-0 for instructions about how to do that. The deadline for Draft ZIPs for NU3 is the end of April. If your Draft ZIP misses that deadline, then it can instead go into the NU4 Feature Selection Process, whose deadline is the end of October.