The future of Zcash in the year 2020

@ebfull I apologize for trying to guess what you were going to write; I won’t do that again (to you or anyone else).


You can be critical of something and still support it. I am critical of how you promote Ycash on the Zcash forums but I support you using my idea that if you don’t like how Zcash is doing things then fork it.

@boxalex is one of the long typist (winded) people here but he cares enough either about the subject or the idea or the people to ASK QUESTIONS and requests answers. You should be happy he and others , whether you think they are being critical or not, are asking questions about 2020, your fork, ASIC or not, or where is the money going and learn from the answers that are given and or not given. His and countless others that post, critical or not, have shaped opinions and decisions.


Really interesting discussion here. I appreciate that you’re all making an effort to thoughtfully think through the issue of future funding.

I agree that “stake-based polling” is better terminology than “stake-based voting,” and better reflects the intent of the Zcash Foundation. It should be a source of information, not decisions.

Personally, although I get the skin-in-the-game argument for staked votes, I think having them be binding would be counter to all of our ideals. Plutocracy is among the worst governance models that humans have come up with. I have no interest in being ruled by the richest.


On a technical process note: even assuming that this ZIP was accepted for NU3 (which is unlikely given that the ZIP is currently no more than a motivation), NU3 will activate after the deadline for deciding on ZIPs for NU4 (which is when any proposal creating a dev fund would need to be activated if it intended to start from the halving). So if the staked polling ZIP’s eventual specification does require changes to the consensus rules, it could not be used to poll on this topic with an aim for NU4 activation.

That said, it will be great for the ZIP to have a champion to drive it forward, as we hope all ZIPs will :slight_smile:


How can you have what you state above while at the same time avoid having a small “privileged / centralized” group of people making all the decisions?

@joshs this post is not a criticism of you or your post, although I do rely on its contents to make my point. I hope you managed to get some rest and are feeling better and your kid gets well soon. Please keep fighting the good fight, I know it is hard not to take what people are saying personally, but they are being candid from how they see things they are criticising the ECC not you personally. They do not have the information you have and they have their families to think of too.

Okay so how long will they need further subsidy? Tt was meant to be self sustaining after 4 years.

It was made very clear in josh’s recent post that there is an image problem between governments and privacy coins. This seems to be a particular problem for zcash because of the ECC. like josh points out they are trying to break tough new regulatory ground. This, govt lobbying or whatever seems to be a sticking point. (cryptograph devices are probably second only to biological weapons (like smallpox) when it comes to export/import regulatory control)

Remember when bitcoin was also in its ‘infancy’ and satoshi responded with this to an article about WikiLeaks accepting bitcoin with this?

Satoshi’s second to last post on the day he decided to vanish.

So it seems very curious that the ECC would be promoting Edward Snowden as a poster child for zcash. To the point there is a full page photo of him in the transparency report.

He is less well liked than Assange, it seems a crazy PR move. Especially when you are trying to have high level discussions with govts about how zec is not evil incarnate. - it is a disruptive technology, there are notoriously hard to sell to those in power unless it extends their power. (which 9 time out of 10 it doesnt hence the disruptive bit)

Maybe for profit companies and privacy coins don’t mix? There really isnt enough money you can throw at an image problem like Snowden. Sure he might appeal to your average Joe that doesnt really understand the issue, but to governments, shit you are black balling yourself.

So one hand is trying to create something revolutionary, another is promoting it as the ultimate civil liberty to protect you from an evil govt, and another is asking the govt not to screw over the ECC for being responsible for the something revolutionary.

This is clearly not an issue money can resolve. Unless you start lobbying in every country. Bitcoin keeps on threatening to be banned in various countries depending on the wind direction. Can you imagine when zaddrs are useable and the dark markets start using it? How much money will it cost to fix that image problem for the ECC.

As @hloo pointed out earlier in this thread, the contract states clearly that 90% of the reward goes to the miners. (there was some ambiguity in the ASIC statement, there is none in this) This situation has got so out of hand that you have @boxalex suggesting quantitive easing (a bailout) by increasing the total number of coins issued. (yes I know he doesnt really want that, but it is the same idea as not giving 90% of the mining rewards to the miners after 4 years.) You cant even sponge off mining fees unless you put some kind of extra fee on top through using the wallet software, or service or similar.

These are usecases zcash was not intended for, so do you now spend money trying to retrofit these new unplanned features/develop new revenue streams? or do you do the privacy bit and run out of money fighting govts?

I really do not know the answer to this question, but to me it puts new light on the funding issue. - they will always need money.


Hmm, I don’t think it’s true that Snowden is less well-regarded than Assange. Both are controversial, but post-2016 many people see Assange as an untrustworthy partisan at best… FSB asset at worst. I don’t follow his case closely enough to have a nuanced opinion on it myself, but that’s been the majority of commentary that I’ve seen.

Nevertheless, Zooko has tweeted about Assange quite a bit:

Wikileaks was included in an ECC blog post about charitable giving with Zcash:

Just adding some counter-data on that particular part of your post.


I don’t think I understand the question, would you mind rephrasing or elaborating a bit more?

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Really quick response because I don’t want this to become a Snowden conversation. - I am personally vested in that conversation and this is not the thread for my diatribe on him :slight_smile:

Im happy to agree to disagree. It was more my personal opinion.

We can continue this in another thread as not to derail this if you like and I can outline exactly what happened and why he is considered a traitor but Assange a martyr.

My point was not Joe publics opinion, but that of the govts ECC is trying to court.

Maybe zooko tweeting about politics and political dissidents may not be the best move for a for profit company trying to convince certain governments that their technology will not subvert their taxing systems, AML, etc. It sucks but that’s how things go. Its far too late now though.


Sure. You said stake-based voting = plutocracy = bad. So, stake-based polling should only be used as a source of information, not decisions.

My questions:

Who is making the decisions then? And how are the persons making these decisions not in a privileged position of power similar to the very plutocracy you dislike?


Thank you for the support. I don’t take anything personally and I appreciate the honesty as well as the sentiment.


Currently the ECC has executive direction over the protocol until the halving (which is by design)
Grant allocation and other Foundation business is the decided by a vote of the ZFND Board members
This comes back to my post above concerning the size of the Board, the value alignment of the members and why accurate polling is important because they have to know what everybody else thinks, (I don’t think this model will change due to the legality of grant allocations of 501©3s (?can be seen in this pre viewing key, Taddress only grant system i.e. compliance)), you can read up here
The governance panel vote essentially described to the board a consensus and although it may be argued it was somewhat of a narrow view, it was the very first time and given the number of people signed up, the number of people who actually voted and the fact that it all stuck I’d say it certainly was not a failure


I personally would even add another issue here that fits in.
Who decides on what to poll or vote?

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Ahh, I see. Good point. I’m gonna hold off on answering because we have an essay by @acityinohio, to be published shortly (Monday) that goes into depth about the Zcash Foundation’s approach.


Sounds good. My concern is that some person/s will have to be making decisions. This is unavoidable. And whoever these persons are that are making the decisions will unarguably be in a “privileged position of power.”

This being the case, stake-based voting still seems to be the best option, as it makes the “decision making group” as large and decentralized as possible. I would rather have this, than a small centralized group of people making decisions (even if those decisions are influenced by stake-based polling).


A thought - what defines a ‘holder’ and how would they be able to prove that?

Viewing keys should happen for Sapling soon & perhaps they can be used ? Something like ‘this key proves I have held the required amount of ZEC for the required time’, which would allow the holder to take part in a poll/vote.

Not keen on being ‘led by the rich’ although there’s a certain sense of inevitability with anything stake based - maybe a holder should get just one vote irrespective of their holdings.

Looking forward to Josh’ input.


I like the idea of “time as a ZEC owner” rather than “amount possessed by a ZEC owner.”

But you gotta worry about sybil resistance, spreading a bunch of ZEC over many different addresses and leaving them there for the required time period…

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You’re right, that matters. A relevant passage from our recent blog post about the ZIP process:

Governance fundamentally consists of three questions: What should we do, who gets to decide, and how are the deciders chosen and held accountable?


Yup, its far from perfect, but might spark a better idea.

It might depend on the numbers, there’s a big difference between 10 ZEC for 1 month, 100 ZEC for 6 months, etc.

EDIT: Just for clarity, by ‘amount’ I mean the minimum balance held in that address over the required timespan.

Could also impact the inflation rate as coins would be locked up in the holders own wallet if they want to take part in polls/votes etc.


Just a thought, why not combine both? Amount x Time (in months?)

Example1: 100 ZEC owned for 12 months = 1200 Voting Power
Example2: 1000 ZEC owned for 1 month = 1000 Voting Power
Example3: 50 ZEC owned for 24 months = 1200 Voting Power

I could imagine this way things get balanced pretty good.

Just as a side note, yesterday i came across a project that uses special adresses for exchanges so they never can stake nor vote. Interesting approach that could be implented in such scenario as well.