The future of Zcash in the year 2020

These thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not speaking on behalf of ECC.

Dear Zcash community,

What we are trying to do is hard. The cryptography, engineering, regulatory engagement, comms and adoption. This isn’t just another cryptocurrency. This is the complexity of building a cryptocurrency with sophisticated cryptography and a focus on fundamental human rights.

Tonight I will be on a call at 11pm to work through a concern in a foreign country who is uncomfortable granting their citizens privacy. Like the country we’re meeting about tonight, many states are just fine with the surveillance that other cryptocurrencies allow for. This is the world we live in and the future that is headed our way unless we act. States are pushing surveillance in the name of protection. It’s a grand bargain between those in power and the people that they govern. And it’s a dangerous agreement and difficult to undo. The irony is that states are better off when their citizens are protected from the prying eyes of bad actors and foreign states. But today, this is lost on most.

Zcash is a threat to those pushing for broad surveillance powers, but not because of what it does today. The market cap is too small, z2z usage is minimal and the UX is too limiting. But Zcash is a threat because of what it may provide in the future.

As a team member who is fighting this battle every day, some of this funding conversation feels healthy, and some of it is incredibly discouraging. But I do understand it. The Zcash community has the right to keep this team accountable and to determine how, or if, we should keep our jobs. You have the right to decide how much should be paid to developers and how much should be paid to miners. But know that we are inventing and engineering and fighting and busting our asses every single day.

I work for ECC because I believe in your rights, I believe what we are doing is for a good and noble cause, and I believe that, for now, this group of people is uniquely equipped (more than anyone in the world) to help further that cause.

I believe that we at ECC have a vision for a world where people are safe and free and have the opportunity to strive for better things. I believe that most Zcashers share that common vision. I hope you share that vision. And, we also have a vision for how to get there. It is not yet realized. We still have much to do.

So you may decide if you want us to stay, or not, or the mechanics of how all that will work. But we are here and committed and fighting for you every day. And I, for one, am grateful to have the opportunity to spend my days in this effort. And I thank my coworkers and this community for that opportunity today, and hopefully tomorrow. You, us, we still have much to do.



THANK YOU for this necessary reminder and for the work you guys are putting in! IT IS NOT EASY!


Good luck tonight!!!


I don’t mind the idea of a development fee going solely to the zcash foundation or at least I don’t think it violates the idea of decentralization if we considered it a larger Foundation staff (which I think I read about aiming towards somewhere once) who’s decisions (according to the internal values and bylaws) to disperse funds could be checked immediately versus multiple institutions with potentially varying ideologies; is there a significant difference? Which is more easily enforceable?
Also what does this mean for the protocol having to be changed with the development fee addresses in assuming it would be passed directly to a varying recipient? Or is this an incorrect assumption?
Stake weight voting → no
The idea that large holders intrinsically know better or care more than someone less financially inclined is false (and from what I can tell these people care more about markets and profits then development anyways)
I think the governance panel vote method wasn’t too bad, obviously some kinks to iron out but I think the method was sound (I did participate in the last one and I guess if it’s a problem then I would abstain from the next, I don’t care, that’s not why I’m posting this) @acityinohio did submit a zip mentioning a method of non formal, (non-weighted?) stake voting which I’ve been thinking about but is not the same


I’am sorry if, i guess mostly my posts, are discouraging for you, but so it is for me and some other community members. Seeing that a FR of an estiminated $300,000,000 isn’t enough to have even nearly a finished product.

To know how much should be paid to developers we first have to know how much a developer gets at all first. I made an estiminate on the Zcash Distribution but it’s still not clear who gets’ how much. From my calculation it must be at least $13,560 at a ZEC price of $70 and could be even more than $51,100 per month. (See below).

Sounds good, but let’s be honest, fair and straight. You forgot to add that you are paid more than generously for this, which is ok by the way. Let’s not forget that ECC is a For-Profit Company and so are their employees, founders, you guys/girls don’t do it for free like it was a poor open source community project. But ok, after you are doing this for a good and noble cause where is the problem to cut a given percentage of everybodies payout from the Founders Reward now and until it expires to shift more towards current and future development? Why is this a tabu?
As long as there is no straight answer i have my problems with believing you guys/girls do everything for the success of Zcash.

That’s exactly we are all here and had NO problems so far with the Founders Reward of ZEC 2.1M.
And to be straight again, just a vision to reach a target isn’t enough. It needs as well planning well ahead, discipline and a lot more things to make visions reality. You got with the end of the FR an estiminated $300,000,000 to make this vision reality.
Obviously this wasn’t enough and/or correctly disitributed. Now, after you have a “new” vision for how to get there, how much more funds are needed to get there? As a multi-company owner myself i know that when you ask for financing (a dev reward is exactly this) you have to know how much needs to be financed!!!

Ok, that’s a set of questions towards you and the ECC. Now let’s take a look on the other side of the coin. Getting block rewards from miners (again) to keep it fair.

Miners, no matter if gpu/asic/cpu/fpga, invest a lot into hardware, maintance, electricity and whatever not and this for a very small margin or even for a loss just in hope it may payout someday. In most regions they mine even at a loss allready. While a developer or employee of Zcash/ECC get’s his ZEC paycheck with garantee it’s a different story with miners and the block rewards they get. You really think it’s fair to “milk” these further? I mean they allready got milked by Bitmain/Innosilicon, than the current 20% FR, than the Mining Pool fees, and daily with the electricity bill they get.
I’am no fan of POW mining today anyway, but here i don’t think it’s fair to milk miners even further.

Just as a contrast i think it would be even more fair to increase the max. supply and make an airdrop for funds (extreme example!) as this would hit and make every current/future ZEC holder pay for the dev development and not just 1 group of the ZEC community.

And last but not least. Anybody even thought about the impact of this? I mean let’s not forget that one large Zcash supporting group, the gpu miners, felt betrayed after they got forced out by asic miners. Did anybody really care about them? Obviously not. Now an extended or new dev reward will hit hit the next miners, again a broken promise.
And this step gives Ycash all the legitimination it needs…Actually i admit i regret to have attacked Ycash that hard as it seems the intention of them was just about right, that the monetary promise will be broken.


I am strictly against this.



  1. miners on the GPU overboard
  2. investors who invest in a coin buying it on the stock market overboard
  3. shops that began to take coin overboard.
    I understand that this is not the task of developers and programmers, but it is the task of the organization as a whole, right? I mean the expansion of the application of the product, and we end up with negotiations and good goals, but not their realization in reality.
    Discouraging is not it.
    Negotiations with the countries will not end with anything, why I didn’t understand this in the post, I don’t understand, the product cannot work in the ecosystem.
    Both the ECC and the fund must receive investments according to the task set by them and from the product they create.
    Concluded an agreement, take a percentage of the exchange, set up a purse fee, come up with a new function, apply to the fund for financing, and I think no one would mind to establish any percentage of production (reasonable of course) if the product would rapidly develop and bring profit to investors and so you talk to people who have already lost their money by investing in your product or with people who do not have zcash.

Aside from the larger debate, I think “stop with this non sense” is unwarranted for. It was an estimate of total FR value assuming all ZEC sold when received, which at least at a high level is a relevant number.


Users need not choose between Ycash and Zcash; they can support both. That’s what I plan on doing. I plan on being a long-term holder and supporter of both Ycash and Zcash.

(By the way, @boxalex has been one of the most vocal critics of Ycash on this forum, so I doubt that he believes in Ycash.)

@Autotunafish’s comments above are important. I don’t think that stake-weighted voting should be a dispositive governance mechanism. Meaning, I don’t think that Zcash has to (or even should) always follow what the stake-weighted majority wants. The hypothetical I have posed in the past is a state actor buying up a majority ZEC stake and then voting to deprecate shielded transactions. We as a community would rightly reject the outcome of that vote.

(I believe that @nathan-at-leastprefers the term “polling” instead of “voting” when the outcome is non-binding. To be clear, I’m in favor of stake-weighted voting outcomes being non-binding, so I’m talking about stake-weighted polling in @nathan-at-least’s parlance.)

I have argued in the past that voting, even if non-binding, is an important community-organizing tool (both for the majority and the minority), especially in a community where privacy concerns might impede collective action.

For Ycash, implementing non-binding stake-weighted voting is a top priority. (I am a supporter of @acityinohio’s “Enable Staked Polling from the Sapling Pool” ZIP.)


Show me a better way on how to value the Founders Reward into US$ and give it some value? I took for every month the average exchange rate and for the future months US$ 70 if i remember right, today it’s $87 by the way.
This said the 300,000,000 aren't 100% accurate but give a good picture how much value the Founders Reward has in US. I fail to see how this is nonsens.
At least i took the time to find out how much US$ the whole Founders Reward will have, or at least in what range it is. Because there is a huge difference if someone thinks it was just 10M or it’s in the 300M range.

Exactly, and that’s how an income calculation should work and that’s the best someone can do without knowing when what was exchanged. It wouldn’t be much different on a tax decleration as someone should declare the current exchange rate when he received a non US$ FIAT currency.

It even doesn’t has to be 100% accurate, does it really matter if the Founders Reward was $279M or $316M ?? The idea is that the whole founders reward is a huge amount of money.


I personally total agree with @hloo on keeping 10% of FR. changing that will lose faith of both holders and miners. Some miners are also holders like me. I think ECC meet the same financial problem as Ethereum team meet during 2015, when they run out of the btc from fund raising back in 2014. Developing core protocol costs quiet a lot. How did ethereum team solve the problem when they run out of money. I think @zooko should really get the advise from vitalik. And I really like the ethereum ecosystem, which has the foundation playing the role of core protocol development, and it has for-profit company such as ConsenSys building applications, doing consulting services to make profit. I think if ECC is a for-profit company, it should find the ways to make profit itself, no matter that is consulting services or something else. Otherwise it is another zcash foundation but not a company.

  • We have a fact that ZF/ECC has a problems with communication as ZEC is great project, but we got so small amount of information that even we don’t know what exactly they are doing!
  • Sometimes information looks very tech, please tell in simple form what the benefits, but not just describe what dev team done or plan to do.
  • Many people have a thoughts that ZF/ECC spends money not efficient. With a huge founding we hear that project has negative balance every month and needs extra money. I also remember the issue with payment to winzec wallet dev. So such thoughts should not be surprise for you and it is needs more and more transparency, untill people will start to trust you again.

Main idea of all this text is that before discussion about future work scheme/founding ZF/ECC need back trust of people.


I believe it’s absolutely necessary to continue funding the ECC past the expiring Founders Reward.

As stated before, the ECC’s funding has gone towards paying salaries during a bear market, diminishing the purchasing power of the FR over the last year. From what I’ve seen, the ECC doesn’t have multi-digit millions stored up for future development, and there is continued protocol-level work that absolutely must be done if we want Zcash to succeed long term.

Would we rather this development be funded by the community via a continued (modified) block reward or would be prefer outside investors?

Personally, it’s my current opinion that we need to make this happen from within to avoid potential outside conflicts of interest. I also believe that the community governance panel should become the final and binding determiner of what changes will take place moving forward.

As you can tell from @joshs post The ECC continues to be well intentioned with high ideals. They’ve also shown a steady commitment to transitioning assets to the Zcash Foundation over time.

It’s important to remember that Zcash is still in its infancy. The fruits of this work may not be seen for many years despite volatile exchange rate movements due to speculation.


No, that’s not what I was going to write. I rarely even post on this forum or speak publicly. I’m choosing to stay silent on this topic, thanks.


@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.