The State of Zcash Governance

I obviously need to better understand the mindset of people creating Zcash. I have heard many times that they believe this is a “public good”.

In economics, a public good refers to a commodity or service that is made available to all members of society. Typically, these services are administered by governments and paid for collectively through taxation. We are private citizens funding Zcash with the expectation the price will increase in value. So, we do expect to profit from ownership of Zcash.

Moreover, Zcash 21M cap makes it impossible to be considered a public good. It becomes more scarce as people buy it. By definition Zcash the coin is not a public good.

My fear is some people may be using Zcash as a tool to create public goods. Public goods meaning the underlying technology that makes Zcash have value. If people believe the technology is a public good. Then, they may be inclined to give the underlying technology funded by Zcash holders away thereby undermining the benefits of Zcash and the prospects for appreciation. I hope this is wrong. But, it is implied by some of the comments I have read. Can we say Zcash development is trying to create something that will benefit society as represented in the Zcash blockchain and coin as opposed to a public good, which it is (or should not) be? or is the long term vision to create a blockchain anyone can build on where the blockchain itself and public access is the public good ?

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The privacy laws of US and Switzerland are completely different ballparks.
Also the US seems intent on targeting successful crypto projects instead of protecting people from fraudulent ones.

The US is blazing ahead on a bad path – “safe and predictable” are definitely not words I’d use to describe this jurisdiction.

  1. We need to keep the trademark to take down scams. Crypto in general is rife with scams. The only reason we don’t see more Zcash scams is because we aren’t popular enough :joy:. I do support restricting the trademark to only take down obviously malicious scams though. The ZF and ECC might actually perform better if there is a threat of competition taking over the Zcash brand.

  2. I wish Zcash devs used the forum more. Discord is gatekept by logins and verifications. The forum is transparent for all, and also better as an archive for long thoughtful discussions imo. If the devs disagreed with the leadership of ECC or ZF, the community could decide to fund the devs directly instead of the ECC or ZF, but to do that the devs would need to be visible in the community and air their thoughts so community members would know whether they’d really be more worthy dev fund recipients. The easiest way for devs to be visible is to participate in the most transparent and lowest barriers to entry communication channel for Zcash: the Zcash forum.


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Hi @joshs,

Thank you for the time and effort you’ve dedicated to this insightful post. However, I’d like to propose a counterpoint: dissolving the Zcash trademark could inadvertently transfer the governance control from ECC/ZF to the cryptocurrency exchanges.

The existing setup provides a balance of power. If there’s a disagreement between the community and ECC/ZF on the future of Zcash, the community can opt for a hard fork. Although they won’t have rights to the Zcash name, their initiative might gain support from exchanges willing to list the new chain, provided there’s a clear community consensus. Even if this chain used it a different name this situation could create a substantial setback for ECC and ZF and the adoption of Zcash, hence motivating them to align with the community’s interests. So in conclusion it’s not necessarily the active act of hard forking that provides the community with power, it’s the threat of it.

On the contrary, nullifying the trademark means we’re ceding control to the exchanges, making them the ultimate arbiters of which chain is deemed the ‘true’ Zcash. This comes with no inherent obligation for the exchanges to uphold the community’s decision or any requirement to align with the community. The potential negative consequences for a mistaken decision on their part (such as the loss of less than 1% of their total trading volume) might be insufficient deterrents against possible external influence, like government intervention or pressure from private entities.

This presents two critical problems:

  1. Central exchanges are primarily responsible for determining the ZEC price and are the main platform for ZEC transactions.
  2. Most decentralized exchanges lack a mechanism to enforce community governance regarding which token represents which chain.

Given these constraints, we can’t disregard the important role that the existing legal framework (i.e., trademarks) plays in enabling the community to exercise control. Until decentralized finance becomes the mainstream avenue for interacting with Zcash, and these platforms can reliably implement community governance of each individual token, I fail to see how dissolving the trademark provide a significant benefit to Zcash other then maybe a psychological one.

@joshs, I greatly value your perspectives and hold your insights in the highest esteem. I assure you, I’m not solidly stationed in the “disagreement” camp. :joy: I’m simply in need of a bit more convincing. Please know that I’m completely open to having my mind changed :pray:.

Despite the public disagreements I’ve had with both Zooko and Jack maybe I’m still bias and irrationally trust them more than exchanges?


No, no. I believe it is a fact that Zcash governance has already been abused and manipulated. I was not implying that was something you were planning to do at some future point in time, just that you were obviously searching for simplified ways to continue to do so, ideally without having to deal with ZF, as that just complicates unilateral abuses, does it not?.

Also, I was not arguing against “setting up more independent entities”. I was just arguing against setting up additional entities that are going to be run by the same abusive incumbent powers-that-be and/or their cronies (as is the case with Shielded Labs), because that would not really qualify as “new independent organizations”, would it now?

Ideally, we get rid of the dev fund, which is the source of what I perceive to be a native corruption within Zcash, and also the cause of all this non-stop infighting and power-grab attempts. Instead, the community starts voluntarily funding projects on a direct and “per case” basis (similar to Monero’s CCS). If such an approach does not gain the needed traction, we pack our things, go home, and hope a less-corrupt project eventually integrates and/or picks up on the R&D the community has funded so far to bring financial privacy to the masses.

I find it an insult to my intelligence that you come here and say such a thing when this is how you originally tried to sell the scheme to the community:

Aslo when the literal title you chose for your post was “Shielded Labs: An Independent, Non-US Organization” (", so please spare me the cheap attempts at spinning what you are all trying to sell to the community.

I never said Shielded Labs was related to ZCG, but that’s a nice straw man you came up with there. Very obviously the plan is to eventually plug Shielded Labs (aka “the jurisdiction diversification proposal”) directly to that juicy juicy dev fund the powers-that-be in Zcash so much love to capitalise on to extract value from the community:

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As I mentioned before, powers-that-be make it really easy to spot the ways with which they plan to continue to abuse the dev fund and the Zcash community :slight_smile:

Gotcha. So your issue really has less to do with Shielded Labs being created to address US regulatory risk. You don’t want to see it become a recipient of the dev fund. In fact, you don’t want to see any orgs receive the dev fund, but rather following a volunteer funding model similar to Monero.

It’s often difficult to follow your posts (or take them seriously) because rather than articulating your points clearly in a constructive manner like you did in the quote above, you talk about baseless conspiracy theories and “manipulation” by the “powers that be”.


I would love to call out names directly, but that is a certain way to get censored in this forum, so the ambiguous “powers-that-be” term is the next best thing :slight_smile:

I have no interest in any of you “powers-that-be” :wink:, to take the things I say seriously. The things I say usually go against your manipulative ways and interests, so you won’t anyway. I speak to the those in the community that have already open their eyes to the rotten political economy behind Zcash.

If you’re not going to be redistributing the block reward as grants then what will you doing with it?

Shielded Labs would be a Zcash support organization similar to ECC and ZF, with employees doing Zcash related work. I never said anything about redistributing block rewards as grants. That’s what ZCG is for. Please read this post for additional information:

For the Zcash Sustainability Fund, we hired two engineers from the Equilibrium Group as contractors to do the development work. We structured the independent contractor agreement in milestones similar to how ZCG structures its grant agreements. Is that why you think Shielded Labs issues grants? We did it that way because we don’t currently have full-time employees.


I support your project Ycash and yet I cannot understand your constant need to insult those engaging in honest dialogue on this forum. Perhaps you can simply say you disagree with @joshs versus posting the insulting memes?

I say this respectfully to you sir.


The text added to that meme was entirely substantive. Read it. There was no insult.

I hear you and thanks for the clarification. I believe everyone on the forum has something to contribute and I remain hopeful that we can all engage with kindness and respect.

Perhaps you could post your content without the memes (Willie Wonka) and then again, perhaps I should see more of the humor in it? I’m open to being wrong.

And FWIW, thank you for how much you care about Zcash and Ycash. I am a long-term holder of both.


I bear no ill will towards @joshs and I enjoyed participating alongside him in that recent town hall on Twitter Spaces.


This post contains attacks. I dislike the form.

I am -1 on the US.

How else do you anticipate to hear feedback from your product if you never interact with potential customers? App store reviews??

Check out the Zingo Labs idea… there’re a few instances of them now. Each is (or will soon be) catalyzed around a Treasury implemented as a Zingo instance. In the ones I participate in we use majority voting to unlock funds from our treasury. We cooperate with, catalyze, and mutually support other Zingo Labs instances (which I am not a member of).

We optimize for a Zcash-In → Zcash-Out model… we receive zcash from sources that value our efforts, and we use it for the services we need (like supporting people to write software, and expand the Zingo user base).

I think we may have forgotten to check in with… well… frankly anybody to see if we had permission to operate as we do.

My thoughts on trademark… I forgot about the issue.

My thoughts on using zcash:

I am all in.

My challenge to you, the reader, is the following:

Ask yourself when was the last time you asked someone to accept zcash for some good or service you needed.

If it wasn’t in the last 48 hours… then maybe you’re using too much surveillance-coin. Maybe you’re too comfortable. Maybe you’re too invested in the way things work now… and maybe that way is dissolving the most precious parts of the human experience.

Soo… @Souptacular @joshs @pkr @nathan-at-least @zooko @aquietinvestor etc… purchased a new good-or-service with Zcash recently?


Would these employees be paid in fiat?