The Zcash Foundation's Strategy

Our mission statement is based on the Description of Activities attached to our form 1023 application for 501(c)(3) non-profit status. More context can be found in this blog post.

You may find it informative to compare our form 1023 with that of ECC’s parent organisation, the Bootstrap Project.

We don’t have a precise percentage number for that but I’d estimate it at >80%.
You can find an overview of our spending broken down by program in our transparency reports. For example, here’s the breakdown for Q4 2021:

I hope that Zebra will start to approach feature parity with zcashd by Q1 2023, at which point we’ll start exploring adding new features and functionality. However, I expect that Zebra will be the default underlying platform for such work.

Outside of Zebra, we’ll continue to work towards getting FROST ready for adoption by wallets, exchanges and custodians.

Programmability is a long-term priority. For 2022, we’re focused on Zebra and FROST.

We did have plans to put out an RFP after NU5 activates, for a team to take over the ZecWallet project from @adityapk00.

However, we’ve had put those plans on hold pending resolution of the questions and uncertainty around license compatibility that have been raised by ECC’s adoption of the BOSL license for Orchard.

See my post in the BOSL or MIT thread for more context,

We’ve been talking with Zondax about implementing Ledger support for Sapling transactions in Zecwallet Lite.

Let me ask you a couple of questions.

Firstly, do you think that ZecWallet helped onboard new users to Zcash and bring growth to shielded transactions?

Secondly, what more do you think ZF should be doing?

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I don’t see @Dodger indicating that. He basically said (in my opinion) the value (price) of ZEC will prosper in a healthy ecosystem that has maximal utility to use the token, so they are focusing on that. Makes perfect sense.

I’d rather have a crypto asset with a solid technological and community underpinning for long term growth than a coin where the foundation is doing nothing but trying to pump the price all day through overt partnerships and marketing (both of these things are important, but at this stage of Zcash’s growth getting the tech and ecosystem correct trump that).

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I didn’t mean to say ZF did nothing. Should’ve worded my question differently.

100% Zecwallet was a reasonable, probably only large consumer interface for Zcash. So, the numbers we see on blockchain can be partially attributed to Zecwallet.

Something I love for all Zcash organizations to do, dedicate good amount of time in identifying things that bring more users to Zcash with honest messaging. ECC promised they are going to work on a wallet (users might consider this as first party Zcash wallet & start using it vs other 3rd party wallets). ZCG is putting RFPs to make it easy for users to run Zcashd / Zebrad.

To answer your question, What more can ZF do? (what would I do if I have full autonomy at ZF)

  1. Solve “Optional Privacy” myth about Zcash. I seriously think Zcash will see more usage if we move needle in this dimension.
  2. Increased alignment with ECC. An example: ECC is onboard with PoS but ZF is not because it wants to explore other consensus approaches. It is hard to change consensus algorithm of a working network (Ethereum PoW to PoS) even if all client teams are onboard, it is even harder / would delay the deployment timeline when both client teams don’t agree with each other.
  3. Continue proactively influencing Zcash ecosystem partners to get big ticket items done. Ledger is a good example. Sometimes ecosystem needs little push, escalation & follow up.
  4. While ECC is focused on wallets that auto shield, I would like to see exchanges adopt latest shielded pool. Want to see ZF take concrete actions on this. Side note: I’m not sure if FROST is actually a blocker as most exchanges uses some kind of MPC based solution for custody (so the address type won’t matter?). I would reach out to Custody solution providers like Zero Hash, Fireblocks, Anchorage, Coinbase Custody to onboard them to Orchard pool. This makes exchanges easily onboard to shielded pool with a push of a button!

Let me think of more things & share it with you.

Thanks!

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One thing that just came to mind is the fact that if programmability and other more “smart” features are a basic research problem and therefore don’t warrant a fully fleshed-out roadmap, why were several ZF board members expressing such dismay at the lack of user-facing innovation from Zcash (presumably the ECC)? I suppose I would add the things @secparam @Matthewdgreen @tromer and others were advocating for to the list, if we are putting in requests.

Even if those ideas were “quashed” at the time by ECC, there’s no reason they can’t at least be aspired to be done still. Again, 96% of the world hasn’t touched crypto. It’s not too late.

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This tool has been so helpful that @conradoplg set it up for the ZcashFoundation Zebra and FROST implementation repos (note that the FROST repo is just tracking changes for our Rust code and does not capture the work we are doing on the FROST IETF specification). Major kudos to @str4d for this tool, I hope that something like it makes its way into project tracking tools elsewhere someday

EDIT: I just saw that Dodger already mentioned this :joy_cat:

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Well put, Hudson! I’m totally going to borrow that language! :upside_down_face:

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