The Zcash Posterity Fund

Below is the first draft of our third ZIP, which directs a portion of transaction fees to the Zcash Sustainability Fund. We invite you to review it and provide your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions. Please post your comments to this thread or DM me if you’d prefer to provide feedback in private.

Please note that the transaction fee split is not final and may change based on feedback from the community and ZIP Editors.


Zcash Improvement Proposal (ZIP)

Title: Deposit 50% 60% of Transaction Fees to the ZSF
Owners: Jason McGee, Mark Henderson, Tomek Piotrowski, Mariusz Pilarek
Credits: Nathan Wilcox
Status: Draft
Category: Ecosystem
Created: September 2023
License: BSD-2-Clause

Terminology

The key words “MUST”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “MAY”, “RECOMMENDED”, “OPTIONAL”, and “REQUIRED” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119. [1]

The term “network upgrade” in this document is to be interpreted as described in ZIP 200. [2]

The term “Block Rewards” refers to the algorithmic issuance of ZEC to every block’s creator – part of the consensus rules.

“Issuance” - The method by which unmined or unissued ZEC is converted to ZEC available to users of the network

“We” - the ZIP authors, owners listed in the above front matter

ZSF_BALANCE” is balance of the Zcash Sustainability Fund as defined in ZIP

Abstract

This ZIP proposes a modification to transaction fees, diverting 50% 60% of transaction fees back into the ZSF_BALANCE, while the destination of the remaining 50% 40% is unchanged and goes to the block miner. This proposal effectively “unmints” a portion of transaction fees, contributing to a deflationary effect and offering long-term support for the Zcash network.

This ZIP attempts to establish a symbiotic relationship between miner incentives and sustained network growth. It achieves this by splitting transaction fees: 50% 40% goes directly to miners, incentivizing them to include transactions, while the remaining 50% 60% is deposited into the ZSF_BALANCE. This approach mitigates a “bootstrapping problem”, a problem that arises when 100% of transaction fees go to the ZSF and miners are not incentivized to include transactions in block. This ZIP navigates this problem by ensuring miners continue to receive direct rewards for including transactions, while still contributing to the ZSF.

Implementing this change allows the ZSF to accrue value earlier. By ensuring a consistent source of funding, the ZSF contributes to bolstering the Zcash network’s long-term security and sustainability.

Motivation

While ZIP-XXX (Establishing the Zcash Sustainability Fund) describes a method by which funds can be added to the Zcash Sustainability Fund by a voluntary ZSF_DEPOSIT transaction field. The default value of this field is zero and it is left up to the app and wallet implementers to make use of it.

This ZIP takes a much more explicit and non-optional approach, mandating at the protocol level that 50% 60% of transaction fees be deposited into the ZSF As noted above, implementing this change allows the ZSF to accrue value earlier and contribute to future network sustainability.

This system currently looks something like this:

  • At Every New Block:
    • ZSF_DEPOSIT amount is deposited into the ZSF_BALANCE
    • Miner rewards come from ZSF_BALANCE
    • Transaction fees (inputs - outputs) paid to miner

After the features described in this ZIP are activated (changed parts in bold):

  • At Every New Block:
    • ZSF_DEPOSIT amount is deposited into the ZSF_BALANCE
    • Miner rewarded from ZSF_BALANCE
    • 50% 40% of transaction fees (inputs - outputs) paid to miner
    • 50% 60% of transaction fees deposited into ZSF_BALANCE

This has a multitude of benefits:

  1. Network Sustainability: This mechanism involves temporarily reducing the supply of ZEC similar to asset burning in Ethereum’s EIP-1559, but with potential long-term sustainability benefits as the redistribution of deposits contributes to issuance rewards and network development, making it an attractive option for current and future Zcash users.
  2. Ecosystem Benefits of Longer Time Horizons: A reliable and long-term functioning Zcash blockchain allows users to make secure long-term plans, leading to a sustainable and virtuous adoption cycle, rather than being influenced by short-term trends.
  3. Incentivizing Transaction Inclusion: By providing a 50% 40% share of transaction fees to miners, this ZIP maintains incentives for miners to prioritize including transactions in their blocks. This helps ensure the efficient processing of transactions and supports a robust and responsive network.
  4. Future-Proofing the Network: Diverting transaction fees into the ZSF_BALANCE is a forward-looking approach that prepares the Zcash network for future challenges and opportunities. It establishes a financial buffer that can be instrumental in addressing unforeseen issues and seizing strategic advantages as the Zcash ecosystem evolves.

Specification

This ZIP only proposes a single modification to the transaction fees:

  1. Keep the current destination of 50% 40% of the fees untouched, but route 50% 60% of the fees back to ZSF_BALANCE

Please note that a network upgrade is required for this work to be fully implemented.

Transaction fee routing requirements

  • For each transaction, 50% 60% of the total fee MUST be paid to the ZSF_BALANCE.
  • The minimum of the 50% 60% fee MUST equal 1 zatoshi or more.

Rationale

We believe that is ultimately a very minor change to the protocol, and quite simple in terms of implementation overhead. Additionally – and at the time of this writing – transaction fees are so small that 50% will likely not have a major impact.

If transaction fees were to increase, future ZIPs can be written to change the 50%/50% 60%/40% split. Finding the optimal fee split may require an iterative approach involving adjustments based on real-world data and network dynamics.

In the future, other ZIPs may be written to fund the ZSF in various ways, including but not limited to:

  1. ZSA fees
  2. dApp-specific fees and donations
  3. “Storage fees” for any future data availability
  4. Cross-chain bridge usage / Cross-chain messaging
  5. Note sorting micro-transactional fees

References

[1]: Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels (RFC 2119: Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels)
[2]: ZIP 200: Network Upgrade Mechanism (ZIP 200: Network Upgrade Mechanism )

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