Today, we sail. - ECC update for May 3

Hi Zeeps,

Welcome to this week’s scuttlebutt. And oh my, this week was a doozy.

I feel like I’ve been meeting, writing, discussing, and then writing again all week. Big topics, new perspectives, bold decisions—all pointing forward.

When I left ECC in July last year, I was quite vocal about the need to terminate the Zcash trademark agreement and decentralize Zcash governance. My perspectives on it hasn’t changed, and I’m grateful to the Bootstrap board of directors for inviting me back and choosing to stand with me. We’re in a new season and have no time to lose. The world needs financial freedom.

This week, we announced that we intend to terminate the Zcash trademark agreement and that we have decided not to accept any direct funding from the Zcash protocol. If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to read our position on a new development fund before reading the rest of this post.


source: Edler Scrolls

“The ship in the port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” - Grace Hopper

Since the beginning of the year, we have spent considerable time to ready the ship to leave port and head into deep waters.

It’s one thing to boldly assert that we need change when you aren’t in a position to affect that change or live with the consequences. It’s quite another when you are sitting in the seat I now occupy.

I’ve been asking for perspective from people I respect, including the ECC team, and I’ve had plenty of inner dialogue. One of the questions I’ve been asking myself is, “Shouldn’t all this scare me?” After all, this will expose ECC to financial uncertainty, increase accountability for what we do and when, open ourselves up to community criticism, and cede power.

But in truth, it does not scare me in the least. Instead, I feel exhilarated - anticipating what will come for this cause and this project. I learned long ago that safety is an illusion and that tethering yourself to the status quo is the most dangerous of actions. The status quo is a soul killer. Instead of finding safety, you will progress nowhere and rot in the port.

This ship was built to sail.

As written in our position on the development fund:

"However, for the world to find freedom through Zcash, Zcash itself must be free.

Zcash must be fully decentralized. It must be open. It must be liberated from political pressure and coercion. At its very core, in its source code, Zcash must embody autonomy, and it must welcome broad participation both in its use and stewardship."

We are ready for that to be realized. To do that, we must change governance and the dev fund as they are structured today. We must remove the dock lines and allow the crew to demonstrate their mettle on the high seas without the safety of the port.

Some will prefer the comfort of the home they know. They will say, “It’s better to play it safe, to wait for calmer waters, to wait until we have just a few more provisions stored in the hull, to add a few more crew members and better maps. Dammit, how can we navigate without better maps! Once we have all that, it will be a good time to sail.” My friend, that time will never come.

Our crew is ready. I see a fun, dedicated, and energetic community in Zcash Global Discord, ZecHub, Free2Z, Zcash AV Club, Zcash Brazil, and LCWG. I see a growing family in the meetings with ZURE - committed to the use of Zcash around the world. I see R&D and high-quality engineering with Qedit. I see passionate developers working on Shielded Labs, Zingo!, and Ywallet, among others. I see committed partners, including Brave, Filecoin, red·dev and Namada.

This crew is no longer just ECC, ZF, and ZCG. It is much larger and beautifully diverse, and governance and funding must change to reflect that.

Today, we are ready to untether ourselves from the port of our past and sail into a new era for Zcash. Oh, the adventures we’ll have! Think of the tales we’ll tell! There will be storms and krakens, sirens singing, and dangers at every turn. What an epic we will live out.

And when we do, we will surely alter human history.

And we’ll roll the old chariot along
We’ll roll the old chariot along
We’ll roll the old chariot along
And we’ll all hang on behind

This crew is built for this time. Together, we sail.

Here’s what ECC has been up to this week:

Zashi

Zashi 1.0 for Android was released on Sunday, April 28th (auspiciously). We actually planned to release it a little earlier, but fate would have none of it. Zcash launched on October 28th, and Zashi 1.0 for iOS was released on March 28th. The date was etched in the stars.

Here are the numbers as of this week:

Android Total Installs:

  • Production: 798 installs
  • Open Beta: 1286 installs
  • (573 Pre-Registrations)

iOS Total Installs:

  • 1.22k unique user installs
  • 1.4k downloads

We’ve been working on the things shown in our roadmap, including research, playing with third-party APIs, obtaining legal reviews, and developing a few new features you’ll experience soon!

Zcash

The core team’s work was split between zcashd work, ZconV prep, Zashi debugging, and support for several third parties.

We spent time on zcash#6875, zcash#6877, zcash#6879, librustzcash#1377, librustzcash#1378, the transparent script PR, a CI fix, and discussed zebrad adapting to breaking API changes.

We met with Qedit on post-quantum ZSAs and compatibility with the current Orchard circuit and worked with Brave to debug a Rust compatibility issue. We also have been working with an exchange on a problem they’re struggling with.

Other

Andrea and I had the opportunity to meet with the ZURE community on Saturday and Sunday of last week. I posted a summary of day 1 on X. It was energizing. What a fantastic way to spend a weekend!

We met with our attorneys to discuss the Samourai and TC cases. Without going into all the details, we’re in great shape, have been doing things the right way, and have a fantastic reputation in DC circles. Oh, and communications are important—consistently reinforcing clarity about what we’re doing, for whom, and why.

As I described above, we published our intention to terminate the trademark agreement with the Zcash Foundation and will be meeting with them following ZconV. We also published our position on the development fund. We stated that we will not accept new funding directly by embedding our wallet address in the protocol and advocated that it is in the best interest of Zcash to move to either a grants-based model or allow the development fund to expire. We have been watching responses across several channels, and they have been overwhelmingly supportive.

That’s it for this week. See you at ZconV.

Today, we sail.
Onward.

25 Likes

With the ecc unencumbered by direct funding and ip obligations, will it be free to build on other protocols and receive other forms of grant funding or investors which are not directly zcash related?

4 Likes

We have the ability to do that today with restrictions.

Per ZIP 1014:

“It is expected that ECC, ZF, and Major Grant recipients will be focused primarily (in their attention and resources) on Zcash. Thus, they MUST promptly disclose:

  • Any major activity they perform (even if not supported by the Dev Fund) that is not in the interest of the general Zcash ecosystem.
  • Any conflict of interest with the general success of the Zcash ecosystem.”

In a grants-based model, ECC would apply for grants from the community but it wouldn’t restrict us or anyone else from also doing other work if needed.

Our focus is on Zcash. It’s the foundation of our mission.

5 Likes

I think the ECC devfund position was a bold curveball, a power move. Instead of needing ZEC to sell and needing more and more if the price goes down, the announcement to me brings a lot of confidence, bravado, swagger that is a welcome shot in the arm. ECC already has NNNNNN ZEC! That will be more than enough when ZEC goes past $NNNN. It’s a nice bit of something like reverse psychology. If ECC needs and wants the devfund, I say “no!!” But, with ECC boldly saying that the devfund should either expire or be decentralized, issued based on neutral merit, and that ECC will survive without it, my position immediately snaps to, “hey wait, but we need to get the devs paid to deliver the zebra migration, PoS, consensus changes, ZSAs, memo upgrades, NU6,7,8,9… Come back and take my money!”

I think that ECC may get more financial firepower from the devfund with more goodwill from the community and a higher ZEC price in this way. I think the market will like it.

We can soon add, "I feel sorry for anyone selling ZEC under $X. They are going to feel really bad when they see what comes next … "

Confidence is contagious!

2 Likes