Truly pseudonymous contributors & ZCG

I am a passive and anonymous zcash investor.

The reason why I have just created an account here to write something is because I was alerted by Zooko’s tweets highlighting of the ZOMG situation. This brought me to listen the very interesting Zcash Foundation Community Call 9.1.21…

The call gave me the motivation to participate, but I quickly realized that it couldn’t happen because I would have to disclose my legal identity.

As frustrating as it may feel to the pseudonymous community, this requirement is not only reasonable; it is very sensible. The Zcash Foundation is a legal entity, and ZOMG is under their legal control. The legal world is half the equation we have to deal with if we’re aiming to be as successful as we want to be. If anything I would say that I find it a bit odd to participate to ZOMG as a partially pseudonymous entity, where you disclose your identity to the foundation but not the community.

Now if the legal world is half the equation, clearly the other half is the virtual world, more specifically the private aspect of this virtual world.

One shortcut could be to create some kind of DAO and vote based on token holdings, but while it would cover the privacy aspect, it won’t give a voice to the key members with lower stakes. This method has definitely its place, but I don’t see it as a solution to the aforementioned issue.

To me, the solution would be to use whatever DAO mechanism is best for our use case, where anyone is welcome to join, including truly pseudo-anonymous members.

Now, this solution would have the disadvantage of not being able to receive funds from the Zcash foundation. But most importantly, it would be a way for us to organize. If we can have a voice loud enough to be heard by the Zcash ecosystem, isn’t it what would matter the most? If we suggest the right ideas for the future of the project, I have little doubt that the money will follow one way or another.

I’d give the ZEC equivalent of DAI$500 per month to that DAO and spend 5 hours per week.

Who’s in?


First, thanks for responding to the Twitterverse alarm bell, taking the time to learn about our situation, and most of all, extending your ideas and other personal resources to help us all come up with new ways to innovate and compete. I understand you have a financial interest, but I appreciate the intellectual curiosity that led you to this forum.

To be clear, you propose to form a DAO in which all investors, inclusive of all types of identities, would contribute $500/mo ZEC equivalent, and spend 5 hours a week working together, with equally weighted voice, to decide how to distribute those funds? I ask because the plan, if scaled, would result in an incredible amount of person-hours per dollar, per vote. Are these the exact terms you propose?

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The only thing I meant to suggest is to form a structure, similar or not to ZOMG, where truly pseudonymous profiles have the same rights as disclosed legal identities.

Anything else is an open-question.

I have only expressed what I could bring personally.


In my opinion, if Zcash is truly about forwarding privacy, decentralization, freedom, and permissionlessness, this is exactly how we embody the spirit of those values.

Moreover, this kind of construct/ion has the obvious potential to springboard Zcash, and effectively, cryptocurrency, onto a completely universal level.

What would be the official relationship of this DAO to the legal entity of Zcash? What kind of participation or permissions from/with Zcash proper would be ideal? @zooko, how does this compare to the kind of DAO you had in mind? I’d also like to hear input from @joshs, @amiller, and @adityapk00

(Disclosure: I’m not in a position to match your financial pledge and my holding are negligible. My interest in Zcash has always been philosophical, humanitarian, and is driven by fascination and awe at its potential. So though I will necessarily be excluded from this cloud community, I think it is of utmost importance that we move forward towards it creation, with the option, even suggestion, of participants complete pseudonymity.)


The whole point of creating this DAO is to have a structure disconnected from the legal system. The Zcash foundation deals with the legal world, the Zcash DAO deals with the “private virtual world”. Completely separate entities, only linked by a common goal: the success of Zcash.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear previously, but anyone that wants to help the project in any way would be welcome. You would be welcome.

The main difference with ZOMG would be twofold:

  • We could elect truly pseudonymous committee members.
  • We cannot receive funding from the Zcash foundation

I can say it with less characters but on this forum I must use 10: I’m in.

I will match your hours per week. $25/mo :joy::woman_shrugging:t4:


It sounds great to me! I love the positive energy and creativity! There are a lot of questions about how it would work that I don’t have answers to but hopefully you and stickypot and the others who join in could answer those questions.

The Zcash community could, if we collectively choose to, through a similar process as the Dev Fund, allocate ZEC from the issuance to feed directly into that DAO’s Zcash address, therefore bypassing ECC, Zfnd, and all legal entities, and making those funds safe from being seized by legal attack!

I believe Holmes was talking about this kind of thing in the recent ZOMG call.

I know that there are a lot of experiments going on in the world of DAOs, but I haven’t followed it closely enough to be able to tell which ones we should be emulating and learning lessons from.

I know that Uniswap is being investigated by the SEC. Maybe ask a real legal expert like Jake Chervinsky (who is on the side of the good guys) what your DAO should do or not do to be safer from that kind of risk.

I know that Gitcoin is awesome (and supports Zcash) and they are launching a Gitcoin DAO.

Erik Voorhees’s company ShapeShift has announced that it is shutting down and metamorphosing into a DAO.

There could be more and better examples to learn from, for all I know.

The three things that I’m sure of are:

  1. Don’t be deterred by Stop Energy. Plenty of people are going to tell you plenty of reasons why it’s a bad idea and can never work, or is even evil and wrong. Don’t waste your time trying to persuade them. That’s less time for you to figure out how to make it work! :blush:
  2. Start small and do experiments where it’s okay for it to fail and try again. Start soon! The world is changing fast and it would be great if the Zcash community could have something up and running before we need it.
  3. Don’t be privacy purists and don’t be Zcash-network purists (but do be ZEC coin purists :blush:). Use the right tool for the job. The right tool for this job is a smart contract running on Ethereum, that accepts only RenZEC tokens. Stickypot can deshield some of his ZEC coins, tokenize them with Ren, and put the resulting RenZEC coins into the smart contract running on Ethereum. That gives him the best of both worlds! He has privacy since his ZEC was originally stored in the Shielded pool, therefore nobody can trace it back to his real world identity [*], but he also has the right tool for the job of DAOs, which is Ethereum.

Suggested baby steps;

  1. Make some kind of smart contract on Ethereum that only accepts RenZEC tokens.
  2. Post about it here and ask people to donate/invest/join whatever.
  3. Iterate!
  4. Ask ZOMG to direct a funds into it with a grant.
  5. Ask the Zcash community to change the consensus rules (like was done for the Dev Fund) to direct funds into it directly from the block rewards, so that there is no “point of failure” of a legal entity holding the funds at any point which could be subject to a legal attack. How about we — the Zcash community — put a very small amount in first, as an experiment? Like, change the consensus rules so that 0.1% (10 basis points) of all the issuance goes into this new experiment. That’s not much to risk if things go south, but it would demonstrate that we were able to fund this thing in a way that has zero central points of failure (legal entities) vulnerable to legal attack.

[*] except for network-level information leakage. You gotta be careful about that!


Sorry, stickyplot not stickypot.

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wait… so if ZOMG issues a grant then it is not required to gather the information of the people participating in the DAO? how would a direct issuance work?

ps this is very good feedback zooko. i like that you prioritize getting things done however that may be. thoughtful response.


Isn’t Zooko saying 0.1% of the block reward would go into a hypothetical DAO treasury similar to the way ZF, ECC, ZOMG currently receive a percentage of the block reward?


He’s suggesting we could all come to the conclusion that it might be cool to try that.



I don’t have the chops to do this. Besides, shouldn’t we use an existing solution, such as Gnosis Safe or Aragon? Cons: I don’t think we can restrict to RenZEC, Pros: proven safety. If the thing takes off, we can certainly invest some resources in a more custom smart-contract for our use case. Now if someone feels like they can safely execute Zooko’s suggestion, then great, please tell us more.

Before that, we should probably define at least three members that will initially control that DAO. Previous ZOMG members or well-known community members would be ideal. We should eventually aim for reputable pseudonymous members but we can certainly start with more regular and trusted profiles.

We will be judged by ZEC token holders. If we take care of them, they will take care of us.

Who’s in?


I’m not sure that’s an accurate statement. ZOMG holds no funds, they are held by ZF and ZF has KYC/AML requirements about who receives funding. ZF can’t legally fill out it’s form to the IRS with $50k donation to “anon” person to form “anon” group. If a DAO wants to be truly anon, having it started by soliciting funds from ZF/ZOMG/any USA legal entity is probably not the way to go.

Another idea is to do what Eric from ShapeShift did, airdrop the management (fox) tokens to all previous ShapeShift users.

Theoretically you could fork Zcash at a certain block height, giving all existing ZEC holders a 1:1 coin on the new chain, since it’s impossible to know who holds ZEC or who would choose to claim it, this would be a truly anonymous initial distribution. Then you can use those coins to establish a DAO system and fund developers to work on Zcash related projects.


This would be token voting. While this can be very useful in certain cases, it excludes valuable community members with lower stakes. IMHO far from the inspiring solution the project needs.


I’m not comfortable with Aragon. It feels a bit like we’d be joining a state in a union rather than creating the bones of our own cloud country. Gnosis safe seems exorbitant re: gas fees per signer in set up. And no RenZec is a deal- breaker for me.

=“Shawn, post:13, topic:39992”]
If a DAO wants to be truly anon, having it started by soliciting funds from ZF/ZOMG/any USA legal entity is probably not the way to go.
Agreed. Let’s remain independent of ZF.


What would be the advantages of using an Ethereum smart contract for the DAO instead of using a Zcash t address?


The funds can only be spent if the majority of the controlling members agree to said transfer?


I don’t much about the dao so I’d have to read into it more but I’ve read (besides regular transparent type) that sapling compatible multisig txs are possible though I’ve never tried it.

(No its not any different than the normal procedure)

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You don’t need anyone’s permission to create a multisig and fund it privately. The Zcash protocol already supports multisig for t-addresses, though I don’t know any wallets supporting it, have to use esoteric command line options How to Create a Zcash Sapling-Compatible Multisig Transaction | by Jorge Valdeiglesias | Official BitGo Blog 3-of-5 multisig is the simplest possible DAO, it works by majority vote, any 3 signers can authorize a transaction, otherwise not much structure to it. You could get started, do a few good deeds like sponsor a feature bounty or adopt a developer or whatever else, then upgrade to something better like gitcoin if the initial experience is positive.


So what would be better, @zooko’s smart-contract on Ethereum or @amiller multi-sig on zcash?

From my perspective, at this point, the best is the one that somebody is going to be willing to put in place.

I’m writing message #20 of this thread and we’re only two having pledged resources.

Maybe let’s start with the fundamentals before digging into the technicalities.

Who’s in? In other words, who’s into the concept and into dedicating resources to make it happen?

The minimum we need is three community members to control the smart contract or multisig. Once we have this then we’ll need someone to create said smart contract / multisig, for free or for up to DAI$500 in ZEC.

Ideally this idea can lift more than the minimum.