Voting on How Zcash Should Be Governed is a Trivially Easy Problem

I hear rumors that it’s hard to “gather sentiment”… to determine “What the community wants.”

This is not the case.

Voting can be (almost) trivially implemented with escrowed zcash payments.

Suppose there’s some issue with two states in contention “A”, and “B”.

I want to vote for “B”.

In a z2z transaction, I send a 0-zatoshi transaction to a published z-address known to be the “Vote For B” address. The EMF for this transaction publishes a viewing key for an “escrow” address that holds a quantity of zcash proportional to my strength belief in “B”.

The published rules of the voting system specify how long the vote-weighting ZEC must be held in escrow.

That’s it.

The system “represents” the Zcash “community” accurately. Those with more ZEC have more at stake in the future of Zcash, they should have representation in proportion to that stake.

Now that this problem is solved we can move on.



  1. This is plutocracy.

  2. Actually, it’s not even plutocracy. Given efficient lending markets, this is literally pay-to-vote. As mentioned earlier: If you want more voting weight, you can borrow ZEC and pay interest on it. Conversely, If you already hold ZEC, then can lend it and gain interest income, at the cost of giving up your voting rights. Either way, in order to vote you pay the time-value of your ZEC.

  3. It is wrong that “those with more ZEC have more at stake in the future of Zcash”. The whilesblower, the dissident, the person of “wrong” religion or “wrong” sexual orientation, all at risk of blowback if their transactions are uncovered — do they have less at stake than a custodian service holding a pile of ZEC? The developers who spent years building a project for private payment processing, do they have less at stake than a rich speculator?

There are also technical and privacy issues. For example, just using full viewing keys (as you seem to imply) may reveal too much information about the voter. I believe these can be resolved, but the general advice is to only apply the “trivial” adjective to things you have done.


I agree on the plutocracy point, and could not be more strongly against whale-based governance.

Even if that weren’t the case, it’s also worth noting that the voting system described doesn’t exist — @zancas if it’s so trivial, come back when you’ve built it :stuck_out_tongue:


I like the gist of this, as a low-change way to collect stake-weighted sentiments.

(I wouldn’t want such ZEC-weighted polling to the be the sole input to decisionmaking, but view it as one legitimate signal from people with a keen shared interest in Zcash’s future. There are even situations where vote-selling isn’t necessarily negative for overall welfare.)

My concern would be that all the on-chain churn throws off too much metadata about holdings, encumbers the real chain, and imposes extra costs in immobilizing real ZEC for the duration of the poll (or as-of-the-block-of-record, etc).

Thus I’m still partial to the ‘ztubchain’/‘ztraw poll’ concept of a polling-only temporary chain-fork I’d outlined at: [WIP] [ZIP ???] Enable Staked Polling from the Sapling Pool by acityinohio · Pull Request #219 · zcash/zips · GitHub

Of course, this would require new keymatter-handling & variant-chain-advancing software to be developed, which imposes effort/delay/risk above other approaches.

(I wonder, also, if such a single-purpose, temporary chain could somehow be seeded with some sort of ‘spending diversifier’, or other variations in the zk-proving, so that even nullifiers couldn’t be correlated back to the ‘true’ chain.)


This seems like an excellent use of my time! Will do! :wink:

I confess, I was being deliberately provocative.
I apologize if my tone caused distress.

With the above caveats, I do sincerely think this signalling mechanism is interesting, at least as a baseline.

Any party that has a stake in ZEC is necessarily (quantifiably (NOT absolutely)) incentivized to increase the value of ZEC.

I think that’s a crucial consideration. By consideration I mean, if we are attempting to reason about “the community”… or “stakeholders”, and we don’t have some explicit term to represent this fact… then we are ignoring a known factor. That must at least be justified, and preferably rectified.


Thanks for chiming in, I suspected there would be something (much) more well thought out than my proposal!

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Okay, so what about the last “community stake based poll?”

You need to heavily specify what quorum levels are needed, if that is either amount based or number of votes based and then how these are weighted against each other. Then how much they are weighted against the other methods.