Voting on proposals and board candidates!

The Zcash Foundation governance process has commenced! Members of the Community Governance Panel are now able to vote.

The deadline for voting is June 25th at 1500 UTC. You are welcome to review the ballot on Helios.

There are six proposals to evaluate:

That’s not all! The Community Governance Panel will select two new board members for the Foundation, as well as a runner-up, via the approval voting method. Each voter will be able to endorse a maximum of three candidates.

Please peruse the potential board members’ self-nominations:

(I don’t know all of their forum handles, sorry! But they’ll get an email linking to this post as a prompt to answer questions.)

In addition to commenting here, feel free to voice your thoughts on our listserv or in the community chat. If you prefer Twitter, please use the hashtag #ZcashFoundation so that others can find you and participate in the conversation.


Something is wrong? After logging in, I see “You are not eligible to vote in this election.” but I’m still able to click the “Vote in this election” button and proceed to vote.

It doesn’t look like your vote was counted @bitcartel, based on the ballot tracker here.

Can you try from the link that was sent as part of the intro email sent to community panel members instead?

The intro email from Helio had been routed to spam. Could be happening to other folk.

Thanks; I sent another introduction email to the community after the Helios introduction (because mine had also been routed into Spam)—did you get that email by any chance?

Yes, I received your email; which is why I searched the Spam folder.

I found Helios to be somewhat confusing. There is a login button (Google/Facebook) before you vote, which you can actually ignore, and then only when you submit your vote are you challenged for your voter ID and password.


Hmm that’s good feedback—that login is really only for administrators, not individual voters.

I will send a clarification email to everyone so they know to go directly to the ballot and only engage in the auth flow there.

Helios is confusing, I know, but it does ensure privacy but audibility of votes. But I think we can improve it in the future, particularly if we can one day leverage voting by ZEC amount through the shielded pool :thinking:


Hey, Lawson Baker here. My handle is @lwnsbaker on twitter, this forum, and the zcash foundation community chat.

I am happy to answer any questions anyone presents to me. I can be available for a phone call or video chat, as well. Feel free to reach out to me.


How do feel about decentralization? (I left it fairly vague so to allow you to elaborate how you’d like)
This applies to all the other candidates as well, im sorry I’ve been trying to come up with some general questions but thats all ive got so far!
Edit- and thank you Sonya for opening this thread, I was gonna message you suggesting something like this but I think too much!

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Hi everyone.
I’m both running for the board and a member of the community governance panel. I’m one of the original authors of Zerocoin and Zerocash and a co-founder of the company. I’ve been mostly working on next generation zcash related cryptography: privacy preserving payment channels (bolt), next generation private smart contracts (Zexe), and on how to build privacy preserving mobile clients. My goal for the foundation is to do more of this kind of work.

Speaking as one of the community governance panel members, I’ve found it very hard to evaluate any of the perspective board members or figure out what their past involvement in zcash has been. With the exception of Amber, who’s work I am familiar with, I either don’t know who any of these people are or don’t know what if any involvement they have had with Zcash.

When the voting mechanism for the board was first proposed, my main worries were 1) we’d get people who were simply being opportunistic. 2) we’d get people who’s primary interest was in cryptocurrency governance in general and not in Zcash or privacy. They’d view board membership as an experiment from which they would learn either in success or failure. I was hoping past involvement in the Zcash ecosystem would help guard against this.


Hello Folks,

My name is Moe Adham, I’ve self nominated for a board member. Happy to answer any specific questions at all. My application gives some background information on my experience in the industry.

I’ll quickly touch on a few of the questions mentioned in this thread:

“How do you feel about decentralization?”
This is a great question. Zcash, being a private protocol, requires decentralization to accomplish its goals. One of the largest failures of the Bitcoin project, in my opinion, was failure to maintain a decentralized mining infrastructure. Having worked in this industry for several years, I can say unequivocally that any services which can collect user information will be compelled to render that information upon request. The only strategy is to minimize the amount of information these entities are able to collect.

When speaking about decentralization, I think we should keep in mind that the Zcash Foundation itself is a centralizing force. I would like to ensure that the board does not become some form of “centralized planning committee”. The best chance Zcash has to remain decentralized is through community building, as well as continued scientific research. Without concerted effort on community and research, on a very long timeline, the project will become centralized.

Re: “we’d get people who were simply being opportunistic”
I think this is an interesting concern, and very understandable from the perspective of a group of people worked very hard to build something amazing. I will let my public record on the subject of Privacy/Zcash speak for itself, but will touch on this subject.

A community is always going to have to be open to perceived outsiders joining if it is to become long-lasting and meaningful. People who are currently part of the community/Zcash Company are likely going to remain with the project for the long run. The important goal should be increasing the number of qualified people interested in the technology.

Therefore, I would suggest that it is important that people who are not currently professionally involved in Zcash join the board. These people should be seen as a strength, not a threat.


@secparam thank you very much for your post. I can only speak to my own candidacy.

First off, it is clear to me that, from a technical perspective, you are by far and away the most impressive candidate. (After all, you’re one of the inventors of Zcash and a co-founder of the Company!)

But when the Foundation was created, it was created to be independent from the company:

“However in the long run it would not be appropriate for a single for-profit company to have this much power over the evolution of the Zcash technology. Ultimately, there will need to be an independent, inclusive, non-profit body to steward the technology in the interests of all users.” - @zooko (Announcing the Zcash Foundation - Electric Coin Company)

“The initial Board of Directors of the Foundation is four of the people that I most trust and respect in the field. I personally am not a director of the Foundation, and none of the Directors are employees of the Zcash Company. Nor do I or the Zcash Company have the ability to defund the Foundation. So, it is already, at its birth, independent of me and of the Company.” - @zooko (Announcing the Zcash Foundation - Electric Coin Company)

If the board of the Zcash Foundation is to consist of people closely associated with the Zcash Company like yourself (as a co-founder of the Company), then what was the point of creating a separate Foundation in the first place?

if the company that you co-founded is truly interested in creating an independent foundation for the benefit of the community, then I think that you should consider withdrawing from the election (unless you are no longer closely affiliated with the company that you co-founded).

Now to my own candidacy. I provided a candidate statement that at least one member of the Company (Zooko) believes is filled with specifics:

Furthermore, I authored a ballot measure that also is very specific:

I absolutely do not view this as an “experiment.” A lot is at stake here, including the financial futures of a lot of people who have invested in ZEC, many who (including myself) did not receive a portion of the Founders Reward and therefore had to build up ZEC positions at much higher prices and therefore at much greater financial risk.

I am running because I think that I can make a positive contribution to the community. I am running to make sure that the Foundation is not captured by special interests. I am running to have a voice in the Zcash community.


I just want to thank the candidates for their thoughtful submissions. Good luck! :slight_smile:


@hloo Thanks for the reply. For the record, I don’t work for or at the company. I had the opportunity to do that when it started, I choose not to. Independence from the company was something I did consider when running. My interest is in the currency succeeding and more broadly strong privacy protocols being adopted even if that means the Zerocash protocol ends up in a fork that the company does not want. If the foundation supplanted the company or if the company ceased to exist, I would only care in so much as it helped or hurt those objectives. I’ve been working on this stuff well before zcash and will be working on it after.

One major point of the foundation is to look at the longer term picture and broader privacy goals. To look forward and shape things well past the next few release cycles. This is probably the largest distinction between the company and the foundation. A major part of this is technical research. Another part also means encouraging a healthy ecosystem which isn’t built around either the company or the foundation.

The foundations goal cannot simply be to be the sucessor to the company. Whether its a five person board or a 1 man CEO, if they control the currency, its not decentralized. Merely creating a different power center, no matter how independent isn’t enough. That’s still centralized and runs the risk of people taking it over simply to have power. Of people running simply to acquire that power. Power corrupts.

I didn’t mean to accuse anyone running of either of the concerns I raised earlier. I simply don’t know any of you. I don’t know what your past engagement with any of this was. Someone further up said they will let their record speak for itself. I at least don’t have a good notion of peoples records. I have what was said in the nominations, which was by necessity short. I figured this would be a good way to discuss them.

To @moeadham I agree there needs to be some way for new comers to become part of the community. But if they do that by becoming a board member, what should the bar be?


@secparam I appreciate your response.

Employment is not the only way to have a close association with the Company. Specifically, do you currently have an ownership interest in the Company?

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There are at least two reasons that @secparam (and all other board candidates for that matter) should publicly disclose any relationship that they have with the Zcash Company, especially any ownership interest:

  1. We in the Zcash community repeatedly hear the mantra that the Foundation is independent from the Company, with the implication that this independence is good for the long term health of Zcash. Having owners of the ZCash Company on the Foundation’s board of directors is the exact opposite of independence! It is understandable that some members of the bootstrap Foundation board have an ownership interest in the Company, but the Foundation should be evolving towards having no Company owners on its board.

  2. In its application to obtain nonprofit status, the Foundation represented to the IRS that the Foundation’s “Directors and Officers own less than 5% of the interests” in the Company. (See page 19 of the Foundation’s Form 1023 application.) Is that still going to be true if @secparam joins the board? Note that I did not ask @secparam to publicly disclose his percentage ownership of the Company; I merely asked him to publicly state whether he has an ownership interest in the Company. But certainly he should privately disclose his percentage ownership to the current board, since it may affect whether a representation made to the IRS only a year ago will still be true if he joins the board.



According to this post: Continued Funding and Transparency - Electric Coin Company

The founders, employees, and advisors (myself [Zooko] included) will collectively get 5.72% of the Zcash monetary base through the Founders’ Reward.

So I think that Ian’s share would be less than 5%, but I don’t know the actual controlling management structure of the Company beyond what is public information.

With regards to Ian’s participation, I personally feel that having at least one expert in the field of cryptography (and specifically Zcashs cryptography) on the Board would be beneficial for the Foundation. The board is to be several members, if every one of them is a community volunteer with zero nuts-and-bolts experience with the core Zcash protocol then the Foundation could be even more reliant on the Company for opinions on Protocol issues because they are the experts in the field.

(Note: I am not a employee of Zcash Company or the Zcash Foundation)


@hloo was asking about ownership stake in the Zcash Company, a Delaware LLC. @Shawn’s reply is about receiving a share of the ZEC coins through the consensus rules about rewards. Those are different (but related).

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@Shawn, what @zooko pointed out is an extremely important distinction. In my opinion, it is good for a Foundation board member to own a lot of ZEC; it means that the board member has skin in the game and it helps to align the Board member’s interests with the interests of all the other ZEC holders in the world.

In contrast, for a Foundation board member, ownership of the Company is a clear conflict of interest if we believe that the Foundation is supposed to be independent from the Company in order to check and balance the power of the Company.

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In your attestations, you all mention educational outreach in some form or another
Given that many of these outreach-target people live in more technologically underserved parts of the world, where there’s either no internet or the cost of Internet is too high, what are some of your ideas to actually execute on eventually reaching them?