Voting on proposals and board candidates!

I don’t think it bothers most of the community. It bothers a loud few in the community. In my opinion, most of the community is still figuring out if ASICs can make Zcash more secure and if ASIC resistance is actually possible.

It’s actually a big red flag for me that a candidate is for or against something like ASIC resistance without having any working knowledge or research of the impact it could have. The Zcash foundation should be above politics and do what is right for Zcash rather than just following a vocally popular trend.



I really want to touch on the subject if ASIC resistance, as it is counter intuitive.

ASIC resistance is very important to me, but this is an incredibly challenging subject to approach from a technical level. It is one of the main failures of Bitcoin, as I mentioned earlier. For some background, my “classical” training is in Silicon fab/design (specifically digital design). I started FPGA mining Bitcoin back when it was effective.

The silicon world is constantly, iteratively and rapidly changing; With the current node trajectories, Fab consolidation, possible transition to carbon, it is not intuitive what “ASIC resistance” even means in 2020, let alone 2025. While certain hashes may be challenging to compute on todays technology, that is not to day they won’t be easier with tomorrows.

This subject is going to need a lot of academic research, as well as a roadmap. I think key questions that need to be clearly defined are:

  • What does an “ideal” mining ecosystem look like? (100% GPU? SoC-embedded FPGAs? Proof of space?)
  • What are the probabilities that different Silicon/Fab technologies will become commonplace in 5, 10, 20 years, and what impact will those technologies have on different mining approaches
  • Is there a planned schedule to update ASIC resistance as technologies evolve

Frankly, given my training in ASIC design, my gut is telling me that “true” ASIC resistance is likely impossible based on economics. If it becomes worth it to design an ASIC, people will fund it. Digital design engineers are incredibly good at what they do, and if you give them hard problems, they have a remarkable history of solving them.

Proper strategic planning, likely form a game-theory/economic standpoint is required here. The Silicon industry is on the verge of total transformation after we hit 3-5nm nodes. Planning anything past that is going to be challenging.


"… The cryptocurrency ZCash integrated Equihash in April 2016, for reasons such as security, privacy, and ASIC miner resistance. … "
So, surely you can try to do empty talks to change subject about “let’s see what asic is” but a lot of people allready know what asic is and joined zec because of asic resistance.

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I’m not sure the statement of “currently owns less than 5%” indicates that it needs to stay below that threshold in perpetuity to maintain any sort of non-profit status (@acityinohio would probably know if this is the case). It was a statement of current status at the time of application.

My main point is that we are electing a Board made up of multiple members (not a President/Director) so if we were to add Ian then any theoretical Conflict of Interest would still be able to be kept in check by the fact that he can be overruled or even removed from the Board if the Board feels it’s an issue. If the majority of the Board were to be Zcash Company members I would see a cause for concern but for now I don’t think your call for him withdrawing candidacy is warranted based solely on him having been a Founding member of Zcash.

Also, based on my skimming of the applications of all the other Board candidates there seems to be a lack of hands-on Zcash protocol experience. Is it wise to push for having very few on the board that have a deep understanding of how Zcash works?

(Edits for clarifying board members)


I’m partially agree with you, that ASIC resistance is not a simple task and must be some strategic planning, research, etc.
But, isn’t it what for 20% reward was must be used for already? How happens that other cryptocurrencies whithout founder reward already taking steps , but ZCASH is doing …mum… nothing?


@ak1001 there is a long thread here to debate the details of Zcash and ASICs: Let’s talk about ASIC mining

Let’s try to keep this thread on the Candidates and thier perspectives.


Agreed, but it was funny.


I disagree with what I consider to be a woeful mischaracterization of the community’s reponse.


Just to add to @Shawn’s clarification, there is no strict requirement that the Foundation’s Board to have a limited interest in the Company, however there is a requirement against the Foundation engaging in activities “for the benefit of private interests.” More info here from the IRS:

I am also working with the current Board on enshrining a Conflict of Interest policy directly in the bylaws, and if there are issues that deal directly with the Company, they would be required to recuse themselves in making those decisions.

More generally, I don’t think it’s a problem to have a member of the Foundation Board with some experience with the Company, so long as that is not the majority of Board members.

(and as an aside, I love seeing all this debate! Thanks to everyone for contributing to the discussion)


Do you disagree that the most vocally upset members here have been a gpu miners looking to further their own interests, despite the fact that gpu mining could actually be bad for Zcash (security, secret ASICs)? The fact is, we don’t know. That’s why I’m suspect of anyone that jumps to quick and convenient conclusions. It alludes to a confirmation bias to one’s own financial bottom line. As for the size of that vocal group, I’ve seen only a handful on here and most of them were new accounts. I don’t count migrant gpu miners who mine whatever is profitable as the core of this community.


@Shawn and @acityinohio, your point is well taken, regarding there being a difference between having some board members with ownership interests versus having a majority of board members with ownership interests. @root also brought that up a few minutes ago in the community chat:

I guess it is relevant then whether Matthew Green is the other board member vacating their seat.

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I totally agree. ASIC resistance is not a value of Zcash, it’s at best a tool for achieving decentralization and inclusivity, which are actual values of Zcash. If we’re going to target ASIC resistance, we had better arrive to that through evidence and merit, not emotion.


Looks like a good discussion is going on in the chat right now:


ASIC resistant mining brings more holders of the coins which leads to a bigger and more proactive community that is interested in the development of the protocol.
IMHO this is the easiest way to achieve broader adoption with close to 0 cost.
I understand this is a controversial position, however I deeply believe in it.

You say “it bothers loud few”. But we need more loud community around, not?


I don’t see why mining with a GPU or mining with an ASIC would make any difference in terms of a user’s decision to hold or use zec. The difference between the two is a pure risk assessment: for smaller miners does it make sense for them to purchase an ASIC that only mines one algorithm. I think if users believe in Zcash enough to hold, they might just buy on an exchange instead of mine.

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You ordered at least one z9. Hypocrite.

Just a reminder to not make personal attacks on here, but since I’m the one you were attacking, I’ll let it stay visible and respond:

I don’t plan to stop GPU mining zec. The vast majority of my hashpower does and will continue to come from GPUs, so that disproves your hypocrite statement. Keeping a gpu-only PoW would benefit my own bottom line immensely and would reduce the work to change my current setup.

That said, I consider it a failure of GPU mining in general that miners can so easily switch coins and leave a network (even marginally) less secure. With zec, the largest fluctuation of hashpower hasn’t come from ASICs thus far, it’s come from miners switching back and forth between Ethereum every other day. This behavior lacks the dedication to Zcash that I believe a miner should be required to have. I’ve mined zec since day one and continue to mine with GPUs and ASICs or FPGAs or whatever other staking mechanism will secure the network in the future.

Everything changes rapidly in this space, and I expect the pace of change to increase rather than decrease over time. My advice to anyone reading this, after being involved with cryptocurrency in general since 2012, is to become more anti-fragile to change. I’m more concerned with what is best for Zcash 5-10-20 years from now. The Zcash foundation will decide what PoW is best and until then we’ll just have to wait and see.


The asic issue as it relates to a candidates position or statements- ok
But that (above) doesn’t belong on this thread please : )


I too believe that a stance and philosophy on centralization/decentralization is as important as every candidate’s stance on privacy. Today, the decentralization topic would need to include whatever their feeling on ASICs is. I assume since they are running for Zcash Foundation seat that they are ALL pro-privacy but I sure would like to know if any were not.
A year ago, i would have made the same assumption about everyone’s stance on decentralization, but today we cannot make that assumption.

Edited by root to remove parts breaking the CoC.


Hi everyone, there’s been a lot of discussion about specific and important issues. But one thing I think we all need to figure out is what the foundation does beyond those issues. What it does day-to-day. What it is we are actually trying to govern. This doesn’t entirely fit in with the discussion here, so
I shared my thoughts in another thread: Board elections, the foundation’s mission, and making usable privacy a reality
I’m interested in both your feed back and alternative proposals.


ASIC resistance brings decentralization (Atomic Swap implementation as well) and this is the part of essential requirements for public blockchain. Now we see that several addresses receive significant part of the mining profit:

To my mind concentration of mining (due to ASIC dominance) and the stake (due to centralized exchange dominance) in one or several hands violates the genesis pledge of any cryptocurrency.