Zcash foundation board of directors


#21

Thanks for these questions @boxalex @garethtdavies and for the detailed recap Josh. Just going to respond to a few things to give an indication of my thinking:

  • I think we should continue to incorporate more decentralized governance into the Zcash Foundation’s operation. This can include, but is not limited to, throwing things to a community vote of some kind for input or for ratification, as we did last year. I definitely think we should use the Zcon1 opportunity to do the next iteration of this experiment and have another election/vote, but it isn’t planned out yet. Things are more stressful and difficult when they happen infrequently, so we should learn to do this even more frequently than once per year. And if we feel confident in that process we could move them into the bylaws so they become binding as well, not just advisory.
  • I’m also in favor of more transparency, even if just ideologically, and think we should do a more radical job of this even beyond what is ordinary for a non-profit. I’m looking forward to the upcoming report and also to view keys for this in the future.

The future of Zcash in the year 2020
#22

This will not work when transparent addresses are deprecated on the Zcash network, so migrating to shielded addresses is inevitable. I would personally prefer the Foundation to move to shielded addresses sooner rather than later, because this would be an excellent dogfooding opportunity for improving the implementation and usability of viewing keys.


#23

Thx for replying and sharing the vision of more transparency.

Part 1:

Today i have a bit more time and will dig a bit more into the whole “foundation” principles and make some suggestions if you don’t mind. I think it would befefit the whole community as well as the foundation itself, even more when the time comes to decide if the founders reward should be extented or not.

First of all i checked other foundations right now. One of the first that showed up on google was the “National Park Foundation”. The reports that are available online to the whole public include even filled IRS 990 tax forms with exact wages and salleries every member of the foundation received, see screenshots below.

In my opinion that’s the way to go. There should be full transparency how much funds/money is used for what and when and why. @acityinohio , the argument of full privacy for employess or people receiving funds from the foundation should be less weightened than the need of full transparency as a non profit foundation funded by others (Zcash co and miners which at the end generate the founders reward from their mining activity. No idea if the foundation receives donations as well).

I suggest that the Foundation:

  • set up a subpage where ALL reports are posted, linked and available for download like in the screenshot below.
  • add on this page a subcategory for grants, approved and declined ones, with exact amount of funds used for a given grant. This should include contractors/independent contractors as well in case there are such.
  • a list of the wallet adresses the Foundation controls/uses. The foundation in my opinion should use ONLY T-adresses, now and in future. Using shielded adresses doesn’t add much to transparency, which should be priority #1 in my opinion.
  • In case ZEC was used for a given payment, the exact date of exchange should be added as well as the value in USD at the date of exchange.



#24

Time will show when the T-adreses get outdated. Until than i’am all for using T-adresses in the name of transparency, especially for the foundation.


#25

noticed we still don’t have an official wallet on the official website, or video explaining how to use the wallet. apparently the foundation found the time/money to support an XMR conference, tho. if was in control think i would’ve replaced you early 2018 for not having an official wallet. you claim the foundation’s purpose is to build longterm value for the ecosystem, but also say you don’t care about investor sediment. do see how that could be viewed as contradictory statement? unsure how an official wallet wouldn’t be a priority. the foundation has watched the product you represent fall in value by +90% with no end in sight. my original statement “unsure zcash foundation adds significant value to the ecosystem” remains unchanged. have a good one!


#26

@boxalex I think that more transparency than exists now for the Foundations operations is a good thing and look forward to the upcoming report from Josh. But I think the example of what you posted from the National Parks Foundation, and only using T-addresses is a bit too much.

This is cryptocurrency and absolute transparency for every ZEC spent could have negative side effects that we couldn’t forsee.

Many Developers who work on open source projects could potentially be doxxed when they wished to remain as anonymous. Which could have a chilling effect on who wants to work on the project.

For example I believe that’s why Radix42 (the developer of WinZEC) didn’t apply for a second Foundation Grant due to the reporting requirements.

Or another example, what if Zcash Foundation put up a bounty for an iOS app and someone at Apple saw it and want to contribute in thier free time. A developer for a major company like that could be less likely to help if they knew thier personal details would be posted on the internet for everyone (and thier employer) to see.

And, let’s not forget that the world knowing that you hold large amounts of cryptocurrency can make you a target like what has happened to Bo Shen.

I think there is a need of transparency for accountability but there is an important balance to consider for privacy of those interacting with the Foundation.


#27

I’m responding to several different comments and points in this post. Up top, for convenience, here’s a link to the Zcash Foundation’s 990 for 2017: https://www.zfnd.org/about/incorporation-docs/Zcash%20Foundation%202017%20Form%20990.pdf


@boxalex, you’re not interpreting that form correctly. It doesn’t list all employees.

Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors

I wasn’t able to find a definitive source for the National Park Foundation’s number of employees, but there are 100+ listed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-park-foundation/people/

Their audit has much a bunch of detailed financial information: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_audit/20316020171

As it happens, the Zcash Foundation is working on an audit of 2017 (Antonie Hodge, the Operations Director, is handling it). It’s a complex process made more complex by needing to explain cryptocurrency and the like to auditors. We’ll start the 2018 audit in July. We’re not obligated to publish audits — the 990 fulfills our legal transparency requirements, to my knowledge — but we’re likely to do so in some capacity. [Edit for clarity: Not a promise.] @SPinSin

I would add, as a personal opinion, that it’s not fair to compare a charity formed in 2017 to one that was founded in the 1960s :stuck_out_tongue: The National Park Foundation is 50 years older.


@kek, in response to:

the foundation has watched the product you represent fall in value by +90% with no end in sight.

If you look at the “Historical ROI” snapshots from Messari, the one-year metrics are:

It’s a secular trend. (I also agree with Josh’s comments re: investor sentiment.)

I added a note about zec-qt-wallet to our homepage so it’s easier for people to find.


Regarding transparency in general, with respect to the Zcash Foundation:

  • Transparency is good, but sometimes it has downsides that need to be weighed against other priorities (like getting things done).

  • @boxalex, you made a good point about wanting to see where the money is and where it goes. Some of that detail will be present in Josh’s upcoming post, and our legal reports when those are ready to be released. I like the suggestion of a finances page on the website that consolidates the information that’s spread across various sources (blog posts, forum posts, etc.) and holds our official legal records as well. That’s something I can put on my to-do list for the next few months.

  • I don’t personally care about disclosing my salary — I make $80k base + benefits — but I’m not the only type of person we’re trying to hire and integrate into the Foundation. People who are interested in privacy advocacy tend to care about their own privacy, so naturally they want to decide what information they disclose to the public at large. We are constrained by regulations and need to declare some employees’ salaries, but doing so across the board would be detrimental to our hiring efforts. Basically, what Shawn said.

  • Josh spent several months laying the groundwork for partnerships like the one with Parity. It takes a long time to coordinate these things and finalize legal agreements. We can’t disclose tentative projects while they’re being negotiated. Also, expecting a nonprofit to move as fast as a startup will lead to disappointment in nearly all cases :wink:


All of that said, I’m glad that you fine people care about what we’re doing and want us to do a good job! Community oversight and critique are useful. It pushes the Zcash Foundation to improve as an organization.


#28

I just wanted to point out that Privacy and Transparency aren’t antonyms and it’s totally possible to provide the latter without letting go of the first. This expands to more than “addresses” and into other areas as well.


#29

hopefully everyone realizes “developing value” is intertwined with “boosting investor confidence”. you cannot have one without the other. i’m not saying the foundation should try to artificially pump the price just so keks can make more loot.


#30

Yeah, that’s fair. With respect to investors, I see it working like this:

  1. We help to make Zcash more usable and accessible (through wallets and other types of ecosystem development).
  2. People start using Zcash, which entails buying and selling it, or using it to purchase goods and services, or accepting and making donations.
  3. Increased demand for Zcash makes the price go up — if eventual usage-based market volume sustains a price higher than the current one. Which does seem likely to me.

But I expect all of the above to take years or decades.


#31

@sonya let me share what is going on in my mind, zcash is listed in most exchanges 70+ as per coin market cap count which is more than any other privacy coin, even reputed trusts like grayscale and galaxy digital have included zcash in their portfolio, but still the price has not picked up against peers, overall market is down but zcash is down more, I think the reason is that Zcash has the highest inflation rate of around 46% and for that reason aggressive marketing to increase adoption is a “necessity” at least for the next few years until the inflation rate comes down to net+ levels, if we don’t do that price will keep slipping for next few years and might have a limited shoot up even if there is a bull run. Maybe someone from foundation can share the marketing efforts planned for 2019 and community can provide inputs. I see most of your activities are planned on the west side of the globe any plans for the east side?

Seperately, I do not agree with your comparision with other cryptos as those have given exteremely good returns historically(3+ years) and it’s unlikely zcash can reach there in short to medium term. Ycan prove me wrong by sharing what can be the catalyst to make that happen…:slight_smile:

I for one will not blame zcash foundation for any loss in my investment as one has to do proper research before investing any money and most fail to do so, I learnt about supply inflation and it’s impact on price only later and my future investments will take that into consideration.


#32

You should read more into what the ZcashFoundation actually does before you associate it to BTCs price fluctuations, just sayin https://www.zfnd.org/about/


#33

I’m seizing the opportunity to say a few things about this.

It’s not Zcash Foundation’s job to increase the price of the assets. I’m as frustrated as you, but such is life.

Most (new?) users seem to have the opinion that heavy marketing is due, and hoping to conceive their real intent to profit with this (which is fair), use the jargon of increasing “adoption”. Even if an increase in adoption, nowadays, would provide a positive momentum (it won’t and this is a myth for now), it would be extremely dangerous to do so with those users. Zcash isn’t ready to be adopted as of right now for multiple reasons (lack of SPV, lack of wallets, lack of HD addresses). With all that said, I do appreciate an effort to increase general awareness of privacy problems and possible solutions (us!), mainly within the skilled communities that could help our growth.

Notwithstanding, I say (and have said) that the supply curve was a mistake. Adopting Bitcoin’s schedule was mentally easier and familiar to all involved but it shows the lack of economic (in search of a better word) vision when creating the project. I understand the challenges of creating a “fair” distribution on a project relatively unknown for the world, but 2008 Bitcoin is a completely different world to 2016 Zcash. Various members of Zcash Ecosystem highlights the importance of leaving theoretical results and actually impacting people’s lives for the better, but I’m afraid we are a few good years from that. People need private and trustless money, and even if Zcash’s technological side were ready (it isn’t), I sadly couldn’t recommend people to deeply use it as I do today with Bitcoin because it simply doesn’t make sense.

holy cow I went off-topic here, sorry!
please reply in private or create a new topic, i’d love to talk!


#34

Sorry if it feels like i’am asking zcash foundation to increase the price of zcash. I’am just pointing at the fact that inflation is high and odds are against zcash adopters.

We cannot take returns out of the equation for individual investors as zcash has had a rather generous founders reward and terms that have made early investors profit, so initial intent has been “for profit” please correct me if my understanding needs to be tuned.


#35

You are right, I have also gone off topic here we can move this discussion to another appropriate thread.


#36

It was only an example what i personally await from a foundations transparency. In my opinion every institution that is non-profit should be glass clear transparent. IF someone isn’t ok with rules and transparency that should apply to foundations and non-profit organizations in princip i think working for a corporation and profit driven business is better for them.
Never forget that the funds come from the mining community and these should have full awareness what happens with the funds, what they are used for, who and how much is paid for them. Especially when we are talking now/soon to extend these funds…

You mention some valid concerns and arguments, no doubt, but i thin there is allways another side of the coin as well.

I’am not really sure if i feel comfortable with anonymous devs, actually i would avoid them thinking about it. Not long ago ZEC had a market cap of over 1B US$, saying it straight. I prefer devs that are responsible and known when working on a 1B+ US$ project and not some anonymous dev guy. But that’s just me, others might have a different POV on this.

While i’am all for WinZec and Radix42 and have some understanding for his situation the responsibility towards investors in ZEC should be priority. The whole situation wouldn’t even had occured than back IF the foundation has given the wallet issue highest priority allready from day 1.

That’s an valid argument. But there is as well a counter argument. How do we know if the funds are really used for this guy but not for something else, for someone else, and so on?

This risk is always present for everybody having a high level investor position in crypto. Transparency doesn’t add anything to it in my opinion. IF i’am concerned about a possible target at ZEC than it would be Zooko, just logical.

As said allready, in my opinion a foundation should, if not must, be absolutly transparent. IF this can’t be granted for whatever reason than maybe foundation isn’t the right legal form that was choosen. With having about 95% of all the around 5000 crypto projects scam like, ripp offs, fails, whatever, i think it’s absolutly necessary to be transparent here, acting responsible with all the funds the foundation gets. After a given dev, member, director got their funds it’s out of interest for me personally what he does, but all incoming/outgoing funds should be transparent & visible for anybody interested.

As said, just my personal view. Others might have a total different Point of View on this matter and that’s absolutly ok. I’am for from away that only my view is the right and best one!


#37

sorry, i’am not familar with US tax forms. I had the impression that these are the paid members as i saw as well another section on the form where a lot of members are listed as volunteers with less working hours. I might be wrong, but i had the impression that these are the ones that are directly in the foundation involved with wages and salleries and compensations, not?

I didn’;t search too much. I could think about 2 possibilities. First one is that these are volunteers not uncommon at animal and park foundations, 2nd one is that the foundation itself has a sub foundation where these workers are attached and the national park foundation is only the head foundation. Not to important either i think.

Maybe, but if you are asking for extension of the founders reward it would be a good thing to do a bit more than the legal requirements in my opinion or there might be a good chance that the community voting at some time won’t agree with the extension. Something we should have in mind, not? To convince the community that extension funding further the last thing that should be done is providing FULL informatioon for what the funds are used and spent. At least i personally would vote more in favour of an extension if i see black on white that funds are used good and more against it if have neither evidience nor proof what they have been used for…

Actually that’s in favour for the ZEC foundation as you can get experience from allready established foundations and their transparency and/or organization without having to event the wheel again which leaves even a lot of room for improvements.
I could research another foundation that is younger than ours, but in case it would be way better organized with less funds available maybe ( i didn’t and don’t plan ), it would be leave our at a good light either in such case…

I’am not going into detail why what caused to have ZEC being worse than others, not in this thread. But it should be in the interest of the foundation to keep ZEC price up as well. The lower ZEC goes, the less US$ funds the foundation has/gets… Every gained 0.01% is in favour of the foundation as well and i’am sure here and there are things that the foundation could improve or on a more negative view, have missed, the wallet issue is the best example to be mentioned here!.

Thx. It’s really unorganized at the moment. As seen on the example having financial matters concentrated on a single page makes things way more easy for everybody.

Fair enough. But as i replied allready to Shawn, than work at a foundation isn’t maybe the best way to go. If someone wants to be part of open source anonymously, so it be, but as soon as payments are involved privacy has to step back here in my opinion as far as it concerns to disclose all needed data that the foundation can proof the fund are used for exactly a given grant, whatever.

Absolutly agree on this one, no doubt, but there should be NO burden to make them right afterwards public and that’s what it is about. I have full understanding that in such cases details at the time of dealing and finalizing details should held secret, perfectly ok, but after finalization all information should be released.

Happy to see that at least some people in charge see critique as a usefull part. That’s not always the case. Me personally is a huge believer that critique can lead to way better results than being uncritiqued. I admit i was allready thinking about quieting posting here on the forum for several reasons, one for sure that critique doesn’t seem to be widely accepted. Happy you commented this.


#38

For the record, the Foundation hasn’t made any such request! Just clarifying that for anyone else reading :slight_smile:


#39

Very true! I appreciate critique offered with courtesy and good faith, even when I disagree with it. (To be clear, your critique is obviously sincere. I’m adding the caveat because sometimes we get tireless trolls, and I don’t appreciate them.) It’s one of the various reasons why I’m grateful for this forum and its relatively high signal-to-noise ratio!


#40

I hope you excuse me using your disclosed salery for some elementary calculation that worries me a bit. I hope it’s ok to use it.

Foundations Part of Founders Reward: 1.44% of the monetary base (over four years).
Calculated into ZEC for 4 years: 302,400 ZEC
Value in USD at 50US$: 15,120,000 US$ (estiminated)

Foundation Directors/Empployes: 8
Base salery + benefits/other: estiminated 100,000 US$ per year estiminated
Saleries/Benefits for all Foundation members per year: 800,000 US$ estiminated
Saleries/Benefits for all Foundation member 4 years: 3,200,000 US$ estiminated
this wold mean without increasing the courrent member staff further, while my guess is it’s planned to extend the staff. An estiminated salery/benefits of 5,000,000 US$ might be closer to the end result.

Other Expenses i found:
Zcon0, estiminated Zcon1, Zcon2, Zcon 3, each ~360,000 US$ = ~1,500,000 US$

Only with these expenses listed here for 4 years half of the Foundation funds would be/are spent allready. In a worst case scenario if ZEC price further goes down there is a good chance these expeneses would make up even more as 1/2 of the funds like 2/3.

This calculation is far from correct and i’am well aware of it as no previous exchange rates are included, nor future exchange rates are known. Neither the exact expenses for officies, benefits, exact saleries and many other expenses are known. The idea behind it is just to have an estiminate overview on how much funds are available over 4 years for grants and other matters beside saleries and zcon’s…

Just some side notes that fit into the discussion here and as i had some time to read into the foundation site:

Our Values

  • Transparency. We are committed to being accountable to the community. Our policies, significant decisions and their rationale, and software shall all be publicly visible. We will strive to accurately and accessibly communicate the security properties of Zcash and of proposed changes.

As this is in context with transparency and one of the values of the foundation i indeed suggest to disclose all saleries, benefits and similars the foundation members (Directors, employees) receive.

Humility. The Foundation will not seek to place itself in a position of control over the Zcash community. The Foundation will not hold privileged information about Zcash transactions (beyond what is observable by anyone from the public blockchain or disclosures outside the blockchain), nor hold or create capabilities for acquiring such knowledge.

Isn’t the wish the Foundation using Z-adresses contrary with this foundation statement? Leave alone going full Z-adress useage.

Cognizance. We strive to make well-informed and well-reasoned decisions, recognizing the vast body of knowledge offered by research and the experience of other cryptocurrencies.

I personally would like to see more publicity and details as well as availability of the information made on taking decisions.

Innovation. The Foundation shall support research and development to improve Zcash. It will strive to incorporate such progress into the Zcash protocol and software, while mindful of stability and security.

How many funds have been alocated into innovation so far? My understanding for innovation is that it’s something new, no something recycled, regnerated and similar. Maybe my English isn’t the best of course, so i would appreciate some more information about this extremly important point in my opinion. As well as why has so far 0 research be done into harmony, hybrids, POS like designs, whatever? I have asked for sure about 10 times so far if any researches have been done about harmony, blossom, whatever, never got an answer. After reading carefuly this point i came to the conclusion that the foundation should have some responsibility as well on doing unbiased, eventually 3rd party expert research, not?

Cooperation with other cryptocurrencies. No “coin” is an island unto itself, and the success and acceptance of cryptocurrencies are intertwined. We will strive to collaborate with other cryptocurrencies’ communities in areas of mutual interest.

With which other crypto currencies are we cooperating and what ar the gains so far. Don’t get me wrong, this makes absolutly sense and i’am all for it, but i’am missing any information about it. Actually i was going to suggest something similar “Crytpo Alliance” or “POW Alliance” as i saw some days ago that many POS coins are member of the so called “POS Alliance” to fix together issues and/or share important matters/results/whatever…Makes just sense if we had some kind of Alliance as well with some other currencies to share even costs for researching/fixing/innovate different matters, not?

Decentralization. We will strive to make the Zcash protocol and network decentralized, avoiding the placement of trust or granting of capabilities to any single party (assigned or emergent). Whenever current technology does not achieve perfect decentralization, we will seek to minimize, monitor and mitigate centralization.

That’s the point i’am most pesimistic. I even won’t comment it at all after i’am pretty sure that the majority of hashpower and mining pools are china based nowadays…

Inclusivity. The Zcash ecosystem consists of many subcommunities, such as end-users, developers, miners, exchanges, traders and researchers, in many countries and cultures. They should all be given a voice within the Zcash community and the Foundation’s deliberations.

This one sounds good, but how is each of these subcommunities given a voice and even more important how has each subcommunity access to the other subcommunities voice/thoughts/whatever. For example on the forum here we write mostly miners, some traders and some devs (when they are in good mood) and that’s it all over. I admit i have no idea how the average joe end user thinks about a given problem and i doubt the average joe end user never will read this post here. Same goes for researchers, exchanges, mining pools, whomever. This should be somehow improved in my opinion to get together more people and share more thoughts, experiences, suggestions, whatever…

Just some thoughts …