Zcash Foundation Update — June, 2018

The following is cross-posted from the Foundation’s general mailing list: https://lists.z.cash.foundation/pipermail/general/2018/000016.html

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Hello everyone! June was a hectic month for the Foundation. In the best possible way — but I think we’re all looking forward to a calmer July. Anyway, here’s everything we did in June:


As background, hopefully you’ve read the official statement on ASIC resistance that we published in May: https://z.cash.foundation//blog/statement-on-asics/

Making good on our promises, in June the Foundation co-released a study conducted by University of Luxembourg researchers Alex Biryukov and Daniel Feher, which examined the presence of Equihash ASIC miners: https://z.cash.foundation//blog/asic-equihash-study/

Not long after that, the Foundation issued an open request to miner manufacturers, outlining the transparency we’d like to see from them: https://z.cash.foundation//blog/hardware-transparency/

We plan to circle back on the results of that request sometime in the coming months. Exact date TBD.


The Grant Review Committee invited 23 candidates to submit full proposals: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/GrantProposals-2018Q2/issues?q=is%3Aopen+is%3Aissue+label%3Ainvited-full

All but two have done so. Stay tuned for further decisions from the Committee!

Updates from the previous round of grantees will be shared in July. The format is TBD; this may be a Foundation blog post or it may be part of Eran Tromer’s program report. Perhaps both. Either way, we’ll let you know on Twitter and in the next edition of this email.


Our experimental community governance process went forward in June, thanks to heroic effort from Executive Director Josh Cincinnati. Here’s how the process worked, and the spirit in which we conducted it: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/Elections

The list of people who voted: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/Elections/blob/master/2018-Q2/governance_panel.md

And what they were voting on: https://z.cash.foundation//blog/governance-voting/

Many participants told us that the governance process was confusing. (The fact that I had to list three separate links above is indicative of our UX problems.) A handful of would-be participants said that it was not announced widely enough.

On the bright side, one person noted that they were impressed by how many people voted despite these issues! The 88.88% turnout is mostly thanks to Josh “getting out the vote,” so to speak, by repeatedly emailing Panel members.

On the even brighter side, we’ve already conducted detailed postmortems, both with the Zcash Foundation Board and a larger group. We have a good idea of what ought to be changed next time (although more feedback is still welcome). Expect much greater clarity and streamlining during our next round of governance!

The actual results were announced at Zcon0. You can review the full details here: https://vote.heliosvoting.org/helios/elections/cdc15aa6-6f75-11e8-b5e0-0e48ec97cebb/view

Foundation Chairman Andrew Miller got on stage to walk Zcon0 attendees through the proposals and results: https://youtu.be/m8gv8rvcV08

In a concurrent meeting, Naval Ravikant and Yan Zhu stepped down from the Board, while new members Ian Miers and Amber Baldet were unanimously approved to join. We are thrilled to have them on board (pun intended), and we are grateful to Naval and Yan for their service.

As for the other ballot proposals, the Foundation plans to release a detailed statement outlining our response(s) to the Panel’s decisions on Tuesday the 3rd (tomorrow). You’ll find it on our blog: https://z.cash.foundation//blog/hardware-transparency/

Our direction will be influenced by the Board discussion that took place on June 28th: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/ZcashFoundation/blob/master/board-documents/minutes/2018-06-28.md


The conference was a triumph (and it’s not bragging for me to say that, because personally I did close-to-zero planning). The whole Zcash community has taken the #BUIDL meme to heart, and we could not be more appreciative.

If you attended, hopefully you heard Operations Director Antonie Hodge congratulated several times, but she deserves at least one more shoutout. Thank you also to Paige Peterson from the Zcash Company, and of course our Executive Director Josh Cincinnati, for doing substantial work alongside Antonie. And on top of that, much love to the many speakers and workshop leaders who shared their expertise and wisdom!

Check out a few of the highlights on Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=zcon0&src=typd

All of the talks were livestreamed, and can be watched on our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL40dyJ0UYTLK507afWUMgzUYeh-i4qQWS

HD versions are coming soon. Ryan Taylor from the Zcash Company took ownership of handling the live video and he did a fantastic job!

Workshop notes are available on GitHub: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/zcon0-workshop-notes

Final Tidbits

The Freedom of the Press Foundation now accepts donations in $ZEC, and plans to support shielded transactions soon! https://z.cash.foundation//blog/freedom-of-the-press/

Check out the Zcash Community merch store: https://shop.zcashcommunity.com/

That’s all. Thanks for getting to the end of this extensive update. As usual, please ping me if you have any questions or comments!