Zcash Foundation Weekly Update • July 17 – 26, 2019

Cross-posted from the newsletter, you know the drill :sunglasses:

Happy Friday night, or whatever time you’re reading this! (Do people read email on Friday nights?) Welcome to your regular update from the Zcash Foundation.

ICYMI, last week’s update is available in the newsletter archive.

July 17 – 26, 2019

Zcash Development Funding

What should we do after the Founders’ Reward runs out in 2020? We’re still months away from a final decision, but it’s time to hash out the options.

Read this summary post to get up to speed. Right now, there are seven active proposals.

An active proposal has an advocate who plans to write a formal Zcash Improvement Proposal. Further guidance on navigating the ZIP process is forthcoming, thanks to the efforts of energetic community member @mistfpga!

No later than August 6, the Zcash Foundation will release a detailed evaluation of community proposals for sustainable Zcash development. Executive director Josh Cincinnati will explain the Foundation’s current thinking and plans for structuring community feedback.


Be sure to attend Justin Ehrenhofer’s livestream discussion! It will take place on Sunday, August 4, 11:00am CDT (16:00 UTC).

I would like to invite Zcash community stakeholders to participate in a livestreamed video discussion on the future of Zcash’s block reward after ~November 2020. I have prepared a sophisticated financial model, so we can test various burn rates, block reward rates, and price volatility for different entities. […]

This session will allow various members of the Zcash ecosystem to express their point of view on how Zcash block reward funds should be allocated. We hope to answer questions and make this whole process more transparent.

The livestream is already scheduled on YouTube.

Collaborations and Grants

The Foundation was delighted to announce the early results of an FPGA acceleration project!

The achievement was covered on Crypto Briefing and Messari.

Our hope is that it will lead to faster and more efficient node syncs and lead to broader zk-SNARK adoption, beyond just Zcash.

— Josh Cincinnati, executive director of the Zcash Foundation


The Foundation funded a comprehensive Zcash services dashboard for automated monitoring of the Zcash ecosystem’s technical backend. We contributed 30 ZEC as a bounty via ZF Grants.

Prastut Kumar and his team prepared an exemplary application and responded wonderfully to feedback and suggestions. (Check the discussion tab underneath the grant description.)


2018 grant recipient Solar Designer provided a closing report on his ProgPoW work:

The project validated ProgPoW, improved understanding of its strengths and weaknesses, provided a plain C implementation of it, slightly cleaned up the upstream GPU implementation, and identified areas for further tweaks. Overall, ProgPoW is viable, but its use of GPU compute resources is far from optimal and its biggest advantage over Ethash isn’t its “programmability” but rather its different than Ethash’s reads from the DAG.


The Human Rights Foundation posted the latest installment of its series on privacy and cryptocurrency, which was funded by the Zcash Foundation.

In this edition, Eric Wall explains why “privacy coins” exist, how they work, and the differences between the most popular ones.

The goal of privacy coins is to leverage cryptography in clever ways to make the information on the network and the ledger entries unintelligible to an observer, while still allowing anyone to validate that all the rules of the currency are being followed — and putting all that into a scalable, secure, trust-independent and user-friendly format. Constructing such a system is currently a developing field of research where no path is free of compromise. If devising such a scheme was trivial, it is not unlikely that bitcoin would already exhibit these characteristics today.

“Privacy and Cryptocurrency, Part III: Should You Use a Privacy Coin?”

The article addresses Monero, Zcash, Grin, and Beam, with comments from Francisco “ArticMine” Cabañas of Monero, Ian Miers of Zcash, Daniel Lehnberg of Grin, and Guy Corem of Beam.


“Money on the Edge: Designing for Extremes in Venezuela” describes the Open Money Initiative’s pilot research. The Zcash Foundation is a sponsor of OMI.

Zcash Ecosystem Highlights

Coda’s testnet is live :tada:

Zero-knowledge proofs are a mind-boggling cryptography tool, so I wrote an intuitive explanation to break it down.

Vanishree Rao, Coda engineer at (O)1 Labs

Read about ZKPs on the Coda website :point_right:


Back in 2016, @mineZcash explained the point of it all:

The choice to use your own information how you want is the entire reason why we need an online currency that is similar to using cash in real life.

“Why we need Zcash”


Lastly, a question: Should this newsletter have an official name other than “Zcash Foundation Weekly Update”?

If so, what do you think of Zeal Weekly? Or… the Weekly Zeal. (A zeal is a group of zebras, AKA the Zcash Foundation’s mascot.)

If you have an opinion or a suggestion — especially a suggestion! — please reply to this email :nerd_face:

Another way to share your thoughts is by sending a shielded memo to this Zcash address: zs1xaecful95zzy37xs0jztesg7axtt7xxv402rsjgphrj68vj9aka9hfgm4dkqnmyz45d75k65w6z

(Do not send donations! Currently, the Foundation is not equipped to process them. If you send a shielded memo, use the minimum amount of ZEC necessary. Consult the “Social Good” section of Pay With Zcash to find nonprofits that accept ZEC donations.)

That’s all, talk to you soon! As always, questions and feedback are welcome.


This can be zero ZEC! A zero-value Sapling output is just a dummy output, which the protocol allows for padding purposes, but also enables just sending memos to shielded addresses (at the cost of the transaction fee).