Zcash has a FUD problem

Whatever you think of the tech, whatever you think of the developers, the ecosystem, the community, it’s very clear to any casual observer that the biggest problem ZEC currently faces is organized FUD campaigns. Take the r/zec subreddit. On the coattails of some rather impressive prices increases, briefly outpacing other privacy coins like Monero, the subreddit gets overrun by Monero shills creating threads with titles like, “Monero is Better than Zcash” and “Why I’m Not Investing.” The former is currently sitting at 54 upvotes when most threads in r/zcash are lucky to break 20.

So, a novice user notices the price increase and takes to reddit to do some research on this promising project they know nothing about, and they’re greeted with a “monero is better” thread right at the top of the ZEC subreddit with a massive amount of upvotes compared to almost every other thread put forward by the community. And worse, instead of axing the thread, which is completely reasonable considering the subreddit is about ZEC and the post is clearly inflammatory FUD, the mods leave up under the rubric of not “suppressing dissenting opinions.” I’ve never seen a crypto community fail to stick up for itself to the extent that ZEC fails to do so.

The FUD isn’t limited to r/zec it’s endemic in places like r/cryptocurrency, twitter, you name it. In a thread about ZEC transitioning to proof of stake with a fairly hefty downvote ratio, there are comments like "Still got nothing on Monero.“Zcash is awful, 20% dev tax on mining and now they want to move to pos?? So they already have the majority of the coins and now they will earn more just by having more? Also a trusted setup. Zcash isn’t even a privacy coin it’s a scam.” These comments are in almost every single zcash thread on r/cryptocurrency. Considering how astroturfed social media is, particularly reddit’s cryptocurrency sections, what’s being done to counter the organized FUD campaigns?


Could be an entire mini-series (.e.g “Fud Fighters”) for @37L to address.

But I totally agree. I’ve mentioned this before.


I ignore r/cryptocurrency as the mods actively engage in said FUD.
On other hand, is there any cryptocurrency that does not have FUD?


They all do but ZEC seems to be the only crypto project that takes it sitting down. Bitcoin has the maximalists. XRP has the XRP Army. I realize we want to feed the beasts of our better nature but if the other monkeys are hurling dung, you’ll still get excrement on you even if you refuse to throw back.


Counter point: we build the next reddit on Zcash. I’ve had a chip on my shoulder ever since they banned me from a subreddit I created (/r/lifeprotips) because I advertised my website I built for it.

Imagine earning actual ZEC + choose to have private or public conversations. I’m thinking UI wise it’d be something almost like https://chat.dog.

Maybe we can convince @brunchtime to build ZECPages v2 (after many unsuccessful attempts on my own to convince him).

Robocop voice:

We have the technology.


I think it’s long been the philosophy of zcash to build something so much better than anything else, that the detractors eventually just become obsolete. I think that may not be sufficient.

I vote we have a few people who’s full-time occupation is strategic analysis of FUD. I dunno’ just tip of the brain. I know some people have a lot of info on the topic. But what about an organized effort studying the problem (more data, less anecdote!)?

Let me put it this way:

Many have observed an anecdotal FUD problem. Do we have metrics on this? How much FUD is there? How many FUDders? How much impact?

Obviously some questions are easier than others, but I think now might be the right time to get some folks to focus on really analyzing the problem quantitavely.

Like what if we started with 1 full-time person analyzing negative content?


Yes, quantifying the problem can tell us the size of the problem that we face and the right kind of tools that we can use to combat them. Also, assuming the fud is organized by a single entity, we might be able to identify them and understand their motivation and methods.

Has there been any similar research on misinformation campaign like what happens against Zcash?


It’s a big problem. Even if we assume it’s not an organized FUD campaign. ZEC threads can’t even gain any traction on major social media platforms because topics are immediately set upon by “users” spouting the usual talking points (POW is plutocratic, DEV tax on mining, Trusted Setup). Coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, “buy Monero instead” is almost always stuffed somewhere in these diatribes. I remember reading somewhere about PR education campaigns promoting ZEC, but they’re a waste of resources if the threads get downvoted into oblivion or the detractors are so numerous (while the community sits there like a mouse) that no one believes them. If even the moderators of the zcash subreddit refuse to deal with transparent FUD threads like “Monero is better” we might as well throw our hands up and walk away.

I can offer an anecdote that it occurs on matrix.

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I think the simplest solution is to add moderators to the r/zec subreddit.

The Zcash Community on Telegram used to be overrun with trolls, FUD, and spam. We now have five dedicated moderators in different parts of the world who pretty much cover the channel 24/7. It’s made a huge difference, and the Telegram Community has become a reputable place to discuss Zcash.

My understanding is there are currently two moderators covering the r/zec subreddit. Both are doing their best to fight the FUD, but can’t dedicate more time because they have day jobs and also work on other Zcash projects.

Perhaps two or three people from the forum could volunteer to become moderators to help them out? If you’re interested, please DM me or comment below, and I will put you in touch.


This has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. Reddit is hardly the gold standard of anything (and is chock full of transparent shillers and fudders), but it’s how I first started looking into different cryptocurrencies and their ins and outs. I later branched out into better sources of information and more sophisticated conversations, like this forum here. But I imagine that many people likewise come to Reddit early on in their Crypto research.

So it saddens me to see the state of Zcash on reddit, both in r/cryptocurrency where Zcash appears to be nigh invisible even in conversations specifically around more privacy oriented blockchains. The r/zec subreddit troubles me too - I appreciate how difficult and time consuming it can be to moderate, and that the current mods are doing their best. But a lot of low quality content and outright FUD gets posted there and sits and sits. The most disturbing to me was a post that referred to Zcash as “a fork of Monero” that went unchallenged. Maybe its gone now, but it was there for days if not weeks.

I’m not completely illiterate but very far from an expert in coding/cryptography/mining hardware/algorithms but I’d be happy to help in some capacity with moderation. I have no issue at all with people being critical of Zcash but would very much like to keep conversations informative and reality-based.


This post is hopeful, but it also highlights a problem… volunteerism is unstable.

For example, this kind of attention would also be great for matrix… but who’s got the time?

Maybe the folks who are already doing the work on reddit, could provide tips for other platforms? I agree with @macro that this feels like a significant issue.


Maybe @Angst01 should receive some zec in return for dedicating time to reddit moderation?

I think a more general/sytematic approach, a full-time brain with an assigned “anti-FUD role” is called for. I am not aware of any careful characterization of the problem… that uncertainty in and of itself suggests that we need some dedicated minds.

Of course, there’s a confidentiality issue as well, depending on how motivated the FUDders are. I.E. are they reading this thread?

Anecdotally… this FUD feels… ubiquitous… it seems to show up in many different channels. Maybe not in Telegram, but that’s because of a specific moderation effort? That’s interesting data in its own right.

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I think it feels ubiquitous because it is. It’s almost impossible to find a ZEC thread on cryptocurrency reddit without a monero shill.

You could even make a game of it. How can you spot a zcash thread in r/cryptocurrency without reading the title? It’ll have a “Monero is better” comment somewhere in the thread.

Look at this one, first search result:

Title: Zcash ( ZEC ) missing here! (60% upvoted)
Body: “Hello. I’ve been thinking for a long time about how it is possible that in this subreddit does not mention ZEC at all.”
Top Comment: "Zcash is gone, not in a technological way but in a network way.

Projects like that are not bad at all, but they had their opportunity to shine and they failed. Also immagine a coin that wants to fight for the “digital cash” position, is that possible nowadays?

Monero is out there and is also very undervalued, but it works perfectly and it’s even better than Zcash; Bitcoin is out there, and its position is bery difficult to move because it’s both an asset and a way to transmit money. Also with the rise of the Lightning Network we saw the opportunities of having a very strong asset and ALSO a vehicle for value in the same protocol.

This is not a place for little projects without any strong distinctions. Ultimately Monero will stay and Bitcoin will obviously wipe his enemies in the field of Money…there is probably some room for things regarding gaming, cross blockchain projects and digital tokens, but no more room for digital cash."

Here’s another one:

Title: Zcash rallies following move to Proof-of-Stake (75% upvoted)
Comment: “As a big Monero believer I had no reason to own Zcash but now that it’s PoS I might need to start investing.”
Subcomment: “Pos is terrible for decentralization. 20% mining tax for developers and now they get free coins just for having them? Total scam. No one uses zcash by the way”

Title: A Deep Dive Analysis of ZEC (Zcash)- TL;DR: The Market is Undervaluing ZEC./my_bull_case_for_zec_follow_the_brains_follow_the/) (45% upvoted)
Shill post: “A privacy POW coin that can only be mined (rn) with ASICs? What does it give me compared to Monero (who even has a US-Bounty on it being cracked btw). Saying that ZEC will go to Bitcoin price levels - a mere x250 - is pure shilling. Sry. It certainly has it’s value, but it’s not THAT good.”

So what’s the strategy here? If you can hit zec threads early enough before they gain traction, they’ll never make it to the front page. No one will see them and for anyone curious enough to search for ZEC using reddit’s built in search, there’s the monero shill infodumping all the usual FUD. And they all sound exactly the same.


It’s the case that deceit is the animating principle behind these messages. I am sympathetic to the philosophy that “Truth Will Out”… but I am not opposed to… uhhh… letting people know where it might be found?

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Relevant previous thread:
Information Warfare


The Zcash Community Grants Committee is working on creating a “Global Ambassador Program,” which in its first iteration will be focused on growing the Zcash community and driving user adoption. If the program is successful, I hope we can eventually expand it to cover things like social network moderation. You’re right, being an administrator can be both time consuming and exhausting, and require significant effort. Compensation would incentivize community members to become moderators and reward them for their work.

In the meantime, I would love to see someone submit a grant proposal to police the various social networks and be assigned with an “anti-FUD role”. I’m not speaking for the committee, but it is something I would support. The attack vectors discussed in @joshs’s thread on Information Warfare are often used against the Zcash community, and I think we should make it a priority to better defend ourselves.


It’s unfortunate of course that this is happening, but in the long run, and given the traceability of Monero, this is a losing strategy.

Here is the dilemma… “Turn the other cheek” or “the best defense is an attack.”

What were they thinking when they decided to do it?

Let’s move on to Halo + Unified Addresses. And after that, when there are no arguments left to attack Zcash, I will willingly participate in a retaliatory FUD attack. Probably it will be very un-Christian, I’m sorry. But it will be fun.


I have nothing to add about what we should do or if we should do anything, but I do want to concur that I’ve seen a lot of incorrect/misleading — and in many cases probably dishonest — FUDs against Zcash over the years.

As a semi-aspie “Accuracy Maximalist”, seeing people say false things just makes me super uncomfortable. It makes my brain itch. But, about a year ago I gave up on my long-standing practice of arguing about it on social media and I switched tactics, which was whenever one of those well-trodden FUDs would come up, I would just say “Oh yeah, really? How about you install a Zcash wallet and we’ll see.”.

The results have been spectacularly good! I don’t know how many minds I changed in years of arguing — probably a few but not many — but I have seen a high percentage of really positive responses from people who try a wallet. Here is a post I just made about this on twitter: