How I Voted in the 2018 Q2 Zcash Foundation Community Governance Panel Election

in zcash •  last year  (edited)

This article explains my reasoning behind my votes in the 2018 Q2 Zcash Foundation Community Governance Panel Election. My votes do not need to be public, but I feel there is value in explaining my opinion.

Zcash Foundation logo

Question #1: Vote for up to three candidates for the Zcash Foundation Board.

-> Amber Baldet
Arianna Simpsons
Boyma Fahnbullen
Howard Loo
Ian Miers
-> Lawson Baker
-> Moe Adham
Pavel Sokolov
Robert Viglione

I voted for the highlighted names above. I prioritized individuals who offered expertise that was not especially well-represented on the existing Zcash Foundation board. I also selected individuals who were willing to make true, meaningful steps towards making Zcash more private. Making decisions to promote community growth is relatively simple to get behind. Making a more difficult decision, such as transitioning to z-address only, is much harder.

While some of the candidates arguably have more experience with Zcash in the past, the board absolutely already consists of a significant number of members who have a significant history working on Zcash. I believe that the candidates I chose will help bring diversity to the board without compromising on its collective expertise.

Question #2: The Zcash community wishes to preserve ASIC resistance, discouraging the use of ASIC mining equipment in favor of GPU mining equipment. The Zcash Foundation should therefore adopt this as a priority.

-> Agree

This is a difficult question to answer, especially since it does not have any timeline associated with it. However, I believe that ASIC-resistance is a noble short to medium-term goal with the current centralized and manipulated ASIC manufacturing scenario that exists today. I do not necessarily believe that ASIC-resistance is a perfect long-term solution; however, I believe it is the best option for the Zcash Foundation to pursue at this time.

ASIC-resistance isn't only about preventing certain groups from getting more money. Mining is a critical component (perhaps the most critical component) of network infrastructure. If one group (or a coalition of groups) threatens mining on Zcash, then the security of the chain is threatened. It is absolutely within the scope of the Zcash Foundation to preserve the public infrastructure.

Question #3: The Foundation should commit to a plan for migrating the Zcash protocol to a new proof of work algorithm with a hard-fork planned between September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2020, with the following tasks: 1) Selecting a thermodynamically efficient (not ASIC-resistant!), currently unused proof-of-work algorithm 2) Hosting and building an open hardware specification for the selected PoW algorithm 3) Assembling a consortium of hardware companies to build hardware against this open specification, while encouraging upstream contributions 4) Building an open source, cross-platform, user-friendly, p2pool-esque piece of mining software for use with this hardware 5) Manage the hard fork upgrade process across users, wallets, exchanges.

-> Agree

Now you may be wondering: didn't you just agree to researching an ASIC-resistant algorithm? Why yes I did. However, I think that this other approach is better in the long-term. I appreciate that the team defined a two-year timeline, which I believe is reasonable.

Working to create a consortium of hardware companies that have access to a completely open set of hardware and software recommendations sets a high standard for all companies to start with. While I have significant doubts that ASIC manufacturers will push their most beneficial changes upstream, the incremental benefits they will experience have the highest likelihood of having a significant enough advantage to threaten the security of the network.

Question #4: The Foundation should be open to discussing changes to monetary policy and/or supply schedule.

-> Agree

The Zcash Foundation should be able to discuss this in my opinion. Zcash is already structured with significantly more centralized support than some other cryptocurrencies. While I do not advocate for aggressive changes that benefit these groups, I am open to discussions that could benefit the community.

Suppose the Zcash Company desired a (rather unlikely) reduction of their block reward to 5%. Will this conversation be off-limits? I don't think it should be.

Question #5: Any significant effort by the Foundation to develop or promote a cryptocurrency shall be directed at either the (1) Zcash blockchain; or (2) chain forks (chain splits) of the Zcash blockchain that approximately carry forward the percentage stakes of Zcash holders immediately before the fork (split) to the money supply in circulation immediately after the fork (split).

-> Disagree

The Zcash Foundation explicitly states in its registration documents and its mission that it will support other cryptocurrencies in addition to Zcash. Some of these quotes from the 1023, website, and GitHub are below:

The Organization will create and operate a website pertaining to cryptocurrency, the computing networks that power it, and privacy-preserving research and technologies that can be integrated into cryptocurrency software.

The Organization will educate the public regarding cryptocurrency through a variety of potential methods, including dissemination or publication of guides, manuals, videos, online libraries, blogs, and forums, among other possible resources. These materials will be made available for free on the Organization's website. These materials will provide education on a variety of topics, including the basics of cryptocurrency, the role and importance of cryptocurrency in society, future developments in cryptocurrency, and the need for ongoing development.

The Organization may also support, design, conduct and publish research, potentially in collaboration with academics and institutions,... related to cryptocurrency.

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.

A 501(c)3 non-profit, dedicated to building Internet payment and privacy infrastructure for the public good, primarily serving the users of the Zcash protocol and blockchain.

I understand that the Zcash Foundation primarily exists to support Zcash, but its documentation strongly suggests that it these efforts should not be restricted to Zcash. The Zcash Foundation should support other similar projects which could indirectly benefit Zcash. The projects should share some (or even most) of the same values as the Foundation (eg: anything listed here).

Disclaimer: I am more actively involved in another cryptocurrency project

Question #6: The Foundation should prioritize transitioning ownership of the Zcash trademark from the Zcash Company to the Foundation.

-> Agree

I believe that it would be better for the Zcash Foundation to have possession of these trademarks. However, do not take this as me signing off on a blank check to acquire these at any cost.

Question #7: And just for fun: The Foundation should endeavor to establish the official Zcash mascot as one of the following choices. You may pick up to two:

-> Zeal, a collection of Zebras
A Talking Horse

I think zeal is the appropriate choice here.

Zebras from Wikipedia

My ballot

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