Zcash Foundation Explains ‘Compromise’ Path to Funding ZEC Development

Zcash investors, community members and its flagship firms – Electric Coin Company (ECC) and the Zcash Foundation – undertook an arduous governance refresh in 2019. The process, which ECC CEO and zcash co-founder Zooko Wilcox described as “emotionally painful” at times, culminated in an approved funding structure beginning in October 2020.

Democracy is tough – maybe even more so for decentralized crypto networks.

We asked Zcash Foundation executive director Josh Cincinnati about building sustainable ways to fund the development of zcash, a privacy-preserving cryptocurrency some view as a public good.

“The thing that really matters most when you are talking about funding public goods … is to establish legitimacy in the process. Everyone in the community, the people who use your protocol, are bought into the process that decides these things”, Cincinnati said.

As CoinDesk reported at the time, the zcash founder’s reward was set to end four years after the cryptocurrency’s launch in 2016. Wilcox said in a Medium article in August that he planned to raise the issue again once the reward was retired.

At ETHDenver earlier this month, Wilcox and Cincinnati pledged mutual support of Zcash Improvement Proposal (ZIP) 1014, which will go into effect around October 2020. Under the new fund, both firms will receive a portion of 20 percent of the network’s mining rewards set aside for funding the cryptocurrency’s development.

“It seems like a very good compromise that still enables the ECC to continue receive funding and the Zcash Foundation to receive funding”, Cincinnati said, “but it requires both organizations to adhere to pretty strict accountability requirements.”

UNICEF’s Crypto Fund Plans to Pay for Internet in Public Schools

Plans are in place to allow non-profit UNICEF to use cryptocurrencies donated by the Ethereum Foundation and other organizations to fund internet connectivity in public schools around the world.

Announced at ethereum developer conference Devcon, UNICEF unveiled a cryptocurrency fund to receive, hold, and distribute bitcoin and ether donations .

Making the first contributions to UNICEF’s Crypto Fund, the Ethereum Foundation donated 1 BTC and 100 ETH, collectively worth roughly $25,000 USD.

According to UNICEF blockchain lead Christina Lomazzo and head of UNICEF Ventures, Chris Fabian, the funds will initially go towards providing and improving internet access in public schools around the world as part of an ongoing initiative called Project Connect.

“Paying for school connectivity, seeing a light go on for a school on the Project Connect map and being able to record that on a ledger … this gives you a full cycle of accountability”, said Fabian, adding:

“I don’t know many other things that can show the power of a truly distributed financial system in that way.”

Already the governments of Sierra Leone, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kenya have shown interest in Project Connect and its blockchain-based system for internet connectivity payments.

Digital payments, according to Fabian, are the way of the future for UNICEF and its parent organization, the United Nations.

“We spent the last two years building up this capacity of setting up a crypto fund”, said Fabian. “We’re sharing that capacity with other UN organizations so they don’t have to the same legal and finance work we did.”

Stressing the need for social-impact orgs to adapt to current technologies, Fabian added:

“We need to build up the muscles that will allow us to be ready for the future.”

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