In October 2020, the Zcash Founders’ Reward, which funds key development around the Zcash ecosystem through a ZEC block reward issuance, is set to expire. If that happens, 100 percent of the ZEC mined thereafter would go to ZEC miners.
Recently, the privacy project’s community has been discussing whether to let that expiration actualize or to renew the Founders’ Reward, also called the “Dev Fund,” in some form.
Currently, a portion of the Dev Fund supports the operations of the Electric Coin Company (ECC), which develops and maintains the main zcashd reference client. Other major Zcash stakeholders have pledged parts of their own cuts of the reward for funding the Zcash Foundation, a non-profit that supports the cryptocurrency’s ecosystem.
Accordingly, various groups have already published proposals respectively detailing what they think should happen for Zcash next fall, with many of the roadmaps offered so far committing to continue at least partially funding the ECC’s and Zcash Foundation’s operations.
The latest wrinkle in the ongoing Dev Fund debates arrived this week when Thesis, a cryptocurrency venture production studio, threw its hat into the ring with a proposal to offer technical services and Zcash development milestones in exchange for a future 25 percent apportionment of a new Founders’ Reward.
Thesis: We Can Push Zcash Ahead in “Multi-Chain World”
Thesis, which has previously made a name for itself in developing the Fold rewards app, the Keep confidentiality platform on Ethereum, and the Keep-powered “tBTC” Bitcoin sidechain for Ethereum, now wants to turn a major part of its focus to Zcash.
Per the venture studio’s newly released Dev Fund proposal, the group hailed Zcash as being primed to become the “privacy layer for the Internet of Money.” To help that happen, Thesis proposed helping maneuver Zcash into become a bona fide privacy layer for the two most popular cryptocurrency projects to date, Bitcoin and Ethereum.
As such, Thesis offered to lend business development, design, dev/ops, engineering, and legal services for the furthering of Zcash, with the price tag being one-fourth of a future Dev Fund.
Specifically, Thesis committed to working on 1) a Zcash sidechain pegged to Ethereum dubbed tZEC, 2) a Zcash Golang client, 3) bringing stablecoins and beyond to Zcash using User-Defined Assets, and 4) extending a Zcash and Ethereum bridge to the Cosmos network.
A More Private DeFi Via tZEC?
“Could trustless ZEC be coming to DeFi?” cryptocurrency investor and analyst Spencer Noon asked on Twitter in the wake of Thesis’s proposal to develop tZEC.
Noon seemed to hit the nail on the head with that question, as ZEC being able to more readily interact with DeFi, or decentralized finance, appears to be the major potential implication of a mature tZEC project. If tZEC is brought to fruition, it would allow DeFi users to have more advanced privacy options.
In responding to The Block research analyst Matteo Leibowitz asking on Twitter “what’s the value prop of tZEC without base-layer privacy on Ethereum,” Zcash creator and ECC chief executive officer Zooko Wilcox notably said back:
“You store your money in ZEC in zaddresses, and you move it over into tZEC tokens on Ethereum in order to lend it out to people and earn interest. You move the interest back into Zcash and store it in your zaddress.”
Such a dynamic would provide a new wrinkle in the Ethereum DeFi space, which stands to gain from a recent wave of rising though fledgling privacy solutions. In the very least, tZEC could prove to be a boon for the wider Zcash ecosystem in that it certainly would be a decisive step in the direction of making the privacy coin a privacy layer for crypto’s biggest projects.