Going into 2020, the biggest question for the backers of the Zcash (ZEC) privacy cryptocurrency was whether the Zcash Founder’s Reward would be renewed.
Set to expire in November 2020 if the community allows it, the Founder’s Reward has hitherto dispensed a sliver of ZEC block reward issuances in order to fund important development work around the Zcash project. If the reward isn’t renewed, all ZEC mined thereafter will go to ZEC miners.
Understandably, the matter of renewal or non-renewal stirred considerable discussion and debate among major stakeholders in recent months.
But with the results of a new Dev Fund poll now in, the Zcash community has seemingly put itself on course to launch a new, modified Founder’s Reward this fall.
Per the new Dev Fund vote, a majority of stakeholders have approved setting aside 20 percent of ZEC mining rewards for a new community development fund, with the remaining 80 percent all going to ZEC miners.
As for the breakdown of that 20 percent rewards allocation, a majority of stakeholders voted to dispense 8 percent to fund development grants, 7 percent to the Electric Coin Company (ECC), and 5 percent to the Zcash Foundation.
The ECC develops the zcashd reference client, while the non-profit Zcash Foundation helps to generally foster the privacy project.
If the parties involved accept that setup and an associated Zcash Improvement Proposal (ZIP) is put forward and approved, then protocol-backed development funding will remain in the Zcash community for years to come.
On the news of the Dev Fund poll’s results, Josh Swihard, the vice president of marketing and bizdev at the ECC, was optimistic:
“We would like to thank the Zcash community for its trust, encouragement, thoughtful engagement and for making its voice heard. We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue to focus our efforts on this important project and its potential to bring economic freedom and opportunity for all of humanity.”
Where Might the Grants Go?
With a portion of the new Dev Fund to be set aside for grants, expect more developers and projects to step forward and throw down the gauntlet when it comes to building and innovating for the Zcash ecosystem.
For example, might a portion of the grants be apportioned to an effort to bring smart contract-like functionalities atop Zcash? It’s in the realm of possibility.
w/ @ElectricCoinCo as an investor, I’m curious to find out more about the viability & likelihood of Agoric SCs as a layer in the Zcash stack…& w/ the new devfund having a % for grants, could the team receive more funds to concentrate on $ZEC?
— danthedecentralist (@decentralistdan) January 29, 2020
As another example, ECC’s aforemtioned Josh Swihard announced last fall that the Zcash community was eyeing an initiative to create a wrapped ZEC token that could be used on Ethereum and thus in the larger project’s blooming decentralized finance, or DeFi, sector.
This kind of effort, or ones like it, could be delegated or accelerated further by Dev Fund grant funding. It’s a dynamic that, if fruitful, could spell a brave new world for Zcash’s place in the wider cryptoeconomy.
“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,”
ECC CEO Zooko Wilcox has said of the possibilities that are nearing — soon, faster so with the coming grants.
On the heels of the funding vote’s results, traders optimistically swarmed to ZEC as buy pressure acutely pushed the coin up 10 percent to over $60 USD on January 29th.
That rise over $60 placed ZEC up 20 percent on the week and up 120 percent on the month, growth that’s made the privacy coin one of the better performing cryptocurrencies price-wise so far this year.
If the project’s backers can continue to organize, fund, and steward Zcash’s ecosystem effectively in the months ahead, then 2020 could end up being one of the best years on record for the privacy coin.