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  • Zooko Wilcox believes that the Electric Coin Company (ECC) is vital for Zcash’s decentralization and stability.
  • Zcash’s Founder Reward has been a bone of contention within the community.

Zooko Wilcox, the founder of Zcash (ZEC) and the CEO of Electric Coin Company (ECC), has appealed for the creation of a new “Dev Fund.” This fund will support and enhance the future operations of Zcash. The move follows an ongoing debate over the continuation of the project’s “founder’s reward.” This issue took center stage at Zcon1 and even drove a part of the zcash community to branch off into Ycash, a new network. Wilcox wrote in an open letter to the community:

“I hope that the community will decide to renew the ‘Dev Fund’ structure, allocating coins from future block rewards for core support functions such as software development, user support, business development, regulatory and government outreach, security auditing and monitoring, educational and marketing initiatives, new protocol development, and so forth.”

He also hoped that the Zcash community will seek to “hire” the ECC to carry out these tasks. A team of investors initially bootstrapped Zcash to the tune of $3 million rather than taking the ICO path of fundraising.  

The project was also set up with the plan that over the first four years, 10% of the total 21 million token supply of ZEC would be distributed to the founders (the founders’ reward) and miners. Wilcox said that the investors were given a “small slice” of ECC’s equity.  

According to the letter, the original Dev Fund arose when Wilcox and Nathan Wilcox (co-founder and CTO of ECC) got the company to buyback a part of the founder’s rewards to be used for funding various operations. Wilcox and the other founders also kept aside a share of their rewards to set up the Zcash foundation. He wrote:

“We decided to do this because we thought that having an independent entity from the Electric Coin Company would be an important part of the Zcash community’s decentralization and stability in the long run.”  

Wilcox also feels that once Zcash ends the founder’s reward in October 2020, a new means for funding development will be required:

“I opted for the initial Dev Fund to sunset itself, so that in the future, if Zcash were a success and a community were to grow up to support it, that community would have to collectively decide what to do next.”  

A possible solution could be to allocate all the new ZEC that’s issued to the network’s miners. This will create a new Dev Fund with a percentage of new coins issued. Wilcox stated:

“This decision isn’t about the Electric Coin Company. If all of the employees of the Electric Coin Company were to board the same airplane tomorrow to go to an off-site meeting, and that plane were to crash with no survivors, the Zcash community would still be facing the exact same choice: shall we use some of the tens of millions of dollars that we’re spending on issuance every month to fund core support functions like protocol development, software support, security auditing, government outreach, educational initiatives, and business development, or shall we instead send 100% of that money to miners?”

The Zcash Foundation is expected to publish a methodology for making a community decision soon. ECC will also publish a blog post stating how it will assess proposals in the next few days.