Expanding Membership to the Zcash Community Advisory Panel

The Zcash Foundation is opening up the Community Advisory Panel to more voting members prior to the MGRC vote. Doing so will more accurately represent the community’s will in this historic vote to decide the outcome of 420,000 ZEC (approximately $36 million USD by today’s exchange rate).

After seeking input from the ECC, the Foundation decided it would open up the Panel to others who are serious and have extensive knowledge of the Zcash ecosystem. Expanding the CAP should be done carefully, taking into account widespread input, including from people who are far outside the set of potential-new-CAP-members.

Unless we expand the CAP, we are projecting a much lower turnout than in previous iterations. Here is a brief history of the panel:

In 2018 membership was open to all, while the Foundation reserved the right to vet the panel:

Each of these original members was vetted by a criteria that they have had some demonstrable public presence and/or contributed in some way to the ecosystem; both would work well in a system with a publicly verifiable ballot.

As a result of this vetting process, only two members were rejected. This initial Community Advisory Panel participation resulted in the voting of 2 new Zcash Foundation board members, and (more importantly) the nomination of the Zeal as the Zcash mascot, among other things. Turnout was 64 voters (89%)

In 2019 the panel was reassembled with the following criteria: (1) they had confirm their intent to participate, (2) they were allowed to optionally invite one new member of their choosing. The initial Community Advisory Panel resulted in 62 members, of which 48 responded to the poll, representing a turnout of 77%.

A second vote combined the users who participated in the forum vote (with accounts created before March 2019) with this group.

This combined Community Advisory Panel + forum user group voted on the final open questions of the dev fund, resulting in a draft version of ZIP-1014. Turnout was 88 voters (73%).

In preparation for the MGRC vote, the Foundation reached out to the current Community Advisory Panel. To date, 35 members stated their interest in participating after a week.

Additionally, on the Forum, there have been multiple requests over the past 4-months to open the Community Advisory Panel. The Foundation wholeheartedly agrees with this sentiment and believes we can more broadly increase participation legitimately prior to the September 1 candidacy deadline.

To do so, the Foundation proposes the following qualifications for a prospective CAP expansion:

(1) Any members of the current 62-member Community Advisory Panel who opt-in by September 1.

(2) An invite from a current member by September 1. The invite will be accepted when the current member emails antonie@zfnd.org by CCing the email and name of the new member. Current members are allowed to invite one (1) more member.

We believe opening up the CAP with this process is completely aligned with the community interest, and would result in a more effective and legitimate outcome based on past experience collecting community sentiment in a similar manner for the dev fund ZIPs.