Hi folks! Rhett seems like a nice guy. I'd ask that people be nicer to each other on this forum. I don't like to read threads people insulting each other or accusing each other of bad motives. If you want to do that, I'm sure there are plenty of forums where that is the norm. Maybe reddit? Bitcointalk? Whatever, just not here please.
In my ever-so-humble opinion, the Founders' Reward is really good for Zcash. I even think it might turn out, in a few years, that the Founders' Reward was Zcash v1's best feature!
A lot of the criticisms of the Founders' Reward are sort of "backward-looking". The criticism is basically that the Founders' Reward (implicitly viewed as a cost paid by the users of Zcash to pay for the creation of Zcash 1.0) is overpriced. This would be a perfectly valid criticism if the Founders' Reward were a standard premine, where the money were given to the founders in the first block. (Although you could still quibble about whether it is overpriced or not. Pricing is hard.)
But, the Founders' Reward is not a premine, and I don't think of it as (primarily) a reward for previous work. It's not what users pay for the creation of Zcash v1.0, it is what they pay for the creation of future versions of Zcash over the next 4 years. The reason this is actually a realistic way to think about it is that we, the founders, haven't gotten any profit out of it yet, not until we start selling it, or using it to pay our bills.
(Which by the way is potentially about to start happening, to some fraction of the ~8600ⓩ that has already been allocated to the Founders' Reward, soon: https://z.cash/blog/founders-reward-transfers.html . I say "some fraction" because that ~8600ⓩ is going to get split up among a large number of investors, and they will probably have a variety of sell-vs-hold decisions. By the way, although https://z.cash/blog/continued-funding-and-transparency.html shows the way the 10% Founders' Reward pie slice gets sub-sliced, the first distribution of the Founders' Reward, which is due to happen soon, is going to the investors, because their sub-slice get distributed first.)
So, if everyone were to start valuing ZEC at 0 now, then we will have received 0 from the Founders' Reward! But the world would still have gained Zcash v1.0. So, by valuing ZEC at greater than 0, you are partially rewarding us for having created Zcash v1.0, but to a much greater extent you're incentivizing and resourcing us to create future versions of Zcash.
(Hm. I guess we shouldn't have named it "Founders' Reward" then, should we have! Should've been named "Founders' Fund".)
The more highly people value ZEC over the coming months and years, then the more incentives and resources the Zcash Company and the Zcash Foundation will have to improve Zcash. (Not to mention the other Founders — the investors and the individuals — who I hope will be inspired to launch on Zcash-improving projects of their own!)
So, we'll see how this plays out over the next four years. The worst outcome would be if people value ZEC highly, making the Founders' Reward/Fund into a rich stream of incentives and resources, but we fuck up and do a bad job of improving the protocol. That might spell the end of the idea of Founders' Funds!
But, if there is a positive feedback loop where the more improvements we make to Zcash, the more valuable our future stream of rewards is, and the more valuable our future stream of rewards is, the more improvements we make to Zcash, then people will look back on it as having been a great idea.
Anyway, I'm not telling you what to do. Buy or mine ZClassic if that feels right to you.
I'm happy about ZClassic's existence because it is a fallback in case Zcash implodes (in a way that doesn't also take out ZClassic). And, it is a semi-independent community, which means it adds a degree of redundancy (which means resilience) to the development effort. (Although they really need help! Rhett has been asking for multiple people to review the merge of Zcash 1.0.2 with ZClassic, and last I checked nobody had done the review. If you're going to invest some of your time and money into ZClassic, then you should also consider contributing in that way!)
Also because Rhett seems like a relatively nice person, and I value positive interactions with people that I interact with. It makes me happier and makes my life better, and I also believe that it makes for more effective cooperation, and increases our chances of succeeding at our overarching goals of liberating and empowering humanity before it is too late.
People using the ZClassic blockchain have already encountered one bug, and since I was hanging out in the ZClassic Slack, overhearing them talk about it caused me to realize that it might be a serious bug. That kind of thing is really helpful. And, they are talking about doing a stress test on the live ZCL mainnet. Very cool! Would love to see the results of that.
Okay, this has been pretty rambling. Hope I didn't say anything totally stupid or leave out anything important.