[ZIP] ZKFair is broken. Here is how to fix it

I want to preface this document saying none of this is an attack, none of it is personal. The goal is to make ZKFair successful, and if you want to do that, you need to address its shortcomings head on. This proposal aims to do that and nothing more.

The most important thing in crypto is narrative. It has been shown time and time again. $DOGE blew up not because it was innovative, but because Elon Musk talked about it. $GME blew up because of a subreddit. I’m not suggesting we follow the route of either of those, ZKFair is far more useful than both, however we do need to control the narrative.

The current state of ZKFair isn’t sustainable. The engagement will drop off the moment the airdrops are done. To create a successful L2 you need more than a spike in activity. You need a core set of hardcore users and developers that believe in the product and will make it successful. Focus on enabling these community members rather than “How to Make ZKFair a 10 Billion-Dollar Project”. That will come after you’ve stemmed the bleeding on your core issues.


Transparency and Trust

The current state of ZKFair lacks transparency across all channels. This is doubly bad for ZKFair since its core values include fairness and community. Having low transparency in your communication channels hurts the community because they are left in the dark. Having low transparency in your projects details discourages ecosystem veterans from coming to the project. Having low transparency in your team deteriorates trust in the project’s legitimacy (is it a scam? is it a pump and dump? Or is it trying to meaningfully contribute to the state of Ethereum).

Communication and Engagement

Communication breeds engagement. If you interact with your community, your community will interact with you. If you peruse ZKFair’s Discord in its current state, it is very bare bones. At most, it acts as a very poor channel for technical support and sparse announcements.

Very rarely do Discord members hear from the core ZKFair team on updates about the project. They are left in the dark to speculate, and told to be patient when the network is broken. There are only a couple active moderators doing their best to answer questions, but it is not enough.

Communication and engagement can come in many forms, from discord, to a slew of Web3-based community growth platforms, to Twitter and Telegram, and the the main marketing website of the platform. All of these channels need to be utilized to their fullest to foster a vibrant engaged community.


Transparency and Trust

For any infrastructure project to be successful, you need trust. To foster trust, you need transparency. If a project isn’t secure, safe or reliable, people won’t use it. You may get a spike of engagement when literally handing out tokens (like you did during the gas burn event), but that engagement will quickly fall off once the free tokens stop flowing.

ZKFair isn’t discussed much on Twitter, nor is it hyped much by the infrastructure projects it runs on. I strongly believe this is due to lack of trust, which comes in many forms.

  1. Transparency

    1. Start a regularly scheduled update via twitter or discord on network performance, uptime, engagement, money flow, money staked, etc. Any metric you have that is meaningful, let us see it. People judge a network based on its metrics, and if we can’t see that data, we won’t trust it. In addition to discussing it, make it a part of the website. An easy way to get started on this is by creating Dune dashboards, and encouraging the community to do the same.
  2. Infrastructure

    1. The proof architecture and rollup systems are briefly talked about within the documentation, however there is (to my knowledge) no whitepaper that really deep dives into these topics, as well as the decisions that drove them. The whitepaper should focus on what ZKFair does differently than existing ZK networks. Where does it innovate? What you have in your documentation is a good start, it just needs to be expanded.
    2. When the gas burn event began, the system immediately imploded under load. This isn’t a good sign. One (if not the main) purpose of any good blockchain is decentralization, and this just showed how centralized ZKFair is. I know that L2s obviously aren’t as decentralized as ETH itself, however people are going to trend towards the L2s that provide better stability while maintaining low fees. Optimism is a great example of this.
    3. If possible, open source the code. Make it easily searchable on Github. This is one of the best ways to establish trust, by saying we have nothing to hide. Almost all big L2s do this, such as Scroll and ZKSync. Let people contribute through issue tracking and pull requests.
  3. Pedigree

    1. I’m sure there are some really talented, smart engineers behind this project, showcase them! We want to see the pedigree of these folks. What projects have the worked on before, what companies did they come from, how do we follow them on Twitter and Github? This can build a lot of trust. For example, if we see your lead architect came from the Ethereum Foundation, that would be a huge green checkmark. We know we can trust this because we can trust the Ethereum Foundation.

Communication and Engagement

  1. Begin a community ambassador program. Discord moderators are great, but their job is just that: moderation. Community ambassadors serve as the hype men, the people who are the heartbeat of your community. Source these ambassadors through discord engagement, twitter engagement, and more. Look for the users that answer questions in the community, provide thoughtful feedback, and help newcomers all with a great attitude.

    1. You can encourage this by setting up a Zealy page, an Intract page, and a Guild page.These are amazing places not only to talk about the product, the tech, the mission, and the vision, but it is a great way to reward community members to learn about ZKFair.
    2. Give those community ambassadors a special role in discord. This shows they are the core community that will help ZKFair thrive.
    3. Hire a dedicated Discord community outreach coordinator. This person’s job is to interact with the community, find these ambassadors, and be a main source of information for people.
  2. Developer documentation

    1. Right now, your developer documentation is extremely sparse. The most I can find are some contract addresses. How does someone deploy a smart contract, how does someone interact with a smart contract, how does someone launch an ERC-721 (NFT) contract? What guarantees does the system offer in uptime, speed, reliability, etc?
      1. These all need to be addressed in great detail. I suggest hiring a couple people to assist. One is a technical writer with a focus in the Ethereum ecosystem. Another is someone with deep knowledge of the inner workings of the block chain, the ZK proof system, bridging protocols, etc.
      2. There should be step-by-step examples on how to deploy various types of contracts listed above. I suggest a playground page where users can view the code of these examples, and deploy them inline similar to how Remix does it. You don’t need something as full-featured as Remix, but you need something to show the flow.
  3. Brand

    1. The ZKFair brand needs redone. Kudos to the team that put together the first version, but it doesn’t fit the project. It screams NFT, low trust, scam. I suggest going from red and black to a more neutral color palette. If you look at similar L2s such as ZKSync, Linea, and Scroll, they all avoid red. Red is a good color for creative projects, but for infrastructure, is associates with distrust.
    2. Avoid all generic “blockchain” “techy” branding. It may look cool to newcomers, but to industry veterans, it can be tacky. Every early project leans into it. It’s overdone. Focus on your content, what you have to say, how you interact, etc. Don’t focus on flashy animations.
    3. A small one, but ALL links on your page should be under the zkfair.io domain. The fact that https://fairinscription.org/ is under a different domain, and the fact that there is no communication or documentation on it, gave me huge red flags.
    4. Take this one as you will because I know it isn’t easy to do, but consider changing the company name. ZKFair sounds tacky. It sounds like a pump and dump. Don’t focus on the “fair”, focus on the infrastructure. The name doesn’t have to have “ZK” in it. Look at Scroll. Look at Linea. Look at Polygon. Look at Starknet. All are ZK networks. Find a name that is easy to remember, and is unique, not just another “ZK flavor”.
  4. Don’t focus on the monetary side so much

    1. Due to how the community for ZKFair was brought in, via an airdrop before the project is even established, it brought in mostly people looking to make a quick buck. That engagement is going to fall off very quickly, and you will be stuck with a desolate community of maybe a handful of believers.
    2. Don’t try to take shortcuts. Using airdrops can be great for numbers, but it isn’t a good way to build a core community of contributors and endusers. I think the gas fee share is a great idea for people that hold ZKF, that is a long term incentive, and I believe it is plenty enough incentive to get people to come, given the other things discussed in this document are handled.


    ZKFair is still in its nascent stages, so there is time to fix its shortcomings. There is a time and place to focus on bringing in money and TVL, but don’t put the horse before the carriage. Focus on fostering a community, building trust, and becoming reputable. Once those goals are accomplished, you can focus on monetization.

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This document is intended to be living. If you found any errors please let me know. If you disagree, let’s have a conversion about it. If you found the post interesting, or agree, give it a reply saying so and give it a like.

This is how we can fix ZKFair.

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It is a very good post, thank you !

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Thanks @abit I appreciate the reply and the like! :slight_smile:

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Quite an interesting piece. ZKFair needs some nice plan to keep it’s users, not just attracting them.

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This is very good, but it could go further.

  1. Unless the code is open-sourced (zkfair is supposed to be community owned) then all devs must undergo a KYC and share their GitHubs.
  2. The network code should undergo an independent audit by a reputable service provider (No, Certik is not reputable).
  3. A dev-friendly toolkit should be developed to help new builders, akin to the Cosmos SDK.
  4. Kujira have built a semi-permissioned DAO, where new proposals are first voted on before funding is provided. ZKFair is suitable for something similar, focusing on quality over quantity to set itself apart from the competition.
  5. To widen the scope of liquidity, ZKFair need to decide which cross-chain architecture they will use. Such as LayerZero (EVMs), Wormhole (EVMs, Solana, Cosmos), Axelar (EVMs, Cosmos) etc.
  6. By providing all funds to the community, ZkFair are missing an opportunity to support DeFi in the ecosystem. It’s too late to correct now, but the only way to support development would be a higher rate of transaction fees, which adversely affects how much the validators and delegators will be paid.
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Great vision for amzing crypto. Zkfair is just begin let’s see how our community is strong

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Thank you @Fdezuo! I completely agree. Thanks for the response.

Thank you @VinceTop! I appreciate the kind words and completely agree. If you agree with the post, please click the <3 button below it, it will help with final rankings to make sure we can make sure ZKFair is successful.

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Wow @ChrisC_MGH-Founder , thank you for the insightful feedback!

  1. I completely agree. How can we say the project is community owned without seeing who is in charge of that community? At this point, it is more uncommon to not have your code open-sourced. Look at other big ZK L2s such as Scroll and ZKSync, they are open source.

  2. 100% agree. Just look at ZKFair’s rating on L2Beat to see that it could use some good audits and improvements. It won’t be taken seriously until it is secure.

  3. Yes! I am in the field of Developer Experience at my current position and it is incredibly important. You have to make people want to write code for your network.

  4. I completely agree. It seems so far ZKFair has taken the quantity over quality approach, and I strongly believe that is the wrong decision. It will give you a spike in activity, but that activity isn’t lasting. A semi permissioned DAO like Kujira, or the Nouns Project is a great step.

  5. Agree again, you have really great feedback! I personally am a fan of LayerZero. They are a fantastic team with a lot of very talented engineers.

  6. Yes, they shot themselves in the foot on that one. It will be an uphill battle to get the DeFi community thriving, but it is possible. A higher rate of transaction fees could definitely work, but there needs to be an incentive for the end-user to be willing to pay for those fees, whether it is security, staking, high tps, or something else.

Thanks again for all of the thoughtful feedback. Would you be okay if I added it as an addendum to my post? Also, if you enjoyed the post, please click the <3 button above since it will help with the rankings.

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Looks like some AI wrote it :joy:

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I guess I’ll take that as a compliment haha! I wrote it all on my own, though having ChatGPT check it would have been a good idea, I didn’t even think about running it through that lol.

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sooo not bad man, can be smth, I like it

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Thank you @0x_negotiation ! If you get a chance, please give the post a like! :slight_smile:

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I hope you are interested in what is proposed well

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I think the author really tried his best and came up with a great idea.

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Thank you I appreciate the kind words!

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thanks for article friend!

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I don’t entirely agree with that approach, but it has its place nonetheless, doesn’t it?

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agree with all your words

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