@aiyadt candidacy for ZOMG (December 2021)

Did ZF consult lawyers at the time of ZIP-1014 creation?

Yet another reason for Zcash DAO!


Thank you @Alex_ZF for doing the legwork on that one. (I’m feeling pretty vindicated right now :grin: .) I don’t mean to be a pest for Zcash; only a gadfly.

An idea to get around this would be to have builders or zomg grantees who want to help out with zomg be able to do 6 month stints on the committee. Perhaps after a big project gets finished up and there is a relatively calm 6 month stint where one may be doing non-ZOMG work while being on ZOMG.


Done! ZOMG & Conflicts of Interest - zcash foundation


Since you’re still running with the formalized conflict of interest policy (which surprised me actually, because of your previous comment, yet it’s good to see someone else with experience), will you be fully divesting from Nighthawk or will Nighthawk not be applying for further grants over the next year?

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Thanks for your question Luke. Per the updated guidelines from ZF, my candidacy to ZOMG means I will not be applying for grants to ZOMG nor will I be funding myself or my company from any grant based funding from ZOMG. Exception being the ongoing grants (lightwalletd infra & Thorchain) for which the final milestone funding should wrap up by Q1 2022. This does not stop me from contributing to @NighthawkWallet :slight_smile: Neither does it stop individual contributors from applying for grants to work on Nighthawk Wallet. And as per my declaration earlier:

Thanks to Zcash Foundation, @Dodger & @Alex_ZF for looking out for the best interests of the Zcash community members & upholding the non-profit status of ZF.

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It seems to me that indeed you can work on NHW but individual contributors to NHW would not be allowed to apply for grants if you are sitting on the ZOMG.

And regarding

IMO, it is not sufficient. NHW and NHW team members would not be allowed to apply for grants as long as a member of the team is on the ZOMG. If it is allowed, it can be used a giant loophole.

TBH, I am on your side on this and would like it to be enough. But rules should be the same for everyone.

@Dodger and @Alex_ZF, please provide your input on the matter since there seems to be some misunderstanding still.

Best regards,


“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.”
― Stephen R. Covey

Han, are you suggesting that independent developers & contributors to @NighthawkWallet (a community driven wallet and open source software) who have in the past or future submitted Pull Requests to Nighthawk are to somehow being blocked from applying for grants? And that if they get funded, that they would somehow pay me for their work done?!

How would this be different from independent developers applying for ZOMG funding to add features or capabilities to software made by ECC or ZF? e.g. A developer applying for a grant to improve performance of librustzcash software for bringing faster sync for all Zcash mobile clients.

Thanks & agree. For further clarification, none of the Nighthawk Team members are employees of Nighthawk Apps, the entity used to set the foundation for the wallets and infra and contracting out work to independent developers.


Thanks for the response. My primary response mirrors hanh in that it’s not sufficient to simply not vote, yet you and your financial interests would be barred (not just you personally). I was personally thinking of your fellow associates at Nighthawk, yet I have read your comments on its organizational structure.

If NHW is managed by, or considered a product of, any business you have financial interests with, I’d argue you have a financial interest in NHW as a project even though it’s not a company. That means any grant submissions for it would be invalid unless you no longer have any financial interest in the project. It’s undeniable you work for an organization which uses it as a portfolio item and acquires work based on its success.

No one is saying you’d get paid or do anything with impropriety. We’re saying this isn’t a full resolution to the conflict of interest concerns. I believe it’s time for the lawyers to comment once again.

As for ZEC, as most people here have a financial interest in ZEC and we still issue grants for it because it’s the explicit purpose of the organization and a decentralized network, not a specific company. This may provide some basis for saying the GH repo is an open place anyone can contribute to and it should still be eligible to be a grant topic, but I personally wouldn’t be comfortable unless not voting on Nighthawk grants extends to also not voting on NHW grants (and even then I could see issues popping up). That’s my personal thoughts, and obviously, yes, we still need someone with legal experience to comment on if NHW is considered a financial interest.

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@kayabaNerve @hanh both of you have made your views known, now let someone who is qualified (ZF) provide feedback on whether any of your assumptions are valid.

My decision to run as ZOMG candidacy was made after careful consideration and in line with the Clarity on Conflict of Interest & Inurement Issues as described by ZF here: Polling ZCAP on the ZOMG Elections & a Proposal to Amend ZIP 1014 - zcash foundation

I am ready to give up my primary source of income to focus on furthering Zcash adoption via MGRC. How many other candidates can say that about themselves?
Furthermore, unlike some candidates, I do not have allegiance to any other privacy coin. I am all in Zcash and have been since I joined the Zcash community in 2019.

MGRC candidates can have “Association” with ECC/ZF as well. See Point 7 of MG Slice: ZIP 1014: Establishing a Dev Fund for ECC, ZF, and Major Grants

“Major Grant Review Committee members SHALL have a one-year term and MAY sit for reelection. The Major Grant Review Committee is subject to the same conflict of interest policy that governs the ZF Board of Directors (i.e. they MUST recuse themselves when voting on proposals where they have a financial interest). At most one person with association with the BP/ECC, and at most one person with association with the ZF, are allowed to sit on the Major Grant Review Committee. “Association” here means: having a financial interest, full-time employment, being an officer, being a director, or having an immediate family relationship with any of the above. The ZF SHALL continue to operate the Community Advisory Panel and SHOULD work toward making it more representative and independent (more on that below).”


I’d actually still appreciate a clarification on your personal policy of abstaining from Nighthawk votes. Does that include Nighthawk projects such as NHW or just votes directly involving a member of your organization, which will no longer happen regardless if you’re elected? I highlighted how it was a bit ambiguous in my previous post.

I’d also like to highlight I do not have an allegiance to any privacy coin at this time other than a policy of doing my best to further financial privacy. Even if I did, I don’t see how that’s something to attack fellow candidates over until it starts being damaging to Zcash, which no candidate here has been.

Also, mind explaining the relevance of the section about ECC/ZF relationships? I don’t see how it applies here but would appreciate the insight.

Thanks for being quick to respond.

A post was merged into an existing topic: @kayabaNerve Candidacy for ZOMG

I’m just going to reply to this part because I feel that we are starting to see attacks between candidates. I hope that this will not become a common pattern.

IMO, if you retain a financial interest in NH, it is not giving up the primary source of income. Consider the CEO of Google taking a symbolic 1 USD salary. He clearly benefits from the growth of the company through other means.

I also disagree with your implication that other candidates have less commitment to zcash because of this.

We don’t know what their financial situation is. Maybe they need the grant money to support their family? Does that make them less qualified? IMO, we should not link wealth with the ability and desire to help zcash.


Basically @NighthawkWallet won’t apply for a grant, is that a fair summary?


Just want to comment that this should not deter anyone from contributing to Zcash in whatever form they like. In fact, liking/contributing to other projects are what 100% we all here are.

Maybe @aiyadt is trying to say if someone from ECC/ZF can be on ZOMG, then it’s okay for other projects in Zcash too. However, I have to remind everyone that both ECC and ZF are barred from receiving money from ZOMG. I am not a lawyer, but it is my understanding that if I were to be in ZOMG then the company that I have association with cannot apply for ZOMG during my time on the board.


With any policy, there are going to be edge cases and grey areas which don’t fall neatly into one category or another. Our plan for dealing with those situations is to retain the same legal counsel that helped the Foundation draft the Conflict of Interest policy, to advise the Foundation and ZOMG Committee members on any Conflict of Interest questions that arise.

My understanding (and bear in mind that I am not a lawyer) is that, in general, there isn’t a blanket prohibition on the acceptance of grant applications in situations where there is a conflict of interest - it’s entirely dependent on the specific circumstances and the nature of the conflict. In many cases, so long as the conflict is disclosed and managed appropriately (e.g. by the conflicted individual refraining from taking part in any discussion of the application, and recusing themselves from voting on it) there will often be no obstacle to accepting a grant application.

However, things become trickier if a grant would result in a benefit to an “insider” of the non-profit that is making the grant. Non-profits are prohibited from using their income or assets to excessively benefit insiders (i.e. individuals that have a close relationship with the non-profit or can exercise significant influence over the organization). This is sometimes referred to as private inurement.

ZOMG Committee members are ZF insiders in this context, and so that’s why we’ve instituted a policy that prohibits serving ZOMG Committee members and entities in which a serving ZOMG Committee member is an officer or director or otherwise has a financial interest, from applying for major grants.

In a hypothetical situation where someone applied for a grant to work on Nighthawk Wallet, we would probably ask legal counsel to assess whether any excessive benefit would inure to @aiyadt as a result of the grant, and advise us (i.e. ZF including the ZOMG Committee members) on the appropriate course of action.

To reiterate: these types of situations are entirely dependent on the specific circumstances and facts. Therefore, it’s not possible to “pre-judge” hypothetical situations. That’s why we plan to retain an attorney who specialises in this area of law.


Hanh, I find this tone offensive. Messages like these makes it difficult for Zcash to attract contributors, I have found it out first hand.

My daily interaction with the Zcash community spanning from the forums to Twitter, Clubhouse, Third-party developers and partners demonstrates how we should be attracting developers from all standpoints of their careers and making them stay; instead of spewing assumptions and perpetuating uncertainty in the forums.

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I am not saying or implying that you are not committed to the zcash project and community.

But I disagree with the logic that

  • by not proposing grants to NHW you are necessarily giving your primary source of income,
  • if someone is giving away their primary source of income, it makes them more of a team player.

I am sorry if it offended you and I hope that I managed to rephrase it a better way but I stand by my opinion.

You are running for an election and I understand you make some claims. I think you should expect some level of argumentation.

PS: I am not running


Making Hahns criticism analogous with your typical experience in other community places is questionable. It’s a common argumentative tactic used here on the forum, saying that strong counterarguments are considered poison for morale, thats a fallacy.

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