Alarm bells! 🚨 re ZOMG

ZIP 1014 is the end result of months of discussion, multiple rounds of voting on multiple proposals (ZIPs 1001 thru 1013), and discussions between ECC and the Zcash Foundation (ZF). During that process, the idea of a “third entity” was explicitly proposed, in a proposal from Mario Laul and Chris Burniske that was withdrawn following community feedback, and by James and Joseph Todaro, in ZIP 1006 (“Blocktown Development Fund Proposal: 10% to a 2-of-3 multisig with community involved Third Entity”), which was rejected by both the Community Advisory Panel (ZCAP) poll (by a margin of 34 votes to 9) and the Forum poll (with 60% voting “No” and 26% voting “Yes”).

There was also ZIP 1009 (“Dev Fund Strategic Council Approach”) from Avichal Garg,which proposed creating an independent, community-elected “Strategic Council” to decide how the Dev Fund should be allocated. This was also rejected by both ZCAP and the Forum poll.

Instead of voting to create a third, independent entity, the Zcash Community opted to allocate a portion of the Dev Fund (the Major Grants slice) to “fund independent teams entering the Zcash ecosystem, to perform major ongoing development (or other work) for the public good of the Zcash ecosystem”. The ZCAP expressed no clear preference as to whether the Zcash Foundation should have independent authority in determining Major Grants, or whether there should be a new Major Grant Review Committee elected by the Zcash Community (both options received 34 votes). The Zcash Foundation opted to advocate for an independent, elected Major Grant Review Committee (since rebranded ZOMG).

The Major Grants Review Committee was specifically not established to be an independent entity, but a grant review committee tasked with allocating funds to independent teams, whose decisions would be independent of both the Foundation and ECC.

@zooko - I appreciate that you were disappointed that ZIP 1014 did not create a third entity to sit alongside ZF and ECC. However, ZIP 1014 represents the clear consensus of the Zcash community and, as I’ve described in the thread that Chris started, the Foundation is taking clear steps to address the issues he and other members of the ZOMG Committee have raised.

While the burden to address those issues lies clearly with the Foundation, I believe that ECC can also help make ZOMG a success. I’ll give two examples of how I think ECC can help.

Several months ago, following a discussion with ZOMG about how to go about inviting RFPs for security audits of software produced by grant recipients, I approached ECC to request introductions to suitable potential auditors. To be clear, this isn’t a request that ECC conduct audits, merely a request to make introductions to auditors who may be interested in responding to RFPs. Having commissioned multiple audits of zcashd, ECC has more and better relationships with auditors than the Foundation has, and this seemed like a fairly innocuous and trivial request.

I’ve also suggested several times that Alex and I meet with the ECC leadership team to discuss how we can cooperate, for example by working together from an engineering point of view, working to identify and remove obstacles to new teams entering the Zcash ecosystem, and exploring ways to better support ZOMG’s work (e.g. by providing technical expertise and advice on how to assess grant applications and milestones).

I was very serious when I said, as I departed ECC, that I wanted to see relations between ECC and the Foundation improve. I believe that the chances of Zcash achieving its full potential are far better if we - the Foundation, ECC, and ZOMG - work together constructively, and I believe we can do so both without compromising our independence, and while staying true to the vision that the Zcash Community laid out in ZIP 1014.

@zooko - I’m now asking you, as CEO of the Electric Coin Company, will you and ECC work with me, the Zcash Foundation and ZOMG, to make ZOMG a success, or are you determined to continue pushing for changes to ZIP 1014?