Alarm bells! 🚨 re ZOMG

Avoiding pray and spray methods of grants would be good. Don’t know how to do that if we don’t already have roster of proven people other than current proposal and vetting structure since ZOMG just started. Suggestions very welcome.

Definitely want to avoid burning teams due to miscommunication.

Minimization of time/effort needed through process development should definitely be a goal for an improved ZOMG experience.

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Data point: I considered running for the board last year. Uncertainty about compensation was part of my decision not to run.

Yes, in traditional fields, retirees and senior people “give back.” This field doesn’t have any of those yet. Absent such a reservoir, you probably get what you pay for. (Not a comment on the current board or its activities, which I have not followed closely.)

I also think that rotating seats is important. It’s among the customs of non-profit boards that exist for good reasons, even if the reasons aren’t patent.

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6 posts regarding Zcash Foundation were split to a new topic: Zcash Foundation Priorities

Thank you, @zooko for clearly raising this well-merited alarm bell. And thanks to all, especially the ZOMG members and @dodger, who are working so hard to make things work and improve them!

I have a question that might be pertinent:

How do things currently work with respect to ZF’s internal (non-ZOMG) grants? I understand that the grant submission system is unified. Are grants decided and funded just by ZOMG from their slice, or by both ZOMG and ZF personnel from their respective slices? And if the latter, how is it decided which track the grant takes and who reviews it?

(Sorry if I’m missing something obvious, but I couldn’t find easily find this information on the ZF website, the ZOMG website, or the grant system’s website.)

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only by ZOMG as far as i know
and each ZOMG member has only 5 hours every month to accept or deny grants review and to get updates from them.

in this thread there is a lot of info
you were also mentioned in that thread at message 45

" 1. Push ZF on greater support, so we can create a really great, smooth-running grants platform.
We need someone who can help with grant due diligence, reviewing milestones, etc (see below for a longer list). We have asked ZF for a full time person, but they have told us they will afford us part of the time of a Ecosystems Relations manager who will work for ZF on a number of other responsibilities. I prefer being able to make this call on a full time person ourselves, but it appears that some stakeholders’ interpretation of ZIP 1014 says that we cannot do so. (@lawzec to your question on example of being constrained)"

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Well in this case…

I’d like to bring up a point which I haven’t seen mentioned recently. The idea guiding ZIP 1014 is:
ZOMG is not supposed to be the third entity; it’s supposed to sponsor the third, fourth and perhaps fifth entities, while leaving small grant-making to ZF.

Recall, the envisioned model was having two grant streams:

  • Regular (“minor”) grants on the scale from meme production to small development projects, would be issued through the ZF grant system. There would be many of these, and they would be decided, supervised and handheld by ZF staff.
  • Major Grants would be few but very large, feeding projects of a scale approaching ECC or ZF. When prospective major “entities” shows up, with the ability to build sustained, in-house capabilities, the money would be there to support them. This is why ZIP 1014 talks about “bolster teams with substantial (current or prospective) continual existence, and set them up for long-term success”. This is why it has such a huge fraction of the Dev Fund, 40%, more than either ZF or ECC. The vision was supporting a small handful of such large entities, perhaps 2 or 3 at a time. They’d be large enough to not need much handholding. The ZOMG would be there to vet them, keep an eye on things, and stop renewing their funding if things go awry.

Indeed, according to the brief history of Zcash decentralization, this is where we were supposed to be now:

But that not today’s reality, is it?

What really happened is that ZF mostly froze its own (“minor”) grant program, around the time ZIP 1014 went into effect. This put the burden on MGRC/ZOMG to handle all the grant proposals, including small and “needier” ones. That’s far more time consuming (as those of us who served on ZF’s internal grant committee, back when it existed, are well aware).

Conversely, the large grant applications by “third entity”-class major players, of which at least one was tentative, haven’t materialized! My conjecture is that the explosion of DeFi, around the same time, hoovered up all the teams and attention. The Zcash Dev Fund, despite its amazing long-term prospects, could not compete with the financial conjuring magic and immediate gratification of DeFi token issuance.

Now, all of those changes are legitimate decisions by the relevant parties, and strictly speaking none of this contradicts ZIP 1014. And yet, the offshoot is that we find ourselves trying to shoehorn responsibilities into a body that was never designed, equipped or compensated to handle them. You can’t cook steak on a lava lamp.

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:100: agree with your points. Everyone needs to read this. :point_up_2:

Question: Have we as a community decided on a framework which ZF + MGRC/ZOMG adheres to?
We have the Selection process - Zcash Open Major Grants (ZOMG) Is that enough of a criteria to not leave out open ended questions?

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This background is helpful and is why we need seasoned elmers like you active on the forums. I would love to see other seasoned individuals that voted for this vision more active here (or at least communicating this vision more), mentoring newer entrants to the space and reminding/roping the discussion back in line with the vision. I would also love to see more communication from the Zcash Foundation about their plan and vision.

This raises some questions for me when thinking about how we move forward from the current situation:

  1. Does the ZF currently intend to operate in the spirit of this envisioned model (funding minor grants) once they have obtained the staffing they have planned?
  2. Do you think this vision is still the best course of action given the broader DeFi explosion?
  3. I’m curious to see your thoughts on the ZOMG white paper. Should this really be a ZF white paper? Or a white paper that drives the mission behind a 3rd, 4th, or 5th entity that already exists, is created, or enters the space, is awarded a major grant, and is assigned significant
    responsibility for various items mentioned in the white paper? (brainstorming here)
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This is my mistake, I knew about this and I let it slip for too long. Sorry!

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I feel like some of the problems come from zomg members not feeling appreciated for their work. Most problems are solved with money.

Honestly, 500 a month is pathetic.

They might be ‘working’ only 5 hours a month. But you’re on the ZOMG, its constantly on your mind. There is an expectation of innovation with poor compensation.

ZOMG reviews grants for potential million dollar multi year grants, its not a part time job at Subway.

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To all those who want to create a “third entity” that does substantial in-house work other than deciding and monitoring grants, I have a question.
Why would you want just one third entity doing in-house work, and why should it simultaneously deal with making grants to others?

Concretely:

Suppose you found a team of people who, working together, can do some major, amazing work for Zcash. Say building a privacy-preserving DeFi bridge, or a secure Wasm+Ledger wallet, or whatever.

Option 1: ZOMG as a lucky dev team that also makes grants
Urge the team to become ZOMG members. Urge the community to rewrite ZIP 1014 to allow this new ZOMG to do the work internally, get fairly compensated, hire employees, become an independent legal entity, and manage their money. Hope they all the necessary team members get elected. Remind them that even though they’re hard-core developers, they are now also the ZOMG and thus need to deal with deciding grants for other applicants.

Option 2: ZOMG as grant experts/representatives that sponsor the dev team(s)
Urge that same team to submit a Major Grant proposal to ZOMG, with whatever cohesive personnel plan makes sense. Keep ZIP 1014 essentially as is, populated by diverse representatives of our community (and with focused improvements such as support personnel and fair compensation for grant-making effort). Let ZOMG review the team’s proposal and, if it’s any good, fund it in large increments. Let ZOMG also award other grants, to other groups, meanwhile.

Why would you prefer Option 1?

The implicit answer seems to be “because we tried Option 2 and it failed, no such team stepped up!”
Well OK, but then why do you think the 5 people who will happen to be elected to the next ZOMG committee will magically be that team?

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Sometimes less is more. Everyone jumping ship screams ZOMG has failed. We need to treat every zat like its precious. Thanks for your thoughts.

Interesting idea.
I’ve always been dubious about the idea that burning coins automatically increases the value of the rest, because I don’t quite understand the mechanism that makes it happen. But if we believe that the mechanism is supply-and-demand on the trading markets, obliviously to any systematically-calculated fundamentals, then I wonder…

ZEC that is gathering dust in the ZOMG treasury is off the trading markets, just like burned ZEC. So wouldn’t it have the same effect on price, until it’s used?

Of course, the mechanism may instead (or in addition) be people reasoning about some fundamental total coin value = market cap, and dividing it by the amount of current or future (unburned) supply, in which case burning is different.

I have no idea which is more right and under what conditions, but it’s worth thinking about whether burning actually buys you anything in the rational economic/tokenomic sense.

And then there are the optics/memetics of burning, which are an even greater mystery to me.

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[inner thoughts] I almost feel like people should self fund until they are actually ready to govern. Right now it seems most are not ready and the timing feels off. Find folks organically, build, have fun. When the time comes, groups of independently funded DAO’s could then request relief (if needed!) after Proof of Governance has been established? [/inner thoughts] OK, enough ramblin, thanks for your thoughts again! <3

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I was suggesting making this into a game show, like Dragons Den or Sharks Tank, so we can get publicity as well as let the candidates have the attention (with a minor amount of exposure for their own ventures) for a biography about the gate keepers who approve or disapprove the grants.

I still think this would be a practical way to mediate these concerns and get more public (outside ZEC) opinions about the model of our grant committee. We want to be trend setters, but maybe we can change the game that Kevin O’Leary started.

One of the hosts from those game show networks, I think his name is Mark Cuban, has some crypto.

I really do have hopes as high as the sky for this part of the Zcash ecosystem, and maybe that idealist mind state has blinded me.

I thought burning got a hard no from legal or the SEC. I remember it was never on the table when we were having the discussions (“Don’t mention burn!”). I forget the exact reason tho.

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Friends, I know that for proposals I need to write ZIP and all that, but I’m such a noob in this, and even if I write in my clumsy English, few people will understand anything.

Just consider my proposal. The essence is simple. ZOMG should have a financing mechanism not only for projects on proposal, but also for some other useful things.

For example, I would really like ZOMG to finance some advertising budget in social networks in which there is paid promotion. Well, for example, such wonderful tweets like this one:

But I don’t know how and why I should apply for this proposal, and what is my function, because I am not a moderator of this process. However, crypto twitter is the driving force that will allow increasing ZOMG fund and our own fund in ZEC ;), which I myself am ready to spend on promoting my site about Zcash. I believe that advertising is an intensive way of increasing the price, and therefore increasing the size of all funds. All in all, this increases our opportunities for the development of Zcash.

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I agree to an extent but technically paying people to tweet financial advice is … fraud? Just would be a bad look coming from professionals. Maybe what deepcandles said but without the first sentence. Or just paying influencers to educate people that bitcoin has a privacy problem that zcash addresses.

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What if it programm will promoting random tweets?

I would love to see a whole educational series created and promoted!

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