Alarm bells! 🚨 re ZOMG

That was actually the idea most of us had when developing it. IIRC there’s even a provision somewhere that at most one representative from ZFND and ECC can be on ZOMG. But they have to get elected and DC at ECC was like a vote or two votes short from getting a seat.

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No group may hold more than one— I’d rather see each group guaranteed a seat at the table. Even if each group endorses more than one candidate, and elected members hold endorsements from several, or ideally, all branches.

IMO, we can’t afford to lose the input of, or alienate, any parts of the Zcash decentralized organism.

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I think it might be mostly moot, the entire plan was for ZOMG to be structured towards a goal that, for no fault of their own, isn’t viable. ZOMG cannot merely approve outside grants that people file for because there are not enough of them. This was the point i was trying to make in the other thread

I don’t disagree, but I also don’t draw the same conclusion.

If no major team wants to work on Zcash, then no rejiggling of ZIPs and committees will change that, so fiddling with governance won’t help.

If there are major teams that can and want to work on Zcash, then making them into ZOMG seems wrong.

Either way, I wouldn’t substantially change ZOMG’s role with respect to major grants, I would just support it better in the spirit of what @dodger proposed.

As for minor grants, well we could decide to formalize the repurposing of ZOMG as ZOMinorGrants… Or we could decide that this should go back to the in-house ZF model. I don’t recall explicit discussion of this crucial point.

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@tromer
Let’s not assume that the majors don’t want to work with Zcash. Consider that maybe they don’t know how to, or that it hasn’t occurred to them.
The No Wallflower Clause: We don’t need to stand in the shadows waiting for someone to ask us to dance, let’s come up with a plan to go after the applicants we want and will best serve the various parts of the community.

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Agreed, courting major wallflowers is valuable. I think it’s consistent with the letter and spirit of ZIP 1014, though it does take more time and justifies commensurate compensation.

It’s the dealing with minor grants, whether active or passive, that is (to my mind) an important and little-discussed question.

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Ummm. We have been the wallflowers :joy::joy::joy: but you, as a strong-zebra-not-wallflower, could ostensibly court wallflowers, or any other metaphor you like, to help make Zcash the Zelle of the Ball.

:exploding_head: This metaphor got too complicated for me.

So metaphors aside: I fully support ZOMG issuing RFPs and actively courting major prospective applicants. I don’t know why anyone would object to that (other than commitment/compensation considerations).

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There was certainly no expectation from the Foundation’s side that MGRC/ZOMG would fund smaller grants. Their remit is explicitly “large-scale long-term projects” being undertaken by independent teams. I can’t speak for decisions made before I joined the Foundation but during my time, I haven’t seen any projects that were rejected by ZOMG that I felt the Foundation should fund.

Before now, I’ve kept my opinions about what projects ZOMG should - and, more importantly, shouldn’t - fund to myself, as I felt that any advice I offered might be interpreted as an attempt to interfere with ZOMG’s decisions.

Once ZOMG establishes a set of suitable criteria for major grants, it’ll be the right time to reboot the Foundation’s own grants program. The Foundation has obviously undergone a fundamental change, having switched from being primarily a grant-making organisation to establishing its own in-house engineering capability. My thinking right now is that, going forward, our grant-making activities will likely focus on two areas:

  • projects that contribute to or complement Zebra, FROST, and any similar projects we undertake in the future, and
  • grants that support the advancement of the Zcash community’s priorities that may not otherwise find funding through Major Grants.

For avoidance of doubt, I absolutely do plan for the Foundation to begin making grants again but I think that, right now, the priority needs to be resolving the issues with ZOMG.

Or, to put it another way, I think the Foundation should focus first on supporting ZOMG before rebooting its own grants program.

This is a great way fo describing what’s going on. We’re already allocating more resources and staff to better support ZOMG. The next step is to find and attract the right kind of teams, with the right kind of capabilities, to apply to major grants. That will be a major part of the Ecosystem Relations Manager’s job when they start on October 1st.

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There seems to be a chicken-and-egg situation here.
ZF has ceased handling minor grants, directing the minor-grant application flow to ZOMG.
While ZOMG is overstretched and unequipped to handle these, it took up the slack because no one else would.

So this:

I haven’t seen any projects that were rejected by ZOMG that I felt the Foundation should fund.

isn’t an indication that ZF grants aren’t needed: quite the contrary! It means ZOMG really did assume responsibility for all grants, including minor ones it was not meant to handle.

This calls for an explicit, coordinated decision, by ZOMG, ZF and if need by ZIP 1014 amendments, on what is the desired methodology and division of labor for minor grants.

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I don’t think there is any need for ZF to wait to restart ZF grants program. I agree w/ Tromer, it felt weird to me that MGRC was funding small projects vs large teams building suite of products or much more impactful projects on Zcash. That only happened because ZF grants was not open for new grants because of budget limitation for that year? next year it stayed close (I might not be remembering right).

It’s going to create confusion for grant applicants for sure: how do I apply grant? on ZF site or ZOMG forum post? In fact, it can be done on single site, doesn’t have to be a separate site! Money is coming from ZF at the end. If applicants can apply for ZF grant first to prove them-shelves, then MGRC can start approving follow up grants. It shouldn’t really matter, how it gets reviewed can be done in the backend by ZF+MGRC.

If ZF doesn’t want to get into grant business, does it make sense to amend ZIP 1014? there is no reason to fund more money towards ZF, if its not going to have grants

In fact, I strongly believe, we scrap ZF grant & double down on MGRC —> just have Zcash developer/ecosystem fund. Also In fact, ZF can focus on two things: Zcash development + regulatory/partner outreach etc.

Created poll regarding this: Zcash Grant Poll

Edit: you can skip this post and the following 2. I misunderstood @dontbeevil, and he edited above to clarify.

ZF is doing very substantial in-house work with Zebra, FROST, NU5 vetting, etc. Those are super important and, I believe, are the main use of ZF’s Dev Fund slice these days. The question about minor grants does not detract from that.

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Primary focus seems to be Zebrad. Not sure about resources being dedicated to FROST & Network-level privacy work (it’s been couple of years since both were announced??)

If ZF is not doing grants, then that “money” can go towards MGRC fund right?

@dontbeevil, I likewise eagerly ZF’s next roadmap and progress update (though I’m being patent as new people settle into their role there).

None the less, ZF’s in-house team is top notch, and it’s the largest Zcash-focused dev team out there after ECC. It seems absurd to defund this team because ZF stopped doing the other thing it used to do.

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We are working very hard on just that :slight_smile: Finishing up pre-production phase currently. We have marked the discussion for distribution (e.g., grassroots campaign, reaching out to large social media accounts) to be at a later date once some videos are close to being done.

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Sorry, I didn’t mean we pull the plug on ZF. There is no doubt, small ZF dev team is top notch. It will be even clearer once they deploy Zebrad client, other production ready pieces of software. More devs Zcash has, the better!

I meant two things (I’m repeating myself as you can see):

  1. MGRC did good job doing minor grants. If MGRC committee continues to do that with new members, then there is no point in having ZF grants.
  2. If certain budget is allocated to ZF grants, then that money could be used elsewhere (includes expanding ZF dev team) or given back to miners.

if you ever want cool zcash parachute footage… :wink:

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I posted a note on my position. The post is about deferring the elections:

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Folks, I originally posted the O.P. in this thread because I was alarmed that four out of five ZOMG committee members were stepping down.

As I said in the O.P., that’s a red flag and I advised the Zcash community to take it seriously, to investigate and bring forward information about what needs to be improved, and to make improvements. Since then there have been quite a few ideas kicked around in here and some useful facts about how things have worked so far inside ZOMG, especially from ML, Holmes, Chris, and Shawn. See all their recent posts.

I want to say I’m really grateful to all of them for contributing to the community in this way by working hard and spending a lot of their valuable time trying to set up the next ZOMG for success even though they are on their way out and have basically nothing to gain for themselves personally or professionally. (And perhaps something to lose if people who disagree are angry at them for speaking up instead of just letting things slide!)

I haven’t caught up on all the threads (although I’m trying), and I don’t currently have specific opinions about what the Zcash community ought to do/ought not to do. Or at least, no more specific than I had when we started this process! :rofl: I just re-read the post I wrote sixteen months ago, with the help of my colleagues at ECC, and it all still sounds highly relevant!

Anyway, my point in adding this further comment on this thread is not to opine on any specific decisions, but just to point out:

SHAWN IS RESIGNING.

:rotating_light::triangular_flag_on_post: Alarm bells! Red flags! :rotating_light::triangular_flag_on_post:

Shawn has been a pillar of the community since before the Genesis block, literally everyone trusts him, including me, and he’s the only reason why this place (the forum) is a reasonable place to have a discussion instead of a cesspool to stay away from. The fact that he, too, is stepping down is a major red flag! :rotating_light::triangular_flag_on_post:

This really reinforces my belief that something is structurally wrong with the MGRC/ZOMG structure and that we are likely to get worse results next time around — potentially wasting our money and our opportunity — if we don’t figure out what went wrong and make targeted improvements.

(By the way, this belief of mine is entirely consistent with Shawn’s statement that the primary driver of him stepping down is that he got a promotion at work and he needs to spend more time with his family. This shows that structurally, ZOMG is currently not set up to attract the best people—like Shawn and ML—and to enable them to remain highly engaged and to stick with it long-term. Do comparable grant programs like those at Ethereum, Solana, Algorand, Polygon, etc etc etc have a similar structure to this and are they getting similar results? I honestly don’t know.)

I’d suggest that we investigate how other programs are structured that we consider to be successful examples to emulate, and that we lean on the outgoing ZOMG members — who are continuing to contributing mightily to our shared mission by doing this — to provide their recommendations about what should be changed to set up future ZOMGs for success.

By the way, one more thing that I noticed when reading my/ECC’s post from 16 months ago:

At the time that the Community collectively settled on ZIP 1014, and held the initial MGRC/ZOMG elections the price of ZEC was $50/ZEC and the 8% was worth about $5M per year. Today ZEC is $140/ZEC, which means the 8% is worth closer to $15M per year! That’s great — it really increases the opportunity that we as a community have to prime the pump of positive feedback loops, but it also really increases the “governance load” on both the individuals involved (both ZOMG members and the Zfnd folks who work with them) and on the structure itself.

As the amount of money involved increases, so too increases the need for structural improvements, community oversight, and harder and harder work on everyone’s part to steward that money well!

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We’d better take a break, that’s a fact. Funds will accumulate and I believe in these large numbers. We can do a lot more by taking a break.

We can include such an item in the vote.

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