An Idea - Invest in People, not Packetized Projects

Problem: It seems like nobody wants to use some slick functional app that Zcash Foundation or ZOMG funded. (assuming the app is ever built)

Exhibit A: Look at Zboard ( - It’s an absolute graveyard, and it’s a fine site!

It has some good features that ZECpages doesn’t have, and the design is very clean and professional!

What went wrong?

No Iteration - No Long Term User Feedback / Testing, No new features

Z Board was (apparently) a package deal, and we got a package of professional software deployed online, and it never changed. There’s no development, no new features, no novelty, and as a result, no energy. No users.

I can’t speak to the milestone system, but it seems like nobody cares about these projects when they get funded, even less so after they launch. We’re wasting a ton of time and energy running a lengthy, oh-so-responsible grant process that currently sucks the life out of everything it funds. Name a decent ZF grant recipient that’s not ZecWallet. I’ll wait.

A brainstormed solution - Investing in PEOPLE, not PROJECTS

What if the ZOMG invested in human beings with a proven track-record of building useful things on and with Zcash? In the spirit of the “Go, Go, Go” thread, just reward humans who support Zcash for doing that. I can think of a wallet developer who would be a GREAT candidate for this! When I read this I thought “That’s bad negotiation.” For DAYS I thought that! Then today I think, “Why are we nickel and dime receipt checking the pillars of our community?”

Advantages - Less overhead in bookkeeping, Grant writing, People and their output are fairly easy to track in 2021.

Disadvantages - Less accountability. But Zbay is vaporware and nobody knows what the fuck happens at ECC so I don’t see this as a real negative.

I’d love to see a system where people are rewarded for building on zcash, not for their grant writing.

How can this idea be made great? Because ZF/ZOMG academic rule-by-red-tape ain’t working.


What do you not know?

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I mean, sure ECC’s been more transparent than a for-profit is required to be, but… I don’t know what they Doordashed. What if they Doordashed more than i would have? Maybe I should demand receipts. I also haven’t seen their server receipts. Or utility bills. I don’t know their long term financial strategy. I don’t know everyone’s salary. (i also don’t expect to or want to)

What I know is that there’s a team of human engineers that have a track record of delivering and supporting ZEC software in a reasonable timeframe. I’d like those humans to continue to be funded! They don’t need to show me receipts, they need to show me results.

Zboard’s grant was endlessly accountable, transparent, and held to to-the-dollar scrutiny! What did that get us? Thanks ZF.

ZOMG is in a tricky place! They need to fund new humans. Maybe humans with shorter track records than ECC. That means taking chances, but if they play it too safe, they’ll red tape this whole community to death.

EDIT: 6 hours later, the fact that nobody’s come here with a “gotcha” fact check list of Zfnd projects that aren’t horrendous embarrassments should tell you something. There have to be SOME non-disaster Zfnd grants beyond ZecWallet. Right?

EDIT 2: Nothing would make me happier than for Holmes to prove me wrong on Zbay.


I hear what you are saying…

Reward people who have already contributed freely. People who have solved actual problems. The track record speaks for themselves. With some extra money, perhaps they can afford the time to do more and more. It is what they love to do, after all.

Onlookers would be motivated to contribute rather than try to attract enough funding to be motivated.

The way it is being done now: contribute, then plead with powers that be that you are worth more than free. Negotiate your self-worth with people who are earning money off of the backs of miners and zodlers.

What you’re suggesting: positive reinforcement.

If ZOMG can’t attract grants, they should reinforce the positive contributors.

Holmes and Lewis and Gibson must be on the family plan or something

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This style of grant is currently being done with OxArbitrage. ZF recently renewed a contract with him to continue to work on Zebra development: ZF Grants - 2 weeks zebra development

I agree with the idea of getting good people on-board that we know to get stuff done. I think some of it depends on how the developer likes to work.

For instance Ox is directly contributing to a ZF project with the ZF developers so it makes sense for the structure to be a set time/rate.

However some developers may want more flexibility to go fast and experiment on things that may or may not work, so in that situation how does the ZOMG/ZF set that developers Grant/award for work to be performed, and for what time period? What happens if they decide they need more funding midway through? If there wasn’t specific “goal” defined to begin with how do we know that more funding is needed to reach that goal?

Speaking for myself: I think there is room for ZOMG to be more flexible and not over-burdon grantees with too many requirements/ micro managing. But in my mind that needs to be balanced with some forms of accountability so at the end of the day when the community asks: “What happened to all that ZEC we gave X person?” , we have a better answer than “I don’t know”

I just ask that you please keep in mind that ZOMG is a brand new idea for funding that has never been done before, made up of 5 people who have never done this before, we are all learning what works and what doesn’t. Our award/ evaluation / grant process is evolving as we go.


Does zebra have privacy by default?
Halo 2

Why isn’t the answer “It went to commits x,y,z (easy to track), releases a,b,c, and their support and maintenance this month” good enough? Do I have to know if the dev used her cpu credits and dedicated servers at an optimal rate? Do I care if they got delivery or carried out? Do I care what their “billed developer rate” (which is essentially (personal value / humbleness), pretty arbitrary) was in sync with their geographical region?

I’d say no. I wanted someone to do work. The work is done, she got paid X. Next month, if ZOMG wants to continue based on RESULTS, great! Feel free to tweak X as needed. If ZOMG decides it’s best that X is zero, that’s fine too.

That might be scary for devs on continuity of funding, but I don’t think it’s that bad. Dev/ZOMG trust will grow quickly and be a super valuable commodity to both! So there’s every reason to continue funding devs who’ve earned trust, and maybe the mutual needs (zomg needs trusted devs, devs need zomg) makes devs feel more secure?


Aren’t you ZF? Can you help on the grant question? There HAS to be at least one other decent grant recipient I’m forgetting. Surely SOMETHING of value has been built by ZF funds besides ZecWallet.

Addendum - Totally on the same page that ZOMG is evolving and learning what works and what doesn’t. I think asap we should find out if a people-focused funding model is a good evolutionary strategy!

Addendum 2 - Isn’t this a way to onboard devs? I know hloo has some commits in ZecWallet, I think community member rex(somenumber) has commits there as well, does tons of testing and work in github issues - Why not have an end-of-month roundup, talk about the actual results these people contributed to the ecosystem, and compensate appropriately? How valuable is rex dilligently testing and reporting the tiniest warning on every zcashd build? I suspect it’s pretty valuable. How valuable is Tm3k? He’s EVERYONE’s first window into ZEC. Break him off something from the ZOMG cash, he’ll meme it, it’ll be classic, and we’ll all laugh together over memes and continue to build a community we love, rather than bicker in our centralized discourse server confusopoly


See how stripe works. They create the SDKs which make it easy for developers to create their own apps using stripe backend technology. The sdks are designed around use cases.

So they don’t directly fund any external development. They just make it easier for devs to create 3rd party apps. Is this what zcash does or do they actually fund the external apps?

Really interesting ideas in this thread. Trying to think of a way to quantify results, most specifically in user growth.

Just spitballing: Maybe to make this measurable as a key metric, we could look to (dollars spent / active users) ratio and model “rewards” based on that.

For instance, Zbay received $64k in funding. It has approximately zero DAUs. We’ll include Holmes, and round up to one. That’s a rate of $64k/user currently.

By comparison, ZECpages averages 50 DAUs, with all time highs in the 300s. Going from the average, ZECpages seems to be worthy of a grant of about ($64k * 50 users) = $3.2M, valued relative to Zbay’s outcomes.

I probably wouldn’t accept it, because I enjoy the autonomy and fun of the pet project, but I think the math is right and a good start in finding user-focused key outcomes!


There are other models to fund the effort — make users pay (subscription, upfront, service fee via transaction fee, pay to unlock premium features etc). It gives you more freedom.

privacy is not free but it can be made accessible!


In 0x case, this is how he has been working for about a year and providing community updates:

I personally would not be opposed to this kind of funding model if a developer wanted a opportunity to work on Zcashd, Zebra, or even Lightwalletd development.


I think it’s more about deciding how to allocate zomg funds to zcash community such that community goals are met.

But i’m afraid ZF goals and Zcash Community goals are different.

Zcash Foundation: “public privacy infrastructure, even if its Monero”
Zcash Community: “Zcash is under-rated, under-utilitized and can bring world peace - we must show the world!”

How are Zebra’s DAU numbers? (edit - I guess this isn’t released? I could have sworn I downloaded a beta or something over a year ago. Am I misremembering? )

Edit: Also, it seems like (at first glance) what’s going on with 0x is not at all what’s being suggested - he’s getting milestones, getting a contract with an agreement to complete them, then being paid. He’s building a product to a spec. You’re not funding a person, you’re funding a product contract based on a spec. It looks like a person is getting contract work in the normal way. Am I missing something about the arrangement? Isn’t that a packetized project?

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Yeah, I was replying to @BrunchTime.

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I feel zcash is lost in the space and needs to realize they are late… Monero already leading to higher rank

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Zebra is not born yet. Baby Z will come out soon.

You need enthusiastic folks to run more full nodes. That set size goes up with Zcash ranking.

@amiller Isn’t 2021 goal to publicly launch Zebrad?


perhaps more important than daily active users (DAU) is “z2z/DAU” - how many z2z transactions did those DAU inspire?

Allocating @ZcashGrants ZEC to project based on z2z/DAU could be fun

DAU could also be subject to sybil-attack if someone decided to fake the numbers to try to obtain more ZEC.

[Moved off topic to other thread]

I believe he set his own milestones and adjusted them throughout the year as he worked, without needing permission to do so. This most recent Grant from ZF was more specific, two weeks of work, but previously he had a lot of discretion to find what he wanted to work on.