FAQ around grant ideas

This thread might serve as a knowledge base around grant ideas and possibly help people with getting answers to similar questions they might have:

Wallets

Zcash hardware wallet support:

Core & Security:

Continued support for alternative implementations (such as Parity Zcash)

Layer-2

BOLT development

Ongoing Services:

A “service status dashboard” site that monitors the status of the dozens of Zcash-related online services (e.g., those listed in this section, the network monitoring and anomaly detection suggestions listed above, as well as exchanges, software download sites, etc.), so that systemic problems can be identified at a glance

  • The monitoring website can check that the services are responding to web requests, as well as heuristically check that they are synchronized (e.g., blockchain height is correct and underlying zcashd is a recent version) and sensible (e.g., transaction volume and spot price are not zero)

List of ZCash Related Online Services (not exhaustive): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ESq4EA4dQ9UB3sUNiBwLEXm26YhUMheXbzr-ednFI0M/edit?usp=sharing


Possible Idea List:
There is no mobile wallet that does all the three: https://z.cash/wallets/


Some links that might help:
2018 Grant Ideas: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/ZcashFoundation/wiki/Grant-Project-Ideas
2018 Proposals: https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/GrantProposals-2018Q2/issues


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Prastut, if you’re comfortable with sharing at this stage, I think the community here would love to hear about your plans as well!

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My questions to the community:

Wallet

Zcash hardware wallet support

I would love to get vantage here of what exactly needs to be done. From the last response on this thread: Zcash Ledger sapling support - response from CTO, I see a dependency on ZIP 305 which is still open. If the community can help me connect the dots, I would love to take on this challenge.

Ongoing Services:

A “service status dashboard” site that monitors the status of the dozens of Zcash-related online services (e.g., those listed in this section, the network monitoring and anomaly detection suggestions listed above, as well as exchanges, software download sites, etc.), so that systemic problems can be identified at a glance. The monitoring website can check that the services are responding to web requests, as well as heuristically check that they are synchronized (e.g., blockchain height is correct and underlying zcashd is a recent version) and sensible (e.g., transaction volume and spot price are not zero)

Can the community answer the questions on the spreadsheet here? I have tried to make an exhaustive list to understand a macro overview of the kind of healthcheck service that can be made.

Mining:

Integrate the best CPU miner from the Zcash Open Source Miner Challenge into zcashd, designed to run continuously in the background, solo-mining as a contribution to the decentralized network instead of as a business

  • How do I decide which is the best one? Can I decide which is the best one?
  • Also if there would be somebody who could elaborate on this prompts, it would be really helpful.

Core & Security:

Continued support for alternative implementations (such as Parity Zcash)

As I was going through the video, they ask for contributors help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UUsCklWR5Y&feature=youtu.be&t=2285

Can the community tell us what kind of help do they want? I can’t seem to find a roadmap ( https://github.com/paritytech/parity-zcash/issues/13) and where do they need help and hence what can be proposed here?

Layer 2:

BOLT development and Lightning Network integration for Zcash

  • I see that BOLT team is working on this. Is there any specific asks from the grant proposer? What can be proposed here that can help the BOLT team accelerate?
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I think this might be bad choice. Having in mind the huge advantage of Asics, the increasing hashrate of the Asics network a background CPU miner would have absolutly no impact at all. I’am well aware that you are talking about non business mining but my opinion is that this would have more negative impacts than it helps securing the network with the minimal hashrate output.
For example:

  • Slowed down PC’s & Laptops, people may get negative feelings towards zcashd.
  • The research/support/service/updates/upgrades/maintance of it doesn’t justify the output of this cpu mining action on an asic network.
  • I could imagine this could cause additionally problems with the setup/maintance of zcashd for the average joe.

Just my personal opinion. All the other points are pretty interesting.

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Thanks for starting this thread, Prastut! The list could definitely use some work, and I think once we publish detailed RFPs, that will be even more helpful.

We’re also planning to share a rubric for evaluating grants, to give people a better sense of what we’re looking for. I bet that @acityinohio would be interested in the community’s input, if anyone has thoughts!

It will probably be fairly common-sense, with criteria like “the team has demonstrated relevant competence in the past,” but also have some process info. I’m sure that we’ll end up iterating on the rubric over time, and update the public guidance accordingly.

cc @boxalex

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Oh, also, pull requests with suggested additions or modifications are very welcome! https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/zfnd/blob/master/grants/index.md

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I appreciate that you’re still here, sharing your thoughts and suggestions, despite all your disagreements with the direction of Zcash as a project. It helps keep this place lively, and certainly helps me understand the landscape better :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your insight! This gives me a lot of good points where I can now atleast start breaking down the problem statement. Slowly ramping my knowledge about the ZCash ecosystem :slight_smile:

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Some thoughts around rubric:

  1. Audacity: How crucial the problem the team is trying to solve? i.e ZCash hardware wallet support vs Monitoring ZCash Ongoing services
  2. Clarity: Does the team have awareness around the problem they are trying to solve? Did they try to seek awareness from the community if they lack clarity? How believable the timeline looks like? How concrete/explicit the outcomes are in each milestone in the timeline?
  3. Excellence: Does the team have the technical chops to deliver the project in the timeline they have given for the project?
  4. Accountability: Will the team need a lot of hand holding? Do they have past experience working in different timezones and contributing remotely?
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We quoted you here: https://www.zfnd.org/blog/grant-platform-update/

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Note that there is also an older, longer list of Grant Project Ideas in the archived ZF wiki.

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FWIW, @acityinohio and I used that list as a starting point. We trimmed off some of the ideas that Josh didn’t think would be good candidates for funding.

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Hi @sonya, I wanted to know how best do I get the community’s attention around some of the questions we have asked above.

The checkpoints so far:

  • Got clarity of what needs to be done in Zcash Hardware Wallet Support but it seems it’s pretty tough for the level of skills I have. There is a lot of time cost that I would be incurring to figure out what needs to done.
  • Ongoing Services: getting clarity on our questions in the zcash-foundation channel.
  • Contributing to Parity ZCash. Have pinged the developers and getting on a call to see where can I add value. Still not sure what exactly could we make a proposal here.

Still need clarity around Mining and the value anybody can contribute to BOLT team.

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Continuing on the idea thread, would something along the lines of visualizing data make sense to the community?

For example a nuanced version of https://bitbonkers.com/ for ZCash where we can have live statistics for all the types of transactions the ZCash ecosystem supports.

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Have you reached out to BOLT directly yet? If not, I’d be happy to connect you.

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Hi @prastut — to echo @sonya’s suggestion, happy to connect you with the BOLT folks if you want to discuss. (or I might just tag @jakinyele here :wink: ).

Re: Mining, this is more my personal opinion than something official from the Foundation, but I agree with @boxalex that looking for CPU mining optimization is probably not worthwhile. I however do think that there’s reason to improve mining pool software; a particularly audacious and worthwhile goal is to create something for Zcash akin to Blue Matt’s BetterHash proposal and implementation.

Keep in mind that we’ll have more RFPs and process outlined after Zcon1 (likely informed by your excellent suggestions above!) so stay tuned on that front.

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Have you reached out to BOLT directly yet?

Not yet.

As with all of my activities so far, I wish to be transparent and create logs for anyone who can then easily follow up to reduce information asymmetry. The direct connect reduces that.

In connecting with BOLT team, as @acityinohio as already tagged @jakinyele here, we could continue the conversation here :smiley:

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Got it.

Keep in mind that we’ll have more RFPs and process outlined after Zcon1 (likely informed by your excellent suggestions above!) so stay tuned on that front.

:heart_eyes:

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Hi @jakinyele, would love to understand what value my small team as well as anyone in the community can add to BOLT.

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@sonya, I think the trimming of the old Grant Project Ideas was a bit too aggressive.

To pick a random example, I think that

Shielded transfer over any secure channel without z-address (https://github.com/zcash/zcash/issues/2432) — sending ZEC by email or WhatsApp

from that list would be very well received.

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