Focus of grants


I thought it might be helpful to discuss grant priorities and focus. I’d love to provide just one perspective, in the hopes that this extra perspective could be useful.

There’s been a lot of talk lately of increased funding for media, why media is the most important focus right now, and some talk even of using dev funds to be earmarked specifically for media.

I think the priority should be recruiting devs, training people, getting issues fixed etc, not media right now.

I’ve gone from opening my wallet everyday because I want to use zcash or onboard someone, to opening it just so that it can sync. I haven’t onboarded anyone in a long time because their wallets won’t sync, they get server errors, they think their app has frozen, etc.
Churn is super harmful, and if I try to teach people about zcash right now they will never explore it again.

I mentioned zcash again on Fox this week, because I was asked about privacy and whether it’s important in crypto. I believe that privacy in money is one of the most important things for freedom, and base layer privacy is proving more valuable everyday. But that opportunity was wasted because every person who might have been encouraged to check it out is going to be met with a bad experience and will never try it again.

The focus right now needs to be on a useable chain, and any distraction from that is hurting zcash users. Let’s do a financial push for media when we have a great user experience, and the chain can actually live up to the media hype.

Just my 2 zatoshis, interested in hearing other people’s perspectives.



I have had similar experience trying to on-board new users to Zcash. ie hesitation because of uncertainty with syncing issues.

That said, YWallet by @hanh has been a saving grace. Have you tried that @NaomiBrockwell ? It seems to be the only truly functioning shielded lite wallet at this time. It also supports Zcash and Ycash equally, which is great in my view, because both have a privacy/selective disclosure value proposition.

Anyway, thanks for posting. And I agree that UX and scalability should be priority 1 right now, so that users can share their experiences confidently…. That’s the only way true network effect will accelerate adoption of Zcash.


Thank you! :heart:


I agree that the UX needs to be the top priority for the community at the moment.

Work focused on on-boarding vendors to ZGo is currently on hold because the UX issues play against the idea that Zcash payments are a better alternative.

I’m not sure if this impacts the ZCG program directly, as I think we need far more immediate action than waiting for teams to present proposals and get them approved, like the work ECC and ZF devs are currently doing.

I do think that the timing of any marketing campaign, regardless of the funding source, should be adjusted so the potential growth is not dampened by a bad first experience for newcomers.


TL;DR It’s not either/or. We need to build media capabilities now.

I don’t believe that media funding is in direct competition with funding for technical projects.

An issue that is limiting our access to developer mindshare is that those potential contributors haven’t been reached by media.

Speaking as someone who works fulltime on the technical issues that are preventing reliable adoption… please, Please, PLEASE… let’s support media efforts.

The part of my job that is recruiting new developers to help make zcash usable is easier if the notion of zcash is available in wider media markets.

I deeply sympathize with everyone’s frustration around access to a usable app, but cutting our media expertise is not the answer.

We need media funding now!


I’m in the same headspace. UX issues are being worked on - ECC has already indicated that that is their emergent focus right now. Media production and Media release are two distinct phases. I agree that now would not be the ideal moment for a major media blitz that drives new users to try (and subsequently be turned off by) a janky experience. Producing new, high quality media, will take time - probably enough so that by the time anything is ready, the user experience will be improved. And if not, release can always be planned/delayed to better coincide with an improved experience. It would be a major setback to hold off in investing on these projects now, only to find ourselves waiting months or years to have a ready-to-deploy campaign once the time is right, again potentially missing a fertile window.

My 2 zats.


Or we can actually listen to @NaomiBrockwell’s message here given her well documented media expertise…

Or maybe going in circles is the strategy. Idk anymore.


Good point! There is a grant open for more than a month now to fund the best working wallet in the ecosystem and to integrate its fast syncing method into Zcash libraries for others to use. Yet I have not seen any public facing movement about its progression…

It won’t be a cure all, but would be a step in the right direction to help make UX more resilient from what I can tell.

What do you think about funding that grant @NaomiBrockwell?

P.S. Which wallet have you been using during the high network load?

P.S.S. If I were to suggest one thing to help make this discussion productive, it would be to compartmentalize concerns. We all want a better UX for Zcash. The question is, what can the community do about it with its share of the dev fund? I think everyone will feel a lot better if we focus on that and outline concrete solutions to that problem.

Step 1, for me, seems to be funding Ywallet and working with the developer to keep improving it. At the same time, paying the developer to integrate warp sync for others to use. I personally think that if Zcash forks out 500k to fund Ywallet and warp sync integration, then a re-brand to a Zcash first wallet is reasonable. Additionally, funding this wallet sends a strong signal that Zcash pays its devs and it can be used as an example to attract others to build with us.

What other steps do others here think we can take to improve UX that don’t solely rely on waiting for ECC’s wallet?

P.S.S.S. There is no active grant request, nor will there be in the future, from Zcash Media that advocates for a large media blitz while UX is not improved. I nonetheless think that certain media upkeep, perhaps largely catered to folks more “in-the-know” aka cryptotwitter people, can help keep up morale and invite in others to the mission of Zcash. Additionally, certain aspects of media are useful for those in the ecosystem who are working to explain Zcash and Web3 encryption technologies to regulators (people who may never download a Zcash wallet, but could make all of our lives much more easy or difficult depending on their view of things like Zcash.). This belief was strengthened in me by my interactions with ECC’s regulatory folks at Zcon3, as well as my interactions with Peter van Valkenburgh during the initial production of our first video. But, I repeat, it’s not even up for discussion at this point, or the very near future, so focusing our efforts on how we can take actionable steps to improve UX given the community has the largest slice of the dev fund seems to me to be the best use of everyone’s time and brain power.


I don’t see this as a grants choice problem. There isn’t currently a choice that needs to be made between funding media vs having a usable wallets. If there were, I agree that the functional UX is most important. To be fair, a great user experience also encompases learning about zcash, the onboarding process, a friendly welcoming social network presence, and a thriving engaged developer community.

From ZIP-1014: BP, ECC, and ZF are ineligible to receive Major Grants. So the ZCG is not withholding funding that could be used to update either zcashd, lightwalletd, or zebra.

No amount of money on earth could have been paid to have the iphone 13 launch in 2009. Building theses complex systems has to begin somewhere and for the teams out there looking to solve hard problems, getting a grant to build out v1 is a great place to start something now. I strongly encourage any other organizations out there who have great ideas to submit a grant and start solving this problem as soon as possible.


Hire me since I actually know how to build nice user experiences and have done so for years personally and professionally. :sweat_smile:

But in more seriousness, maybe ZCG needs to create their OWN grant proposal that ZCAP can vote to fund in which a third party like can create a design system/some mocks that people can integrate.

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Why is hiring you not on the table? If you have good expertise, you could submit a grant or RFI for working on Zcash. In my experience, it’s way more fun to contribute directly to a problem that needs solving than try to nudge others to do it on this forum…


Good question. I guess I am unsure what type of grant to submit. Elemental ZEC is something that I would have probably tried to build, but that’s currently being tackled by @1337bytes. Additionally, I was interested in building a ZECPages like clone with @BrunchTime but he’s occupied with his own stuff and @Ziga seems to have lost interest in wanting to build anything else re: Zcash.

I would be more than happy to provide value and work to help better the ecosystem, but it seems like I need to figure out the right grant for it (+ people to work with on it).


I would highly recommend it!

What about Free2z?

Free2z is not bad, but it’s not great. It’s almost like a digital busking service but very confusing and seems like you have to use it to understand it. I recall suggesting an alt indiegogo/gofundme platform after the .ca trucker donation fiasco, and it’s maybe the closest thing to it on Zcash, currently. Yet, in its current form, it’s a bit half-baked. Additionally, I think the branding is not good (incl. name) and that’s an important piece of any project.

It does seem impressive a couple hundred people are on it, though.

Seems like a possible thing that could use your help!

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That’s up to @earthrise :wink:

@skyl and @birdify *

I believe fixing issues is the priority right now. :slightly_smiling_face:


I believe you might be referring to me :slightly_smiling_face:. If we want to free up ZCG to better focus on dev grants there are probably 3 ways of doing this.

  1. Reduce/ignore/postpone review of media related grants until they are less busy.
  2. Hire staff who can more efficiently assist in reviewing media grants.
  3. Expand the grants program to include more members so the workload can be spread amongst more people. One way of doing this would be to create a seperate (or assisting) committee that can take on the workload of reviewing media proposals.

I’d prefer 3 or 2 but to me 3 seems like it’s have the biggest impact on increasing ZCGs ability to focus on dev grants.

For all, there is already a separate thread about this. So I would urge opinions about the issue of dev funds for media be expressed in that thread. I fear somehow everything gets refocused on media when it would be much more helpful to have a pointed discussion about solutions to UX and how to solve those problems with the money and people we have at hand. We can go in circles forever about different philosophies, or we can try to take concrete steps to address everyone’s biggest pain point right now which is UX.