Below I have my campaign pitch as well as responses to the MGRC Open Questions.
Summary of Campaign Pitch
I advocate for pragmatism while working together to better the Zcash ecosystem. If elected, I would lean on my extensive experience being a leader in the cryptocurrency community to do the leg work behind proposals and set up of the structures behind the MGRC, optimizing for public communication/transparency. My experience in other cryptocurrency ecosystems as an organizer and leader will lend itself to providing a different perspective from those who may be very embedded in the Zcash community. I appreciate you taking the time to review the candidates and hope that you consider me for a spot on the MGRC committee.
MGRC Open Questions
- ZIP Ambiguity: The ZIP-1014 language has some ambiguities. Where would you stand on how to interpret and implement operational activities when there is no explicit language to guide you? How should the MGRC consider community will/preference?
Answer: Fortunately for the MGRC, the Zcash Foundation has provided some excellent guidance in this video on how the fund structure will operate on a legal and structural level. However, if there are ambiguities I would propose basing our decisions on the values outlined in the Zcash Foundation’s “Values and Goals” page as well as feedback from the community. I think transparency, inclusivity, and humility are values that should be at the front of our minds.
- MGRC Role: Should MGRC be a “driving actor” or provide sourcing, oversight and review? [context]. Should MGRC be more of a bureaucracy (with hierarchy, continuity, defined rules, and expertise) or can it be an adhocracy (decentralized and flexible)?
Answer: Like Andrew, I am torn on this answer and get the feeling that the MGRC will start as an entity that provides sourcing/oversight/review to test the waters and may need to morph into a more “actively driven” entity. The reasons for this are the following:
- We do not yet know the capabilities and time commitments of the MGRC members.
- We do not fully know if there will be a lot of grant applications coming in at first, as well as the quality of these applications. If there is a lack of applications or lack in quality of applications the MGRC may need to seek out grantees more actively.
Although I feel like this is how things will unfold, I am completely open to taking a more active role from the start.
I will be advocating for a decentralized/flexible structure for the MGRC. Much of the time a bureaucracy comes with a lot of red tape and distractions. I have experience participating in DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) and would advocate for that type of model (or something similar if not an actual DAO). It would be cool to use Zcash technology to set-up a DAO.
- Teamwork: Have you had previous experiences of being put together rather arbitrarily in a team before? If so, how did you manage? How will you go about managing disagreements between 1) yourself and another MGRC member and 2) other MGRC members with each other?
Answer: I have extensive experience participating in teams that are arbitrarily put together. My primary example is my participation in Moloch DAO, which is a grant funding DAO operating on Ethereum. Every member of the DAO gets voting shares proportional to their contribution to the DAO. Their contributions are used to fund public goods projects for the Ethereum ecosystem. I also have experience as an EIP editor (similar to a ZIP editor, but on Ethereum) where I have to work with a group of editors to make decisions about EIP approvals and issues. I would lean on this experience to help write up a proposal (in collaboration with the other MGRC members) for how grant applicants should submit their proposals and how the MGRC should decide on proposals.
- Processes: If you were elected to the MGRC, what processes and frameworks would you attempt to set in place in order to allow frictionless collaboration between the members of the MGRC? Is it a conflict of interest for a member of another cryptocurrency project to be on the MGRC?
Answer: I would propose the following set-up:
- Single chat room service (something like Discord) to allow for real time communication. If necessary, I have experience setting up “chat bridges” between services for those who have reservations using certain chat providers.
- Bi-weekly videoconference meetings with the MGRC members to start. If things start to operate smoothly we could move to monthly meetings.
- Blog or forum (I hope we don’t use something like Medium and set-up our own site) for long-form announcements to the community on which grants are accepted and other news. We may be able to utilize the Zcash forums for this.
I do not believe it is a conflict of interest for a member of another cryptocurrency project to be on the MGRC for the same reason I wouldn’t disallow a grantee to be working on more than one cryptocurrency project at a time: the cryptocurrency space is small/niche with a lot of overlap of technologies, philosophies, and collaborations. Both the ECC and Zcash Foundation have collaborated with teams outside of the Zcash ecosystem with fruitful results (examples: Ethereum Foundation collaboration with ECC and Zcash Foundation collaboration with Parity Technologies). Note that although I support potentially funding grantees that work on more than one cryptocurrency project, a grant application must “further the Zcash cryptocurrency and it’s ecosystem” as written in ZIP-1014.
I am announcing my candidacy for a position on the Major Grant Review Committee. You may remember me from my Dev Fund Review post last November. I feel that I am uniquely qualified to fill one of the seats on the committee and am looking forward to hearing everyone’s opinion in this thread.
My platform: I am uniquely qualified to be on the MGRC because I bring with me less bias and a wealth of experience in the cryptocurrency space.
I have been involved in the cryptocurrency ecosystem since 2011, originally enticed by the decentralization/censorship resistant aspects of Bitcoin. I was mostly a lurker on the forums at the time, but did mine on CPUs, and later GPUs/ASICs, through the years. Around 2014-2015 I was involved in the Darkcoin (now called Dash) cryptocurrency as an active community member. Around the time Darkcoin became Dash I left that community and became active in the Ethereum community. Since 2015 I have been involved in a number of leadership positions both within the Ethereum community and my place of employment, the Ethereum Foundation.
I strongly feel that Ethereum and Zcash are best friends, and have been since some of the earliest days of Ethereum. There has been numerous collaborations between researchers of Ethereum and Zcash that I have been involved in, including the Baby ZoE project, Project Alchemy, Zooko speaking at Devcon’s Two and Four, and myself speaking at Zcon0. The announcement from the ECC for the Zcash developer alliance is also promising for cross-compatibility between Zcash and other blockchains like Ethereum. I mention this to point out that I understand the importance and intricacies of cross-collaboration between projects.
Although much of my time has been spent in the Ethereum ecosystem, there is a special place in my heart for Zcash. I highly value privacy focused initiatives and believe privacy is a right. The Zcash community has always struck me as accepting and pragmatic above all else, which is rare to find in a community. I believe that because I am in some ways “an outsider” from the Zcash community (not very active in the forums, etc.) and therefore can assess grant applications with fewer biases. If elected I will make the time necessary to thoughtfully, but swiftly, look through the grant applications and work pragmatically with the other people on the committee.
A few final points:
- I am not currently involved in any initiatives of the ECC or ZFND besides being a member of the Community Advisory Panel since 2018, participating in this forum, and participating in some Zcash Telegram channels (that may or may not be officially connected with the ECC/ZFND).
- I have participated in the 2018 and 2019 Community Advisor Panel votes. In the spirit of transparency I am making my voting decisions from the Zcash Dev Fund Community Sentiment Poll public at this link. Do not hesitate to ask me questions about it.
- I do not currently have a stance on whether or how the committee members should be compensated for their positions and am open to hearing all opinions.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!