Hudson Jameson announces his candidacy for an MGRC position

Hello all!

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

You can find my blog at hudsonjameson.com and @hudsonjameson on Twitter. My DMs are open and my e-mail is hudson@hudsonjameson.com.

19 Likes

The only issue I would have giving my vote to you, is the potential conflict of interest that may come from your involvement with The Ethereum Foundation.

If you would make a commitment to abstain from voting on proposals from The Ethereum Foundation and its affiliates I would be interested enough to support you with my vote as a ZCAP rep.

I appreciate your commitment to the developer alliance, but hope you see where I am coming from to maintain a healthy neutral MGRC nomination with my vote.

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I completely understand and would abstain from voting on proposals from the Ethereum Foundation. The word “affiliates” will need to be better defined. The reason is that the Ethereum Foundation has an extensive grants program that funds nearly every major Ethereum client across both Eth 1.0 and Eth 2.0 along with a plethora of other projects. We also at times work with the Ethereum entity that is a part of the developer alliance, Consensys. However, Consensys is separate from the Ethereum Foundation.

4 Likes

Hi Hudson,

Could you give your thoughts on what you think should be done regarding dev funding after the 4 years of the major grants committee? Should it be continued after the 2nd halvening (year 8), or be discontinued in favor of something else?

Personally I would like to eventually move toward something more decentralized, such as coin holder voting on dev funding.

A decentralized coin holder voting system for dev funding allocation is something that could be funded by the major grants committee.

2 Likes

Thanks for the question!

tl:dr:

I believe block reward funding in Zcash us powerful and good for the ecosystem. We should re-asess everything about on-chain funding after 2-3 years to see how well it is working so far and adjust. At that point other options that involve verified Zcash community members or Zcash related organizations may be viable to implement alongside or to replace the current system.

Long form answer:

I believe that block reward funding can only work if you start the cryptocurrency with it built in. Retroactively putting it in (or re-applying it after taking it out) is problematic because it takes an extraordinary amount of community coordination. I say this because Zcash has something special in this type of funding and should not take it away without a lot of thought. Providing built-in protocol incentives for Zcash to became a better system is very effective from my vantage point.

Ideally you would want to move towards something more decentralized, but from my research and experience dealing with governance issues on Ethereum that is difficult. On-chain governance solutions generally turn into oligarchies very quickly (see Lisk, EOS, Kusama, Steem). The key to making on-chain governance (like coin holder votes) effective is to:

  1. Have the cryptocurrency somewhat evenly spread out so no major group of entities can collude. This is very difficult to achieve with centralized exchanges.

  2. Have a system where you can have a 1 vote-1 entity system so you can’t have people pretending to be more than one person. BrightID is taking steps towards this, but it is still very early.

I find the likelihood of coming up with a system that meets the criteria above (or at least point 2) in the next 4 years highly unlikely, but let’s hope for the best and pursue the most fair, decentralized solution possible. Maybe creating a “governance token” that is fairly distributed to validated entities could help solve #1. My thinking is that we should be assessing new, innovative solutions as we go along and it is too early for me to have a strong opinion on what should be done with dev funding in the future.

2 Likes

With respect to your “final point 3”:

Would you be willing to take a pro-significant compensation position?

I’m inclined to vote for candidates who pledge to make the MGRC membership a well-paid full-time post. Anything else runs afoul problems with ambiguous biases. I take it as given that all members will be biased, and that explicit biases are better than implicit (denied?) ones.

1 Like

@zancas I’m not following how paying the MGRC members a full-time salary avoids ambiguous bias. Could you elaborate?