🌟 James Joseph 4 MGRC

“If you know your network and your systems, you need not fear the result of a hundred cyber battles.” - @SunTzuCyber, The Art of Cyber War

For #z2z

I will help initiate a social contract the aligns the Major Grants Review Committee (MGRC) within the Zcash Network Flywheel. To do this, I propose installing Four Pillars that establish basic controls and levers for next year’s MGRC to gain momentum.

Read it here: https://hackmd.io/@jmsjsph/4MGRC



Hello @jmsjsph For my vote, please answer my questions frankly:

  1. Are you pro BTC? If yes, Why? If not, Why?
  2. What is the largest account size you’ve handled in USD? How many end users did it impact?
  3. MGRC will control 8640 ZEC per month or 25920 per quarter, how will this be roughly spent? (provide napkin calculation).
  4. MGRC announcement attracts 100s of applicants from all over the world with all random ideas, all matching your goals, how would you evaluate them?
  5. KPIs aren’t entirely possible on a privacy preserving payments protocol project’s level, it’s all z2z, how will you evaluate funded team’s impact?
  6. DeFi fever made ETH run 2x compared to every cryptocurrency this year, thoughts?
  7. What locals, regions, languages, ethnicities, educational backgrounds of people have you worked with? What are your preferences of assembling teams that deliver?
  8. We live in a remote world now, how do you evaluate applicants for grants?
  9. Projects in Zcash are going to go through a huge change beyond the handful, driven teams funded via Zcash Foundation, thoughts?
  10. Zcash is a protocol at its core, ZEC price is volatile. How will you handle a single digit ZEC? ($9 x 8640/month = $77,760) How will you handle a 5 digit ZEC? ($21,000 x 8640/month = $181.44MM) Thoughts…
1 Like

I am pro-Bitcoin because I would like to see Bitcoin’s promise of anonymous peer-to-peer electronic cash fulfilled without any sacrifices, in it’s full spectacular gradeur, without loss of fidelity. Get sucked into https://hackmd.io/@jmsjsph/TheCyphernomicon to see what I am getting at.

From it’s roots and to its current stature, I believe Zcash is the world’s most valid expression of what is popularly known as the Bitcoin movement thus far. Moreover, Zcash is manifesting Bitcoin’s vision by fleshing out competing perspectives for the protocol’s direction through the for-profit ECC, the non-profit ZF, and now the MGRC. Not to mention, it is all being administered by brilliant, conscious people who respect the potential of this project to change the world, for good.

That is why my club benchmarks its performance against Bitcoin - because we believe that, with the power of shielded money messages on mobile, Zcash can pick up the torch where Bitcoin left off: in the hands of everyday users.

If so, our club units, and Zcash itself, could be worth more than 1 Bitcoin, each. Practically, this could mean that, in the eyes of the behodlers, Zcash successfully accomplished Bitcoin’s mission. I would consider this pursuit extremely Pro-Bitcoin, but I do not hold any BTC.

The total value of our cybercoin portfolio varies widely in USD but has always remained less than $10M at all times. 20 members participate. Our faith has been tested as our club continues to underperform Bitcoin by more than 50%+ since inception. Valuations are performed at time of deposit, only.

Currently, our investment club’s target date is less than 5 years away. After our initial investment, we contribute to the account periodically. I consolidate and summarize its transactions, money and messages.

This is a great problem to have and we should aim to be inundated with such qualified applicants. Please see my 3D Social Contract for Transparency https://hackmd.io/@jmsjsph/4MGRC#-1-“3D”-Social-Contract-for-transparency & MGRC Wishlist

DeFi fever…

I hope they get better, soon. I don’t enter DeFi shops without a Metamask on. Even then, I don’t feel safe.

Int’l (including remote):
Leverkusen, Germany
Glasglow, UK
Hyderbad, India

USA (including remote):
Boston, MA
Kansas, MO
Los Angeles, CA
Philadelphia, PA
Raleigh, NC

What are your preferences of assembling teams that deliver?

See my answer to “Describe the type of people you work best with, if you were on MGRC what qualities should the other candidates have?”"

To complete the Zcash Network Flywheel, I am convinced that the MGRC must commit to fulfilling the Zcash vision from the End User’s perspective.

Our application process must invite what we are seeking from grant applicants.

I read about a technique called “user stories” that help software developers describe the TYPE of user, WHAT they want and WHY. It may prove to be a simple and effective way to capture what grant funding should accomplish from the recipient, enabling a diverse applicant pool to register their clear intents to serve our userbase.

By putting users first, you also increase the likelihood that the code that is produced becomes useful for other developers seeking to serve similar users.

What I consider real change: more active zaddrs, more shielded transactions, more practical usage of the zcash memo field

To me, “Huge Changes” create undeniable network effects: a bigger userbase (users not only attract others, but users also attract devs), an accessible functional codebase (to help devs reach more users, faster).

The MGRC, with access to referential codebases like wallet and open source projects like zecpages should enable newcombers to buidl bigger and better, year-over-year

See “Volatility

1 Like


May grant funding for a [Next] button…

I offered and awarded Zcash as a Prize to winners of a

And from your perspective, what infrastructure could have made the user experience *easier?

I think I was a cypherpunk in an earlier life

In first grade, I was nearly suspended for compiling and distributing evidence suggesting that Santa Claus is NOT real

Now I manage money and messages for an investment club

I think patient data privacy is extremely important to advance the healthcare of humanity, specifically via real world evidence and preventative measures.

The Zcash community is exceedingly welcoming and inclusive

1 Like

Strategic Reserve

I have detailed a strategy that reserves 25% of any incoming zcash during years 1-4 for use during the next years 4-8 and included a discussion of its benefits: https://hackmd.io/@jmsjsph/4MGRC#How-should-MGRC-allocate-Strategic-Reserves


How will you handle a single digit ZEC? ($9 x 8640/month = $77,760)

How will you handle a 5 digit ZEC? ($21,000 x 8640/month = $181.44MM) Thoughts…

In the long run, our goal should be to establish Zcash as the internet reserve currency such that it is stable in its own right.

Until then, we can reinforce the value of ZEC by declaring 1 ZEC=1 ZEC (as long ZEC/USD stays within some range that affords rent and groceries).

If ZEC/USD is $9, we can divide our grant funding allocation across less programs, reinforcing higher priorities as pre-defined by the committee (see 3d Social Contract: https://hackmd.io/@jmsjsph/4MGRC#-1-“3D”-Social-Contract-for-transparency)

If ZEC/USD is $21,000, we can multiply our grant funding into more programs, halving the amount of zec available and granting funds to our Wish List endeavors:

Wish List

If excess funding is available, say, ZEC/USD is $21,000, MGRC shall draw from a ZCAP wishlist that is maintain by MGRC. As with all funded grants, MGRC wishlist items must be approved by ZF before funding is administered.

These high and low triggers may be pre-defined, in public or in secret, by the MGRC/ZF.

I like the idea so much I have added it to my agenda and will credit you. Thank you! hackmd.io/@jmsjsph/4MGRC

Success: A crystal-clear social contract between the MGRC, ZF and ECC, one that includes standard operating procedures which care to unabashedly invite grant recipients from around the world to accept zcash and make it more useful for its current users.

More success - Network effects: Growing userbase and functional codebase means our anonymity set is exploding


  • we become a VC incubator seeking to extract value from its grant recipients
  • we become a DAO or MGRC governance coin, and only technocrats can understand the attack surface
  • we become the Ethereum 2.0 foundation seeking to administer Zcash grants to advance ETH roadmap
  • we offer cozy job titles to boost resumes of people who are taking time off to travel
  • ECC, ZF members on MGRC (why? they have their own fund and already care enough to contribute). VC can create their own devfund, lol, right?
  • Read this snippet from Josh Cincinatti’s exit letter (ex-dir of zf)

Remember that Zcash — and other efforts at private, digital money — are open protocols, not startups. Do not cargo-cult startup-ism into the core of your protocol, and resist attempts by others to do so. A protocol for private, digital money should serve the public good, not the needs of a select few business interests. https://gist.github.com/acityinohio/8590e5384806090fbcf5609e613eae51

1 Like

I though awhile ago that the funding amount to the teams building Zcash should be variable according to the price of ZCASH

1 Like

Looking ahead to potential grant recipients, do y’all have any ideas what would make for a great grant recipient?

A great grant recipient has made it clear in their application how their deliverable will amount to a larger userbase. When they fulfill their own Definition of Done, all Zcash users will be able to test the functionality of the grant.

A small development outfit? Large established team?

Smaller, less established teams over larger, more established teams.

Hire a cryptocurrency dev team away from their existing token?

I would like to see applications borne from the shielded money messaging functions that our very own protocol layer enables.

And, as much as I would like to free Monero from their own ring signatures or help Ethereum complete their network upgrade pipeline, I do not believe the MGRC should be in the busyness of funding grants that develop in the protocol layer, let alone another token’s protocol layer (including governance coins like 0xm, 3box, Aragon, Async, Art, Balancer, Bitcoin, Decred, Erasure, Ethereum, FOAM, Magic, MakerDAO, Matter Labs, Melon, Nexus Mutual, OpenZeppelin, Polkadot, Radicle, UMA, Zerion).

That being said, it would be fun to offer devs who build on similar protocols a special opportunity to receive an MGRC grant in order to remix their creation to incorporate shielded money and messages.

This could introduce to new ways of implementing shielded transactions while leveraging pre-existing frameworks.

Plus, the definition of done is clearly denoted by their altcoin counterpart: we simply fund the roadmap from p2p to z2z!

Any specific dream teams you’d like to hire?

Perhaps Naomi Brockwell’s Cointree would safely embrace zero addresses towards building their decentralized, open-source address directory. If integrated by other dapps, this could give cybercoin newcomers immediate access to familiar identities via non-sensitive addresses that leave no trace!

It’s very difficult to measure these things and calibrate. A textbook called the Personality Puzzle comes to mind. So does a zebra bred with a donkey.

In conventional politics, to win, one simply panders to pertinent polls. Where we are going, we must make space for the eccentric. I love idiosynocratic people with strong convictions who are able to convince others of them. In other words, really different people who can work together. People who are one-track minded, yet open-minded. As I mentioned on the candidate calls, I do not foresee any issues working with any one of the candidates as long as we all share a common end goal despite different ideas about how to get there. I am willing to sacrifice any item on my agenda to ensure that end users are well-served by our platform’s functionalities.

If I was on the MGRC, other candidates should have the qualities I am lacking:

  • I have specialized data management and statistical reporting skills that I practiced within traditional project management frameworks, but I’ve been able to distinguish myself more recently by becoming more "agile "
  • I am an amateurish business developer and software developer.

Userbase + Codebase


To me, the number of Zcash Users is the key metric by which to judge the success of the MGRC. This can be estimated by app downloads, total searches, flows on on- and off- ramps, etc.

We can develop dashboards, to estimate the number of users and their average usage (tx per time, zfa’s, etc) much like the Mr. Davies project above.

We can also leverage techniques achieved at the Zcash Observatory by Mitchell Krawiec-Thayer and Pranav Thirunavukkarasu. https://github.com/insight-decentralized-consensus-lab/zcash-observatory?files=1 (ZF Grant: https://grants.zfnd.org/proposals/21786689-zcash-observatory).

Here’s an example of a data visual MGRC could immediately grant funding towards with clear specifications:


In addition to Users/Usage, developers enjoy network effects when accessing a clean, reusable codebase that helps them incorporate shielded money and messages to reach more Zcash users.

I am interested in attaching key performance indicators for the growth of features available in our functional codebase, too.

1 Like

Good Luck Mr. Joseph

1 Like

I cant do flywheels, I find them visually distracting.

Josh S, did a great one for the ecc, he even did a talk on the ECC flywheel, flywheels and fireworks. he is the only other person apart from you I have ever heard use the word in this context.

I find your one harder to understand than Josh S’ because of the company logos. Could you explain the difference between the ECC one and yours please?

1 Like

There are 3 flywheels mentioned here. I started with the biggest and dove in:

The Zcash Network Flywheel (Notice ECC)

The Electric Coin Company Flywheel (Notice Adoption)

November 20, 2019 | Updated: November 21, 2019

The Customer Journey (notice traditional token-value oriented zcash applications)

@joshs Head of Growth @electriccoinco

Put it all together:

Thanks for asking… I added this to my Frequently Asked Questions

1 Like