Major Grants committee

When I was voting for the grant committee I didn’t think too much about what the ramifications of creating one would be so I clicked “either is acceptable”. However after the comments in the other thread and @tromer points above I’m not so clear on how this would work in practice.

If this third party committee is supposed to be completely independent and have authority to hold and disburse 40% of the development fund, with zero influence from the ECC and ZFND then it will have to be a registered entity as a non-profit. It’s basically creating the need for a new Zcash Foundation of a different name with different people on the board, legal filings for accountability and different people running it. It seems like way too much work to get done effectively before NU4 and even questionable if it would be possible to get done at all. Who could/would lead this entity and not squander the massive sums of potentially millions of dollars per month?

The ZIP did say that the ZF is to take care of the backend responsibilities of things like custody, IRS, Legal, etc… so…

In my mind the entire point of such a committee/funding/grant platform is to augment and include more outside developers into the Zcash ecosystem. The more entities that are working on Zcash then better for everyone.

Thereby the question becomes how can the ZFND and ECC work together with a semi autonomous committee of people who will make evaluation and choices of where they feel funds would best be spent while simultaneously coordinating with ECC and ZFND to be sure work funded isn’t wasted/redundant to work already being performed?


Just like how ECC offered to take up the job, group of folks who are interested in setting up separate entity are welcome to setup new non-profit etc Unless there is a definitive effort, it is not worth the time because the alternative is pretty good option. I clearly don’t see the ROI for Zcash with new entity and folks.

How about we go with ZF for Major Grants then later come back to this, if there is an interest for independent committee ?


Could ZF just delegate authority to a committee somehow ? If its all transparent does it matter if technically its still part of ZF, they get to ratify decisions anyway.


In response to the vote, option A is the simplest and easiest (imho). It is 50/50 you cant please everyone, but which ever decision will have the majority of community support. So the path of least resistance would seem best.

I don’t think the zip needs to be modified and it would be pretty annoying if I have to vote again on this.

I am on the side of the foundation. Whatever they think is best they should do. The vote reflects this.

Not sure if the next bit if off topic:

I would like the ZFND to eventually broaden their scope by taking oversight of the process and funding distribution. They and the ECC already more or less have veto over who will get grants. (through the trademark agreement, not through malevolent means)

The committee should not be the same one that oversees the ZFND grants, it is far too much of a conflict of interest. They can share knowledge and stuff but the decision makers have to be different. How and were these decision makers come from, again it is for the ZFND to decide.

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That is what option B was proposing. Neither option proposed a completely-independent entity that would receive the funds; per ZIP 1014 the Major Grants section is handled as a Restricted Donation to ZFND.


Just out of interest, were any of the issues you highlighted in this post ever resolved?

Some relevant bits.

tromers summary of the grant committee issues

The helios question was based off this, right? so why are we even thinking about options? It is a great target but the only real people who can judge the merits of proposals are the ECC and ZFND, and the ECC will be applying for them.

maybe I am not getting the nuance between the options, but we either get experienced people or inexperienced people.

Again in regards to the vote, whatever the ZFND decided is the legitimate answer.

Just out of curiousity, how did/do the founders handle the funding currently?
I mean i see some similarities btw founders and a MG comittee/board. Did the founders register an entity?
Maybe it helps if we are aware how the current founders reward is setuped/registered/handled to see if there is something that could be used for a MG comittee or reverse, something that should not be used there.

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Perhaps confused by joshs post about transitioning to an independant 3rd party… its been a long day, sorry.


Why did suddenly the interest in decentralization, prevention of abuse, resolution of conflicts of interest disappeared?

No, but the vote gives them free reign to do what they think is best. the community said they would back either proposal with a majority.

I think this really is a case of let them decide. Im pretty sure they want to decentralise it and have it more resistant to attack and abuse, however, pratically speaking we don’t have the time to implement it.

If the foundation thinks they can set up an independent council and everything that entails, including getting some kind of community approval, before NU4 then lets do it.

If there is an inclining of doubt, don’t risk it.

The “im fine” votes mean whatever is decided is the majority. The ECC said they would do what the community wants, so the decision is left with the ZFND. I am not trying to shut down conversation of this but what is left to be talked about? The who, how and what makes up the council is a fair discussion, im not sure that is the discussion we are having here though.

Once the foundation releases their statement we should be in a better position to know.


The FR is not even remotely similar to a Major Grants Committee. FRs put cash into the ECC and got promised coins in return for thier investment. The Major Grants Committee has to be far more accountable and transparent to the community about where funds go, there is no expectation of committee members somehow making a profit. Let’s not dive further off topic.

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Eran, forgive me if I’m misreading any details — I’m typing this hastily on my phone before this airplane takes off and I lose internet service.

I don’t think anyone is calling for unnecessary bureaucracy. What I interpret the vote as is a question of power. Shall the ZF have power over that money, or shall there be a way to manage that money which is independent of ZF.

If the community requires the latter, I believe there are simple and efficient ways to do that. We just have to ensure that ZF cannot appoint or fire or defund or control the people or processes that govern those funds.

I don’t think “that would be hard to implement” is an adequate reason to push back. If the community is okay with the ZF having control (even indirect control) over those funds, that’s fine. ECC advises against that, but if the community supports it, we’ll support it.

However if the community wants governance of the MG funds to be independent of ZF’s control, they can have that. It’s not that difficult, and the principle of separation of power and of honoring the will of the community is worth it.


I think it is important to recognize that while the coinholders who chose to anonymously petition largely agreed with the Community Governance Panel, they diverged sharply on this question alone:

I know that this is controversial, but I do not see a justification for the Foundation ignoring that petition as though it didn’t happen, or for assuming without evidence that those millions of dollars worth of Zcash were somehow being used falsely. This is especially true if — as is the case — the petitioners are expressing a preference for decentralizing power away from the Foundation.


If you remove the profit factor i see several similarities or better said, possible similarities.

Totally agree with this!

Actually i was more interested how the founders reward was registered? As an entity? That’s everything but not off topic in my opinion after we have/should discuss how a MG comittee should/could be setuped, organized.
Hence why i would like to know how the FR was handled. Was it IRS registered and a registered entity as you/others stated that it must be?
Why not collecting some info that might maybe be usefull in a decision how a MG comittee should be “designed” like.

As a side note, i like that you are calling for more accountability and transparency than we had with the FR.

The FR wasn’t/isn’t a single entity, it is different agreements with over 50 different people so trying to compare them to a committee is pointless.


@zooko: is ECC planning on applying for funding from major grants? Because if it is, I think you should be very clear about that. You are making arguments for structuring a committee you intended to ask for funding. The conflict of interest is inherent and very large.

Note, ZFND is ineligible for funding from major grants. This is intentional.

Finally, why are you bring up the coin holder vote? Your own engineers described it as"
so obviously flawed and biased that you’ll have a dozen or more reasons (that have already been mentioned) to reject those results and many more reasons to prefer the Helios vote"


We haven’t made plans to apply for funding from the major grants, and in fact I’m inclined to think that we shouldn’t because of this reason. I think it is important that the receipt of funds be decentralized (for one thing in order to avoid crowding-out — other companies not bothering to apply for the funding because they assume ECC has the inside track). But it is more important for the control of funds to be decentralized, because that is where political power concentrates.


I stated this in the message to which you are responding, as well as several times before (1, 2, 3, 4).

It’s because coinholders are an important part of our community, because they are necessary to the long-term success of our mission, and because ECC and ZF have an obligation as stewards of the Zcash trademark to listen to and honor the community’s voices.


Yes, they are. However, what about the individuals who did not participate in the coin holder vote due to its flaws? I (and several others) did not take part because of this. Not only that, the process to participate was too complex/inconvenient.

I personally do not think those results are an accurate representation of the community’s will.


Also, it’s been established that the coin pollvoteprocess could be gamed for a shockingly low amount of money. So I think that “we should listen to coinholders” and “we should listen to the coin pollvoteprocess” are not even remotely equivalent.