Mandate Bounty Programs - Dev Fund 2024

Hey everyone,

So, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought over the last month or so. I want to propose an idea should the upcoming development fund be renewed.

I propose that we mandate all dev fund recipients, other than ZCG, to run minor grants and/or bounty programs that further redistribute 1) block rewards to part-time contributors 2) workloads that can be burdensome for dev fund recipients.

Why I propose this

Re bounties

In a recent recording with ZecHub, I explained bounty programs can create more opportunities for people to directly be rewarded for contributions via the dev fund. And, it gives people the opportunity to contribute when they might not have the time to do a minor or major grant.

On the flip side, I believe it helps organizations as well. For example, if ZF has marketing tasks that take a decent amount of time, and they’d rather offload to a part-time contributor, they could create a bounty for $X a week in exchange for Y hours of marketing admin work. This then gives ZF full-time employees to focus on higher level initiatives. It’s a win-win for all parties involved in my opinion.

Re part time projects

If there are more specific initiatives, that teams cannot complete due to bandwidth, orgs can create RFPs that offload the work to the community. This creates more opportunities for community members to apply for Zcash-specific work, and again, it further diversifies the amount of contributors in the community.

If we look at the current Zcash ecosystem, we have a few examples where this is successful:

@thedesertlynx’s podcast is $500 an episode
@ZecHub’s newsletter goes out 4x a month at a cost of 2 ZEC/$70 USD a month
And more!

Tl;dr, I think giving more people an opportunity to contribute further redistributes the supply of Zcash in a more optimal way (i.e. everyone just isn’t dumping it), and establishes a contributor community whose focus isn’t on price appreciation. And, the quality of work can still be really high!

How this works in practice

Say we have three dev-fund recipients outside of ZCG in the next dev fund. I propose that those three organizations publicly propose what their objectives are to the community. They outline what staff they need for said objectives and staff accordingly.

Should they need additional support, but can’t justify full-time hires or external contractors, they create bounties and/or RFPs that are designated for members of the Zcash and/or broader crypto community to apply and/or complete.

Community members scan the bounty opportunities, submit proposals and/or work, and are rewarded with bounties appropriately.

It’s a lot to manage, but it’s pretty simple in practice!

If orgs don’t want to manage such a process, we could possibly do two other things.

  1. create non-profits, who receive a very small portion of the dev fund, that are responsible for managing bounty programs for dev fund recipients who need to offload some tasks to the community. I kinda like this.

  2. expand and give ZCG the ability to source RFPs from dev fund orgs and manage bounty programs on their behalf. I don’t like this.

I think 1 is better than 2 because ZCG is already stretched thin and I believe they should focus on major grants, as they are doing. I only kinda like 1 because it gives single entities a lot of control, but I think in practice it would be fair.

To finish

I believe that by creating more contribution opportunities, future dev fund recipients can offload work to the community to get back some bandwidth. I also believe it creates stronger (and less-speculative) incentives for community members who want to acquire ZEC. I believe these models can give ZEC more utility as a token.

If more people earn ZEC, versus buying it on an exchange, they may view the token as a payment for their services instead of an investment. It changes ZEC from an investment asset to money.

Let’s get more people earning Zcash via the dev fund and contributing to the ecosystem. Then we have more people, with more ZEC, to stimulate the Zeconomy.

Lmk what you think! Please be nice!


I’m afraid I can’t support a mandate on this because I’d argue most recipients are not experts in managing this type of process. It would create less submissions because folks wouldn’t want the hassle. In my opinion, we should mandate as little as possible on the recipients so they can focus on what they do best – their work.

I think ZCG is best positioned to handle grant work in regards to bounty programs. If they are stretched thin, they should hire, and hire at a much better rate to insure this problem is corrected. On the other hand, perhaps them being in the US is a severe handicap with regards to US law – I’ll let the lawyers chime in here as I’m no expert.

Again, If they don’t have time to submit a minor/major grant, they most certainly will not have time to create/manage a bounty program. With that being said, the bounty program that ZecHub has created has been educational for me because it made me realize how much work is involved with managing bounties. I originally created a ZCG proposal for ZecHub work without any help, it is beyond clear to me now that was a huge mistake. On the other hand, it has been rewarding giving out bounties to the folks who have contributed in some way.

Couldn’t agree more here, we need more folks earning because frankly, being able to buy on a CEX might not be available for many soon.

Final thoughts: I appreciate this idea because I think we want the same things, but mandating is not the way IMHO.


I don’t understand what this has to do with anything

they’re not managing the bounty program, they’re completing bounties

fine, we can use a new word


I agree with much of what you said @dismad. Mandate is probably too ridged. But I think the wider theme is that we should encourage the proliferation of dev funds that contributes to community and ecosystem building.

Maybe there are even some low friction ways to do this already :thinking:.

Yeah I’ve often wondered this. For example if ZCG had an open platform with a list of issues with bounties attached would every recipient be require, at the very least, to sign/complete KYC :thinking:? And if so I wonder what makes that distinct from me paying a contractor to mow my lawn who I don’t KYC and how we can apply those laws to our situation :thinking:?


I like this concept a lot, but as others remarked already, I’m skeptical that formalizing a bounties process would be worth the energy and worth the added middle-managerial costs.

I propose that this concept can be much more readily manifested if the ECC and ZF were more outwardly transparent about their day-to-day, and the containers of work that they could reasonably expect outsider support with.
Within those organizations, the engineers and managers doing the work/ setting priority/ communicating with the public… somebody today has got to have a decent grasp about the sort of stuff that is bounty-able.

From both ECC and ZF, a common page should exist where bounty-able stuff is placed/ abstracted and then the community can take it from there (with existing major, minor, etc grants processes). I like the bounty concept, but I think that formalizing it could be at risk of overkill.

We should also be asking ourselves… (perhaps the ECC or ZF forum members could speak up here @Dodger @joshs )…

How much bounty-able work is floating around within those two organizations today?

If the answer to that question is tons then I’d actually considering supporting a formalized bounty approach, if the answer is we can’t come up with much then I’ll rest my case as the points above.

As US-based ZEC broker(s) its a legal responsibility of ECC, ZF, ZCG to know who they’re paying for Zcash contributions. (This law exists to make it unlikely that for example, that ISIL members arent privately contributing to Zcash and being compensated by a grant program who doesn’t know that they’re part of a terrorist organization)


Look for a blog post from me tomorrow, as well as follow-ups in the weeks ahead. There are things today that might be good candidates, and will be more things ahead, as ECC narrows its focus and transitions some of its current activities to the community in support of greater Zcash resilience and sustainability through decentralization.