MGRC Code of Ethics?

there’s too many grey areas for me to feel totally comfortable with MGRC currently. believe the community should use our collective brain power to write a “code of ethics” for MGRC to follow. going to use this thread to post ideas when they come to me, but interested in your thoughts. hopefully you’ll add your ideas to this thread too!

  1. MGRC members should not apply for grants when active as MGRC member.
  2. active MGRC members should be restricted from accepting any form of compensation/employment from grant winners.

As much as I love a good ethical code, they seldom have the right framing for organizational governance. What is instead needed is a conflict of interest policy outlining:

  • What qualifies as a conflict of interest, including what relationships might appear as conflicts of interest
  • What standards there are for disclosing a conflict of interest - both upfront and during governing activities.
  • How conflicts of interest are reported, to what extent are they available to other governing members or to the public.
  • What consequences are there for violating the policy or withholding such information from other committee members.

Here is the Conflict of Interest policy we use at Open Privacy: (in combination with this section of the BC Societies Act which details the standards expected under law:

The crux of the issue that it is simply not enough to have an implied ethical standard, but potential conflicts of interest need to be disclosed and recorded up front and kept as part of the records of the governing body.

In my view the MGRC should adopt a similar structure, with elected members declaring any real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest up front, allowing each other member to reference those conflicts during governance activities and allowing each member to declare a conflict during a vote and withdraw from the discussion and the vote.

If it is found that a member as voted on an issue in which they had an undeclared conflict of interest (real or perceived), then it would makes sense for such a matter to be investigated by the committee, the community - it is worth noting that dependent on how the MGRC is setup legally such actions may carry with them civil and/or criminal liability as they would under most laws governing such activities.


There often tend to be no real consequences of undeclared conflicts - often such policies just trigger toothless processes (usually so politicians can continue to misbehave).

I would favor a harsh reality for misbehaving, automatic disqualification from the committee is a good place to start - we can choose really high standards if we want to.

Edit: The example I have in mind is how politicians abuse such a system here in Chile. They’re supposed to declare all business interests etc in advance before voting, many don’t, others send in illegible declarations, its a huge smelly mess & nothing bad ever happens to those who get caught.


ZIP-1014 has a few details already set regarding conflict of interest:

The Major Grant Review Committee is subject to the same conflict of interest policy that governs the ZF Board of Directors (i.e. they MUST recuse themselves when voting on proposals where they have a financial interest)

It is expected that ECC, ZF, and Major Grant recipients will be focused primarily (in their attention and resources) on Zcash. Thus, they MUST promptly disclose:

  • Any major activity they perform (even if not supported by the Dev Fund) that is not in the interest of the general Zcash ecosystem.
  • Any conflict of interest with the general success of the Zcash ecosystem.

That is just the basics, MGRC members should certainly expand and elaborate on the COI policies that they and future members will abide by.


This is a great idea. A code of ethics can delineate between an amateur or a professional organization. Further, a fully written out code can be incorporated into contracts with grant applicants/contractors.

Conflict of interest can be just one part of the larger code of ethics.

Others pieces can be

  1. Compliance with laws and regulations
  2. Equal opportunity
  3. Anti-discrimination
  4. Anti-harassment
  5. Drug free workplace
  6. Honesty in record keeping
  7. Protection of intellectual property or confidential information
  8. Prohibition from accepting gifts, bribes, or kickbacks

What else?

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