MGRC Update 10-8-2020 and Meeting Minutes


How about “Lets make Zcash the super bestest cryptocurrency committee” LMZTSBCC for easy acronyms :wink:

[Retracted statement about putting naming up for a poll]

Please don’t prioritize this, at all. It’s like choosing a headline before writing the story. Please publish your outline and drafts first

I was just referring to the title of the MGRC, not the entire mission statement. If the community is comfortable with the MGRC simply naming itself whatever it chooses then that is fine too.

Either way, I’m only one vote of five so I can’t speak for the other members.

okay, just none of this. :rofl:

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Changing the name is not frivolous. It could be done to break search result page rank

How do we determine if the action meets a level of community significance? quorum size? Fire alarm?

Let’s give it 9 months before we name this clump of cells.
“anyone complaining about this and posting distractions like [new names] or insults is clearly not interested in the substance or heart of” MGRC.

As mentioned in the minutes,

We did talk about the possibility of hiring an assistant to help augment the workload, but nothing concrete has been decided yet.

(Speaking for myself) As I mentioned in my original application I think it’s a good idea to have someone working full time on MGRC stuff to follow up with things. If the MGRC members themselves can’t commit to full time 40hrs then I think having an admin to augment the difference in hours is a possible solution.


The reason the naming was brought up so soon is because several things rely on having a name, such as securing a Twitter handle, URL for the grants platform, etc…

But you bring up a good point, putting the naming up for a poll would potentially give someone a chance to front-run those names. So I retract my previous suggestion. Probably not a good idea to run a poll.



First, congratulations for being recognized by the community as the best for this job, and thank you for undertaking the responsibility!

Kudos for the first meeting, and for setting the tone of transparency and open discussion on its content. Now that you’ve mapped the tasks at hand, I would like to offer my assistance in any way I can help you execute them. (My experience with prior ZF grants, many other grant contexts (on both the receiving and funding side, and advising ZF on its new grant system, might be pertinent.)

Regarding the grant application/tracking system and decision process, here’s a couple of thoughts:

Community engagement is paramount

We have people in the community who are domain experts, or are the actual prospective users, or who would be the ones to support/integrate the proposed work, etc. We should get them engaged in the evaluation of proposals, and even in proposing improvements to the proposals. Creating these dynamics requires proactive planning and significant ongoing work, but it’s worth it.

We did this in the first two (committee-based) ZF grant rounds, so we know it’s doable. Specifically, the old ZF grant committees relied not just on their personal knowledge, but also strived to be curators of knowledge and opinion, by actively seeking input and distilling it into explicitly-justified consensus decisions. You can see the results in the summaries of these structured rounds (2017Q4 and 2018Q2; further context in a brief history of Zcash decentralization).

The downside is that this engagement, comprehensiveness and transparency are very time consuming. They were too slow and heavyweight for some of the small grants that the old ZF committees had on their table, though the effort may be more to scale for Major Grants.

ZF’s grant system is currently inadequate

IMHO, ZF’s new grant system completely failed the above goal. It inadvertantly discouraged community engagement. Very few people used the new system (which was unfamiliar, clunky and simplistic, thus initially even worse than the GitHub-based system it replaced). There were almost no community contributions to the discussion, very little transparency on the decision process, and often no published rationale. For a long time there was not even a way for the public to see submitted proposals until after ZF’s funding decision was made.

There are ideas for how to improve this at the technical level, e.g., by integrating the proposal discussions into the forum and several other open issues. So there’s hope! But to stress, this will require more than prioritizing issues and writing software. It will require a mindset, framing, communication, and active outreach to breath life into any system you choose.

So as I said, thanks for undertaking the responsibility. :wink:
The Zcash community (me included) is here to help you carry it out.


Would you recommend a fresh start, or that we work with ZF to address these issues? One simple blocker to accepting applications is having a landing page where people can learn about the process and apply. As such, the existing ZF portal makes a lot of sense as a starting point.

In ZF’s setting where there are numerous small grants to analyze and track, it makes sense to have dedicated system that enforces and presents the process systematically. I think that with the suggested improvements (most importantly, forum integration) it will be very good. I don’t know of any better alternative, and I also don’t know of any pathologies in the underlying platform that would make it easier to scrap and restart from scratch.

However, the MGRC is playing in a different field. Presumably, the MGRC will see just a few large proposals, instead of numerous small ones. (Or would it? That how I think about it, but really it’s up to you to decide what’s desirable and set expectations/rules accordingly!)

Assuming that, a technically-enforced structure is less essential. If ZF does improve its system, then sure, the MGRC can go ahead and use it. I hope it happens soon! But if it doesn’t, then realistically: you can get by with just duct-tape solutions such as dedicated forum topics for the discussion of each proposal, a GitHub repo to track versions, and some private Google Docs/Sheets to track your internal deliberations. The bulk of the work will be the substance, not the form, so reducing participation barriers takes priority over a hand-crafted dedicated system.

Added: Another consideration is that, especially in the first applications round, you may want to keep things flexible and adjust the process on-the-fly. A process-enforcing web system can get in the way.

For example, in the old ZF grants, once we saw the submission volume, we decided to add a stage where the committee gives an advisory indication whether the submission is “promising” and the submitter is encouraged to proceed with further formalities; or completely off the mark. Since the communication was via vanilla GitHub issue comments and labels, this extra process stage was trivial to implement.


Interesting. There’s no clear definition of the world “major” in the ZIP, so the minimum grant size isn’t determined.

I do think it would make sense for us to focus on a smaller number of substantial grants at first. But it seems like a lost opportunity in the medium term to not also have space for smaller grants, since that’s a great way to attract (and vet) future major grantees.

So perhaps in the short term it doesn’t matter much which approach we choose, but in the medium term we probably want to use this platform. That makes me think we should use the existing platform now and make sure it’s very integrated with the forum, as you suggest.


looks like we’re due for an update:

Working on it as we speak :wink:


@lawzec the “haha x go brrr” for some x meme is a great meme!

But in the way it’s used above in a post about MGRC, it sounds like you’re opposed to the mgrc receiving a share of mining rewards and using them for major grants.

Is that really what you mean? If so, doesn’t that conflict with what you wrote in your candidacy announcement about how you would use the funds for “seeking or creating an organizations that would promote the use of zcash in the legal industry, particularly criminal defense?”

Or is it just the ECC’s use of these funds that you object to, and not the MGRC?


@holmesworcester I think you guys on the MGRC would be wise to make some small strategic grants in addition to the big ones.

If you see an opportunity for a low risk (in $ terms) high potential reward please just go for it! I would rather you mess up a couple smaller grants than be too cautious.

The ‘major’ grants are another story.


im mostly just being salty for reason that sticking to the plain meaning of language is indicator of the legitimacy of any “governance” authority. (perhaps its just i have a problem with inapt words “governance” , “community” used ) anyway, i’ve always maintained throughout that mgrc should only be doing what the zip explicitly permits, and without any enforcement mechanism to enforce the language of the zip to the benefit of the coinholder, the only option for the coinholder is exit. there are no avenues for redress in zcash other than spaz out on this forum.

anyway, perhaps in the area of nascent borderless private money, there are more important aspects of growing the citizenry than these perhaps antiquated ideals, but inevitably, i submit that these sorts of disregarded processes will not be viewed well. (governance is captured – which it is) thusly, my joke here is that meme included in the prior post is an pre-zip1014 gripe, and now there are further gripes that can be griped.

how about that price action!?

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1/ Price is not a distraction. Every product has minimum production costs which must be met to maintain viability. You know this. To ignore price factors indicates naiveté , foolishness, hand waiving, blinded by privilege or some combination thereof. Price matters. That is a reality of business.

2/ I’m astonished by the degree of contentiousness at every single step.

3/ Looking forward to proof of actual work.


Thanks for your offer of assistance and your advice. We are currently evaluating ZF’s grant system to understand it more. It sounds like your argument is less about throwing away the entire ZF grant system for our use, but augmenting it with the forum more directly and other ways to incorporate direct community input. If I understood you correctly, I don’t think that’s a bad idea, but will take work/time as you mentioned.


I am having a bit of trouble parsing this. Major is clearly defined in the English language.

major != smaller.

Major can be impact and doesn’t have to mean costs a lot - I think this is what aristarchus is referring to, but I just want to check.

ZDA members have already expressed an interest, so why not go through the first two grants on the forums? the functionality is here, and we can always add some plugins if needed. Thesis (cc: @mhluongo) have already publicly stated they are interested in applying so I dont think their will be too many confidentially issues. and it is a great opportunity.

The ZDA have shown they work well with the forums, some of them submitting zips.

The forum is a great place to get community feedback and help refine processes

if we look at what is involved objectively it is a lot more than 5hrs a month. Please use the forums to let others to help you in this. This whole thing is going to have to be a group effort for this to work.

We are all here to help make this a success.


That interpretation makes sense and works for me.

We’re definitely going to make use of the forums, not so much as a way to save time (which it might not do) but as a way to increase transparency and engagement and improve the overall result. I think the flow will be that people will apply the way they would have already for ZF grants, and at some point we’ll create a forum thread for the grant application to solicit feedback and questions.