@_tm3k's announcement for the MGRC election

Some of you may recognize me from Twitter as @_tm3k where I am known as the ‘Zcash robot’ and coined the commonly touted phrase ‘1 ZEC = 7 BTC.’ I’ve been involved with trading cryptocurrencies since 2014, and I am also an admin in the Zcash community telegram. I have always been interested in contributing to the expansion of Zcash as a whole, beginning with GPU mining Zcash in its infancy, and progressing to z9’s as the technology advanced. Most people know me for my unwavering love and enthusiasm for Zcash over the past several years, and even if my presence in the Zcash community is completely unrecognizable to you in this moment, I hope that my proposal for my candidacy to be on the Major Grant Review Committee leaves a lasting impression.

As a pseudo-anonymous presence on the internet, what drew me to ZEC the most was its unique stance on privacy and the inclusion of completely shielded transactions. Hal Finney, a personal hero of mine, wanted bitcoin to have more anonymity, as did Satoshi. As a full time investor and trader, I also saw the lack of privacy as the major shortcoming of Bitcoin and looked forward to the day when this flaw was adequately resolved. Zcash solved this problem, and so my allegiance began to grow. My public-facing presence which lies mostly on Twitter is now synonymous with Zcash, but I want to use my faith in this project to continuously expand and progress. Last year I submitted my own grant proposal for a Zcash-emblazoned parachute, not only because it would have been awesome to fly it and create marketing material, but I also wanted to familiarize myself with the new grant proposal process and features. Although my proposal wasn’t entirely funded, I valued the experience to connect with the Zcash community and pitch my proposal in a creative way. This overall positive experience made me jump into this candidacy proposal to be on the MGRC with no hesitation.

I have never been employed by the ECC or ZF, and have no affiliations or ties with any other cryptocurrencies or groups which would present a conflict of interest. I am willing to reveal my identity to the ECC/ZF as determined necessary if I am elected. I strongly believe in privacy-protected digital currencies, and encourage community involvement and outreach to continue driving Zcash’s success forward. As a potential member of the MGRC, I would insist that each proposal adhere to three basic criteria when being reviewed for a grant: a concise and achievable roadmap including a feasible budget, team members/developers with a verifiable and transparent positive track record to ensure community trust, and the ultimate goal to develop something that benefits Zcash in a new or better way. I am mostly interested in projects that intend to develop cross chain interoperability, atomic swaps, and decentralized exchanges. I am also excited to fund projects that increase the ease of use and ease of access to Zcash for users that aren’t tech savvy. I will be transparent in my voting and am willing to explain how and why I voted on a proposal in the manner that I did, as I believe even a proposal rejection can be grounds for improvement and learning. In the name of transparency, I think it is important that the MGRC members are adequately compensated for their time and efforts and this compensation should also be general public knowledge and open to community input as deemed necessary. I will be conservative in voting at first, because I think spending zcash at such a low price is mismanagement of resources.

My motivation for candidacy goes beyond personal financial gain attributed to Zcash. I want to be a guiding hand and decision maker in helping to build the ecosystem needed for privacy-protected currency mass adoption.

I welcome any and all feedback, replies, or questions you may have on this post regarding my candidacy for the MGRC and thank you for your consideration.

Zcash is privacy, privacy is freedom, freedom is power. Vote @_tm3k.

EDIT1: Please see my additional post to this thread, comment number 9. @_tm3k's announcement for the MGRC election

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Welcome back to the forums @tm3k :slightly_smiling_face:

I have added your thread to the top post of the MGRC Megathread, Good Luck!

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I like that unexpected candidates appear. And I liked your ad. I think that in order to understand a correct vector of development, a candidate do not need to be a technical expert, but it is important to Believe in zcash success and clearly understand its relevance to our world.

I have one question. Do you still offer to delete your Twitter-account for 1000 ZEC? :wink:

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Thanks for reading, @artkor I agree a candidate does not need to be an expert. They just need to be someone who the community thinks will make the best decisions for Zcash.

That depends, can I re-activate my account a few days after? :smile:

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you made my heart fluffy when you mentioned Hal Finney and you stole it at Atomic swaps, I would support you. Crosschains and atomic swaps are very important as well as processing more transactions for online sales.

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VOTE TM3K!

Srsly tho your enthusiasm for Zcash is unwavering and infectious.

As a $zec bag holder and someone who is also v.interested in financial privacy I would feel comfortable with someone like you on the committee.

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Thank you for the support, @PhusionPhil. I appreciate it. Do you have any questions I could answer?

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Thank you @ratty. Are there any questions I could answer for you?

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@zooko has posted questions in the main thread for candidates to answer. I will add them to my application to keep all my stuff in one place, and then post the link to the main thread. I have also preemptively answered questions towards the end that I would’ve liked to be asked.

  • “What are the responsibilities and the time commitment of the role?”
    I think all seats should be filled by someone able to make a full-time commitment to ensure work gets done in a timely matter. There could be a small amount of work, or a huge amount of work. We won’t know until the committee is formed. It could be compared to the amount of work needed previously for grants, but I think the formation of the MGRC will attract more grant applications than previously experienced, especially as privacy focused cryptos gain more mainstream traction.
    Some of the responsibilities include timely review of grant applications, healthy debate and communication with other members on the pro’s and con’s of each grant, how the application can be improved and communicating this to the grantee (ex: reject intial proposal, fund revised proposal).
    Finally, an ultimate decision on the grant. All members should be able to communicate on voice chat before a final decision is decided.
    The first committee will set trends and traditions that will likely be followed by future members.

  • “What is the compensation going to be?”
    My belief is that every seat should be full time, this is why I think the members should be compensated. I think compensation should be on the low end of 30k USD, and on the high end 70K USD. It should partly be based on the cost of living where they currently live, and partly on their contributions.
    It’s important to not be overpaid and leave most of the money for grants.
    We need people who do it for the love of Zcash and not for the money.
    I think before anyone even thinks about getting paid, a lot of work needs to be done setting up the basic structure of the MGRC.
    I have enough flexibility in my personal life to make being a full-time MGRC member a priority. Frankly, this is possible because I bought bitcoin early and timed my 2017 exit well enough that I have years of funds saved up.
    I am willing to take on this responsibility without knowing what the compensation would be.

  • “Five simultaneous one-year terms?”
    ZIP 1014 states the MGRC seats are up for re-election every year. This could create a problem because just as things start to roll smoothly, a (potentially) whole new team has to step in and take over the previous teams responsibilities, without necessarily sharing the same vision, method of execution, or communication style. I think 2 of 5, or 3 of 5 should be up for re-election each year. And this should be determined by how much they have contributed and how well they have performed. Who is to decide this? I think the ECC/ZF should vote on it, and remove the low hanging fruit.

  • “Who else will they be serving alongside?”
    It’s important the panel is diverse and not one dimensional, with people from different backgrounds and skill-sets. If there aren’t enough people applying for this position by the deadline, I think it should be extended further to allow more people to apply. Its better to delay and get good candidates than rush it and risk electing subpar candidates.

  • “What sort of people should we try to attract to serve on MGRC? / “What sorts of backgrounds and skillsets do you think are most important to have on the MGRC?”
    I think it is important to attract people who have a good fundamental understanding of cryptocurrencies. People who have no experience in the space and just see this as an opportunity to get paid should be avoided. They need heart too. If they have previous experience in managing large amounts of money, delegating tasks to others, skill in communication and business management, then I would consider them a good candidate.

  • In real life my professional experience includes being an active, full time investor and trader since 2014, in both real estate, crypto-currencies, and stocks. I manage my own money. I have managed commercial real estate for 3 years. Currently I own a small company that specializes in real estate marketing, utilizing DLSR’s, drones, and 3D cameras. I am licensed by the FAA as a commercial drone operator. I am my own salesperson, accountant, ground crew, and editor.

  • I am relatively easy to get along with, I would much rather settle a funding/governance dispute in a mature way with well thought out solutions vs silly arguments and name calling. My timezone is US Central, but I can be available for voice(discord) or text communication with the committee any time of the day Monday through Friday, and Saturday/Sunday after 6PM. I am willing to prioritize being a member of the MGRC over my personal business.

  • After the first MGRC election, I think it would be a good idea to allow more people to become members of the Community Advisory Panel. There are 61 (if i counted right) members currently, and a few of them are questionably inactive. https://www.zfnd.org/governance/community-advisory-panel/
    I would like to see 99 people on the panel. I choose this odd number to keep votes from being 50/50. Only people who truly desire to be on the panel should be added, and we shouldn’t put more people on it just for the sake of hitting 99 members.

  • If you ARE on the community advisory panel and also running for a seat on the MGRC I think its important that there is a way to ensure they don’t vote for themselves, or abstain from voting at all.

  • It is important not to exhaust all funds as the MGRC receives them. A ‘savings account’ needs to be created to ensure there are funds for a large unforeseen project. Something like 28% should be saved for the future. As stated in my proposal, I would be very conservative at first because the price of Zcash at $50 is silly cheap in my opinion. The price has been pushed down by inflation, after the first halving the inflation will be cut in half and this issue will be partly solved.

Thank you for reading this post to the end, It means a lot to me that you want to know more about my opinions.

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You just hit the nail on the head. I have been biting my lip about this very number. Perhaps some refining of those numbers after the first year would be good, but that seems to be a reasonable salary if we expect a high quality of work.

I spoke to a Canadian Chartered Accountant about the numbers and they specified “As long as it is not a non-profit organization most people expect to get paid for their time. In Canadian Dollars thats very high at the minimum end at the moment over $40,000 which is A LOT of money here in the current economy.”

I dont remember ever referring to Zcash as a non-profit, so it seems these numbers are okay to start with as long as we get to consider cost of living.

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I was on the fence about you, but your experience with money management and Real Estate is a really priceless commodity that no other applicants have. I will very likely support you through to the end.

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Many candidates are proposing to actively seek out teams of people instead of waiting for them to apply.
I agree with this proactive approach. It could be the MGRC’s job to analyze what could be improved in the zcash ecosystem and ‘create a bounty’ to get it made and maintained.

Previously, a big issue was mobile wallets, but as of recently this is being addressed. I personally think a great effort should be made to create a handful of educational videos explaining what money is(exchange of debt tokens mutually agreed upon as currency), how zcash is a better money, and how it can be used to maintain user privacy.

Data privacy is a huge issue I think needs to be addressed, and I think zcash is uniquely positioned to be a leader in that area. So much of our online data is given away for free and used by corporations to advertise to us. Zero knowledge proofs can be integrated into applications to give users the option to keep their data private, or choose to sell it themselves instead of giving it away for free.

A related question I ask myself in regards to this is exactly how can ZKP be used to maintain privacy, without users having to pay for a transaction fee?
If we are to draw users into the idea of keeping their data private and/or selling it, it can’t cost them money to do so because immediately, many people will be discouraged to try it. One way I can think of to get around that is for the TX costs to be paid for by the money they receive from selling the data in the first place. Perhaps you could choose to sell unimportant data to keep sensitive data private.

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This recent price spike ($102 as of writing this) is super exciting not only from a profit perspective, but this also extends funding for the zcash ecosystem as a whole. ECC/ZF will not have to stress so much about ‘lasting through the bear market’. We have made it, and its only starting.

I am also debating on whether or not I will attend the Sep 4th video chat. If I do, I will have tape over my camera so nobody sees how ugly I am (jk), but its also the day before I close on selling my house so I’m not sure how busy I will be.

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Thanks for throwing your hat in the ring, @tm3k!

I have two questions, the first somewhat tangential to the role, though I’m interested in the answer given the position of influence one would have.

Absent new scaling techniques and irrespective of the existence of an L2, what is the purpose of Zcash’s maximum block size and should it be increased as necessary to avoid an artificial ‘fee market’? Put another way, should ZEC’s L1 always be cheap, fast, peer-to-peer digital cash; and should we never risk sacrificing those qualities?

Also, what are your opinions on prioritising development for tokens and smart contracts atop Zcash?

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Hey @BostonZcash , thanks for the question.

The role I am seeking is not a technical role, so I have a hard time answering the first part of that question, and I’m ok with honestly saying I don’t know the purpose of the maximum block size being what it currently is.
The second part of your question I feel ok answering. I think the block size should be increased only on an as-needed basis(as the ecosystem grows), and that the smart cryptographers at the ECC know best when it comes to that; I would trust their judgement. Satoshi never intended for Bitcoin to stay at 1MB either.

As for your second question about prioritizing development funds for tokens and smart contracts on Zcash, I feel there are many teams doing the exact opposite, putting zero knowledge proof tech into their smart contract platform. I do feel like smart contracts on Zcash will have its time and place eventually but I don’t think it is now. Right now I want to focus on the user experience. I feel like wallets need to be easier to use. I know a lot of people are used to writing down their 12/24 word seed phrase, however the only way to backup ZecWallet is to backup the .dat file or export your private keys. I would like to see Trezor style(24 word phrase) backups implemented. Either that, or get shielded Zcash on Trezor/Ledger. Many people including myself are storing coins in T-Addresses because of the difficulty to get shielded transactions on hardware wallets. I don’t feel safe using electronic copies. I will only use paper wallets due to their lower risk of key exposure.

So to clarify, I feel like the people working on integrating zcash with ethereum are the best choice for that for now, and Im excited to see what they build. Ethereum already has a large network effect in that area and I wouldn’t want to compete with it but rather build on it.

EDIT: I’ve also seen an argument online where people say “whats the point of Zcash if people just steal the tech?” and to that I say there is a massive value in PROVIDING the tech, and that they are blinded and biased by the pain caused to their thinking process by the bear market. Zcash remains the best way to privately store wealth.

Edit: After re-reading this article from 2017, I changed my opinion regarding smart contracts on Zcash. https://electriccoin.co/blog/roadmap-update-2017-12/

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Since is the most radicalized thread ill post this here instead of the megathread.

Has the idea dawned on people we could elect 2 separate committees and 1 would simply be oversight to hinder corruption?

The MGRC as it is.

The second committee as a watchdog for coercion, bribes, and pay to play.

We would categorize the skills of applicants based on their resumes, and then have a 2nd vote to distribute the labor and skills to specific roles in each of the 2 committees.

In theory, we would categorize the skills of applicants based on their resumes, and then have a 2nd vote to distribute the labor and skills to specific roles in each of the 2 committees. I personally could have 3 or 4 irl friends of mine apply for the watchdog role specifically and likely win over the community with their resume in relative fields. If a crime is committed or a contract is broken, it would be the watchdogs role to file the claim against the perpetrator. Good Copy skills would be essential.

I think this would be better posted in the megathread to be honest.

I really appreciate your diligence and thorough responses.

It occured to me, while reading, that a great reason to not have annual elections for MGRC seats is the tremendous effort that goes into campaigning and voting.

I feel like this process has consumed a lot of my energy, and I’m just trying to figure out who to vote for! I am in favor of longer-than-1-year-terms.

I have a few questions @tm3k:

  1. What do you think of MGRC members receiving Zcash on a vesting schedule?
  2. Are you aware of/using: https://www.zecwallet.co/ ?
  3. Are you aware of the developments in the Rust community with respect to planned formation of a Rust Foundation? Do you see potential projects/grants/commitments from the MGRC with respect to the (nascent) Rust Foundation? What opportunities can the MGRC (or MGRC-candidates) create in this pivotal moment?
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Hi @zancas Thanks for writing me!

In regards to the 1 year election cycle: https://zips.z.cash/zip-1014#mg-slice-major-grants #7 states that each person sits for 1 year and MAY run for re-election. I will not be trying to change the ZIP, and I feel that the one year terms are long enough. But we may run into some problems if a whole new team is elected. Hopefully there will be some hard working applicants who the community supports, who act as leaders and get re-elected over and over again for performing well.

  1. The typical vesting schedule is 3 to 5 years in addition to their regular pay. I would imagine that the people who wish to have a seat on the MGRC are regular people with bills just like everyone else. I do not think vesting is a good idea. I think they should be paid in Zcash biweekly/monthly.

  2. Yes I am a fan of ZecWallet, just not the current method of backing up your wallet. As of the last time I used it there is not an option to make a backup with a 24 word phrase. I would be in favor of them building it into the wallet, however I feel like that is something they should be doing on their own regardless. I don’t think it warrants a grant application.

  3. No I am not very familiar with the Rust community. All of my programming experience is in Java and Python. However I do know some of Zcash code is written in Rust just from browsing the github. A language is just a tool to tell computers what to do, and If there is a great idea I wish to seek applicants for, I will be language-agnostic as far as how it is built. I don’t feel that MGRC should make any grants to help further develop another language because it doesn’t directly benefit Zcash.

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jin/dankvr from twitter showed me a simple set up to take the shape of an avatar while presenting in front of a camera. Your character overlays your screenshare and is presented as your video stream. I’ll put together a guide after I set up, myself, and share in time for MGRC.