📊 Totally Biased MGRC Voter's Guide

I am a voter. I am a candidate.

This is my guide to both the MGRC voter pool and the MGRC candidate pool.

I invite the community to offer suggestions of metrics or methods to make the data analysis more valuable.

Overview

The first tab, “MGRC”, looks at the candidate pool

  • first table, the five most active candidates on zecforum
  • second table, the five candidates most aligned to the MGRC mission (to serve end users - what else?)

The second tab, “ZCAP”, looks at the voting pool

Instructions:

Spreadsheet is not mobile friendly (like ZecWallet or Nighthawk is)

Legend:

Green = positive or ranked in top 5
Red = negative or ranked in bottom 5
Yellow = missing information

Assumptions

I am adopting assumptions from my interpretation of the Zcash Network Flywheel , namely that 1) candidates more affiliated with the later quadrants are more aligned with MGRC; and that 2) users/devs are generally more aligned with the MGRC mission than core devs and VCs.

I imagine that candidates who consistently rank in the bottom 5 should be considered more carefully for qualities that may be outside the scope of this evaluation

I imagine that candidates who consistently rank in the top 5 are more valuable to MGRC

Of course, this is not necessarily true because formulas do not account for every success factor nor does it weigh them appropriately. Not only are the formula incomplete, the data cannot be assumed to be accurate even when non-missing.

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated. Message me with updates or notes. Will complete and include a methods/discussion section soon. Hope it helps.

James

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Interesting to see the dates when everyone joined the forum. James- did you know you, DC and I joined on the same day in 2018?

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A pie chart of “insiders” on ZCAP based on tab 2: ZCAP

More than 90 ZCAP members! Cool! I wonder how many will vote…
Half of them are outsiders (Unknowns + Altcoiners)

A small correction. I’ve never received a “grant” from the Zcash Foundation. Open Privacy the non-profit I co-founded and now work for received a donation from the Zcash Foundation - the donation was explicitly unrestricted (i.e. it was to further Open Privacy’s mission) and the use of the funds were directed by the entire Board of Directors of Open Privacy and were primarily directed towards Cwtch UX design, and hiring a staff designer. For some more information you can find a breakdown of donation sources to Open Privacy in 2019 here: https://openprivacy.ca/reports/2019-eoy-report/.

While you could certainly argue that through my employment with Open Privacy there is some potential CoI there that should be disclosed (I wouldn’t necessarily disagree), that relationship is much more tenuous than a direct, restricted grant - and I think lumping the two together conflates the point you are trying to make.

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Good point. There are those that receive wages from ZF, grants from ZF, and donations from ZF. I cleaned it up a bit.

Ofc, there are many more errors and omissions. Thanks for the heads up<3

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It’s tricky to think about how to weight all these criteria! :slight_smile:

But what’s the best way to add information?

  • I have a Z9 mini and set it up, but haven’t used it yet because my electric bill doesn’t make it economically viable. Does that count as having mined? I could mine this weekend if not! :slight_smile:

  • My z-address is published on the Zcash blockchain, as a Zbay username registration of the user @holmes, so I think that counts?

  • I’m not a VC

  • I wasn’t invited by ZF or ECC to run. It was spontaneous.

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I rounded up and left your comment in the cell for good measure!

Yeah - It depends on what you are looking for as a voter. Also, the criteria doesn’t include special talents (“super powers”)

Maybe the visitor can enter their own weights?

Or, maybe the weights can be set based on voter profiles like “Decentralist” (a voter that values complete independence and lack of COIs) or “Interoperationalist” (a voter that values visionaries from alt coin cultures). Depending on voting style, the weights and ranks adjust accordingly.

Hmm… The self-reported measures could be submitted via Google Survey. And updates can be made by hand.

I think the survey can be formatted such that entries appear directly on this table or a pivoted version of it…

Right now, people have been sending me direct messages on various platforms or leaving their updates right here. Fun fun

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These totally biased poll results support the same sentiment:


Note, 1) the wording of the question may have influenced respondents, 2) accounts I tagged may have marked the item as spam thereby restricting poll distribution to their audiences, 3) My current followers and I share very similar interests.

here is my thoughts.

If i specifically name people in this post it is because I have experience with them and can substantiate any claims I make about them. (all claims will be positive!!)

Thanks for heavily editing the OP. it was far too much like a purity test for my liking. - a lot of the candidates that “failed” the tests were pretty integral over the past 18 months or so to getting us where we are today. Hudson for example was important, those stats in no way reflect this.

Looking at the spreadsheet it kind of supports the need for the communication position I initially based my application off.

I think an MGRC with 2 or 3 well known community members - who are well known to the community is ideal. I think it would be a mistake to overlook candidates who are not “forum hardcore” @Vish and @ml_sudo come to mind (only because I was on a call with them and feel I can reference them without causing issues, but this goes for all candidates) both have a ton of stuff they can bring to zcash.

It is stuff zcash desperately needs too. (They and other candidates all have their own USP’s) so I would see one of my roles, if I were on the MGRC with a non hardcore forum members, to be to get their ideas and actions to the forums and to tell them what the forum feedback is. I spend so much time on here as it is it just makes sense. (same for the other hardcore forum people pointed out in your spreadsheet)

An example of what I can bring to the table in this regard is highlighted by my recent read time. That is so high because I have been going through threads from the past 18 months trying to find all the surrounding discussions about 1014 and get this evidence and present it to the other candidates. I knew what I was looking for and it still took me hours. (to be clear, we all forgot 1014 in someway or another, whether it be who pays, term limits, etc. I did, the ECC did, the Zfnd did.)

Duplication of work should be avoided, however people should do their research -
which is why I compiled posts like this:

You can follow my posts and that would be enough research to know the community sentiment. I see this as a valuable service I can do which will allow people skilled in areas I am not to really shine in those areas. Isnt this what teamwork is? Isnt this the reason for diversity of skillsets (hence the exceptionally inclusive application process)

All my claims are backed up with linked quotes so people can falsify them, I am always happy to change my statements based on new evidence. I post so much stuff I make quite a few mistakes.

mlphrearsch really sums it up for me. (for the record, mlpresearch was very involved with the dev fund zips)

I think this is how the CAP thinks too. but we will see.

This confuses me. I wonder how many of those people are CAP voters, the community wanted the foundation to control the mgrc. The foundation didnt think that was a good idea. so going by past CAP votes and forum sentiment, why would the CAP object to the zfnd or ecc now?

** i think @shawn is the absolute best candidate for the mgrc. he has beyond proven himself. **

Lets not forget that he became part of the foundation when the ECC gave the forums to the Zfnd. shawn ran a lot of the community stuff already (like the rocketchat) so it was an obvious choice to ask him to lead the forums - The foundation decided (and the ecc? i dont remember) to give him a small amount of monthly zec for his contributions. He is not in a similar position to amiller. A vote for shawn is not a vote to give the zfnd more power over the mgrc.

As for the ECC. Being on the MGRC gives you no extra power - despite what nathan-at-least said, the ECC cannot influence the MGRC. The skills DC can bring to the table from his experience at the ECC and through his connections with the ECC really is a no brainer. A vote for DC is a vote for experience with zcash projects at large scale. On top that he would be an incredible candidate if he had no affiliation with the ECC.

Regarding VC’s. The MGRC is not a VC operation, but VC’s have enormous experience with spending large amounts of money on projects. The amount of due diligence that they know how to do in evaluating financial stuff is very very valuable. Apart from Josh S, who in the community can bridge the gaps with exchanges? this is such a strong selling point for ml_sudo…

Teams are meant to be complimentary not identical.

btw, this is my favourite badge, does this get me extra points on the spreadsheet?

newuser

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Yes, I began to realize this more and more as I was listening to Andreas talk about gatekeepers with Peter McCormack

This forum is a great tool to record contributions but all stats can and will be gamed. Topics may not even require each persons input. I am personally more impressed by the reading moreso than the writing stats. I wonder which topic each candidate tends to read and write about

Shawn is great - no question about that! We would not be where we are, and can’t get where we are going without Shawn.

Hear me out - Shawn is obviously well-read, willing and able, already. Would he contribute any less? If the MGRC will be as transparent and accountable as we would hope, I am afraid that his position would be redundant.

Moreover, ZF on MGRC would not be good for decentralization theatrics, especially if my poll represents a large portion our current userbase (it doesn’t).

Maybe I am mistaken - the hardcore and hired will offer more in an official capacity. Perhaps the position will empower committee members much more so than community members.

I totally agree. Still, DC does have affiliation with the ECC - that’s great. So I think he is willing and able to help as needed. Again, I wonder if it would be redundant to offer him an official capacity. Bear with me…

In reference to maturing startups,

“This moment in the development of a company is a 'sweet spot ’ for someone who wants both a startup environment and access to talented manager-mentors with proven track records … [along with the opportunities for] working closely with a truly season manager as tough day to day decisions are made.” The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman

I would like to see the MGRC give opportunities to rising stars and people outside of normal circles
(like ml_sudo, hudson, et al) over ECC/ZF/VC because ECC/ZF/VC are already funded and well-positioned to contribute to the network without the help of MGRC or miners. Besides, VC’s have fiduciary responsibility to their own investors, first and foremost.

Electing ECC/ZF/VC onto the board is centralization and inwardly cooperation, which stands in stark contrast to ZF values of inclusivity and their goals of decentralization and cooperation with other cryptos.

Inclusivity. The Zcash ecosystem consists of many subcommunities, such as end-users, developers, miners, exchanges, traders and researchers, in many countries and cultures. They should all be given a voice within the Zcash community and the Foundation’s deliberations.

Decentralization. We will strive to encourage decentralization of the protocols and networks that we support, avoiding the placement of trust or granting of capabilities to any single party (assigned or emergent).

Cooperation with other cryptocurrencies. No “coin” is an island unto itself, and the success and acceptance of cryptocurrencies are intertwined.

I think it is important to start year 1 and set a bold precedent and clear demarcations. To me, that’s serving zcash users first and foremost, in ways ECC and ZF cannot (and should not)

I don’t believe MGRC needs to worry about this - whether it is for platform functionality or liquidity, THIS is where ECC+VCs+Biz Dev comes in IMHO

How did you earn that? I’m sure next year’s candidates will want that on their resume :stuck_out_tongue: .

I believe you are mistaken. I am trying to challenge the idea “these people should not be on the MGRC”. I think I have put my point across well enough now. not trying to stop the conversation, but apart from the detail in this post I dont see what extra I can add.

(ECC and ZF are already funded by miners… the FR…)

I agree with the sentiment of getting new blood in (i made the same point in my last post.) I want the MGRC to be the most effective it can be - my personal opinion, that includes shawn and dc. Im not trying to say these people have to be on the MGRC. Im trying to counter you saying “these people should not be on the MGRC”.

The MGRC is another method for helping forward zcash, why would you exclude people with proven track records? Especially when you are excluding them because of their track record.

I cant see how Shawn can currently forward the goals he outlined in his MGRC application without being on the MGRC.

The forum is amazing. all of the dev fund stuff happened here and is recorded in text. anyone can go back and checked - its allowed me to have so much more confidence in my memory and knowing what happened and why. (I know your point was about stats, I just want to make this one instead)

Please think this through a bit more. He would contribute less because he wouldn’t have the extra MGRC duties/contributions - these are different to his current contributions (which wouldnt be less) - this logic applies to all candidates. (I specifically checked this with @ml_sudo in their thread because i believe they can really help the community, her response was perfect.)

I personally think its pretty unfair to suggest that because people are already aligned that they should be extra aligned and get access to privileged information. You cant expect DC to act as some kind of MGRC / ECC liaison person anymore than any other ECC employee unless he is on the MGRC.

6 total current candidates also have it. - just go back and look at what the user posted in their first month to see.

Mine was due to my ASIC contribution stuff. Two are given out a month to users that joined that month. - I’m pretty sure it is based off people who have the “regular” forum status (trust level 3 and above) liking the posts.

These are the candidates with the “New User of the Month” badge in the order it was awarded.

I know @mlphresearch got it for posts contributing to the dev fund. - This is information your metrics didnt cover, they implied the opposite.

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Maybe I’m not TOTALLY Biased… (it IS partly self-promotion and propaganda as ZF noted, I admit)

The read/write stats I copied/pasted and summarized for us to discuss is partly “Sybil Resistance” for Candidates (instead of voters), isn’t it?

Who invited who is a question people are afraid to ask!

Who invited who to apply for the MGRC? Is that the question people are afraid to ask? That question is a non question, why does it matter? - I seriously don’t understand the point you are making.

And people are asking and answering it (if they feel it is relevant). Look at Sandys thread…

I decided to apply by myself, however people outside and completely unknown to the community did ask me. (because they are my friends/clients and I talk about this stuff to some of them, people asked me if i was going to apply not to apply.)

What would a bad answer to this question look like? Why? Can you give a specific example please? I cannot see any answer to your question that is bad or would cause concern. (Im not invoking godwins law)

Your vitalik post seems more relevant to your voting systems rather than MGRC applicants

This is why I like the forums, every decision and question has been asked in public and recorded so people can go back and look at stuff.

AND IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE -
No one should ever be afraid to ask any question that is within the forum rules.

I have had someone come to me and say they were afraid of responding to something with an idea because of the reaction of others.

If that person reads this I urge them to contact any of the @moderators with their concerns. That is not acceptable in any form in this space

The community does not tolerate this at all - we are much much harder on this stance than most other places, and all crypto spaces that I know of. - people will call it out no matter who is doing it.

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This is absolutely correct. Unfortunately this whole MGRC debate seems to have gotten more political than many of the other subjects that we have covered here on the forums but that should not discourage open discussion about it.

The important thing to keep in mind is we all have the same thing in common, a passion for Zcash and to make it better. Else we wouldn’t be wasting our time with so much debate in the first place.

We may differ on the approach that should be taken to get there but we ultimately want the same things. So a little bit of understand and respect will go a long way.

I have to disagree with this assessment. I’m currently a passive bystander to any meaningful decisions that ZFND or ECC make. I do and will continue to contribute to the Zcash Community whether I am elected to the MGRC or not but I don’t think moderating discussions, running websites, helping users, etc… is the equivalent of having a one in five vote for how potentially millions of dollars is spent to further the Zcash ecosystem.

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Let me start with this - I would like to see Zcash prevail above natural, self-serving interests such as the preservation of power or the pursuit of excess. Success is not guaranteed by seemingly benevolent leaders. We must keep this in mind, especially as Zooko’s braces come off and he attempts to enchant us with pearly whites and flashy cover shots.

All jokes aside, my assumption is that attracting NEW users will require NEW ideas and NEW applications. More NEW ideas, the better.

I like this assumption because it takes from evolutionary biology: We want to increase the reproductive success of MGRC (customer referrals, network effect, etc). More on this later (another post?)

Yes, that is the question! It matters to the the success of the Zcash network -
If MGRC becomes another wing of the ECC, the devfund is inbreeding. There becomes a heavy loss of

  1. genetic variation (because same ideas getting mixed) and
  2. competition (because resources become shared between ECC/ZF/MGRC).

This may result in undifferentiated, uninspiring zapps.

As @acityinohio warned before leaving ZF, we should be vigilant. Allow me…

The Big Annoucement, Part 1: Call for Candidates

First, notice that @Zooko extended MGRC deadline specifically to attract more candidates.

May 14, 2020:

Keep in mind the definition of self-dealing:

Self - dealing is when a fiduciary acts in their own best interest in a transaction, rather than in the best interest of their clients.

Who does ECC serve, first and foremost? Investors. Why? For-profit. They need to be able to raise money easily to make well on that potential for their investors.

In regards to MGRC and crypto-governance, I consider self-dealing to be the filling positions and allocating capital in the interest of founders (ECC/ZF/VCs) rather than in the best interest of Zcash end users.

I believe a focus on end users is paramount to the success of the MGRC. MGRC is the liason between devs and users, called to grant funding to useful apps.

Keep in mind that Zooko raised money and created ECC/ZF. ZF largely protects the quality of ECC products by creating redundant code, supporting talent development, and providing some checks and balances (2x2 trademark agreement) -

If people who work at ECC and ZF fill the selection of MGRC candidates with personal picks, as they did the Zcash Community Advisory Panel, and those picks actually get elected, wouldn’t you consider that self-dealing?

If so, you probably understand why my question is pertinent and why I am concerned that

  • only Chelsea openly admitted to inviting a specific candidate
  • other candidates have refused to answer the question, some going so far as to
  • declare it foul play or a questionable line of questioning (in your words, a non-question lol)

To reiterate, what I quoted above from Zooko is a call to action by the Founder of the Zcash, which includes ECC, ZF and the investors they rode in on.

It basically says, “Uh-oh - we need more candidates to run for MGRC”

We can expect that people who answer to Zooko (including ECC/ZF/VCs) want to help him! I want to help him, too (but not more than I want to see Zcash become a well-governed internet reserve currency)!


Sidenote:

As a result, few founders of high-potential startups can achieve both wealth and [control]; most choose between one or the other and often end up with neither" Noam Wasserman’s The Founder’s Dilemmas

If Zooko attempts to maintain control through his network of money, he will cap the potential for zcash adoption that comes from people who adapt zcash for users (rather than adapt zcash for investors, orgs, institutions, employees).

The Big Annoucement, Part 2: The Candidates

Why is that sidenote worth mentioning? Because on the very day of the big announcement, we have two new candidates enter!

DPB has been a forum member since Q42018 (@lawzec, for example, is more active despite his first post being his candidate announcement)-
It may be likely that @amiller invited @dontpanicburns: Andrew is on the board of Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (https://entethalliance.org/about/eea-board/) where DPB is a member.

Then, on the very same day, @Souptacular announces his candidacy

This was Hudson’s first post in 10 months: Earlier, he released a PR on zecforum as part of the devfund decision making process, too:

Two “outsiders”, or so it seems, on the day of Zooko’s annoucement.

Perfect! Soon after, perhaps for good measure, two “insiders” were not only announced, but officially endorsed: ZF’s @MineZcash and ECC’s @alchemydc:

But, wait – there’s more. Like Andrew Miller, Chelsea works for ZF.

Yes, @chelseakomlo invited @SandyOrdonez, who’s annoucement was also her first post to the forum (notice a pattern?). Yet, that is the level of transparency I would hope for! Wonderful!


Conclusion

It is not hard to imagine that Zooko asked everyone he knows to go find MGRC candidates they know.

In other words, they are empowering who they already know, or people connected to VCs they want to know or serve better, in order to further their interests.

“Empowering” includes promotion from official ECC/ZF and CEO accounts. It also includes suppressing dissent.

Obviously, it is pertinent information considering that 50%+ of ZCAP are “insiders”.

Coming back to self-dealing to end here, I leave you with Josh Cincinnati’s (ex-director of ZF) parting words about the pertinence of my question, as well as some of the questions that were left unanswered/unacknowledged:

I’d be more concerned if it were not political. We need to hold people to their policy and discover their true intents! Feel good fluff is counter-productive.

I would disagree with this. Many candidates will pick Ethereum and/or their full-time jobs over serving Zcash. Some are crypto-agnostic or have fiduciary responsibilities to be more passionate elsewhere. Perhaps we would share the same mission when we are on the same committee, but there are widely varying degrees of passion present.

By far, you have read and wrote more on zecforum than any other candidate (or even zcash community member). In fact, ZF has co-opted YOUR forum and now they pay you to moderate it!!! That’s great! You must be very knowledgeable and therefore extremely valuable. I have no doubt that you will continue to write on the basis of your knowledge in order to pursue our common goal of making Zcash better. No doubt you are passionate. However, if there was a conflict of interest, would you suspend your contract with ZF? ZF administers MGRC funding…

The committee has not decided how to agree upon what grants to fund. I do not think majority vote is suitable. I have proposed a policy that would account for both Internal and External grant review. We would not make any decisions without taking your opinion, anonymous or not, into account. Therefore, I still think moderating for ZF and serving on MGRC creates redundancy where we would prefer decentralization.
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I didn’t. Actually I was planning to reach out to Hudson to encourage him but he had already applied by the time I got around to it.

Allowing anyone to nominate themselves publicly is about as permissive a way as possible to cede and diffuse power as we can get. Initially i was worried there wouldn’t be many folks willing to show up to seriously apply for MGRC, in which case taking some initiative to spur people on might have been a necessary backup plan. Fortunately this has turned out really well with many really strong candidates (yourself included) showing up… Including from a pretty broad range of past involvement / current involvement in Zcash as well as in complementary projects.

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I’m impressed, too. Thanks for enlightening us and for your kind words

I don’t see how there would be a COI between the ZF and MGRC, ZIP-1014 already states that Zcash Foundation is ineligible for funding from the MGRC.

While technically true, the 5 person committee will be in charge of pioneering what policies and procedures are put in place for MGRC to govern itself and how it decides to fund grants.

“Soon after” is a broad term and could be applied to every candidate (including yourself) due to the fact that we all had to submit before a deadline. Correlation does not equal causation. (And FYI I was planning on running before Zooko requested the deadline extension)

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ZF’s can threaten to end your contract to gain your full cooperation as an MGRC member AND moderator on our discussion forums.

Just like VCs can threaten to cease funding to gain full cooperation of Zooko as ECC and ZF founder.

This is not an indictment on you, ECC, ZF, or VCs - just making the larger point of incentive alignment in favor of decentralization, against redundancies, and for the sake of future elections as we will all be replaced in due time.