What does success look like for the Foundation's grant program?

This is an open question internally and I’m curious how the community would propose we measure and assess this.

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Zcash ultimate goal is to be The Internet money: it needs to be widely adopted to reach this goal…

Therefore, Zcash User adoption &/or the specific new tool’s adoption should be used as a way to measure its success.

It’s quite general though and is probably difficult to measure.

Maybe you want to have a more specific answer depending on the area of the specific grant proposal… you already have that system as tags on GitHub: UX, Outreach, POW,…
Each of these tags could have their own KPIs.


Growth in practical use cases. You can have the most secure coin in the world, but if it’s not practical to use…what’s the point? Where can you walk into a store and spend your ZEC currently? Even if you could, it would be difficult to do securely as wallets are limited, and mobile wallets still can’t support the Z address at all. What’s the incentive for businesses to support ZEC? Ask yourselves these questions, then fill in the gaps, and measure the response.

Choice in wallets, and actual utility of the coin are paramount for Zcash. Investors/traders are always going to push for more exchanges to add Zcash, but I believe it will be far easier to accomplish if the exchanges actually “see” adoption and actual intended use of the coin increasing. The real goal isn’t ease in converting ZEC to FIAT, it’s creating the environment that you won’t want/need to do it in the first place.


I concur. Wallets in particular remain a big gap.

I guess I wonder what the best metrics might be to capture usability improvements.

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Zcash Mission 1 pillar one is community building, and decentralization is one of its values. [VALUES] [MISSION]
So the strongest goals for the grant program should be tied to these. Have we made Zcash more decentralized?

We support the transition of Zcash into a large and healthy community with diverse stakeholders, held accountable to its userbase in the broadest sense.

Decentralization. We will strive to make the Zcash protocol and network decentralized, avoiding the placement of trust or granting of capabilities to any single party (assigned or emergent). Whenever current technology does not achieve perfect decentralization, we will seek to minimize, monitor and mitigate centralization.

Coming up with metrics is always hard, but possible metrics include:

  • Has the grant program initiated more productive public discussions?
  • How many more developer teams are actively contributing to Zcash wallets, infrastructure, core dev, etc.?

Other success definitions could be drawn from our other values/missions, such as Pillar 3. Science and education. Some of the previous funded projects have been research efforts, where the output is publicly released articles. One of the guideline requirements for the proposals is to define some success metrics, so we can mine the proposals themselves for examples.

Josh outlines some possible tactical metrics in the roadmap here:

  • Increase number of shielded transactions
  • Increase number of unique contributors Zcash discussion forums/chats
  • Increase number of unique contributors to Zcash protocol itself and open source ecosystem
  • Increase of mentions of Zcash in other cryptocurrency channels/the media

I think we should continue the public discussion in this thread about what we most want to get out of this!


Digging an old post just to give a comment:

I think it made a lot of sense that the foundation proactively went to zec-qt-wallet and X wallet devs to propose them to be funded for a particular job.

There was a clear need (wallets), and the foundation identified the better candidates that could fit for this need.

One last thing: the grant proposals usually come from developers.
It seems to narrow the amount of potential good ideas that could be funded. Why not opening the access to submitting ideas to a broader amount of people, have a vote, feasibility study and have it coded by a hired developer/freelancer ?

Important note: I’m NOT a developper, so I might miss some very obvious things here…


I applied for a grant that didn’t have much to do with development of the protocol, it didn’t proceed because I was unable to get a hold of the third party in question and not necessarily because I’m not a developer
Be prepared to answer questions describing your idea in detail and draft and submit a formal proposal


Late reply here:

Good ideas could also be taken over by better fit people to make it happen…

A person with zero skills in software dev could have a good software idea but not the capacity to execute it.

The idea could then go through different decision gates:
Is it technically feasible?
What added value does it bring?
How much man hours are needed?

This is not such an uncommon process in other industries…

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It would help if these updates I’m seeing from grantees on the ZcF mailing list were posted to the public. They are very encouraging and interesting! It would be great if the broader community saw them.

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They’re publicly archived here: https://lists.z.cash.foundation/pipermail/general/2019/thread.html


I’ll tweet 'em out so more people will see them :slight_smile: Unfortunately mailing lists don’t have the best UX…


I think this is a big issue, having to pay a miner fee, and then a dev fee for the wallet really sucks. I dont know what wallets are free nowdays if any, I have been out of the loop for awhile. But last time I used Zcash there was a dev fee to use the wallet, it was small, but still.

I think taking the time to have an official Zcash Wallet created inhouse would go along way to making it more legit. Having to rely on 3rd parties for something so critical for use is a big hinderence and security concern IMO.


zec-qt-wallet is now funded by the Foundation see home - zcash foundation for the announcement and Releases · ZcashFoundation/zecwallet · GitHub for the releases. There isn’t a dev fee. It’s very good for what it is (a front-end for zcashd) and continues to add features as they are supported by zcashd itself and goes just about as far as you can currently to make shielded transactions usable.

What’s really needed now are light clients (both mobile and desktop) which are a current focus of effort with the light client protocol and reference wallet (Introducing the Zcash Reference Wallet - Electric Coin Company) as that’s what most people will want to use.


For what it is worth, I searched the googlenet for a public archive before I posted my comment saying it’s too bad people aren’t seeing the results. The googlenet did not reveal any public archive to me.


Disagree that having to pay a 0.0001 ZEC dev fee to the wallet sucks. I think the Zcash Foundation should require all the wallets that they support, such as the zec-qt-wallet, to install a 0.0001 ZEC dev fee by default that gets paid to the wallet maintainer, in order to carry on and extend the precedent established by WinZEC. That aligns incentives between wallet-maintainer and user better and could eventually lead into a sustainable funding source for wallet-maintainers.

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(And for privacy all wallets should behave the same as each other with respect to this.) (But that means for privacy they should be required to be shielded donations of 0.0001 ZEC.) (And obviously it should either be optional and default-on, which is what WinZEC did, or it should be non-optional unless you recompile the wallet yourself, which is what I would recommend.)

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Requiring a dev fee is clearly overspecification.

Wow! The interim reports from the current batch of the @ ZcashFoundation 's grant programme are awesome! ☺❤ Super exciting. (N.B. @ ZcashFoundation is separate and independent from “The Zerocoin Electric Coin Company” that I run, also known as The Zcash Company). …

I’m so glad for the @ ZcashFoundation funding all of these excellent projects! It’s really reassuring that even if the company I lead were to screw up and head down a dead end, other people would still be making progress on improving the Zcash world. ៚


Disagree. Post must be at least 20 characters.

What if the dev(s) don’t want a fee? This strikes me as similar to the recent kerfuffle with Brave.

Consent, consent, consent.

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