Zcash Community Grants Meeting Minutes 10/16/2023

Below, please find the latest ZCG meeting minutes and Public Dashboard link.


  • Amber
  • Brian
  • GGuy
  • Jason
  • Michael
  • Alex (ZF resource)
  • Deidra M (notetaker)

Key Takeaways:

  • Open Grant Proposals
  • Brainstorm Session Follow-Ups
    • Ecosystem Security Lead - Jason provided an update on this position.
    • Beth - ZCG has extended her contract as the ZCG Outreach Coordinator until December 30.
    • ChainSafe - This team asked for feedback from ZCG and will potentially apply for a grant.
    • Ledger - ZCG, ZF, and Zondax will meet with Ledger this week.
    • Milestone Updates - There are a lot of outstanding milestones, and ZCG wanted an update from ZF on outreach.

Open Grant Proposals

  • Awesome Zcash - Jason gave background for this proposal. The applicant is asking for $5,000 to create the ultimate social platform for discovering and exploring the most exciting projects in the Zcash ecosystem.
    • ZCG met last week, discussed this proposal, and voted to reject it as it is out of scope. They will refer the applicant to the Minor Grants program.
  • Bitlendr: Lock Zcash, Unlock Cash - Jason outlined this grant. The applicant is asking for $130,000 to integrate Zcash into Bitlendr, a defi application allowing people to unlock fiat liquidity by borrowing against crypto collateral without selling assets.
    • The committee discussed this at their brainstorm meeting. They voted to reject this proposal and agreed the standard rejection would suffice.
  • Mastering of ZKP | Oxorio - Jason gave background for this grant. The applicant is asking for $9,500 to develop “Mastering of ZKP,” which will allow a person without a background in math or cryptography to understand zero-knowledge proofs. It looks like an educational course with study materials like lectures, articles, code you can run on your computer, and tests.
    • It’s too early to vote on this, so ZCG will wait for the community to give feedback.
    • The committee gave their initial feelings about this proposal. Brian and Michael were indifferent as this grant is outside the scope of something ZCG would fund at this point but could be for the Minor Grants program. Amber said the grant looked interesting for personal and educational opportunities, but as a grant, she felt unsure of how to prioritize it. GGuy and Jason agreed that this grant is a low priority at the moment.
    • ZCG will revisit this grant proposal in two weeks.
  • Zure: Zcash User Research & Engagement - Jason summarized this new grant. This proposal is from Tatyana, who used to do product marketing at ECC. She is asking for $35,000 to complete Phase 1 of a research project she started working on before she left ECC. ZURE will study ZEC usage among early adopters to drive engagement and inform tech development. The ultimate goal is increasing user adoption.
    • This proposal was posted today, so it was too early for the committee to vote.
    • ZCG met with Tatyana during their brainstorm session, and she provided an overview of her proposal and allowed them to ask her questions and provide feedback.
    • The committee went around to give their initial feedback on this proposal. The overall sentiment was positive. Michael said he felt the asking price was set very high for a UX researcher. GGuy said he felt optimistic about this grant. Amber felt adoption was very important but needed clarification about the marketing aspect, so she needed more time to evaluate. Brian also felt optimistic about the proposal but needed clarification about the marketing rates and said cost is something to be cautious about. Jason said he felt very positive about this project overall. Jason also said the community feedback from her initial interviews was very positive. He said he doesn’t know the appropriate compensation for UX research and asked Alex for any resources ZCG could use to find out. Alex said he would get back to them with some resources. Ultimately, ZCG may negotiate the price with Tatyana, aligning with past grantees.
    • ZCG will discuss this grant more during their brainstorm session this week.

Brainstorm Session Follow-Ups

  • Ecosystem Security Lead - Jason provided an update on this matter.

    • Least Authority - Submitted a proposal. ZCG will provide more information in the coming weeks.
    • Thesis Defense - ZCG has a call scheduled for Friday with this team to discuss their proposal and pricing.
    • Other options - After their brainstorm meeting last week, the committee is now open to finding individuals to take this on versus a company. Taylor is a prime example of an individual who filled this role. ZCG decided they would like ZF to post on cryptocurrency job sites with a clear distinction that it is a grant, not a job. Jason asked for Alex’s take on these options, and Alex said it is worth doing and will post wherever ZCG would like. Alex will use the RFP that Brian composed to do so and will post it on the site that ZF has successfully used in the past first.
  • Beth

    • ZCG extended her contract as the ZCG Outreach Coordinator for three months until December 30 at the same rate of $2,000 USD a month. This end date will coincide with the end of the year and with the start of new ZCG committee members.
    • ZCG shifted her responsibilities in the short term to focus on more pertinent issues like ViaBTC holding over 51% of the hashrate and less on outreach.
    • Beth and Jason spoke to ViaBTC, and there’s not a lot ViaBTC say they can do because they don’t run Zcash miners themselves and don’t want to tell their clients to move to other pools because it might impact their revenues.
    • Beth and Jason have also been reaching out to various other mining pools to determine how to address and resolve this issue. Beth has relationships with several mining pools, which made it easy to get in touch with them. So far, in addition to ViaBTC, they have spoken to Antpool, Bitmain, F2Pool, and Luxor Mining Pool.
    • One idea that has come out of these conversations is doing AMAs on Twitter Spaces with mining pools like Antpool and F2Pool. Bitmain is open to a Twitter Spaces event with Antpool to promote Zcash where they will give away some Zcash miners. These AMAs will happen in late Oct / early Nov.
    • Another option is to do a promotion with a mining pool where they’d offer 0% fee for Zcash mining for a month to attract new users, and then put in a grant to ZCG for $5k-$10k to cover those costs. Representatives from the mining pools say in their experience the miners are pretty sticky after the promotion ends, so long as mining Zcash is profitable.
    • ZCG has some apprehensions about this, including whether or not the miners will actually stick to mining Zcash after the promotion ends. ZCG is currently discussing this option, but if it is explored, it will happen after the initial AMAs.
  • Chainsafe - Liz from ChainSafe posted a Request for Feedback on a Zcash Typescript SDK.

    • This team wants to focus on implementing and maintaining a TypeScript SDK to enable more Zcash capabilities in-browser. This proposal should provide groundwork and feasibility tests for developing a Zcash MetaMask Snap and a Web wallet that utilizes Snap as a secure enclave for user keys. Enabling millions of MetaMask users’ instant access will help significantly with Zcash adoption and usability.
    • Jason said the Chainsafe team is looking for feedback from the committee, but it will probably lead to a grant proposal. He asked if the committee had any comments about this grant.
    • Brian said having a team with resources to help tackle some of those issues is good. He added that he was still determining the potential overlap with the recent Brave news. GGuy said this grant is the type of focus ZCG should encourage. Michael agreed with Brian that he’s glad a team is thinking about those problems and looks forward to a more concrete proposal.
    • Jason noted that Chainsafe had been actively involved with the Zcash community and the Light Client Working Group calls. They have also set up multiple calls with ZCG to get more insight into the priorities.
  • Ledger

    • The committee has a call set up with Zondax, ZF, and Ledger on 10/20/2023. The main focus of the call is to ensure Ledger was on board with the scope of Zondax’s Phase 1 of their proposal before they submitted it.
    • Jason would like to make the document that Jack composed public eventually because it lists what has been done, what needs to be done, and Phases 1 and 2 of the project. This document will help convey to the Zcash community how ZCG wants to approach this project to ensure it’s delivered.
  • Milestone Updates

    • There are a lot of outstanding milestones, and ZCG wanted an update from ZF on how often reach-out occurs.
    • One example is Zcash Media. Someone in the community asked for an update about that grant. Jason said Zcash Media has communicated with ZCG and will post an update to the community shortly, but other outstanding milestones need to be followed up.
    • Alex said ZF is following up with any grantees that Dan says are necessary after ZCG’s brainstorm sessions on Fridays but can and will be more aggressive/more frequent with that moving forward.
    • Deidra is reaching out as frequently as indicated for the grantees to give their updates and will continue with that. Alex said ZF will need ZCG guidance on how often to reach out to the retro grantees, as per previous conversations between ZF and ZCG.
    • During their brainstorm session, ZCG will review this topic again to decide on retro grant outreach, adding outreach frequency to the Grants Dashboard.