Zcash Community Grants Meeting Minutes 12/12/22

Below please find the latest @ZcashGrants meeting minutes and Public Dashboard link.


  • Aditya

  • Brian

  • Burns

  • Jason

  • Michael

  • Jack Gavigan (ZF resource)

  • Alex Bornstein (ZF resource)

  • Daniel Wolande (ZF resource)

  • Deidra M acting as notetaker

Key Takeaways:

  • Open Grant Proposals

  • The grant is approved unanimously.

  • CodeUp Blockchain Awards

    • The committee unanimously rejected this proposal.
  • Zcash Brazil 2023

    • ZCG will discuss this proposal over the next weeks.
  • RFP Submissions

    • Podcast RFP: indexstudios
      • The committee voted to reject for the time being.
    • UniFFI RFP: MeerKatDev
      • ZCG will vote on this grant at the next meeting.
  • Brainstorm Session Follow-Ups

    • Podcast RFP status
      • The podcast RFP will be closed, but the thread will remain open.
    • Global Ambassador Program (Feedback, Future)
      • The current committee plans to meet with the new committee at the handover meeting to discuss the pros and cons of the program.
    • Ecosystem Security Lead Update
      • Dan and Jack will work together to phrase a statement explaining to the community that audit reports will not be published until any significant issues identified by the audit have been remediated.
    • CryptoMondays status
      • Dan will respond to CrytptoMondays that the details of the milestones are at their discretion.
    • ZCG explainer video
      • Dan and Elise have been working together on a campaign that will include a short video explaining what the ZCG process is for submitting a grant application, ZCG funding priorities and other program details.
    • Committee transition (committee plans, account transfer Twitter, Formspree, GitHub roles, domain)
      • Aditya will give Cody the admin role to all the ZCG services & platforms as he transitions out.
    • December 26th meeting
      • The last meeting of the year will be moved to Tuesday, December 27.


Open Grant Proposals

  • Meetups by Spicy Punks

    • Jason recapped that Spicy Punks is a cafe based in India that hosts web3 meetups. They’re asking for $5,000 to host five meetups focused on Zcash, which they believe would attract around 50-60 attendees.
    • Jason stated that after the last meeting, Brian asked the candidate several questions on the forum. The applicant responded and, most notably, (1) clarified their milestones, (2) said each meetup would be expected to have 40-50 people and would mainly consist of developers and crypto enthusiasts, and (3) said at the meetups they’d give wallet demos for shielded transactions and provide an introduction for developers on how to integrate Zcash technology into their projects.
    • Jason added that during the brainstorming sessions, the committee was split.
    • Brian suggested that this applicant should be referred to the Global Ambassador Program rather than be a grantee for a number of reasons, (1) This would enable the committee to evaluate the applicant through the normal ambassador trial period to see if their efforts would be worthwhile for the community, (2) it will give the new committee time to evaluate and define their vision for the Global Ambassador Program. He would like to see the grants program focus on long-term efforts, but he felt uncomfortable voting on this right now, seeing as how there will be a new committee starting shortly.
    • Aditya, Cody, and Jason agreed with Brian’s sentiments.
    • Michael felt this grant was close enough to the Ambassador program and voted to approve this grant.
    • Committee votes 4 to 1 to reject this grant with a response for this applicant to apply for the GAP. The committee noted that India is an important place and hopes that this applicant will consider the Global Ambassador Program at some point in the future.
  • Ziggurat 3.0

    • Jason said this grant is from the Equilibrium team, and is to expand their crawler to gather more metrics and deeper insight into the state of the network. They will also expand the GUI to offer network visualizations and performance metrics.
    • Jason stated that ZCG received some feedback on the forum from the DevSecOps team at ECC. They were supportive of the proposal and said it seems to be a comprehensive security solution. The committee appreciates that Equilibrium has been a strong partner in the Zcash ecosystem. They have a strong relationship with ZF and ECC, and this is their third grant with ZF. They’re a team that wants to take on long-term projects to help build out Zcash, and ZCG wants to keep them around.
    • Jason added that some ZCG members expressed concern about the price in terms of it being a relatively large percentage of the budget. However, ZCG thinks as a project it is reasonably priced.
    • Jason stated he felt the bigger risk is passing on this and Equilibrium moving on to another project and no longer being available to work on Zcash.
    • Committee unanimously approved this grant.
  • CodeUp Blockchain Awards

    • Jason recapped that this was a proposal from Ogasky from Nigeria. It is to sponsor an event called CodeUp Blockchain Conversation and Awards for $2,500. The event will feature 3-5 blockchain experts, and the applicant anticipates 70 attendees. In addition, ZCG would be featured as a contributing organization and will be featured in handbills, flyers, and brochures.
    • Jason added that ZCG asked Chidi (the Nigerian Ambassador) his opinion on this event. Chidi felt the ask was too high, and he didn’t feel like it was something ZCG should fund.
    • The committee unanimously rejected this proposal.
  • Zcash Brazil 2023

    • Jason recapped this new grant proposal that was posted right before today’s meeting, so some committee members may have not had time to review it… This grant is from our Brazilian Ambassador, Michael, and his team, and they’re asking for a little over $41,000 to expand Zcash’s presence in Brazil in 2023. The applicant disclosed in the grant proposal that the current ambassador budget of $1,000 was divided among 6 team members in 2022 (the ZCG committee was not aware of this), so this grant would allow them to continue to work together and spread the word about Zcash in Brazil by attending conferences, producing marketing materials, and educating people on Zcash.
    • Aditya appreciated Michael and his team’s efforts for proposing the year-long grant. The ZCG has encouraged and supported ambassadors to attend & conduct events and send requests for additional funding as per requirement to the ZCG.
    • Aditya supported the initiative for a Brazil based team to increase education, awareness and adoption of Zcash. He voiced two concerns with the proposal: Does Michael plan to leave the Ambassador program if he gets this grant, and wants to know how the team plans to increase the number of members and engagement on Discord.
    • Brian added that he wants to stay open-minded about this, and perhaps the committee should encourage Michael to have one or two of his team members be Ambassadors as well.
    • Cody added that he thought this would be a graduation from the GAP.
    • Michael shared that his first impression is that he is excited about this grant; it’s cool and uncharted territory, which is excellent.
    • Jason also stated that he is excited about this grant. He appreciates all the great work the Zcash Brazil team has done, and is open to supporting this grant.
    • ZCG agreed to leave this grant open for community feedback and discuss it further in their next brainstorm session.
  • RFP Submissions

    • Podcast RFP: indexstudios
      • Jason recapped that Indexstudios is offering a podcast as a service. Basically, they’ll help a host set up a professional podcast. There’s a $15,000 startup cost, and then it’s $7,500 per month (one episode per month) - $105,000 per year for 12 episodes.
      • Jason added that the committee would like to reject this for the time being; however, there may come a time when this makes sense in the future. Jason stated that ZCG wants to encourage the applicant to check back in at some point.
    • UniFFI RFP: MeerKatDev
      • ZCG received a response to this RFP from members of the Equilibrium team. They are asking for $216,000, which they estimate to be a three-month project.
      • Aditya stated that Equilibrium’s Eiger arm responded with a grant proposal towards the RFP that was initially posted in April this year. Their history of collaboration with Zcash core developers and experience developing across a variety of cryptocurrency platforms makes them an ideal candidate for meeting the RFP requirements, to take care of maintenance and possible extension of APIs with the upcoming Zcash Shielded Assets. Han’s questions on the forum were handled well by the Eiger team member. The goal of the RFP is to provide a multi platform API for core librustzcash functions and expanded test cases in 4 different programming languages. Hanh followed up with the comment that he can offer to deliver the work for half the cost.
      • Aditya appreciated Hanh’s initiative and respects his skillset, Aditya pointed out that the ZCG had requested Hanh to consider working on the UniFFI RFP early this year, and did not hear back. While the 50% off Eiger’s price tag might look attractive, Aditya highlighted the long term impact of having an established team take responsibility for a critical component of Zcash interface software that requires collaboration and support for teams that will use the Zcash UniFFI library.
      • Michael added that he is happy and optimistic about Equilibrium. Brian and Cody agreed.
      • Jason added that this RFP was submitted a few days ago, so the committee will wait until the next meeting to vote on this.
      • Alex added that there are fields in Submittable that can be marked private so that the community can’t see private or sensitive grantee information.
      • Jason added that he is pleased with the RFP initiative as all RFPs the committee published were filled this year except for one, the voting mechanism, and he feels that the initiative paid off.
  • Brainstorm Session Follow Ups

    • Podcast RFP status
      • During the last meeting, Jason stated that Cody asked if ZCG should close the RFP or keep it open. During the brainstorming session, ZCG made no conclusion, so Jason asked for committee votes now.
      • Cody stated that the new committee should decide in January. Michael noted that he could vote either way. Michael said that he leaned toward closing the RFP. Aditya voted to pause the RFP for the next committee to reconsider opening it.
      • Jason asked how to close the RFP, operationally. Alex closed it on the grant platform during the meeting.
      • ZCG agreed that the podcast RFP will be closed, but the forum thread will remain open for status updates.
    • Global Ambassador Program (Feedback, Future)
      • Jason stated that the current committee plans to meet with the new committee at the handover meeting to discuss what worked well and what did not and to encourage them to revisit specific points of the program.
    • Ecosystem Security Lead Update
      • ZCG wanted on record that ZCG met with Taylor and reviewed the work undertaken during October (Ywallet audit) and November (Zecwallet Lite CLI audit).
      • Jason stated that an individual posted a number of questions for Taylor on the forum. Jason added that Aditya responded well to the most recent comment. Jason said that the committee plans on using Aditya’s response as a standing answer if members of the community ask for more transparency on audit reports in the future.
      • The committee is pleased with Taylor’s work thus far and understands that audit reports can’t necessarily be released at the end of the month they were completed because they may contain information about issues or vulnerabilities that require responsible disclosure, remediation by the developer and, potentially, review Taylor before being disclosed publicly.
      • Dan added that either ZCG or Dan could post something to the forum after each meeting with Taylor so that it is transparent that his milestones are being met. Dan will work with Jack on phrasing for this type of post.
    • CryptoMondays status
      • Jason stated that CryptoMondays emailed the committee the following in response to a follow up from Dan: “We just had a question regarding the initial Proof of Concept milestone- I believe we agreed to starting off with activating 5 Tier 1 chapters with a Zcash speaker in exchange for some dollar amount, but I can’t remember if we agreed to that actual number. If the intention was to have us propose details of this POC deliverable, we’ll be happy to do so, just wanted to make sure we’re aligned. On a related note, before we draft this, can you provide any insights into how you would think about evaluating success in those implementations (aside from speaker presence)?” Jason asked for feedback from the committee.
      • Brian stated that he felt the expectation should be on CryptoMondays to provide details on their milestone. Jason added, in regards to the cost question, that cost should be to divide the total amount by the number of events/meetups.
      • Cody agreed that CryptoMondays should tell ZCG what those milestone details should be.
      • Dan will respond to CrytptoMondays.
    • ZCG explainer video
      • Dan gave a summary of this project. Internally, ZF has been working on a campaign to get the word out. ZF will move forward with the explainer video, a 2-minute video, and has contacted a company that will do the video at a reasonable price. Dan and Elise will develop a small budget and marketing plan for future campaigning. Funds will come from the discretionary budget and cost in total, with marketing and more, $1,000 USD or less.
      • Jason asked when this video will be completed, and Dan responded that more than likely next year, so the new committee will have to consider this then.
    • Committee transition (committee plans, account transfer Twitter, Formspree, GitHub roles, domain)
      • ZCG is planning to have a transition meeting with the new committee. However, some responsibilities need to be taken care of beforehand.
      • Aditya stated that because Cody is the only confirmed committee member staying on ZCG, Aditya will be transferring the admin roles to Cody and Dan for ZCG service accounts.
      • Jason noted that during the last transition of the new committee, Hudson stayed on for a month to assist with the change. Jason asked if we should do that type of transition again.
      • Jack suggested that the new committee should decide whether they want that but that he’d be surprised if they didn’t.
    • December 26th meeting
      • The last meeting for this ZCG committee is December 26, a recognized holiday, Christmas Observed. Jason asked how ZCG should handle their last meeting: cancel, move to another date, etc.
      • The committee decided to move the meeting to Tuesday, December 27.

@aiyadt I don’t remember you mentioning this. Do you have a link to the conversation? That would help me remember the context.

@ZcashGrants Are you interested in my proposal (and should I submit an official doc) or do you prefer the MeetKatDev proposal at twice the price anyway?

Han, it was a suggestion following the review of your Multi-sig FROST wallet grant. It’s unfortunate if the message was lost in communication. On the bright side, the FROST Threshold Signature Scheme is near finalization and is in last call for feedback. Are you following it?

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AFAIK, the ZF wants to do the implementation as well. They are only interested in outsourcing the integration.

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While I don’t want to place an opinion on this decision specifically, I would like to take the opportunity to summarize the above idea in a phrase - “Decentralization comes at a premium.”

What does it mean? It means that it can often cost more and be less efficient to not do everything under one roof, but in exchange for that, we can get extra resilience and additional hands on board.

This idea can’t be blanket applied in every situation. You don’t want to arbitrarily bring in more teams, that would be silly. However, I think it is an important part of the overall equation of Zcash strategy.


Isn’t it the same company that worked on Ziggurat though?

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Hi everyone, Daren from Eiger. Thought I’d add some clarity to the relationship between Equilibrium and Eiger:

  • Both companies are owned by Equilibrium group.
  • Eiger is a completely separate company with its own operations, clients, engineering resources.
  • We have a symbiotic relationship in terms of knowledge sharing, so if needed either company can tap into the other sides advisors. So in practice this means that if approved the UniFFi grant will be done by Eiger engineers with access to Equilibrium advisors/experience if needed.