Zcash Community Grants Meeting Minutes 12/27/22

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
    • Zcash Brazil 2023
      • This grant is unanimously approved by the committee, conditionally.
  • RFP Submissions
    • UniFFI RFP: MeerKatDev
      • This submission is unanimously approved.
    • Recommended future process
      • Moving forward, Submittable will hide the candidates’ asked price, and the community will have 10 days to counter with their submission, then ZCG can review and vote on it.
    • Hanh Submission
      • ZCG rejected Hanh’s proposal.
  • Brainstorm Session Follow Ups
    • Global Ambassador Program
      • Ksenia
        • Her ambassador payout will be given next month (Jan) to coincide with her efforts.
    • Telegram Conversation
      • Approval voting is a fair way to vote for ZCG candidates.
      • ZCG Transparency is established by public meeting minutes, the dashboard, and quarterly reports.
    • GitHub dashboard for ecosystem projects
      • ZcashPulse?
        • Dan to follow up with them and ask them to post on the Forum and then submit a grant proposal.


Open Grant Proposals

  • Zcash Brazil 2023
    • Jason recapped this new grant proposal from our Brazilian Ambassador, Michael, and his team. They’re asking for a little over $41,000 to expand Zcash’s presence in Brazil in 2023. Michael notes that the current ambassador budget of $1,000 has been divided among 6 team members in 2022, so this grant would allow them to continue to work together and spread the word of Zcash in Brazil by attending conferences, producing marketing materials, and educating people on Zcash.
    • The committee discussed this grant in their brainstorm session, and all appreciate Zcash Brazil’s efforts this year; they’ve consistently gone above and beyond to help represent Zcash. ZCG sees this grant as an opportunity to experiment with the ambassador program and empower high-performing teams to do more. It may make sense as a progression for teams who want to go from ambassador to a larger grant arrangement.
    • This grant was unanimously approved, conditionally. The condition entails Michael stepping down as an Ambassador effective January 1, 2023, and he will no longer receive the $1000 stipend. Brian has spoken to Michael about this arrangement and he agreed to it.
    • Brian added that he agreed that the Brazil team has done great work this year and initially saw this grant as an opportunity to expand the Ambassador program; however, looking at this proposal from a marketing perspective, it would still be worthwhile.
    • Aditya added that Michael and his team made a good case for Brazil to be a testing ground for a concentrated marketing effort. He said it would be good to have local resources promoting the benefits and knowledge of Zcash in Brazil.
    • Alex will ensure Michael’s Ambassador’s contract will be terminated on December 31, 2022, and Dan will add this stipulation to the approval post.
    • Jason posed a question to the committee of what Michael’s title should be since he’s no longer a member of the ambassador program, but still is an ambassador for Zcash. Aditya brought up that the title “fellow” is sometimes used in the capacity and that Michael will continue working and promoting Zcash in the future but also added that he would be fine if he kept the same title as “ambassador.” Brian said he is also OK with keeping the role title “ambassador” and encouraged Michael to stay active and engage in group chats with the other ambassadors.
    • Aditya added that a change to the title might incentivize other ambassadors to go above and beyond to receive such a special status who graduate from the Global Ambassador Program allowing others in the community to serve as a Zcash ambassador.
    • The committee decided that this grant with Michael and his team in Brazil will be an experiment, which will be reflected in the approval response. Alex added that it might be good to also add in the response that ZCG is not recruiting a new Brazil ambassador.
  • RFP Submissions
    • UniFFI RFP: MeerKatDev
      • Jason recapped this grant proposal. The Equilibrium team submitted a response to the UniFFI RFP, to create a toolkit that reduces the barrier to building apps on Zcash by extending interfaces in popular languages such as Python, Swift, Kotlin, and Ruby to allow developers to rely on Zcash’s underlying cryptography without rewriting the code. They are asking for $216,000 for what they estimate to be a three-month project.
      • In the last meeting, Jason mentioned that Hanh asked a few questions on the forum to the applicants and also noted he thought the price was too high. He then offered to do it for $100,000.
      • After the Dec 12th meeting minutes were published on the forum, Hanh again expressed an interest in this RFP and asked if he should submit a proposal. Hanh formally submitted a proposal on Submittable, which Dan forwarded to the committee via email on Dec 27. Hanh did not post his proposal to the forum.
    • Recommended future process
      • There are two changes that ZCG discussed during their brainstorm meeting:
        1. Going forward, ZCG will ensure the price/ amount the applicant asks for is hidden from the public to deter a lower-price bidding war for the same work. This action can be easily rectified on Submittable.
        2. After receiving a proposal, ZCG will announce to the community that a proposal has been received and notify members that if anyone would like to submit a counter-proposal, they have 10 days to do so. Then, after the 10 days, ZCG is free to review and vote on the grant.
      • These improvements are the fairest way to handle future submissions towards RFPs.
      • Jason stated that the committee was unaware Hanh formally submitted a proposal and planned on approving MeerkatDev’s proposal. It is fairly priced, and ZCG likes the team and wants to see them doing more within the Zcash ecosystem. However, since Hanh did submit a counter-proposal, Jason asked the committee to put it up for a vote.
      • Aditya stated that he agreed with the recommended changes to the process and voted to approve the original grant proposal with the Equilibrium team of developers. Cody voted to approve the Equilibrium proposal to bring in more developers building on Zcash. ZCG unanimously approved the proposal.
      • Jason stated he thinks ZCG should have done a better job designing the RFP process to cover multi-bid scenarios. Hanh was acting in good faith calling out what he legitimately believed was an egregiously high bid and offering to do the same work for less. Jason thinks price is an important factor that deserves serious consideration from ZCG, and Hanh is a proven and dependable developer. Jason thinks the process was unfair to Hanh, but believes the change in process (outlined above) will help ensure a similar situation does not occur in the future. He also added that ZCG will post the new process on the forum so that the community understands how the process works and the reason for approving MeerKatDev’s proposal.
      • Aditya mentioned that ZIP 1014 requires prioritizing the first team who proposes a well-specified plan for receiving grants. Jason countered that in the RFP model, with the specs on how ZCG assesses the RFPs, RFPs are supposed to have multi-project bidding for the job. Aditya believes the multi-party bidding should happen ideally, but in this case the Request for Proposal was open for 7 months and developers in the ecosystem had ample time to submit a proposal.
      • Jack clarified that Aditya is correct about ZIP 1014 but in a slightly different context. In addition, Jack emphasized the text about “teams with substantial (current or prospective) continual existence.”
      • Dan will post a standard response on the forum with ZCG’s statement on improving the process for RFP submissions moving forward. Jason added that after the next election, during the handover meeting, current ZCG members will make the recommendation to the new committee and let them run with it.
      • Dan will reject Hanh’s proposal, and Submittable will send a generic rejection notification. ZCG agreed to the decision and will use the meeting minutes as a statement.
  • Brainstorm Session Follow Ups
    • Global Ambassador Program
      • Jason stated that the committee was still determining if Ksenia had anything planned for the month of December and asked Yoditar to reach out to her. She responded noting that she has not had a meetup yet, but has been getting some ducks in a row.
      • Jason asked the committee to decide if Ksenia should receive her payout for December.
      • The committee agreed to push back her payout to next month after she fulfills her obligations outlined in the “proof of work” section of the ambassador agreement.
    • Telegram Conversation
      • Jason brought up a conversation in the Telegram Community that touched on two issues: (1) the ZCG election utilizing approval voting and (2) transparency.
      • Approval voting
        1. Jason stated that a member of the Telegram Community was complaining about ZCG elections being approval voting, where the community can vote for as many candidates as they approve of, even if there are more candidates than open seats. So that ZCG can better address these criticisms in the future, Jason asked about the history of approval voting for ZCG and why this type of voting is not used for other ZF-administered elections, such as the board of directors elections.
        2. Jack answered that Josh Cincinnati instituted the approval voting mechanism, and when Jack started as ED, he looked over the process and agreed that it is a fair way to vote and puts the power in the hands of the individual. Jack added that ZCG should not feel like they need justifying to anyone on the forums and group chats how ZCG elections work, and ZF is happy to take this on should it continue.
      • Transparency
        1. Jason stated that the same member of the Telegram Community who was criticizing approval voting also thinks ZCG meetings should be live-streamed. Jason explained that meetings cannot be live-streamed for several reasons, i.e., not operationally feasible, and there are private things discussed that need to stay off the record.
        2. Jason told the members of the Telegram Community where transparency reporting and information about ZCG could be found: the meeting minutes, ZF quarterly reports, and the dashboard.
        3. A different member of the Telegram Community asked Jason to request ZCG put the block explorer and viewing keys into the wallet and merge the dashboard with the viewing keys.
        4. Jack stated that it is not feasible to do so because of the way ZF custody funds. Jack added that if there is any concern of anything shady happening with our funds, ZF’s finances are audited, including the coin holdings.
    • GitHub dashboard for ecosystem projects
      • ZcashPulse?
        1. Dan stated that this was originally a Formspree submission, and they have yet to respond, so Dan will reach out again to get them to do a forum post and, by extension, a grant proposal for the community to view. Dan added that this submission was solid, so he hopes to hear back early next year.
    • Jason stated that this year has been a success thanks to the efforts by the committee and the Zcash Foundation. Jack added that this committee came in with an open mind and a willingness to work together. He also noted that the committee fulfilled what they were elected to do by being positive and constructive and worked well and openly with ZF. Jack stated that the committee did a fantastic job and thanked the ZCG on behalf of the community and the Zcash Foundation. Michael thanked the ZF team for ZF’s support and added that it far exceeded his expectations.