Zcash Community Grants Meeting Minutes 2/6/23

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


  • Amber
  • Brian
  • Burns
  • Jason
  • Alex Bornstein (ZF resource)
  • Daniel Wolande (ZF resource)
  • Deidra M acting as notetaker

Key Takeaways:

  • Open Grant Proposals
  • Brainstorm Meeting Follow Ups
    • Global Ambassador Program - Mucu’s trial period has ended and will not be extended.
    • RFPs
      • RFP Idea Submission and Bounties - Brian put together a proposal for more formal RFP submissions and bounties that would allow community members to submit RFP ideas to ZCG.
      • RFP Standard Form - The committee will use a new template that will be a high-level summary of the old submission form.
    • ToDeFi sponsorship - Dan will compile marketing materials to be distributed to attendees at this conference to promote ZCG and ZF.
    • Conferences - ZCG is hopeful of purchasing a booth for both conferences with ECC and ZF.
      • ETH Denver
      • Consensus
    • Bolt Labs - Jason reached out to Ayo to find out about the status of this old grant and will update ZCG if he responds.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Zephyr / Fireice - Fireice asked for more one-on-one guidance on the Zephyr code.


Open Grant Proposals

  • Halo2 Community Manager
    • Jason recapped the grant proposal. This proposal is from Ying Tong, who was previously employed by ECC and is one of the authors and maintainers of the halo2 library. Her grant proposal is for her to serve as the halo2 community manager to contribute reviews, organize processes for external review and maintenance, and provide support to external teams exploring new features. The grant amount is $50,400 for a year.
    • This proposal was discussed in the brainstorming session amongst the committee members, but ZCG would like to get their thoughts about the grant on record. Brian said it was exciting to see outside projects interested in halo2 and was hopeful to see co-contributions made in this project eventually make it to Zcash projects. Amber said she was very impressed with the organization and level of expertise, and involvement from Ying Tong and very enthusiastic about this grant. Cody said the applicant was uniquely qualified for this role and echoed what the other members said. Jason also agreed this is an exciting grant and that Ying Tong is a perfect fit for the role.
    • Present ZCG members voted to approve this grant. Michael will send his vote via Signal later this week.
    • Update: On Feb 7, Michael voted to approve this grant via Signal.
  • Nighthawk Apps Zcash Development Fund
    • Jason recapped this submission. This proposal is from the NightHawk team. They are requesting $954,400 to fund a team of seven people for the year to work on the NH wallet, lightwalletd, and a block explorer.
    • ZCG had a call with the NH team last week. The committee raised their concerns about DAGSync being a significant dependency and asked for the grant to be broken into separate pieces for the wallet, explorer, and infrastructure. ZCG also asked for more specific line items for the retroactive portion of the grant and expressed interest in reserving retroactive funding for exceptional contributions. As of Feb 6, the NH team has not communicated any intention to amend their grant proposal.
    • The committee is not ready to vote on this proposal yet. The committee members plan to meet this week to discuss the grant proposal in detail and figure out the next steps with the NH team.
    • This grant was left open for the time being.
  • Zcash Education Videos
    • Jason summarized the grant. This grant is from the Blockchain Training Alliance. It’s for $50,000 to create a professionally produced video series of educational and training courses to introduce developers to the Zcash ecosystem. Their videos cover both technical and non-technical topics. The team noted that Zcash will own all rights to share the Zcash educational content that BTA creates. BTA will host the content and provide Zcash with all video files to post and share.
    • The committee felt this grant would add value to those interested in building on top of Zcash and may help grow the developer network. Amber said that the committee also liked the different educational angle BTA offers from what others are pursuing, which are developer and career-focused. Jason agreed and said these videos would be geared towards a different audience than what ZecHub and Zcash Media produce and will be interesting to see if this helps build out the developer community.
    • Present ZCG members voted to approve this proposal.
    • Update: On Feb 7, Michael voted to approve this grant via Signal.
  • N3THACK - Hackathon and Conference
    • Jason outlined the proposal. Nethack is hosting a web3-focused two-day conference/hackathon event in Finland in May. They believe it will attract over 500 people, primarily web3 enthusiasts, and they’re asking ZCG to sponsor it for $15,000. In exchange for a sponsorship, they’d promote ZCG on their website and posters at the event. The committee would get complimentary tickets to the event and could participate in a panel discussion if they chose to.
    • ZCG discussed the grant in their most recent brainstorm session and wanted to reject it because they felt $15,000 was too much to spend to sponsor a conference that is not Zcash-focused.
    • This grant was rejected.
    • Update: On Feb 7, Michael voted to reject this grant via Signal.
  • Zcash Media 2023
    • Jason said Zcash Media’s new proposal for 2023 is to create 20 videos for a total cost of $900,000. Their overall goal with these videos is to create high-quality, interesting, and easy-to-understand educational videos that share the value of privacy and how it creates a better society. They hope to leverage their Zcash Media channel on YouTube to increase user adoption. Their proposal includes a project menu of video ideas ranging from documentary-style videos to whiteboard videos. They will use community input to select what videos to create. The KPIs they’ll use are click-thru rate and retention rate.
    • ZCG had a call with Zcash Media on January 25, and the call allowed them to give the committee an overview of their proposal and also allowed the committee to ask them questions.
    • ZCG believes the Zcash Media team took the community and committee’s feedback from last year’s proposals and incorporated it into this proposal. In the end, both ZCG and the Zcash Media team are all very much on the same page with regard to expectations.
    • The committee is ready to vote on this grant; each member gave their input. Cody said he liked the quality of the videos and appreciated that 37 Laines took feedback from the community and the committee. He voted to approve. Amber voted to approve and added her excitement about what 37 Laines aims to achieve this year. Brian echoed their sentiments and added that he liked Zcash Media’s openness to committee feedback and the community and voted to approve.
    • Jason voted to approve and said that he appreciates that the Zcash Media team has been engaging with the community on this grant and soliciting feedback since last summer. David in particular is a very active community member. Jason also added that in addition to creating high-quality content, the team are skillful storytellers that do a fantastic job making complicated concepts easy to understand, which is a rare quality that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Jason said he doesn’t view this proposal as being open for 8 days, but as being open for about three months. Jason mentioned that the feedback from the community on this grant has been far more positive than last year, which is telling, and that the proposal represents a reasonable compromise.
    • The committee voted to approve this grant. ZCG will get a vote from Michael via Signal this week.
    • Update: On Feb 7, Michael voted to approve this grant via Signal.
  • Zcash Workstation Production
    • Jason summarized this grant. This grant proposal was posted on February 6 and is from Ogasky, who has submitted three previous grants, all of which were rejected for either being out of scope or too expensive. This proposal is for creating Zcash open-source educational materials in Nigerian cities to onboard more people onto Zcash. It includes a number of different pieces, including a Zcash boot camp for in-person training sessions, YouTube videos, in-person events, and a documentary video. The amount of the grant is $92,400.
    • The committee will discuss this grant during their next brainstorm session.
  • Zcash-Related Privacy Research: Ukrainian-Russian War
    • Jason recapped this grant. On February 5, Jason saw a Tweet from Mykola Siusko that read, “Yesterday I heard how people were using Zcash to fund cars for the local territory defense group in Ukraine [Kharkiv]. Privacy implications are more diverse than you think.”
    • Jason reached out to Mykola via DM and asked to hear more. The applicant shared with him more details about how Zcash was being used and what sort of research he did. Jason told him about the grants program and said that his research might be a good fit for ZCG if it was focused on Zcash use cases in the Ukrainian-Russian war. Jason then encouraged him to submit a proposal.
    • Mykola submitted the grant Monday, February 6.
    • Jason said he believes these types of use cases are super important for Zcash. He also noted that this may be the first pure research grant proposal ZCG has received, and that he wanted to get a sense of how ZCG feels about funding things that are political.
    • The committee did not have time to review this grant but mirrored Jason’s willingness to hear more and is interested. .
    • ZCG will revisit this grant in their next brainstorm session.

Brainstorm Session Follow Ups

  • Global Ambassador Program
    • Mucu’s trial period ended on January 31, and ZCG will not extend his agreement. His three months were not very impactful. ZCG spoke to Yoditar, and he agreed with the committee.
    • The program is now at nine ambassadors, with Kysenia being the last of the trial periods.
  • RFPs
    • RFP Idea Submission and Bounties
      • Brian put together a proposal for more formal RFP submission and bounties that would allow community members to submit RFP ideas to ZCG through Submittable and then have a small bounty if ZCG decided to write up as an RFP.
      • Brian will send Alex a document with an overview of the proposal and the fields for the form. After it is ready, ZCG will make a post on the forum.
      • Alex asked if a survey might be a better way to get the information needed. Both Alex and ZCG will look into other forms and survey platforms that might be better than Submittable for this ask.
    • RFP Standard Form
      • ZCG found that the current standard template is very long and includes a lot of information that may not be necessary. The committee will use a new, more simple format and then link the old form if applicants want the complete information for the sake of brevity.
      • Cody’s RFP will be the first trial for this new change.
  • ToDeFi sponsorship
    • This is a conference that ZCG decided to sponsor last year for $5000. It will be held in Italy and is scheduled for this April. The grantee reached out on the forum to ask if any ZCG representatives would be attending. The committee is not sending anyone to this conference; however, Jason said that there was a big open item that needed to be addressed, and that is how this conference will promote ZCG. He asked Dan if there was further correspondence with the grantee regarding this question.
    • Jason asked if there were any materials that ZCG could send to him in pamphlet form or in slides that he could use in the presentation. He mentioned that he thought Winnie had made some cool graphics in the past that may be useful for this.
    • Dan answered that there was no new outreach with the grantee and that he would look in the Drive for the old content that was previously composed. He said he would send the applicant some links and a 1-pager that promotes ZCG to help get some information out in the conference.
    • These marketing items will be used for future conference sponsorships.
  • Conferences
    • ETH Denver
      • This conference is being held February 24-March 5th.
      • Amber is interested in attending.
    • Consensus
      • This conference is being held on April 26-28 in Austin, Texas, and a few committee members are interested in attending.
    • ZCG would like a booth for Consensus with ECC and ZF. Dan said there was an opportunity to buy a 10 x 10 booth for $19,500, including different sponsorship tiers and tickets to the conference. Dan stated that he did bring this matter up to Jack, but there was no definite answer. Dan will reach out to ECC and Jack this Friday about this.
  • Bolt Labs
    • Cody wanted to check on the status of Bolt Labs to see if they were still working on the implementation for Zcash. Jason researched and found an article by Leigh Cuen from 2018, ZF gave a $40,000 grant to Ayo. Jason reached out to Ayo via Twitter to find out about the project’s status.
    • This money was allocated before Jack or Alex started at ZF, so Alex said that if there were any specific questions about this grant, ZCG should reach out to Jack himself or let Dan or himself know and that they are happy to facilitate.


  • Zephyr / Fireice
    • Fireice reached out to Jason and asked if someone from the Zcash Dev community could dedicate 1 hour a week to give guidance and Q&A for Zephyr. Jason told him to bring these questions on the R&D Discord channel or the bi-weekly Arborist calls, but Fireice said he would rather have a dedicated person help review the code.
    • Brian stated that the most appropriate course of action would be for Fireice to post to the forum or join the Arborist call and ask the question for assistance there. Dan agreed that Fireice should do all of the above, including another forum post, the Arborist call, and the R&D Discord.
    • Alex said that until they are KYC’ed, they can not get paid.

From their proposal and its Milestones, I understand that 8 videos will deliver on or by 8/6/2023?! @David_Heisenberg (yes?) Although I’ve been a vocal critic, I also want to balance that by saying that I’m very excited to see what stories and content they bite off to chew and digest in the next 6 months.