Zcash Community Grants Meeting Minutes 3/21/22

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


  • Brian

  • Hudson Jameson

  • Jason

  • Michael

  • Alex Bornstein (ZF resource)

  • Daniel Wolande (ZF resource)

  • Jack Gavigan (ZF resource)

  • Winfred K.M. (ZF resource)

  • Danika Delano acting as notetaker

Key Takeaways:

  • ZCG decided to share feedback with the applicant and leave the node-Tor - Javascript implementation of the Tor protocol proposal open.
  • ZCG is drafting a forum response for Zemo - Your Web3 Inbox
  • ZCG decided to reject Shielded Multi Signature Transactions and ask the applicant to submit a different proposal to help other wallets in the ecosystem to achieve faster syncing times
  • All members agreed with Brian’s idea to require applicants that have proposals that require coordination, to have discussion with all the stakeholders before they apply; the committee agreed to bring this up at an Arborist call and also direct potential applicants to the R&D Discord server.
  • ZCG decided to leave the Zcash Media Launch Plan open, pending legal discussion.
  • ZCG agreed that Dan should respond to both website inquiries saying they are not interested; also, moving forward, he can filter sales inquiries and direct the appropriate people to the forum instead of forwarding to the committee.
  • Winnie presented a detailed comms plan with the objective to increase the number of high quality applicants submitting to ZCG; Jack confirmed that the proposed plan will be funded by ZF to make amends for not offering the current support to the committee last year. The proposal was well received by all members, and they were supportive of Winnie moving forward with the plan immediately.


37 Laines

  • Alex gave an update on the status of the legal agreements with 37L. The following is a summary of the key takeaways:
    • ZF to draft the “ownership agreement” based on the terms discussed and verbally agreed upon with 37L and ZCG on March 11th. ZCG to review the final draft and then ZF will share with 37L for review and execution. Expect to have this completed the week of March 28th.
    • ZF to draft a trademark license agreement with terms specific to this unique engagement. (Completed as of 3/28)
    • Initial payment under the distribution grant will be made upon execution of the trademark license agreement. (Completed as of 3/28)
    • Guidance regarding the standard YouTube License vs. Creative Commons has been provided by ZF to ZCG.

Open Grant Proposals

  • node-Tor - Javascript implementation of the Tor protocol
    • Jason summarized the feedback that they shared with Dan: it’s relatively inexpensive; unsure about some of the claims; they would advise ZCG to re-review the application to provide more detailed information about risks and monthly milestones; recommended independent technical review of node-Tor’s Tor protocol implementation to identify incompatibility; they also pointed out a few claims in the application that were inaccurate.
    • Jason stated that ZCG was previously undecided or leaning toward no,and asked if ZCG should go back to the applicant with this feedback and continue to leave this proposal open for consideration.
    • Brian pointed out that they haven’t had anyone in the community say it’s useful but it doesn’t hurt to get more feedback. Jason asked if it would be helpful for them to have a convo with or ask them to resubmit application? Jack replied that he is weary of allowing grant applicants to suck away too much time from ZF team; grants should be able to stand on their own two feet; they are happy to provide feedback and input but he is also cautious of risking the perception that ZF has undue influence over grant assessment; he doesn’t think we’re there yet but he wanted to mention it; if an application needs a lot of support from ZF or ECC, as opposed to collaboration with them, it’s worth taking a look at them closely.
    • All members agreed to provide the applicant feedback and leave the proposal open for further consideration.
  • Zemo - Your Web3 Inbox
    • Jason shared that Hudson addressed ZCG’s concerns on the forum; ZCG is drafting a response to their response this week. Brian asked if the google doc went out to compile a response. Jason replied that they will send it out today or tomorrow.
  • Shielded Multi Signature Transactions
    • Jason stated that the committee has decided to reject this grant based on the ZF engineer’s feedback; the committee will request that the applicant wait until the FROST spec is complete (expected in summer 2022); he also asked Jack if it is okay for the committee to recommend that the applicant reach out to ZF and ECC before submitting a request. Jack replied that he can reach out but it may be too late to be involved in FROST.
    • Brian brought up that when they receive grant applications that require coordinating with ecosystem stakeholders, maybe they should require that the applicant(s) have already coordinated with all the stakeholders before they apply; it would make it easier for the committee and reduce applicant wait times if applicants that propose protocol level changes or intend to introduce new features that enable interoperability for the ecosystem have already had collaborative discussions with others in the ecosystem. The committee doesn’t want to take up too much of ECC/ZF/others time so it is better if applicants come with a better filled out plan. For instance, identify specifications that need to be created, steps that need to be taken, have already discussed timelines with all relevant stakeholders to ensure alignment, etc. rather than bringing a proposal that simply proposes ecosystem collaboration. Proposals lacking pre-coordination necessitate that ZCG then coordinate with ECC/ZF/others involved to ensure that appropriate milestones are set and the grant output will be utilized by the ecosystem/intended audience. All members agreed. Jack commented that Brian’s idea was well put and brainstormed that the Arborist call could be a good place to bring this up; if the Arborist call isn’t the right venue, ZF & ZCG can have a think about if we want to create another type of meeting. Brian responded that they have talked about the Arborist call and agree it’s a good way for protocol level initiatives; additionally, they need to be more vocal about the R& D Discord channel to spin ideas and get feedback. Jack agreed that was a very good point.
    • Jason summarized that while they are rejecting for the time being, they will ask the applicant to submit a different proposal to enable other wallets in the ecosystem to achieve faster syncing times.
  • Zcash Media Launch Plan
    • On 03/23, ZCG held a meeting to discuss and vote on 37L’s “Zcash Media YouTube Channel” grant proposal.
    • All five members of the committee attended the meeting.
    • All five members believe that the first two videos produced by 37L are of high quality and, generally speaking, support the “Zcash Media YouTube Channel” proposal, which includes funding the creation of the Channel and the marketing and distribution of the first two documentaries.
    • There are still open questions surrounding ownership and licensing, which will be resolved in an “ownership agreement” currently being drafted by the Zcash Foundation’s lawyers:
      1. Ownership: All parties agree to terms that state if the relationship with 37L ends for any reason, 37L will transfer ownership, control, and administration of Zcash Media channel to ZF.
      2. Licensing: All parties agree that the first two videos will be released under the Standard YouTube License. However, ZCG would like future videos to be released under a Creative Commons license and 37L would like future videos to continue to be released under the Standard YouTube license.
    • In order to resolve the licensing issue, 37L and ZCG have agreed to gauge community sentiment over the next month.
    • In light of the above, ZCG unanimously voted to approve the Zcash Media YouTube Channel grant based on the following considerations:
      1. The ownership agreement will only apply to the first two videos. A subsequent agreement will need to be negotiated to goven future content produced by 37L.
      2. 37L is required to sign ZF’s trademark agreement and the ownership agreement.
      3. 37L is entitled to receive the startup funding (specified in their grant proposal) pending execution of the agreements (currently being drafted by attorneys) if they verbally agree to the terms of the agreements.
    • The above compromise allows 37L to start executing on their marketing and distribution plan without delaying the release of the videos by a meaningful amount of time. It also allows 37L and ZCG more time to be thoughtful about the licensing issues and properly gauge community sentiment around this matter.

ZCG Website Submissions / Questions

  • @persianzcash Twitter
    • Jason pointed out that they only have 88 followers and that ZCG is not interested in the proposal; he asked if ZCG should be responding to these email inquiries. Dan said that he will respond with whatever they would like. Brian voiced that they don’t want to ignore it; they should thank them for supporting the ecosystem and say they are not interested at this time. Alex informed ZCG that if it’s obvious spam (a smashed keyboard) they don’t forward it but they can use judgment; if it’s a human, they can politely say the committee is not interested.
  • Ankr (Sales Manager)
    • Jason said that this is not something ZCG would support, but he’s not if ZCG should be responding to sales inquiries or ZF; maybe if they are selling services then Dan can respond they are not interested but if they have other services to offer then Dan can refer them to the forum to get community feedback. Dan said he can give standard replies and use his discretion on these types of emails.

Comms Plan presentation

  • Winnie presented a ZCG comms presentation with visuals to aid the conversation.
  • Winnie stated the objective of the plan is to increase the number of high quality applicants submitting to ZCG; they can try several strategies and see what works; the goals are to raise awareness of the grants program, improve credibility, etc; ZF would support ZCG in crafting high quality content, PR , news distribution (ZF has access to discounts), SEO research, sponsorships etc.
  • Jason expressed enthusiasm for the proposal and asked what sort of fees would be applied and who would pay for it?
  • Jack added the background that last year, when he began as ED, he came in and prioritized certain things; with hindsight, he would have filled the roles that Dan and Winnie now occupy, and devoted greater resources to attracting more applications; it’s easy to say sorry, ZF will put its money where its mouth is by covering the costs of the proposed comms plan which has a total budget of about $30K.
  • Jason thanked Jack and Winnie and said the plan sounds great; he asked who would cover the expense after the initial expense. Jack replied that ZF will contribute the introductory costs and see how it goes, then they can discuss how it gets paid for later; if it doesn’t do well, it wouldn’t have come out of ZCG’s budget; the experiential nature makes it a risk.
  • Jason asked about the deadlines. Winnie replied that she had already engaged many companies before the end of last year, as the elections were approaching. So it’s just a matter of ZCG supporting the plan, then we can engage.
  • Brian agreed it was a great proposal and he appreciates budget offering and thinks the community will as well.
  • Hudson also voiced that he appreciated the proposal and is cool with trying various marketing initiatives; he recommended some caution be employed when it comes to advertised and paid content.
  • Jack commented that he too is a bit skeptical about sponsored content but that we would be promoting the fact that there are funds available and we can do it in a professional way. Hudson agreed that the way it’s worded is important.
  • All committee members supported the Comms Plan that Winnie presented.