Zcash Community Grants Meeting Minutes 4/15/2024

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

Attendance:

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

Key Takeaways:

  • Dashboard
    • ZCG asked for clarity on the USD reserves listed in the dashboard.
  • Open Grant Proposals
  • Brainstorm Session Follow-Ups
    • ZSAs and Legal Risk - ZCG provided an update from meeting with attorneys from Steptoe.
    • Maya Protocol AMA - The Maya Protocol team requested ZCG participate in an AMA session.

Dashboard

  • Jason asked Jack to clarify the application of the USD reserves listed on the dashboard and its implications for future use if grant proposals get approved. Jack explained that ZF always pays out grant milestones in ZEC, which reduces both the ZEC balance and future grant liabilities number. However, the USD balance remains unchanged, resulting in a growth of the USD reserves unless the USD is spent to buy back ZEC. Given the pipeline of grant applications, Jack has opted against buying back ZEC and reminded the committee that if they felt strongly about this process, either way, ZF is open to hearing their opinions.
  • Jason said he felt comfortable with the current balance of ZEC and that the committee would be very selective about grant approvals moving forward.

Open Grant Proposals

  • QEDIT: Stablecoins For ZSAs - QEDIT’s 2024 proposal focuses on enhancing Shielded Assets (ZSAs) with stablecoin compatibility, user control, and exchange compatibility. Key initiatives include developing enhanced viewing keys for stablecoin issuers using verifiable encryption, enabling transaction approval by recipients, and analyzing identity for fine-grained disclosure. Their goal is to improve regulatory compliance while maintaining user privacy.
    • Jason wanted to emphasize that this is not a formal proposal yet, and QEDIT has not submitted this proposal to Submittable. The committee met with the QEDIT team, and three action items need to be addressed:
        1. QEDIT needs to revise this grant to be more structured around current budget constraints.
        1. QEDIT will amend its current Asset Swap proposal to replace the deliverables with new milestones that aim to accelerate Zebra development.
        1. QEDIT to amend that same grant to include a $100,000 retainer legal fee but to do so as a new grant submission. Dan is in communication with Jonathan about this.
    • ZCG is waiting for QEDIT to get back to them on these open items to move forward.
    • Jason asked Jack for any information on Zebra development with QEDIT. Jack told the committee that QEDIT is actively working on the necessary changes to Zebra to support a network upgrade that will activate ZSAs. The primary dependency is the fact that, to activate ZSAs, either zcashd needs to be updated (which ECC has said they will not support) or replaced (which requires building an alternative to zcashd’s command-line wallet functionality).
  • Research Workshop on ZK Proofs- Jason summarized this grant proposal. This proposal is from Elizabeth Crites. She is asking for $5,000 for ZCG to sponsor this workshop. She says: “a contribution of $5,000 would allow us to pay a stipend for at least one additional fully funded scholarship, including travel up to £300, and accommodate an additional 2-3 participants to help us reach our goal of maximum participation.” The Workshop will be held at the University of Edinburgh and is set to bring together researchers to enhance collaboration, particularly among early-career individuals. The event will include expert talks on various aspects of zero-knowledge proofs, with content published online as an open academic resource.
    • ZCG rejected this sponsorship proposal request as it is outside the committee’s scope of funding and is not a priority with current budget constraints.
  • Zcash Community Wallet Developer- Jason summarized this grant proposal. This is the second grant proposal this year from Pacu. Pacu served as the Zcash Wallet Community Developer from September to December 2023 and then again from January to April. This grant is a continuation for the remainder of the year, through the halving, at a rate of $15,000 per month.
    • The committee unanimously approved this grant for the next quarter, May through July, at a rate of $15,000 a month.
    • Given the current budget constraints, ZF will ask Pacu to amend his proposal in Submittable to three months.
    • Category: Dedicated Resource, Reporting Frequency: Monthly, same as before.
    • *GGuy - joined shortly before the meeting closed and confirmed that he was concurrent with the rest of the Committee on the Zcash Wallet Developer grant decision.

Brainstorm Session Follow-Ups

  • ZSAs and Legal Risk - As the previous meeting minutes indicated, ZCG met with Steptoe.
    • The update is that Steptoe has provided two proposals regarding scope, and ZCG ran them by JW Verret. He was in support of either one or both.
    • Jason broke down each proposal: a private internal advice proposal specifically for ZF/ZCG vs. a white paper outlining the legal regime for the ZF community as a whole.
    • Alex asked for clarity on the purpose of these proposals to ensure the need is being addressed appropriately, given the investment. Brian said that in response to JW’s forum post, he considered the white paper proposal as the better option for the ecosystem. He believed it could address concerns about potential boundary overstepping in ZSA development, serving as a guide and alleviating fears regarding legal compliance in Zcash development. Jason added that these proposals would show ZCG’s due diligence for potential legal risks to the community.
    • Jack reiterated the importance of clarifying the boundaries between developing ZSA technology and engaging in activities related to money transmission. He said that it would be objectively good to have a legal opinion/guidance on this distinction, but perhaps this guidance would be more appropriate/relevant if/when there is a specific stablecoin project on the horizon, as this is all hypothetical at the moment. Jack also raised the general question of whether it makes sense to effectively pay people to use Zcash versus using those funds to ensure that Zcash meets users’ needs, so that Zcash usage grows organically instead.
    • Jason highlighted that Steptoe has yet to provide a response regarding the cost, but Jason said that ZCG will update once they do. Additionally, he noted that considering the current price of ZEC, this requested legal opinion might be more of a luxury than an essential requirement. Jack agreed and said that this could be put on the back burner for now until someone submits a grant application to which this is relevant. Jason concurred, adding that ZCG now has a relationship with Steptoe, making it easier to address the matter if it arises again.
    • Jason invited Jack and Alex to join ZCG’s upcoming meeting with Steptoe.
  • Maya Protocol AMA - The Maya Protocol team requested ZCG participate in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Josh from ECC and Hanh to create more interest in the project. Jason said ZCG was somewhat reluctant due to concerns about limitations on what could be discussed; however, there was some intrigue about attending.
    • Jason asked if ZF had any apprehension about it. Jack said he had no concerns.
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Look everyone! We’re cypherpunks

With about $3,000,000 of USD balance, is any of that expected to be regularly spent?

If those USD haven’t got any other plan, but to be used for buybacks then I’d lean toward using a portion to begin the process if ZEC prices remain discounted under $25.00.

Why now? if taking a big picture perspective/ conservative measure of the ZEC-USD market, the long term price (simple) moving average at $80.00 (50 day, weekly time unit) suggests that we’ll probably see at least 200-300% upside in the next year or two.

A significant portion of the Top 200 crypto coins/ tokens/ memes have already reverted to their 50 simple moving averages, and begun to trend even higher (Below using Bitcoin Gold BTG-USD as a Zcash comparable)

This all of course assumes that Bitcoin/ Crypto remain in a neutral or bullish market trend.



TOTAL2 which is the market cap of all crypto assets excluding BTC, is significantly above its weekly 50SMA.


If the question for that ZCG’s $3,000,000 is as simple as buyback now or buyback later. (because it has no other forseeable uses)… I’d say that now offers a reasonable risk to reward setup.

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and not just that, the signal that this would send out to the community is worth even more than those 3M USD. @Dodger

It isn’t Dodger’s call based on the meeting minutes, it would take consensus from the ZCG members:
image

…so we’ll have to be nice, and make a compelling case :slight_smile:

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The majority of the $3.1 million listed as “Current USD Balance” has been intentionally converted from ZEC to USD to cover obligations for approved grants that have not yet been paid out. This protects ZCG against potential drops in the value of ZEC and ensures all existing liabilities can be covered. Only $481,000 is unencumbered and available for purchasing ZEC. Buying back ZEC is an ongoing conversation; however, where we left off in the meeting is:

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Ahh! Okay that makes a lot more sense, Thanks.

(I see row 25 is the number in context here, USD reserves… as the remainder that could be for pizza, coffee, buybacks et al)

If nothing else, I was going to start wondering why the ZCG hadn’t at least put that capital into short duration treasuries :smile: for 5% yield.

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