Zcash Community Grants Meeting Minutes 4/18/22

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


  • Aditya
  • 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 not to approve node-Tor - Javascript implementation of the Tor protoco.l
  • ZCG confirmed that the applicant wanted to withdraw Web 3.0 Education.
  • ZCG agreed that Creative Agency Kickstarter, South Africa should have been filtered and asked Dan to respond to their proposal on the forum pointing them to approved grants.
  • ZCG decided to wait on making a decision on Free2z: Private Peer-To-Peer Giving. The committee also discussed security risks and an auditing process. Brian to post on the forum.
  • Jack confirmed that ZF is not planning to do anything with Zecwallet until after NU5 mainnet activation.
  • ZCG asked Winnie to move forward with a general ZCG PR piece.
  • ZCG shared that they are putting several Request for Proposals (RFPs) and RFIs (Request for input) on the forum and talked about the process with ZF. ZF emphasized they need advance notice to get the grants platform ready for submissions.
  • There was discussion about licensing and the upcoming educational discussion scheduled with legal counsel the next day.
  • ZCG and ZF discussed the process of staggering elections. Hudson to gather the community’s thoughts on the forum.
  • ZF talked to ZCG about their part in Zcon3 and asked for ideas and to spread the word.
  • ZCG asked Jack about his hedging strategies for the ZCG funds.
  • Winnie provided a comms update.


Open Grant Proposals

  • node-Tor - Javascript implementation of the Tor protocol (Not approved)
    • Jason explained that the committee had asked a ZF engineer for general recommendations on the grant; ZCG read through the comments and are not comfortable accepting this grant; Jason noted that despite having concerns from the beginning, ZCG gave this proposal ample consideration, allowed a significant amount of time for the community to comment, and reached out to experts for their input and feedback on the proposal. ZCG wants to thank the applicant for their patience; they also wanted to thank the ZF engineer for taking time to review; ZCG said they will come up with a response for the forum.
  • Web 3.0 Education (Withdrawn)
    • Jason shared that Dan followed up with the applicant and they confirmed they wanted to withdraw; they also told them that they are currently in touch with Michael, a Zcash ambassador from Brazil, and are working on another grant proposal.
  • Creative Agency Kickstarter, South Africa (Filtered)
    • Dan explained that he had filtered this application on the grants platform but they had posted on the forum (which the committee saw); he filtered the application because the evaluation plan was incomplete and the unintended consequences section was only one sentence and vague.
    • Jason said that the applicant may not have great writing skills and it might be helpful to point them to proposals that have been approved as examples of proper format.
    • Winnie said the applicant should also know that it’s just for Zcash related projects. Dan responded that he did mention that in his response and can re-state that on the forum post.
  • Free2z: Private Peer-To-Peer Giving (Waiting before making a decision)
    • Jason summarized that the grant is for a website that allows for direct and private donations; the applicant believes it will make fundraising easier; there is some support on the forum but the grant has only been open for 6 days so they should wait until the next meeting to vote.
    • Brian commented that it looks like they have a solid background on web design and there is interest from the community but he has some security questions; he wants to know what standards for security of web applications have been imposed on applicants in the past; he wants a safe experience for the Zcash community. Jack replied that the short answer is “none”; he said he believed there was previous discussion about asking applicants to add the cost of an audit to grants. Hudson added that there is a long history of this; Sarah, a former ZOMG member, had a security background and recommended having a fund set aside for security and audit experts to have on retainer; it would be a perk of getting a grant through the committee; in the end, they didn’t have enough software project grants to warrant having them on retainer so they went the route of having the applicants add it into the budget and the committee is generally happy to pay it. Brian brought up that there are some good tools that can do cursory automated scans; this is a great opportunity to start having these discussions and approach a security expert.
    • Hudson said he would love to talk to them about the details of the budget; there are cool things that are future deliverables and would bring other people into the ecosystem.
    • Brian volunteered to post on the forum.
    • Jack mentioned that ZF is talking to potential auditors about Zebra and he can bring this up during those conversations. Brian said that would be helpful. Aditya asked if ZCG should create criteria before approaching a 3rd party auditor; not every grant proposal that is at an early stage and has a low user count needs to undergo an audit before launch. Brian reiterated that they want to have a security focused mindset while not inhibiting progress i.e. have a start-up environment. He’s not sure if they should have a user threshold for a platform because not all applicants have usage stats but having a policy would be a good start. All members agreed.

Brainstorm Meeting Follow Ups

  • Zecwallet support
    • Jason brought up the committee’s request for an update on Zecwallet status from ZF. Jack replied that Aditya K is planning to update Zecwallet for NU5; ZF is not planning on doing anything until NU5 is done so it won’t be confusing to the community. Aditya gave a shout out to Aditya K for quickly releasing ZecWallet FullNode with an updated zcashd version.
  • PR Article
    • Jason explained that one idea that ZCG came up with is writing a general PR piece on Zcash Community Grants that covers what is ZCG, recent grants funded, projects they are interested in funding, RFP/RFI process, where to apply for grant, etc.
    • Aditya said this would be excellent and they should advertise on multiple levels.
    • Winnie asked how they see this happening. Jason replied that Winnie can use the key points she drafted with the committee for CoinDesk, to write it. Aditya said it can be like the newsletter ZF puts out. Winnie said that sounds good; it can be comprehensive like the thought leadership article, but with recently approved grants.
  • RFP/RFI process
    • Jason shared that the committee wrote several RFIs and RFPs under a new subsection on forums; he asked what the process is after it being posted on the forum and what the marketing plan is.
    • Alex said ZF was stoked to see it come out; we saw it posted on the forum and scrambled to get it ready on the grant platform; it is fortunate we had it partially set up weeks ago. ZF needs as much of a heads up as possible so that when the community goes to that page, they can apply- just reach out to one of us and we can get it posted.
    • Jason clarified that a RFI is a Request for Input and is a pre-RFP which is different from a Request for Info that had been previously mentioned. Alex said when he thinks of a RFI, he is referring to a roster of experts so he appreciates the clarification; he asked what was posted today. Jason said it was a RFP. Alex offered to review any of them from an expert and/or end user perspective if they give him a heads up. Jason said he would share the google doc with him.
    • Alex explained that the way it is currently set up, the committee will get a PDF of the applicant’s response following the instructions on the RFP. Aditya asked if the candidate has a way to add more information like milestones to the Submittable platform. Alex replied that we are just asking for a PDF but we could add other fields and/or compare with what’s coming in.
    • Winnie asked if they would post on job boards. Alex replied that it depends on the content of the RFP; we would look for the most appropriate platform. Jason commented that the podcast RFP seems like a good candidate for job boards and would be open to funding something like Bankless. Hudson brought up that if they just upload a resume it does not allow them to say more; he’s interested in someone like a line cook that is interested in Zcash.
    • Aditya suggested they put an RFI out, get input from the community, and turn it into a RFP. Hudson said he will post on the forum.
  • ZF licensing expert recommendations
    • Dan shared that he reached out to Creative Commons USA in two ways and hasn’t gotten a response; the fact sheets are a good starting point on the website.
    • Aditya shared he contacted FSF to ask for recommendations on releasing media accessible to everyone and got the following response: “Please see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/#OtherWorks for the licenses we recommend using.”
    • Jason asked if someone can create a new doc so all resources are in one place.
    • Alex asked if anyone had any other questions that are not on the list for the licensing discussion with legal counsel; he told them to come with questions as it will help the conversation. Hudson thanked Alex for connecting them; it will be educational in a good way. Alex replied that we put a lot of trust in them and hope the discussion is useful.
  • Staggering elections
    • Jason stated if they want to stagger elections, they should start thinking of a plan now; he asked if they can open up one spot this year and more next year. Jack said it’s up to ZCG; one or more people would need to resign their seat then the newly elected person will start a year long term. Jason asked for clarification on how much time is needed to prep for and hold an election if they wanted to have one member roll off on June 30… Jack replied that it’s tidy if it’s a 6-month staggering but it doesn’t have to be; if they are going to do it, they should announce ASAP, and decide on how many seats; they should get the world out there so ZF can set up a process for nominations.
    • Hudson said he will post on the forum to start a discussion so they can ask the community what they think and formulate an opinion from that.
    • Jack pointed out that someone can resign and run again, the seats being staggered doesn’t need to mean they leave ZCG.

Zcon3 ZCG Needs/Wants

  • Alex shared that ZF is continuing to put together the Zcon3 program and asked them to think about an engaging session they want to have and other creative add-ons.
  • Alex explained that we have rented the entire meeting space at the Palms and there is a lot we can do there- panels, discussions, and other interesting ideas; we are at the stage where we have a lot of interest and are mostly prioritizing sessions; we would love to hear any creative ideas the committee has. Jason said they will brainstorm as a team.
  • Hudson said that it is cool that ZCG is given time; it’s a unique opportunity to catch people who aren’t just browsing the forum; he also suggested a zen room where people can chill out.
  • Danika explained that the best way for the committee to tell ZF what they want their session to entail is to fill out the Zcon3 Speaker/Panelist/Workshop Leader RFP form; additionally all members that plan to attend should fill out the Zcon3 Attendee Request Form and encourage others, including the Zcash Ambassadors, to apply and spread the word ASAP.
  • Hudson asked if there were sponsors at Zcon3. Alex replied no but it would be cool if there was a live podcast show in addition to Twitter Space and live-streaming; one of the goals is to give 37 Laines space to have impromptu interviews; we want people that are unable to be there to feel as involved as possible.
  • Jason asked if ZF would subsidize the committee’s expenses. Jack replied ZF is happy to cover.

ZF policy around hedging ZCG funds

  • Jason brought up the committee’s question about ZF’s approach to hedging future ZCG grant commitments and stated that it would be helpful for ZF to develop general standards or guidelines around hedging.
  • Jack explained that the current approach is focused on ensuring that future grant commitments (based on future milestones for approved grants) can be met, by hedging out of ZEC into USD.
  • ZCG and Jack discussed options in the event of a bull market, and the possibility of building up a USD reserve. Jack will come back to ZCG with a structured plan/strategy for achieving this.

Quick Comms Update from Winnie

  • ZK podcast is airing an extra podcast that will accommodate ZCG in May.
  • The CoinDesk creative that ZCG selected has been sent for the May weekly newsletter.
  • A comms campaign for ZCG will start running this/next week at the latest.
  • Winnie is working on the Thought Leadership article now with CoinDesk and will send it to ZCG soon for comments.