Zcash Community Grants Meeting Minutes 4/4/22

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:


  • Winnie updated the committee on her progress with the comms plan for ZCG including collaboration with CoinDesk, ZK Podcast, the development and running of ads etc…
  • The committee discussed their plan to create a statement on their stance on licensing for media projects. They will seek out more expertise and include 37 Laines to better inform their position.
  • ZCG requested to have a ZF engineer advise them on whether they would recommend approving or rejecting the node-Tor - Javascript implementation of the Tor protocol grant based on the grantee’s most recent response on the forum. The committee will then consider this input when making their decision.
  • Dan updated ZCG that Ziga withdrew their Zemo - Your Web3 Inbox grant. Jason will follow up with them to see if they should reopen the grant or if they will formally post a statement about withdrawing their application on the forum.
  • Although Jason made a case to keep the grant open for the proposal to receive more engagement and support, the majority of the ZCG committee ultimately decided to reject the Zcash DeFi grant application.
  • ZCG approved the Ziggurat 2.0 grant. The committee discussed making it available to the community and potentially hosting a Twitter Space with the grantees.
  • ZCG put out the idea of issuing a PR for Q1 summary of approved grants to later be discussed.
  • ZCG approved the Zcash Promotional Song & Music Video grant and talked about the importance of distribution and reviewing the content before production.
  • ZCG announced Trends will no longer continue as an ambassador; ZCG plans on replacing Trends with two ambassadors: one from Brazil and one from Saudi Arabia; BostonZcash will be added as an “honorary ambassador”. They agreed to create a Monthly Ambassador update template with a character limit and to set a clear deadline with encouragement to submit before the end of the month; ZCG also agreed to create a ZF and Ambassador signal group for more efficient communication at month end…

Quick Comms Plan Update from Winnie

  • Winnie informed ZCG that ZF had secured some promotional activities in collaboration with CoinDesk for May and June. Winnie informed the committee that she was in the process of securing a podcast sponsorship spot for ZCG during Q2.
  • Winnie asked for the ZCG Twitter password which she had lost by clearing her computer. Aditya agreed to get in touch to re-share the password.
  • Winnie reminded the committee to keep in mind the prospect of sending out a press release, as they continue to approve new grants.
  • The committee did not have any questions so Winnie dropped off the call.

37 Laines

  • Alex shared that 37 Laines should get back to him on the open points in the agreement this week and he will share an update when he has one.
  • Jason gave an update on licensing - the committee and 37L have decided to gauge community sentiment on Creative Commons vs YouTube license, which will likely happen in May; ZCG wants to be thoughtful about the licensing issues and start to formulate a committee position. Jason asked if ZF has any contacts to help make them more informed, like someone from EFF. Hudson added, when it comes to some of the issues we face, the committee is making a concerted effort to reach out to experts to formulate ZCG’s policies as they don’t want to say something that is misconstrued; ZCG wants to have a cohesive strategy for the future so others can know the general guidelines. Brian stated that ZCG wants to include 37 Laines in that conversation to get a producer’s perspective before they publish. Alex replied that they will talk internally and get back to ZCG shortly on a reference.

Open Grant Proposals

  • node-Tor - Javascript implementation of the Tor protocol
    • Jason explained the proposal has been open since January; ZCG relayed a ZF engineer’s feedback to the applicant on the forum and the applicant responded; Jason asked Jack if that engineer could review the responses and give ZCG a recommendation to accept or reject the proposal before ZCG makes its final decision. Jack replied that since ZCG is asking for ZF’s advice, he is okay with it; he asked the committee to send Dan the specific link they would like advice on and requested that they make it crystal clear ZCG is asking for advice from a ZF engineer. Adi agreed and stated that it is just one input in their decision. Jack replied that it is natural to come to ZF and ECC to provide expertise and told them Dan will follow up on this.
  • Zemo - Your Web3 Inbox
    • Jason stated ZCG plans on setting up a call with Ziga to discuss questions/concerns they have and determine next steps. ZCG would like to keep this proposal open.
    • Dan explained that Ziga requested to withdraw the application from the grants platform. ZCG will discuss with Ziga and reach out to ZF if it should be opened again.
    • Danika explained how withdrawals work on the new grant platform.
  • Zcash DeFi
    • Jason stated: This grant has only been open for two weeks. It hasn’t received much engagement or support on the forum, and I think the committee might view the community’s lack of enthusiasm as an indication of lack of demand for Zcash-related defi products. Rather than voting it down, I ask that the committee leave it open for another two weeks to see if Paire can get more community members to voice their support. I spoke with him this morning (we are both moderators in the Telegram Community) and he thinks that people who would support this proposal are traders and investors who don’t have a strong presence on the forum, but are active on Telegram, Twitter, and Reddit. I will ask him to get more people to voice their support on the forum or come up with a better metric that supports demand for this product. I recommend leaving it open for another two weeks, and if we’re in the same place at the next meeting, we can consider rejecting the proposal. Defi is an important part of the crypto ecosystem, and I think there needs to be more options to support borrowing and lending against ZEC. This proposal deserves more discussion and consideration from both the community and committee.
    • Aditya commented, by keeping it open, ZCG is saying we are open to supply liquidy of $300k and he doesn’t support the Dev Fund providing liquidity on 3rd party platforms as it comes with all sorts of risks. Hudson agreed and said he doesn’t have much to add. Brian agreed with Aditya, he’s not comfortable funding, from a grant perspective; he thinks that large grants such as this should fund entities working on Zcash. Michael added that the trailer is funny but the demand is not there; this is not the time for this, unless it’s tiny so it is fine to vote down now.
    • The majority of the committee voted to reject the proposal.
  • Ziggurat 2.0
    • Jason summarized that Equilibrium received a grant from the previous grant committee and this is a continuation of that grant- testing and stability for Zebra and Zcashd & crawler for $372K.
    • Aditya noted that he didn’t see them put the entire proposal on forum and asked who gets to access & evaluate the deliverables? He said he would like to see how it will be exposed to the community, Jason agreed that they did not copy and paste the entire proposal into their forum post; doing so would allow for more community feedback. Aditya added that he doesn’t want to delay as they are just follow up questions, not blockers; he is fine approving today.
    • All members agreed to approve the grant.
    • Brian said Aditya has good points; if there is community demand for a platform such as this then it should be made available but understands there may be security concerns with such access since the platform is intended to find bugs in the protocol. He reiterated that he is fine approving today.
    • Alex asked if they would want a press release. Hudson replied that he would want to think about it; the grantee has had success in the past but this might only be of interest to niche researchers; we could have members of that team put on ad or video saying “I’m a researcher and I got freedom with this grant” in opposition to bad, restricting things about grants. Alex said he can ask Winnie how she would promote it and added it’s good we have this conversation after approving each grant.
    • Hudson added that the Ziggurat grant got him excited; no one likes to do testing and having them do this is epic.
    • Jack suggested this could be a Twitter Space with Ziggurat and Hudson.
    • Jason asked if it is too late to do a PR piece on QEDIT; maybe there could be a round up of 1st quarter grants? Alex reapplied that he personally thinks it could be a huge news story when completed; more of a “mission accomplished” announcement or completion of a huge milestone, but ZF is open to promoting awarded grants however ZCG prefers. Jason said the committee will think about if they want a Q1 summary of approved grants or if they want to wait to announce big milestones.
  • Zcash Promotional Song & Music Video
    • Jason explained that the applicant is a musician that was introduced by a mutual friend of Aditya and they want to create an original theme song and promotional video.
    • Michael commented that it has a big potential reach and is fun; his songs might be formulaic but he can deliver it in his style and it’s pretty cheap for a video in an open license; he is excited and would be able to approve because it’s fun.
    • Brian agreed that it’s a good opportunity to raise awareness and have a fun project; there are some concerns about the content and we don’t want to stifle his creativity but ZCG could put together some guidelines of what not to do that could jeopardize non-profit status; he would approve this today.
    • Hudson stated that it’s good deal in cost-to-benefit and they are not getting too many creative applications; it is entertaining and good-hearted and could last for a while; he’s not sure how Zcash is seen in India but he knows that Polygon is popular there so there might be a big appetite so it’s good to have a presence in that market.
    • Aditya agreed that it’s a good price as it usually costs $50-100K+ for a production quality music video and the applicant is qualified; he likes the sentiment on the forum to support initiatives in other regions; other blockchains advertise in India and this video might create a curiosity in India to see what’s different about Zcash.
    • Jason said he likes the musician’s content and India is an important market for crypto and Zcash; initially he thought the price was too high, but now he is more comfortable with it; he agrees that they should set standards related to the content, and he would like to see better defined marketing and promotion because some of the musician’s videos have millions of views and some only have thousands…
    • Brian asked if they should develop guidelines or ask to review as a certain stage of development. Aditya replied that they can ask to edit before production and he should push on the platforms listed in the grant; maybe they can start with this and then see as it was hinted by the applicant that marketing is a different job; the current grant has enough marketing. Jason replied that they should have set standards like social media promotion or appearance on podcasts, not formal marketing. Aditya said they can ask them what their promotional plans are and agreed that once it is created it has to be promoted on many platforms.
    • Aditya voiced that ZCG should approve it today because the applicant needs to pull together resources to meet the release timeline by the month of May. Jason said he is fine approving immediately. Brian added that he likes the suggestion of linking it to Zcash media.
    • All approved the grant; Jason said they will work on a statement and send it to Dan to disseminate.

Global Ambassador Program

  • Jason shared that ZCG received a message from Trends that they are unable to continue as an ambassador for April & May. ZCG has decided to add two more ambassadors to replace Trends - one from Brazil and one from Saudi Arabia and will send their email addresses to Alex to KYC and send IC Agreements. ZCG will formally announce the new ambassadors on the forum once they complete KYC and sign the agreement.
  • Jason also announced that BostonZcash will be added as an “honorary ambassador”; they did not want to go through the KYC process or get paid for the role, but the committee would like to extend the title to them because they are a long-time Zcasher who often hosts in-person meetups and an active part of the ambassador community. .
  • Month-end process
    • Jason agreed with Alex’s suggestion for a template for the ambassadors to provide monthly updates on activities (that was added to the meeting agenda); Alex added if we have a solid template, we can control how much information the ambassador is giving and they will all put in the same amount of work.
    • Dan explained that it would be helpful to have a clear deadline for the ambassador updates so they can all be paid on the same day and lock in at the same USD/ZEC rate. The committee agreed and said they can encourage the ambassadors to submit the updates before the end of the month so they can all be paid on the 1st at the same rate; they also noted that they would like to leave room for exceptions.
    • Dan asked if they could create an Ambassador and ZF specific Signal group so they can post monthly update reminders and send one message to everyone about the exchange rate when the payment is sent. All agreed that this is a good idea and Aditya volunteered to create the group.
  • Jason asked if ZF noticed more engagement on social media since the ambassador program launched. Dan said it was a solid month on Twitter, but there could be coordinated efforts of memes or themes. Jason mentioned that 37 Laines planned on using the ambassadors so that would be a good test of coordinated efforts. Aditya encouraged Dan to send the ambassadors ideas in the group. Brian encouraged Dan to ask the ambassadors questions.