Below please find the latest @ZcashGrants meeting minutes and Public Dashboard link.
- Alex Bornstein (ZF resource)
- Daniel Wolande (ZF resource)
- Jack Gavigan (ZF resource)
- Danika Delano acting as notetaker
- ZCG unanimously approved funding Arti: A project to re-write Tor in Rust.
- ZCG discussed their call with Hanh, the YWallet & Warp Sync applicant. They agreed that they still had questions so they will arrange a 2nd call to further discuss pricing, publishing, and if it will be a Zcash specific wallet.
- All ZCG members except Michael approved the Zingo! Implement Orchard grant (approved based on majority vote).
- ZCG decided to table voting on the One Time Enhancement to Zcash Wikipedia page due to not knowing if it violates Wikipedia’s conflict of interest policy.
- ZCG rejected the Private Data Market proposal.
- ZCG unanimously approved the Zcash Anti-Scam Telegram Bot grant.
- ZCG rejected the Code Up Blockchain Festival: Nigeria and suggested they connect the applicant to the ambassador in Nigeria.
- ZCG discussed the process of RFPs based on the Run your own full node RFP submission as an RFP that was later submitted as a grant.
- ZCG asked ZF if they could hold custody of Zapa tokens and Jack said they are not set up for it at the moment. ZCG decided to hold the discussion until they submit a grant.
- ZCG discussed attending upcoming conferences and decided to look at the costs and percentage of the discretionary budget to decide who attends.
- Jason brought up Violations of “Code of Conduct” on the Forum. Jack and Dan responded asking them to flag Code of Conduct violations and tell the person their behavior is unacceptable.
- ZCG brought up the topic of committee hours and that they put in a lot of time thoroughly evaluating grants. Jack replied that if they have a specific ask, they should write it up and send it to him so he knows what they are asking for.
- ZCG agreed to reimburse Michae2xl for the extra conference and swag expenses he spent but were careful to clarify they do not want to set a precedent for getting reimbursed above the approved amount.
Open Grant Proposals
Arti: A project to re-write Tor in Rust
- Jason summarized that this is a continuation of the Arti project for $666,656.40 USD to write Tor in Rust; ZCG had a call with the Arti team and are starting to come around to the proposal.
- Aditya said he, Brian and Burns had a great call with Isa, Al & developers from Tor; they gave them details on what they are building and told them there are efforts underway to release a mobile library for Arti; they learned how Tor operates and their mission to deliver network level privacy on different platforms; he also discussed the possibility of adding a ZEC donation address to relay node operators (it’s an open proposal with the Tor team); it felt good learning from the Tor team.
- All ZCG members approved the grant.
- Michael said that Aditya explained that this is a meaningful grant well; it may even be the most meaningful grant ZCG has funded and it is very worthwhile.
- Burns stated that he thinks Arti is the right way to move forward.
YWallet & Warp Sync
- Jason explained that this is a $500,000 USD grant with $300K retroactive; ZCG spoke to Hanh; the conversation centered on the methodology of determining the amount for the retroactive portion, about the demand for WarpSync, and his background as a developer; ZCG still has questions so they will have another call and will ask if it will remain a Ywallet or Zcash only wallet, and if the app will be published by the Ycash Foundation in the Apple App Store; they also want to discuss the overall cost of the grant and possibly negotiate it down.
- Jason shared that ZCG plans to leave this grant open.
- Aditya stated that the PR initiative required to talk to the librustzcash developers at ECC and they want to avoid having an open PR that doesn’t get used; he wants Hanh to be a publisher of the wallet on Apple so it is in his hands, not a 3rd party (Ycash Foundation) as the publisher controls the application binary and signing settings; and following up with the applicant on call, we learned that Hanh has not reached out to any parties that are the target of the Sapling pool specific WarpSync PR & integration of the milestones in this grant.
- Brian shared that he had initially wanted to get confirmation from ECC, but he is less firm on it now; even if they don’t support it, something could come up and it would be useful; he would rather have it in queue and have it available for merging.
- Aditya asked why should someone put in the effort to make the PR only to not get used; there is a gap in milestone delivery & planning; Brian replied that he sympathizes with the Aditya’s concern but there is an opportunity for the community to fund multiple sync capabilities and have outside developers; he want options in librustzcash. Aditya agreed and said that community developer contributions makes sense but they need to discuss retroactive pricing proposed by the solo developer. The ZCG has funded R&D efforts similar to Sapling-pool specific Warp Sync: Oblivious Message Retrieval & Orchard Pool/UA integration in all of ZecWallet Product Suite, both around ~100k, and the cross-platform Ywallet Flutter-based wallet development can be estimated to be 200k, the asks for the PR merge and documentation needs more info to be evaluated.
- Jason asked if they feel comfortable voting via mobile then including it in the minutes. All members agreed with that plan.
- Note: On September 9, four ZCG members voted on this grant. Brian, Cody, Jason, and Michael voted to approve the retroactive portion of the grant for $300,000 and the documentation milestone for $50,000 for a total of $350,000. Aditya withheld voting citing not enough information or plans for the WarpSync Pull Request to librustzcash repository.
- ZCG also decided that the wallet would remain a multi-currency wallet with the name “YWallet,” but that a condition of the grant is for Hanh to republish the wallet in the Apple App Store under his own name. In addition, the four ZCG members decided to hold off voting on the librustzcash PR until they have more information from Hanh, ECC, and other wallet developers. ZCG requests that Hanh close out this portion of the grant and submit it as a new grant proposal.
Zingo! Implement Orchard
- Jason explained that the applicant, Zancas, proposes to create a new wallet that’s a fork of Zecwallet and implement Orchard; ZCG had call with the team and they revised their grant from $227,500 USD to $128K; the team is only 3 people so they recalibrated the rate and posted their revisions of the grant to the forum.
- Aditya commented that it is sad to see no interest from the Zingo devs in contributing back to ZecWallet codebase to improve software that users already use, yet, the efforts of putting together a developer team and the goal of creating WASM lib and other initiatives that Zancas discussed during the call are interesting and worth funding and reviewing after 6 months, to check if the team has delivered useful software with adoption benefitting the Zcash community.
- Michael stated that, in general, he likes the idea of funding another capable team but they lack vision and hype about this going somewhere new; the end user doesn’t get anything new; they get Zecwallet in a new skin; it’s just implementing Orchard so he’s not excited.
- Aditya agreed that the lack of vision is alarming, and every dev team uses user feedback to improve their products; still he’s in favor of experimenting by funding Zingo team, then reviewing the product later; ZCG is trying to attract new teams and here is a capable team ready to contribute. Brian shared this sentiment.
- Michael added that the work in the grant doesn’t seem worthwhile but there’s a good chance it is.
- Jason stated that he is excited to have more competent wallet developers in the ecosystem; he spoke to Zancas at Zcon3 and thinks he seems like a smart and creative person; he’s less concerned about them currently not having a long-term vision; that will come in time; they can start with the first iteration and organically get new iterations that are more niche in later versions; with the capabilities and competencies of the team he thinks they will deliver on what they had specified and more, in fact, they have already proven themselves since they finished the 1st milestone before getting the grant approved; they are on a mission to build a better wallet so he approves.
- Aditya clarified that they are voting on the $128,500 USD amount. All ZCG members except Michael approved.
- Burns added that he looks forward to seeing what comes next.
One Time Enhancement to Zcash Wikipedia page
- Jason summarized that Noamchom wants to write a page on wikipedia and they learned in the last meeting that ECC and ZF haven’t contributed to the Wikipedia page because of Wikipedia’s Conflict of Interest policy; Michael asked at the last meeting if it would preclude grantees.
- Jack shared the Wikipedia conflict of interest policy, highlighting that “Being paid to contribute to Wikipedia is one form of financial COI”, and said he is not sure how Wikipedia would respond.
- Aditya asked if they can do the work then ask for the money retroactively. Michael said that getting paid plays against his credibility but Wikipedia editing is its own artform.
- Jason announced that they can table it and review it at the next brainstorm session and vote after the fact.
- Note: On September 9, ZCG unanimously voted to approve this grant.
Private Data Market
- Jason explained that this is a privacy preserving grant for $350K USD.
- Burns shared that he had asked questions on the forum about the distribution; the product relies on an experimental feature, forming a market to let people sell payment history to 3rd party hires; it’s a neat concept; it gives end users the ability to control data; he doesn’t know if it is the right time or if there is a market for it; idealistically he likes it.
- Aditya shared that he is not aware of how large or who the user-base is; he doesn’t think ZCG is the right place for seed funding P2P marketplace without Zcash integration; he might not approve it.
- Brian said the concept sounds kind of interesting but it doesn’t feel like the right time on the zcash network and there hasn’t been much support on the forum; he votes no.
- Michael commented, on a high level it’s a good idea but it’s not a good fit for us at this time; he votes no.
- Jason stated, looking at the budget it’s not a high priority; there are other high ticket proposals on their radar so he votes no.
Zcash Anti-Scam Telegram Bot
- Jason explained that JRGB is requesting $700 USD for a retroactive grant for creating a telegram bot that scans for scammers; it’s a small amount and worth the value it adds.
- ZCG members unanimously approved.
Code Up Blockchain Festival: Nigeria
- Jason explained that the applicant is requesting $24,600 USD for a Blockchain event that is not specific to Zcash but it will include NFTs, DeFi, etc.; it’s not evident how they plan to promote Zcash or the ZCG program; it feels like a copy and paste application and he is leaning toward rejecting it; the cost is too high for what it is.
- Aditya agreed; he respects the team and that they have educational efforts but it’s not the best time to fund a conference in Africa.
- Michael said it’s vanilla and not really related to Zcash so he voted no.
- All ZCG members rejected this proposal.
- Jason added that they have an ambassador in Nigeria so they could ping him and see if he wants to help out at this conference.
Brainstorm Session Follow Ups
Email from Junha Park
- Jason shared that they received an email from Junha in South Korea regarding hosting a ZK study session where they would introduce Zcash and ZKsnarks; Junha also asked where to get introductory study materials. Jason asked Dan to point them to where to apply for a grant and commented that ZCG doesn’t have resources for study materials. Dan replied that he has been compiling stuff like zechub stuff and can send it over. Dan said he will get back to them and let ZCG know if there are any follow ups.
Ahas Das - Run your own full node RFP submission
- Jason shared that ZCG has received a submission to their “Run Your Own Full Node” RFP; Ahas would develop a software package that makes it easy for people to run their own node and will also create a hardware device for sale for those who are interested in purchasing a plug-and-play node; ZCG has some questions on the hardware device since the raspberry pi he originally planned to use doesn’t have sufficient bandwidth; ZCG will be making a decision on this proposal soon.
- Aditya said he had a chat with Dan to have PDF and text fields for RFP submissions. Dan said yes, it’s possible but they don’t want RFPs to be public in gallery view.
- Aditya asked the applicant to apply as a grant so it is viewable in gallery view.
- Alex explained that typically RFPs are confidential until the proposal submission process has ended; publishing could dissuade proposers from applying.
- Jason understood Alex’s point and added that there’s supposed to be bidding but, at this point, it is a single grant proposal. Alex agreed that grants should be made public but if you do a RFP process it should have an end date and it should be private until ZCG makes an award then the winning proposal terms should be public; the next time ZCG wants to post an RFP they can talk about goals; ZF wants to help facilitate the end result ZCG wants.
Zapa: Follow up
- Jason reminded the group that Zapa is a fork of Zcash that uses Avalanche PoS and that the lead developer is working on a proposal that would give current ZEC holders and ZCG Zapa tokens in exchange for a grant; he asked Jack about custodying the tokens and administering them on ZCG’s behalf.
- Jack replied that ZF’s custody arrangements don’t support a token that doesn’t exist yet; if it forks from the Zcash blockchain, Zcash holders would receive tokens like Ycash. Jason replied that he thinks it is a code fork, not a chain fork. Aditya said the plans of the dev team are not known, but for an airdrop, a chain fork would be necessary. Jack replied if existing ZEC holders are to receive tokens, it would have to be a chainfork.
- Aditya asked if ZF can make arrangements to hold the keys. Jack replied that he is currently not comfortable doing that; we are not set up for it at the moment.
- Jason postured that ZCG could find someone else in a better position to hold it; if ZF is worried about liability, they could have a best efforts based agreement.
- They decided to wait until they submit a grant to discuss further.
- Jason discussed upcoming conferences that ZCG members may plan to attend such as the LA Blockchain Summit, Messari in New York, and Token 2049 in London.
- Jason plans to attend the LA Blockchain Summit in early November.
- Aditya said he is interested in attending both events to network and attract new teams to build on Zcash, but has to make visa arrangements; he would also like to attend the ZK Proof Summit #5 in Tel Aviv to which he was invited by members of QEDIT at Zcon3.
- Jason stated that they should review the overall cost as a percentage of discretionary budget; and do their due diligence to determine how much should be allocated to attending conferences for networking and developer outreach.
- Brian said he is interested but needs to use personal vacation time. Burns said he is booked out until the end of Oct so he can’t travel far.
- Note: On September 9, ZCG members approved to support upcoming conference attendance to network and attract talent to apply for grants.
- Jason shared that @ZcashSpicyTakes said they are very worried about the level of sarcasm with grantees; Jason responded saying that he would raise it as an issue to acknowledge; there is negativity on the forum but they have to balance free speech and negativity; he’s not sure if the example brought up crossed the line, but wanted to raise it to Dan and Jack.
- Dan clarified that the ZCG code of conduct is separate from the forum’s; anyone is welcome to flag an issue to bring it to his attention. Jason brought up a few examples of CoC violations.
- Jack stated if you see something that is unacceptable, flag it, which will bring it to our attention; there is lots of negativity on the forum, and silence is complicity; if you see someone behaving negatively, flag it and let them know it’s unacceptable.
Follow up on ZCG committee member hours
- Jason followed up on ZF’s question in last week’s meeting whether or not ZF can take anything off ZCG’s hands; he said the most time consuming things involve reviewing grants; you can see from today’s conversation how long it takes to review grants like Arti and YWallet; sometimes reviewing the grant proposal and a single call isn’t enough to evaluate; Jason said that grant review can be a very time-consuming process, and if we want to do a good job and make good decisions on the community’s behalf, we need to ensure we’re being thoughtful and thorough.
- Jason also read the following Tweet from @David_Heisenberg: “…There needs to be an intentional effort to cultivate relationships with outside groups who want to work on Zcash, not a strictly transactional relationship. This requires a proactive effort to welcome people to Zcash. It is also a reason why I think ZCG should not just be a strictly passive board that waits for grantees to come in. I think they should be “out and about” searching for good people to support.” Jason stated this gets at the heart of what ZCG should strive to be; more than just a passive board that reviews and approves grants; it is why he and Aditya want to go to conferences and increase outreach to developers and the larger crypto community; that requires additional time above just reviewing grants.
- Jack replied that if they have a specific ask, they should write it up and send it to him so he knows what they are asking for.
- Aditya asked if grant applicants require extra support, where should they go? Jack replied that they should reach out to Dan and we’ll see what needs to be done.
- Aditya brought up that QEDIT has been joining the Arborist calls to get feedback so there is willingness in the community to help folks who show up. Jack replied that the Arborist calls are very technical. If they have technical issues, you can direct them to Dan and he can connect them with the right resource; grant applicants should generally be capable of delivering their grant on their own, with the exception of some dependencies. Dan also suggested referring them to the R&D Discord server.
Michael (Brazil): Promotional merch request
- Jason explained that Michae2xl went over their estimate for the conference and swag, overshot by $250 and asked if ZCG should compensate for the difference or if doing so would set a bad precedent.
- Danika clarified that Michae2xl did not ask to be compensated for the extra expenses, he just noted the total spend when he sent receipts.
- Michael commented that it’s worth rewarding but it’s a fair point about setting a bad precedent.
- Aditya stated hats off to Michae2xl, there is a lot of initiative coming from Brazil team and their efforts at Rio Blockchain Week.
- Jason also said he thinks very highly of the Brazil ambassador and his team; they’re doing an amazing job and setting a great example for the ambassador program; he wanted to discuss so ZCG would have a process in place for future instances.
- Brian said they have to take it on a case by case basis, and he is in support of funding for the rest of it.
- Jack suggested that one way to do it is to have them give an estimate and set a slightly higher hard limit so it gives them more flexibility. Jason replied it’s a good idea that ZCG should discuss.
- ZCG unanimously agreed to compensate Michae2xl for the difference.