Zcash Grants & Ecosystem Observer

Zcash Grants & Ecosystem Observer

Hey Zcash Fam! our team is working to analyze and showcase Zcash Grantees and ecosystem projects. We have applied for the ZCG and the community can find our application here. Additionally we have an ongoing post on the forum here.


Zcash Grants & Ecosystem Observer

Applicant name:

Sharp | Grant3

Team member name:


Pitch: A one-liner elevator pitch version of your proposal

Zcash Grants & Resources Database

Total Request (USD):

$25200.00 USD

Have you previously received a grant from Zcash Community Grants (formerly called ZOMG) or ZF?


Are you seeking or have you received funding from other sources for this proposed project?


Applicant background:

The Grant3 team consists of 2 full-time contributors, 1 part-time contributor and 3 advisors.

The core Contributors are Sharp and Shikha. I will list their background and area of expertise

Sharp - Grants and Ecosystem Analytics expert

  • Founder of Grant3, Grant consultant and advisor for Grant programs for 2 years.

  • Has knowledge and expertise in tracking and analyzing Grant Programs- Currently tracking 95+ Grant Programs

  • For the first grant analytics, Sharp analyzed Optimism Grants that tracked 411 projects and 88M in grants

  • Sharp’s tracking and analysis of grants programs helps aspiring applicants in properly analyzing the grant program and avoid duplication, redundancy and help provide high-quality applications that ultimately help the grant teams

  • Sharp also helps startups with grant consulting (free of cost)

  • You can learn more about Sharp on his LinkedIn

Shikha: Research and Analysis associate

  • Has experience in organic and inorganic growth strategies for Web3 projects

  • Worked on 75+ web3 projects during the career span of 4+ years

  • For Grant3 Shikha helped with social media and online relationship management. She impressively grew the LinkedIn network and is currently expanding grant3’s presence on Twitter.

  • Shikha is also a part-time growth and strategy consultant.

  • She is also actively involved in DAOs and governance forums

Description of Problem or Opportunity:

The Zcash Grant Program is one the most public engagements of the Zcash Ecosystem. The ZCG provides community members an opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the ecosystem. This also attracts some amazing teams, technologies and ideas. In this regard, the ZCG has committed $12M for supporting startups that help the Zcash Ecosystem.

While the grants are being given to talented individuals, there is a need of the data regarding grants and grantees to be easily accessible to the community.

Without easy access to the grantee data, the community is not able to discover and utilize the grantee products to the fullest. Community members cannot easily access the website or interface of the grantees just through the existing application or gallery. Thereby ZCG Grantees are also missing an easy opportunity to onboard Zcash Community members as their first users.

For aspiring applicants, there is no easy visibility where they can analyze past grantees, this creates a challenge where the applicants may be working on a project similar to an already funded grantee, which increases chances of rejection and wastes the efforts of applicants. We have seen this happen in multiple other grant programs, where due to lack of knowledge about overlap with the product of past grantees, the application was rejected. For example, one of the Arbitrum grant applications was rejected even after having high rubric scoring, the reason was prior approval of a similar project. The applicant could have changed their scope of deliverables to stay relevant and get grants without wasting the grant resources on an overlapping idea.

The Zcash Grants and Ecosystem observer will make the Grantee data public in an extremely user friendly interface. The database will also make it easy to filter and sort grantees based on various parameters, so any startup aiming to apply for the grants will be able to easily discover grantees in their domain, what products may be overlapping and how can the grantee make their application better. Additionally, a comprehensive knowledge page on each of the grantees will ensure that Zcash community members are able to use this data in multiple aspects - using grantee products, reading grantee application, visiting important links, checking socials, and more.

Proposed Solution: Describe the solution at a high level.

Grant3 will create and maintain a database of grantees with an easy-to-use UI. This will feature a dashboard on the Grants program which will be a graphical and intuitive version of the Grants program Google sheet dashboard. The initial version of dashboard is live here: https://zcash.grant3.co/

The grantee database will feature a full list of grantees, again in a highly user-friendly interface. This list will have advanced features to filter and sort the grantees, get multiple datapoints from single glance. The Grantee database (under construction) can be viewed here: Grantees

The individual grantee page will feature a comprehensive data on the particular grantee. Example Grantee page is Zcash

A resources hub will provide the community members a hub to see all important resources related to Zcash.

A blog section to give insights on Zcash ecosystem and grants. Example blog: ZCG: A Look at Q4 2023 Grantees

The primary stakeholders and target users for the project are

Zcash Community Members: Providing the community members an opportunity to

  • Easily discover and use grantee products

  • Get an easy understanding of the Grant program metrics

  • Understand the grantees funded recently (by month, tags, region)

Zcash Grant Applicants:

  • View the list of past grantees, be informed about the expectation on the quality of their application for the ZCG.

  • Understand the potential areas of overlap with products of Past grantees, how to provide an upgraded offering to stay relevant

Solution Format: What is the exact form of the final deliverable you’re creating?

The solution that is currently being worked on by us to enhance the grant effectiveness is in the form of a website.

The website tracks and organizes the grants data on Zcash ecosystem, currently there is no easy to use platform to see the grantee data.

The website will have a

  1. Grants Dashboard: The dashboard will display all the key metrics associated with the Grants program. Currently, the dashboard is housed in a google sheet, the dashboard will provide a dedicated frontend for this sheet. The dashboard is ready and the community members can access it here: https://zcash.grant3.co/

  2. Grantee Database: The grantee database will contain the list of all the projects that have been approved by the ZCG and ecosystem. This will provide an easily filterable and searchable interface that will let users easily find projects, and identify the startups. The Grantees database (under construction) can be viewed here Grantees

  3. Grantee Information Page: Each grantee will have a dedicated page that will contain key details, descriptions and links for community members to understand more about the Grantees. Example page on Grantee: Zcash

  4. ZCash Ecosystem Links: A collection of all the relevant analytics links about Zcash ecosystem that helps the community members in quantifying various aspects of the ecosystem.

  5. ZCG & Zcash ecosystem blogs: Blogs by Grant3 team sharing meaningful insights on the ecosystem. A few articles are already live. You can check them out here Blogs

Technical Approach: Dive into the how of your project. Describe your approaches, components, workflows, methodology, etc. Bullet points and diagrams are appreciated!

You can find the diagrammatic representation of the site here

Dependencies: What external entities is your project dependent on? What involvement is required from ZF, ECC, and/or other external organizations? Who would have to incorporate your work in order for it to be usable?

The project is depended on the Grants Dashboard Google sheet that is maintained by the ZCG. Our project uses this sheet as the source of truth, this data is then used to further analyze the grantees and present it to the community.

Other non-critical dependencies include Javascript libraries like Chart.js and website building platforms.

Execution risks: What obstacles do you expect? What is most likely to go wrong? Which unknown factors could jeopardize success? Who would have to incorporate your work in order for it to be usable?

The Grants observer platform was primarily designed for DAOs and decentralized communities that do not have an easy access to the grantee data. Most of the time it is not possible to collaborate closely with DAO grant committees, with this in mind we created the project with minimal dependencies on any of the DAO processes. In this aspect there is no critical bottleneck that could derail or jeopardize the project as we scan for most of the grantee data from the Zcash forum and grants sheet.

But going through the forum means that most of the procedures are extremely manual. For example, the data analysis for each grantee is a manual task that must be done by a team member who is an expert in the field. So the only obstacle we see is the process to be time-consuming.

The project is independent in all aspects, so we are not blocked by any other party requiring to incorporate our work in order for this to be a success.

Unintended Consequences: What are the negative ramifications if your project is successful? Consider usability, stability, privacy, integrity, availability, decentralization, interoperability, maintainability, technical debt, requisite education, etc.

We do not see any unintended consequences for the Zcash community or any of the stakeholders from the implementation of this project. This project is meant to be a data aggregator and facilitator for the community.

Evaluation plan: What metrics for success will you share with the community once you’re done? In addition to quantitative metrics, what qualitative metrics will you commit to report?

Qualititive: Robustness of the grantee data, comprehensiveness of the Grantee database and individual grantee data

Quantitative: Completeness of the Grantee data, the number of Grantees analysed

Additonally, we will share our progress updates on the forum, You can find our current progress on this forum post on Zcash Forum

Hardware/Software total budget:

$0.00 USD

Please provide justification for the total hardware/software budget:

There is no requirement for a hardware/software budget. The team is not using any hardware/software specifically for one site.

Services total budget (cloud, hosting, etc.):

$1326.00 USD

Please provide justification for the total services budget:

  • Hosting budget (~$100)

  • Website infrastructure (Webflow $326 One time)

  • Zapier (Starter Plan $20/mo)

  • Online IDE and coding environments (Replit ~$22/mo)

  • Mailchimp ($7/mo)

  • Airtable ($26/mo)

Compensation total budget:

$24000.00 USD

Please provide justification for the total compensation budget:

The compensation is determined by the working commitment required by the two members of the Grant3 team spanning over a period of six months.

There are two members that will be working on the project on getting funding, currently, only one member is working in part time capacity on this project. Currently, Sharp is engaged to create the frontend of the Zcash grants observer.

Sharp ($80/hr): Website and platform lead

Estimated time 160 Hrs. Total $12800 over 6 months

Sharp’s responsibilities:

  1. Website design and Frontend development

  2. Dashboard setup and Maintenance

  3. Setting up coding systems and backend management

  4. Analysis and recording of Grantees.

  5. Website maintenance

Shikha ($80/hr): Research and Social media lead

Total 140 hours over 6 months: $11200 total

  1. Grantee analysis and data entry

  2. Individual grantee research

  3. Article and content strategy for Zcash ecosystem grants updates

  4. Social media shoutouts and promotion content for Grantees

Do you require startup funding?


Start up funding - detailed explanation:

Our team already started working on the project back in December, to show our commitment to the community, first three milestones are already complete. We have also shared a part of our progress here of fourm

These milestones are

  1. Milestone 1: Setting up and website, getting systems up and maintaining them.

  2. Milestone 2: Creating Dashboard frontend for displaying Grant statistics data You can see the live dashboard here: https://zcash.grant3.co/

  3. Milestone 3: Content creation: We write articles on Zcash ecosystem and grants, the startup funding will allow us to dive deeper to provide more meaningful insights to the community

The requisition of the startup funding also serves to make the project sustain at least 1 year of infrastructure and upkeep costs. Currently, the team is unable to commit to yearly infrastructure expenses as the project is being funded out of our pockets and hence we follow a monthly billing (since November). Monthly expenses while manageable, are costlier in the long term compared to yearly expenses.

Start up funding - USD value of payout upon approval of grant:


Milestone 1 - estimated completion date:


Milestone 1 - USD value of payout upon completion of deliverables:


Deliverable 1.1

Fully functional website with - Grantee list, individual grantee pages and analytics hub

Deliverable 1.2

Dedicated page for each grantee along with description and data

Deliverable 1.3

Grantee project specific links for easy access to project research for community members

Milestone 2 - estimated completion date:


Milestone 2 - USD value of payout upon completion of deliverables:


Deliverable 2.1

Full coverage on All zcash Grantees (Past and Present)

Deliverable 2.2

Blogs on Zcash ecosystem and Grants on the Grant3 Platform.

Deliverable 2.3

Social media spotlight content for at least 30 Grantees (Grantee projects that are live)

Total proposed USD value of grant:

$25326.00 USD

How was the project timeline determined?

The milestones were determined on the basis of two key factors

  • Initial work on Zcash grants: We conducted an initial analysis on the Zcash grants, additionally, we have started light work in this direction so we understand the depth of work required to see this project to completion

  • Past Experience: We have worked on an Optimism Grant program observer, andwe have estimates on thetimes and costs of the work and its scope.

Application submission date:


1 Like

Hi @Sharp_P - Thank you for submitting your grant proposal! We will review it in the upcoming weeks and reach out if we have any questions.

In the meantime, if you have any questions for us, you can post them to this thread or DM us at @ZcashGrants.

Zcash Community - We want to hear your feedback on this grant! You can post your comments to this thread or DM us at @ZcashGrants if you’d like to provide feedback in private.


Hey @aquietinvestor , thank you for the update and thank you for considering our application.

We look forward to getting community feedback on the application

The requisition of the startup funding also serves to make the project sustain at least 1 year of infrastructure and upkeep costs. Currently, the team is unable to commit to yearly infrastructure expenses as the project is being funded out of our pockets and hence we follow a monthly billing (since November).

$24k for something that maybe 5 people will use and will most likely be offline at some point/not updated unless another grant is required. Seems like a zero value add. A resounding “no” from me.


Thank you for the feedback, your arguments are to the point and valid.

Seems like a zero value add

When we started, we broadly categorized the users within the Zcash ecosystem to compartmentalize and target.

In this direction we had question in several aspects of user onboarding

  • How to facilitate the Superuser to get actionable insights out of the Zcash ecosystem? Ex. 8M disbursed and another $4M committed in Grants, what portion of grants were given to projects with regional focus. In this case, which are the regions that require additional attention in terms of funding projects, where could the funding be focussed more? What are the projects within the wider ecosystem that augment the technical aspects of ZEC, what areas need special attention?
  • What does the user journey for an average user look like, how to make them get the best out of new products in the Zcash ecosystem?
  • What’s the framework for different user personas to discover projects/resources/content suitable for their taste? Zcash related videos for non-technical users, philosophical articles for ideologically inclined users aiming at Privacy, technical articles for developers, guides and how-to’s for new traders.

Is the current user journey reliant on a lucky discovery of a certain product that user likes? With this in mind, our work to create an intuitive flow to onboard users to new grantee projects along with a holistic database to enable satisfaction of each user personas, backed by a robust system of articles and augmented by our efforts to spread this on twitter and telegram outside the forum where the greater community is active, will be a net positive value add for the ecosystem and its users in our humble opinions. We want the users to discover any resource within the ecosystem within a maximum of 5 actions/clicks, an example of this is already live on the grantee database.

something that maybe 5 people will use

We do aim that the project will be used by more people, which is why the second sets of milestones focus on the propagation of our findings on telegram and Twitter. Additionally, our blogs will also be a key medium to connect with users.
We also have extensive experience with SEO, which we aim at using to augment our reach. Our previous project Web3Native which helped projects apply for Grants 109K views in the past year. Web3Native was recently transformed into Grant3 to better serve the broader community.
Our website also has 199 email subscriptions, 1000+ linkedin followers that we aim at using and promoting Zcash content to.

will most likely be offline at some point/not updated unless another grant is required

The expenses for the site come from our monthly salaries, if these stop we will have to divert the resources to more pressing matters. There is no sugarcoating this fact. A one time grant without any subsequent support ensures that the website stays up for at least two years in any case. We are also exploring on-chain storage solutions for our database or a possible open-source structure later on.

We are glad to receive your feedback. We will rely on your feedback to continuously improve and make an impact within the ecosystem.

1 Like

hey. i agree something like this is needed.

im gonna be honest - i have not built anything big or cool myself.
but 6 months for 2 persons for this kind of project feels just bit too long?
ok the hours dont seem too high but i still think it could be done in a bit shorter time if made it bit simpler? i dont know :smiley:

hope others also comment with their knowledge.

A grant like this deserves to be approved in a few years, after the Zcash ecosystem/ grants project has tripled in size; and after we’ve dug the value of ZEC up from its grave.

Hedging (dumping) $24,000 of ZEC into USD right now, while they they’re valued at $20 a piece makes no sense whatsoever. The economics of this whole ecosystem need to be considered during each application review.

Hey, solid point!

So the working time is very limited and most of it is going to be used for setting up the website and systems. But once the website deployment is complete, the working times then spread over to months, in order to be an ongoing coverage. By spreading the working hours across a longer period, we will be able to analyze newer grantees. Additionally, we will be publishing blogs and content both on our site and on twitter, so do not want this to be a short termed process.

i still think it could be done in a bit shorter time if made it bit simpler? i dont know :smiley:

Yes this absolutely can be. This can even be done in a shorter time that will save us a bunch of efforts. But then we compromise the UX and UI features in this process.

Appreciate your feedback and inputs in this process, please let us know how we can improve more

I leave the decision to the community, whatever the community feels is the best.

1 Like

@Sharp_P Thank you for your submission. After consideration from @ZcashGrants and sufficient time for the community to provide feedback on the forum, the committee has decided to reject this proposal due to being out of scope based on limited funding. Please feel free to apply for the Minor Grants Program when the program opens again (timing TBD).

The committee appreciates your grant submission efforts and encourages you to continue as an active member of the Zcash community going forward, both here on the forum and in the below avenues as well: