Howdy Zeal! Below please find the latest @ZcashGrants meeting minutes and ZOMG public Dashboard link.
Alex Bornstein (ZF resource)
Daniel Wolande (ZF resource)
Jack Gavigan (ZF resource)
Danika Delano acting as notetaker
- Hudson was unable to attend the meeting due to COVID testing but shared the following comments via a Signal group:
- QEDIT: Amazing! Super excited and hope this passes. Has my full support. Price looks fair for the work and timeline imo. The thing that popped up in my head, that we need to be reticent about for the future, is the increase in large, outside teams coming into Zcash to collab with ECC and ZF on core protocol work. This is a great opportunity, but needs to be monitored. There have been issues where large outside teams in Ethereum have come to contribute to an EIP or core protocol feature for long periods of time, and near the end it gets rejected by the core devs with all the work wasted. If ZOMG funds this, we need to be sure there is buy-in from the Zcash core developers from both main teams. Good news is that it seems like from the forums that there is. Even if this doesn’t work out exactly perfectly, the funding will at minimum be a great experiment for bringing in new protocol dev blood to Zcash and integrating them into the processes and questioning what may be long held beliefs about what direction software decisions and core protocol decisions should be made with this new team’s input. This is a great thing. 100% approve.
- Zcash LatinoAmerica: I left them a forum comment before requesting past experience and technical outline and they provided it. In my opinion, what they provided as examples of past work didn’t blow me away. That doesn’t mean I’m a hard no to their proposal, but in the forum thread there are some indications from others that an endeavour like the one they propose would require more synergy with the community so it doesn’t become a second class asset that is poorly maintained (among other good points in the thread). I am a soft no on this, but am open to probing it further with more planning or approving it if all other 4 members are in favor of approval.
- Eternity GameFi: Hard no. Looks like a copy/paste of Ethereum GameFi DAO structures with less of a plan and more of a financial gain element (we will launch a token and figure out the rest later). Too many red flags to name. I don’t even think I found a forum post for it.
- Alex suggested that the committee consider creating a chair role to help run meetings, and create the agenda; the previous committee did not have one but from a comms standpoint and a meeting efficiency standpoint, ZF sees value in it; it’s up to the ZOMG committee to decide.
- Brian replied that it is a good idea for coordination and communication and asked if anyone that thought they had the time for this role wanted to volunteer.
- Jason volunteered to be committee chair but said he is open to anyone else taking the role, too.
- Michael said he was delighted to see him step up.
- All committee members present were in favour of Jason as the committee chair
- Alex said he can transition the agenda creation to Jason along with whatever else ZOMG members decide falls under that role.
- Brian suggested having an internal offline convo in case Hudson doesn’t agree and to better define the role.
Brief grant process walk-through
- Alex presented the suggested grant process and explained that nearly all of it was adopted by the previous ZOMG committee except Dan’s role of writing responses on behalf of ZOMG on the forum; basically it states that Dan and Danika will do all of the admin tasks, with ZOMG doing the decision making; he asked the members to look it over on their own time and come up with suggestions on how to modify; the goal is to make it as plug-and-play as possible with no delays. In the meantime Dan will communicate with requesters and post on behalf of ZOMG on the forums.
- Aditya said he wants to make the process as transparent as possible; they should pick out the key stages and timeline so applicants/the community is aware. Alex agreed and added that ZF wants everyone to be as informed as possible; if there are questions required before ZOMG votes, Dan would get back to them on the applicant’s response; he reiterated that the committee can review later and they can decide who is doing the follow up for today.
- Forum discussion; $1,187,615
- Brian began by saying that overall the community is very excited; the grant is well put together and thought out; he had questions of the security aspect and changes to core protocol; they will require auditing; how do we audit what previous auditors are adding into the code?; there are multiple eyes from ECC and everyone else involved; he is an enthusiastic yes!
- Aditya seconded Brian’s comment that he is pleased that ECC is going to work with them on a complex protocol level integration; he is a thumbs up with the requirement that they give a monthly update on the status.
- Michael stated he is super enthusiastic and wants them to get working ASAP; hell yes!
- Jason agreed with the other members; he very much supports and approves the proposal; ZSAs are an important use case for Zcash, particularly private BTC and stablecoins, which will lead to a number of other applications; QEDIT are well-respected and have strong ties with ZF and ECC and this project is in line with the ZCAP poll (UDAs were voted to be the highest priority); it is very technical so he can’t comment on all the technical specifications or timeline but it’s evident there is close contact with ECC and ZF so it will be properly evaluated; he agreed that they should have monthly updates to see how the project is evolving.
- Brian commented that this discussion aligns with the desire to bring teams into the ecosystem that have the desire to contribute meaningfully over the longer term; this team brings value to the ecosystem; maybe ZOMG hasn’t seen these type of requests before because the ecosystem might not know what ZOMG is looking for i.e. reporting, roadmaps, plans; they might need to have a separate discussion for requirements and what they are looking for; if QEDIT wants support long-term, they can put a proposal together instead of relying on several short-term grants.
Aditya agreed that that is an important point; as MGRC is being developed they should have a chat as a team but focus on attracting teams for now; Funding Zecwallet is something they should look for. Jack informed ZOMG that Zecwallet will be updating at its current state but won’t be adding additional features. Aditya suggested they put out of RFP for that and asked since Zecwallet full node is under zcashd and funded by grants from ZF, is it still under ZF control? Jack clarified that Zecwallet was never under ZF control; ZF worked with the developer and the developer subsequently received grants from ZOMG for work that has now been completed.
- The four committee members present formally voted to approve the QEDIT grant. Hudson had already expressed his full support, making it a unanimous decision.
- The committee agreed to have Dan draft a response that includes the requirement to provide monthly updates and run it by the committee before he posts.
- Resources for ZOMG: Jason asked that, although it’s not an issue for this proposal, what resources does ZOMG have to evaluate technical aspects or proposals?; Do we have an open line of communication with ECC/ZF? Alex replied that Dan can reach out to the relevant people at ZF and ECC; he is conscious of the time involved in these asks and wants to make sure he reaches out to the best person; the point of RFIs is to have experts we can reach out to and pay- this is the ultimate goal; in the bridge time, we can reach out on behalf of ZOMG; ZF has reached out to ECC/ZF twice for the past committee; ZF is happy to facilitate if ZOMG has specific questions they want answered and, in the long-term, would like to see an expert list that can be supplemented by ECC and ZF.
- Inherent Risks: Jack brought up that there is always a risk that a project might not deliver or might not be on time; there is an inherent risk in grants of this nature for a cutting edge sector of cryptocurrency; some will not deliver so he accepts that as an outcome and the community should also; as long as ZOMG and ZF do our due diligence, if anyone complains, Jack will stand up for ZOMG; experiments and failure are a part of this world; he encouraged the committee to embrace a little bit of risk taking, and Jack and ZF will stand alongside ZOMG if there is criticism. Aditya agreed; there might be a delay or they might need to request further funding to continue; as we go into POS, it might require more work as well.
- Brian brought up that the last committee had a threshold on the number of people and thresholds for grant amounts and asked if everyone was comfortable sticking with the thresholds established by the previous committee (≤ $20K require 3 out of 5 members to approve but if someone has a strong opposition, they should stop and talk about it as the discussion solicits more awareness. $20.1K-$100K requires 4 out of 5 members to approve. ≥ $100K requires five out of five members to approve).
- Aditya voiced he is okay as long as everyone is present but applicants might ask different amounts for their proposals because of this. Brian agreed that the key is to get feedback from all members. Aditya added that they should feel confident giving funding away to applicants with grants that align with the funding criteria adhered by the committee members.
- Alex pointed out that they should ask themselves what purpose these thresholds serve and if they add value; as grants get bigger and more requests come in, they could consider less restrictive alternatives.
- Jason agreed that these are good questions to ask themselves and suggested they ask the previous committee during the handover meeting.
Forum discussion; $44,000
Aditya explained that it’s under the marketing category; they have a solid structure of how they want to approach it but he doesn’t see qualitative material or sample content; he prefers to invite them to complete an RFP for translations and contribute to the broader Z.cash knowledge base instead of having applicants create new websites for each region.
Jason noted that they are a father and son dev team that want to create an online hub related to Zcash and grow the website via social media; he would reject because he doubts it will get the engagement or website traffic they anticipate and $44K is too much for this proposal; it’s more effective to have multiple RFPs to create informational and educational material to feature on the z.cash website similar to the “learn” tab of the Ethereum Foundation, then, once the resources are complete, they can be translated into different languages; Ethereum Foundation has translated material into 30 languages; the Tezos Foundation also does something similar on their grant page where they have open bounties for translation. We should do something similar.
Brian also agreed to decline.
Michael admitted that he was tempted to say yes but $44K is not a good investment; it’s easy to fall into a trap of being too choosy but $44K is still too much.
Brian pointed out that there may be a creative way to keep this group involved like creating an RFP process to have info on the website; Can this group help create content on what ZOMG wants to see?; then they would not outright say no and keep them engaged.
Jason asked if there is an existing doc that ZOMG wanted to have translated into Spanish?
Aditya instructed Dan on the tone that they wanted the response in.
Michael asked if there is precedent for ZOMG negotiating the amount. Alex responded that there was not one, to his knowledge, but there’s no reason not to.
All members agreed to have Dan draft a denial response.
Forum discussion; $70,000
Jason commented that it seems like a scam and that he’s fine outright rejecting it; he thinks about it this way: if you’re applying for a job that pays $70K per year, you’re going to present yourself in a more professional manner than you would if you’re applying for a job at McDonalds. Drake is asking for $70K and he gave us a McDonald’s-quality proposal.
Michael agreed and suggested there be a process to filter low quality grants like these.
Jason agreed that ZOMG shouldn’t spend time discussing low quality grants.
Aditya suggested minimum words as a filtering method and setting standards; the effort they put into their application makes ZOMG look bad. He suggested the new grants platform will help increase the quality of grant applications.
Alex told the committee if they come up with criteria, Dan can assess grant applications against those criteria, but ZF doesn’t want to be a gatekeeper for these proposals.
Jason noted he did a web search and couldn’t find anything on if it’s legit protocol or people.
All members agreed to have Dan draft a denial response.
- Jason explained that the meetup in E Africa was reviewed and rejected by the previous ZOMG committee. He agrees with their decision but suggested creating a “Global Ambassador Program” that sponsors meetups and other educational events focused on Zcash because the community is currently too US-centric; he asked: how could something like this work? Is there a shared doc that ZOMG can save these questions on? Should there be an ongoing RFP for people to apply to host meetups and have proof using funds for that purpose? Should they reach out to the community to brainstorm?
- Alex explained that on the grant platform, they could create a program that is just for meetup funding requests and it could set a limit on the amount of money they award for a meetup; the new platform is made for specialized programs like this.
- Aditya supported this idea; he likes that local leaders could create groups in their own language. He asked if there was a place where ZOMG could keep track of things. Alex replied that once the minutes are approved they will post the minutes in the living agenda doc and ZOMG can have a section for ongoing projects; Alex also brought up that Dan can research examples of good programs to find solutions to work off of. Aditya said that sounds good.
- Michael pointed out that he is interested in audibility of it as it can all be used for scams.
- Aditya suggested they only give out to those that have shown they have done meetups before. Dan suggested they could require video to document the meetup.
- Brian also supported the idea of a Global Ambassador Program.
- Action item: ZOMG members who volunteered & Dan to research existing Meetup programs and propose a structure for ZOMG to consider to create strategy around this funding opportunity.
Regular meeting schedule
- Alex asked if the current time and fortnightly cadence worked for everyone.
- Aditya agreed that they should meet every other week and touch base later in the week to discuss the ambassador program and about branding; in his experience of sharing the program with a broader audience, there is not a great reaction to the name “Zed-OMG” that controls almost $30M in funding; the current members should come up with something more brandable or stick to MGRC; the community elected “MGRC.” and many still refer to the Dev Fund allocated to MGRC.
- All members agreed to stick with the current time and meet every other week. Danika volunteered to send out a calendar invite after the meeting.
- Dan asked about additional meetings. Jason replied that if the flow is slow, they can use that time. Aditya brought up the idea of having a window where applicants to Zcash Ambassadors can submit applications instead of on a rolling basis to better coordinate the program activities. Brian said he is fine with additional meetings. Michael replied that he can commit more if the need presents itself.
- Post-hoc thoughts from Brian on desire to not livestream the committee meetings (discussed with other committee members):
- The minutes, transcribed by ZF, are reviewed and approved by each MG committee member prior to posting to the forums. If there is disagreement on what was captured or we misspoke we have the opportunity to reflect and correct ourselves before it becomes public record and we cause a commotion.
- Private information that grantees have shared with ZF/ZOMG about themselves may be relevant for discussion in these meetings and it is not our right to disclose this private information to the public.
- This is a privacy focused community and I’m a private individual who ran pseudonymously. Keeping the meetings closed to the public enables me to share my face with the committee and have a more dynamic trust-building interpersonal conversation with the other members.
Discretionary Expenditure ideas
- Jason asked if ZF will create a process or if ZOMG needs to; Alex replied that the process is mundane but will be shared; it will be as easy as possible; they need to discuss borderline uses.
- Jason asked if they have determined how the accrual will work? What price will you use? Jack replied that if the payment is being made in ZEC, they will handle it the same way ZF handles grants by dividing the USD amount by the Messari price on the day of the payout; If they pay in USD, ZF would convert ZEC into USD.
- Jason asked how ZOMG will know the balance. Jack replied that there are two limits so whatever limit ZOMG hits first will apply; he volunteered to build something into the ZOMG public dashboard with the ZEC number and dollar cap in percentages. Once you start spending, it will be easy to see how it will be treated; it’s recorded in the ledger.
- Alex shared the Strawman RFI/RFP process for the committee to review and comment on in the following weeks.
- All members celebrated approving their first grant!