ZOMG meeting minutes 1-6-2021

ZOMG Zoom Meeting: January 6, 2021

[Minutes taken by Danika]

Meeting minutes:


  • Hudson Jameson

  • Sarah Jamie Lewis

  • Shawn

  • Chris Burniske

  • Holmes Wilson

  • Danika Delano acting as notetaker

Pre-meeting Agenda:

  • Proposals
  • Hudson wants to do a post about reaching out to teams to get them to apply to grants


Nighthawk Lightwalletd Proposal

  • Hudson summarized that the committee’s anonymous voting was positive and Shawn clarified that Nighthawk has one proposal active and one was funded by Zfnd in the past and the new proposal is riffing off the previous concept.
  • Chris pointed out that the proposal is for 2 years and Chainflow would charge 100K in contrast to the 30K in this proposal.
  • Shawn & Holmes spoke to the applicant’s ability to deliver by sharing they are from Boston MIT and there are some good names in there. Holmes had the impression that they are a loose knit band that are enthusiastic and credible.
  • Chris asked if the committee wanted to ask any clarifying questions and reiterated that this is a more attractive proposal than Chainflow due to cost.
  • Sarah shared that she had 2 issues. First, a meta-thought on what stance the committee wants to take on funding lightwallet eco projects. She explained that they do not want to put Zcash into 5-10 nodes but they should, instead, have hundreds. She did not see it benefiting the ecosystem but thought it is better than the current state. Her second concern was about privacy and security risks in logging and was not sure if Nighthawk thought through the risks for the amount they are asking. She added that she would like to see a more rigorous proposal since it is a 2 year proposal. Hudson shared that he thought their response to logging was good but they could use some tips. Hudson suggested that they submit another proposal with audits or amend the proposal for audit funding which could start a trend of audit funding. He also added that their costs of dev ops resources and cloud costs seem reasonable. Sarah agreed with Hudson on the logging issue and clarified that her main question is “do we want to be in the business of funding lightwallet nodes?” She said she would not give this proposal a strong veto but wants the committee to consider this since they may see more proposals. Chris replied that that is a great question for long-term stability and summarized that this may be a bandaid that would fester and become a deeper wound. He added that Horizon has had conversations on who pays for node infrastructure and that paying for it in this way is the most cost efficient thing in the short-to-medium term. Chris suggested replying with a short statement that says it is a stop gap to get robust node infrastructure and the long term vision is nodes are operated by companies that have significant Zec flows. Holmes stated that it is not a conflict of interests but there are 2 directions: 1) If you go in the direction of a node that users have reasons to trust there are security benefits but you want it to be run by Cloudflare or someone very trusted 2) If decentralized there is a problem with lightwallets being exposed to transactions where they know who they belong to. ECC team wants it to be peer to peer. Holmes shared that his opinion is it should be decentralized but address the security worries with functional benefits or centralized as hard as we can with a strong stamp of approval. Then, if decentralized is better than the futile approach we should switch. Hudson remarked that he would love a proposal about incentivization to run nodes and is heavily in favor of this proposal and would be okay approving today. Shawn also added that he thinks it is okay if it is a bandaid (until a more decentralized network of nodes is deployed)
  • The committee discussed perceived branding due to the fact that ZECwallet and Nighthawk have been funded by the Foundation. Sarah voiced that she thought the Foundation damaged its reputation by not investing in the security of Zecwallet. She added that if the committee funds things and there is a breach in security it can kill a project so before committing to longer term funds, they need to ensure that needs are being met. All members agreed. Shawn added that people know the Foundation is doing due diligence but not doing 100% due diligence since it is not necessarily a Zcash Foundation project, it is just funded by a grant from them. Holmes stated that if there are flaws, it reflects on Zcash not the Foundation. Shawn asserted that he likes the idea of asking for audits. Hudson commented that Zcash is such a new coin so it is wrong to expect it to be decentralized right out of the gate. Chris replied that Decred has a year on Zcash.
  • Sarah agreed to respond to the proposal and Hudson recapped that they want to conditionally approve the proposal and ask about an audit, logging, and their view of decentralization. Holmes added that they should state that they have decided to proceed with due diligence.

Moeda Casa Brazil

  • Hudson thought the applicants had good intentions but it needs to be more laid out. Chris shared that his understanding is that they want to take crypto and swap into Zcash then anonymously switch to another so privacy is preserved with the anonymous swap. Hudson commented that using Telegram group is what a lot of countries are using for trading crypto. Chris added that he wondered about language barriers. Hudson suggested that the committee create a list of clarifying questions and post them to the forum and everyone agreed. Chris also commented that he thought the cost is reasonable if they can deliver and he likes that it comes from Brazil. Hudson said that if the result is somewhere between a proof of concept and something bigger, it is okay for this amount of money. He also looked at their website and noticed that everything runs through Zcash.
  • Holmes pointed out that an immediate passthrough is not the recommended way to use Zcash (by ECC, etc.) and discussed the flaws of Zcash until there are more Z to Z. Holmes and Hudson agreed that it would be valuable to get context from ECC.
  • Chris volunteered to put out an initial response.
  • Hudson shared that he speaks Portuguese so he can contribute if a language barrier becomes an issue.

Hudson wants to do a post about reaching out to teams to get them to apply to grants

  • Hudson told the members he would like to do a personal post to get more proposals. Shawn volunteered to support him on the post and voiced that he wants to get more proactive whether it is with bounties or RFPs.
  • Chris had no hard objections but said that he is not in a rush to spend the ZEC and pointed out that the committee is currently using all the time in meetings to discuss 1-2 proposals. He added that he thought they would be overwhelmed if they were getting 10 proposals a week. Hudson stated that he would like Chris’s perspective to be included and he will emphasize that they want quality over quantity and that they may need to move ZOMG to more asynchronous discussions if there are many more proposals. Shawn built on that saying that, with RFPs, being asynchronous would be easier to parse because they do not need as in depth discussions. Holmes reminded the group that they are using the time they have given their current load and are learning so if they have more proposals they can just adjust the way they do things.
  • Holmes asked Chris if there was a set of projects that he thought were urgent or worth funding this year. Chris said that he worries about infrastructure and postulated if decision making should be more to the edge instead of by a group of trusted individuals. He also noted that treasury management and ZOMG is not a long term solution and for adoption there needs to be more integrations as collateral (who is going to fund governance if not the Foundation?).
  • Holmes told the committee that they should be aware that participants in the community hope that ZOMG will do stuff that will help Zcash blow up. If they go the route of keeping funds, they need to make the case of why and not assume people agree with that.

Poke a Hole on Great Firewall in China, now Hong Kong

  • Shawn & Hudson told the committee that the applicants have not responded to Hudson’s comments, approved KYC, or posted on the forum so Shawn asked if they should close the proposal. Everyone agreed to turn down the proposal. Holmes suggested they say that the applicant is unresponsive and did not agree to KYC.


  • Holmes shared that they got a very professional response from Ann and they hope to work together in the future.

Other Discussion

  • Chris brought up the idea of branching outside of grants to prizes. He said that he will watch Hudson’s post and asked the member if they would want prizes or investments? Chris explained that investments would be to compound the treasury. Hudson replied that he would like to learn more about it.
  • Hudson voiced that the ecosystem may not be solid enough to withstand the scrutiny of its flaws. There isn’t one organization taking the reins and explaining “this is what Zcash is” and addressing the scrutiny. Sarah agreed that there is a vacuum around Zcash. Sarah and Hudson agreed that they should create a space to discuss what ZOMG thinks about it and what they want to do throughout the year.

Action Items:

  • Respond to Nighthawk Lightwalletd proposal (Sarah- done)
  • Respond to Moeda Casa Brazil proposal (Chris)
  • Post about reaching out to teams to get them to apply to grants (Hudson with Shawn’s support)
  • Shut down “Poke a Hole on Great Firewall in China, now Hong Kong” proposal (Shawn?)

may I ask what standards you intend to audit against and which companies you are considering. (both afaik are legal requirements in then uk)

Thebug would have been caught by release procedures. a heck of a lot cheaper (and SOP), but then you need someone to write them. Each different bit of software having different requirements. it is why I suggested the setup for testing that I did before.

@NighthawkApps if you need any help with this, I can help rewrite that part of it for you.

Sarah started another thread on it requesting feedback.

The way I’m currently thinking about it is, reach out to a few well-regarded firms and ask what kind of engagement they recommend to move us towards the desired result, building all the key tools in the ecosystem into first-class privacy-protecting technologies.

this might help