ZOMG meeting minutes 7-6-2021

ZOMG Google Meet Meeting: July 6, 2021
[Minutes taken by Danika]
Meeting minutes:


Chris Burniske
Holmes Wilson

Alex Bornstein acting as ZF ZOMG resource
Danika Delano acting as notetaker

Pre-meeting Agenda:

  1. grant: thorchain bridge
  2. grant: bridge from zec to eth
  3. grant: Tatum (not yet moved from Draft). Seems to be lacking a lot of fields
  4. whitepaper ideas / soliciting grants (we were supposed to pick out potential grant ideas we know we could target potential grantees with)
  5. hedging discussion on email (internal discussion)


Pre-agenda discussion:

In reference to how the ZOMG funds are being spent, Chris commented that he thought the pace is decent and has always had concerns with grants and accountability. He added that there are many examples where there is no accountability in other funding structures.
ML voiced that there is an urgency of finding a person to help ZOMG. Chris brought up that he feels that the communication with Jack is adversarial and ML agreed. Chris summarized his perspective: ZOMG has put forth many things and has been told to just stick to making decisions on grants; ZOMG needs help holding grantees accountable as it is outside the ZOMG time commitment; ZOMG was told that ZF will support them on this and they have not received support. Alex reassured the committee that the Ecosystems Relations Manager (ERM) position will be posted soon and the Foundation will be aggressively recruiting as ZF sees it as a huge priority. ML suggested that ZOMG be given the funds to hire a part-timer or support until the ERM position is filled.
Chris continued his opinion on handling the ZOMG treasury. He said ZOMG is still being formalized and he doesn’t feel they need to add turbo. He doesn’t have concerns on having an annual surplus and thinks it is better to have a balance sheet to last for years and fund grants as they come. He added that he wants to see true asset diversification (equities, fixed income, managed like an endowment) and asked, “who takes on that responsibility?” He summarized that he sees it more as an endowment approach more than anything else.
Holmes commented that there is an ongoing problem on verifying that milestones are completed and admitted that ZOMG messed up by not having milestone payout linked to a deliverable in the Metamask grant. Now ZOMG has to figure out what was committed for the work that is paid to Zephyr. He voiced that ZOMG is short of capacity and cannot approve without due diligence.
ML pointed out that one of the grants put down $280K without a breakdown. Holmes replied that he noticed that and asked them about it on the forum.

  1. Zcash Thorchain Bridge

Chris pointed out that the value is based on an outcome, not an hourly rate, which is not how ZOMG has been granting things. Holmes commented that it is a good proposal and a good thing to work on and it is important for Zcash’s long term resilience but the scope is a proof of concept so it is not appropriate to attach a value based on impact.
ML asked if anyone has spoken to the applicant or ECC and Holmes said that he has spoken with the applicant.
ML shared that she has monthly calls with Andre at ECC and he has been excited about Thorchain. The original idea was to convince Thorchain to do it themselves but they didn’t agree for some reason and Aditya from Nighthawk decided to do it. She added that it is for the public good and the built-in swap capability is a cool idea; additionally, their concerns of ZEC being banned by more exchanges are valid.
Holmes explained that Nighthawk doesn’t plan to build it into Nighthawk and postulated that it might be easier for someone like Unstoppable because, in the current proposal, it is not to the point a user could run with it.
Shawn said that as much as he respects Nighthawk, he understands Hahn’s concerns on the forum in that they have a lot on their plate and they haven’t delivered much yet; it seems excessive at this point in time. He continued that it’s cool to have interoperability but the team is loaded with work/expectation and it’s a large amount of money to go to one team. Chris agreed and added that they have to deliver on one of the major grants this size to get another. ML played devil’s advocate and asked, “what if they can do this on top of the other grants they are working on?” Chris replied that there is a lot of poor execution in crypto so freely granting too many things without proof of delivery starts to be dangerous. Holmes added that he’s not concerned with someone that is committed to the ecosystem but if something happened to Aditya (of Nighthawk), it would be a bad situation.
Holmes suggested ZOMG waits until August until they get through enough milestones on other grants so that ZOMG feels comfortable… Holmes added that ZOMG wants to make sure they (ZOMG) don’t get too far ahead of themselves in granting and wants to verify existing work is going well. Chris added that ZOMG wants to fund them but the timing doesn’t feel right.
Shawn voiced that even in August he doesn’t know if he’d be supportive because he needs to see a better use case in addition to the team aspect of it; he is still on the fence. Holmes asked for clarification of the team aspect concern. Shawn explained that they are a fully committed team requesting to take on more work.
Holmes summarized their points: ZOMG is excited and there’s support but there are questions and concerns. ZOMG wants to see what they’ve got, make sure they are not spread thin, and see use cases (how this will benefit Zcash users and see that in the budget). Shawn reiterated that the end user is key. ML asked if the applicants followed ZOMG’s template because it’s not clear on the Zcash side of things. Shawn asked, “interoperability is a cool tool but how many people can take advantage? Zcash users? Do they have to jump through hoops?” It can get complicated really fast. ML asked, “what else needs to be done before regular users can use this?” Holmes agreed and added, “what will be doable at the end of this grant?”
ML commented that these are basic clarifying questions and thinks someone else should help ZOMG field them as it’s not a good use of their hour per two weeks. Shawn agreed. Holmes replied that it’s healthy to ask questions because not every grantee is a grant writer but they can modify the template so they can make sure ZOMG’s questions are asked. ML added that she doesn’t think the grant is terribly written but they need clarity on a few items. Holmes volunteered to respond.

  1. Grant: Creation of trustless ZCash to Ethereum bridge

Chris explained that Strudel.finance is a separate company and he doesn’t know if they got venture funding. He added that the grant feels tangential or something they would do without ZOMG funds; he also doesn’t know where they stand on RenZec implementation. ML replied that they delivered.
Holmes asked, “is this something that is already covered?” And, to Chris’s point, “does the ecosystem need this?”
ML commented that it sounds like they are burning coins and disappearing Zec; they claim they can maintain a peg but are brave to be so confident.
Shawn said that he is concerned that no interpegs are using their token to hold up the value to match a peg but admitted that he is not sure how the system works so he can’t speak with authority. He added that Hanh asked some hard questions on the forum. When asked hard questions about how BTC would be stabilized, the response was that they would have a creative finance thing so he doesn’t understand, personally.
ML commented that it is a standard DeFi “trying stuff out” and doesn’t want ZOMG to sponsor this sort of early stage bets, especially at the price asked of $75,000…
ML voted to reject and all agreed. ML volunteered to respond.
Holmes elaborated that their position is that they are not sure if benefits outweigh the risks. Chris added that they funded RenZec for $7,500 USD so they don’t see why they should pay 10x for a similar application of this.

  1. Grant: Zcash Protocol Integration into Tatum (not yet moved from Draft).

ML observed that the grant seems to be lacking a lot of fields and Danika pointed out that it was submitted as a CCR.
Shawn explained that when an applicant submits a CCR ZOMG has to have them resubmit by replying requesting changes and asking them to resubmit as a proper proposal because a CCR doesn’t have the detail. Shawn volunteered to ask them to resubmit as a proposal. Alex commented that he and Danika met with Daniel at Grants.io and they removed the option for applicants to select CCRs so there should only be proposals submitted, moving forward.

  1. Zephyr update

ML summarised feedback that Elliot is said to not have the desire to complete the grant and there are stylistic differences within the team (the team is new). The current action item is for Elliot, who has $15K worth of funds, to transfer to fireice and Steve so they can hire someone else. ZOMG can just let it play out. Shawn agreed with the summary and added that ZOMG has given them the funding and they are working it out amongst themselves to (hopefully) get over the speed bump; ZOMG just needs to wait to see how it plays out and hold off on further milestone payments.
Holmes commented that it seems like the lesson learned would be it’s nice to have clear first deliverables even if it’s 2 weeks/1 month in and not give upfront payment (with exception of if there are bills to be paid).
Shawn suggested a kickoff amount limit like 5% or 10% of grant so there is less liability but still gives grantees the incentive to get the ball rolling. Holmes replied, if someone has a cash flow issue they can set it to one week or for work they’ve done already; having something where you show ZOMG, then ZOMG pays the applicant; if the work doesn’t happen, there isn’t a concern of if the community is losing. Shawn agreed that it is a good lesson learned and ZOMG needs to analyze the scope of the project and look at milestones.
Alex stated that the deliverables should be clear and enforceable, with payment dependent on clear deliverable successes. He added that ZF would rather spend their operational costs on more frequent milestones to reduce risk and allow ZOMG to evaluate better for payment and future engagement so the expectations are clear on both sides.

ML asked what the action item is. Alex volunteered to look at the grant template from the admin enforcement side. ML asked if they should create a repository so ZOMG can check deliverables. She added that ZOMG needs a better way to track milestones and deliverables but does not know how to make this happen; if ZOMG does not get a person for assistance, they need a technology solution, like a tool to find the relevant links and look at upcoming milestones. Alex agreed that a tech solution would be helpful, if it exists. He asked how many of the grant deliverables are demonstrable? He postulated that evaluating milestones is a mix of taking the grantee’s word and other evidence. He asked the committee how they would like support. Homes replied that they need someone from ZF to do an initial review of each milestone and put together a doc/email with their opinion of if they’ve met or not met the milestone with reasons and any ambiguities that exist so legwork is done; this person should have the technical capacity to review stuff. Alex added that the milestones should be able to be evaluated and that grant requests need to include clear deliverables prior to approval.
ML voiced that Jack has said he’s ready to support, etc. but there is a point where it will be too much; she asked,” if ZOMG is to pick it up, then does ZOMG need to make changes to the zip if it takes up more than our allotted time?”

Chris agreed and explained that it was the original thing raised with Jack; a few months ago ZOMG outlined their constraints and was told that their job was to select grants and nothing else and ZF will take care of the excess. He shared with Alex that ZOMG still has the same constraints and ZF is not delivering; ZOMG is not sustainable so the time commitment and compensation should be increased; people should go into the next election with their eyes wide open and the reality would be a dissuasion. Alex explained that ZF is doing a lot in the background to be accountable to the IRS and the US government and recruiting and hiring the ERM will begin shortly. Shawn clarified that some of the concerns being raised are systemic to zip itself and how ZOMG operates under ZF as there are different ways ZOMG relates to ZF. Alex reassured the committee that ZF wants it to work and understands that the support aspect needs to be improved. ML said she appreciated communication about the ZF dealing with the taxes. She summarized that the action item is to figure out how to track milestones better before the ERM is hired. ML said she can take care of it but needs clarity moving forward. Alex agreed that clarity was required. Chris told Alex he appreciates his attitude even though ZOMG is frustrated.

Hudson’s Absence
The committee summarized that Hudson will be out until further notice to take personal time. They estimated he will be out for about 3-5 weeks and will miss a few meetings. The committee agreed that this information should be included in the minutes because it is a process matter.


Holmes asked, “if there is an election in October, when is there public guidance?” Shawn disclosed that he had a conversation with Jack and Jack is working on it; ZF will be posting something on their blog and on the forum as ZF is responsible for reconvening ZCAP but is not sure how far in advance of the October election. He explained that there will likely be a preliminary Q & A period for people running as before. ML summarized that ZF is handling it and will post updates on the forum. Chris asked, “when the current members phase out, if elections are in Oct.?” Shawn said he believes that November is the first month the next committee serves and added that the question of the transition period is a good point. ML stated that they are over time so they can chat about it at the next meeting.


Thank you for the detailed and transparent report!
There is one point in the text that worries me. I understand that the Zcash development community has a very complex structure, so complex that the divisions even compete with each other. From the outside it looks strange. I have very little understanding of the roots of this competition. Each fund has its own specific funding. And I have a feeling that this situation was born with Zcash. I’m not asking a question, it’s just thinking out loud.

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Maybe ZOMG could do a big picture video call on lessons learned after Hudson returns?

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After reading the minutes, we noticed the problem brought up of how to keep track of work completed by Grantees, and how this is sort of an overwhelming task for the ZOMG committee. Don’t want to shill ourselves too hard here, but just thought that this point was very relevant to an idea we alluded to in our recent proposal. (ZF Grants - Zcash Mini-Documentary & Educational Series). Specifically, we proposed that, in the future, we could submit a stand alone proposal to make what we termed Tier 2 and 3 videos on a regular basis. The Tier 3 videos would feature bi-weekly check-ins from builders and grantees all edited into a single 1-10 minute video so that community members can have regular updates on grant progress. Then the Tier 2 videos would stitch together the highlights of the Tier 3 videos, as well as other relevant happenings, into a higher quality, monthly video that is meant for community members, as well as others in the cryptocurrency space to keep track of major happenings in the Zcash space.

Just wanted to put this here so that it could be on people’s radar, especially since the Tier 2/3 videos are not included in our current proposal’s milestones, but only alluded to in the long-form proposal as a future project.


Hey, thanks for sharing this.

I have some feedback to you :slight_smile:

  1. ZOMG shouldn’t become a cashcow.
  2. It’s not ZOMG job to follow up if a request for a grant is poorly made. A requestor should provide you with a proper design doc, a timeline and milestones etc… They want our money, let’s be rigorous and reject if a proposal is an obvious joke (see point 1)).
  3. Keep in mind that Grants should benefits ZEC holder. Don’t hand money on projects that won’t benefit us (I’ve seen some requests that are such a big joke, like ZF Grants - ΚΣ Labs / 1y R&D Fellowship )
  4. I appreciate your honesty about the situation, instead of hiding stuff under the rug.

hi joris,

I share with you the same worry of having the ZOMG sucked by mercenaries, but to call our request a joke is also to disrespect Mission - Electric Coin Company - have you read it? - it is something that really enchants us. It is not easy to bring non-crypto techies to the game, and we try hard to do this in our multi-handed request, but it seems even harder to translate our Romance Language to the pragmatic mindset of yours; other values - probably it sounds too personal when we want to express our genuine intentions.

We started to do super interesting experiments with the MEMO fields for a message-based architecture while developing a unique Dark Pool having Zcash as a privacy layer to be able to anonymous swap in between +200 tokens directly from the traditional bank accounts of a country with 200M people… I see no joke here, and we believe it is extremely valuable. Maybe not for you.

You have a point on the lack of a explicit “deliverable”, but that is, as well, what researchers are about, specially when there are still 13 distinct disciplines and teacher to meet in the way.

Following the discussions about Fellowships in this Forum (also my bachelor is the result of a fellowship from the Ministry of Education of my country) and also having worked on NGOs with more than a million euros funds per year, it felt very natural to do such a non-orthodox proposal for a Team.

We are open for a constructive debate on how to improve decentralization.


The joke is you basically ask the community to pay for your rent and your food while you work on “stuff” that aren’t providing obvious value for Zec holders.

  • Moeda.casa ? Never heard of it, sorry. It’s not even in English. What’s in it for Zec holders ? Does it benefit the Zec community at all ? How does that compete with Sideshift.ai, uniswap, thorchain ?
  • We have researchers at the Zcash foundation and the ECC… you may want to join them so you can be accountable for delivering maybe.
  • I don’t trust NGO as entity forming people capable of delivering value. We don’t need academic, we need professionnals engineers that can meet goals.

In real life, people work a job (or many jobs), make money, work on hobbies, and invest hard earned money for Zec.
You may apply for a grant / scholarship from your university but Zec holders through ZOMG shouldn’t fund that at all because this is just money thrown away without real goals.

First of all it’s disrespectful to call any proposal from another community member a joke. If you don’t care for a proposal fine, there is no reason hurl insults.

Secondly, ZOMG already has a mandate that it’s portion of funding be focused on Zcash and it’s ecosystem:


Major Grants SHOULD be restricted to furthering the Zcash cryptocurrency and its ecosystem (which is more specific than furthering financial privacy in general)

But keep in mind that Zcash Foundation and Electric Coin Company do not have to abide by ZIP 1014, and they have supported R&D focused projects in the past.

The point being that just because you don’t care for a project it’s not a justification to be rude to others.

If ZOMG votes or funds something that you don’t like, by all means, call us out on it. Let us know how we are doing.


dear joris,

Have you ever realized that English, as a first-language, doesn’t represent even 5% of the entire global populations? I’m not getting to the point that it is, however, widely spoken because it is easy and limited (no conjugations or verb tenses) - just would like to invite you to reflect that the world is much bigger than your definition of “real life”. It needs a wise and humble step to recognize that we know much less than what is known; or we get into this arrogant hole. I wish I could invite you to Brazil or Greece for a while, just to warm you with more people-oriented ways of life. With 10 ZEC you are a King in Southern Sardinia, and there you would know what a joke means :wink:

So, expecting you have read Proof-of-Concept - Moeda.Casa before,

  • You can see Moeda.Casa as a brazilian Sideshift.ai, but directly connected to our Brazilian Real currency on any bank account, through a new system called PIX. We requested a 6k grant from ZOMG when it was first released by our Central Bank to develop this bridge as a Proof-of-Concept. Imagine having milions of people aware that Zcash are providing them anonimity when they are looking for whatever-Doge; this is already happening in a very small scale and we are now struggling to keep it and ourselves. If I go to work at Deliveroo Engineer Team, as my B-plan, I’m sure my hobbie time wont be spent on computers or crypto.
  • After we will have developed many tools, prototypes, systems and researches, and hopefully engaged a non-English speaking community, I would love to join ECC - if there is no more room for autonomous work for our Team.
  • The Internet wouldn’t exist if people would take serious your “we need engineers not academics”.

Since all work we wanna develop is focused on Zcash, makes all the sense to knock here for support. For a good reader, we have clear goals and obvious value for the ecosystem.

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Yeah I know I’m blunt, but Zcash ecosystem needs this to be heard.

Growing number of people are fed up with the BS and lazy grants… They want our money, they should put work into showing this is going to be valuable for ZEC holders… The facts they were so complacency in their request show they disrespect ZEC holder and they think they gonna get the money on our back. Prove me wrong.

Of course, many of you ain’t even hanging out in the Zcash telegram, so how would you know ?

BTW, I have no hard feelings I’m just blunt cause guess what, I get staight to the point and this is what this community needs at the moment. BTW, English’s not my mother tongue, so indeed I get straight to the point and my time has its limits too. Straight feedback, take it or leave it.

I responded below, no hard feelings towards people that like ZEC and like to work on it, but I think I’ve said it all. But until Zec price appreciate, it’s suicidal to spend money on “stuff”, ZEC holders interest should be #1 focus, period.

on my limited view, this is the most dystopic thing that can happen to the Future of Zcash: profit-first people taking control and making Zcash Mission pure greenwashing. Sorry, but I feel people like you could bomb a country you can’t even find in a map, like Syria, and sell all their petroleum for Zcash just to see it “appreciated” :frowning:

Ok, @joris @extrapo , both of you have obviously different opinions on the subject of how funds should be spent, and both have others that support those opinions.

Let’s leave it at that for now and not resort to disparaging each other’s character.