ZOMG Update 1-20-2021 and meeting minutes

Hey Zcash Zeal,

Here is the first big update from ZOMG for 2021:

ZOMG has made our first decisions to award ZEC for Zcash Ecosystem projects! :tada: :zcash:

This first batch of Grants provides funding to these three projects:

Congrats to the winners, and thank you for your support of the Zcash ecosystem!

(Please note that we did have a meeting on 1-6-2021 which I completely spaced posting the minutes here on the forum, my apologies, I will post them shortly.) EDIT: posted

ZOMG Zoom Meeting: January 20, 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:

  • Past Proposals:
    • Moeda
    • Nighthawk- 2 years of lightwallet d
  • New Proposals:
    • Bitfortip
    • Zecwallet Code, Maintenance and Infra
    • Zecwallet Lite Security Updates and Review
    • Chainflow Zcash Node & lightwalletd


Moeda.casa - Smart Brazilian Fiat-to-Crypto over Zcash- Extrapo

  • Chris notified the group that he talked to Moeda to understand what they are building and they responded with a diagram that showed ZEC being the intermediary commodity. Chris believed the applicants are earnest and the request is modest but he still is on the fence.
  • Hudson shared that he thinks it is worth the risk for giving out this amount of money since they have done this with BTC. He voted to accept the proposal.
  • Holmes checked his understanding that ZEC would be the piece that provides the anonymity. Sarah explained that the diagram has a direct transfer from BRL through pix so there is no anonymity. Then, the other direction is ZEC so there isn’t anonymity. Chris referenced the proposal that said anonymity is by the crypto dealers. BRL is sent to crypto dealers-> they buy ZEC-> ZEC goes back and is swapped for another crypto-> send that crypto to an address; so there is a break in ZEC to other cryptocurrencies that would provide anonymity.
  • Chris added that he would consider it less if it was not in Brazil and he is open to see what comes of this.
  • Hudson postulated that the worst case scenario is they take the money and run and the best case scenario is that they inspire more Zcash users.
  • Shawn stated that he is in favor of adding more transactions to the Z-pool with the stipulation being they use z-addresses/incorporate a shielded pool.
  • Holmes explained that Brazilains are fine with English so he does not think they have any problems accessing apps. He also stated that he does not think there is a “take the money and run” risk and said the conversion rate of BRL to USD is 5 to 1 when it used to be 2 to 1 so that would explain why their ask seems low.
  • Chris asked if anyone wants to veto and no one vetoed.
  • Holmes added a stipulation that the applicants present their work publicly in Portuguese. Everyone agreed that all applicants should be required to publicly present their work.
  • Chris volunteered to write a response saying that ZOMG will approve funding for 2 months and request for z-addresses/shielded pool and give a public presentation.

2 years of Lightwalletd Infra hosting & maintenance- Nighthawk

  • Sarah updated the committee that she got answers to 90% of the questions she asked Nighthawk and is okay approving it.
  • Hudson summarized the last meeting when they were all on edge of approval.
  • All members approved funding this grant. Holmes added a stipulation that the grantees should write up what they will do if they receive a 3rd party information request.
  • Holmes volunteered to approve.

Implement Zcash on Bitfortip and offer ZEC as an incentive- Panagot

  • Hudson voiced that the application felt sloppy due to inconsistencies with the google sheet and application and is okay with rejecting. Shawn looked at the website and said the proposal was not compelling for the goals of Zcash and is not a catalyst for adoption.
  • All members agreed to flat out reject the proposal.
  • Hudson volunteered to respond.

Zcash Node and lightwalletd Running PoC Proposal- Chainflow

  • Hudson shared that he does not doubt they can execute but he is not in favor due to the funding amount. Chris agreed and added that the proposal is about 3 times more expensive than Nighthawk’s proposal. Shawn explained that the proposal is accounting for 2-4 hours a day to maintain nodes so that is why there is a discrepancy. He offered the committee 2 options: ask for them to make the cost more in line with Nighthawk or just reject and move on. Holmes expressed that he thought they should reject and move on because no one would use it if funded.
  • All members agreed to reject the proposal.
  • Shawn volunteered to write up the rejection and the committee clarified that when rejecting a grant, the ZOMG member should also reject on the Grants platform admin panel as well.

Zecwallet Code, Maintenance and Infra- Zecwallet

  • Hudson communicated that he thought the grant had been funded before and executed for the same cost. Holmes explained that the applicant is Aditya from Zecwallet which is the first and main thing that people use Zcash with. * Shawn echoed the sentiments that Zecwallet is one of the strongest performers in terms of wallets.
  • Sarah prefaced that she will not veto but her main concerns with Zecwallet are : 1) it is by far the most historically funded entity in the Zcash ecosystem and it has have had security issues (so she is glad they submitted a security proposal) 2) She doesn’t like the separate funding trenches because security issues will come up when maintaining. She thought it was unclear to what they will be spending the money on for code maintenance and infrastructure.
  • Holmes aksed ZOMG, “ how we do we use money to make this as good as possible?” He shared that he knows Aditya to be a person that is productive, self managing, and fast but there is some fuzziness to the proposal. He added that it is implied that applicants should not have two running grants at the same time. In reply to Sarah’s questions about cost he agreed that they are not broken out by area but Aditya might not know more specifically. He added that Aditya bills for San Francisco rates.
  • Sarah commented that she would like to see the 2 proposals consolidated into a more detailed proposal. She acknowledged that there are time constraints in the security proposal and suggested that they approve the security proposal and reiterated that she would not veto the maintenance and infra proposal (but she has inquiries about the future of Zecwallet).
  • Holmes recommended that they fund the security proposal and give funding for the maintenance and infra for a short period of time.
  • Shawn thought that if the committee has questions they should table approving and get the questions answered as it is not ZOMG’s responsibility to consolidate proposals.
  • Sarah said she will respond saying they will provisionally approve maintenance on a prorated basis.

Zecwallet Lite Security- Zecwallet

  • Sarah vocalized that she has no qualms about LAE doing it and pointed out that the price is a little high for an open source project.
  • Hudson suggested they ask if they have gone to other companies to get a quote.
  • Sarah brought up that they want to start next week and suggested they ask them their question(s) and decide to approve in between meetings.
  • Shawn stated that he is okay approving as is and liked the security and auditing aspects.
  • Sarah also raised the concern that it is not covering the front end and that she has more questions that she will follow up on.
  • Holmes wondered if Zecwallet is compatible with lightwalletd but was not sure how to evaluate it (and didn’t know who to ask besides the applicant, Aditya).
  • Sarah commented that it would be nice to have a diversity of code bases but it makes sense to align with ECC’s implementation.
  • Holmes put forward that they ask the question “if we want to fund you to align/make improvements to ECC’s code, what would that look like?
  • Sarah volunteered to respond.

Summary of action items:

Respond to proposals:

  • Moeda.casa - Smart Brazilian Fiat-to-Crypto over Zcash- Extrapo: Approve (Chris)
  • 2 years of Lightwalletd Infra hosting & maintenance- Nighthawk: Approve (Holmes)
  • Zcash Node and lightwalletd Running PoC Proposal- Chainflow: Reject (Shawn)
  • Implement Zcash on Bitfortip and offer ZEC as an incentive- Panagot: Reject (Hudson)
  • Zecwallet Code, Maintenance and Infra- Zecwallet: Approve prorated (Sarah)
  • Zecwallet Lite Security- Zecwallet: Ask Applicant questions (Sarah)

For my two zats, @adityapk00 has a proven track record rolling out a critical application for our ecosystem. I believe this should be leveraged by lowering the administrative burdens on him.

In short, I believe we know he does good work, and will continue to do so, provided the opportunity.

Let’s minimize his overhead dotting grant “i”'s and "t"s, and work with him to make zecwallet (more) awesome (and secure).

We all win with a more secure zecwallet… what’s the most efficient way to achieve that? I believe we should leverage the trust he’s already earned.

I’m aware that zecwallet is not without issues. Let’s fix them!


TL;DR: Agree 100% re: funding Zecwallet, we moved faster on Zecwallet than any other project, asking questions is important, and the administrative burden is very low.

I totally agree. Funding work on wallets is a huge priority for me.

And I think everyone on ZOMG is eager to work with Aditya/Zecwallet on all of these things, and get funding for Zecwallet quickly.

This might not be obvious, but these projects above were all a few weeks ahead of Zecwallet in the process. They all required two or more meetings for discussion, questions, and a final decision.

With Zecwallet, given Aditya’s track record and costs, we wanted to make a decision as quickly as possible, so we made a decision to fund immediately in the first meeting, which is the fastest we’ve been able to move so far.

We did this because we were sure we’d be funding Zecwallet in some way, but needed to ask some questions before committing to long term funding. Being able to ask applicants questions is a really important part of our role. And doing 2 months of funding plus one grant for the rest of the year isn’t really additional administrative burden vs. two 6 month grants; the applicant still has to apply twice.

(One thing that possibly creates some administrative burden, I think, is the transition from working with a stable team at the Zcash Foundation to working with a new ZOMG. Like, projects that received ZF funding will have to get used to our new ZOMG process, which is brand new and evolving, and we need some time to understand their work and their decisions. And this might change in the future when a new ZOMG, which might have different priorities, is elected. So some transitional work getting synced with a new ZOMG is inevitable for existing grantees—and actually I think that transition is a good thing, because it’s really just a result of the community’s votes coming into the process and creating change: if the process and decisions were always 100% the same for grantees, the community’s votes wouldn’t be having an impact.)

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I strongly agree, and I think that under the circumstances, interim funding + prompt questions was the responsible thing to do.

Still, I wonder if other models are possible in the longer term, where funding is approved for a long duration, and considerable leeway is granted, and yet there is an ongoing process for review, feedback, and if things go awry, aborting.

ZF’s grant to @oxarbitrage is great example. After an initial review, discussion and adjustments, @oxarbitrage essentially got a free rein to set goals and tasks within a very wide mandate. He kept the community and ZF updated, incorporated ideas, handled criticisms, and in my opinion is doing a spectacular job. ZF approves the monthly goals, usually with little trouble, and this watchful eye also serves as additional perspective to bounce ideas off and access more expertise.

@oxarbitrage, is this a fair description from your perspective?


Hey @tromer , your description of my grant is pretty much how it was. To work in existing projects(zcashd/zebrad) the model just worked. There is always some risk from the funding side but with monthly milestones you can reduce it and abort if needed.

In my case goals were planned at the start of each month. No goal was bigger in time than 1 month but multiple smaller tasks inside the milestone were preferred specially at the beginning. In the best scenario all goals of a milestone were achieved and more tasks than planned were added on the fly and worked on. This compensate other periods where some of the goals were not achieved for any reason. Sometimes a planned task can be harder than expected, became obsolete by other submitted code, realize the solution in mind is not good enough, lack of skills to implement, etc. In this cases what i used to do was to change the problematic goals by something else to compensate the failure.

I think a model like this could fit the Zecwallet development where @adityapk00 (maybe with the ZOMG review) could prioritize the existing bugs and new features in a monthly milestone and try to work on them inside that period. It is a great incentive for the programmer to be able to make decisions on what to work on next. In the case of a wallet, i suppose it is very important to listen what the users want.

The same or similar model with monthly milestones could be also used for a new engineering project, where there is a master plan the ZOMG is comfortable with and then smaller goals specific to the implementation are added to each milestone.

In short i think the key to this kind of agreement is the monthly milestones acting as a roadmap.

I will be happy to help making a grant fit into this kind of model or any other advice i can provide to the ZOMG with my little experience. If needed, please just ask.


Thanks, @oxarbitrage, the for the perspective and offer of assistance!

@adityapk00, how well would the above model (long-term funding, with high autonomy to set own goals combined with periodic interactive oversight) suit your needs?

Of course, this is just me brainstorming… I have no idea yet what the ZOMG committee would think about this.

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I worked with @oxarbitrage and the full node version of Zbay benefited from his work, so I agree this model worked really well in that case.

It is a little bit different in that oxarbitrage was doing specific interventions in an existing project (mostly zcashd, right, or was that just the part I saw?) with its own management, structure, and team, whereas Aditya is more solely responsible for his work. But I for one am certainly open to it!