Hey Zcash Community!
Hopefully everyone is enjoying some deserved time off for the holidays!
This week was our first chance to get together and discuss the three grant applications we have gotten so far. We took the time to discuss each application in detail, discuss the need for ZOMG to switch to a more proactive approach, and other housekeeping items.
If you have ideas for grants or know anyone who wants to work on Zcash please direct them to zcashomg.org to apply today! By the end of January ZOMG will have close to $1M worth of ZEC in the account and would love to use those funds to support the Zcash Ecosystem.
Thanks as always to @Danika for taking the meeting minutes.
ZOMG Zoom Meeting: December 23rd, 2020
[Minutes taken by Danika]
Sarah Jamie Lewis
Danika Delano acting as notetaker
- Review the 3 grant proposals
- ZOMG being reactive vs proactive in finding grant applicants
- Confirmation that everyone who was suppose to receive the $500 worth of EC from Zcash via ZFND got it
- Hudson forgot to make the goals document whoops!
- Process of Reviewing Grants Recap:
The committee refreshed their memory on the agreed upon process for reviewing grants. Holmes created a google sheet to record each member’s comments anonymously for each proposal. Each member rated the 3 proposals on a scale of 0-3 (0 is no, 3 is enthusiastic). Hudson pointed out that the committee had not decided what the number the rating should be to justify discussing. Chris suggested a rating of 4 total and above would justify having a discussion. Shawn reminded everyone that this is a important step in the vetting process to see if applicants should get through the first stage and to see if ZOMG should keep going with it. Holmes asked the group if they were rating based on the proposal in its current state as-is
or is it possible that the committee could decide to invite the applicant to edit. The committee decided that they will vote based on the proposal’s current state and the applicant can reapply if they choose based on the committee’s comments in the publicly posted minutes. All members voted on the sheet and proceeded to discuss the 3 current proposals.
- Trust Graphic Novel & Motion Comic:
Chris shared that he didn’t think the proposal was Zcash specific enough and wants to be conservative on approving marketing proposals. In order to approve, he said it should be improving Zcash adoption. All members agreed and Shawn added that it seemed like a copy and paste application for several coins grant programs and very generalized for blockchain. Holmes said that the committee should welcome a proposal for a video that can explain Zcash to a wider audience but didn’t think this proposal was it. Shawn stated that a committee member needs to post an explanation on the forum of their decision. Chris added that the two filters for marketing (based on what publishers would require) are credibility to create good content and the ability to distribute content. Holmes volunteered to post an explanation on the forum and he later switched with Hudson.
- Poke a hole on Great Firewall in China, now Hong Kong:
Shawn critiqued that the proposal was very broad and was not sure what the overall goal is. Additionally, the applicants did not agree to be KYCed on the Grants Platform so cannot be considered. Chris asked what the difference is between asking for more info and saying it’s not okay to fund (for the committee). Holmes said he feels that the proposal signaled that the applicant is an insider expert and there may be language or cultural barriers so the applicant may not know what the committee needs to see in a grant proposal. Holmes continued that inviting them to be more clear is ok, especially for those that are not a complete rewrite. The committee agreed that the policy should be that the applicant will have one chance to review and edit before being rejected.
Chris volunteered to write a response to the applicant on the Zfnd grant’s page because the applicant hadn’t posted on the forum. Holmes followed up saying that he is okay with the committee rejecting it, especially because if they are not able to do KYC they are disqualified from being considered.
Shawn explained that there are 2 platforms, the forums and grants website so if the application is tentative the committee can leave it on the grants website for one more 2 week cadence and post responses on the forum to get more feedback from them. If there is a definite “no,” the committee can close the proposal on the grant platform, make a post on the forum explaining thier decision, then close the forum thread.
- Zcash Node and lightwalletd Running PoC Proposal:
Hudson started the conversation summarizing that the feedback from the forum is that the community wants funding to set up and run light notes infrastructure but the biggest pushback is the cost and the risk that centralization poses (attack can occur if too centralized). Holmes addressed the concern and said that some think it is desirable to be decentralized on principle alone. Shawn asked how we could get existing wallets to talk to new instances. Sarah clarified that Zecwallet has the capability to switch. Chris asked the committee if there is a need for this and if there are any alternatives. Sarah explained that she put a 0 because the applicants are asking for a ridiculous amount of funding for a node. Having more lightservers would be a good thing but there are so many other risks that the risks outweigh the benefits. Hudson shared that he had asked Etherium about the cost piece and is waiting on them to see if they agree that they are asking for too much. Holmes suggested that they respond by saying the concerns have been expressed about the cost within the committee and on the forum and we need to have provisions around that with bills and milestones that are the real costs, not expected costs. He added that this is something a funding institution would fund and it makes sense for the Foundation to fund. He disclosed that he is agnostic on how qualified this applicant is to do it, but shared that he thought there should be funding for this. Shawn agreed that this is something that the committee should be funding but thought the costs seem very high. He elaborated that it could be good for scalability and for the user to randomly pick from a list of servers so they could use a random server and hopefully improve privacy . Shawn summarized his opinion by saying he was lukewarm and thought they needed more transparency on overhead and hourly rates so his vote is a tentative yes with more granularity. Chris disclosed that he personally knows the applicant and vouched that Chainflow is a reputable small-scale professional operation that is about keeping nodes decentralized so there aren’t execution risks. Chris stated that they should pull down cost or increase the scope of the proposal. Holmes’s opinion was that they should ask to increase the scope and explained lighnodes provide memos on request (risky) so changing the way it works to all memos going out to all users is a project that combines dev ops with new feature work on lighwalletd. Chris reiterated that he is supportive of the mission and agrees that it falls in the committee’s purview so is supportive if the applicant wants to maintain scope and reduce costs or increase scope. The committee agreed that they will ask the applicant to make modifications to either the cost or the scope and that they will not tell the applicant how much they should reduce the cost by.
Holmes brought up that it may be common for the forum to say a grant is asking for too much money. He postulated that the cost may be lower in the community opposed to attracting someone outside and emphasized that they don’t want to be wasteful.
Hudson and Holmes agreed that Holmes can respond to this proposal and Hudson will respond to the Trust proposal.
- ZOMG being reactive vs proactive in finding grant applicants:
Shawn foreshadowed that at some point the committee will need to transition to putting out bounties or RFPs on the grant platform. He explained that it gets tricky because the committee will need to decide on what they want to fund and how to price them. He stated that the committee will need to have experts to come up with realistic costs. Chris predicted that when the committee approves something, the word will get out and interest will increase. Chris shared that he prefers a slow start and is not concerned and it will take him a while to be more concerned. Hudson declared that he will be concerned by Feb if they don’t have a heavy flow of applicants and then will be open to bounties/RFPS and eventually open to reaching out to teams. Holmes reminded the committee that they are building an institution so they need to figure out how to build a reputation for effective funding and an understanding of what that looks like so it makes sense to be proactive. Hudson and Shawn summarized the committee’s stance by saying there is no immediate next step but they will revisit the topic in 2 meetings. Chris announced that he will be the fiscal conservative of the committee and looks at it as a multi-decade protocol where spending should be paced.
Holmes asked if anyone had any concrete experience where funding fell apart and Chris responded saying all disasters he can think of were a result of overenthusiasm with underwriting with not enough accountability or control. Hudson brought up that ICO projects had to cut staff when they gave raises when exchange rates were high then didn’t have enough when the rates dropped so they didn’t use the money when they had it. Chris proposed that they could take out some and hold in USD to manage stability. Shawn explained that there is no current mechanism in the ZIP for those kinds of investments, Holmes followed that they should start the conversation soon.
- Zfnd Nominal Compensation:
Hudson asked if any members that elected to receive the nominal monthly payment had not received it and no one said they had not received it.
- Goals Document:
Hudson apologized for not creating the goals document earlier and said he would refer to earlier meeting notes and create it in the next few days
Summary of Action Items:
- Post response to Trust Graphic Novel & Motion Comic on forum (Hudson)
- Post response to Poke a hole on Great Firewall in China, now Hong Kong on the Zfnd grants page (Chris)
- Post response to Zcash Node and lightwalletd Running PoC Proposal on forum (Holmes)
- Create goals document in the next 2 days (Hudson)