Dismantling the core team and governance structure

I am aware of that post. Particularly this part:

I would like to see more separation of power. I see three powers here:

  1. Power of the Purse (control of the grin donation funds)
  2. Power of the Repo (control of what gets merged in the mimblewimble repos)
  3. Power of Direction (control of what projects / features will be developed)

I vote that no person can hold more than one of those powers at a time.

The members of “Direction” decide which projects/features to work on.
The members of “Purse” decide which of those to fund
The members of “Repo” decide when something is ready to merge.

A 4th power could exist in the community where direction and funding can be bypassed by somebody not seeking funding.


Can’t see a strong difference between those 3 powers.

“Direction” needs money to fund development, so has no real power unless developers work for free. But if developers work for free, they’ll probably work only on what they want/like and not what the “Direction” wants.

“Repo” is defintely not a power as implementations and repositories are infinitely forkable. If “Repo” wants to forbid merging of a “Direction” decided code development, “Direction” will probably just fork the code to a new repository. Same if “Repo” merges code not decided/validated by “Direction”.

“Purse” might be a power, as money can buy anything. But “Purse” should definitely be subordinated to “Direction” unless we want to subsidized projects totally unrelated to Grin. And that will definitely scare donors away.

So we are left with “Direction” power only.

What could be done is ask for donations once projects have been validated by the “Direction” power.

But it could slow down development and requires donors to have some good technical understanding.

I like this proposal, very actionable and brings immediate progress. I’m not sure we can separate #2 and #3 though.

I do believe it’d be beneficial to reduce power centralization by separating some of the fund control from those who also lead the general direction of the project. But it would have to be done very safely, there’s a lot of trust required for that.

I actually think the core team should be disbanded. The only reason for it to exist is for distribution of donation funds, and the multisig controllers should be labelled differently. All other decisions should be made by rough community and dev consensus, similar to bitcoin.


How do you quantify what the market indicates?

I think some are aiming to some kind of “Bitcoin Foundation” / “Bitcoin Core” separation.

We all know how it ended.

Why would it work better for Grin? Real question.

I don’t think there should be any foundation or core team.

Also I’m not familiar with the details of that story, would love to hear it.

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It ended with the dissolution of the foundation. A victory, if you ask me.

Agree with David that we need to look more broadly what has gotten us here. Is there consensus that restructuring governance will broadly make things better for Grin…? Meaning, do we expect more volunteer developers to take active part…? I’d think that’s the first order of business - how do we attract volunteer developers to the project. Might be by prioritizing and solving (w/ existing resources) the big, visible problems or could be through more public association with projects like LTC. A ‘better bitcoin’ as a tagline itself will put off bitcoin developer base in wanting to contribute to Grin. Need 3 efforts in parallel - (1) solve big visible technical challenges (2) consider allocating resources to increase awareness of Grin through association (3) a better governance structure to help support 1 and 2.


Here’s my concrete proposal:

  • Dismantle “official” core team and remove it from grin.mw/governance.
  • Form a new council of 5 members which control the multisig keys for the fund. The current core team picks them; They must be very trusted people but preferably not core developers (note the distinction between core team and core developers).
  • Going forward, major decisions (accepting RFCs and funding requests) are made by consensus of community members and contributors. No rules are set for veto power. The decision process is based upon a technical and social hierarchy that is unclear to outsiders, where regular contributors and long-time users hold more social & technical significance and therefore their voice is more appreciated.

This may sound quite radical but in fact it will hardly be felt unless there’s a truly major division, in which case a hardfork split will occur.

All for the sake of making Grin feel more open.

Make Alice Great Again.


One drawback, and it was pointed out by some members of the core team before, is that it makes sense that the owners of the multi-sigs are unknown, for their security, and the security of the funds.

I’m sorry, is there something wrong with the current meritocracy? I think the current devs are doing more than a great job. Grin works, we get updates, there have been improvements to grin. So it seems like your asking, “How do we disassemble our awesome team of devs” to me. I think the answer is, we don’t. New devs can join if they want, if they don’t then they don’t. Just BLB (be like bitcoin).

At any given point you could say the dev team is centralized, because they only have so many devs. The only way they’d be truly centralized is if they didn’t allow other devs to join the project, ever.

The price curve looks like what i’d expect to see when the ratio of new buyers entering the market is = sellers. Relatively Flat.

The only thing i’d like to see is more community participation on this forum. There are too many lurkers!

Edit: I just wanted to add, there is some degree of trust we give to the devs for any given crypto project, and that’s ok. I, like the major donor, feel like grin is in the right hands.


The problem is we are nothing like bitcoin. There are no softforks, there is no miner signaling, we have a small group that holds all the funds for a project that offers practically no other way to get funded, and even worse, the same group also has full control over what consensus changes are approved and declined while simultaneously admitting they are not representatives of the Grin community.

While I agree they are awesome devs, and they so far have acted in a reasonably trustworthy manner, putting all trust in them is dangerous, made especially worse by the fact that there’s tons of evidence that their desires for Grin are very different than the ones most of the users have (see: the endless minimalism vs usability debate).

We’re not talking about getting rid of the existing devs, we’re talking about empowering more of the community.

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Ok, is it impossible for there to be a soft fork? Maybe a consensus change that is backwards compatable hasn’t needed to happen yet. Grin is young, give it time.

Ok, so say they have 150 ₿, that’s 1.5 million USD. Now devide 1.5 million by the number of devs. It might be a great exit scam if we only had 1 dev. Say we have 4 devs, now they’d get a whopping $375k each, for arguably the most complex exit scam ever. An exit scam which also happened to give birth to a really good idea for a cryptocurreny.

Ok so suppose the problem is how to distribute the funds. I have confidence that the devs will discuss and come to an agreement in regards to funding proposals. I trust their judgement. After all, no matter how you set up governance, we (the users, investors, and fans) have to trust someones judgement. There is no avoiding that. Like i said, i think grin is in good hands. I think the donation is in good hands.

Minimalism vs usability argument boils down to devs and hardcore grin fans vs people who want to make a quick buck, so of course there’s gonna be that argument. Light weightness is a product of minimalism, keeping grin light weight has always been a priority. Besides bitcoin’s usability was not all that great in the beginning either. Plus, people probably didn’t complain about usability in 2010 as much because there weren’t as many people interested in the project, and they weren’t drawing many people from the crowd of ‘get rich quick folks’ who complain about things like block size lmao.

Edit: (I am not referring to david in the following, had to add this or else i sound like an asshole) To me, these ‘problems’ seem like they’re by design. As far as divisive problems go, these are like rookie tier. If you don’t like grin the way it is, then you can sell your grin, turn off your node, and f&^% off. Go gripe about things somewhere else, because you’re wasting your time here.

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Off-topic about what to build

Oh shit, my bad, when i say ‘you’ in the edit part, i’m referring to a hypothetical troll entity and people who want usability THIS INSTANT OR GRIN IS DOOMED. I wasn’t using the word ‘you’ to actually mean you david, and it’s my fault because when I read it again it clearly sounds like i’m being an asshole to you. I’m sorry about that.

I am a big proponent of usability too, but i can understand from an engineering prospective that the foundation is absolutely critical. Like someone said you can have a cool flashy great ux, but if the foundation isn’t there then it’s basically something i wouldn’t consider a reliable financial network.

as far as the complain about things like block size, that was a joke that you sort of had to be there for to get the joke. Some people wanted huge blocks right now that also weren’t very worried about bitcoin’s long term health.

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Off-topic about what to build + a picture of a house

No worries, I’m over it.

I’m also totally in favor of building a strong, minimal foundation. But it has been taken to an absolute extreme to where we are willing to add all kinds of hacks on top of the base layer, rather than simple tweaks to strengthen the base (see: play/replay attack debate - wallet solutions vs expiring txs). We consider our tiny foundation complete, despite wanting to grow our use-cases, resulting in something that looks like this:


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Off-topic about what to build

Okey dokey. I’ll look into the play/replay thing, thanks.

Could there be any good reason for the prioritization of adding of these hacks on top of the base layer?

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Off-topic about what to build and about who understands bulletproofs

Yes, of course. The idea is to keep the base layer as simple as possible to make it easy to audit. This leads to stronger security. But something like a tx expiration height is seen as a threat to the whole foundation of Grin (I exaggerate, but only slightly), whereas we don’t seem bothered at all by the fact that, until Jasper returned today, not one single active Grin dev really understood how bulletproofs work.

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No f…king way.
Sound nice , comunity consensus", but in reality …

mod: Moaning

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Off-topic: tx expiration height

TBH something like tx expiration height gives me a ‘threat to the whole foundation’ sort of vibe, if not added carefully.

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