Governance consensus, baby step 1 (20180807 meeting)

This is an attempt at summarizing the governance discussion (starting at 14:16) in today’s team meeting and structuring it into sub-areas, with potential decisions and work remaining. There may be small additions that hopefully stay in line with the spirit of the discussion. @lehnberg Regarding Foundations document was used as a basis.

Please comment below after reading if you notice anything missing or erroneous!


An important set of policies in blockchain governance has to do with the measures we agree to take (or not take) in case of disaster. This includes for example:

  • A weakness in a cryptographic library or Grin’s usage of it that leads to arbitrary inflation of supply by an attacker (or miner).
  • Quantamageddon.
  • Privacy breach in Confidential Transactions.
  • ASIC with 100x more efficiency than existing hardware.
  • A bug in a wallet, or the grin wallet, that leads to significant loss of funds.
  • Etc.

Action Item: someone to create a wiki page listing all main scenarios and possible remediations. A community discussion should ensue on grin-forum, on the wiki page and possibly on Gitter to see which solution(s) are acceptable (or unacceptable). Github issues may be created for some scenarios to address additional discussion and code-related changes.

Legal & Liability

While no one has completely ruled out the need for a fundation, many of us seem to think it may not be needed or required.

Anonymity can be an asset to help shelter this project somewhat. In addition, there’s very little risk until Grin hits significant valuation (if it ever does). Nonetheless, some prior precautions are good to have, in particular:

Action Items

  1. Point or summarize Warranty and Liability sections 6, 7 and 8 of the ASL as present at the root of our source tree in our public website(s) and resources.
  2. Publish and update a high-level roadmap of development and communit efforts.


We expect to rely on 2 different means of funding:

  1. Project based fundraising, similar to what @Yeastplume has already done.
  2. General donations from mining pools and operations to keep development funded, @tromp fair mining license, other businesses that realize a minimal share of their profits should be shared. We shall call this the Grin Fund.

The Grin project reserves the rights to advertize businesses and operations that redistribute some of their profits on the project’s website(s).

Funding Use

While this point was debated at length, project-based fundraising doesn’t seem to be realistic as a panacea for all funding needs. For example, most of the mining community will not want to follow the project closely enough to be able to identify worthy projects and fund them appropriately as they arise.

Following this, the first medium (direct fundraising) has been identified as more adapted to fund developers and particular projects that can’t continue without reoccurring and upfront revenue. The second medium (Grin Fund) is more adapted for funding more generic needs like testing environments, bug bounties, security audits, engaging non-volunteer companies (i,e, web design, legal), etc, as funds are available.

Grin Fund Logistics

A so-called technocratic council (as dubbed by @lehnberg, no point in masking the reality here) should be formed form the current set of Grin committers as reflected on the Github commit rights.The council can vote new members (specific process still TBD). The council (or perhaps a subset of it, to limit friction) owns a multisig address that holds the Grin Fund and decides how to allocate it.

The council should also decide on distributing excess funds to contributors in the Grin project. As measuring and assessing merit in each contribution is difficult to do fully objectively, the distribution will be done at the council’s discretion. It will be up to the council to decide on a fair and reasonable process to do so (including when distributing excess funds to council members).

There is widely expressed concern that the fund may become too large, causing conflicts and personal interests to arise. It should be the council’s responsibility to mitigate overgrowth with early distributions, while managing funds responsibly. There should also be a process for conflict resolution and banning from the council in extreme conditions.

Action Item: Igno to herd cats and get this started.

Also note that all the funding logistic was agreed upon as a “good first step” and is not intended as the end all be all of Grin governance and funds management.

Author’s Footnote

Except for what will come out of the policy effort, none of this really expresses Grin’s community values and ethos. It’s a shame, but it’s the realities of annoying but necessary governance processes. So to make sure what matters the most doesn’t get lost to an external eye:

  • The Grin team is more than ever committed to the development of Grin: a privacy-focused, scalable, minimal blockchain.
  • Grin is a community-driven open source project. Everyone including you can participate.
  • This group is open, respectful, friendly and welcoming. We will do everything we can to keep it this way.
  • We all want to deliver the best cryptocurrency we can to help and serve users of all kinds, across the world.

Just to clarify, the current technocratic council members are:



Very happy to see that the governance is shaping up.

Please find below some comments and personal notes.

Thank you,

Arthur P.

Policies :
Personal note: I understand that each case is different and so the process in answering the potential challenge would be different; however a set of general procedure to answer it might be interesting. It will lead to more transparency and potentially better reaction time.
I am not sure that thinking of all vector of attacks and their associated solutions will bring value relative to building the ecosystem: wallet, mining pool, educational content…One should only focus on the general/well known vector of attacks and limit itself to that.

A foundation is a point of centralization and so a potential point of failure, however it can also bring a sort of focus to help support and potentially accelerate the growth of adoption by allocating fund in a more “efficient” manner. There is other point to that comment but this seems to be the main one.
Personal note: it seems to me that a foundation is a mean to end and depend on the vision that Grin wants to achieve. If it wants to be a bitcoin like ethos, a foundation might not be the way to go. I am personally not for the use of a foundation.

Funding and funding use and logistic:
Personal note: I really like this two ways as they are meritocratic focus. The only point is that it might be hard to compete at the begning with other more centralize parties like BEAM but in the long run I think it would be worth it.
Zcash as an interested model. They are trying to involve the community in curating different projects. Those projects can after be build by whoever. Other model can also be think about.
The logistic of the fund will be a breaking point as we have seen more than once in the ecosystem. It should be clear from the start and the process made public. One should be inspired by failed (in my opinion) attempt like Tezos, and EOS.

I made a start here:

Regarding Risk Management

Others, feel free to edit / add / opine / join in.


Edit: added a note to clarify that all the discussion was in the context of getting something in place to start with, not as an ideal forever solution.

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I think the list of names is meaningless without their politics.

Sometimes a “how often do you smoke meth” like question does give you the information you need to know. Sooooo here’s some questions for the 5:

  1. Whats the one phase description of your political views?

  2. Whats your opinion of politics of early bitcoin; silkroad-era buying meth online is a wonderful advancement of humanity?

  3. What went wrong with the segwit upgrade?

I’m not here for politics and I’m fairly certain others in this group aren’t either. Check past discussions and decisions, follow the policy discussion and you should have everything you need, instead of fly-by posting.

I also don’t care what, if anyone, does with meth as long as they’re good people doing good work. We’re trying to maintain a curteous and professional environment, respectful of everyone’s privacy.


Some articles by vlad zamfir of ethereum

And a response

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Yay Vlad. I’m a big fan of his emphasis on “legitimacy” and how rough consensus is required to move forward together (or fork) :slight_smile:

What are your thoughts on how that looks for Grin?

Very much along the same lines as Vlad overall. I do have some reserves around where he places responsibilities but that’s a finer point.

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Vlad has said a lot of things. Are there any points specifically that think are worth emphasizing and cultivating in the context of Grin? Also, what do you mean when you say that you have reserves around where he places responsibilities?