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).
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- Publish and update a high-level roadmap of development and communit efforts.
We expect to rely on 2 different means of funding:
- Project based fundraising, similar to what @Yeastplume has already done.
- 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).
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.
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.