The other day @JustAResearcher asked questions on keybase that have come up from time to time (quote below, em mine). I tried to answer these extensively, and am now cross-posting these on the forum for visibility and posterity purposes. So that next time someone asks, there is a resource to refer them to.
01:23 - Yesterday
Question: with us not having an official GUI wallet why don’t we fund ironbelly and grin++. Especially grin++,as it’s one of the most used wallets and nodes in the ecosystem. Think David requested money for an audit but was rejected. Why is this?
09:50 - Yesterday
This is a bit easier to answer. Opinions here are always my own. The main concern here I think has been around the sustainability of funding wallet projects.
Any grin wallet built today, GUI or no GUI, will probably need to be maintained over many years to come. If a wallet doesn’t have a stable source of income, does it mean we should fund it via General fund indefinitely? Say a wallet dev gets three month of funding, quits their day job, and work on the wallet full time. What happens the next three months after that? I personally don’t have a good answer for this at the moment.
You could wonder, isn’t this the same question for antioch or yeastplume? It is, but they are working on the infrastructure and libraries that are meant to be the foundation for other projects. Making life easier for current and future wallet developers and others. And is therefore much more likely to lead to changes that are best rolled out in one of the hard forks, of which we now only have one left of. We can iterate on wallet GUIs for all time to come, but we don’t have much time to work on anything that goes into hard forks.
I do not think this is very clear cut, and I can see why supporting one or several wallet implementations could make sense and be a benefit for the network as a whole. It might be be that most of the heavy lifting needs to be done in the first x months of a wallet’s lifecycle for example, and then once it stabilises and reaches maintenance mode, less effort is required, and therefore less funding. Making it possible to fund one-off projects or something.
So if you ask me, I’d say it is possible that we end up funding some wallet projects in the future, assuming we get some solid funding requests. To me, the timing for that is probably better once we’ve put all the hard forks behind us as things are still changing rapidly. It makes sense to build GUIs and iterate on better user experiences on top of something that’s more stable and not in constant flux. Hopefully slatepack will be a winner, and then we could try to support wallets adopting it or something. Or maybe some other criteria could be proposed. Or maybe bounties, I don’t know.
At the moment however, I think we’re very much focused on the protocol and consensus layer, and likely will be until 5.0.0 has been released.
Still, if someone feels that this is the wrong move and think we should do it differently, they are welcome to argue their case and/or encourage wallet developers to submit requests and we’ll discuss these in the meetings just like we do any other funding request.