Grin

Help us write Grin's Mission statement!


#1

1. Introduction

What is Grin? What is it trying to achieve, and why is it even important? Why should anyone care? In order to better guide our work, are we able to come together as a community and agree on a set of common denominators that sets our direction and what defines us?

Ideally, we’d end up with something like the following:

  • Our mission: a one sentence statement packed with power about what it is we’re doing.
  • Our vision: a couple of paragraphs about why this matters, an ideal and aspirational end state we are trying to realise through our mission.

In the future, this could then help us determine:

  • Our strategy: How do we best go about achieving our mission?
  • Our values: A set of principles we as a community stand behind that guide our work and how we interact with each other.

Some of these topics have been discussed in a previous thread, and are also being raised as part of the ongoing website redesign. (Ping @Unit)

@igno.peverell and I have sparred a couple of times about this and while we have a couple of baseline ideas (below), they feel far from mature and could do with further scrutiny by all of you in the community.

Let’s try to brainstorm something together that we all feel we can stand behind! :smiley:


2. Mission draft

One version that has been raised:

To create open electronic cash for all, without censorship or restrictions.

Comments:

  • ‘Cash’ implies fungibility, which implies Grin’s privacy preserving properties. It also suggests ‘simplicity’ because cash is minimal, simple, and easy to use. And it doesn’t include a lot of bells and whistles, because that would reduce the cash-like properties in the first place. It also goes well in line with our emission schedule.

  • ‘Open’ and ‘for all’ points to being inclusive, and also not authoritative. We’re open, it’s not controlled.

  • The last part “without censorship or restrictions” feels a bit… weak. Ideally we’d have something more powerful.

  • Possible nice to haves:

    • Can we hint better at privacy is it important?
    • Can we touch upon that we’re minimal and simple?
    • Is it a better way to articulate that we’re actively trying to prohibit censorship and authoritarian control of the system?
    • Anarchic by design?

3. Vision draft

This is less of a draft, and more me just rambling a bit about what I think to some degree could explain why we exist today. So would be good to get some help here firming some of this up, reducing content, making it more impactful, and relevant.

  • Physical cash is disappearing. The physical and digital worlds are merging, with the digital taking up an ever increasing amount of humanity’s time and attention. With the ascent of the digital world, transacting in physical cash has naturally given way to electronic means of transacting. Along the way, these electronic means have introduced surveillance, tracking, and gatekeeping abilities that are not present in physical cash. These reduce the authority that we as individuals have over our money and how we choose to spend it, and they undermine our privacy.
  • Cash is important. It is certainty. It offers privacy. It’s inclusive, it does not pass judgement on its user, or on how it is being spent. It safeguards freedom and democratic values. We live in an era of ever increasing surveillance, data collecting, and targeting. We believe a payment form with true cash-like abilities is needed in the digital world, as it is needed in the physical.
  • Crypto has the potential to deliver electronic cash but has not done that yet. There is still no true peer-to-peer-based electronic cash system. Previous efforts allow for surveillance and tracking, offer little privacy, have unnecessary complexity, work with unclear objectives, or are driven by questionable motives.

As the digital merges with the physical, we believe in a world where there are no barriers to transacting with one another. Where anyone can participate in the economy regardless of their personal background or ethnicity, regardless of their religious or political views. Where mass surveillance and tracking by governments and corporations alike is never enabled by our means of payment. Where the right to privacy remains a fundamental human right.

Comments

Yes, this feels a bit bombastic and fluffy. But this is kinda what’s expected of visions. “End hunger.” “World peace”. That kind of thing. So we need to look far into the future and kinda think about the world we are trying to create. What’s the end state?


4. Further Resources

URL Comment
Ted talk: Simon Sinek - Start with why Good video to communicate the importance of why the vision needs to be closely tied to the mission, and why you should start with the vision, i.e. why you exist, and not what you’re trying achieve.
Coinbase mission Example of a mission statement tied to a vision that’s defined as a set of “What ifs”. Accompanied by a blog post announcing it.
Ubuntu mission Another example, this time from open source.

Got more resources and examples? comment and I’ll update!


#2

ideas:

  • To bring privacy to all, through open electronic cash, free from censorship and restrictions.

  • To regain privacy with an open electronic cash, in our fight against censorship and restrictions.

  1. used free instead of without, due words connotations and strength. added privacy. because an integral aspect from my standing.

  2. more anarchic and passionate - I never heard of a silent revolution


#3

Probably important to prioritize this over refreshing the site copy, as one will inform the other. Will give it a go.


#4

Thanks for starting this! I am going to give it some thought but for now one thing that standed out while reading your vision draft:

  • Physical cash is disappearing. The physical and digital worlds are merging, with the digital taking up an ever increasing amount of humanity’s time and attention. With the ascent of the digital world, transacting in physical cash has naturally given way to electronic means of transacting. Along the way, these electronic means have introduced surveillance, tracking, and gatekeeping abilities that are not present in physical cash. These reduce the authority that we as individuals have over our money and how we choose to spend it, and they undermine our privacy.
  • Cash is important. It is certainty. It offers privacy. It’s inclusive, it does not pass judgement on its user, or on how it is being spent. It safeguards freedom and democratic values. We live in an era of ever increasing surveillance, data collecting, and targeting. We believe a payment form with true cash-like abilities is needed in the digital world, as it is needed in the physical.
  • Crypto has the potential to deliver electronic cash but has not done that yet. There is still no true peer-to-peer-based electronic cash system. Previous efforts allow for surveillance and tracking, offer little privacy, have unnecessary complexity, work with unclear objectives, or are driven by questionable motives.

Feels like you are talking about the same thing in all three bullet points. We need a clearer statement about why privacy matters, maybe we can also refer to or shamelessly copy excerpts or even repurpose The Cypherpunk’s Manifesto through this community’s lenses.

On top of privacy, things that we may want to call out:

  • minimal design: this is very important from a project lifecycle perspective.
  • scalability: Grin comes very close to enable stronger security and privacy guarantees for all network participants than most other coins do.

#5

“Cash” has connotations of the past, a bygone era (and good riddance). Grin has connotations of a magical future. Therefore, I don’t like “digital cash”—I find it derogatory. For Bitcoin, it was necessary to say “digital cash” because otherwise no one would have a frame of reference for what it was. But Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. bridged that gap and I believe enough people know that we’re stepping into something new for us to be able to safely say something more hopeful, something along the lines of:

Grin is a mathemagical particle of power and influence that flows through a cryptographically liberated MimbleWimble blockchain. Our mission is to distribute Grin to the furthest reaches of the realm to liberate the spirit of magic from the forces of darkness.

I envision, not crypto wallets, but crypto wands. :wink:


#6

And part of that is minimizing the trust needed in the underlying cryptography.
We make no more assumptions than bitcoin does; namely that ECDLP is hard.


#7

This implies democracy, possibility only in america, but that exact wording is an Americanism of old documents.

Presumably you don’t plan to bend down and take it if america declares non-dollar currencies to be a threat to democracy. And mob rule isn’t the plan anyway.

“for anyone marginalized” could be better wording

There is still no true peer-to-peer-based electronic cash system. Previous efforts allow for surveillance and tracking

Don’t drop “true” as a criticism of different projects making different trade offs.

“we will extend privacy further then other projects” or something like that

I’m not a believer in the 1000 coin future, but I think the count will likely be 5 to 7 ish; I would not promote purity at any point.

It safeguards freedom and democratic values

Again, don’t rely on democracy. Nation states have control of the word and may not like stateless currency.

Freedom is a filler word, its well known to mean different things to different people.

governments

States.

They are interchangeable to the general public, but your building a state-less currency you should appeal to my terminology as the crazy extremists is such minor ways.

governance is collective decision making, states are organizations that claim a monopoly on violence over a geographical area.

Currency is a form of governance it wouldn’t make sense if your anti-governance, and governance is light and friendly sounding; while states are vile evil.


#8

Here’s a mission statement I came up with quick! I’ll put more thought into it if it sounds like it’s on the right track.

“Grin’s Mission:
To create a minimalistic, yet powerful form of open electronic cash that prioritizes privacy and…” ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
“overcomes censorship boundaries.”
“overcomes the boundaries of censorship and authoritative systems.”
“censorship resistance.”
“tackles censorship and authoritative abuse.”

I’m really struggling here on this second part. I’d like it to sound a bit more toned down, but still powerful. I don’t think it’s a good idea to outright say “fight the man!” lol. Let’s do that, but in the coding of Grin.
Also, I understand the use of the term “anarchic” for Grin, but vote against using it for a mission statement. If we’re looking for the mass adoption of Grin, unfortunately I think the general public would associate it with something negative, disorderly, or dysfunctional.


#9

For the webpage, I rewrote the original text into this:

Grin builds electronic transactions for all, without censorship or restrictions.

I agree that “for all” might be tricky. A plus is that it is short. Is “for everyone” better?

I prefer keeping grin texts short and clear, in easy English. At least for what’s “above the fold”. I suggest we use Grammarly.com or even better, some writing tool that ensures we don’t write long sentences and with complicated language.

The most important part is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence. “Transactions” is primarily understood as monetary transactions, but grin with scriptless scrips etc will likely support other assets in the future.

  • It seems “for all/everyone” takes priority over “privacy” - otherwise, we’d use Monero.
  • Future-proofed privacy has so far taken priority over protection from inflation, unplanned or not.

Oh, and as soon as we have a few alternative formulations, we should find some persons of the target audience. The crypto coin community/-ies are very small on a global scale, and we understand phrases and ideas that most others don’t. I tried talking about M0, M1, etc (not crypto related) with friends who studied or mastered in Economics. And they had successfully forgotten 99% about that topic…


#10

Grin: open, trustless and anonymous electronic cash for all. Minimal and anarchic by design.


#11

Grin: private, trustless digital currency. Minimal by design, but open to all.


#12

I think “and” makes more sense than “,but” here (“and” suggests inclusion of and expansion of the preceding clause, “but” suggests exclusion or “in lieu of”). That said, I really like this take.


#13

This^

Grin is private, trustless, digital currency. Open to (all,everybody), minimal (and scalable) by design.


#14

Hey! I’m new here and I was wondering - what are the most useful features/benefits of Grin compared to other forms of digital money/cryptocurrencies?

If we fast forward a year or two, I think most of the following will be common practice in this space:

  • Open
  • Private or anonymous
  • Minimal
  • Trustless
  • Anarchic

These are all great but what makes Grin better? And it’s important to think about this from an end users perspective.


#15

There is going to be a variety of levels and tradeoffs in all of the attributes above that communities/enterprise will tweak. Grin can come closer to maximize output in all of them. I am not an expert but I don’t see a better shot at the moment and I don’t mean to disrespect all the great work that is coming out from other cryptocurrency communities. Also, I doubt some of these attributes are goals for most of them. Grin is going to compete or grow together if you will with a couple of other coins.


#16

There were lots of 70’s rock bands that had:

  • A lead singer
  • A guitarist
  • A bassist
  • A drummer

But there was only one Led Zeppelin. And the difference was _________?

Let’s not forget what wins the hearts of people!


#17

The anarchy narrative helped BTC in the beginning, I don’t feel that we should look back. We know the current narratives, anonymous coins, launder money, buy drugs, leaderless will not get a leader arrested, etc.

We are 10 years past that and I would not want any biased nocoiner put Grin in this basked. I believe in today’s world it is more important then ever to consider privacy a human right. Let’s talk about that.

Vision Draft

  • 1 for the fair emission and distribution - not because of the emission line but because it starts in a moment when a much larger percentage of the world population can / will get involved from the beginning.

#18

Hi,

I’d like to suggest, whatever you propose, ask yourself:

  • can this apply to Bitcoin?
  • can this apply to Monero?
  • can this apply do some centralized coin? (Ripple etc)

IMHO the draft so far is also fully applicable to Monero. And possibly Bitcoin in the future (if/when privacy/fungibility is solved). Is that a problem? Maybe not. But we should be aware of that.

Also everything should be viewed through eyes of second generation maintainers, that will come later and possibly over time replace you (creators, 1st generation maintainers). - Is the mission statement so clear that it can be interpreted only in the way you mean it? How much ambiguity and space for “twisting” are you leaving there.

I think, if we are honest, this mission statement is a little bit tricky. We have the technology first (super small scalable blockchain with anonymous transactions) and we are trying to fit some goals/mission onto it.


#19

New take after watching the conference:

Grin is a minimal, private and trustless tool for Freedom, open to all.

I believe Grin is more than just a currency and this goes in line with the ‘nice to haves’ below :thinking:


#20

A quick point of view: I think I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on the “digital” aspect of a cryptocurrency. As far as I understand it, if we were “as fast as computers”, we could run a cryptocurrency network with our minds only (and some way of communication, of course). It’s only digital because we aren’t that good at remembering, mentally calculating and so on…