Abandoned: Fund notional to work on the cosmos stack

abandoned because of threats from some Kerbal, ICF opacity. Not one alone, the combination.

Change log

  • 2023-01-19 Created initial post

target on chain date

  • 2023-01-26

Funding date range

This is funding for maintainership of the variety described here for 365 days from the date of passage.


Fund Notional with 120,000 atoms for work across the cosmos stack:

  • Cosmos Hub
  • Cosmos SDK
  • Consensus
  • tm-db
  • cosmos-db
  • ibc-go
  • Relaying
  • IBC client update governance proposals
  • Pre-upgrade code reviews

…including on security issues like the one that affected Quicksilver recently, which our team member Khanh Nguyen patched in fall of 2022.

We cannot and will not disclose security items until they are fixed, so we will rely on teams like ICF, Informal, IG, Iqlusion, Strangelove and Binary Builders to confirm for the community that we are actively working in that space.


Above is our work to date, which we will attempt to seek a retroactive grant, which will also be held for a period of at least 2 years and not sold on open or closed markets, from the interchain foundation for.

Looking at the document above from a technical perspective, it is possible to see that our work falls into numerous categories, and covers the entire cosmos stack.

  • Maintainership
  • Fixes of both critical and non critical issues
  • Ease of use improvements
  • Software integration
  • Performance improvements
  • Security

We wish to continue that line of work.

Specific deliverables to be completed by EOY:

  • Account rekeying

  • Validator operator transfers

Additionally, for the cosmos hub, our team has made contributions to:

  • Liquidity module
  • Packet forward middleware

Members of the ICF and it’s TAB have recognized that our contributions to the stack from a technical perspective are exponentially greater than any other organization without a grant or contract from the ICF.

  • Our team led the development of cosmos-db, an evolution of tm-db that follows design ideas from Notional
  • Our team wrote IBC v5, and it passed review from the IBC-go team at IG
  • We are major contributors to the cosmos hub
  • We have contributed important security patches, including a patch that would have prevented the issues encountered by Quicksilver
  • We have supported design and development processes on consumer chains in both a hands on and consultative manner
  • We have a team capable of working on every layer of the cosmos stack, including subject matter experts for each layer.
  • We fixed entirely non-functional pieces of the continuous integration systems of:
    • Gaia
    • Cosmos-sdk
    • Ibc-go

The continuous integration system in each of the above repositories was, for several tasks, always passing, because it was misconfigured. This was allowing pull requests that had issues that could be automatically identified to pass CI regardless of those issues.

what we aren’t doing

  • We are not asking for product ownership of any of the above named repositories, the current product owners are excellent.
  • We are not Implying that we will not seek funding for specific initiatives that go beyond the scope of maintenance.
  • We are not Implying that only the cosmos hub should fund this work.
  • We are not Expressing to the community that we can find or solve every possible issue in security
  • We are not taking a wait and see stance on possible public goods funding from the proposed cosmos hub grants program
  • We are not silently accepting continued opacity and inaction on the part of the Interchain Foundation.


We will be making a multisig with members of our team to receive this and will post the address here.

Oversight and reporting

We will continuously report work here:

For work that affects security, we will report privately in the channels that we have established to the product owners of the repositories mentioned.

We invite any technical organization with sufficient technical capabilities to contact us during the next week to be formally listed as participating in oversight.

These organizations include but are not limited to:

Founding Orgs:

  • Interchain Foundation
  • Allinbits, inc

note: we strongly condemn the recent seizure of the tendermint GitHub org by AIB, and the opacity and inaction we have observed from ICF. As enormous stakeholders in the hub, both deserved a place on a list of possible overseers.

Prominent technical orgs:

  • Informal Systems
  • Iqlusion
  • Strangelove Ventures
  • Binary Builders

Validators with high technical capability:

  • CryptoCrew


120,000 atoms

Note: we will not sell these atoms for a period of at least two years, and intend to hold those atoms for longer than two years.

Forum post link

Governance votes

The following items summarize the voting options and what it means for this proposal:

YES - fund notional with 120,000 atoms that won’t be sold for two years to sponsor work across the cosmos stack for the benefit of the hub and her consumer chains

NO - don’t fund notional with 120,000 atoms to work across the cosmos stack for the benefit of the hub and her consumer chains

NO WITH VETO - A ‘NoWithVeto’ vote indicates a proposal either (1) is deemed to be spam, i.e., irrelevant to Cosmos Hub, (2) disproportionately infringes on minority interests, or (3) violates or encourages violation of the rules of engagement as currently set out by Cosmos Hub governance. If the number of ‘NoWithVeto’ votes is greater than a third of total votes, the proposal is rejected and the deposits are burned.

ABSTAIN - You wish to contribute to quorum but you formally decline to vote either for or against the proposal.


hi Jacob.

let’s say 1Atom is $30 in 2 years,

3.6 Million dollars. Woh.

let’s say it’s a 2 years (1 retro active - 1 incoming) work funding,

~$5000/day. Woh.

How many are you in the team ?

Not making any judgement, i’m way not enough aware of the hours of work involved/people involved etc.

I’m just considering re-learning how to code.

and btw thanks for your numerous contribs.



Please consider the possibility that the team that just rugged the consensus mechanism, chooses to rug atom holders, and price of atom dramatically drops.

And also please consider the generally high risk nature of this work, as well as opportunity costs.

It was an extremely intentional choice to have this priced in atoms and not dollars because we are not thinking about it as dollars .

One thing that I would like to do though is add a little bit more detail on our side about what we will be doing.

Also please know that we are making this proposal after reaching out to the ICF and having no response whatsoever and with zero guidance or facilitation from the ICF, bearing the entire administrative burden of this process ourselves.


I can understand the points you made.

But hey, Jacob, when we’re talking about ICF delegations for example, we’re talking in dollars. So why not here ? Everybody is reasoning in dollars - and will for years ! (sadly or not)

Still a huge amount to me but as i said, i’m not enough informed to say a hard no/yes.

In any case yep, more details would/will be nice for the community to make a fair decision.

extra point : considering a large part of this work is for the sdk/ibc and then is/will benefit to many cosmos chains in the space, don’t you think this funding request should be dispersed between said chains ?

(and again sorry for my poor english wording. can’t wait for a gpt-4 auto translation module x))

Yes. We feel that this is a fair ask for the hub’s share. Chains like:

  • Osmosis
  • Evmos
  • Juno
  • Stride
  • Quicksilver
  • Pylons
  • Dig
  • Craft
  • Jackal
  • Luna Classic

Have entered into arrangements with notional, paying either cash or tokens, in the present or past.

We are tremendously grateful for their support of our work.

We will be asking other chains for funding, as well.

And we will be doing that on the same terms that we have done here.

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Why would we be discussing dollars? The ICF delegates atoms.

This proposal is a request for atoms and a commitment not to sell those atoms for at least two years.

We will not get dollars from this proposal.

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my bad, i missed that part.

then maybe it would be a good thing - as TendermintTimmy did for his request - to give the community an explicit description of the amounts you received/ask across the cosmos chains you mentionned.

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in a few words: this is blackmailing.

Cosmos Communities became a joke recently.
Way too many people who choose on their own to speak out loud about Cosmos/Chains and unfortunately also ‘for’ Cosmos/Chains put themselve into an influencer status and think to ‘derserve’ more.

There are mechanisms how work is founded, there are mechanisms how regular work is paid, there are mechanisms how additional revenue can be made and lean managment in your company to reduce costs.

Look at Cosmos, look at who and how they seek milk from the Cosmos titts.
Notional and Jacob have a perverse way on providing work and blackmailing on the “not appreciated” results.

Your words are nothing but tactics to cover blackmailing: if your “wishes” ar enot followed its always the same respond by you: “We tried in the background but nobody answered”…so we blackmail.

Cosmos became a shitshow due to a few bad actors using their Twitter fame.

Notional, do your work and be happy, try to do business. If your business model does not work, change or leave. There are many ways to put Notional in another position. If you define as validator, there are mechanisms for it, if you are providing auditing, there are mechanisms, if you develop, there are mechanisms, if…
“Asking” for payment because you feel so super dooper important for voluntary work and you want MOOOOORE is just showing that you are NOT a part of Cosmos but feel special.

Notional proclaims decentralization but wants to be recognised as an important singled out identity, a centralised position. Yes, this could be discussed, if the Hub needs an organisational structure as other L1’s or it does not as its founding identity is not to have such…?! But putting yourself in the “honour our work” position is the same nonsense as the other influencers currently do. Get your revenue from your work in a normal structure. Check and Balances Jacob/ Notional: Appreciate the Cosmos system you choose to work in, appreciate the work of others and see consequences of your actions. Paying Notional does unbalance ALL other contributions to Cosmos by any developer, validator, community manager etc.

Notional and you Jacob should rethink if you are a part of the Cosmos or you believeto be better than others, a centralised god position = please rather leave Cosmos.

BTW: this can be said about all other influencers. Is there one left not asking to be paid? Pathetic.


The proposal says that the 120,000 ATOM would be sold in 2 years that’s in 2025. The next Bitcoin halving is in 2024. Usually, the peak of the bull market cycle is one year after each halving: 2017, 2021 and 2025. So the ATOM price at the peak of the next bull market could be much higher than $30 actually.


Happy to see a proposal like that, as it sets a precedent for other teams that contribute too.

I have to say Notional is a big contributor of the Cosmos ecosystem looking at the commits history of Jacob and other team members proves it: github dot com / faddat, catShaark, chillyvee (sorry links do not work but these are github username) etc…

However, AFAIK the ICF funds core development, why not go through the official process of requesting a delegation from ICF or submit a proposal to the ICF?

Other companies are as well active contributors to the ecosystem, such as Provenance, Agoric and Crypto dot com. If this proposal passes, what prevents them to as well submit a proposal for their work.

If every single team does that for core development, we won’t have an oversight of what happens as development. I feel like this was the role of the Tab, so that burden is not put on the community.

Another question, are those 120k atom used to fund future work? (if so could you name it, have a roadmap of your plan), or previous work (if so, could you as well list it)?


yes. was targeting lower to keep my mind healthy regarding this request.

Can we see a better plan for this proposal, what exactly you guys will do with the funds? A small amount and milestones should be included in the plan I definitely will vote for this if all the points are addressed.

The funds should be released gradually, based on your development and milestone progress.

Thanks for your proposition Jacob.

I agree on the fact that there is not many builders and maintainers in the ecosystem that work on the cosmos stack.

But in a way, this proposal seems more like a fundraising without diluating Notional valuation as a company.

By this, what we are trying to raise at attention is either:

  • ICF /IAB to their job and delegate a reasonable amount that “fund” to the work done (also put at attention to the fact that they bootstrap Keplr back in the days, what about now?)
  • Make a fundraise with VC’s because it’s actually the money is concerning a lot the growth of Notional as a company, not much working on the stack.

Would love to have your feedback on these comments.
Best, Jacob.

Will this ATOM’s be delegated? If it’s the case then it’s generating $
If it’s not, the 2 years commitment is just to raise more ATOM"s that the price they will have in 2 years as it’s the during team of the bear cycle.

In this case, I would have prefer the ATOM to be used directly and not in 2 years, because it’s clearly raising more ATOM than it should.

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Hey Jacob,

My primary concern here is that this ask is incredibly large, and very unspecific.

Currently 120,000 ATOM is 6.78% of the entire Community Pool for Cosmos Hub to Fund Notional on a non-exclusive contract for general work on the stack.

~$1.4M is just way too much of an ask right now when that equates to nearly 7% of the entire CP to find a single validator - and the price of ATOM is likely to only increase over the coming two years.

Every validator on the Cosmos Hub contributes. We are all cutting costs and doing whatever is necessary to survive through this bear market, but allocating nearly 7% of the entire Hub’s current Community Pool to Notional is a wild ask, particularly when this is non-exclusive work and knowing that Notional is going to every chain now to gather funding doesn’t make me feel particularly warm and fuzzy. You guys are being funded with vested funds on Juno as well and this makes me feel like your work will now be spread out across every chain, diluting the value and time commitments of your existing arrangements by seeking broad funding.

I agree that Notional should get funding for work on the core stack, as that’s valuable work - but this is excessive and not even in the ballpark or range of something we can support.

P.S. It appears this grant doesn’t cover past work as well, and is only forward looking, which seems to indicate that the requested grant is in addition to more grant requests that will go to the ICF.


Can we explore alternative ways of coordinating or funding this work?

Some alternatives include:

  • Hub funding-platform for this type of work (funded via community-pool and community-run)
  • A single coalition of teams with proven track-records requesting funding
  • A community-pool budgeting framework that allocates x ATOM for this type of work per year

I agree with what @onivalidator said about Notional deserving funding due to the work they put forward in the ecosystem, but I also believe we can come up with a better structure for funding this work than the current proposal.

All of the above are quick-suggestions, but the point is to get the ball rolling and explore alternatives. I’m sure we can come up with something reasonable for this crucial activity.


So that is absolutely possible. The opposite is also possible.

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We are the only unfunded team a proven track record that has been consistently working on the hub.

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The proposal that we put forth on Juno, is not vested.

I do not think that it is appropriate to bring up Juno here but you have chosen to do so so I’m going to address your concerns.

The core 1 dao informed notional, strange love, and confio that they could no longer pursue funding our teams in liquid JUNO, due to sell pressure caused by funding… Things like loop.

Here’s the loop proposal that your team voted yes on, to ensure that loop was funded despite the decision of TRF signers to stop funding, and The prohibition on funding software that is not open source:

See, the thing is that the open source work we do on key elements of the cosmos stack, is valuable.

I do not think Loop, or closed source contracts are valuable.

Notional awaits a vested funding arrangement via the DAOdao 2.0 contracts and at that time it will be possible to even know if we have a contract with Juno at this point.

The only way that Juno is relevant here, is that Juno was subsidizing our work on the hub.

This is not a grant for validation services. We are paid for those. This is a grant for all the other things Notional does, that no other validator does, except for Informal, Strangelove, Binary, and Iqlusion. To my knowledge they’re all funded to do that work, because they aren’t just validators.

This is a grant for software development services, which not all validators do. In fact, it seems to me that we are, and have been, the only ones working on the hub without funding from the ICF.

Finally, @onivalidator I need to remind you of something, there is an entire class of work that we do at notional, that the majority of validators, who merely sign blocks, do not do. Here are some photographs to illustrate that class of work:

That is my personal GitHub profile. May I see yours?

If they are not similar, then perhaps our businesses are dramatically different, and you’re making invalid comparisons.

This is a little information about the top contributors to the hub, by commit:

Can you point me, please, to the @onivalidator team member on that list?

I don’t think that there is one but you seem to think that we have similar businesses so I’d like to hear about that please, correct me if I’ve overlooked something.

Finally, here’s a really solid example of the work we do at Notional. I am by no means the most advanced programmer on our team:

That’s the fix to the Quicksilver exploit, that we noticed hadn’t been applied on the hub on December 7th, and immediately reported to @okwme and @jtremback.

Can you tell me about a time that @onivalidator did something similar?

Again, if you’re unable to do so, then it would seem likely that… We aren’t in the same business.


Chillyvee has their own validator, and do amazing work, and aren’t a part of notional though we do collaborate on things at times.

I most certainly do endorse them.

Also, you’re looking in the right place, by looking on GitHub.

There are a very wide range of activities that Notional does that the majority of validators have no awareness of.

That is our software development business.

Thank you so much for your support of our work.