Confio is looking for a champion within the Cosmos Hub community

Yesterday’s responses to our announcement have been full of support from all angles for our work and our company. We couldn’t be happier. Some of the more surprising reactions is coming from the Cosmos Hub, as it is not a CosmWasm-enabled chain. But of course it makes sense at second glance with Interschain Security on the horizon. Now it is time to turn that positivity into long term sustainable funding.

Confio and the Hub have a friendly relation ever since and prop 25 was one of the first CosmWasm fundings overall. But Confio is neither a significant ATOM holder nor are we capable of being involved in each chain’s governance process and the relevant discussions. Also in order to be able to best serve in the Hubs’ interest, we need a contact person. So we are looking for a person (or small group) from within the Cosmos Hub community to help Confio connect to the Cosmos Hub.This would include:

  • Coordinating a governance proposal and putting it on chain
  • Answering simple questions within the Cosmos Hub community and bringing the harder ones to us
  • Managing funds to turn a larger Community Spends into smaller continuous chunks (monthly or quarterly payout)
  • Explaining the Hub’s priorities to Confio to ensure they are acknowledged in the roadmap
  • Doing health checks to be able to close the tap in case Confio stops delivering Public Goods to the Cosmos Ecosystem
  • Mediate in case of disputes

We are posting this here to get feedback and start discussion with the larger Cosmos Hub Community. Happy to also discuss in other forums if there are better places to engage.

Update: So we’ve been in touch with a few people to help with a formal on-chain proposal. Based on these discussions and feedback, I want to clarify this idea a bit more, especially why this is relevant to the Cosmos Hub.

First, some context:

  • The Hub’s largest push for value is Replicated Security, coming in the Lambda v9 release. This will enable “consumer chains”, particularly focused around some (like Neutron) who will enable CosmWasm contracts with Cosmos Hub security as a value driver for the Cosmos Hub.
  • The Cosmos Hub is stable, but that also means it has been more or less ignored recently by independent developer teams, outside of core SDK and ICS work. Capturing developer mindshare is important if they seek products outside of this core infrastructure.

Supporting Confio’s Public Goods work and showing that the Hub is a sponsor of important independent development can re-attract much developer attention.

Additionally, Confio can provide tooling and support to help promote the success of various CosmWasm-enabled consumer chains. We are very happy to provide some clearly defined services as part of the funding proposal. Some ideas we had are:

  • Providing reasonable technical support to CosmWasm-based ICS consumer chains (eg wasmd integration, extensions, etc)
  • Providing off-chain developer tooling supporting the Hub and ICS consumer chains (we are building some custom tooling)
  • Contribute as needed to development of ICS technology
  • Integrating advanced IBC protocols in ICS consumer chains

Of course the above should be refined and maybe the list modified, but we want to make sure this is a two-way street, and the Cosmos Hub also benefits from the support they are considering to grant Confio.


Consider also volunteers from The Laurel Project such as Loredana Cirstea as a tech rep and mediator. Her technical achievements are on github @loredanacirstea/CV and you @ethanfrey already know about one of them that is (most probably) of importance to CosmWasm: A7FS76oPje4

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I am not willing to be the sole champion of funding Confio on the Hub, as I believe that is a large commitment and anyone willing to undertake that role be compensated for it.

I am, however, happy to help assemble pieces of the proposal and assist in the proposal process. As such, I’ve drafted a proposal relevant to the Hub that can act as a template for other chains as well. Feel free to make PRs or fork it. The funding amount is a placeholder contingent upon the community’s feedback in regards to the open questions.

I would highly encourage any person in the ecosystem that values public goods and is a reputable participant on another chain to also seek funding for Confio on that chain.

In my eyes, a large open question is what percentage of the funding burden the Hub should take on in support of the ecosystem and consumer chains that may make use of the software that Confio stewards. Additional open questions are included in the proposal.

It has also come to my attention that the Neutron Foundation (contact: @Spaydh) has signalled a willingness to assist in the transference of funds from the community pool to Confio, thus providing support on the payment and legal rails. In my eyes, this development is a strong step forward for the potential ATOM economic zone and the interplay of relationships that will be formed there.

Looking forward to seeing others around the community and ecosystem step up with similar proposals to come together to fund Confio.


Thank you for your effort and support! This is much appreciated.

You are right, there is no need to have all the responsibility on one person’s shoulders. What Ethan wrote can be intepreted as an idea how we think we can best coordinate with the Cosmos Hub. It was written down over night and certainly is not a fixed plan.

Coming up with a proposal from within the Cosmos Hub community is probably the most important part of it. We are grateful you took that on and are happy to continue with the draft as a basis for discussion.


CosmWasm isn’t used by the Cosmos Hub. It will, however, be used by Neutron, a consumer chain (and probably other consumer chains as well). In this capacity it may be worthwhile for the community pool to fund CosmWasm on behalf of Neutron. Perhaps for this reason it is best for someone from Neutron to step up and advocate for Confio’s community pool funding.


This does bring up an idea I had for the hub hosting a consumer chain totally dedicated to public goods funding and coordination for all chains who want to participate in various initiatives. Would be nice to see a DAO and fundraising/coordination point be hosted by the hub.

Just throwing it out there.


Sounds good! For clarity, I am happy to help facilitate the proposal process asynchronously:

  • soliciting feedback
  • coordinating between parties
  • editing the proposal in accordance with feedback

I will leave it to @Spaydh & crew to elaborate on Neutron’s stance and potential assistance.

In my mind the next steps are:

  • Create a dedicated [draft proposal] forum post
  • Create an open telegram group to coordinate events and smaller details
  • Find out which other chains are willing to collaborate in the effort to fund Confio
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I like that idea, though philanthropic motivations have a history of erosion over time, and anyone supporting public good operations outside a transactional economic incentive will eventually fall back into one.

That said, an entity registering with Angel Protocol on behalf of the Hub would be very interesting, to agree to park some funds in Defi while they await governance for verification and deployment. I think a public goods entity partially funded with a longer standing goal of propose->deliver specific targets could last longer than a generic public goods chain. If CosmWasm is not seen as directly critical to the ecosystem it should be indirectly valued enough to start a fairly simple chain, although I think a new one would be too much economic strain on too small size of grant pools, and not worthwhile.

TLDR: I’ll raise your concept to say that I agree, but it’s economically risky and difficult to stabilize socially. Better to concatenate across a few chains and utilize existing governance than create a new power center full of “sell pressure”.

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I fully agree with both @jtremback and I believe it makes sense for Neutron and the Hub to join forces in publicly funding Confio, and that the Neutron Foundation, may be the perfect vehicle for this. Funding from Neutron will probably have to wait for a few month (since the network isn’t even live yet), in the meantime, the Foundation could still support the Cosmos Hub’s community initiative.


We would love to talk about a long-term relationship between Confio and Spark IBC. We started Spark IBC specifically to fund and support chain agnostic and multi-chain efforts, of which Confio is the perfect example.

We are currently exploring the first instance of multichain funding for a project with Interchain Info, and we think something similar could be done for Confio. We’d happily take on the long term role of supporting such a crucial part of the cosmos dev stack.

The very first thing we could offer, and almost immediately, is a perpetual Spark Campaign, where users would be able to personally contribute to Confio at any point in time, and earn Spark for it. We can even add some non-monetary incentives to contributing, as this is such an important one.

At the moment, spark accepts axlUSDC on Juno, but in the very near future we will be launching on 2 other cosmos chains, as well as integrating Rango exchange so people can contribute with any kind of asset on any chain.

Additionally however, we would work closely w the Confio team to seek community funding, grants, and other avenues to sustain their work. I am personally in contact with many different chains and teams, and would be able to act as a liaison between Confio and various potential funding sources.

While some may feel Spark IBC is still too small and unproven to take on a role like this, I’d retort by saying if we can help in any capacity whatsoever, even if it’s just supporting a more veteran team, we’re eager too do so.

Again, this is almost the exact definition of why Spark IBC was created, and would be the perfect opportunity to both keep Confio funded, and prove our entire model is needed in this Eco.

Happy to keep the convo going here or in DM if anyone from the team would like to reach out.

Thanks all


It might be new and I don’t know who is part of it.
But I know that at least you are a name which I see more often with a passion for the Ecosystem, which should be one of the drivers of such an ecosystem. To me it sounds like a match made in heaven.


We really appreciate that and couldn’t agree more about it being a match made in heaven.

Also, I’d like to clarify some stuff from my post above as @gjermundgaraba cited the need for. Namely the fact that we do not expect private donations from individuals for the campaign to make a serious dent (however I don’t think it should be totally discounted, as we cant forget the whales in the ecosystem,) rather, the “Campaign” should just be thought of as the user facing aggregation of all funds raised for confio.

There have already been numerous awesome suggestions from other users on where the needed funds could come from, which chains and organizations. We would help to pursue and lock in as many of these leads as possible as part of the campaign, not just now, but for the foreseeable future.

Our goal is to make Spark IBC into an all around steward of chain agnostic efforts in the interchain, and raising contributions from the private donors is just one small piece of that puzzle.

Additionally, we would love to work with the Confio team to see if they can get their yearly expenditure down, even if more than enough was raised now, as we believe this is one piece of the long term sustainability puzzle. Sometimes you need to trim some fat, and with the small size of their team, I’m actually a bit curious about why there’s a need for such large funding amounts. Now, to be clear, im not in anyways insinuating that Confio misuses funds, rather that there’s almost ALWAYS an opportunity to streamline, cut costs, kill multiple birds with one stone, etc. without necessarily seeing any downsides from it.

Just one note on the sell pressure part. More than anything else we need certainty and be able to plan ahead. The decisions we make today define our burnrate in 2-4 months from now. That means hiring and it also means shrinking the team. It means allocating people for the greater ecosystem or consulting work. The proposed selling period of 7 days can be much longer. 1 month or even 100 days for very large sums are not unrealistic. We have no intend to sell more tokens than necessary in a bear market. However, we will need to sell good chunks of it eventually as our employees and freelancers are paid in EUR and it is our job to keep token volatility out of their personal finances.


Yes I think that approach makes a lot of sense.

What would be the impact of receiving tokens rather than cash on your tax responsibilities?

For the Hub I think it is obviously preferable to have the tokens sold over a longer period. But, as you said, we would want to ensure that whatever the agreed upon time frame and mechanism of sale is, your team feels secure and confident about their finances.

Just as a thought exercise, it may also be worth exploring if any token-funding can be leveraged into something more sustainable, such as validator operation or something. That’s just food for thought.

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Just to clarify on this one:

  • Spark IBC is offering (on a pro-bono basis) to run a perpetual campaign to promote the Confio team & this campaign would include:
    • the ability for users to personally contribute to funding Confio, and to receive spark for their contributions
    • working with the Confio team to manage the overhead & administration of securing funding, negotiating grants processes, and facilitating on-chain proposals

Does that sound about right?

FWIW, I think one of the reasons that teams go directly for private funding is in order to avoid justifying their operational practices to the collective, which inherently has a different perspectives and viewpoints about the operations though doesn’t have access to the nuanced context that a consultant or member of the organization would. I think it’s a fair inquiry, though would highly discourage the idea that there’s “always an opportunity to cut costs” and that this is the appropriate place to address that.

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Thank you for your comments here and in the many conversations we have had with various contributors.

I have updated the main text, sharing some ideas from discussions on how we can ensure this is beneficial for the Cosmos Hub. The key points are that supporting Confio’s Public Goods work and showing that the Hub is a sponsor of important independent development can re-attract much developer attention. Additionally, Confio can provide tooling and support to help promote the success of various CosmWasm-enabled consumer chains.


I also want to reply to some valid concerns about token dumping prices, and a proposed solution.

Rather than a Community Pool funding agreement going directly to Confio (a registered German company), or being quickly liquidated by a multisig into USDC, we propose sending it to a non-profit foundation (or company) that has a mandate to support open source software.

This entity could hold onto the tokens without immediate tax/sell pressure and slowly liquidate them when the market can absorb that sell pressure. It could also potentially stake some to provide a longer-term funding stream. It could collect donations from multiple chains and balance these treasuries in a responsible way, respecting delicate market situations.

Furthermore, this entity could provide oversight to Confio’s development work, and release funds quarterly based on development. We have already frozen hiring and been reducing headcount since last July. We have also taken on consulting work to cover current expenses. It will take some time to refocus our teams on public source and ramp up the team size to what it needs to be in order to support all the demands we receive and our proposed open source development roadmap.

By holding the funds in a foundation, and releasing to Confio based on actual work done (did we have 4 or 10 developers working on Public Goods this quarter?), we can provide funding security to Confio, as well as accountability and cost effectiveness to the Cosmos Hub.

We are researching the exact entity to be used, whether Neutron foundation as recommended in one proposal, other existing foundation, or a new entity. But the general idea above holds regardless of the specific entity.


Would love to see someone work on a solution for this. IMO, since something like CosmWasm or similar is used by everyone (potentially). There should be an IBC community spend proposal and interchain governance (on chain voting by all IBC enabled chains) should give 5% from every community pool and everyone is happy


I think this is a great match for Confio (having a community facing organization like Spark to help raise awareness and a supplemental source of funding). I do think that Confio and other developer teams have a responsibility to monetize their own work, at least to the extent that it is possible. Otherwise it will be increasingly difficult to justify burn rates and large teams. Long term viability is essential in this space. If Cosmos is to continually rest upon novel technology, then it can not be given away for free to the detriment of the very companies (and individuals) that build it. This model can be sustained in a bear OR bull market.
That being said, Spark / ICI will be the natural “information hub” and should generate increasing traffic and awareness for the work of not only Confio, but others as well. I would like to see more effort made by builders (and content creators) to make clear the true value of the products being built in the ecosystem. Leveraging Spark / ICI and similar outlets should be common practice for all.
In this particular case, everyone in the Cosmos community should know exactly what CosmWasm is, why it is so important, and why it needs to be funded. This is the same for IBC, the CosmosSDK, and the various token standards that make interoperability possible right now and also the future products that are sure to enhance it over the coming years.


This approach makes a lot of sense.

While these details are being worked out, what’re your thoughts on beginning the signaling proposal process to understand the Hub’s position on funding Confio (cc: @simon_warta ) ?

I think it makes sense to run a signalling proposal first in order to understand the stakeholder sentiment.

If that sounds good, let’s schedule a call early next week to iron out the details. Other than that, next steps would be:

@simon_warta @ethanfrey what’re your needs in regards to #3? Is that something that would be appropriate for @TendermintTimmy to lead?