2023-01-12 Created initial post
2023-01-18 Added Addendum at the end of the proposal clarifying the grant program name, scope, compensation details, termination clause and conflict of interest.
2023-01-24: a) The ask amount decreased by 18% from 721,000 to 588,000 ATOM. Updated the financials. b) Auditor in Oversight Committee announced.
2023-01-26: The name of our grant program will be ATOM Accelerator DAO. This replaces the former name Cosmos Hub Grant Program and reflects our desire to NOT position ourselves as the canonical Cosmos Hub grant program
2023-02-01: a) A decision made internally that all 4 validators involved in this proposal would vote Abstain b) amount of grants will be denominated in USD and not ATOM. The new range is 10,000 - 1,000,000 USD c) compensation for Program Managers was reduced by 10% following community feedback. See updated compensation document in the addendum d) following community feedback, there will be a vesting of received ATOM over 6 months with one additional 1/6th made available to the team every month.
We are excited to share with you the Cosmos Hub Grant program. You’ll find below the full proposal. We look forward to engaging with you and hearing your feedback.
- Purpose of CHGP
- Reviewer Committee
- Oversight & Accountability Committee
- Program Operations
- Funding and Budget
- KPIs, Operations, & Transparency Reporting
This proposal is co-authored with @Better_Future
There is currently on the Cosmos Hub a tremendous creative energy, bolstered by more than 94 proposals since 2019 network genesis, and most recently culminating in proposal 88 which increases the community pool tax from 2-10% in order to fund future enhancements to the Hub. After one year, the community pool will hold an additional 4.2 M ATOM.
With a properly funded community pool, we believe it is the right time to initiate the creation of a grant program to serve community contributors and builders around the Hub.
The newly formed program will foster community’s engagement in a structured and strategic way while reducing the load of small to medium funding proposals on public governance.
With multiple initiatives happening on the Cosmos Hub such as Interchain Security (ICS), the Hub more than ever needs to provide funding to support a wide range of cosmonaut builders and contributors.
2. PURPOSE OF THE COSMOS HUB GRANT PROGRAM
The main purpose of the CHGP is to support the long term sustainability of the Hub and its token, ATOM, through the funding of small to medium size projects that aim to improve Cosmos Hub’s core technology, products and ecosystem.
With CHGP, we seek to boost community participation and unlock its collective intelligence by encouraging individual and team-based initiatives. Grants will be assigned ranging from 10,000 to 1,000,000 USD per proposal, and will focus on open source code and ecosystem initiatives that create value for ATOM holders.
An area where a Grant Program can have a long lasting impact is through the gathering and publishing of thematic areas for future value-added projects. By gathering and publishing ideas from across the community, the CHGP website can be a place where builders learn about ideas for value-added project proposals with community interest already voiced.
3. THE REVIEWER COMMITTEE
We envision a group of 7 people that will figure on the Reviewer Committee in charge of allocating grants. These 7 people will each play a functional role on the team, with the goal of creating a high-performance team, and also will steward the Multisig ensuring accountability in the approval of grants. A simple majority of the Reviewer Committee voting in favor of a proposal will be required to approve grants:
- Full Time Program Managers (2) - to lead, structure, and sit as Reviewer Committee members
- One Part Time Technical Lead (1) - to augment the Reviewer Committee with Technical Analysis capability if/as needed
- Four Part Time Proposal Reviewers (4) - Cosmos Hub validators to participate in voting on grant proposals
This composition with 7 team members in this specialized format blending leadership, operational, and decision making roles has a few main advantages:
- it can deliver strong alignment with the ATOM community,
- In incorporates strong technical capabilities,
- it is geared towards “doing work” with in-built operational capacity,
- It involves four well-known ATOM validators, including one with experience in the Osmosis Grant Program.
4. THE OVERSIGHT & ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE
Oversight and accountability have often proved to be missing pieces in blockchain governance. That is why we want to adopt an innovative approach where there is an oversight and accountability function built in from day one as an integral part of the program and not something that would be implemented ad hoc.
In the spirit of achieving a new kind of gold standard, we have designed a self-regulation, oversight, accountability, and transparency function as part of the Cosmos Hub Grant Program. This function is not exactly like a corporate Board. It is not exactly like an audit committee. It is not exactly like the ombudsman function at a multilateral institution. Instead it combines aspects of all three, in a unique design that we believe is specifically suited for the task at hand.
The scope of the oversight covers both the Reviewer Committee and the grant recipients themselves. The function of the Oversight Committee and job descriptions for the three roles are defined in the following document.
A. Reviewer Committee:
- Program Manager: Youssef Amrani. Core contributor Cosmos Hub, Economic Committee of IST stablecoin, previously community analyst at Messari. To lead program structuring, strategy & outreach
- Program Manager: Better Future (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-o-05853/). Previously ran Ripple Accelerator. 20 years in software, incubators, accelerators and seed investing; Stanford Ph.D. To lead program structuring & team processes.
- Technical Lead: Luke Saunders, Chief Technology Officer at Delphi Digital (Labs). Incubated projects like Astroport & Mars Protocol on Terra.
- Reviewer: Mikey L, Business Development at Cosmostation
- Reviewer: Dilan Asatekin, Imperator founder also acting as Lead Data Engineer at Osmosis
- Reviewer: Reena Shtedle, Founding team, Head of Business Development and DevRel at Citadel One
- Reviewer: Xavier Meegan, Chief Investment Officer at Chorus One
The Reviewer Committee will be supported by a Program Coordinator, Ben Davis, who brings 15 years of digital marketing experience and will assist with website, marketing, community and program processes.
B. Oversight Committee
- Senior; Jason Choi: Founder of angel investing collective Tangent. Hosts the popular Blockcrunch podcast. Formerly General Partner at Spartan Capital.
- Coordinator: Recruiting underway
- Auditor/ Controller: Patricia Mizuki, formerly PwC auditor, over 10 years of experience of audit, risk management and process improvements.
6. PROGRAM OPERATIONS
Prior to issuing grants, there are many action items that need to be completed by the Program Managers. Here are a few of the bigger items:
- Set-up of legal structure
- Establish team workflows
- Build the website & social media presence
- Start to gather thematic areas as inspiration for prospective grantees
Once the Grant Program is up & running and ready to issue grants, the responsibilities of the operational team will be as follow:
- Outbound communication to attract applicants, including media & public speaking
- Q&A Calls w/ prospective Applicants
- Maintenance of website, social media, and proposal intake system
- Review and due diligence of proposals from Applicants
- Sharing of proposal materials and analysis with Reviewer Committee
- Hosting final presentation from short-listed Applicants
- Voting with Reviewer Committee on each proposal
- Onboarding, mentoring, and pay-out of funds to accepted Applicants
- Notifications with feedback to unsuccessful Applicants
- Work with Oversight Committee to prepare KPIs & requested information
7. FUNDING AND BUDGET
A. Funding request: Now 588,000 ATOM
Funding the most promising initiatives can unlock the spontaneity and collective intelligence of the Hub community while delivering an intentional and strategic roadmap for the Hub.
Kick-starting open source software initiatives will make the Cosmos Hub self-sustainable in the long term and create value for ATOM holders.
The CHGP program will provide Open Grants covering a wide array of initiatives: content creation, tooling, infra, analytics, governance, research, etc. The program grant-making priority will be on high-quality projects and teams that can create value for the ATOM community.
Given the current size of the community pool (1.7M ATOM as of 01/12/2023), we suggest starting with a budget of 588,000 ATOM (approx. $5.88M at $10 ATOM last month approximate average price). 588,000 ATOM represents roughly 2 months of the replenishment rate into the Community Pool (from Prop 88 tax increase).
After removing the 588,000 requested ATOM to fund the GHGP, the Community Pool will hold a balance of approximately 1,112,000 ATOM, with an additional 343,000 ATOM from new inflation tax being added every month.
At the end of the 9 month period and assuming the same spending rate as the previous 6 months, the Community Pool should hold 1.1 M + (343,000 x 9 mo.) - 322,500 = 3.86 M ATOM or $38.6M at average ATOM price for last month.
Note: 322,500 ATOM represent 9 months of spending at the rate of the last 6 months of spending.
For reference, the Osmosis Grants Program (OGP) was initially funded with 1.5 M OSMO, worth approximately 10.5 M $ at the time. The Cosmos Hub, with an order of magnitude (8X) larger ecosystem than Osmosis, is requesting approximately half less for the pilot grant program.
|Budgeted Area||Total in USD|
|One-time legal structure set up fee||$52,500|
|Headcount for Reviewer Committee which includes:||$407,250|
|* Two (2) full-time Program Managers|
|* One Part Time Technical Lead|
|* Four (4) part-time Community Review Panel Participants|
|* One part-time Program Coordinator|
|Headcount for Oversight Committee which includes:||$140,000|
|* Three (3) part-time members|
|Due Diligence Consultants||$30,000|
|Operational Expenses which include:||$80,000|
|* Website: Creation, hosting, maintenance, basic SEO|
|* Ops: software licenses; human and/or virtual assistant for additional support|
|* Outreach: marketing, promotion and education|
The estimated all-in total is 709,750 USD (or approx. 71,000 ATOM at time of writing @ $10 ATOM). This represents ~12% of total budget, which leaves 88% to grant recipients.
If there is an unspent amount, it will be either kept in the CHGP program multisig for the second mandate or returned to the community pool if the CHGP program is discontinued.
Legal setup is a one-time activity and is budgeted to include structure set-up, filing fees, registered office fees, mandatory secretary/supervisor and director fee.
Budget Design Benchmark
In the case of Osmosis Grant Program, the OSMO community recruited a third-party service provider to design and run the program. This Osmosis program costs were $100,000 for upfront setup and 76,000 USD per month for ongoing functions.
For comparison purposes:
|Cosmos Hub||$52.5k||$73k||9 months||$5.2M||$5.88M|
With the CHGP proposal, we’re suggesting a team drawn from within Cosmos Hub community, to design the program and actively run it, as opposed to simply delegating the work to a third-party service provider that wouldn’t be fully aligned with the ATOM community. We are also adding an Oversight Committee function, which the Osmosis program does not provide. Even with a larger number of community contributors on payroll and the addition of the Oversight function, the CHGP budget is still lower.
8. KPIs, OPERATIONS & TRANSPARENCY REPORTING
A report will be monthly published by the Oversight Committee that includes:
- Operational updates
- Funding activity
- Grantee update
- URL to CHGP on-chain wallets
- Verification of on-chain transactions
The report will be submitted to the Community at large so that a flow of recent and up to date information about the status and progress of the program is always available.
KPIs will include:
- Number of applicants
- Number of grants vs total applicants
- Number of completed projects vs assigned grants
- Any other KPI the Oversight Committee deems valuable in communicating information about the program to the community
Here are the different steps we envision for the implementation and bootstrapping of the CHGP:
- Months 0-2: set up the organization, create the program & workflows, setup website and proposal intake system, and build-up social media presence
- Months 2-9: CHGP in full steam, proposals are coming in, being reviewed, and being funded, and most of the budget is assigned to grants
- End of Month 9: Oversight committee to produce CHGP end of mandate report
- Following CHGP end of mandate report, the community can either (a) Maintain confidence in the team behind the CHGP and renew the mandate, or (b) Terminate the program. (in which case unspent funds are returned to the community pool)
Come talk to us between January 13, 2023 and January 20, 2023:
Community members who would like to meet via a 30 minutes video call to discuss the proposal, can schedule us here:
Calendly Better Future
Calendly Bendy One
We will take calls for the first week after the proposal goes live, and we will make ourselves available on a first-come first-served to engage with the Community.
Addendum posted January 18th, 2023
Based on community feedback, the DAO team is amending it’s original proposal with the following points:
- The applicant submitting the proposal is a DAO with name “DAO NAME (TBD)” and the name of the project shall be “DAO NAME Grant Program”.
- The DAO’s vision “is to create a grant program to support small/med size projects for open source software, public goods, and ecosystem initiatives that add value for ATOM holders.”
- The program is not intended to be the canonical grant program at the Hub, and by creating transparency around program status, KPIs, and application flow via Oversight Committee it is anticipated that a plurality of more specialized grant programs will emerge organically within the ecosystem.
- The program is not intended to make or recommend any upgrades to the canonical codebase at the Hub; this decision to upgrade the canonical codebase will continue to rest with community gov and we would hope should adhere to the principle of minimalism at the Hub.
- As requested by the community, line item compensation and operational expense details are presented in the following [document]. Update: please ask one of the DAO members for the full doc
- Termination clause: at the end of the 9 month period, none of the leftover funding will be used for any purpose and a CHGP renewal proposal will be raised on the Cosmos Forum within 4 weeks of the completion of the program. If the renewal proposal is rejected, all community funds will be returned to the community pool within 72 hours.
- Conflict of Interest Policy: if a member of the Reviewer Committee perceives a conflict of interest, they shall report it to the Oversight Committee and abstain from voting on any grant application impacted connected to the conflict of interest. All conflicts shall be reported by Oversight in the Transparency Report.
By voting YES, you indicate support for funding the Cosmos Hub Grant Program that will be managed by a multisig committee of 7 members.
By voting NO, you do not support this proposal in its current form and refuse to fund the Cosmos Hub Grant Program.
By voting ABSTAIN, you formally decline to vote either for or against the proposal but want to contribute to the quorum.
By voting NOWITHVETO, you express that you consider this proposal malicious or harmful and would like to see depositors penalized by revocation of the deposit, which contributes towards an automatic ⅓ veto threshold.