[Proposal ##][DRAFT] Cancel Proposal 104

Proposal to Cancel Notional Funding by the Community Pool

Notional has been funded 40,000 ATOM per year for 3 years, totaling an amount of 120,000 ATOM.
Notional has published the following report for their work on the Cosmos Hub and AEZ:

  • https://notion.notional.ventures/notional-ventures-index/cosmos-hub-reporting/all-monthly-reports/monthly-report/notional-cosmos-hub-report-july-2023
  • https://notion.notional.ventures/notional-ventures-index/cosmos-hub-reporting/all-monthly-reports/monthly-report/notional-cosmos-hub-report-june-2023
  • https://notion.notional.ventures/notional-ventures-index/cosmos-hub-reporting/all-monthly-reports/monthly-report/cosmos-hub-report-may-2023
  • https://notion.notional.ventures/notional-ventures-index/cosmos-hub-reporting/all-monthly-reports/monthly-report/cosmos-hub-report-may-2023
  • https://notion.notional.ventures/notional-ventures-index/cosmos-hub-reporting/all-monthly-reports/monthly-report/cosmos-hub-report-april-2023

Technological contributions

In proposal 104, Notional stated the following:

We also continuously work to improve and develop the systems we work with, including Tendermint/Comet, Cosmos-SDK, IBC, and the Cosmos Hub.

Looking at the technological complexity of the contributions from Notional, it appears that the costs (40,000 ATOM per year) does not reflect the value added.

The contributions outlined in their reports are simple tasks that could be done at a much lower rate.

Community behavior

The behavior of Notional has often been good of intention, but never well brought.
Recently, on Twitter / X, Notional started personal attacks against other Cosmonauts.
This behavior should not be tolerated by the Cosmos Hub, as it tarnishes its image.


This proposal proposes to cancel Notional funding from the 31-12-2023 and that the remaining 80,000 ATOM be returned to the community pool.

Governance votes

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


You agree that the funding of Notional by the community pool should be cancelled.


You disagree that the funding of Notional by the community pool should be cancelled.


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.


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

As suggested by a Cosmonaut below, let’s give a month for Notional to contribute to this discussion and improve its contributions or behavior.
This proposal will be submitted to the Cosmos Hub 14 30 days after this message.
I am happy to implement any comments or suggestions into this proposal.


I’m posting from an anon account because I’m afraid of online retaliation from Jacob & the Notional team.

I wish this proposal was a bit more clear in terms of how underwhelming their work has been so far. An overview of July’s work was available on their Notion page but the link seems to have been pulled offline. Fortunately we have the web archive:


I do hope Notional, the team that constantly pushes for transparency in the space, will republish this information again.

A common trick we see Jacob do is claim to have a ton of commits on the Gaia repo, as if commit numbers truly matter. But the reality is that most of these commits are very small changes like updating a dependancy, or literally doing a find-and-replace on 32 files to just change a very small thing. With 40,000 ATOM (~$400,000) a year, we’re have just spent 3,333 ATOM (~$30,000) for work that’s literally not even one mid-level full-time employee worth of time. Just for context, with that amount of money you can hire 3 full-time people for a month.

It’s absolutely mind-boggling that we’re spending so much ATOM on something that seems completely unnecessary so far.

That being said, I would give the team another month to redeem themselves and see if they can deliver on their promises before cancelling the funding. They made some hefty claims about doing some security work on ICS that they can’t be public about just yet. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but if next month’s report doesn’t clarify the obscene spending, I’d be happy to see this proposal to go on-chain.


I’m posting from an anon account because I’m afraid of online retaliation from Jacob & the Notional team.

This is unfortunate and shows how Notional is perceived by Cosmonauts.

I wish this proposal was a bit more clear in terms of how underwhelming their work has been so far.

As said in the post, I am happy to implement any comment into this proposal that are relevant.


In our pursuit of transparency and excellence within the Cosmos community, it’s imperative that we implement discernible and quantifiable measures to ascertain the true value and impact of the services offered by vendors. Assessing whether service providers are effectively delivering expected value to the community is not just reasonable, but an essential aspect of responsible governance.

There’s an observed tendency within the community’s allocation of ATOM funding to favor projects with seemingly more significant political connections. While such a pattern may not be intentional, it could inadvertently create a perception of community-biased favoritism. This is an issue that warrants careful and unbiased examination.

With this in mind, it seems both prudent and in line with our principles to contemplate a thoughtful approach toward the funding of vendors. Specifically, it might be wise to consider suspending or adjusting funding for those who may not meet the established expectations in terms of product, service, or support delivery.

Proposal for Notional’s Response

In the spirit of transparency and collaboration, I propose that Notional be given the opportunity to respond to this thread. This would allow them to qualify the value and merits of their services versus their costs, and perhaps even provide a more comprehensive budget breakdown on how funds are being allocated and spent.

Notional’s response should address the following key aspects:

  1. Detailed Cost Structure: An explanation of their cost structure, providing solid justifications for each aspect of their budget. This would illuminate how their operational costs align with the value they are delivering to the Cosmos community.
  2. Value Proposition: A clear articulation of the unique value that Notional brings to the Cosmos ecosystem, along with measurable metrics or examples that demonstrate their contributions.
  3. Commitment to Ethical Conduct: Assurance of their adherence to community guidelines and standards, including respectful behavior and engagement within community platforms.

This approach, grounded in principles of fairness, transparency, and community collaboration, would enable a well-rounded evaluation of Notional’s role and the continued allocation of resources to their efforts. It is a step that reflects not just our commitment to fiscal responsibility but also our desire to foster a respectful and inclusive community environment.

By incorporating Notional’s perspective into our decision-making process, we embrace a more nuanced and comprehensive approach to governance, ensuring that our actions are guided by both pragmatism and integrity.


@jacobgadikian Can we expect a comment from you on this proposal?


Should the funding be revised after this quite important event occured?


Wow 11 devs left Notional! What’s the status here @noodels, can we go forward? Clearly we are over paying Notional now.


I have had to block Jacob on Twitter because he puts out so much spam on there. It would show up even if I didn’t follow him. I think the guy means well but he is somewhat of a wild man. I don’t know exactly what Notional does and how important it is, but just on public behavior alone I would cut the funding in half. It is a bit ridiculous for people to be getting community funding from the Cosmos Hub and then go around slandering the other teams and airing grievances. It makes the community look bad.

I had a boss once upon a time who told me: “It doesn’t matter if you are right when you argue with a fool, because from the outside people can’t tell who is the fool and who is not. All they see is people arguing and they stay away from this stuff”.


If there aren’t any “senior” devs left, we should probably start either getting a reduction on the fees charged, or the contract canceled entirely.

How do proceed?

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There’s a record of a chat from internal Notional group. I won’t go into detail where to find it but to sum it up.

In that chat they talked that the people leaving represent 2/3 of the company. With 11 devs that would mean that 5-6 people are still in the company. Given the publicly known people and the ones active and referenced in the chat it is very likely that, besides Jacob, there aren’t any devs left. If they still have devs it can’t be more than 2 in my opinion.

Besides the loss of manpower I also think, that given their internal restructuring it remains unclear if they are able to maintain their commitment to this task.

I want to add that Jacob stated on Twitter they could. However, there was no further explanation about how .

In my opinion, it would make sense for the Atom community to ask for a refund given the overall uncertainty and the importance of this task. The security of the hub stands above everything.

Concluding, this is not anything against Notional or Jacob in person. This is just my perspective on what happened and what conclusions I draw from it.
If Jacob can credibly confirm that he can continue to carry out the commitment that has been promised, then the agreement should continue to stand

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there are many evs other than me

This revocation proposal must pass after recent events have highlighted Notional’s inability to adequately provide the services they claim to offer in Proposal 104. Thus far, they have utilized the loosely defined work in the proposal to bully others and threaten, harass, ridicule, and intimidate users and developers in the Cosmos ecosystem.

Over the past week, the primary recipient of Proposal 104 engaged in bullying behavior with his departing employees in public, demonstrating his inability to handle a sensitive issue with the correct decorum. Additionally, the members that departed Notional represent parties in Proposal 104 today and a significant portion of resources tasked to do the work.

If a genuine issue affects the Hub in a way that would require Proposal 104’s duties, ask yourself how you think Notional would respond. With professionalism? With competent engineering and support? With tactical communications that minimize risk for all participants in the Cosmos Hub? With respect for users, teams, validators, and developers? Countless forum posts and X threads highlight existing unprofessionalism and inexperience.

Furthermore, Notional Ventures publicly lost control of their private keys this week, forcing them to halt their validator operations. Unsafe key storage and generation outside of an HSM or, at a minimum, not using an MPC scheme to limit key theft go against accepted best practices that most high-quality validators currently employ, proving a lack of care for security in his organization. This event is a severe breach of security and cannot simply be shrugged off in the way it has been so far.

Additionally, the servicer of Proposal 104 demonstrated a lack of diligence and understanding of how the core stack works, evidenced by haphazardly raising a proposal without proper testing or knowledge of existing parameters set in the Cosmos Hub, resulting in the opposite effect of the intent of the discussion. See the forum topic named Increase Maximum Block Size to 1MB for details here.

Returning the value of the remaining ATOM in Proposal 104 to the community fund would be more impactful to the Hub than inaction here today. Before any new security spending is approved, a proper governance discussion must occur, resulting in a detailed security roadmap with deliverables and clear success metrics to ensure this does not happen again and protect the Hub’s funds from being pillaged.