[PROPOSAL][DRAFT] Community Pool Spend Proposal for Big Dipper

Change log

  • 2024-02-04 Created initial post


Forbole is seeking community support in funding the on-going development of Big Dipper, the open source block explorer for Cosmos. Big Dipper is requesting a total of 65,000 ATOMs with 2 year vesting for features development, developer experience enhancement and maintenance support for Cosmos Hub and RS chains.


Dear Cosmos Community,

We, at Forbole, as steadfast developers and maintainers of the Big Dipper explorer since 2018, are seeking community funding of 65,000 ATOMs. This supports our next phase of development for the Big Dipper suite, primed to empower its functionalities and align it synergistically with the Cosmos Hub’s evolving dynamics and the broader Cosmos ecosystem.

Big Dipper is a fully open-source block explorer, dedicatedly serving not only the Cosmos Hub but also various other Cosmos SDK chains. Its substantial contributions to the community are evident, supporting over 30 networks and boasting more than 700 forks on GitHub.

The suite, comprising three core components - Juno, Callisto (formerly known as BDJuno), and the Big Dipper, aims to remain entirely open-source while optimizing maintainability through service bifurcation. Our technology stack includes NextJS, GraphQL, PostgreSQL, and Cosmos SDK for maximum compatibility. The backend architecture utilizes Go, and we employ ReactJS + TypeScript for a universally accessible frontend.

Our technical and product design decision to decouple indexing and frontend, linked via GraphQL, provides developers flexibility in extension. Developers can expand the indexer for enhanced functionality or construct their proprietary indexer by exposing the GraphQL schema to leverage the Big Dipper frontend.

The details of our proposed enhancement plan across the full suite:

  1. Juno Enhancements
  • Continuous maintenance with latest Cosmos SDK support
  • Improve data indexing reliability
  • Custom chains/modules support
  1. Callisto (BDJuno) Enhancements
  • Cosmos SDK module support
  • CosmWASM and EVM support
  • Commands and options for data parsing
  • Registration for IBC relayers
  • On-the-fly resolving of IBC tokens
  • Transaction event indexing
  • Governance proposal data indexing
  • Daily snapshots of staking and transaction statuses
  1. Big Dipper Explorer Enhancements
  • Enhanced data visualization
  • Custom transactions search
  • Data export capabilities for tax report
  • Custom theming
  • Decentralized validator profile
  • SEO improvements on validators, accounts, transactions, and proposal pages
  • Keplr, Leap, and WalletConnect integration for on-chain interactions
  • CosmWASM and EVM smart contract visualization
  • Integrated decentralized community forum
  • Multilingual support
  • Flexible configurations for enabling various features
  1. Documentation and Tools
  • Improved explorer setup documentation (BDJuno + PostgreSQL + Hasura)
  • Tools for automating infrastructure setup, monitoring
  • Guides for custom theming and extending Big Dipper
  1. Maintenance and Support
  • Full nodes provision for Cosmos Hub and Replicated Security chains
  • Database server and replicas management
  • Robust data pruning and data integrity assurance
  • 24/7 Monitoring
  1. Build Consumer chains special/customised modules

These enhancements aim to magnify the utility of our suite and enrich the user experience for all Cosmos community members.

The requested 65,000 ATOMs are calculated based on a 2-year strategic development plan to cover all the aforementioned areas, inclusive of necessary server costs, development resources, and community activities. The funding will equip us with the resources needed to achieve these comprehensive improvements and fulfil our mission: to provide high-quality tools and services for the Cosmos ecosystem.

Thank you in advance for considering our proposal. We look forward to contributing even more significantly towards the Cosmos community’s growth.




65,000 ATOMs, with 2-year vesting.

Forum post link

IPFS link

Governance votes

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

YES - You show supports on open source development and agree a fully open source block explorer suite should be supported by the community.
NO - You disagree on maintaining an open source block explorer for Cosmos.
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.

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Can we have an overview on how this number was calculated and what are you planning to spend this money on eventually?

You have been making your explorer for so many years and you don’t even understand that NOT BONDED != UNBONDING and that to calculate the number of tokens coming out from staking you need to take into account the staked tokens of validators not included in the active set…

  1. Your website shows that inflation in Cosmos = 15%. My website shows that inflation is 10%, shows how it decreased, and also possible limits.

  2. Your website shows that the APR in Cosmos = 21%. My website shows that the APR is ~16%, shows how it changed over time and calculates a lot of other useful metrics.

  3. Your website shows UNBONDING tokens = 2.07%. My website shows UNBONDING tokens = 1.64%, showing how these tokens will be unlocked over the next 21 days (unbonding period).


I think you need to work on the quality of the information you provide. And only then ask the community for funding. I’m not talking about the technologies you use, but about the numbers and metrics you shows.

P.S. I would be ashamed to ask for such a huge amount of ATOM for a project that right now shows that ATOM inflation = 15%.


no added value for cosmoshub, vote No for me.


Under the current context, we will not support this proposal. This is according to the fact that the community already have voted a 30,000 ATOM allocation for @ping Explorer via Proposal #814 in august last year.

For more context, users can also look back at the original forum discussion that happened here:

Unfortunately, regarding this previous spending, another similar proposal would not make economical sense for us. Of course we look forward to learn more about what motivates you to request spending another 65,000 ATOMs. Maybe you could elaborate more about the details that differentiate the previous proposal against yours.


@freak12techno @Govmos Thank you for your response. Please find below a very high level breakdown of how the fund will be allocated.

Items Personnel Time needed Rate Cost
Juno Development backend engineer x 2 16 weeks $2,400/week per person $76,800.00
Callisto Development backend engineer x 2 32 weeks $2,400/week per person $153,600.00
Callisto DevOps and Maintenance 2 years $76,800.00
Frontend Development frontend engineer x 2 + UI/UX designer x 1 16 weeks $2,400/week per person $115,200.00
Frontend DevOps and Maintenance 2 years $57,600.00
Infrastructre Maintenace Infra Engineer x 1 2 years $2,400/week per person $124,800.00
Hardware $48,000.00
Total: $652,800.00
ATOM Price USD equivalant of 65,000 Atoms
$9.00 $585,000.00
$9.20 $598,000.00
$9.50 $617,500.00

Thank you for your response. You have pointed out why we are looking for community support. As Big Dipper is always opensource and we got nearly no donation over the years so far, we could not assign a dedicated team to handle the updates and developments even if some issues have been raised for over a year. This is why we would like to request for funding if the community would still need want us to support the on-gonig development as we have witness new Cosmos projects continuously forking Big Dipper as explorer for their testnets and even mainnet.

Examples are:

Ping.pub always targets as a lightweight explorer making use of external RPCs, while Big Dipper serves as a suite with chain data indexing and aggregation coming with an web interface. End users can search for historical data on Big Dipper and this is why some projects would run maintain their own fork of Big Dipper for their end users. The ease of integration with PostgreSQL and Hasura in the setup gives an option for the maintainers to provide a GraphQL endpoint for their end users to query those indexed data in no time.

In the proposal, we didn’t only include the development of the project but also maintenance of running the explorer for Cosmos Hub and related RS chains. These also include hardware, data retention and infra engineer cost.

This proposal aims at requesting funding to keep Big Dipper as a community project so that a wider users in the Cosmos ecosystem have another option to study, develop and contribute back to the ecosystem.

Before even writing this message I want to add that I am probably not seeing this from a neutral perspective. Because same as @stakinxexplorer we have our own explorer for cosmos which means we might have a different view than a standard community member. Also that somehow makes us competitors. However, I think on some aspects that also helps me to evaluate the proposal better as I know what it takes to run an explorer.

And something that is definitely true and @kwunyeung mentioned is that BigDipper and explorers who index the chain require much more effort to run compared to explorers like Ping.Pub which basically take the API data and display it on a frontend. Indexing the chain gives more possibilities for a good explorer and I definitely think you chose the right way doing that.

Also something I want to acknowledge and what I respect a lot is that you decided to build the explorer in public and open source. And it’s well known that funding open source projects is much harder than closed source software. Simply by looking at the amount of ping.pub forks which did not pay anything to the ping pub devs it shows how many people are basically using open source software as fee developer work and use it to their benefit.

But there are a few points I see as not thought through. First of all my main question is what benefit does this bring to Cosmos itself? You said you included costs for hosting this for Cosmos and all RS chains. But to be honest, I think the main benefitant from this proposal wouldn’t be Cosmos. Because we have explorers at Cosmos. The chains benefitting from this proposal would be without doubt small chains which will use big dipper as alternative to ping pub.

So my point here is, why should the Cosmos fund this. I mean we probably always had the stance to fund projects benefitting the ecosystem. But I think it’s not really the right move to fund 2 years of explorer with hosting which will be basically only be used for other chains. Also it seems weird to only have Cosmos being the only one funding this.

Another point that came to my mind is that I think the AADAO would be the better entity to fund BigDipper rather than the Community pool. They also have a strong focus on the ecosystem and are there to deal with exactly these requests. I am not sure whether they can/would fund 65k ATOM for an explorer though as that request would represent 7.5% of their allocated budget.

That brings me to my next point, which is probably the point where I am the least neutral though.
I find $650.000 a lot. You’ve laid down the working schedule but I think with the budget of 650k you can basically rebuild the whole explorer from scratch. Which might even make more sense if the grant gets approved as you could start from 0 and get rid of the technical debt a project of the age of BigDipper probably has.

Another issue with the size of this grant is that there seems to be no real work for the past year(s) on BigDIpper. I’ve seen less and less projects use BigDipper and they switched to PingPub. And yes, ping pub got a grant so maybe it’s not a fair comparison. But the question is why should the CP fund two explorers and one of the explorer at least has no recent work which means it’s nearly starting over from scratch.

From me at the current state it’s a No. But I don’t want to discourage you from working on it.

To sum it up. I am in favour of having the people pay who are actually using it. Maybe that’s where I am biased because that’s the way we decided to go with our explorer, but I don’t think Cosmos should fund a second public explorer which will then be used by everyone else except Cosmos.

So in my opinion you could ask for a lower amount (much lower though) and look into finding multiple sources. I know this is harder than getting everything from Cosmos but I think at this point it doesn’t make sense to ask for $650.000.

And have you reached out to AADAO?


It is too much to ask for this development.

I decided to check further and I didn’t find the Bigdipper a smooth product UI/UX is bad.
A few of the services are also not working.



Thanks for all the comments in the thread. We decided not to pursue on getting the community funding on Cosmos Hub.

Forbole and Big-Dipper have contributed to the Cosmos ecosystem for over 6 years.

I remember that there were constant minor updates and several major updates.

I am well aware that such ongoing maintenance costs more than expected.

Our ecosystem desperately needs teams that consistently contribute in a variety of ways.


However, as the Cosmos ecosystem continued to grow, the architecture of the legacy Big Dipper could no longer support the high traffic of interconnected Cosmos chains. Cheap Autodesk Civil 3D 2023 https://procadis.com/version/autodesk-civil-3d-2023/ license from procadis. This led to the development of Big Dipper 2.0, which is under active development and maintenance to serve as a high-performance and customizable explorer that can support any blockchain

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