Osmosis Grants Program v3 Renewal
- We propose extending the Osmosis Grants Program (“OGP”) for a further 12 months.
- We’re requesting an additional budget of $2.2M in OSMO tokens to keep funding projects that help Osmosis.
- As part of v3, the OGP will close inbound applications to focus on designing and prioritizing high-impact RFPs that deliver long-term value to Osmosis, and proactively sourcing providers to tackle these RFPs.
- As part of v3, the OGP will carve out a specific portion of its budget for the sole purpose of exploring partnerships with market-makers.
- The OGP will release quarterly transparency reports, host Updates from the OGP with live grantee updates, Discord Office Hours, and maintain a live grants dashboard, in addition to other communication efforts.
- RoboMcGobo, Kam Benbrik, Max Einhorn, and Reverie will be the main contributors to the OGP. They will be assisted by seven reviewers who sit on the four-of-seven multisig (Multisig Address: osmo1vpmwzt4mt6cfnnwtrpv79tn09yx2r3s56chpln) that will approve all grants, control funds, and sign multisig transactions.
Tentative Proposal Timeline
- Forum Post (Dec 17, 2023)
- On-chain Proposal (Dec 29, 2023)
The Osmosis Grants Program (“OGP”) was first launched on April 9th, 2022 for an initial six month term and was subsequently renewed for an additional 12 month period starting on December 1st, 2022. With the current term ending November 30th, 2023, we seek to further renew the OGP for an additional 12 months.
This post will include a summary of the OGP’s work to date, long-term program design, committee composition, detailed funding request, and future plans.
Since the OGP’s launch last year, we’ve funded a broad set of projects to help Osmosis grow. We’ve approved a total of 87 grants across 18 different batches with over $4.6M in funding, after having received and reviewed 630+ applications. We posted a 1 year review to our website, which reflects on the work we’ve done over the past year and shares some of the highlights.
The core objective of the OGP will continue to be sourcing, vetting, approving, and assisting grantees who can deliver long-term value to Osmosis. We will be working closely with the Osmosis team, tokenholders, validators and users to inform our funding priorities, find top tier grantees, and ensure funded grants have maximum impact.
Since inception, and particularly over the course of the past 12 months, we’ve focused on accelerating the development of key strategic initiatives to help Osmosis achieve its goals. Some examples of this include Protorev, the Skip<>Osmosis core contributor partnership, Mesh Security, Fee Abstraction, governance module improvements, and Cosmoswap. We achieved this by holding public RFPs and partnering with some of the top teams in the ecosystem, such as Skip, Confio, Notional, Binary Builders, and Nabla.
Out of the 80+ grantees the OGP has funded historically, the top ~10% of grantees add orders of magnitude more impact than the rest of them combined. And while we allow anyone to apply to the OGP for any idea they want to work on, we’ve found that ~95% of the inbound applications we get are not working on something that moves the needle for Osmosis. So we believe the OGP should optimize for the highest bang-for-buck spending by only funding top-performing grantees, and no longer funding things that provide a marginal benefit.
To that end, over the next 12 months, the OGP will mainly focus on designing and prioritizing high-impact RFPs, and proactively sourcing providers to tackle these RFPs. This means the OGP will close general inbound applications and only accept applications that are tied to a specific RFP we put out. Focusing only on high-impact spending will have the following benefits:
- Allow the OGP to operate in a more streamlined manner. Instead of reviewing dozens of grants a week, we can focus and double-down on a handful of the most impactful ones, at any given time.
- Save the protocol money. We’ll issue fewer grants, resulting in less spending. As a result, the total time allocation spent on the Grants Program will also be less, allowing the OGP’s operational costs to be lower as well.
We share some ideas on what we should be focused on accelerating over the next 6-12 months below, which can be bucketed into three main categories:
- Core product roadmap initiatives
These are initiatives we can set up and fund to accelerate Osmosis’ product roadmap heavily influenced by the Osmosis core team’s needs. Some of the specific items on the roadmap we’ll look to accelerate include smart accounts, advanced token metrics, and privacy features.
- Osmosis ecosystem development
These are projects that aim to grow the Osmosis ecosystem by helping Osmosis attract new developers and expand its current reach, as well as by making it easier for existing ecosystem participants to build and operate their products on or adjacent to Osmosis by improving infrastructure, tooling, and educational materials.
- High priority Cosmos initiatives
We’ll also look to fund initiatives that seek to expedite the development of the interchain stack, as well as other skunkworks projects aimed at advancing the interchain as a whole, such as seeing Mesh Security through to completion, pushing forward ZK in a Cosmos setting, improving IBC usability, connecting IBC to the EVM and SVM ecosystems, and working on a framework for Cosmos-based AVS’s to allow Cosmos chains to leverage the security of ETH and BTC through restaking.
It’s important to note that these are just some of our current ideas that were inspired by discussions we had with many different members of the Osmosis and wider Cosmos community. We expect these priorities will change and more funding needs to emerge over the coming months, so we’ll be in constant contact with stakeholders to adapt our priorities and best align with the long-term goals of the Protocol.
The OGP’s treasury currently consists of 0.8M OSMO and 2.4M USDC, in total coming out to $3.0M at current prices. $1.3M of this has already been approved in funding due at milestone/grant completion, leaving us with $1.7M to fund new grants at current prices.
The OGP is requesting $2.2M in OSMO to extend our runway and continue funding strategic initiatives, projects and tools that help Osmosis grow. For context, the $2.2M ask takes into account previous grants spending, and new initiatives we want to help support.
In the event that a budget surplus exists at the conclusion of the 12 month run of the program, and the program is not renewed, any remaining treasury will be rolled over into subsequent renewal periods or returned to the community pool if OGP is not renewed beyond this 12 month runtime.
Over the last 18 months, we’ve spent a total of $4.7M on standard, Grants-related funding. Based on historical spend, we expect to spend, at a maximum, $3-3.5M over the next 12 months on the typical grants funding cycles (not inclusive of the market making initiative described above). Hence, we think having an additional $2.2M in OSMO, combined with our existing $1.7M available, provides us with sufficient runway to safely operate the OGP regardless of market conditions, as well as wiggle room in terms of possible OSMO price volatility.
We’d also like to note that a portion of OSMO tokens will need to be converted into stablecoins, likely via OTC. This will allow the program to operate in cases of market volatility, and pay grantees in stablecoins if they’re based in the US.
As grantees continue to work on and deliver finished projects, it’ll be important for us to keep the community up to date about the latest developments. To that end, our communication and transparency efforts will include quarterly transparency reports, regular office hours and updates, and a dedicated Discord channel.
Since the inception of the OGP, Reverie’s plan has always been to find and empower valuable full-time contributors to become loyal participants in the ecosystem. After having run the program for 1.5 years, we’ve identified participants who are interested and capable of leading the day-to-day of the Grants Program. Below we introduce the new community members that we propose to be part of the OGP, as well as what their roles and responsibilities would look like:
RoboMcGobo, Kam Benbrik, and Max Einhorn will step in to act as the Program Leads for the OGP. The Program Leads’ goals and responsibilities will be:
- Operating the Osmosis Grants Program on a day-to-day basis, including designing high-impact RFPs, proactively sourcing and evaluating providers to tackle specific RFPs, as well as approving and communicating grants.
- Project management to ensure the RFP initiatives have maximum impact on the protocol (execute on development, assist with business development to ensure maximum impact post implementation).
- Advising and assisting the core Osmosis team with various needs related to strategy, integrations, and BD.
- Operating and maintaining the legal entities related to the OGP.
RoboMcGobo is a long-time Osmosis contributor who currently serves as a grant reviewer for the dYdX Grants Program and is multisig member on the current iteration of the Osmosis Grants Program. He was one of the founding members of the Osmosis Support Lab, and has contributed to governance initiatives for Osmosis and the broader Cosmos Ecosystem for the past two and a half years. Prior to his full-time involvement in the interchain, Robo was an attorney specializing in legal research and litigation briefing.
Kam Benbrik is a Researcher focused on Cosmos at Chorus One, one of the leading infrastructure companies deeply involved in the ecosystem. Kam has been involved in Cosmos full-time for the past 2 years, conducting extensive research on the ecosystem and collaborating closely with new teams to get onboarded. Prior to that, Kam spent 3 years in the investment banking and hedge fund industries in France within trading and risk management teams. He understands all the challenges within Cosmos well and will bring his expertise to help upcoming grantees add value to Osmosis
Max Einhorn is a co-founder of Timewave, an organization that creates tooling for interchain agreements and DAO-level treasury management. Prior to Timewave, Max co-authored the Cosmos Hub white paper and was the primary architect of the Interchain Allocator. He has been an interchain maxi since 2017. Prior to entering crypto, Max worked as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman where he consulted with several of the world’s largest financial institutions.
Reverie will assist with the overall program, help with existing grants, and work on broader strategic initiatives. Specifically, Reverie will continue to work on major initiatives (e.g. Mesh Security), maintain relationships with service providers, and continue to monitor and assist existing grantees, and ensure the Program Leads are well-equipped to lead the day-to-day of the program.
Lemma Solutions will join as the OGP’s Operator, responsible for issuing payments, tracking expenses, and financial reporting. Lemma is a service provider who has been working with communities across the DAO ecosystem on operations, financial management, and reporting to improve transparency and decentralization.
The multisig of seven reviewers will be responsible for approving all grants, controlling funds, and signing multisig transactions. The multisig address is: osmo1vpmwzt4mt6cfnnwtrpv79tn09yx2r3s56chpln
Just as we did at the end of our previous term, to make sure the Reviewer Committee remains as impartial and decentralized as possible, we will give four new community members a chance to sit on the OGP multisig by rotating out four of the existing signers. Cosmostation, Figment Capital, and Brandon Curtis, will remain on the multisig committee, while RoboMcGobo, Coldchain, Aidan Salzmann, and Monetsupply will be rotating out of the multisig.
The four new members will be Polkachu, Lavender.Five Nodes, Juri Maibaum, and Andrew Allen:
Polkachu has been a trusted validator in the blockchain space for the past 2.5 years. They currently run validators on 75 blockchain networks with $250M staked crypto assets. Besides validation, they actively participate in on-chain governance, contribute to open-source code, and run IBCs and bridge nodes for the multi-chain world. Before founding the validation business, Polkachu was the Chief Operating Officer for a fintech company. He is a full-stack developer who works in crypto full-time and is living his best life by doing what he loves.
Schultzie is the founder of Lavender.Five Nodes and is a dedicated figure in the realm of blockchain governance. Over the past two years they have operated validators across a spectrum of over 50 networks. With more than a decade of software engineering experience they will be able to discern what is reasonably feasible, and what is not. Schultzie has critiqued both the OGP and AADao from the beginning, not in an effort to tear them down, but to make them the best initiative they can be.
Juri Maibaum is the Co-Founder of Frens Validator and Cosmoverse, the largest annual Cosmos-focused conference. He embarked on his crypto journey in 2019 and served as the host of one of the first-ever DeFi-focused podcasts called “DEFI TIMES DAILY.” Juri has been a full-time Cosmonaut ever since IBC launched, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise in marketing, community engagement, and business development.
Andrew Allen is a protocol specialist at Coinbase Cloud, which operates enterprise-grade infrastructure across 15+ networks, enabling custodians and end users alike. As part of his role, Andrew works closely with both protocol teams and internal stakeholders at Coinbase to build better products across ecosystems. Additionally, Andrew also serves as a reviewer on Aave Grants DAO.
In summary, OGP v3’s Reviewer Committee will include:
- Figment Capital
- Brandon Curtis
- Juri Maibaum
- Andrew Allen
The OGP’s total operational budget for committee compensation over the next 12 months will be $318,000 or $26,500 per month, representing an approximate 70% decrease in operational costs when compared with the previous run of the grants program. Operational costs are broken down as follows:
- Program Leads
- Each Program lead will receive a monthly payment of 4,000 USDC, for a total of 12,000 USDC per month.
- Reverie will receive a monthly payment of 8,000 USDC.
- Lemma will receive a monthly payment of 2,000 USDC.
- Reviewer Committee
- Six members of the Reviewer Committee will receive a monthly payment of 750 USDC, for a total of 4,500 USDC per month.
- Figment Capital has decided to forgo any financial compensation for its contributions to the OGP.
These payments will be issued as part of the 12 month term contract, after which the OGP can be renewed through governance. The contract start date is January 1st, 2024, and runs until January 1st, 2025, however, if this proposal passes the OGP may approve time-sensitive grants before this date if doing so is mission-critical for Osmosis’s roadmap.