Cycle 22 Final Grants roundup

We have reached the end of Season 5.

Season 5 has been a pivotal stress test for our Grants Program, especially with the Mission Requests Program. Despite facing significant challenges, the Grants Council has demonstrated remarkable adaptability and resilience, refining our review process to accommodate a surge in applications.

Compared to Season 4 (306 applications) which saw a 34% increase in applications over Season 3, Season 5 experienced an astonishing 73.2% growth. We received a total of 530 Mission Request applications, along with 23 corresponding to Audit Requests from elected Service Providers.

Notably, the loss of a Builders Subcommittee Member occurred when one member had to step down to be appointed as Lead. Despite this transition, the Grants Council swiftly adapted, continuing operations with one less member in the Builders Subcommittee while redistributing responsibilities to ensure the efficiency of our review process.

Furthermore, each subcommittee refined Rubrics tailored to the specific goals of each Intent, resulting in 8 Rubrics applied to 27 Mission Requests. These Rubrics were incorporated into the form templates to guide Applicants during the Submission Process, made possible by the Charmverse platform.

Throughout these challenges, the Council scaled its processes effectively to meet the growing demand for Optimism Grants. Reviewers have adeptly balanced providing robust evaluations with efficiency to manage the substantial increase in workload.

Now, it’s time to conclude the Grants Council review process for Season 5. Here it is the list of Finalists for Cycle 22 (Detailed list):

Alternative CL/EL Client

  1. Nethermind CL Client - C#
  2. op-besu - an OP Stack execution client based on hyperledger besu

Fraud Proof CTF

  1. The OP Fault Proof CTF

Implement a prototype of an OP stack chain with mempool encryption.

  1. Generalized mempool encryption interface for OP Stack chains and deployment of a mempool encrypted OP Stack testnet using threshold encryption.

OP Stack Research and Implementation

  1. Research on using YubiHSM and AWS KMS hardware signer on OP Stack
  2. Batcher Gas Fee Optimization Research and Implementation
  3. Extend the Availability of EIP-4844 Blobs by Integrating OP Stack with EthStorage
  4. OPcity stack

Open Source OP Stack Developer Tooling

  1. blob-archiver-rs - a robust blob-archiver service in rust
  2. PlasmaDA Translation Hub
  3. Node Guardians x OP Stack
  4. Veldrome Finance - OS Developer Tooling

Builders grants program mission request

  1. (Migrate) Inverter Network
  2. A Multichain Modular Privacy Framework with a decentralized compliance network
  3. aDeal network
  4. Ame Network - Composable Social Network
  5. BlockPI Account Abstraction Service
  6. Bloom Metrics: The Optimism Impact Garden
  7. Bonadocs
  8. Building an On-Chain Review System with EAS
  9. dAppBooster: Frontend Starter Kit
  10. DappyKit - Superchain
  11. Dark Forest ARES
  12. Ethernaut CLI
  13. Executable: An intent-oriented Multi-Tx Tool
  14. Godot engine gdscript sdk for connect optimism
  15. growthepie 🥧📏 Application-Level Analytics for the Superchain
  16. In-depth fee tracker for OP chains on fees.growthepie.xyz
  17. Mississippi Game Hackathon
  18. Namespace
  19. OP Passport
  20. Optimistic Crowdstaking: Funding more Builders on Optimism
  21. Polynomial Optimistic Indexer
  22. Redprint : toolkit an interactive code generator and a dev framework to modify & deploy OPStack ’s contracts
  23. Strands’ Optimism Integration Acceleration
  24. Superchain Trading Tools
  25. Tribuni: Forum & Proposal Alerts/Summary System
  26. Unifra- Open Infrastructure for everyone
  27. Vain - An open marketplace for mining vanity ETH addresses

Growth and experiments grants program

  1. [Pike] Unlocking the Multichain Utility of OP
  2. Proposal: Silo Finance
  3. Broaden & Deepen Governance Token User Base
  4. Compound Finance
  5. deBridge
  6. Cobo Argus: Optimism DeFi Automation Platform for Institutions
  7. LOGX: Aggregated Orderbook Perp DEX
  8. Poolside
  9. Supercharge OP Mainnet
  10. Mountain Protocol
  11. Contango.xyz
  12. Covenant - Tradeable Debt Markets Backed By Any Asset
  13. Curve Lending Proposal
  14. Gamma Strategies - Growth Experiments
  15. Timeswap

Layerwide new project support

  1. bleu - tech partner of OP native projects

Additional Revenue Sources to Fund RetroPGF Rounds

  1. Glo Dollar - upgrade to funding RetroPGF
  2. Velodrome Finance - Revenue Sources for RPGF

ZK Toolkit for ZK Application Developers

  1. zk Toolkit by Reclaim Protocol

Advancing Optimism Anonymous Community and Governance Tooling

  1. Anonymous Voting PoC

Incentivize Projects to Integrate the Farcaster Social Graph

  1. Interested.fyi: Building new Social Graphs on Farcaster
  2. Daimo
  3. Implement Farcaster social graph data into CoLinks and CoSoul onchain reputation
  4. AlfaFrens
  5. Ponder surveys for superchain builders
  6. GridExplore
  7. Speedtracer
  8. Castpay: P2P Transaction and Yield Earning Tool on Warpcast
  9. HyperArc - Make Social Graphs Great Again
  10. Noun PCs - Zynga for Farcaster

Making Optimism a primary home of liquid staked eth

  1. Wormhole Foundation - wstETH Bridge
  2. PoolTogether Rocket Pool Prize Vaults
  3. Sommelier Real Yield ETH (LST Vault) on OP
  4. Balancer LST and LRT Hub
  5. ETHx on OP
  6. Stake Together L2 Staking Products on Optimism

Scale ENS to OP

  1. Opti.domains ENS L2 Development

Smart contract auditing services

  1. Nethermind Security - Smart Contract Audit Services
  2. Spearbit/Cantina for SC auditing and security services
  3. Trail of Bits Security Reviews
  4. Halborn - Smart Contract Auditing
  5. Sherlock - Smart Contract Audits Mission Request

AI Assistant for governance

  1. x23.ai - AI governance summariser + chatbot
  2. Bleu Assistant AI

Delegation Quest SDK Mission Request

  1. Boosting Delegation on Optimism

Incentivize and increase governance participation

  1. Velodrome Finance - Governance Participation

Integration of Optimism Gov and RPGF Modules into University Courses

  1. Optimism at Rio de Janeiro Federal Universities: a collaboration with the Blockchain Innovation Hub
  2. [CENFOTEC] Optimism in Costa Rica University

Rubrics for the Final Review are available here

Finalists scores and comments are here

Developer advisory board vote here

Cycle 22 Roundup

The Council has observed a consistent increase in the professionalism of Applications and their Applicants, particularly during the Second Round of Submissions. Applicants demonstrated a strong commitment to understanding the grant process, while the Council dedicated significant efforts to ensure a high-functioning process. Throughout the entire Season 5, the Council has not found it necessary to utilize the Proposer Conduct portion of the Sub-Committee Rubrics. This reflects the belief that setting high expectations for Applications results in Applicants meeting those expectations.

Cycle 22 kept the selectiveness percentage almost the same as Season 4 (~22.1%). Relative to the initial set of Applications, 24.5% became finalists.

The Cycle 22 Finalists represent proposed grants of ~4.56M OP. In total, recommended grants for Season 5 amount to ~7.12M OP. While the Council proposed a higher allocation for grants through a proposal to change the use of rewards designated (but unused) for other intents, the Council expects the surplus of 1.87M OP that had been approved by the Token House to be returned to the Gov Fund.

The Council has truly enjoyed working towards making Optimism the top destination for builders. We genuinely hope that our efforts will help the community achieve its goals.

Finalists, stay tuned for a message from the Foundation regarding KYC details.

Stay optimistic! :red_circle:

*The conferral of a grant is not an explicit or implicit promotion or endorsement of the projects, their representations, or their underlying products but rather an acknowledgment that the projects’ applications were deemed most suited to receive a grant given the parameters applied by the mandate of Season 5 governance. Grantees accept grants subject to terms, including those outlined in the Internal Operating Procedures.

30 Likes

Great work to the entire OP grant team! Thank you for supporting a vibrant Optimism ecosystem.

3 Likes

Good job! Great work to the entire OP grant team! :+1:

On the other hand, may I ask in what form will this content be issued?

Season 5, personally it was a season marked by full learning about governance, feedback process and products at web3. It was a pretty good process because I could and still have the support of many optimistic delegates who continue to support me in my journey as a delegate, specially thanks to @brichis and @Joxes for your good willingness to help me understand many things about OptimismGov.:heart_hands:

I join in congratulating the OP team for the great work they do every day to keep this growing!
The superchain is in our vein! :sweat_smile: for more achievements come. :muscle:t2:

#StayOptimistic :red_circle:

6 Likes

The foundation will reach out to the contact info provided by in the applications.

2 Likes

So Great Works!
Keep Building!

What happens to the projects that passed the rubric score and did not get selected for the grant funding ?

This is the 4th time we have submitted.
Should we remain optimistic or pessimistic about this?

Season 5 is over, and we are now entering a reflection period. I am optimistic that The Foundation will unveil numerous changes and innovative ideas for Season 6. I anticipate the return of the Grants Council in the upcoming season, with new members. As Season 5 applications have concluded, prospective applicants will need to await further updates for the forthcoming season.

5 Likes

GM! First, you did a great job! You’re definitely one of the best teams I’ve ever seen in web3. I have a question, though—I’m a bit confused about this sentence :point_up: Is there a reason not to use it? Since it was approved and there was demand, I’m not sure if I’m misunderstanding something. Thanks!

1 Like

Had my grant which had a budget at 50k, which was requested to be 50k to fit other grants, was the highest scored in pre score, still top 3 in final score, didnt get funded with 50k left. All got was ’ The grants council did not consider this project to be properly fulfilling the mission request.’ with 0 comment before. Tried to also ask about it, same kinda vibe. cut off was 35, highest 99, we got 85?

Conjure

Conjure - Revenue Sources for RetroPGF
85
https://app.charmverse.io/op-grants/conjure-revenue-sources-for-retropgf-4062405315313822
In Progress
EntityDAO
76
https://app.charmverse.io/op-grants/entitydao-0765293588038709
In Progress
Glo Dollar - upgrade to funding RetroPGF
97
https://app.charmverse.io/op-grants/page-20626850753304682
In Progress
Opti.domains RetroPGF Revenue Sharing 
75
https://app.charmverse.io/op-grants/page-19086124521748693
In Progress
Velodrome Finance - Revenue Sources for RPGF 
99
https://app.charmverse.io/op-grants/velodrome-finance-revenue-sources-for-rpgf-6072245109137893
In Progress
`Additional Revenue Sources to Fund RetroPGF Rounds            https://gov.optimism.io/t/draft-additional-revenue-sources-to-fund-retropgf-rounds/7434?u=brichis    150000
Glo Dollar - upgrade to funding RetroPGF    https://app.charmverse.io/op-grants/page-20626850753304682    50000        
Velodrome Finance - Revenue Sources for RPGF     https://app.charmverse.io/op-grants/velodrome-finance-revenue-sources-for-rpgf-6072245109137893    50000        
    Total requested    100000    Budget left    50000

@brichis

Have had direct problems with 1 reviewer who are a top 3 del on arb, huge coi, one tried to change a grant after approval.

Btw OPs the main place am building but the shitshow happening lately kinda has made me want to just drop to other L2s. for ref shit have built in the last 1y alone, most are OP/base only. Solo.
https://addrs.to/pay

https://vain.scry.finance/

1 Like

The Grants Council holds the authority to recommend the allocation of the entire budget, although it’s not mandatory. After reviewing and ranking the applications, the council determines the cut-off based on the mission request requirements and available budget. This cut-off isn’t necessarily tied to exhausting the budget entirely; rather, it’s about selecting the applications that best fulfill the mission request within the allocated resources. Sometimes, the budget dictates where the line is drawn, while at other times, it’s the council’s discretion based on their assessment of the applications and the fulfillment of the mission objectives.

So a project can meet 2x the cut off, based on a set score system, be within .1x of others but just not get filled based on vibes? Like sure garbage shouldnt get grants but garbage then should not score 2x the min set score. Why even have cut off, or set score system.

While the Grants Council utilizes the ranking to draw the finalist’s line, it’s important to note that it’s not solely determined by the cutoff score. Often, there’s a narrow margin, sometimes as little as one point, between a finalist and a non-finalist application. Budget constraints predominantly influence this cutoff, with the available resources shaping the decision-making process. Additionally, the Developer Advisory Board holds the authority to veto an Intent 1 application, adding another layer to the selection process. Moreover, there are instances where the Grants Council may deem an application as not fully fulfilling the mission request, further influencing their decision.

We conduct thorough examinations of final applications, delving deep into various aspects. This includes scrutinizing team connections, assessing project adoption if it’s already deployed, and conducting an in-depth analysis of the project’s GitHub activity. We strive to gauge the project’s longevity, impact, and relevance, with particular attention to the level of activity and engagement on GitHub. Throughout this process, we meticulously observe both positive and negative indicators that aid us in determining whether the project is promising or potentially a dead end. The subcommittee engages in extensive debates, weighing the pros and cons of each application until we reach a well-considered decision.

So then what was the reason for Conjure not getting filled? Wasnt budget. Wasnt adoption since not deployed but neither are the other one. GitHub activity has both the front end and contracts that itll be based on as well as audit so clear can do it. Only option left seems like a personal bias right?
‘scrutinizing team connections’ yet one reviewer are a top arb del, with others directly in lead for projects that had 3 grants go through?

‘thorough examinations of final applications, delving deep into various aspects’, ‘We strive to gauge the project’s longevity, impact, and relevance, with particular attention to the level of activity and engagement on GitHub. Throughout this process, we meticulously observe both positive and negative indicators that aid us in determining whether the project is promising or potentially a dead end’, thats what the scores for right? what are u even checking in the score then

I understand your concern about potential bias. However, I want to assure you that the individual you mentioned abstained from providing an opinion during the evaluation of Conjure to maintain impartiality and fairness. Our goal is to make decisions based solely on the merits of each application.

While we strive for fairness and objectivity, it’s true that conflicts or negative experiences with individuals can accumulate over time, impacting perceptions and decisions. It’s essential for us to address and resolve any issues promptly to maintain the integrity of our process.

I encourage you to continue providing feedback and raising concerns. Open communication is vital for us to improve and ensure the effectiveness of our grant allocation process.

2 Likes

So personal bias affected the grant getting filled not the actual grant itself, any obj score. That then assumes that some grants where reviewers are friends/work with others from projects they may be more likely to get grants not based on the grant but again by relationship? While others not? Maybe like a project where a reviewer has a lead role even though not voting on that grant secures 3 grants. Still didnt actually get a reason btw, just ‘Our goal is to make decisions based solely on the merits of each application.’, while obviously not following the actual score.
what was the reason for Conjure not getting filled?

Interesting :face_with_monocle: we seem to have received criticism from a grant council member about any activity on Arbitrum related to our ecosystem.

We ditched any plans to show our commitment to OP eco but apparently that didn’t cut it.

It seems ironic because it is also a member of the Arb ecosystem that is making these comments questioning our commitment to building on Optimism after deployment of our first smart contract 2 years ago in May of 2022 before joining the NFT & Gaming committee prior to the bicameral governance process.

We were also denied from the grants cycle after passing the rubric score with 0 comments or feedback which seemed really odd. So we asked about it last week but the grants council didn’t reply or say anything besides responding that this cycle is closed and there is no information on the next season for grantees that didn’t get chosen for the finalists.

It’s kind of crazy to think we started on this journey almost 9 months ago when originally submitting our grant last summer. By the time season 6 is here it will be a full year of attempting to get our grant proposal approved so I hope other new builders who are coming into the ecosystem are prepared for an extra long term commitment. I know we are but surely didn’t expect this type of opposition to our mission which has involved bringing builders from the Gitcoin ecosystem to Optimism and Base.

We hope that creating our own grant funding programs & platform will not be left out because of budget constraints in the future but right now it’s not exactly clear on what happened with this cycle.

I understand your concerns, and I appreciate your commitment to ensuring fairness in our grant election process. It’s crucial for us to address any perception of bias or favoritism to maintain the integrity of our evaluations.

Regarding your point about personal bias potentially affecting grant decisions, I want to emphasize that our goal is always to base decisions solely on the merits of each application, as outlined in our objective scoring criteria. While conflicts or negative experiences with individuals can certainly influence perceptions (we are human after all), it’s essential to recognize that such issues are not indicative of systemic bias within the group.

When someone experiences problems with several individuals in a group, it’s more a reflection of that individual’s issues rather than an inherent issue with the group itself. However, it’s essential for us to address and resolve any conflicts promptly to ensure fairness and objectivity in our evaluations.

As for the specific reason for Conjure not being finalist, I apologize for any lack of clarity in my final communication. I assure you that the decision was made based on a comprehensive evaluation of the application against our criteria, including budget considerations, adoption status, GitHub activity, and overall project feasibility. My assessment, I am not a reviewer and did not score Conjure but I was a builders reviewer in the past, is that Conjure operates as a white-label solution of the well-established project called Synthetix. Given its inception in 2021 and no further activity after that on GitHub and its nature as a competitor to a prominent and well-established project within the ecosystem, it may not be strategically viable to grant an application that competes directly in this space at this juncture.

Your feedback is valuable to us, and we’re committed to addressing any concerns you may have to improve our process. Please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or suggestions.

Thank you for your message. We understand your concern about the lack of feedback on your grant application. While providing feedback isn’t mandatory for the Grants Council we try our best and due to the volume of applications received, we’re actively working on improving our processes for the next cycle. So far of 530 applications, we have 2 claims of poor feedback.

I understand your frustration, and I’ve been in a similar situation. It’s worth noting that for Season 5, the Grants Council’s focus is exclusively on OP Mainnet missions. I spent six months navigating the grant process when the collective first began, and it was a learning experience of aligning my project with the collective’s needs.

A grant program doesn’t align with any of the mission requests of Season 5 and presents many challenges, particularly regarding the lock period or the no-sale rule. I will certainly take these factors into account If I get elected as lead and plan the grants council design for the next season.

I want to emphasize that our goal is always to base decisions solely on the merits of each application, as outlined in our objective scoring criteria. Then the score should have been much lower right otherwise why have a score? Clearly not the case since score was so close yet didnt get in.

it’s essential to recognize that such issues are not indicative of systemic bias within the group.
not the case if the group are either friends, have a mutual interest, have a mutual benefit or have mutual values in which case problems could easily be systemic, ie, I publicly called out a very well known group (thales) for a complete shitshow of a mission req trying to extract like 500k OP for 2w of dev, which u muted me for being so direct on them because they are a large player in the space, interesting that u mention Synthetix because -they- are very, very close to that team, as are atleast 1 other reviewer, and your own personal wallet gets funded by ethernaut interestingly with SNX as 2nd largest holding, to which yes this would compete but is not just a fork since allows creation of any asset on the fly, not just minting assets. Would competition not be good for the space?

including budget considerations
the project had a score of 85 at 100k OP and was 85 after being lowered to 50k so clearly that didnt affect it either. GitHub activity cant be a reason because the whole grants to completely redesign it not use the current protocol or continue a current project, but the oracle infra it would use def was active.