Grant Council Reviewer Nominations: Season 3

Council sub-committee: Builders

If you are a delegate, please provide the link to your delegate commitment:

If you are a delegate, please indicate what % of votable supply is delegated to you:

If you are a delegate, please indicate your voting participation rate in OP governance to date:

79% (100% since posting a delegate commitment)

Please link to your voting history and any voting rationale you’ve shared:
(You may link to your Snapshot profile for voting history. You may link
to your delegate communication thread, or any other medium you use to
communicate with your delegators, to share your voting rationale.)

Active delegates of Optimism

Please outline any other contributions to the Optimism ecosystem to date:

  • Integral contributor to Velodrome’s design and launch, with coordination of OP Labs
  • High level of contributions to OP governance as delegate and commenter
  • Aided in the onboarding of some 30-odd protocols to Optimism, made introductions, advised on optimal product and liquidity strategy
  • Advised several OP protocols as they applied for governance grants
  • Published Optimism’s first review of passed grants, which led to a shift away from liquidity mining as a preferred grant target and was directly responsible for making builder grants in scope for Governance.
  • Leading most comprehensive retrospective of OP grants to date, which has already surfaced major insights and revelations of protocols’ handling of OP
  • Was voice influencing major changes in direction of grants, including the implementation of the Grants Council itself

Do you have a technical background? If so, please elaborate:

I’m technical right up to the point of the actual software engineering of protocols. Conversant in code and design. Deeply involved in quantitative protocol construction and am credibly ‘technical’ in defi. Regularly code to extract insights and perform actions onchain.

Without going into specifics, my professional background is quantitative in nature.

Did you serve on a committee in Season 2? If so, please specify which:

I was on the shadow committee, which was an unofficial committee that I believe made valuable contributions.

Please demonstrate expertise relevant to this role and your Council sub-committee:

I am a builder and have gone through the process of going from zero to a major ecosystem player, building something while facing a threadbare budget, maximum skepticism, and vocal detractors. My team has gotten an OP Labs Grant and an OP governance grant and I believe raised the bar on applying for and reporting on grants of this nature.

As a delegate, I’ve voted on grants, and as a member of the Shadow Committee, I’ve helped to push people’s thinking on what grants ought to be used for.

As an individual, I’ve proposed ecosystem-wide initiatives rethinking how Optimism manages its resources, and I’ve staked much of my career in crypto on making Optimism succeed.

In short, I’ve experienced virtually all tasks and perspectives that could go into the construction of grants, and there’s little in the way of subject matter that I haven’t personally worked with, from crosschain messaging to staking to security to NFTs.

I chose to apply for builder grants instead of growth experiments for three reasons.

  1. I already have a track record of independent voting and have advised my delegators that I would always vote and argue against Velodrome’s immediate interest if it was in conflict with what I thought was best for Optimism. That said, it seems that perceived conflicts of interests are less pronounced in this group; more growth experiments are likely to touch velodrome than builder grants.
  2. This vertical also plays well into my day job, which has me doing a lot of outreach to builders. In this capacity, hopefully it’s not a stretch to say I’ve likely spoken with more active and prospective builders on Optimism than anyone outside of the OP Foundation. In this way I can help guide builders to the program and get the initiatives we’re looking for.
  3. I think builder grants at this stage are more critical for the long-term viability of the Optimism project; there’s a lot of exciting stuff that OP is going to roll out that the builder community needs to be prepared to exploit.

Please describe your philosophy on what makes a good Governance Fund grant:

I believe in a structured approach, where the council articulates where OP is and where it wants it to go. It should outline what sorts of people, teams, and activities are needed to get to this desired future, and it should shape and approve grants that get Optimism those people, teams, and activities.

Grants should be designed with justifiable, measurable, and achievable objectives, and they should be reviewable periodically so that the Grants Council can guide them and retain the ability to withhold future grants. They should be scaled appropriately to the objectives (and the objectives’ value to the ecosystem), not to the projects’ size or perceived importance.

Although there is room to take a slight shotgun approach, grants should go to the projects that are most promising in their domains. This requires the Grants Council to have an informed opinion about the likely winning teams in each space.

Just like the best tools are multifunction tools, the best grants will have second-order benefits affecting the largest number of builders. That is, you fund the project that makes other projects more achievable. This is how you accelerate ecosystems.

In the course of a grants program, major things might change. This is crypto. So the grants council should also allow for some opportunism in approving grants.

What types of grant applications would you like to see or what RFPs would you create?

Although I keep hearing about Optimism needing things like its own GMX, I think we want to skate to where the puck is going, and I think that’s OP Stack and other forms of infrastructural/middleware advancements that publicly increase design space for enterprising builders. We want these fundamental advancements early, which will then through lower costs, better performance, more decentralization, etc, facilitate the building of those apps we want to see. We do want those apps too, things like RWA, gaming, privacy, and so on, but in my mind this all flows downstream of builders knowing that Optimism and not some other ecosystem is inevitable.

That is, we want to fund the things that let builders know that we can offer the best ecosystem to work in, the best tools to work with, and the best funding to derisk experimentation.

Please disclose any anticipated conflicts of interest:

If I am elected, I will review grants that could have a material impact on Velodrome. This is not new; the majority of grants proposed to date have involved Velodrome. That’s unavoidable. We’re an exchange.

However, I’ve consistently voted in Optimism’s interest, even when doing so would be against Velodrome’s immediate interests. I do so because I want Optimism to win, and in any case I see Optimism’s success as more necessary for Velodrome’s success than any individual grant.

Please verify that you agree to abide by the delegate code of conduct 1: Yes

Please verify that you understand KYC will be required to receive Council rewards at the end of Season 3: Yes

Please verify that you are able to commit 12 hours / week to reviewing grant applications and other Council operations: Yes