Request for Grants: Growth Experiments

In Season 3, there will be a Grants Council with a Growth Experiment Grants Sub-committee.

  • Growth Experiments Sub-Committee:
    • Focus: maximize the number of users interacting with applications on Optimism
    • Non-focus: retroactive airdrops
    • Possible RFPs: small-scale liquidity mining experiments, usage incentives, user education
    • Format: proposers receive milestone-based grants, suggested to be <250k OP, to pass on directly to their users as incentives for engaging with a protocol, platform, product or service. 40% of the grant will be distributed to the proposer upfront and the remaining 60% will be distributed upon completion of a mid-way point milestone. Completion of all milestones should be achievable in 3-6 months.
    • Budget: 4M OP / Season
    • Reviewers: 5 (see below)
    • Consensus: 3/5 vote required to fund a grant

Please leave your suggestions for the types of grant proposals you’d like to see submitted to the Growth Experiments sub-committee in Season 3 and/or any suggested proposal guidelines for these types of grants .

The Council should use this as an input into any Requests for Grants and/or guidelines they put forward in Season 3.


Please, can we update the “Possible RFPs” to include: ‘user onboarding’, or more specifically ‘normie onboarding’.

The reality is that the terms “liquidity mining” and “usage incentives” mean very little or are otherwise completely foreign to anyone that isn’t already inside the community.

We need to bring on new people. We need to bring on more normies.

Optimism’s tiny gas fees has shattered one of the biggest hurdles to onboarding people to Ethereum and blockchain at large. This means we have the opportunity to make Optimism the first experience of blockchain, crypto and Dapps for a vast many people. There’s still time to take first-mover advantage.

We need to look beyond our own insular community, and start to onboard the next billion people. Optimism on Ethereum has the possibility to do this.

Let’s onboard normies!


Social bonding to foster community growth :yellow_heart:

Let’s strive for long-term, sustainable growth by applying a user-centric approach. I’d love to see more science-backed user studies as part of the Growth Experiments. Notably, there is a general lack of scientific knowledge on community stickiness & user retention in DeFi. OP could be the first to explore such questions for the Optimism Collective from a psychological perspective.

Sustained growth can only be achieved by means of a sticky community. In order to attract and retain highly committed members – and consequently, keep liquidity and TVL on chain – strong relational ties amongst OP citizens/group members and the more abstract city itself are needed. Questions of 'how to retain users long-term and in a meaningful way’ and ‘what makes people stick to a network and/or protocol long-term’ will become more important.

Moreover, and as we all know, the battle for attention and market dominance is high in DeFi. Identifying valid mechanisms of how to retain users will become particularly relevant once the novelty of existing projects starts wearing off and new shiny projects appear on the horizon.


Here are some of my current thoughts on various categories of grants that could help grow the # of users operating on Optimism:

Liquidity Incentives:

I think liquidity mining is OK but we need to be pretty cognizant of why we are granting the funds. Some considerations:

  • Will this incentives program lead to sticky usage?
  • Specifically, why would this program be more effective than programs we’ve funded in the past?
  • Will this help bootstrap liquidity to a fledgling protocol that needs it?


This category is very important given that the majority of potential L2 users might not know why Optimism is good, why L2s are the future, or how to use dapps like Velodrome/Synthetix/Lyra.

  • Having a robust education ecosystem lowers the friction to dive into a network.
  • Potential grants:
    • sponsored educational content
    • education creation competitions
    • support for educational platforms/events (scavenger hunts like OP quests)


One category not mentioned above but I think it’s important. Some ideas:

  • Community meme competition on twitter
  • Sponsoring local IRL meetups
  • Best TikTok talking about Optimism or an OP-native dapp
  • NFT-design competition (for some kind of quest)

It may sound silly but I’ve seen these things work really well for web2 businesses. They drive engagement by the participants and increase the social proof of Optimism.

Overall, I think we should bias towards experimentation this season, especially with smaller-sized grants. This is an iterative process and the more variety in grants we see now, the more data we’ll have moving forward on what works best.

Can’t wait to see what happens!


Fully support this response. The Education and Awareness suggestions are spot on.

Although the Memes and TikToks are not really my thing, but I acknowledge they are for many others, and can can draw in particular demographics.

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I love this idea and have a 44” fine art printer to help supply branding for educational event content to be distributed at IRL event settings within the art & music scene here in Colorado as well as opportunities like ETH Denver being a big blockchain tech event to network with like minded people. We have about one mile of Giclée fine art canvas stockpiled and we are looking to donate this to some sort of awareness initiative for NFTs and blockchain technology via IRL events.

Take for example we have some Augmented Reality real estate properties we own located near the fountain of city park in front of the Denver Capital building, the front entry of the International Convention Center, and Red Rocks Amphitheater which is a live music venue and houses 12,000 people per event. It’s always been a dream of ours to utilize these parcels of land to create an experience with our augmented fine art prints that leads into the educational side of blockchain technology with printed packets of educational information and interactive art. Maybe this year we can develop our concept a bit more.

We have positioned ourselves to become educational leaders for NFT art and blockchain technology to some of the most well known visionary artists and musicians from around the world which I have personally met over the course of my traditional art career and formation of my fine art printing business which has served over 400 different artists from around the globe. The transition from a traditional art business with blockchain integration really makes sense as an actual real world use case we have been working together towards for the past few years here in the crypto space.

Expenses for physical event spaces, travel, setup/breakdown labor costs, and physical print production are always the biggest barriers keeping us from accomplishing this.
The term paid in “Exposure” should be abolished from curating educators and creators who deserve to be rewarded for helping to educate others!!!


I feel the Growth experiment expressed like this is about bringing more Defi users that don’t care about Optimism’s long-term sustainability and OP Constitution values.

I strongly suggest focusing more on building a social layer including governance experiments.

I proposed OP-native experiments (so more grants could stay on OP and not bounty-hunter teams) :

For a proposal like that to succeed we need to onboard “normies” as @Axel_T pointed out, and we need them not to be overwhelmed for the complexity of a huge structure. People could easily participate in some simple OP microDAO of their interest and if that microDAO succeeds, you won’t have users, you’ll have citizens.

Thanks for expressing what I feel. Isn’t it obvious? Why a majority of people don’t get it?

Amen to this.


Very well said & quoted post, I agree almost completely.

And thanks for the reference & tag to my earlier positive & ‘optimistic’ post, I’ll make sure to spend time checking out your Proposal when I get around to catching up on this forum later in the weekend or early next week.

But yes: Social connections for (and emotional commitment from) users, while trying to be exclusively focussed on Optimism, will hopefully lead to broader user base in the shorter term that is ideally stickier (a deeper user base) over the longer term …And yes(!), we should start thinking outside the box for Season 3.

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Super excited to see people going crazy and outside the box thinking and doing

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Hello Michael,

Thanks a lot for your thoughts which definitively caught my attention.

I intend to apply within the category of growth experiments, by providing unique value proposition towards education.

I have one question though which will help me to fine tune my application.

I’ve read that growth experiment grant cannot be sold forever by the recipient. I’d like to know if there could be a deviation to this rule for a content creator that decides to offer free public good to users & projects,and thus looking for getting sponsored through such grant.

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

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Hi TheDoctor,

So good to meet like-minded people here! We actually just submitted a proposal on user stickiness & social bonding, if you’d like to check it out: Social Bonding in the City of Optimism - A Social Science Study

To your questions: thanks for expressing what I’ve asked myself many times. The answer might partly lie in the fact that we’re still early in this nascent space. Or is it simply a question of mindset? Curious to hear your thoughts.


Hello, NORMANCOMICS.eth here. This is my first post in this forum, and I think that there are so many great ideas that I’ve heard already. Has anyone thought of a grant to help cryptoartists/defidegens who are trying to learn everything they can while building at the same time. I think it would be awesome to have a small grant that would help people like me who would love to have a little more time and options to learning how to code fullstack while at the same time just diving into the optimism world. I think it would be great to sort of get paid to learn. I know git hub has done similar things in the past, or so I’ve heard with git, I would love to see this with OP.


Wow, I really missed this kind of proposal in the last cycles. Open research community supported has to be a priority. I’ll check it and give feedback.


I feel as if this is something that we would cover in our scope of work with the Fractal Visions NFT marketplace being built currently. We will have a DAO voting integration after our initial launch to help create initiatives & grants for specific artists who are featured on our marketplace. This system is also going to be used to curate the artists who join our platform with a community vote!


Hi @Subli_Defi,

I completely understand where you are coming from.

Stay tuned during the next week or two and look out for the grants council to put out information about this seasons grants program. The rules around what can be done with grants should be finalized by then. :slight_smile:


Grants are a great story
Because we know of projects that have raised hundreds of millions but don’t donate to their own ecosystem :slight_smile:

Alright, so better hold my application for now, waiting for more instructions.

Looking forward to it.


These grants for growth are a great idea!
This made me think about how we would apply at Fairmint and I wanted to share it with you.

First, some context about Fairmint:
Fairmint lets founders turn their community (users, customers, partners…) into investors by letting them buy or earn equity directly from their website, at any single time (in a fully SEC-compliant way).

Fairmint is made for non-crypto people (“normies”), this is why you won’t find any mention of blockchain or smart-contracts in our website… However, our backend is completely crypto-based: equity is represented by an ERC20 token, a market contract handles the issuance rules (price / valuation etc…) and a compliance contract handles the transfer restriction rules (that’s equity we’re talking about, so there are restrictions :)). We’re now 100% committed to Optimism and want to contribute to making Optimism thrive.

Fairmint started on Ethereum but we recently switched to Optimism. Since our launch in November, any new Fairmint customer is now an Optimism user, issuing tokens on Optimism that represent their equity and every new investor landed by our customers de factor becomes an Optimism user :tada:

Fairmint’s app is fully automated and we’re starting to scale so a Growth grant would be perfect timing for Fairmint. Most likely, the way we’d use it would be to reward our customers (reward amount tbd). To claim their amount, we would make our customers go through a small educative flow that let them know about Ethereum, Optimism, how Fairmint leverages it before giving them the ability to claim their tokens.

So we would use the grant approximately like this (obviously the exact percentages would depend on the grant amount):

  • [10-20]% of the grant to create a beautiful education + token claiming flow (including the legal required for the claiming flow).
  • [80-90]% of the grant for customers reward

We think such a use would benefit greatly Fairmint and the Optimism ecosystem in general. Looking forward to being able to do that :fire: