Announcement: New SSV Grant Strategy

Hello SSV Community,

We are excited to share an update on the SSV Network’s grants strategy, designed to further align our funding initiatives with our ecosystem’s evolving needs and opportunities. This communication outlines the key aspects of our new approach and invites feedback from our community.

Current Structure and Stats of the Grants Program

Our current grants program ([DIP-5]) aims to support development teams in building decentralized staking applications and services on the SSV network. By providing partial funding, we encouraged innovation and growth within our ecosystem, leading to more than 20,000 validators and more than 660,000 ETH staked after a successful mainnet launch only a few months ago.

Current Grant Types:

  1. Predefined Grants: Specific grants with outlined scopes and amounts.

  2. Open Grants: Grants with flexible scopes where applicants justify the requested amount.

  3. Bug Bounties: Rewards for identifying issues in the SSV protocol.

  4. Micro-Grants (<$15K): Small grants are often awarded retroactively for significant contributions.

Up until today, the grants program has accepted more than 60 grants worth more than 3 million dollars. Almost all of them fall into one of these categories.

  • Staking Pool Development:

  • Staking Service Development:


Why the Change?

The evolution of the SSV Network has rendered some of our grant milestones less relevant, and building on top of SSV and its ecosystem has become simpler and easier, requiring little to almost no engineering work (i.e., StakeWise Vault integration or integration of the P2P Staking API). With easier integration and development on SSV, seed funding for early stages like MVP and testnet milestones is no longer as critical. Moreover, the incentivized mainnet program already promotes TVL growth, making separate TVL milestones redundant. The success of the incentivized mainnet has shown that it is the right way to attract TVL, while the grants program should have a new set of distinguished goals.


New Grants Strategy

Based on the above, we are thrilled to announce the launch of a revitalized grants strategy at the SSV Network DAO, tailored to better meet our ecosystem’s evolving needs. This new approach focuses on fostering innovation through completely open grants for unique use cases and strategic partnerships for critical ecosystem components. While we streamline our funding process by discontinuing seed funding and TVL milestones for the previous categories, we continue to support existing grantees and maintain bug bounties and micro-grants per the guidelines under the previous grants regime.

Immediate Changes:

  • New Application Process: The application form will be temporarily closed and reopened with the new strategy.

  • Stop Seed Funding Grants: Seeding grants for staking services and pools will no longer be offered.

  • Support Existing Grants: Operational focus on guiding currently approved grants to completion.

  • Discontinue TVL Grants: TVL milestones will be discontinued to avoid conflicts with the incentivized mainnet program.

  • Emphasize Open Grants: Shift focus to open grants for unique and critical ecosystem components.

  • Maintain Bug Bounties and Micro-Grants: These programs will continue under current guidelines, and the grants committee retains the right to award micro-grants according to the existing ruleset.

Instead of broad grants, we may form strategic partnerships with service providers for critical ecosystem components. This approach ensures dedicated development and ownership by the DAO, avoiding dependency risks. The new strategy focuses (but isn’t limited) to the following Strategic component:

  • Performance and Metadata Data Providers

  • Alerting & Monitoring Solutions

  • Alternative SSV Client Implementations

  • Operator Solutions and Cluster Selection

  • Developer Tools

  • Major Player Integrations (e.g., RocketPool, Lido)

  • Community Programs (e.g., Becoming a Liquidator)

Existing Grantees

Existing grantees will continue under the previous agreements, and this strategy shift will not affect the grants that have already been approved. All grants approved prior to this change will proceed as planned under the terms and conditions initially agreed upon. Additionally, any grant applications received before the 31st of May will be processed and evaluated according to the previous grants regime.

Terms and Conditions

As part of the new strategy, all new grantees will be required to sign an individual agreement with the SSV Foundation. Although the grant funding comes from the SSV DAO, the contractual partner will be the SSV Foundation. This ensures that each grant is processed according to common law and binds both parties through a written agreement, providing legal clarity and protection for both the grantee and the Foundation.

SSVScan: A success story

We are proud to highlight a grant success story with our partners DragonStake and Polkastats, who have been instrumental in developing the SSV Scan (https://ssvscan.io) explorer. This powerful tool has significantly enhanced our network’s transparency and usability. Building on this success, we are excited to announce an extended partnership with DragonStake through a new grant aimed at scaling the SSV Scan solution to support over 100,000 validators and beyond. This initiative exemplifies our new grants strategy, focusing on strategic partnerships for critical infrastructure. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting development, and follow our partners on X.

DragonStake Twitter - x.com

Polkastats Twitter - x.com

Next Steps

  1. Consultation and Alignment: Finalize the new strategy in consultation with SSV Labs’ business development and product management teams and incorporate community insights and suggestions.

  2. Update Grants Portal: Reflect the new strategy on our grants website and update application terms and conditions, including KYC/KYB requirements.


These changes will streamline our grants process, better align incentives, and foster innovative development on the SSV network. Your feedback and participation are crucial in this transition, and we look forward to your thoughts and contributions.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to the SSV network.


Best regards,

The SSV Grants Committee

2 Likes

Hey @BenAffleck and SSV Community,

Thanks for the update on the new grants strategy! It’s exciting to see SSV Network adapting and focusing on open grants and strategic partnerships. This approach will definitely drive more innovation and tackle key infrastructure needs.

The success of SSVScan shows the power of strong partnerships, and I’m looking forward to seeing more projects like this. Let’s keep the momentum going and work together to strengthen our network. :+1:

2 Likes

Thanks for outlining the change. Could you elaborate the process for open grants? I’m specifically interested if payment will be milestone based, how impact will be assessed, and how “we learned a lot but our weren’t successful” will be rewarded (if at all).

1 Like