SIP 002: Ecosystem Grant Program Final Draft

Summary of Proposal

The SSV.Network DAO will use its own treasury (and minting of new tokens) to structure a grant program for the ecosystem to apply for with the intent of promoting development and innovation by leading projects on the SSV network.

The grants serve as seed funding for developers and not the full cost of development.

There are 3 types of grants:

  • Predefined - A set of grants with predefined scope and size
  • Open - Completely open grant requests
  • Bug bounties - Grants for finding issues in the SSV node code

The proposal below details a 150K SSV +1.5M USDC budget for grants (from DAO budget) and up to a 300K SSV budget (minted tokens) for bug bounties.

Proposal Motivation and Goals

SSV.Network is a critical infrastructure component for the ethereum ecosystem designed to be adopted by and for developers/ projects/ staking services. To accelerate developers building on the network, even on testnet, the community and DAO should introduce economical incentives. The DAO has already approved a few individual grants to developers, which created a need to structure the grant application process and give the community a transparent way to track grants and applications.

The below grant program aims to encourage and reward developers building great services and products on the network. To put it simply, the DAO should:

  • Incentivize and catalyze developers to build on ssv.network
  • Supply predefined grants to encourage the building of much needed (and known) use cases.
  • Supply open grants to support new innovations.
  • Fund bug bounties for security vulnerabilities detection

Proposal Details

Predefined Grants (Total: 75K SSV, 750K USDC ~ $1.5M)

Grant payments are encouraged to be in SSV, or up to 50% in USDC (depending on token inventory available).

The below is an EXAMPLE list of pre-defined grants, the final structure and grant types will be decided (within budget) by the multisig committee and published to the community to see.

Grant Description Amount Recurring # Total
Staking pool Develop a staking pool on SSV or integrate SSV with an existing pool. Basic functionality is being able to stake whatever amount of ETH $100K 7 $700K
Unique use-case Think of and write about a special use-case for developing a service/ using SSV following the suggested template below. Including: explanation, documentation, code examples, POC(optional) $5K 10 $50K
SSV explorer Build a complete working SSV explorer with whatever metrics/ stats/ etc. you’d want + commit for future maintenance and work $100K 1 $100K
Institutional staking service A centralized institutional staking service using SSV to decentralize their backend. Can set up all nodes or choose other operators. $10K 5 $50K
DAO treasury staking A service that has DAOs as its users, enabling DAOs to easily allocate and manage staked ETH $100K 3 $300K
Defi staking Enable defi protocols holding ETH to stake in a decentralized way. $100K 3 $300K

Open Grants (Total: 75K SSV + $750K USDC ~ $1.5M)
A completely open grant allocation where it is up to the applicants to describe and justify the requested amount. Open grants MUST not copy any of the pre-defined grants.

Grant payments are encouraged to be in SSV, or up to %50 in USDC (depending on token inventory available).

Bug bounties (Up to 300K SSV ~ $3M, minted)

Bug bounties should be pre-defined by severity and urgency by the grant committee. This is a variable budget allocation, such that it will only be spent if bugs are found and reported. Mintings will be performed when payments are to be issued.

Bug bounty payments are 100% in SSV.

Evaluating Grant Applications

Grants will be evaluated for:

  • Need/ use case
  • Technical feasibility and capability of the team, team track record
  • Team involvement in ssv.network thus far (participating in the testnet? Know the protocol and its core value proposition)
  • Requested grant size
  • Time lines, execution schedule
  • In case of predefined grants, other grants will be evaluated and the best will be approved.
  • Innovation and uniqueness
  • Vision, why build it? Is the project in line with the network’s overall goals?
  • Grant products license - who and how can make use of products originating from the grant (for example, code produced by a grant is open source? What license?)

Grant lifecycle

  • All grant applications will be sent to grants@ssv.network
  • Grants will be evaluated by the Grants Committee
  • Predefined grants
    • Applications submitted continuously, until the grant allocation is exhausted
    • Initial evaluation & feedback - up to 60 days from submission
      • re-submission if needed
    • Relevant applications will go on public discussion and voting, which will decide the grant allocation (could be less than the pre-defined grant)
  • ‘Open’ grants
    • Applications will be submitted to grants@ssv.network, initial evaluation up to 60 days
      • re-submission if needed
    • Relevant applications will go to the Grants Committee which will decide to accept the entire application or none of it (this is done to reduce evaluation complexity and overhead, any feedback should have been given in the initial evaluation).
  • Voting on grants will be made public
  • Accepted grant applications will be published on the ssv.network forum

Grants Committee Members

  • Yorick
  • Fod
  • Ben Affleck
  • Taiga
  • Blox representative

The addition of committee members (or removal of existing members) can be elevated via a separate proposal.

Voting on Grants

Committee members are trusted by the community to evaluate and allocate grants that will best reflect the community’s interests.

This proposal encourages committee members to be autonomous and agile, enabling them to commit to certain grants on their own, or convince other committee members to increase the maximum grant size.

  • A single committee member can allocate grants of up to $5K/ month
  • 2 committee members can allocate up to $15K/ month
  • Any amount above $15K/ month will need a normal committee vote with majority
  • Qualified majority must include 50% (rounded up).

In the unlikely situation where a team has stopped progressing or has generally failed to uphold the grant agreement, the committee will also have the ability to terminate funding through a unanimous vote.

Additionally, the committee will have the power to shift funds between the predefined and open grant allocations, if necessary. And the committee will be permitted to exchange allocated funds into other currencies (e.g. SSV <-> USDC), if necessary.

Committee Compensation

Since these roles carry significant responsibilities and commitments from the members, they will be compensated for their time and work. Compensation will be $1500 per month for each member denominated entirely in SSV based on a 90-day trailing average, calculated on the calendar 1st of each month using Binance as a price reference.

Transfers will be executed monthly at the beginning of each calendar month for services rendered in the previous month. The transfers may be made using a smart contract or any other form that the Dmarketing team deems most appropriate and convenient.

The Blox representative will be excluded from compensation.

Reasons supporting the proposal

You want to give additional encouragement to developers thinking of building upon SSV, and you think grants are an effective way to do so.

Reasons against the proposal

You think there is a better use of these funds. If so, please comment on this proposal.

Appendix - Minimal grant application

A grant application will include the following required items:

  • Overview of the grant request
    • What is proposed (In-depth description in case of an open grant)
    • Vision, need and usability (why is what you develop needed)
    • Why SSV?
  • Competition/ other similar grants
  • How the grant advances your project and the SSV community
  • Team members, experience, previous projects
    • Basic core team KYC
    • Location
  • Execution timeline & milestones
  • Grant payment milestones
  • Grant products ownership, open-source, etc.
  • Regulatory considerations
  • I support this proposal
  • I’m against this proposal

0 voters

3 Likes

Note that the Committee Compensation section was added after posting.

Any thread to see the member list of the committee and their job or responsibilities?

  • Yorick
  • Fod
  • Ben Affleck
  • Ariel (Blox)
  • Taiga

Long time ambassadors and community leaders

1 Like

I think there will be a page going up on the website soon with some more information about the ambassadors and other community leaders. But in the meantime:

  • Yorick — Founder of Cryptomanufaktur, maintainer of eth-docker, senior member of EthStaker, one of the top operators on SSV, all-around staking technical expert
  • Fod — PhD engineer/developer, past experience managing teams and grants/contracts
  • Ben Affleck — Technical product manager and business developer, writer of community newsletters
  • Ariel (Blox) — Director of Product Management at Blox
  • Taiga — Blockchain developer and technical expert

As Alon mentioned, all of us (minus Ariel) are the original SSV ambassadors and have been contributing in the community for a long time. We were also voted on as investment partners of the DAO through the partnership program.

In regards to specific roles and tasking, we will all pretty much have the same responsibilities (facilitating submissions, evaluating proposals, making decisions, distributing grants, helping teams execute, etc.). The one exception is that I’ll be operating as the “committee lead”, which means I’ll be organizing the group and making sure everything keeps moving.

3 Likes

Might be efficient to implement a point system for each of the evaluation criteria
Committee members separately rank each proposal
The grant call themselves are for
Quick intro of each proposal
review final averages and discuss where there are low scores or significant divergence
Provide each proposal a finalized score
Provide guidance to applicants on how they can improve their proposal

I think it will be easier for the community to track numbers/scores instead of long text and it will streamline the process for committee members evaluating each grant

(not a must to add to the proposal itself, just an idea)

2 Likes

I like that idea! It would help streamline the evaluations, simplify the communication of our thoughts for the community, and help to standardize our decisions.

Note that some additional edits were made:
-Total SSV amount was increased by 30k SSV (+15k SSV for predetermined grants, +15k for open grants) due to lower market price.
-Ariel switched to Blox, where Ariel will be the representative of Blox. Blox will be excluded from compensation.
-Gave the committee the ability to move funds between grant pools if necessary.
-Gave the committee the ability to exchange tokens/currencies for others (e.g. SSV <-> USDC) if necessary.

1 Like

Sorry for the inconvenience everyone… we had to make a minor change to the committee members (“Blox representative” will be open-ended instead of assigned to a specific person). I know the vote was just put up on snapshot, but I think we need to cancel and redo it.

1 Like

:vertical_traffic_light: Voting is now open:

ssv.network proposal: Ecosystem Grant Program (Rev. 2) (snapshot.org)

Special thanks to @fod!

1 Like