April 2023 GMC Community Discussion of Submitted Applications

In order to keep the application threads clear of discussions (to make it easier for committee members to read and score them), please use this thread for any and all questions and discussions of April 2023 (Round 2) period of grant, bounty, and retrospective award applications.

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:+1:t5: good luck this round! (Edit)

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Thank you for pointing this out - it has been fixed.

Re: Rocketwatch

Some of the plugins mentioned in the application were contributed by the community.

A non-exhaustive list:
collateral_distribution, node_fee_distribution, rpl_apr, withdrawable_rpl

That said, I don’t think any changes to the application are merited. I’m merely posting this in the interest of transparency. I’m sure if Invis were active, he would clarify these himself.

I will reiterate- I believe the current application need not be discounted due to these community contributions.

Edit: I would be remiss not to mention that while collateral_distribution and rpl_apr in their current state are community contributions, they were built on prior work by Invis. In fact, every plugin was built on the back of Invis’s work, regardless of whether he built it or it was a community contribution, since they all use library functions written by him and obviously are part of a larger bot framework that he maintains.

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Re: #trading internship

I’m softly opposed to this.

  1. Interns, in my experience, create about as much work as they complete. It’s not a steadfast rule, but someone who is brand new to a codebase and has a limited amount of prior experience needs a high degree of engagement from their mentors.
    One of the ways this is typically mitigated is to give them a well defined, free-standing project that they can complete without having to learn too much of an existing codebase- but if we want to do this, we should have a bounty for the project, not a bounty for an intern.

  2. An intern with a proven track record of delivering for Rocket Pool could be a great candidate for the team to have as a full-time employee.
    I get the sense the team is not constrained by the talent pool.

Anyway, I’m only “softly” opposed because I can’t make an informed decision here without knowing what tangible work will be done. I would love to see this application edited or resubmitted at a later date with a specific project requirements specification attached.

I strongly believe in mentoring and engaging with bright eyed and bushy tailed engineers. It’s highly rewarding. At the same time, though, we need to do it in a way that won’t be a disruption to the team or the community’s volunteers, and won’t be a disservice to the intern.

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It’s quiet in here. Time for some Grants Thoughts. A few questions for folks:

@Valdorff - for your grant proposal, are you amenable to modifying it so that you’re requesting it for a longer period of time, but with the understanding that you (or a different community member) may just choose to stop updating it at some point and that you’ll no longer receive the grant if you do? I appreciate that you’re keeping it time-limited, but I’m not sure having this grant application show up every cycle only to get re-approved every cycle is needed. We have other grants (Rescue Node, RF, etc.) that are on an “approved for six months subject to reapproval” system and I wondered if you’d be amenable to something like that perhaps?

@woh - I really like the concept and I was very on-board as I was reading it, until I got to the part where you were asking the GMC to put forward the $19,000 for the minipool ETH and RPL. That’s a big ask and a strong precedent to set for future grant requests that the GMC might be funding minipool deposits for people. Why do you believe it would be justified that the GMC would put forward that specific money (as opposed to the money to reimburse you for the website, phone, and phone plan, all of which I unhesitatingly support)? Does that ETH and that RPL remain the property of the pDAO? How is that enforceable? Do the NO rewards go back to the GMC’s treasury? How is that also enforceable? Who gets to decide when the validator can be exited or the rewards withdrawn? If the ETH/RPL is understood as being given to your/James’s as part of the grant (as opposed to your running the node on behalf of the pDAO), do you believe the scope of the project justifies what is essentially a $19,000 up front payment for it? For reference, that would basically be the single biggest grant we’d currently have running.

And now for some RA thoughts.

About the ETHDenver AirBNB reimbursement (taken from my comments on Discord):

I’m pretty torn although not from a GMC “conflict of interest” perspective as much as just the merits of the application itself. I do agree that it would have been much cleaner as a grant application prior to the event rather than as an RA.

The way I’d suggest people think about this is whether we want to be creating a precedent that if RP people want to do a retreat at any major ETH-related conference in the future, the GMC is willing to cover those costs. I don’t think we can in good faith approve this RA, for example, but then decline a similar app for a non-ETHDenver retreat request from community members in the future, unless we are specifying that there is something unique about ETHDenver as an event (maybe the presence of the whole team or something like that?). And even that feels a bit iffy.

It’s not a massive dollar request in the scope of the GMC’s budget (it’s .01% of the GMC’s current total reserves), so that’s at least helpful. It could be thought of as a marketing expense - become an RP Node Operator and the GMC will defray your retreat costs at a major ETH conference. But I’m also not sure it’s the most aligned thing in terms of what the GMC’s goals are.

I also wonder whether other community members would have made more of an effort to stay in an RP AirBNB if they’d known it was going to end up being free. I think mostly on the latter grounds I’d probably decline it and specify that if we want the GMC to fund stuff like this, we should probably fund it as a grant, announce it well in advance of the event, and prepare for what will probably be an onslaught of NOs who want subsidized conference housing.

For Val’s group of RAs, they all seem appropriate in terms of the pDAO wanting to fund them and I thought the dollar amounts mostly made sense in light of the previous amount given by the GMC to other activities. I particularly appreciate the use of smaller amounts ($250 for example) for small activities, which are the kind of thing people are probably unlikely to ask on their own behalf but that are still nice to show the pDAO’s appreciation.

Retro reward for ethdenver lodging
I don’t support the pDAO covering this in full.

The pDAO should be looking to the interests of at least all NOs and perhaps the whole RP community, while this serves a small minority. I don’t think this minority in turn provided huge value to the protocol by going. I do think there’s a value to community building, so I’d be up for something more akin to “yay community” than “we cover the costs”.

My community-centric suggestion would be more like:

  • 20% lodging cost grant to volunteers that stayed in RP house
  • 10% lodging cost grant to non-volunteers that stayed in RP house
  • 10% lodging cost grant to volunteers that stayed elsewhere (to be clear, I mean 10% of the RP house lodging cost)

Grant for Rocketphone
I don’t support the pDAO covering this.

I quite like the points being made by this project:

  • It’s ok to have some downtime
  • It’s ok to have somewhat limited hardware
  • It’s ok to have imperfect internet

But… I think those points have already been made by the existing test, so spending $24k seems unnecessary.

I’d also like to note that:

  • We removed the raspberry pi section of the docs for a reason - they caused too many normal users too many problems
  • Looking at just ETH: 16-ETH minipools outpace rETH by 1.15/.85 (numerator accounting for getting commission; denominator accounting for rETH paying commission). This means we get to rETH performance if we lose 26.1% of our rewards. It takes very roughly X time up to account for X time down. This means time down costs 2X (no earnings, and penalties). That means we can only be down ~13% of the time before we’d just be better off holding rETH. That’s assuming the same tax treatment. In many jurisdictions rETH is treated more beneficially and the crossover point would be less downtime. Performance need not be perfect, but it does need to be pretty good for it to make sense.

Retro reward for ethdenver lodging

I’d be in favor of a version of this grant which reimburses the work that the organizer(s) put in to making these things happen. That is work that benefited the community, which is sort of the whole purpose at the end of the day.

However, travel costs of the beneficiaries of that work is not itself work that benefited the community.

I don’t think the GMC should reimburse people’s travel expenses. That sort of thing feels like it should be done on a case-by-case basis (i.e. Bob wants to go to EthTimbuktu to give an RP talk, and submits a grant proposal for it. The GMC determines that it is valuable for Bob to represent the community at EthTimbuktu, and subsidizes his trip).

I, too, worry about the precedent here.


Yep - whatever is easy for the GMC. Indefinite/transferable if someone else becomes responsible would be ideal for me.

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I support the “thank you for volunteers” concept.

Regarding the idea that the GMC might be biased, I think folks trust them with $2M, so hopefully we trust them not to react strongly to $300. I support a quick discord poll, fwiw, but the real recourse is

Anyone MAY file an RPIP disputing a grant, bounty, or retrospective award within two weeks of the announcement of recipients. Such an RPIP SHALL be subject to a snapshot vote.

My Thoughts on Some of the Retrospective Awards

RocketArb Part 2
I agree with making Ramana’s total payment for RocketArb $10,000 USD which would be another payment of ~$4,700. We’ve had a lot of time since the last reward period to better gauge just how successful and useful the project was.

Hodja oDao Game
Though simple in nature, I think the oDAO game front-end was a project that deserves to be awarded. Rewarding the development of simple applications like this further promotes community growth and engagement.

Xer0 ETH Denver Lodging
This one was difficult for me because it was hard to come up with a solution that seemed the fairest given all the factors. My biggest opposition to this was the inability to set a healthy or predictable precedent moving forward.

Fornax ETH Denver Volunteers
I think this proposal is a great idea because it accomplishes some of Xer0’s proposal’s goals while including and acknowledging more community members.

Note: As Fornax pointed out, there is a conflict of interest for myself and most other GMC members who also volunteered.

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Expanding on Val’s Proposal for a Retrospective Award for Rocket Watch
Since December 2021, Rocket Watch has been collecting metrics about command usage and event emission. I have turned this data into a command that generates the following chart:

From the above, you can see that the monthly command usage never falls bellow 500 interactions per month (or around 17 calls per day), and peaked at over 2500 in a single month (over 80 calls per day)
I would also like to note the focus on uptime I have, hitting 99.89% over the last 6 months. There are multiple systems in place to ensure high uptime, such as automatic error reporting and periodic heartbeats to external services.

in the past few days i have also added a new commands, such as /minipool_withdrawal_stats, /delegate_stats and/beacon_state, and have modified a multitude of commands (such as /dp and /current_reth_apr) to suit the needs of others.

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Rocket Pool University Grant - Dr. Doofus

There is a Rocket Pool learning website currently funded and under development by the EV Mavericks in their Discord in the #Rocket School channel. The goal of the website is to create an interactive learning track / experience that helps onboard node developers and covers different technical concepts on how to maintain a node.

Right now the project has a project manager, web designer, web developer and videographer. They have made good progress on the website application itself and are just waiting on video content.

Unlike Dr. Doofus’ proposal, in the EV Mavericks project there is no scope for:

  1. Wallet sign-in via rainbowkit and wagmi
  2. Laravel Database for user course and quiz information storage
  3. POAP Delivery mechanism for course completion (might be manual at first)

The ideal scenario here might be Dr. Doofus extending functionality of systems that are already built. That way we don’t have multiple parties building the same thing.

@ramana can you speak to why the simulation tool is RP related? It seems like the connections (can use own node RPC, can be used for rETH related transactions) are minor or in fact negative (eg, it would be better if it works with any RPC).

I’m not against the top level idea, but this seems like an Ethereum public good and not an RP public good.

More minorly, I wonder if this is as effective as something like: (a) ease of readability wrappe around tenderly, and (b) chrome extension. I worry reach is dramatically limited if it relies on having a local RP node.

I think you’re right that it’s basically an Ethereum public good rather than a Rocket Pool specific public good. (I was not intending it to only work with Rocket Pool nodes as the RPC backend.)

Do you have thoughts on how it should be funded if not by Rocket Pool GMC?

Advantage over wrapping tenderly: you don’t have to trust tenderly to stay online and return correct results (i.e. fewer dependencies).

Advantage over an extension: it’s browser-agnostic and requires no special permissions. I was thinking it would just be a web page that can be served from anywhere (locally or hosted).

Maybe https://grants.gitcoin.co/?
Tight on time, but you have some text up already.

I think the GMC are still using this rubric, which would make it pretty hard to get an Ethereum good funded.

@epineph’s “Effective Governance Stipend”
I love this concept.

I’d request a couple of small edits:

  • #1 should include people that voted without ever setting a delegate (common for allnodes users, eg)
  • Epineph should provide a text file to the GMC to use with disperse.app - no need for custody
  • I’d suggest 3 small bounties for epineph to administer and 2 programming types (selected by epineph) to independently generate the lists (open source scripts pls) and work together until they match. My suggestion would be 10 RPL each.

I don’t think I support the effort described by @peterkrulis. I believe the benefit for rETH here is minimal and we should generally not support specific 3rd party protocols. For example, Gravita is a competing protocol in this space (think Liquity, but backed by LSTs) that has been in active development for a while.

@peterkrulis out of curiosity:

Just for others reading this, ShfRyn and I have discussed this and concluded, although I don’t speak for ShfRyn, that there is not that much overlap between the EVMavricks project and mine. Rocket Pool University could encompass theirs if they needed it to, but it is not built for exactly that purpose.

I have a demo site that ShfRyn has seen and it can be shared with GMC members as needed.

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