January 2023 Grants/Bounties/Retrospective Awards Round Results

Hello, Rocket Pool community.

On behalf of the GMC, I am happy to announce the following award winners for the January 2023 Grants/Bounties/RA Award Round. For those who did not receive an award, please note that applicants are welcome to re-apply. The next round will likely kick off on April 1, pending finalization of the ongoing RPIP-18 vote. Also, please note that there was one broad category of grant applications - translations of RP documentation - that were not accepted at this time due to anticipated upcoming changes to the documentation due to the Atlas upgrade. A full explanation is below.

This post also begins the fourteen-day clock during which, according to RPIP-15, “[a]nyone 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.” Any awards not subject to such a challenge will become official on February 15 at 23:59 UTC.

Award Denominations

Awards were denominated in USD for the purposes of committee discussions and voting on finalized award amounts. Awards were then converted to RPL at the current ratio ($38/RPL) as of shortly before this posting (and then rounded up to the nearest RPL). There is further discussion below of how payouts will occur.

Proposal Scoring Process Before setting out to score applications, the GMC formulated a rubric based on the mandate given by the pDAO. You can find the rubric and discussion [here](https://dao2.rocketpool.net/t/official-gmc-rubric-application-template-procedures-for-round-1-starting-january-1-2023/1329).

While most grants were relatively straightforward to score, the GMC encountered a few instances where the decision to award a grant or an RA was easy but determining an appropriate amount under our mandate was challenging.

Many committee members conceive of the GMC as a way to provide incidental funding for things that would not be possible without other funding methods. Additionally, the GMC was conscious that this was the first of what will hopefully be many award rounds to come and, for this reason, the committee tended to be conservative in its rewards.

Some grants and RAs centered on more consistent/structural parts of the protocol, such as support personnel and business development. The GMC agrees that these are highly valuable, and funded them as such, but encourages the community to discuss how to handle these more structural expenses going forward.

Awards, Average Overall Scores, and Feedback

Below is the list of award recipients, along with any specific information on the payout structure, the acceptance criteria (for grants), and any other notes that the committee wished to have as part of the official documentation for the decision. The average score - from 1 to 15 for grants and bounties and 1 to 5 for retrospective awards - is also listed. You can also find this in Google Sheets here. That Google Sheet also contains anonymized feedback from committee members to the applicants/community for each submission.

Number Proposer Title Awarded? Amount (RPL - RPL at $38/RPL) Amount (USD) Pay structure Other Acceptance Criteria Average score
GA012302 Patches Rescue Node Yes 419 $15,900 $10,500(277 RPL) upfront plus $900 (23.66 RPL) a month for 6 months May be renewable at 6 months for additional 6 months pending approval of GMC Evidence of upkeep of rescue node 14.57
GA012303 Valdorff DeFi Opportunities Page Yes 16 $600 $200 (5.33 RPL) a month/3 months Verification of regular updates 12.93
GA012305 waq Rocket Fuel Yes 579 $22,000 $3,650 (96.5 RPL) a month/6 months May be renewable at 6 months for additional 6 months pending approval of GMC Verification of regular episodes 11.25
GA012306 Knoshua oDAO Analysis Yes 573 $21,750 $7250 (191 RPL) a month/3 months Delivery of project report each period; Stretch goals (sections on actionable designs/implementation) would be required for final payment. 13.21
GA012308 DataNexus Subgraph update Yes 231 $8,750 Verication of succesful completion of update 12.42
GA012312 fornax Rocket BUIDLers workshop Yes 106 $4,000 Paid in advance for items that must be purchased in advance, o/w sent to bounty winners 13.67
GA012315 paris Alphaday dashboard Yes 51 $1,910 $1310 (39 RPL) upon completion of dashboard plus $100 (2 RPL) a month/6 months May be renewable at 6 months for additional 6 months pending approval of GMC Verification of dashboard completion and maintenance 10.86
GA012318 deukey Korean translation of Jasper’s work Yes 14 $500 Verification of translation completion 10.93
GA012319 json KlimaDAO Yes 47 $1,750 Upon receipt 11
GA012321 ken Forced Withdrawals research paper Yes 395 $15,000 Publication of research report 11.92
GA012323 hannibu Rocketpool.community Yes 20 $740 $250 (6.66 RPL) a month/3 months Grant request was for 2 months maintenance; awarded 3 months due to anticipated change in GMC cycle - applicant may choose to only accept 2 months’ worth and stop maintenance after 2 months Verification of regular updates 13.64
GA012324 Sleety Tweet thread animations Yes 198 $7,500 $1250 (33 RPL) a month/6 months May be renewable at 6 months for additional 6 months pending approval of GMC Verification of publishing of gifs 13.5
BA012301 valdorff FAQ document Yes 53 $2,000 Answers must be provided in both article / doc page PR form; pot can be refreshed by GMC if it runs low 12.83
RA012301 ramana RocketArb Yes 139 $5,250 4.43
RA012302 Butta Beaconcha.in integration Yes 494 $18,750 3.71
RA012303 waq Prior Rocket Fuel work Yes 645 $24,500 3.5
RA012304 0xFornax Smartnode Yes 119 $4,500 4.93
RA012305 peteris Queue clearing contract + gas Yes 37 $1,400 4.64
RA012306 peteris Rocketscan Yes 1382 $52,500 Additional 500 RPL/$17,500 possible if open sourced - if so, then apply for RA for open sourcing\ 4.86
RA012307 jasper Business development Yes 1579 $60,000 3.71
RA012309 vacalaranja RPL-bot Yes 185 $7,000 3.86
RA012310 halzen OP grant proposal Yes 73 $2,750 3.33
RA012311 ken Smoothing pool research paper Yes 178 $6,750 Amount was apportioned 1/3 SP paper, 2/3 LEB paper 3.67
RA012312 ken LEB research paper Yes 369 $14,000 Amount was apportioned 1/3 SP paper, 2/3 LEB paper 4.67
RA012313 patches Discord support Yes 1843 $70,000 Community needs to figure out how they want to pay for support going forward 4.5
RA012314 objectObject Discord support Yes 487 $18,500 Community needs to figure out how they want to pay for support going forward 4.67
RA012315 hannibu Rocketpool.community Yes 73 $2,750 3.86
BA012303 ken 0x03 champion Withdrawn
GA012304 ArtDemocrat Spanish Translation No - Translation 10
GA012307 timlaimuoingin Chinese and Vietnamese Translation No - Translation 11.14
GA012309 Fuliggine Italian Translation No - Translation 10.5
GA012317 kriptobetyar Hungarian translation No - Translation 11
GA012320 madmat French translation No - Translation 11.07
GA012325 ilk.eth Translation of Intro. section into 5 languages No - Translation 10.86
GA012301 adalhi RP Quarterly Financial Reports No 7.43
GA012310 outsider analytics User cohort analysis No 8.36
GA012311 toniw Mev boost/tornado warning site No 7.64
GA012313 daGscheid RP Node Setup in Stereum No Should get with Dev Team about this project 9.79
GA012314 lefteris Rotki No 10.07
GA012316 qz-clrfund Rocket Poll QF round No Would welcome this proposal in a future round when GMC more established 9.25
GA012322 chainclarity rETH liquidity dashboard No 11.71
RA012308 feelinggood Ultrasound.Money No 1.92
Final Vote After numerous discussions on the individual submissions, the committee voted on the slate as a whole. The final vote was 7 in favor and 0 opposed, with relevant abstentions for conflicts of interest from Ken (GA012321, RA012311, and RA012312), objectObject (RA012314), and waqwaqattack (GA012305 and RA012303).
Payout Denominations and RPL Price Fluctuations As this was our first round of awards, the committee had significant conversations on USD/RPL. Those included what unit to ask applicants to denominate their applications in the future, what unit to hold our committee discussions in, what unit to announce awards in, and what unit to do payments in (and how). The fluctuations in RPL’s USD value this month - from $20 when applications were opened up to $40 at the time during deliberations - demonstrate the difficulties involved in having a treasury denominated in such a variable asset. There is also the issue that most of us, implicitly or explicitly, account in fiat and have a less innate sense of what “20 RPL” means versus “$800”.

As such, the committee has decided to do the following. In future rounds, applicants will be asked to list any requested amounts in USD. Committee deliberations will take place in USD, and award amounts will initially be set in USD for committee voting purposes. Shortly before the announcement of awards, the USD amounts will be translated to RPL at current values. The awards will be announced in both USD and RPL, but the RPL amount will be what will be awarded to applicants. This was chosen for several reasons, including accounting, convenience, and recognition that RPL is the protocol token.

The committee recognizes that this shifts price risk to award recipients, which is most germane to those grants that pay out over a period of time and those retrospective award recipients who will have to receive payment over several months/years due to the existing cap (see below). The committee is open to revisiting ongoing grant/RA payments and open bounties should RPL’s value fall significantly from its awarding, to more fully reflect the USD value at the time of awarding. The committee also reserves the right to change accounting/awarding practices in the future. However, should it do so, it is committed to allowing open grants/RAs the more preferential treatment of the old and new systems.

Continued below because this hit the character limit.

3 Likes

Continued from above due to character limit (still part of the official award announcement).

Retroactive Award Payouts and the 50% Cap

RPIP-15 specifies that “[i]n any given award period, no more than 50% of the awarded RPL SHALL go to retroactive awards.” The GMC interpreted this to mean that while it could award future RPL payments to Retroactive Award recipients, it could not send out any more RPL to RAs than in set aside for awarded Grants/Bounties for this round. The committee awarded $102,400 worth of RPL to grants/bounties and $288,650 to RAs. Given the large backlog of recipients, the committee was comfortable with this distribution. Due to the 50% cap, only $102,400 of the $288,650 (35%) can be sent out during this award round.

The committee debated several ways of determining which RA recipients would receive payment in which amounts. In the end, the committee decided the fairest way to handle it was to give every RA recipient 35% of their awarded payment now and continue making future payments as and when it is allowable under the cap (e.g., as more grant and bounty applications come in), or sooner if the cap is raised or eliminated.

Additional Comments on Language Translations

The GMC appreciates applicants’ interest in translating Rocket Pool’s documents. However, after consulting with the protocol’s core development team, it has been determined that the documents will likely undergo significant changes in the wake of the protocol’s upcoming Atlas upgrade. Additionally, the protocol is in the process of establishing the accepted methods for language translation. As a result, the GMC is postponing decisions on guide translations at this time. Once the documentation has stabilized post-Atlas and a system for accepting document translations has been established, the GMC will tag each of this round’s applicants and open the opportunity to the broader community, perhaps in the form of an open bounty.

Additional Comments on Support Payouts

In recognition of the decision to have any payments to various “support personnel” (e.g., those who help NOs in the #support channel of the Discord server, among other support tasks) come from the pDAO budget, the GMC believes it is appropriate to recognize such individuals for their work done before 2023 in the form of retrospective awards. The committee highly recommends the pDAO as a whole to come up with a different system moving forward. Perhaps this would entail the creation of a new Support Management Committee or simply more community discussions of what percentage of the pDAO inflation payout are appropriate to pay for support personnel and how the contributions of such individuals should be monitored and measured. That budget line could come in part or in whole from the 30% that is allocated to the GMC or the 20% for reserves (or even in part from the 50% for the IMC). In recognition of the significant amount of voluntary work that is expected of the seven individuals on the GMC, though, the committee would prefer not to be managing or supervising payouts to Rocket Pool’s support personnel moving forward unless the community has established clear guidelines for how much it would like to spend per period on doing so, and an easy way to account for who has done what share of the work.

The GMC would like to thank the community for its patience during this first round. There were several hitches as part of the expected start-up costs of a new committee. Still, the GMC believes it is better positioned for the next round of applications in March or April based on what it has learned from this experience. We are now beginning the process of reaching out to applicants to gather payment addresses and, in the case of grants/bounties, establishing committee liaisons and discussing timelines, and clarifying acceptance criteria.

Edited to add that the community challenge period is now closed. There were no challenges this round. All Grants/RAs/Bounties will be funded at the amounts listed above. The first part of RA payments (approximately 35% of each total award) will go out soon. For grants, please look for a message in Discord or here from your GMC liaison to discuss award acceptance criteria, payment schedule, etc. in the next day or two.

1 Like

This bit is just my personal reflection and not an official committee comment. The hardest part was deciding how to value big ticket RAs. I felt pretty keenly aware that we were setting precedents for expectations for other RAs that were out there or that might be out there in the future, and was therefore leery of setting it too high. If the GMC in the future decides to raise its general amounts for RAs or it just becomes clear that there are big reserves not being spent, I’d support the GMC awarding additional retroactive funds in proportion to the original amounts awarded (though I’ll not be on the committee at that point - happy to push for it from outside). It seemed to me more fair to be conservative first and adjust from there.

1 Like

As a PSA, there are more columns than naturally show up (even on a wide screen).

My view

And scrolling right by selecting and dragging

The Google Sheet is easier to read imo

2 Likes

thank you to all of the contributors for your efforts in making the Rocket Pool ecosystem and community so strong. and thank you to the GMC for this crucial work in recognizing their work with monetary compensation.

4 Likes

Really tremendous job by the GMC, doing a difficult/impossible task no one else wants to do without reimbursement. A tremendous win for rocket pool governance. Thank you all for your efforts!

I did want to ask this though:

Since discussions were presumably private (‘Public”’ discussion thread was dead for 2 weeks, and comments on google doc anonymized), how should pDAO members base their decisions on which committee members they want to keep next vote?

Maybe I’m missing some available public discussion/votes channel? Was Joe unreasonably confrontational? Was Waq the glue that held the committee together? Was Object MIA and had to be forced to participate by court order?

Usually elected positions have individual actions that voters can use to evaluate job performance. Or at least ensure that their priorities are our priorities. Or you foresee future elections as more ‘the GMC as a whole has done a reasonably good job, I’ll re-elect them as a bloc’?

3 Likes

It’s a fair question. In the beginning of January we had a lot of discussions about how much of the committee’s conversations should be private versus public. I was very much on team private and, in reviewing both the nature of our discussions and the reaction that some have had to their awards, I think that remains the correct decision to allow committee members to express honest preferences.

In theory, having a GMC voting record is a concrete way for pDAO voters to hold members accountable, but that doesn’t really work if we reach consensus every time. One thing I think we could and probably should do next time is have the feedback be non-anonymous. That way every member is on record with their thoughts. It would also help ensure we had full participation in giving feedback (I was a bit disappointed that only 4 of 7 chose to do so).

There are also some discussions that aren’t about the applications that could take place publicly (e.g. the ones about award denominations, etc. could definitely have been public). They weren’t mostly because of the nature of the tools we ended up using to communicate. We finally found something that made our work much more doable - Discord fora - but my impression (which could be wrong) is that the permission levels are set at the level of the forum and not the individual post.

1 Like

Would individual rubric scores be a useful metric to share? I assume the averages came from those.

I think you mentioned multiple voting rounds reaching consensus – so perhaps a variant showing votes over time would work? Seeing where someone moved towards everyone else and where they dug in could be useful.

Eg, maybe I feel something really got short shrift and I see that it was just one member digging in and convincing everyone. Or perhaps I see the opposite - there was one member defending that proposal for a long time.

1 Like

There was only one round of voting, which was the official slate at the end. There was very little disagreement about what should or should not qualify, with most of the discussion around amounts. We do have individual scores, though. I think it would probably require a committee discussion prior to sharing the completed ones, if only because some might have scored them with the idea that they would be private. It’s easy for me to be okay with it since I don’t care what any of you think any more :stuck_out_tongue: But I certainly think those could be public going forward if that’s what the community wanted, which is also easy for me to be okay with it since I won’t be scoring any more proposals.

Definitely need to keep in mind we’re new to this!

I would certainly love to see more information/discussion around where the amounts for RAs came from. The comments in the spreadsheet with the final results are pretty sparse, and don’t go into any of the reasoning or calculation.

Hey @calurduran thank you for making this post and for the detailed analysis of your thinking for some grants.

I understand that rotki’s proposal to integrate rocketpool validator analysis and accounting as requested by our users here: Properly account for assets managed via rocketpool nodes · Issue #3770 · rotki/rotki · GitHub was rejected. But unlike other grants there is no additional comments. Just a “No”.

A rejection is fine ofcourse, but would you have any feedback for us or our users why is that or what we could do to be considered in a further round?

Comments are in the Google sheet at N2:N5

Nice to have, but price too high, especially considering the features would largely be behind a paywall.

I do not feel this is important for us at this time

I like the idea of having something to help with portfolio management, but it looks like you’re asking for it all up-front since this is a grant. I’d like to revisit this with a more dispersed payout structure with smaller milestones before disbursing it all at once.

This was a borderline application for me. I can see the value of the product, but am not convinced that it is sufficiently valuable to the many different stakeholders of RP to justify the expense, especially given that some of the utility would be behind a paywall.

1 Like

Thanks for linking to the feedback!

re paywal: As I stated in the application this feature would naturally not have required premium to access since it would be funded by a grant. This was a concern already raised when we applied, and a valid one. The limit in the number of validators is something that is standard in the industry for pricing. Notably beaconcha.in which got awarded a grant has the same approach in their premium service (I am a user).

Anyway thank you for your time and the feedback. Appreciate the time you guys spent looking at all the grant applications, including ours. If you would at any point like to revisit a grant for rotki let us know.

1 Like

We’re excited to get this one going! We’re grateful for the opportunity and look forward to turning this out for the community!

Sorry for my delay in responding - I’ve been tending to real life stuff this week that I needed to catch up on after the GMC stuff in January. Peteris got you the official feedback, but I’ll add a bit more (strictly from my own perspective). The rotki grant was a tough one to evaluate, especially so early in our existence as a committee. I can certainly see the general utility of it, but it’s hard for me to estimate community demand for something like this. Is this something that our NOs would think was a huge plus, and thus would be worth our subsidizing the development of? Or is it something that only a few would use? It might be worth your putting up a forum post gauging community sentiment prior to the next grant round in April, which would give the committee some sense of the utility of the project to the community. It is also a fairly sizeable ask compared to the other grants we awarded. The only other ones that got $15,000 or more were either ones where the money was still only a partial offset (GA012305) or where the grant itself was so central to what RP does that there could be no argument about how much it was needed (the rescue node, oDAO research paper, forced exits research paper).

Hey @calurduran thanks for the extra comments! If this amount is considered high then I don’t think your grants can work for funding software feature development. This is how much it costs. If you would prefer to only cover part of the development then this is also possible (cowswap for example asked us to do exactly that).

I appreciate the extra feedback. I will let it up to the RP community/users to decide if they want this implemented. If you guys ask us to re-apply or implement it we will. With any changes like partial subsidizing and not paying for the entire feature if you can’t/don’t want to.

But just re-applying next round without any positive feedack from the RP side would probably be a waste of our time, so unless I get some positive feedback that the result would be different I would not bother re-applying.

Understanding a feature, speccing it out, talking with users about what they need, then posting a bounty application, and then a grant application all take quite a bit of time on our side and we are really small. Time is something we can’t waste.

Again thanks for taking the time to review our application. Hopefully will hear some positive feedback in the future and we can get this moving forwards.

2 Likes

Congratulations all grantees! Special thanks to @jasperthegovghost for initial feedback on my submission.

That’s 27 potential grantees to a Rocket Pool QF round! Super welcome to any and all feedback on how we might be able to make this happen with support from the GMC. Projects such as Discord Support, research papers (desci as a public good), and many winning open source projects are perfect.

Thank you @calurduran for your hard work putting all this together especially the level of professionalism in ensuring fairness and transparency (we notice!)

2 Likes

Thanks! In general, I would say the GMC was very excited about the idea of a Rocket Pool QF Round but it was mostly a matter of current bandwith. With all of the startup (time) costs of getting the GMC up and running, the thought of layering QF efforts on top of that seemed like a bit much to do right now. The committee itself is expanding from 7 to 9 and once the group has been through an application round or two it should be easier to greenlight the idea of a QF round. I’d recommend re-submitting the application either in April or July. You can basically use the same application, and just add a note that the feedback from the committee in the past was that they liked the idea but suggested you re-apply once the GMC had its proverbial sea legs under it.

1 Like

This note is just to certify that the community challenge period is now closed. There were no challenges this round. All Grants/RAs/Bounties will be funded at the amounts listed above. The first part of RA payments (approximately 35% of each total award) will go out soon. For grants, please look for a message in Discord or here from your GMC liaison to discuss award acceptance criteria, payment schedule, etc. in the next day or two.