With the likely passing of proposal 5234, there will be a portion of the seigniorage redirected to the community pool at the end of every epoch. With the influx of new resources, it is critical that the community spend the funding with wisdom, transparency, and efficiency. Historic methods of distribution (“trust me, bro”) are insufficient with no accountability, nor is there any established peer review process in the distribution nor oversight in the use of grant funding.
I propose the establishment of the Terra Classic Grants Program for this purpose. The grants foundation will have the following procedure.
- Identify needs or deficiencies within the Classic ecosystem. These needs will be through community solicitation, or roundtable discussions with community members, validators, developers, and users.
- Create Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for identified needs. For example, this could be a general call to attract NFT developers back to Classic, build educational material for Terra Classic, promote Terra Classic via social media, rewards (for devs, validators, promoters who stuck with LUNC from the beginning) or very specific requests such as “Add 2-factor authentication to Terra Station wallet”, or “Maintain a TestNet for developers”.
- Market RFPs to the greater crypto/cosmos community to collect grant applications. Unsolicited grants will also be accepted.
- Find independent grant reviewers with no conflicts of interest to the grant proposer. A small stipend will be offered for the review of the grant. Grant reviewers could be members both internal and external to the Luna Classic community (from Osmosis for example).
- Perform a synchronous review of the grant proposals with independent (anonymous) reviewers. Come up with a recommendation (poor, fair, good, excellent). Grants over the threshold will be recommended for funding and presented for community pool distribution. There is no fixed set of reviewers; reviewers will be chosen based upon their expertise in relation to the proposal.
- Grant proposers will be interviewed and KYC’d and presented to the community.
- Community governance will be presented with all of the information, a discussion will be posted on Agora, and recommendations of the independent reviewers will be presented. The community will then be asked to vote for distribution to a multi-sig wallet controlled by the team and the Grants Program Manager.
- Distribution of the funds in the multi-sig will be “pay by milestone”. Funds will only be distributed upon satisfactory completion of the given milestones as signed off by the program manager via the multi-sig wallet.
- Grantee’s will provide project updates in the form of documents, videos, or demonstrations as proof of work until the grant expires.
Current methods of community pool distribution have not been adequately formulated. Historic methods of community pool spending have suffered from a myriad of problems including, nepotism, centralization, poor transparency, lack of accountability, and lack of direction.
Currently, there is only one highly visible developer group active in Luna Classic (Terra Rebels). As one of the co-founders of Terra Rebels, our vision was not to centralize power and influence but give it to the larger community. There is also no way anyone could compete with the Terra Rebels as they work as a volunteer organization with limited donation and sponsorship. The barrier for another highly skilled developer team is extremely high. Additionally, there is a high level of centralization in the top validators. Strong influencers within the community could essentially push forth their (and their friends) ideas for financial gain. A grants program with independent reviews of the proposed contributions of a project, group, or developer team will attract new talent, evaluate proposals on merit (not who you know), while providing funding for the delivery of specific milestones.
Furthermore, once the funds are voted and distributed, there is no accountability for the projects or teams to deliver what they promise. A pay by milestone model will provide enough seed capital for the project to get started, and incentivize the completion of that project or proposal.
*This grants program does not prevent the submission of any community pool distribution on its own. This will be the recommended method to request a grant due to the oversight, peer review, and rationale described above.
**The grants program does not actually fund anything, just collects proposals, organizes independent reviews, makes recommendations via these reviews, and keeps projects accountable. All community spend proposals still need to go through governance and voting by the community.
Community Distribution Request
I am requesting 1.45M USTC and 50M LUNC (approx, $68,000) from the community pool to establish and run the Terra Classic Grants Program as the Program Director. The funds will be budgeted to run the foundation for expenses and efforts of the program for the next 6 months. The percentage cost/effort is indicated in parentheses.
- Build a Grants website to market and accept grants. (15%)
- Hire a program manager to assist with the project. (50%)
- Establish the criteria and metrics by which the grants will be evaluated. (5%)
- Solicit feedback from the community and identify deficiencies in the ecosystem. (5%)
- Distribute RFPs to bring utility to the chain. (5%)
- Recruit (and provide stipends) to independent reviewers to evaluate project proposals. (10%)
- Assist grantees in bringing proposals to the community. (5%)
- Provide oversight and accountability for funded projects from the community pool. (5%)
I am an Associate Professor in Computer Science and Co-founder of the Terra Rebels organization. I have been volunteering for the betterment of the Classic chain for the past 6 months. In my day job, I have received $2.19M in total research funding in the past 5 years. I have received grant awards from the National Science Foundation, United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and Department of Defense. I regularly review grant proposals for the National Science Foundation and other grant agencies.
Conflict of Interest
I am associated with several groups within the Terra Classic community including the Terra Rebels and TerraCVita organization. If any of these organizations decide to pursue funding under this initiative, I will publicize my conflict of interest and recuse myself from any decisions related to that proposal. Furthermore, if a conflict of interest organization does receive funding, and I am noted as a contributor of that project, I would receive zero funding (in addition to not be involved in any decisions).