Introducing our Funding Strategy
On February 10th, 2022, the Cosmos Hub community gave birth through proposal #95 to the very first DAO in its existence: the ATOM Accelerator
Since then, members of the Accelerator have established efficient workflows for the team and crystallized the Accelerator’s grant-making strategy.
The ATOM Accelerator is first and foremost in service of the Cosmos Hub and ATOM token holders. As of today, the newly formed DAO is the only dedicated structure that is 100% ATOM aligned and will mainly focus on incubating projects that directly or indirectly drive value to the Cosmos Hub and the ATOM token. As a reference point, the ICF for example funds the entire Interchain, mostly public goods and as such is not necessarily ATOM aligned.
Today, the Cosmos Hub faces multiple challenges that threaten its long term sustainability: highly inflationary token, lack of utility within the Interchain, absence of Business Development, and poor governance tooling. Not addressing these challenges put the Cosmos Hub at risk of being outcompeted by other Cosmos app-chains.
Enter the model of Shared Security, called Replicated Security which is a breath of fresh air for the Cosmos Hub and brings a much needed utility to the ATOM token. It is a decisive step in the right direction that needs to be supported but also expanded on with other layers.
This is what is commonly referred to as the “ATOM economic zone’’. The goal behind the ATOM zone is to build a cluster of community-oriented and economic activities where the Hub acts as a security provider first, then as an Interchain Services provider next.
In other words, in order for the ATOM economic zone to be effective, other services need to exist on top of security and the tooling to support trade and collaboration between Partner chains (called ‘consumer chains’ in Replicated Security). Setting in motion Replicated Security and the ATOM economic zone is even more crucial given the current lack of features in the Hub’s functionalities.
ATOM ACCELERATOR FUNDING CATEGORIES
In light of the context described above, the ATOM Accelerator will be focusing most of its funding on the following categories.
For each category, we added specific examples of grants the ATOM Accelerator would be interested in funding. The list is NOT exhaustive and teams are welcome to apply for grants that are not listed below.
1. Replicated security (RS)
a) Economics & cost effectiveness of RS
b) Validator working group to optimize Replicated security from validator perspective
c) Upgrade of chains to become RS compatible
2. ATOM economic zone build-out
a) New consumer chains onboarding
b) Consumer chains council to advance the economic zone agenda
c) ATOM incentive models for consumer chain ramp-up
d) Token swap function between ATOM and consumer chain tokens
e) Harnessing MEV for ATOM stakers
f) Code audits of consumer chain
3. Business development
a) Institutional custody for ATOM and consumer chain token
b) Wallet integrations for ATOM as gateway asset
c) Media coverage & partnerships
4. Governance, infra & tooling
a) Community pool vesting + streaming of payments to DAOs & contributors
b) Tooling to enable payout of ATOM from community pool in USD terms and/or to split funding types in a proposal across set-up & streaming
c) Interchain wallet
d) Tooling to enable sortition based governance processes
e) Tooling to enable community members to rank roadmap ideas
f) Working groups for community projects
g) Process for proposal authors to make presentations to validators
h) Other enhancements to improve Hub governance & deliberation
i) DAO infrastructure
j) New DAO bootstrapping
5. Interchain Public Goods
a) Cosmos SDK
c) Concensus engine
Note: in the case of interchain public goods funding, we have decided that we would fund them collectively with other Cosmos focused grant programs. The ATOM Accelerator will not be funding them alone, but will actively coordinate with other interchain grant programs
6. Applied R&D
a) Long-term vision for the Cosmos Hub & the ATOM tokenomics
b) ICS v2
c) Mesh Security
d) Liquid Staking
e) New Interchain Services that can be offered to DAOs, Chains, Cosmonauts: governance, liquidity, administrative, registry, citizenship, credit, etc
f)Interviews with DAOs, Chains, and Cosmonauts to discover & publish needs
Note: preference given to proposals seeking to lock, burn, or integrate ATOM
7. Events, Marketing & Education
a) Onboarding Web2 developers into the Cosmos Hub community
c) Community events & conference sponsoring
8. Decentralized identity and credentialing
a) Wallet aggregators
b) Proof of personhood: proves the user is a human
c) Learn to earn: credentials earned by completing coursework
d) Crypto credit scores: numeric rating based on historical crypto transactions
e) Web 3 LinkedIn equivalent: earn and showcase qualifications to build a f) Web3 resume; tool to link Web 2 identities to wallets
Please note that funding priority will be given to categories listed above but other ideas will also be considered if they can drive value for ATOM.
The ATOM Accelerator will employ 3 different methods to deliver grants
A. Passive open grants: applicants find an idea they have an interest in and submit
B. Outreach based grants where the ATOM Accelerator proactively seeks out to fund specific initiatives and encourages specific individual or teams to apply for a grant
C. RFPs. In a few instances, the ATOM Accelerator will manifest its interest in projects its Reviewer Committee deems strategic for ATOM and will be publishing more detailed guidelines on its functional and technical needs. Multiple teams are encouraged to participate and submit an application.
We expect to publish several initial RFPs soon, stay tuned!
PROPOSAL REVIEW & PROCESS
Proposals shall be assessed on the following criteria:
- Program Fit 20% weight
- Project Plan 20% weight
- Team 30% weight
- Value for ATOM 30% weight
Applicants who pass the pre-screening step will be invited to one or more interviews with the Accelerator team to present their proposal.
The Accelerator team may or may not want to break-up the award of funds over 1 to 4 project milestones.
Applictions can be made via the website: https://www.atomaccelerator.com/
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