With the official launch of the Osmosis Grants Program (“OGP”), we’d like to take a step back and discuss the vision and objectives for the program. While grants programs are not new to this space, they are often loosely defined in their strategic goals. The objective of this document is to shed light on the goals of grants programs and leave the community with a better understanding of the long-term strategic initiatives for the OGP.
Background on Grants Programs and Ecosystem Funds
Outside of liquidity mining, grants programs and ecosystem funds are two of the most common growth strategies we’ve seen employed by DAOs.
- Grants Programs: For protocol DAOs, grants programs serve as a catch-all to fund initiatives that add value to the protocol or enable faster growth. This includes funding research that influences the direction of the protocol, bug-bounties and audits, or complimentary features and tooling for users. While grants programs often start with a number of small one-off projects, the most successful grants often evolve into more formal, longer-term relationships. In this way, these programs also serve as a funnel to identify the next “10x” contributor or a critical service provider that can greatly improve the protocol.
- Ecosystem Funds: For layer 1’s, ecosystem funds provide grants to incentivize developers to build on their chain and help bootstrap the ecosystem. These grants have proven to be critically important to the development of the Cosmos ecosystem as we’ve seen through the funding of Osmosis itself. By replacing the need for venture capital funding, these projects can instead return that value back to the community and other stakeholders by way of an airdrop. In this way, ecosystem grants enable the development of valuable protocols while better aligning these projects with their community of future users from inception.
Introducing the OGP
The motivation behind the OGP is simple: Osmosis has gained incredible amounts of traction since launch, but it will need growth strategies beyond liquidity incentives to grow market share long-term. Before proceeding further, it’s worth revisiting what sets Osmosis apart. Osmosis’ competitive advantage lies in its ability to control the full stack, from the blockchain itself to the application layer to the UX and Keplr wallet integration.
Because of its vertical integration, Osmosis can provide more unique and differentiated capabilities than other AMM’s, including native MEV protection, LP specific governance framework, superfluid staking, as well as the smoothest UX of any DeFi application.
Similarly, a grants program for Osmosis can fund initiatives that add value to both the core AMM, as well as the underlying appchain infrastructure. This is differentiated from other grants programs which generally focus on one or the other. With that in mind, the main objectives of the OGP are:
- Accelerate ecosystem development by funding projects that build on Osmosis and bring value to Osmosis stakeholders. This approach draws inspiration from the ICF which has already provided billions of dollars of value to the Cosmos community through the airdrops of ICF-funded projects such as Osmosis, Juno, and Evmos, among others.
- Fund individuals and teams that add value to Osmosis. The top grant recipients will be encouraged to join the DAO as long-term contributors or service providers.
Below, we’ve included a table that shows OGP’s funding priorities. For a full list of the existing RFPs, please visit the OGP website.
As shown above, there are a huge range of opportunities to accelerate development in areas that drive value to Osmosis. Below are a few high priority examples that we’d like to highlight:
- Applications built on Osmosis that provide complimentary products such as options or vault strategies.
- Analytics and tooling to further differentiate Osmosis in its user experience versus other AMMs. Examples include pool-level analytics, node monitoring and alerts, portfolio management tools, tax services, etc.
- Core infrastructure development such as CosmWasm tooling, Keplr wallet functionality, or IBC relayer operations.
- Critical research related to the future of Osmosis such as new AMM designs that improve capital efficiency or incentive structures that ensure that Osmosis transactions remain gas-free in the long-term.
OGP welcomes applicants working on all of the areas above, in addition to what’s listed in the RFP’s.
If successful, OGP’s work will result in:
- The development of new features, tooling, and infrastructure that grow market share for Osmosis.
- Identification and hiring of full-time and part-time contributors and service providers to grow the number of people working on Osmosis.
- Evolving Osmosis from a single application appchain to a robust layer 1 ecosystem.
We hope that this document provides you with a better understanding of the OGP’s goals and its role in the evolution of Osmosis!