NEW: Developer Grants Program & Community Awards Board

We are of course using a lot of company time and money for this - probably more than what is in this proposal.

That said, I understand the hesitation. The intent was to engage with the community. If you or others don’t like the proposal then vote against it. No harm, no foul.

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We support the cause 100%. It sounds like a great way to attract developers and grow the surrounding infrastructure!

It would be good however to have some clarity around whether/why this falls outside of the remit of the existing marketing/dev funds. Although it doesn’t sound like the initiative has been raised by the community, I don’t see why the community can’t choose to spend the community pool funds on this so long as we have sufficient information to be able to make an informed decision.

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FYI all, an update came through from Chandra Station on Twitter and Medium:

For those following along here…

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Hi @KamuelBob, thank you for the question and suggestion. If you have ideas, please share them!

Was the initiative raised by the community?
I wrote this proposal to give the community pool funds back to the community, as the pool approaches 1M tokens. Specifically I believe we should give it to developers who have been working very hard to build tools and products that help grow the network.

I asked the entire community to review this proposal, collected feedback, and incorporated their ideas. I proposed a Community Awards Board (CAB) made up of community members and Akash core team members to manage the fund with total transparency.

Also, I asked the company for review and incorporated feedback from the team. One person requested that it be a multi-sig account with added security and transparency rather than an account managed by one person or entity. One person suggested that the proposal should start small, and so the proposal 9 would spend just over 10% of the pool. Another person suggested rather than this be “my” proposal we should simply share it to the community and see if everyone embraces the idea and let the community own it and submit it.

After a week of public comment and feedback, one of the most well known and respected community leaders asked to submit the proposal.

Since submitting the proposal, the idea to use a more decentralized multi-sig account owned and operated by more people was suggested by multiple people on Twitter and here in the forum and is now being incorporated into a new proposal.

If you are on the board, should you be allowed to vote to award to yourself?
It seems ethical to me that someone who applies for an award should not be signing a transaction awarding themself or their business partner funds, and they should either resign from the board or abstain from the vote.

How many developers do we expect to participate?
Let’s think about how we can scale a developer program, and how much it will cost. Can we interview every developer before we give them even $100 to get started? (A: No) If you look at the numbers in the proposal, it scales 10x at each of the four tiers from $100 to $1000 to $10,000 to $100,000. The first phase of the developer program is to deploy $100 to a very large number of developers, a number I estimate around 1,000 developers based on the traffic we see on the Community and Discord Chat. Only in later phases are we going to fund larger amounts. This ensures that the developers that receive large awards of $10k or $100k have been around for some time and already received smaller awards for $100 or $1,000, building trust one step at a time. This also means that this proposal is the first of a few proposals to continue funding this program. We started with just 10% of the funds, to see it get started and work the kinks out. Then we can come back and ask for more money once the first amount is spent appropriately and professionally. Prop 9 would fund Phase 1 and part of Phase 2.

  • Phase 1: $100,000: $100 for up to 1,000 deployments
  • Phase 2: $200,000: $100 for 1,000 deployments AND $1,000 for up to 100 proposals
  • Phase 3: $300,000: Same as Phase 2 AND $10,000 for up to 10 projects in progress
  • Phase 4: $400,000: Same as Phase 3 AND $100,000 for 1 applications
  • Phase (n): $100,000 x (n): Same as Phase 3 AND $100,000 for up to (n-3) applications

Why can’t the treasury pay for this program?
The treasury is used to fund developers today, paying out awards for 5 different coding challenges. This is part of my job at Akash, and so I’ve made about 80 transactions to developers. In May, I interviewed a new developer almost every day and sent them AKT. Why? Paul Graham said do things that don’t scale. Seven (7) developers were the winners of the Solana hackathon. Thirty (30) developers applied for the Sovryn Gitcoin challenges. We have 13 submissions for the Sovrynthon Gitcoin challenges, and the winners will be announced on August 2nd. In June and July, thirty-seven (37) developers received amount of 30 AKT through the current funding process.

Open Nominations
Note that if anyone wants to be involved in the board, it’s as easy as posting a nomination for everyone to see. In the proposal I asked for nominations via email, and I propose we stick to full transparency and nominate people on the forum. I have been following robert’s rules of order. Yes, you can nominate yourself, that’s called volunteering. I asked who should be on the board and two names came up in private discussions: @baktun14 well-known for Akashlytics.com and the Desktop Deploy and @Chalabi well-known for ChandraStation.com and Moon View.

I nominate @Chalabi and @baktun14 for the Community Awards Board.

I’d like to thank the following people for contributing ideas and feedback on this proposal.
@neo @martin @amrosa @gosuri @abozanich @boz_m @tombeynon @baktun14 @neil @Michael_Akash @JasdeepSingh @jack and @Chalabi

edit: For better discourse, I’ve edited this post to redact the names of the people who suggested the ideas they contributed and just refer to them as “one person”.

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Thanks Colin for the detailed summary. I think the transparency and availability of this type of information for delegators is vital when it’s their (our) funds that are being spent, so it’s so good to see your communication levels the whole way along.

I’m inferring from your second last paragraph that the foundation funds do not have an allocation to apply to this new idea without taking them from another planned purpose and that hence this idea would not be possible or would not happen without the funds from the community pool. Because as you say this type of thing could be and has been paid for by the foundation in the past and near future so the precedent has been set.

I’m really pleased to see this initiative because developers have shown (in other Cosmos chains) to be hesitant to approach the community pool directly with their ideas and ask for funding so this reduces one of the barriers to involvement.

Bliss Dynamics supports the current proposal in its current form, and if you decide to create a new proposal with a different multisig then we will support that too, although we don’t require that change for our support.

Thanks!

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Nominating @Chalabi and @backtun14

@amrosa I’d like to invite you to provide a full proposal of your research at the first CAB meeting. If you accept, we will coordinate schedules.

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@JasdeepSingh I would like to publicly invite you to submit a proposal for review by the Community Awards Board!

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Glad to see civil and respectful discourse on the community :slight_smile:

Nicely done all! especially @colin.lowenberg for putting it all in context. :clap:

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5 posts were split to a new topic: Gamification: Referrals and Badges

Awesome developer program. Very detailed and well thought out.

We have a similar program at LikeCoin, in a smaller scale. Initially the submission was done through Github, but some non-developer applicants couldn’t handle (since our program covers promotion and community management as well), so we had to provide a [notion page]((Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.) for applications too.

p.s. Voted Yes for proposal 9. Is a great use of Community Fund.

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Amazing to see the community come together here. As someone whose been involved with Akash since its inception, I’m super excited to see this conversation happening. I think this can catalyze a lot of new development with great engineers.

As a dev myself, I’ve been staying in tune with the progress, and feel it’s important to choose projects that improve the overall function of the Akash Network capabilities, such as private registries, database backups, private networking, etc., and would be great to choose projects that directly or indirectly contribute to make Akash 1-1 in features with AWS and other clouds (btw, it was great to see the recent postgres with backups example). I am biased, in that, I want to deploy everything on Akash one day!

It’s really cool to see and there are a lot of world class developers in the community, so I’m optimistic that we can build a better Web with these types of incentives. Count me in!

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Colin,

I really appreciate the detailed explanation and the nomination. I think @baktun14 and I would be great additions to the CAB, if he accepts. (Maxime we love what you do!) I think the formation of the CAB is a necessary step before submitting a proposal to include a multisig wallet for the next phases of the Community Development Fund!

Little background about Chandra Station and the work we do for people to understand why we should be considered for a position on the CAB: We are early adopters of Akash having been around since 2017. Earlier this year we decided to run a Validator node on the Akash Network. Shortly after we began developing applications and deploying them to Akash. Some you can find guides for on our Github and Discord Server, while some are still in devopment and we are excited to release soon! We will not be requesting funding from the Community Development Fund for anything that we do so there will be no conflict of interest with regards to our position on the CAB.

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Hey Colin,

Very well written summary of what has resulted from the back and forth on all the channels in the past 2 days. I was on the side lines of the discussions that sparked with @jackzampolin’s concerns, but I agree with the final decisions. It’s energizing to see everyone respectfully debate and come up with constructive solutions that will drive Akash to the success it deserves.

I’m honored to be nominated for the Community Awards Board, I think this will be the start of something really great.

I will gladly accept this nomination and will do my best to be up to the task. Thanks @Chalabi for the kind words, I think we can be great additions as well!

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@jackzampolin @tombeynon and AGE validator. Tom, I know you are already busy enough but I think you would be a wonderful addition to the CAB. Jack, you pushed for the amendment and the multi sig so I think you should be a part of the conversation. If some one could tag a member from the AGE network team, they voiced their opinion with the Chandra Station team over telegram and added to the discussion. This is not a formal nomination, Chandra Station will be announcing our nomination soon but Ive tagged these members of the community in an effort to get the conversation going.

Remaining action items:

  • Expectations
  • Nominations
  • Meeting frequency
  • Mutli-sig

Expectations- CAB members should be expected to meet (frequency TBD) to discuss which projects should be funded above the $100 & $1000. CAB members should be expected to be available to sign multi-sig transactions when funding for certain projects is determined.

Nominations- So far @baktun14 and Chandra Station have been nominated to be on the CAB team and both of us have accepted and will be announcing our nominations soon. That will put the number of members on the CAB to 5.

Meeting Frequency- Open to hearing other CAB members availability.

Multi-sig- Who should be in charge of setting up the multi sig and will all the CAB members be apart of it? Should we have CAB affiliates or advisors who are not involved in the Multi-Sig operations but interact with the CAB by analyzing deployments that meet the expectations of the $10,000 - $100,000 funding opportunities?

Let’s get this conversation going, we are in no rush to get this figured out as we believe it is more beneficial to figure out the action items before releasing another proposal to fund the Multi-Sig wallet. If the current proposal for funding passes (As of 8/3/2021 8:30 PM UTC it’s looking like it will) that amount will go towards funding the initial phases. That will help speed up the Developer Grants Program which in turn speeds up adoption. We are inviting all members of the community to voice their opinion but please keep the conversation peaceful :grinning:

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Hi Chalabi, I represent the AGE Network validator!

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Splendid would love to have your insight on all this!

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I’d be honoured to be nominated alongside you guys! I think the CAB is a fantastic idea and while I don’t hold a strong opinion either way about the multi-sig, the decision making should be as decentralised as possible. I could make myself available for a CAB meet as often as once per week if needed. Thank you for the nomination @Chalabi!

For those of you that don’t know me; I’m a seasoned developer and devops and I’ve been deploying and building tools for the ecosystem since I came across Akash. A few projects I’ve worked on include the cosmos-omnibus, akash-on-rails and the first deploy UI. I’m also a validator for Akash as of this week, so I’m invested in the ecosystem. As with most of you - I want to run everything on Akash and build whatever tooling I can to make that easier.

I want to add that I think the adjustments to the proposal have been handled extremely well, and it’s great to see that regardless of the outcome of the governance proposal, Akash/Chandra etc are following through with the community requests. I would also nominate @jackzampolin, @baktun14 and @Chalabi/Chandra without hesitation.

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Kava Labs has voted in favor of Akash Network proposal 9 to fund the Akash Developer Program and Community Awards. Our yes vote reflects our belief that this program is essential for ecosystem growth and acceleration, and getting the program started is important at this time. However, we understand and agree with the concerns around managing funds using a treasury multi-sig and would like to offer an additional measure that could be adopted in the future. Namely, the committee module (kava/x/committee/spec at master · Kava-Labs/kava · GitHub) developed by Kava Labs would be an ideal fit for this type of program. In this case, a multi-sig committee (called a Member committee), could be created that has permissions scoped to creating and passing CommunitySpendProposala up to a certain AKT amount. This is beneficial because 1) no funds need to be transferred to a multi-sig address and 2) the committee is embedded within top level AKT governance, which gives a better check on the developer program while still allowing efficiencies. For example, if the program is not meeting it’s intended goals, AKT holders could submit a gov proposal to revoke the committee’s permissions, removing the ability to fund more projects. Additionally, the scope of the committee and its members could be expanded and contracted as the community sees fit. We would recommend the Akash core developer team and community consider moving to this type of structure, as we think it more aligned with the spirit of decentralized governance and can hopefully remedy the community’s legitimate concerns about custody of community pool funds. Thanks to all Akash community members for a very detailed discussion of this proposal, it is definitely a sign of a healthy ecosystem and hopefully we can all move forward together.

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