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Announcing Baseline Grants and $100,000 Ethereum Foundation Gift

Posted March 9, 2021 by  ‐ 5 min read

The Baseline Protocol is excited to announce the creation of the Baseline Protocol Grants program! This program is designed to encourage and accelerate baseline protocol R&D and enablement efforts. We are utilizing Open Collective to organize and administer the funding. Our Baseline Protocol Grants portal on the GitHub has information on what type of projects we are looking for.

The Baseline Protocol Grants program is made possible by a generous gift of $100,000 from the Ethereum Foundation.

How to participate and contribute

If you are interested in participating in the grants program, please visit our GitHub and join the #grants channel in our community Slack (click here to join).

If you are interested in contributing monetarily to the Baseline Protocol grant pool, visit our Open Collective Portal.

Grant wishlist

Here are some examples of things the protocol can fund. The purpose of this wishlist is not to serve as an exhaustive list of everything that would be good for the community, but as a way to encourage ideas for potential applicants. If your idea to improve the protocol doesn’t fit exactly, feel free to surprise us with your proposal!

  • Implementation of a HelloWorld-style demo to explain the baseline protocol.
  • Contribution to a react.js admin dashboard for configuring and monitoring a baseline stack.
  • Modularize the reference implementation test suite to allow more granular tests for each step within the protocol.
  • Writing zero-knowledge circuits using gnark to expand the existing public circuit library.
  • Building baseline plugins for existing software applications (i.e. Excel).
  • Building common data schemas and methods of data translation so that data can be synchronized between systems of record.

Governing rules

Funds Allocation and Administration

The parameters of this grant and its administration are as follows:

Total Fund: $100,000 USD equivalent (paid out in ETH or DAI based on milestones defined in any given proposal) 75% of the funds are designated for allocation by the Baseline TSC according to its usual governance and allocation processes before June 30, 2021. The other 25% may be allocated for projects that are outside the current scope of the TSC’s governance and allocation process (such as education, ecosystem development, documentation) by recommendation by TSC members, subject to approval by EF representatives. If not allocated before July 1 2021, then these funds may be allocated by the TSC as above.
Any remaining funds not allocated by August 1, 2021 will be returned to the EF.

The governing bodies of the Baseline Protocol (Technical Steering Committee, Project Governance Board and Maintainers Team) will be responsible for ensuring that projects are selected in accordance with the criteria and that the funds are properly distributed.

Submission Criteria will stipulate that:

Projects use the public Ethereum mainnet as the Common Frame of Reference in the baseline protocol stack A project must publicly announce itself at the start of work (not at the end) Projects that directly support a commercial business opportunity, where the intent in proposing an allocation from the EF fund is to offset client fees, will not be favored by the TSC, but latitude to the TSC shall be given for special cases where a commercial project is adding important value back to the open source and to the standard. The judgement of the TSC in this regard shall be reviewed by the PGB and the EF representatives quarterly to correct errors in judgment and build a decision-making culture that can be trusted to uphold the principle of not using these funds as a kind of “corporate welfare.” A project must have a specific beginning and end date, with monthly (or more frequent) check-ins. An acceptable form of “check in” includes presentation at the bi-weekly steering committee or during one of the weekly baseline protocol livestreamed office hours. Project outputs should be rendered in open source submissions, though there may be cases where project outputs may have a material impact on the Purpose while not being appropriate for submission directly back to the Baseline Protocol github repo itself. The TSC shall use its discretion in this regard when selecting projects.

The criteria for sizing the allocation of funds to a project shall include:

The project proposal’s requested amount; Responses to challenges to the requested amount and whether the work can be catalyzed for a lower award; Monthly limits on total allocations in that month, so that learning can accumulate on how to fund the best projects between February and June without running out of funds too early. No single project may be allocated more than $10k unless an extraordinary case is made to warrant an exception be considered.

The Ethereum Foundation requests that after the funds have been disbursed, and no later than August 15 2021, a write-up will be prepared by the TSC with the support of EF representatives. This write-up should be posted to a public forum in line with TSC governing procedures. The retrospective should detail how funds were allocated, what projects were accepted, and include an assessment of whether each initiative was a good use of funds and, if not, how it could be improved. At completion of the balance of funding, this document should be updated with the subsequent project information.