The Balancer Grants program was established in August 2021 after a community discussion which then evolved into a Service Provider beginning Wave 5. The vote to continue the Grants SP for a subsequent quarter through Wave 6 can be found on Balancer’s governance forum here and subsequent snapshot vote here. This wave ran from September-December 2022 and took the Grants treasury from 100k to 16.4k BAL of uncommitted funds, approving 7 projects for a total of 64,715 BAL, with the remainder of the decrease due to price action for committed projects.
How has the Grants SP been doing the last months, and where do we see ourselves going? Let’s find out below!
As a community-led grants program, we want to be transparent about our learnings. We believe they can bring the community forward and help build out a bigger Balancer ecosystem. If you are more interested in the results of this grants round, its grantees and the numbers associated with it, then you can skip towards the Grant Achievements section.
At the beginning of this wave we set out to focus on projects that:
- Make Balancer easier for future teams to build on by improving dev documentation, SDKs etc
- Develop new use cases and scale Boosted Pools
- Find and grow new use cases for soon to be released Managed Pools
- Expand to more ecosystems
- Leveraging the flexibility of Balancer’s AMM infrastructure to build out new custom pools implementations
We were successful in finding projects for improving documentation/SDK, scaling boosted pool adoption, building tooling for managed amongst other things and Wave 6 was the biggest funding round to date for the grants committee with a high concentration of exciting projects applying. The number of live grantees has risen to 18 under the coordination of the committee with many due for completion early in 2023. Our #1 goal is to fund and support projects committed to support the Balancer Protocol as the leading provider of secure infrastructure for liquidity applications in DeFi. We will be working with BLabs and Orb to develop the goals and a roadmap for how to best grow the ecosystem and achieve this objective.
The committee has received a few applications which have been in a grey area between grants approval authority and a community governance vote. Where the committee believes a proposal has clear alignment with the wider Balancer community and provides value to the ecosystem, we assess accordingly and have no concerns approving if it is within our authority. If the application has no perceived value or is misaligned with the ecosystem, we will deny. If the value isn’t immediately obvious to the committee, we consult relevant people within the DAO and as a last resort, err on the side of caution and refer the decision to governance so as to not undercut the community.
We understand the responsibility delegated to the committee and as such, know that governance should not be consulted for every funding request. We also understand that a deny from the committee has the potential to reduce a governance proposal’s chance of succcess. There is a certain level of finesse to get this 100% right and it will continue to be a potentially contentious issue that we will refine as more cases arise.
After receiving 47 applications, 7 projects have been approved for grants for a total of 64,715 BAL. This total value is up 50% from Wave 5 with less applications showing the bear market is filtering out some noise and lower quality projects. We hope to keep funding promising projects next quarter to continue expanding the ecosystem pending an approved SP proposal .
This wave, we have funded new projects building tooling for managed pools, launching leveraged vaults, developing strategies on existing & new dapps, and creating SDKs/tooling/documentation to assist further building on Balancer and expand the ecosystem of users and developers alike. The goal is to create a sustainable feedback loop to grow Balancer across DeFi.
This focus will continue into the next wave of grants to be assessed by the committee.
The program is proud to present our grantees and their updates in alphabetic order:
- Atlantis World — Wave 1
Atlantis’ 2022 at a glance
- OP city pilot followed by full Alpha launch
- Over 16,000 registered players
- 16 quests
- 32 web3 integrations
- Over 70 clubhouses designed as well as multiple maps & other materials
- Stayed true to our vision, remaining fully independent, enabled by BAL Grants (one of our closest supporters since the early days)
- Became official partner of the first-ever state backed crypto education program, led by the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, aiming to make half of Ukrainians crypto literate by 2030 from inside of Diia app (which so far 18M Ukrainians are using for e-governance)
- More than 70 partners total
- 13 in-game events (since Nov ‘22)
- Managed to keep building Atlantis World while fundraising $10M for Ukraine, reaching over 400,000 people with humaniterian aid
- Led other social impact initiatives: Kyiv Tech Summit, ChoiceDAO, Save Pakistan
- Brought Vitalik Buterin to Ukraine for the first time ever
- Iterated more than 3 times on Atlanteans character collection NFTs, and finally we’re getting there
Currently Atlantis is preparing to open source our custom built Balancer front end for the web3 developer community, making it easy for anyone to:
a) Operate a simplified Balancer protocol front end, ie by self hosting, resulting in an unstoppable interface that’s easy to use
b) Directly integrate Balancer directly into their own product experience without much trouble
Some things to look forward to in 2023
- Spatialized web3 social
- Perpetual gathering space for BAL community with easy, memorable link
- Gamified education about Balancer ecosystem
- More sign-in options, ie join as a guest or sign in with another social profile (like Twitter, Discord etc), vs only Metamask / WalletConnect
- Better hangout & events experience
- Atlantean characters in-game
- Boot Finance — Wave 5
Boot’s current status is in working through the guts of a frontend-v2 mod that will deploy their pools. While this is taking a little bit longer than they had hoped, they can see the path and will be deploying an initial version as soon as they complete additional programming and setting up a Digital Ocean environment.
Once they’ve got that done the team will split it’s resources between testing pool deployments and the general functionality of the deployed pools. While Boot is not sure precisely how long deployment and testing will take since it depends on what we discover from manual simulation, it should be relatively straightforward with steady progress until we’re ready to hand over the work for community testing.
- Cosme Fulanito — Wave 5
We believe that inclusion is an essential part of growing our ecosystem. And that’s why we continue with our goal of strengthening the Spanish-speaking community on Balancer. Periodically we translate all relevant information and support users who require it in our dedicated Discord channel. Twitter metrics in the last month had a significant increase, registering an approximate growth of 30% in followers and 100% in impressions for approximately 80 tweets. I thank the Balancer Grants team for supporting this initiative.
- Cron Finance — Wave 6
Cron Finance has successfully completed phase 1 of their TWAMM development Balancer grant which included highlights such as custom pool integration, gas optimizations, attack vector analysis, payment for order flow system, and oracles. In their second phase they are developing an automatic MEV reinvestment mechanism, in-depth numerical analysis & testing, and finally completing a security audit by SpearbitDAO leading to launching on Goerli Testnet followed by the Guarded Mainnet Launch.
Cron Finance has been working on this since November 2021 and is nearing completion. They have been posting detailed, regular updates to their blog and twitter covering their progress to date. Latest update from October here.
- Dynamo — Wave 6
We are getting deeper and deeper into the development process, aiming to have a first version of the vault done in early January. At the same time we are engaging in the process of developing a legal structure around Dynamo and we are preparing to engage in business development activities with a variety of Defi protocols in order to make sure that our pools will gather a deep enough baseline of liquidity for us to be able to showcase our product to the Defi market. We are also putting in the finishing touches to the Dynamo pitch deck in order to proceed with our seed funding round.
- Ithil — Wave 5
Ithil empowers DeFi users to run complex strategies in a single click, using their own and/or borrowed funds on a variety of external protocols. This grant is to create a strategy based on Balancer and Aura. This Wave the team has been working on restructuring Ithil’s architecture to make it possible to use Ithil’s modular building blocks to create any kind of financial service on-chain. Think OpenZeppelin for DeFi.
January 2023 will see testing begin on Polygon initially limited to a few whitelisted people. For more information, follow along here.
- Kassandra Finance — Wave 6
Over this last month, Kassandra’s frontend team has made significant progress in developing the custom interface for creating new managed pools, following the UI/UX that has been designed in the previous sprints. This is public and available on this GitHub repo and branch: https://github.com/KassandraFinance/kassandra-application/tree/creation-of-fund
For this month, the product team was focused on finishing the user interface and interaction design of the dashboard that will allow users to manage and track their managed pools.
Their backend team has concluded most of the essential work related to indexing data for our SubGraph that will support price charts and others metrics that will serve the whole application. They’ve also started the discovery and development for Kassandra’s smart-contract controllers over managed pools, the team is still researching Balancer’s BaseController and how they can leverage it to suit their needs.
Most of the technical challenges for launching the Polygon Social Index using Balancer managed pools were addressed, with a few strategic key points that still need to be sorted out before they can start the preparations for the official deployment and launch.
Overall it was an awesome month of progress, things are starting to take shape!
Symmetric and GoodDollar have made further decisions on contracts and underlying features to be used in the multi-asset bonding curve to be built on top of Balancer. After previous research to utilize circuit breakers, add/remove tokens, and change weights through managed pool controllers there has been additional developments pointing the team to build on the Celo network. The team’s current to do list is as follows:
- Create a scenario template (define actions / probabilities / assumptions)
- Create Control Panel for Levers of the model based on scenarios
- Core loop for automatic adjusting swap fees based on token balances & weighting
The team is working through preliminary planning phases and machination development in order to define their way forward. Gooddollar and Symmetric are expected deliver this nuanced use case of a managed pool in the coming months.
- Multifarm Dashboard — Wave 5
Multifarm has partnered with Balancer to build a custom analytics dashboard around the new tokenomics -veBAL. We have been in close contact with the grants team all throughout our development. We have completed several milestones successfully. We designed the UX, built the Frontend and completed the Backend. We are now ironing out the last few kinks before shipping the dashboard. Upon completion, our dashboard will offer many new data points that cannot be found elsewhere.
This has been an incredible journey for us. veBAL is having great success and we are witnessing it first hand. Balancer Grants team is brilliant and we really enjoy working them. We are also really excited to ship the Dashboard and share our work with the community as we think it will provide a very critical infrastructure for Balancer. We hope that Balancer community also enjoys our work.
- Nicolas M — Back up UI for Balancer — Wave 5
Nicolas has been consistently working to deliver an alternative front end for Balancer interactions to take place. Ongoing development is the swap screen. About 60% of this screen is done, it should be finished in January. Then will come the Join/Exit pools part, the last milestone of the project, which should cover Q1 2023. The groundwork from the previous Wave and recent developments can be seen below:
- Creation of an html model of the project: http://balancer-ui.mywire.org. The general template of the site and the portfolio screen are finalized to date. The screens are responsive, and available in 2 themes (light / dark).
- Analysis of the source code of the main Balancer frontend in order to determine what data is displayed (where it comes from, how to retrieve it). These data are mainly taken from Balancer subgraphs.
- Implementation of queries on the subgraph, and addition of these queries in a Balancer SDK fork: https://github.com/nma100/balancer-sdk/tree/pool-shares
- Ongoing advancement of the new frontend, including the portfolio page, ongoing swap implementation and eventually the investment / withdrawal pages can be followed here: https://balancer-minimal-ui-whve.vercel.app
- Notional Finance — Wave 5
We have made great progress since we first received approval of our Balancer grant. We launched our initial leveraged vault and that is currently live in Beta. That has driven >$3M in TVL for Balancer and Aura in the wstETH/ETH pool. We’re still working out bugs in the UI and taking the product through the paces, but we hope to have that out of beta and on our main site soon. Additionally, we are coming up to the launch of our second leveraged vault which will target the Aave boosted stablecoin pool (and other boosted pools in the future). This vault is going into audit the first week of January and we hope to get it live later that month!
- RealEstate.Exchange — Wave 3
RealEstate.Exchange intends to build a version of Managed Pools on testnet to have a demo to show their clients. The team has 5 clients (properties) which they intend to go live with in January 2023 using their “orderbook solution”. All of these clients are intended to get on the Managed Pools solution and the first step to do so is to have a demo ready for them. The team will be kicking off some technical work with Orb Collective in January while navigating some legal challenges to pursue licences in Germany in parallel. They are in discussions with digital banks in Germany and consulting with the Danish FSA.
If you want to be a part of this, start your journey by visiting our LinkTree: RealEstate.Exchange | Twitter | Linktree
- Skytale — Wave 6
Skytale successfully delivered on their first grant in Wave 3 to add Balancer LP positions to their multichain tracking solution. This grant has been awarded to add functionality currently missing from the Balancer SDK, allowing future projects to easily implement a user Impermanent Loss Index and to Claim Liquitity Incentive.
This wave, their progress to date is:
- Added functionality to the Balancer SDK that allows impermanent loss calculation from a given timestamp
- Exposed Joins & Exits subgraph-based repository to SDK data
- Created a new price provider to retrieve historical prices from CoinGecko & integrated it into the Balancer SDK
Moving forward, their next goal will be further updating the Balancer SDK by integrating claim functionality.
- Valory / Autonolas — Wave 5
Since receiving the grant, the team have built an Autonolas service that takes data from the Fear and Greed API, and updates the weights of a ManagedPool accordingly. Furthermore, they deployed a 4-agent version of this service, and have been running it against a ManagedPool on Goerli. The next step is to add LP allowlist operations to our service, and deploy it on Mainnet for closed testing in the coming weeks.
- Xeonus — Wave 5
Xeonus’ previous grant encompassed deploying the current Balancer Analytics webpage, which has become a staple in the DAO’s understanding of liquidity pool profitability for LP’s and protocol revenue. Balancer Analytics was set to undergo a full make over from backend to front end during this grant making the site as “future proof” as possible.
In the last couple of weeks I focused on integrating more data sources to complete the protocol revenue and treasury pages. This included the integration of the powerful balancer-sdk framework and Debank API. Those integrations allow for advanced analytics on generated fees of yield bearing tokens and flow of funds for both service providers and the treasury. With this work nearing completion, the analytics site is approaching its beta testing and stabilization phase after a complete site overhaul.
- XS Finance — Wave 3
XS Finance is building out Time Weight Asset Market Manager (TWAMM) functionality for Balancer. The goal of TWAMM functionality is to execute large trades over a period of time in a way that reduces slippage and gas cost for the party executing a swap. The team is pleased to announce that after a round of reviews with Balancer Integrations team, they are now live with beta version of LongSwap at app.longswap.xyz. Users can place a long swap (aka Time Weighted Average Price or TWAP order) between WETH/USDC in our first pool.
Going forward, we’ll be focusing on getting detailed security reviews/audits for our contracts, as well as the collecting community feedback. Following which, we’ll be working on deploying more pools/liquidity so users have a wide range of slippage/MEV free trading options.
We have had a number of grants that have successfully reached all their milestones this wave. They are discussed below.
Overnight has launched the Overnight pulse’ on Beethoven on OP, USDC/DAI stable pool boosted by USD+/DAI+ money market products by Overnight. Within 10 days since launch, the pool has reached 2.1M USD TVL and yields have remained well above 10% APR despite such a high growth as rewards yield is supported by strong yields from USD+/DAI+
See the pool deployment live here.
Verified has been working with Balancer to develop custom pools for issuing and trading regulation compliant security tokens. The team has completed all work in relation to this grant with a number of recommendations from Orb’s engineering team to consider as they move to code completion and formal audits. We look forward to seeing the Verified Network team complete this project and bring it live.
For more information follow along at https://verified.network/.
The grants committee had been approved to distribute 95k BAL for projects in Wave 6, of which 64,715 BAL was awarded to 7 projects. This was our largest wave since the inception of the Balancer grants program and we have some extremely promising projects to bring to the ecosystem.
The grants treasury was relatively unaffected by the change in BAL price over the 3 month period due to awarding generally in BAL instead of a USD amount. There are only a few remaining grantees from earlier waves which are still reliant on an equivalent USD amount that could pose risk to the grants treasury, however the now small outstanding value does not leave the treasury in much danger.
Committee payments in October used up the remaining USDC from Wave 5’s funding request before moving to BAL in an effort to assist the DAO becoming sustainable from protocol fees. We were below budget for committee payments with most grantees being quite self sufficient requiring minimal assistance coordination. We also came in below our budget for design and subscriptions, these funds will offset next wave’s budget.
Overall treasury remains healthy to cover payments for approved grantees with minimal risk of insolvency due to a major drop in BAL price. The most significant risk is payments to Fjord approved by governance vote in [BIP-98], however this is a rev share agreement which this vote deemed the USD value a fair approach.
With BalancerDAO having moved to a Service Provider structure for Q3 2022 onwards, we have published our proposal to the Balancer Forum for Q1 budget approval awiting a snapshot vote beginning Jan 4. We are requesting 70k BAL in line with our approval totals in Q4 2023 to continue to fund more projects that will expand the Balancer ecosystem.
6th Jan @ 1pm EST we will host a Round Up on Discord where our grantees can give a short update and we will end with a Q&A. You are all welcome to join us!
If you are interested in supporting the development of the Balancer Ecosystem or want to build on top of the Balancer Protocol, this is your chance! Get started by filling in the Grants Application form. You can also check out our RFP page for inspiration! We also have an application guide for what we’re looking for in a grant submission here.