[BIP-633] Fund Balancer Grants Q3 2024

PR with Payload

Balancer Grants DAO Service Provider Proposal Q3 2024


** Updated with revised compensation.**

With V3 set for imminent public code release, the grants program requests funding to target new V3 integrations, create a hook bounty program and partner with ecosystems to build more on Balancer with the new and improved DX. This quarter’s focus will be to find and fund projects launching on Balancer V3 to help boost wide adoption.

With this launch pending and a long history of performance, the committee requests funding for 3 months to continue to focus on funding in line with the findings in the historical assessment report.

Main points:

  • Funding duration 3 months from July 1st to September 30th, 2024.
  • Funding for new grantees - 75k BAL
  • Grants lead compensation reduced by $3k, committee members to contribute pro bono
  • Funding categories identified in 2023 Q4 Program Recap
  • Attract more projects to build on V3 and port over pools from V2
  • Run V3 hook bounty program
  • Partner with supported chains for co-funding and more visibility

With unspent BAL in the treasury and the recovery of funds from stale grants, funding is requested to top up the treasury (currently 41,473 BAL uncommitted) to:

  1. 75,000 BAL for new grantees (33,527 BAL top up)
  2. 15,000 USDC for committee/support (6,900 USDC top up)

As always, we welcome comments and recommendations from the community on how to better develop the Balancer grants program.

Service Provider Name: Balancer Grants

Leader(s): Burns, with committee members John Grant, Mike B, Steve0xp and Zen Dragon.

Pledge to abide by the DAO’s Code of Conduct 1 (or link to your own): Yes

Pledge to abide by the Accountability Guidelines: Yes

In accordance with the Balancer DAO Accountability Guidelines and uphold those proposed here. This will include the Grant’s Committee:

  • Developing a monthly report detailing key objective progress which is posted to the Balancer Forum and Medium
  • Attending and presenting during the Baller weekly meeting (mandatory attendance by at least 1 representative)

The grants committee will undertake compliance checks and facilitate agreements between grantees and OpCo for funding amounts $20k and above.

Domain of Operation

After 12 waves of funding and a recap over the last quarter, this proposal seeks to continue the grants program as per BIP-573 to support the release of Balancer’s V3. The program will continue to offer up to $100K USD in BAL tokens per grant supporting the Balancer Protocol’s mission to become a leading DeFi liquidity source, catering to both short-term and one-off projects, as an alternative to the Foundation SP model’s focus on long-term and higher-cost engagements.

The Balancer Grants DAO Service Provider will be operated by the Grants Committee, a group of diverse and experienced Balancer contributors. More details on the Grants Committee are below.

Following on from the quarter of reflections and subsequent report and recommendations, the grants program will be focused on:

  1. Continue to mentor and deliver with existing grantees

The program currently has 5 live grantees building assorted integrations, novel use cases for Balancer pools and educational resources. The committee has assisted projects to complete their milestones and intervened where the project has gone stale to recover funds for future grants. These projects total ~72k BAL of committed funds yet to be paid for outstanding milestones. These can be reviewed on our Finalized and Live Grants Notion Page.

Deliverables: On-going support/management, monthly reports, coordination between Balancer entities.

  1. Fund projects dedicated to increasing adoption of Balancer V3

With Balancer V3 launching in Q4 2024, grants will play a significant role in incentivising projects to:

  • Integrate Balancer V3.
  • Create educational content, tooling and docs to lower barriers to entry for teams building on V3
  • Create new use cases with Balancer custom pools
  • Bounties for highly active community members providing dev support, incentivising integrations for analytics sites etc

Deliverables: Live Grant assessment sheet, monthly reports, weekly meetings

  1. Funding Initiatives

To expand the Balancer ecosystem we will be running the following specific initiatives:

  • Run a hook bounty program

The program’s goal is to encourage experimentation and explore the bounds of what hook functionality can bring to Balancer pools through rapid development. These will be in the form of small awards for hook builders or audits for high quality and valuable contracts.

  • Co-funding through agreements with supported chains

With new launches on chains such as Mode and existing chains who are seeking to expand development such as Polygon zkEVM, the committee has been in discussions with grant programs that are excited to jointly support projects building on Balancer and their ecosystem.

The two avenues that we will be taking are

  1. General applications for funding through programs such as OP to expand our treasury

  2. Project specific proposals through programs such as Polygon or Avalanche

  3. Funding categories

Across these avenues of focus, categories to direct funding are:

Category Why / Why not
Analytics Continuously improving analytics and encouraging existing projects to include Balancer drives volume to the protocol. Clear value.
Custom Pool Types Custom pool types have the highest potential value to Balancer but are risky. These projects create new use cases and showcase Balancer technology.
Education / Tooling Very important to make Balancer more user/dev friendly and drive adoption of building and investing in the platform.
Research Research has been generally avoided after early failed proposals. Recommendation is to revisit funding research as optimizations or new use cases may prove valuable. Risky with low likelihood of payout but high potential payout.
Swap Aggregators Swap aggregators create more revenue streams. Strategic grants may be considered.
Wrappers / Infrastructure Can lower barriers to entry for other projects looking to integrate with Balancer and provide additional revenue streams
Yield Aggregators* Only with a direct value calculation. There are generally sufficient incentives for yield aggregators. With no yield bearing assets, this is not worth funding.

If the aggregator has the potential to bring high volume and TVL of yield bearing assets, then a value calculation can be made.|

Grants Committee

The Grants Committee consists of dedicated Balancer contributors with strong analytical and support backgrounds. The committee remains an equal democracy with no person having a greater authority on what is approved or not. We rely on individuals’ expertise in different areas to help make informed decisions.

Burns - Committee Coordination Lead

John Grant - Committee Member/Mentor

MikeB - Committee Member/Mentor

Steve - Committee Member/Mentor

Zen Dragon- Committee Member/Mentor

The committee has the ability to onboard/offboard members as individual circumstances change throughout the quarter between funding proposals. Given the authority to approve and distribute grant funding, the committee can also self manage members within the approved budget.

The Grants Committee will continue to work closely with Balancer Labs, Ecosystem SPs and Ballers to amplify and support grantees.

By having a dedicated and diverse group of committee members and proactively working together with other ecosystem partners, Balancer Grants are set out to be one of the most effective grants programs in DeFi.

Previous Performance

As a committee we have shown ourselves as:

  • Diligent assessors of grant applications with intimate understanding of the DAO and protocol.

  • Trusted to find and manage grantees building on core Balancer code alongside Balancer Labs. With one grantee being on-boarded to Balancer Labs.

  • Fairly recover funds from stale grantees when no longer relevant saving ~30k BAL to date

  • Prudent with spending to maintain the grants treasury and limit BAL expenditure

  • Supporting grantees to completion by connecting with the resources required

Q2 Recaps: April Monthly Report and May Monthly Report

Total application submissions and approvals:

Length of Engagement and Budget breakdown

This budget contains all costs for the full operations of the Balancer Grants SP for the period July 1st to Sept 30th, 2024. Unallocated resources will be kept to offset the next budget request if successful.

Committee Lead - $5,000 USD paid in USDC - mentor and provide support/coordination for all grantee teams, administration of grants docs, RFP development, prepare and present monthly reports, wave round up, grantee announcements, budget preparation and SP proposals, .

Committee members - pro bono as a part of other DAO SP roles

Expense Amount in BAL/USD Description
Q3 Grants 75,000 BAL To be rewarded to grantees based on milestones following the full Grants review process. For sub $5k USD contributions a light review process will be utilized. Includes buffer for current approved grants in $USD to be paid in BAL.
1 Grants lead $5k x 3 months = $15k USDC The Grants Lead Role takes ownership of the establishment and operations of the Balancer Grant processes. The lead is responsible for coordinating with Committee Members, scheduling and hosting meetings, carrying out KYC/compliance due diligence, maintaining Medium and Notion pages and leading the post grants report.
Other Program Expenses 500 BAL Any other program expenses that may be required for the smooth execution of the grants program. This may include (but is not limited to) to design, analytics, media, PR, research, legal, gas fees or any other specialized functions outside the skillset of the committee
Uncommitted Treasury 41,472 BAL & 8,100 USDC
Total request for Q3 33,527 BAL & 6,900 USDC

Funds to Transfer: 33,527 BAL & 6,900 USDC

The Grants Committee multi-sig (currently 3 out of 5) will continue to operate with the remaining funds in the Grants treasury (0xE2c91f3409Ad6d8cE3a2E2eb330790398CB23597) carried over and approved to be delegated to the grantees.

Impact on the Treasury: The Treasury currently holds ~3.95M BAL. Funding Balancer Grants for Q3 is at a cost of 1.90% of the treasury’s BAL holdings (this is assuming all 75k BAL is spent on grantees), which annualizes to ~7.59%. The Treasury currently holds ~5.34M in USDC. Funding the USDC portion would cost ~0.28% of the treasury’s USDC, which annualizes to ~1.1%.

All transactions will be recorded in a Sheet maintained by the committee and on chain.

ETH Address to Receive Funds

Grants Treasury - 0xE2c91f3409Ad6d8cE3a2E2eb330790398CB23597

Current Treasury Balance ~ 82,187BAL + 18,500 USDC

Committed ~ 40,714 BAL + 10,400 USDC (@$3.50 USD/BAL)

Uncommitted treasury ~41, 472 BAL + 8,1000 USDC

The Balancer DAO multisig 0x10A19e7eE7d7F8a52822f6817de8ea18204F2e4f will interact with USDC 0xA0b86991c6218b36c1d19D4a2e9Eb0cE3606eB48 by writing transfer passing the Grants SP Safe 0xE2c91f3409Ad6d8cE3a2E2eb330790398CB23597 as recipient and amount 6,900 USDC as 6900000000.

The Balancer DAO multisig 0x10A19e7eE7d7F8a52822f6817de8ea18204F2e4f will interact with BAL 0xba100000625a3754423978a60c9317c58a424e3D by writing transfer passing the Grants SP Safe 0xE2c91f3409Ad6d8cE3a2E2eb330790398CB23597 as recipient and amount 33,527 as 33527000000000000000000.

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Notes on the compensation revision:

Given the slow down of revenue and lower BAL price ($3.10 at time of writing), the grants committee has made edits to this proposal’s compensation request in line with other SPs and from ecosystem feedback. We are committed to Balancer DAO long term and as such, grants lead will reduce to $5k/month and committee members will contribute pro bono as part of their work with other SPs to protect the DAO runway. We believe that the grant program can find efficiencies to maintain bringing valuable contributions to the ecosystem, despite this decrease in compensation.

As grants lead, I will commit to provide the vast majority of the lift involved to continue Balancer grants and we will collectively ensure our output is not affected, if anything strive for more. I am highly appreciative of my fellow committee members and their expertise so I hope this is a temporary measure while the DAO traverses a difficult time. We hope this revision shows our dedication to the DAO and commitment to its longevity.


Thanks @burns (and grants team) for updating the proposal and reducing costs for the DAO.

This looks great to me now and I’m in full support!


Karpatkey fully supports the funding proposal because we believe that grants are essential for boosting both the Balancer ecosystem and its adoption. Based on previous reports, the grant program has been quite successful in driving more engagement and innovation within the community. With the upcoming Balancer V3, we think it’s super important to support all of the small projects built on top of it. This includes integration platforms, tooling, educational platforms, research papers, and non-profit teams. Supporting these projects benefits all players and helps the protocol develop organically, ensuring that initiatives are powered and driven by the community