[GCP] Introduction of Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP) and esSEAM Rewards

Title: Introduction of Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP) and esSEAM Rewards

Author(s): @ras

Submission Date: 2024/01/19

Background:

This proposal is for a community-driven initiative and outlines the commencement of an informal grants program for Seamless Protocol – the Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP). The pilot grant process focuses on esSEAM and Seamless DAO, with the potential for future refinement of the grant process/program or parallel grant initiatives within the ecosystem.

Objective:

Launch an initial (and limited) Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP), to kickstart growth and expansion. Begin leveraging esSEAM to fortify the protocol’s long-term alignment and health.

Context:

Seamless Protocol, now the leading lend/borrow platform on Base, introduced SEAM, its decentralized governance token, in December 2023. Since then, the platform has experienced significant growth - over 16,000 users have tried the protocol, with thousands having also liquidity mined for SEAM rewards and hundred participating in governance so far. Seamless Protocol can now increase its focus on the platform’s and community’s long-term growth, as well as the wider growth of Base L2.

To align the protocol, rewards, and community for long-term success, the proposal suggests leveraging esSEAM—a one-year linearly unlocking version of SEAM with retained governance utility, for future rewards. esSEAM has been previously designed and deployed by Seamless community contributors. Because Seamless Protocol has a long future ahead to lay the foundation for modern DeFi, the introduction of esSEAM will ensure early supporters are dedicated to the journey and avoid short-term biases.

To further support a robust and expanding ecosystem, a pilot community grants program, the Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP), will be launched in parallel. This initiative aims to reward creators of complementary tools, platforms, or components within the Seamless ecosystem with esSEAM. The SCGP will begin with a modest cap, allowing for initial exploration to optimize processes and effectiveness before committing more time and resources to the effort.

esSEAM Summary

esSEAM is a non-transferrable ERC-20 token, where 1 esSEAM corresponds to 1 SEAM held in escrow, unlocking linearly over a one-year period. The unlocking process is automated and permissionless through onchain smart contracts. esSEAM maintains its voting delegation and voting utility throughout the locked phase. The token can serve as rewards distributed on the platform or within the community, including through grants programs.

Seamless Community Grants Program (Pilot) Summary

Who:

Five nominated Council members for the initial pilot phase, potentially extendable. Council members can self-nominate in a Discourse thread, followed by a community snapshot vote. The Council will enact and conduct offchain voting processes to review grant applications.

What:

Utilize esSEAM grants for the pilot grants program. Initial SCGP will have a maximum cap/budget of $100,000 USD worth of esSEAM, targeting 4-6 potential projects or grant initiatives. Suggested focus areas may include liquidators, DEXs/liquidity, governance engagement, flatcoin integration, LSTs & ILMs, and mass-market use-cases.

Grants would generally be “funded” to applicants post-launch or concurrently with reaching some significant milestone. Note: A small amount of grant may be presented upfront in stablecoins/esSEAM to cover initial launch costs. (as determined by the Council and through discussions).

Where:

Council will establish a submission and discussion process, likely utilizing Discourse.

Council will find time to meet and discuss grants in a timely manner. The discussion and selection process will be transparent so that any DAO member can follow it. Grant “approvals” will be shared publicly with relevant details into a predetermined channel (i.e. Discourse).

When:

Introduce esSEAM and initiate SCGP as soon as Council member nomination voting and on-chain funding vote are passed. The pilot program runs until the initial $100,000 USD in esSEAM is distributed. If deemed a successful initiative, an additional $200,000 USD worth of esSEAM can be added via a fast-track onchain vote for the next round of grants.

How:

Initial grants will be funded from the Seamless DAO and distributed in esSEAM to a Council-controlled wallet.

Funding will occur when the processes for Council nomination and voting (on snapshot) are concluded. This funding transfer will require an onchain proposal initiated through the Protocol Change Proposal process, which allows for automatic, permissionless and timelock execution of fund transfer. As of current market conditions, the initial $100k USD grant budget would equate to 19,570 esSEAM (subject to revision based on market).

8 Likes

I fully support the initiation of the Seamless Community Grants Program. The combination of a robust treasury and a dynamic community positions us well to pilot this initiative effectively.

Starting with a $100,000 allocation strikes the right balance for initial investments that could drive significant growth for Seamless on Base. I strongly believe that this measured approach will provide valuable insights and set a precedent for future expansions of the program.

To enhance accountability and transparency, I recommend transferring the SCGP funds to a Safe Multi-Sig upon approval of the proposal. Additionally, adopting a stance of radical transparency throughout the process will be critical.

To prevent grant recipients from accessing the entire grant amount upfront, I suggest implementing a payment streaming solution like Sablier. This will ensure a steady and accountable distribution of funds.

As we proceed with this pilot, entrusting the nominated council to assess and decide on applications seems prudent. Yet, should the program prove successful, revising the funding criteria to streamline future decision-making processes would be advisable, drawing inspiration from structures like the FORTH Community Grants Proposal and UniGrants (now known as Uniswap Foundation).

5 Likes

The Seamless Community Grants Program and utilization of esSEAM rewards are great ideas. This establishes mutual alignment between the grant recipients and the long-term health of the Seamless ecosystem. I strongly support this proposal.

Separately, I believe that esSEAM is a very important piece to the ecosystem, and I’d encourage the community to start thinking about how esSEAM can be used in other ways as well.

3 Likes

As the largest lending and borrowing platform on Base it is imperative to sustain growth alongside growth of the broader Base ecosystem along the lines of deeper liquidity, more Dapps, more users, and more utility. Extending a hand to other BUIDLers in the space, in the form of a grant program, is mutually beneficial as this will help Seamless build out a broader network of partners while also enabling grant applicants the means necessary to offer features that allow more users to use SEAM to it’s fullest potential.

Beyond the grants program itself, grants being paid in the form of escrowed SEAM (esSEAM) makes a lot of sense in terms of incentive alignment. With esSEAM, holders have longer-term incentive alignment as opposed to quick liquidations, and the introduction of esSEAM is a promising concept to reduce broader sell pressure and improve the health of the Seamless community. Excited to see other applications of esSEAM as well potentially in the form of liquidity mining rewards.

All in all — excited to see this grants program come together, excited to read through applications that come through!

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback @Guz_MassAdopt ! A separate Multisig account is a great idea! Thus we will separate Grants budget and guarantee additional security.

Transparency is absolutely the core! Probably u have any ideas on how we could strengthen it from the very beginning?

As for the payment solution, Sablier looks cool, but I suppose that esSEAM should deal with the gradual payment quite fine since it implies linearly with time. So our contractors will not be able to immediately solve their tokens. Another thing is that with esSEAM, even if they cannot sell them, they can use them to participate in the governance. Hence, the general participation level should increase. With third parties solutions I think we can loose this very important component of esSEAM. What do u think?

1 Like

I think this is a great idea and initiative, thanks for proposing it @Ras! Distributing grants as esSEAM should be a great way to ensure incentive alignment between grant recipients and the Seamless community. I’m excited to see what great work can come out of this program!

1 Like

I think this is a great idea! And agree with the previous comments that the proposal can be more specific that the funds are being held in a gnosis multisig safe, with a 3 of 5 threshold for example. I am sure we can find someone in the community to help with the setup of this after self-nominations are done and voted on.

Also agree this is a good start and can evolve into more specific processes if it’s found that the grant process is working.

One last comment as far as sablier and streaming, it seems that the proposal mentions esSEAM is already linearly unlocking so there may be some mechanism already in place to account for this, if others care to comment?

1 Like

Hopping in with my two cents, overall, very supportive of this proposal and much tahnks to @Ras for putting such a thoughtful initial proposal together.

I think it strikes the right balance of caps (max $100k), looser processes, but ensuring a path forward if the program is deemed a success. In that case, 100% agree with the post above from @Guz_MassAdopt that the process should evolve into more clear steps and such.

As far as radical transparency and other comments, I think that all makes sense! As part of the self nomination template (which I am happy to assist with), we should have community members provide a wallet address that would be used for the multisig.

Lastly, in regards to Sablier and the comment above on esSEAM, it could be the case esSEAM is not compatible with a Sablier streaming smart contract, BUT , i believe as a community we should explore if there are other options available/or needed or dive deeper into the exact esSEAM implementation. Regardless of if Sablier works or not, I think the general spirit of what @Guz_MassAdopt laid out can be captured in the proposal, that the grant payments will be made overtime in a safe and secure manner, pending a little more diligence (whether or not that involves a third party like Sablier or esSEAM is already built with some sort of similar function that could be achieved with the multi-sig will have to see and discover?).

Based on the proposals and discussions above, I suggest we add in the multisig component AND some mention of payments being made in a safe/secure manner (with more research into esSEAM/Sablier needed), but otherwise think the proposal is hopefully good to go soon based on community support and discussion?

3 Likes

It is a great idea to start a grants program with esSEAM rewards. It will help Seamless Protocol and Base L2 grow and innovate. I’m all for this idea. Thanks @ras for working hard on it. You did an amazing job and contribution to the community.

1 Like

It’s good idea and an wonderful efforts by the team since the beginning. All the best.

1 Like

nice protocol its an interesting development so the ecosystem

@Ras Great initiative.

Not only does it further support decentralization of contributions, it also aligns incentives of contributors and the protocol.

The crux is as you said, transparency. There must be a public template/process which is used to evaluate applications, and even perhaps some template funding schemes (eg “3 milestone scheme”).

Additionally, perhaps supplementing the grants with some sort of “grant board” proposed by the Council would serve to guide community members who want to participate but perhaps are unclear on how they may contribute.

Kudos for the proposal!

1 Like

@Ras thanks for putting this proposal out there! A grants program and esSEAM seem like two things that could really boost the Seamless Protocol and its whole ecosystem in the long run. I’m all for stuff that takes a big-picture approach and works on strengthening Seamless and the ecosystem.

A grants program could do more than just benefit Seamless—it could also be a win for Base, just like how Seamless has already boosted Base with higher TVL and more utility for tokens on the Base chain.

esSEAM caught my eye. It could really help align everyone in the Seamless ecosystem for the long term. With all kinds of users interacting with Seamless in different ways, esSEAM might be the key to aligning everyone over the long term no matter how they interact with the protocol. Users can do different things on the protocol but esSEAM can do a great job of helping them all pull in the same direction and esSEAM is particularly useful for the grants program.

Addressing @Guz_MassAdopt’s point, accountability and transparency are crucial. esSEAM can naturally contribute to this by introducing time locks. Time locks are good, and esSEAM fits the bill by aligning grantees with the protocol for the long haul. But, let’s not forget about merit-based unlocks tied to hitting production or release milestones. A mix of time alignment and milestones could bring out the best results from each grant. Combining esSEAM and maybe Sablier can handle the time release part. To cover the merit side, the council could lay out milestones upfront and give the green light via multi-sig when those are hit. This combo of esSEAM and council-defined milestones could strike a balance between long-term alignment and releasing funds based on the merit of the work done.

The specific details could be better figured out by the council or through further discussions in the governance forum. Overall, I’m all in for kicking off this grant program and diving into esSEAM—it’s time to get the ball rolling!

1 Like

This sounds like a great idea that will benefit the Seamless ecosystem in the long run.

1 Like

Woow, that’s a lot of support for the Pilot Grants Programme! Thanks to everyone!

I suppose that we can proceed with a Snapshot vote with very relevant amendments suggested by @Guz_MassAdopt. Here is the final version of the proposal that will be live shortly.

Background:

This proposal is for a community-driven initiative and outlines the commencement of an informal grants program for Seamless Protocol – the Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP). The pilot grant process focuses on esSEAM and Seamless DAO, with the potential for future refinement of the grant process/program or parallel grant initiatives within the ecosystem.

Objective:

Launch an initial (and limited) Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP), to kickstart growth and expansion. Begin leveraging esSEAM to fortify the protocol’s long-term alignment and health.

Context:

Seamless Protocol, now the leading lend/borrow platform on Base, introduced SEAM, its decentralized governance token, in December 2023. Since then, the platform has experienced significant growth - over 16,000 users have tried the protocol, with thousands having also liquidity mined for SEAM rewards and hundred participating in governance so far. Seamless Protocol can now increase its focus on the platform’s and community’s long-term growth, as well as the wider growth of Base L2.

To align the protocol, rewards, and community for long-term success, the proposal suggests leveraging esSEAM—a one-year linearly unlocking version of SEAM with retained governance utility, for future rewards. esSEAM has been previously designed and deployed by Seamless community contributors. Because Seamless Protocol has a long future ahead to lay the foundation for modern DeFi, the introduction of esSEAM will ensure early supporters are dedicated to the journey and avoid short-term biases.

To further support a robust and expanding ecosystem, a pilot community grants program, the Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP), will be launched in parallel. This initiative aims to reward creators of complementary tools, platforms, or components within the Seamless ecosystem with esSEAM. The SCGP will begin with a modest cap, allowing for initial exploration to optimize processes and effectiveness before committing more time and resources to the effort.

esSEAM Summary

esSEAM is a non-transferrable ERC-20 token, where 1 esSEAM corresponds to 1 SEAM held in escrow, unlocking linearly over a one-year period. The unlocking process is automated and permissionless through onchain smart contracts. esSEAM maintains its voting delegation and voting utility throughout the locked phase. The token can serve as rewards distributed on the platform or within the community, including through grants programs.

Seamless Community Grants Program (Pilot) Summary

Who:

Five nominated Council members for the initial pilot phase, potentially extendable. Council members can self-nominate in a Discourse thread, followed by a community snapshot vote. The Council will enact and conduct offchain voting processes to review grant applications. The Council members shall fully commit to adopting a stance of radical transparency throughout the process.

What:

Utilize esSEAM grants for the pilot grants program. Initial SCGP will have a maximum cap/budget of $100,000 USD worth of esSEAM, targeting 4-6 potential projects or grant initiatives. Suggested focus areas may include liquidators, DEXs/liquidity, governance engagement, flatcoin integration, LSTs & ILMs, and mass-market use-cases.

Grants would generally be “funded” to applicants post-launch or concurrently with reaching some significant milestone. Note: A small amount of grant may be presented upfront in stablecoins/esSEAM to cover initial launch costs. (as determined by the Council and through discussions).

Where:

Council will establish a submission and discussion process, likely utilizing Discourse.

Council will find time to meet and discuss grants in a timely manner. The discussion and selection process will be transparent so that any DAO member can follow it. Grant “approvals” will be shared publicly with relevant details into a predetermined channel (i.e. Discourse).

When:

Introduce esSEAM and initiate SCGP as soon as Council member nomination voting and on-chain funding vote are passed. The pilot program runs until the initial $100,000 USD in esSEAM is distributed. If deemed a successful initiative, an additional $200,000 USD worth of esSEAM can be added via a fast-track onchain vote for the next round of grants.

How:

Initial grants will be funded from the Seamless DAO and distributed in esSEAM to a Council-controlled Multi-Sig wallet upon approval of the proposal.

Funding will occur when the processes for Council nomination and voting (on snapshot) are concluded. This funding transfer will require an onchain proposal initiated through the Protocol Change Proposal process, which allows for automatic, permissionless and timelock execution of fund transfer. As of current market conditions, the initial $100k USD grant budget would equate to 19,570 esSEAM (subject to revision based on market).

2 Likes

It is live Snapshot

1 Like

what is the proposal ID please?

It is a snapshot labs vote , you may be talking about onchain voting id