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Scuttlebutt grants


A group called Dfinity approached me (Dominic) offering a grant to support with the development of Scuttlebutt. They have proposed $200k USD, and are giving total freedom about how we manage it (their only requirement is that they need invoices for work / expenses).

What I want:

  • growth of the ecosystem
  • happy healthy community
  • learning
  • simplicity (in the process)
  • excitment + celebration
  • movement towards other sources of income for ssb dev

What I don't want:

  • people burning out
  • too much paperwork
  • 100% perfect completion

The most valuable thing we have is the community. Half the reason for grants is to give everyone a fair opportunity to get paid to work on scuttlebutt.

An experiment in grants

I think the best strategy for growing ecosystem is to start as we mean to continue. Grants enable more of us to work on a large range of things.

Each grant will be :

  • $5000 USD grants (payable in USD, BTC, ETH)
  • equivalent to 1 month of full-time work, if you would rather work part time, this can be spread out as makes sense (just say what you are doing in your proposal or dev diary)


Why $5k? : Because it's simple - normalising for individual needs is probably complicated, and $5k is enough money to help someone go deep and not worry as much about money. this is less than you might earn with a dev salary job - this is intensional! we are doing this because we believe in this project, not for money.

who can apply?: Everyone! I (dominic) will also be applying for grants the same as other community members.

Grants process

I will rate limit the number of grants to 4 per month to enable learning and adaptation.

1. Prepare a proposal

It's a good idea to explore and idea and get feedback before posting a proposal.

Proposal requirments:

  • What are you going to do? (does it relate to what we want more of?)
  • How are you going to spread your 1 month of work?
  • why are you motivated to do this?

2. Approving a proposal

We'll make the first week of each month when we approve the next 4 grants. We will discuss the proposals for a given month as a community and decide which 4 we're going to fund. The community may suggest changes to a proposal. A grant that is not included in one month might be in the next. If a grant is turned down, you can still make another grant.

We'll only make a few grants at a time, so that we can learn how it goes and improve the process later.

3. Get working and get paid

Your grant will be paid up-front (it's simpler, and we trust you). Dominic will be the main point of contact with Dfinity, and you'll organise an invoice with him.

If your proposal was selected, then do this in order:

  • Send invoice details as a private message to @dominic, either ETH address or bank details
  • Option A: ETH address, plus mailing address for the invoice
  • Option B: bank name, bank address, account number, BIC/SWIFT code, plus mailing address for the invoice
  • Create a dev diary thread in the #ssbc-grants channel
  • Add your dev diary to this: %9psz2xPwGhGG7mIkTIgCEy/xX7r6uQDNQyjl0Nopiw4=.sha256

Grant requirement: keep a Dev Diary about what you're doing

Why a Dev Diary: this is the simple way to share learning, and for everyone to get excited about what you're doing. We can also reference it later for others interested in funding, to showcase what awesome things we've done. he current month will have their (awesome example: Android Dev Diary)

4. Declare it done (enough)

Keep the spirit of experimentation. If you tried something bold, but didn't get to where you wanted to, that's fine. Our priority is "did we learn from it?" and "did it grow the ecosystem?" - you may have made some auxillary wins which are still awesome that we can celebrate.


We'll discuss the proposals as a community. You are welcome to make suggestions or express support for a proposal. At some point, some one will have to make a call on which proposals we've agreed on. If there is a disagreement, we'll just keep talking about it. Our protocol is eventually consistent, so our decision process can be too. If there is a disagreement we need to work as a community to find a way to sort it out.

For simplicity, we'll have one facilitator. This can change from time to time. Dominic will start as facilitator.

grant ideas!

  • ecosystem support
    • overhaul the documentation
    • storytelling in accessible formats
    • technical overview (whitepaper)
    • development screen casts
  • a specific feature
    • make on-boarding really slick
    • multidevice
    • private groups
    • blob-gc
    • create a set of integration tests for performance
  • a project that enhances the ecosystem
    • mobile app
    • git-ssb
    • dat-share

other personal roadmaps / proposals:

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