UCG v2: Making Unstoppable Community Grants attractive again

Overview

The UCG program was designed in 2023 to support projects aiming to build on Astar Network and with an interest in dApp Staking. Since this program was first developed, significant changes have been made to dApp Staking with version 3 and the tiering system, making the UCG program unsuited to the new dApp Staking model.

Following the proposal to burn 5% of the Astar Genesis allocation, the Community Treasury will receive a significant amount of ASTR tokens (74M) increasing the Community Treasury funds to over 100M ASTR tokens giving more options to support UCG projects in dApp Staking to reach higher tiers.

In view of these two points, we propose to review the Unstoppable Community Grants program and make it more attractive to new projects joining our ecosystem. The core design of the program will remain the same, but certain aspects of the program will be revised and modified.

If this UCG revision proposal is approved, current program participants will see their staking grant increased accordingly. In this way, current participants will not feel let down or disadvantaged by their application prior to this new model.

Original version of the UCG Program: Unstoppable Community Grants Program Deck

This proposal will lead to a community discussion, followed by a community governance vote to approve the changes.

TLDR: Differences from the previous UCG program

  • UCG Staking Grant amount changed from 2M to 17M ASTR ;
  • UCG Grant period modified from 3 months to 4 months, renewable once up to 8 months;
  • Adaptation to dApp Staking V3 and tier system;
  • If a dApp reaches Tier 2, the grant can be terminated.
  • Integration to official Astar documentation

Introduction

The Unstoppable Community Grants program is designed to strengthen and enhance the grants option on Astar network. It aims to build deeper relationships between the project and the Astar community while boosting a project in dApp Staking with early access and initial staking support over the duration of the grant.

Motivation

The Astar community, composed of users, dedicated Ecosystem Agents, and Core Team members, is committed to making the Astar Network a leading innovation hub for blockchain technology. This initiative supports both new and existing developers in creating cutting-edge technology. By providing a supportive environment and attracting developers, Astar aims to grow the quality and quantity of applications on the network, creating opportunities for cross-collaborations.

Relationship & Community Building

The program encourages teams to establish direct communication with community members and leaders. This transparency allows for authentic feedback, gauging overall interest, and interaction with users who have the best interests of Astar and its builders in mind.

Grants

Grants will involve Astar’s unique “dApp staking” feature. This feature doesn’t actually involve users or treasuries spending their tokens, but instead it only involves them staking their tokens on a dApp they choose to support. In return they get a 14-15% APR on their tokens, while also increasing the rewards the dApp owner receives.

The more tokens staked on the dApp, the higher the daily rewards are for the dApp owner. As long as there is one staker, the rewards keep on generating.

To learn more about the dApp staking mechanism, see the official Astar documentation: https://docs.astar.network/docs/learn/dapp-staking/

UCG - Overview

The UCG process involves the following steps:

  1. Proposal: Submission of a detailed UCG application proposal on the Astar Forum.
  2. Diligence: Community review and discussion.
  3. Vote: Community voting on the proposal.
  4. Passes/Doesn’t Pass: If passed, the dApp is listed; if not, the team can reapply later.
  5. Bootstrap Added (Grant): Initial staking grant allocation.
  6. 4-month trial with reports: Monitoring and evaluation of progress.
  7. Re-Purpose Vote & Maintain Grant: Continuation or adjustment of the grant.
  8. Finalize & Remove Grant: Conclusion of the grant if no further extension is sought.

Grant Guidelines and Process

As the Community Treasury funds are limited, only 5-6 projects can participate in the program at the same time. If the treasury funds increase in the future, this limit could be reconsidered.

Guidelines

Applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • A well-researched and tested project idea, ideally with examples of prior work.
  • A project description that distinguishes it from competitors or incorporates technology not yet existing in the ecosystem.
  • A technically proficient team with experience in the project’s concept and a track record of delivering promised milestones.
  • A team that is capable of sustaining and expanding the project beyond grant deliverables. This is determined by prior experience, funding, business acumen, and marketing skills.
  • A high-quality application with clearly defined milestones and meticulous attention to technical details and security implications.
  • A reasonable bootstrapping request amount relative to the outlined milestones.
  • Engagement and responsiveness throughout the application and diligence process.
  • A demonstrated commitment to the Astar ecosystem through collaboration efforts.
  • Alignment with and adherence to Astar’s Guiding Principles (outlined above) and the Code of Conduct (link).

Projects that are part of the UCG program or have benefited from the program can be tracked in the following document: Unstoppable Community Grants Program - 2024

Process

Due to the current size of the Community Rewards treasury, proposals requesting ASTR bootstrapping will be limited up to 17M ASTR. This allows for the allocation of ASTR for multiple projects.

You can find the total amount of ASTR available here: Community Rewards Treasury

It is also highly recommended to begin communicating your intention and proposal in the Discord with the larger community. This will help attract users to your project with allow for early opportunities for capturing feedback, prior to posting on the official Astar forum for voting.

  1. Phase 1:
  • Proposal: Creating a UCG Proposal on the Astar Public Forum that follows the previously stated “Guidelines”.
  • Diligence: 7-day discussion involving community questions and comments.
  • Voting: A 7-day voting period on Astar Townhall for ASTR holders to vote on the proposal.
    • Pass: Listing of the dApp in the portal under the category “Other”
    • No Pass: No listing and team can apply again.
  1. Phase 2:
  • Listing: The team can register the project in dApp Staking following the steps outlined in the documentation.
  • Bootstrap: Tokens from Community Treasury are staked on the dApp in accordance with the proposal. Reward generation and “4-month Trial Period” starts from this day.
  • Monthly Check-ins: Team publishes “monthly check-in” in the Astar forum, detailing what was accomplished, how many tokens sold and at what price. Transaction hashes are supplied for the community to review.
  • Evaluation: Community volunteer thoroughly evaluates the team and publishes evaluation in the forum for the community to view. If no volunteer steps up, an Astar core team member will perform the evaluation.

The staking grant is a financial support designed to help a project reach Tier 3 in Astar dApp Staking, enabling it to generate a base income for development on Astar’s network.

If the project is listed in dApp Staking and has received the grant, it is important to continue attracting ASTR holders to stake on the project’s dApp with marketing activities, campaigns or programs, as more tokens staked on the dApp means more revenue for the project.

Successful project

If a project reaches Tier 2 in dApp Staking by attracting enough ASTR tokens and support from the Astar community, and remains in Tier 2 without the 15 million ASTR tokens from the grant, the grant will be automatically terminated. The project is considered successful enough to continue on its own, allowing the grant to support a new project within the UCG.

UCG Monthly Reports

All UCG participants must submit reports at the 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day marks from the start of rewards generation on the team’s dApp.

These reports must be completed on time and posted on the Astar forum, addressing the following details:

  • Technical developments and updates;
  • Marketing and communication updates;
  • Updates on community, partnerships and collaborations;
  • dApp Staking rewards spent and reason for spending and uses;
  • Status of UCG milestones and, in the event of a change, explain the reasons for it;
  • Roadmap for next month;
  • Current blockers or problems that the team is facing and that may affect its development;

UCG Evaluation

At the end of the grant period, the project should provide a detailed report covering the entire duration and its development progress.

Evaluation is conducted by a volunteer who opts to follow and track the project’s progress. If no volunteer from the community steps forward, an Astar core team member will handle it on behalf of the community. The evaluation, posted on the public forum, can help inform future voting if the team wishes to reapply for a grant:

  • Was the team transparent, communicative and engaging throughout the 4-month period?
  • Did the team provide all request information, including answers to any questions, in a timely manner?
  • What was the final outcome of the grant and would you recommend the team for another grant if they applied again? Why or why not?

Completion of the Trial Period and Grant

Grant payments take the form of bootstrapping by staking the native network token (ASTR) onto the team’s dApp and should be tied to the completion and delivery of clearly defined milestones unless there is documented reason for exception. We hope the team reaches these milestones as stated.

Any unforeseen changes to the plans must be communicated to the community via socials and the Astar forum.

  • Upon completion of the 4-month trial period, the team can decided to finalize the grant. If so the grant will be removed from the dApp and allocated back to the Community Treasury.
  • If the team wishes to continue, a new proposal will need to be made 2 weeks before the end of the 4-month trial period so the community could review and vote on it. The proposal can ask for an extension (maximum 4 additional months for a total of 8 months maximum), more funds, and/or a combination. Please follow the guidelines previously stated.

A project can apply to the UCG program only once and for a maximum of two periods (8 months). The program is not continuous support but a bootstrap to help a project launch on Astar Network and join the dApp Staking Program.

If you need further support or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the official team on the Astar Discord server.

Conclusion

The discussion is open to the community for feedback and suggestions that can be incorporated into this proposal before the governance vote.

Thank you for reading and for your support.

9 Likes

Thank you for the proposal!
I have been waiting for this moment.

I’m putting this suggestion up because I think it follows a previous thread.

This will solve many of the current UCG problems. I fully support it.

6 Likes

Thank you for organizing the proposal of UCG.
I think it’s excellent content, and I support this proposal.

I have one question.
For UCG v1, can projects that only received a 3-month grant period out of a maximum of 6 months apply for UCG v2? For example, projects that received UCG v1 grants from March 2024 to June 2024 but haven’t applied for the next period.

2 Likes

This is the best point I guess. Fair enough to others. Builders it is a time to apply.

1 Like

Thank you for making the UCG v2! I really like this version:

  • Staking Grant Increase: From 2 million to 17 million ASTR.
  • Grant Period Extension: From 3 months to 4 months, with a possible renewal for an additional 4 months.
  • Adaptation to dApp Staking V3 and Tier System: If a dApp reaches Tier 2, the grant can be terminated.

My only question is about the grant limitation, as only 5-6 projects can participate in the program over a 4-month period. If there are more than 6 projects needing this support, will the others have to wait or do they all get rejected immediately?

@Gaius_sama
I fully agree with the current approach, we have been discussing this for weeks and reaching a consensus to present this formal proposal to the whole community, the time has come to push forward the UCG program!

My observations to this point are:

  1. I think we should present a template for applications and/or proposals, many times it happens that the structure of the proposals of the projects is difficult to understand, very short or simply does not cover all the necessary points to evaluate them and it is necessary to repeat a lot of information in the forum, I see it as inefficient.

  2. We should present a template for the monthly reports, for the same point I mentioned above, I have noticed that the reports of some projects tend to be exaggerated, related to information not relevant to their evaluation or simply does not cover the main points to say if they are doing a good job or not.

I think that by covering these two points, we will have a very well structured UCG program.

2 Likes

For UCG v1, can projects that only received a 3-month grant period out of a maximum of 6 months apply for UCG v2? For example, projects that received UCG v1 grants from March 2024 to June 2024 but haven’t applied for the next period.

Yes, they can apply for a second 4-month period in the program and the community will decide if they deserve to stay in the UCG.

1 Like

My only question is about the grant limitation, as only 5-6 projects can participate in the program over a 4-month period. If there are more than 6 projects needing this support, will the others have to wait or do they all get rejected immediately?

Yes, as funds are limited, only 5 to 6 projects can participate in the program at any one time. If a 7th project wishes to join the program, it will have to wait until another has completed its grant period before applying.

I also believe it’s very important to be more careful about which projects should be accepted into the program, to ensure that only those that are truly innovative and interesting for our ecosystem can join UCG and therefore not accept the first 6 projects that applied.

4 Likes

Everything is clear. Thank you!!

1 Like

Great, thank you so much for replying, I agree, we should be more careful about the projects who can get the grant!

The vote for the new version of the UCG program is open on Townhall :

Please vote wisely! :ballot_box:

4 Likes

Thank you for this proposal, I think it is fair and in agreement in all its extremes, I have loved the idea of expanding the trial period to 4 months and extending it for 4 more months if the project deserves it, I think the trial period is fair.

The increase of the subsidy is also wise, this will make projects have less excuses to build.

The truth is that the modifications are very well thought out, the funnel is very well planned, Congratulations to the team.

3 Likes