$88M in Arbitrum grant proposals are competing for a $44M pot

Arbitrum DAO published snapshot votes on funding 97 different projects looking to tap into Arbitrum’s short term incentives program (STIP) funding.

The grants program is Arbitrum’s second attempt to incentivize development on the network after a first iteration received community backlash. The high volume of proposals up for vote presents an experiment in how engaged the Arbitrum community can be. 

In March of this year, the first Arbitrum DAO proposal included a “special grants” stipulation that would have allowed the Arbitrum Foundation to allocate grants without a governance vote to “avoid inundating governance with grant applications.” The proposal was voted down after causing an outcry from the DAO community, which wanted a say in funding decisions.

Now, that governance maximalism is being put to the test. DAO members had a week to review over 100 different proposals before voting went live last night. 

Read more: Arbitrum DAO looking to bet $40M on network protocols

Hunter Brea, a community strategist at Arbitrum development group Offchain Labs, told Blockworks that incentive programs typically kickstart ecosystem growth, pointing to similar programs at Polygon and Avalanche as examples. Arbitrum’s number of active users has mostly trended sideways this week, per DefiLlama, but the DAO’s governance forum has seen a flurry of activity, with well over a thousand replies posted to the various grant proposals.

“Will the incentives attract more builders to come? Yeah probably, I just hope they come, stick around, and participate for the long term,” Brea said in a direct message on X.

Arbitrum DAO members have until Thursday, Oct. 12 to vote on the proposals. The final sum of the grant requests was around 100 million Arbitrum (ARB), worth around $88 million at current market prices, according to a dashboard from Inspex. The DAO allocated 50 million ARB to the incentives program, so tiebreakers will go to projects whose proposals pass with the largest number of yes votes. 

So far, 52 of the 97 proposals have received a majority of votes in their favor, per Inspex. Dopex and Silo Finance led the way in early returns, with both proposals receiving around 24 million ARB token votes.

Updated Oct. 6, 2023 at 12:33 pm ET: Modified headline for brevity.

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