Funding Overview for 2023

Interchain
The Interchain Foundation

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Since our inception, the Interchain Foundation has and continues to fund different engineering teams to develop and maintain the Interchain’s core infrastructure — Tendermint Core (and now CometBFT), Cosmos SDK, Cosmos Hub, and the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC).

We have also supported the development of CosmWasm and Ethermint — technologies that are now forming the foundations of smart contract and EVM-compatible blockchains.

In addition to the core functionality of the Interchain Stack, the ICF funds projects to drive the adoption and use cases for our technology — from the Interchain Developer Academy, the Cosmos Developer Portal, and the Interchain Builders Program, to Interchain NFTs and IBC integration with other blockchain technologies like Polkadot, Hyper Ledger and many others.

Key areas funded for 2023

The areas and teams funded for 2023 follow from the recommendations of the new Technical Advisory Board. For 2023, we invited the teams previously working with us to present proposals for their work. We are currently in the last stages of finalizing our key contracts for 2023.

The following is an insight into the key areas of work and the teams we have committed to funding in those areas.

Correct as time of publication. See disclaimer notes below

Please note that this list is correct as at the time of publication, and includes entities and work we have agreed upon in principle but are still finalizing the contracts for, and notably, excludes a few entities with whom we are still negotiating scope of work. We will publish an updated list in due course.
cDot and Composable Finance’s contracts were accounted for in the 2022 budget. They are included on this list to provide visibility into ongoing work.

To the teams we are currently negotiating with: your name not appearing on this list does not indicate that we have decided to not fund you. It just means that we are still at an early stage of negotiation and so excluded you from this list for the time being

For context, the following is a breakdown of what each category above relates to:

  • Consensus:
    Work related to the core development and maintenance of CometBFT, any work that might be needed on Tendermint Core v0.34, and tooling related to both.
  • Interoperability
    Work related to the Inter-Blockchain Communications (IBC) protocol — development of the Interchain Standards (ICS) specs, the IBC handler implementations, the different Light Client and Relayer implementations of IBC, and work undertaken to expand the composability of IBC beyond Cosmos-SDK chains.
  • Apps Framework & Clients
    Work related to the development and maintenance of Cosmos SDK and related tooling; maintenance of key libraries including CosmWasm and CosmJS; and maintenance of key applications including the Keplr Wallet.
  • Cosmos Hub
    Work related to the development and maintenance of Cosmos Hub, its testnet and auditing needs, as well as business development activity in relation to Interchain Security and other interchain services it offers.
  • Security & Testing Framework
    This is an aggregation of cross-product work on testing and securing all parts of the Interchain Stack — individually and as a whole.
  • DevRel
    Work related to providing support to developer teams to onboard onto the Interchain Stack, as well as providing on-call support with updates, upgrades and bug fixes.
  • Comms & Growth
    Work related to communications and adoption growth for all parts of the Interchain Stack, including community management, event sponsorship and press liaison. This also includes programs like the Interchain Developers Academy and the Interchain Builders Program.

Spending for 2023

While the contracts are still pending confirmation, on the work mentioned above, we estimate a total spending of around $40 million USD.

The list above is of course not an exhaustive list.

Throughout the year, we envisage engaging other teams to deliver smaller, tightly defined tasks within each area of work. Such contracts will be to supplement the work of the teams mentioned below or in service of their needs that arise during the year.

Small Grants Program

Since our inception, the ICF maintained a public program where teams can request funding for work related to the Interchain Stack — whether it’s related to engineering, improving user journeys or widening adoption.

We suspended the program in 2022 when we had a significant backlog of applications to assess and the program remains closed for the time being.

Our aim is to ensure longevity in the funding for the core elements of the Interchain Stack — software that over 50 chains rely on — and as such, spending on core development is being prioritized over these grants.

We of course value the significant contributions that are made to advance the technology and adoption of the interchain by the hundreds of teams building in our ecosystem.

We plan to re-open the Small Grants Program in due course, but in the meantime, we hope to utilize our Atom Delegations Program to reward some of these numerous contributions.

As well as the Delegations Program, we urge teams to reach out to the Builders Program for non-financial mentorship and support in launching their product and services. Their applications for 2023 Q2 are currently open.

UPDATE:
- 20 Feb’23 18:45 CET — updated blog to clarify that the funding chart includes some 2022 contracts

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Interchain
The Interchain Foundation

As stewards of the interchain, we advance the development of an interoperable, sustainable, and community-owned decentralized ecosystem. https://interchain.io/