Waves Grants Inside Out

Vitaliy Tsigulev
Mar 21 · 6 min read

Waves Labs runs a grant program aimed at supporting talented developers working with Waves products. In this article, we’d like to explain in detail what kind of projects we support and how the selection process works.

In January, Waves Labs launched a grant program aimed at incentivising individual developers and companies to work on projects that help facilitate mass adoption of blockchain technology and build out the Waves ecosystem.

The program turned out to be hugely popular and, by now, we had received 98 applications.

The same month, we disbursed 16,665 WAVES in the first batch of grants. In late March, a new group of grant recipients will be announced.

Among the recipients of the first grants are:

  • Dmitry Pichulin’s Random Oracle, a verifiable elliptic curve random oracle for Waves Platform, based on Curve25519;

Further selected projects will be discussed later in the article, and details on all the recipients of Waves Grants’ first batch are available here.

What we are looking for

Waves Grants focuses on projects that help build out the Waves ecosystem. Both startups and individual developers are welcome to apply for Waves grants, either with projects that are already in progress or with new ideas.

We offered developers several specific use cases, which we consider to be most promising and viable for the Waves community at this point. However, these cases are just overall guidance, and we encourage developers to suggest their own applications. And, judging by the applications we have received so far, they do exactly that in the vast majority of instances.

Our main goal is to foster development of viable new solutions, and we are carefully looking at ideas generated by the Waves community. We encourage community members to suggest solutions and projects that they think are viable and important.

Projects and solutions may come from a number of areas, including the predictions market and gambling, voting, alternative wallets with a Waves Keeper login, trading analysis, atomic swap, recording data to the blockchain, payments and donations, smart contract-based solutions, oracles, solutions for STOs, stablecoins, games and various kinds of dApps.

Still, we want more than just an idea, regardless of how great it might be. Even if a project is still at a very early stage, the team should already have a developer with at least minimum experience and a portfolio.

The only exception are use cases that don’t involve programming, such as creation of educational materials or research. Examples of such projects are Waves World, which received a grant under the ‘Loyalty program research’ use case, and the WavesGo Educational Fund.

We appreciate the importance of projects of that kind to the community, but Waves Grants’ main focus is on projects leading to development of tech solutions.

Certainly, we mostly want to hear ideas that will help build out the Waves ecosystem, for instance, by resolving an existing issue, simplifying the use of existing products, incentivising the community to more actively use Waves projects and infrastructure, attracting new users or creating reusable code.

The more useful a proposed solution is not just for a specific entity, but for the entire Waves ecosystem, the greater its chances of being selected.

Meanwhile, Waves doesn’t intend to claim any intellectual property rights or stakes in the companies it provides grants to. The creator of a solution is the sole owner of any IP rights to it.

We value contributions from the larger blockchain community and welcome developers who have experience with other ecosystems. Among the first grant recipients was Igor Shadurin, who has substantial experience working with the Ethereum platform.

Among the projects he has executed before are a decentralised social network in the cloud storage system SWARM, a desktop wallet for Nebulas, and Ethereum smart contracts integrated in the social network VK.com. Currently, Igor is working on a payment solution for Waves.

How it works

All applications are made through a public form.

The applications are considered by a Waves committee that includes members of Waves Labs team, the DevRel department and the company’s management.

Applications are evaluated in two stages.

Primary evaluation includes a basic set of criteria and questions for an applicant to answer to initiate dialog. Primary evaluation is carried out by Waves Labs employees on the basis of information provided by the applicant.

If the applicant possesses sufficient skills and experience in the relevant area, dialog continues. Otherwise, a rejection letter is sent to the applicant by email.

Secondary, in-depth evaluation is necessary to verify the applicant’s reliability and competency. A list of materials and questions for evaluating an applicant is created on a case-by-case basis, based on the volume of earlier information and other factors.

Once we have made sure that the applicant possesses sufficient experience and skills for the execution of a case in question, the process of grant approval begins.

At this stage, the applicant prepares a detailed technical explanation of the project, which includes a description of the solution’s expected operation and a specific step-by-step development plan with tentative deadline for each stage.

The size of grant is determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the complexity of the task, the developer/team’s needs, and the scale and importance of the project for the Waves ecosystem.

In turn, during the secondary evaluation stage, the applicant is expected to prepare a roadmap, specifying all development stages and justifying the requested amount for the grant for each stage.

In some cases, especially when it comes to large-scale projects, a grant may be disbursed in several tranches. The disbursement of each subsequent tranche is conditional on successful execution of the previous development stage.

Grant recipients are expected to be prepared to speak publicly about their projects and share their ideas with the Waves community.

In turn, we at Waves Labs will do our best to inform the community about grant recipients and the outcome of the work on their projects, and we’ll inform the first users so they can test the solutions they build.

In most cases, the grant recipient is expected to report on the outcome of their work by submitting a demo, source code and a manual for the Waves community, describing how the solution can be used and applied in other projects.

Meanwhile, our dialog with each grant recipient isn’t supposed to end once the work under the grant is complete. After the execution of a task under the grant program, Waves may want to support the project’s further development with resources, tech consultation and marketing activities, to facilitate transition from a prototype to a working commercial solution.

Long-term initiative

Waves Grants is in no way a one-off project. This is a continuous initiative, and the same project could be eligible for several grants covering either development of several applications or various stages of developing the same project.

If your application didn’t get accepted, we encourage you to reapply after revising your idea or project based on our recommendations. We will be glad to see an updated application from you again after a while.

We look forward to your applications!

We will be publishing news related to the grant program. To get Waves Grants’ news and updates, read our Telegram chat, and follow us on Тwitter and Medium.

Waves Labs

Waves Labs is an initiative for supporting talented developers and promising startups focused on decentralized technologies leading to Web 3.0


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Vitaliy Tsigulev

Written by

COO Waves Labs.

Waves Labs

Waves Labs is an initiative for supporting talented developers and promising startups focused on decentralized technologies leading to Web 3.0