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On Cosmos Hub and ICF

Brian Crain
Brian Crain
3 min read

A proposal by Hypha and Informal is up for vote on the Cosmos Hub. They want the community pool to fully fund their work. This is work specifically focused on improving the Cosmos Hub.

Until now, these teams have been funded by the ICF. The proposal asks for $5.7m to fund these teams. This represents 16% of the current community pool of $36m.

Does it make sense to have Hypha and Informal funded through the community pool?

One thing that I like about the proposal is that it would really put the ATOM community in charge of the development of the hub. This is very cool. That is the way for the Cosmos Hub to become a coherent and effective, yet decentralized collective. A new type of organization. If the Cosmos community can figure out how to leverage on-chain governance for this, it would really make the Cosmos Hub into the largest and one of the most effective DAOs in crypto.

For me, the Atom Accelerator DAO is a great example. I’m excited that there is a governance-funded grants program that funded 25 grants with $2.7m. It makes me bullish for the hub that AADAO exists. And it would make me even more bullish if the hub governance is directly funding its core development.

Will it work?

Accountability is a difficult thing. And one needs to create a new mechanism of accountability. In the proposal a system for that is included. Many aspects will be difficult. How can the community influence the roadmap? Who determines what the financial terms and incentives are? How do you check the quality of the work. How are issues resolved?

We are trying to do all these things at the Interchain Foundation and we see how hard this is. This is also going to be a big challenge to do in a decentralized way.

If the Cosmos Hub can figure this out, it would be amazing.

How do I think about this from an Interchain Foundation perspective? Note that these are my own opinions. And that my role is that of a member of the foundation council and also president of the council. I'm one of 3 foundation council members. And everyone has an equal vote.

In my view, the Cosmos Hub is an essential part of the Cosmos ecosystem. It's the original Cosmos PoS chain. It has pioneered many new technologies and has been finding some impressive early product-market fit with Interchain Security. It also has a passionate community. At times that community that can be full of conflicts and disagreements. And it’s an ecosystem full of vision, new ideas and a drive to bring truly decentralized and sovereign blockchains as tools for the world.

The Cosmos Hub needs to be funded and continue to be developed. And at the ICF we did allocate $3.5m in the 2024 budget for the hub. We think it's crucial to fund the hub along with other key projects like IBC, CometBFT, CosmosSDK and CosmWasm. The amount we allocated for 2024 for the Cosmos Hub is $3.5m. The Foundation Council is also in favor of deploying those $3.5m via the community pool. Thus giving ATOM governance control over this part of the budget. This money would either be sent directly to the community pool or potentially it would need to be paid directly to the organizations that the hub chooses for development. In either case, it would mean that the effective cost for the hub would be $2.2m since the other $3.5m would be covered by the Interchain Foundation. It would represent 6% of the current community pool.  

If this proposal is not accepted, then there are different possibilities. We might fund something similar to the on-chain proposal directly with Informal and Hypha. However, we would only be able to fund a part of the proposal.

I thought it was essential to communicate this to the Cosmos community and those voting in governance. My apologies that we did not do so earlier. I hope this is helpful for everyone to understand how I think about this and how the ICF is committed to contributing budget to it.