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Breakpoint 2023: Retroactive Public Goods Funding on Solana

Solana Foundation and OpenBlock Labs pioneer a retroactive funding model to support public goods and open source projects within the Solana ecosystem.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!


At Breakpoint 2023, a significant development in the Solana ecosystem was announced, introducing a novel approach to funding public goods and open source projects. Andrea, from the Solana Foundation's capital team, and Deljit, a co-founder of OpenBlock Labs, presented the Retroactive Public Goods Funding (RPGF) program. This initiative seeks to provide a sustainable income to creators behind the public goods resources widely used by the community. Unlike traditional grants which are proactive and forward-looking, RPGF incentivizes and rewards past contributions that have benefited the broader ecosystem. This approach could potentially reshape the economic landscape for developers and users by ensuring valuable infrastructure is maintained and innovated upon.

Key Points:

Introduction to RPGF

The Retroactive Public Goods Funding model on Solana is an experimental funding strategy aimed at incentivizing and remunerating creators for their past work. Developed in partnership between the Solana Foundation and OpenBlock Labs, RPGF is particularly interested in supporting those who have made significant contributions to the Solana ecosystem's infrastructure and tools used by developers and users. This method acknowledges the contributors of open source projects that have been instrumental in the advancement of the Solana economy and ecosystem at large.

The Mechanism and Criteria for RPGF

Andrea and Deljit outlined the mechanism employed for the RPGF program, which involves nominations of projects identified as public goods, an assembly of delegates with a long-term vision of Solana for voting, and a voting platform created by OpenBlock Labs. To qualify for RPGF funding, projects must be free, open source, and meet the definition of a public good, which implies an ongoing contribution or significant free tier for community members. By doing so, RPGF aims to recognize the efforts that enhance the ecosystem's capabilities, similar to how public infrastructure advantages society.

The Outcome of RPGF Round One

The first round of RPGF was met with enthusiasm, garnering over 100 project applicants with around 36 receiving funding. Categories for funding included UX and adoption, developer ecosystem, governance, and Solana tech stack – all aimed at fostering growth in strategic areas. Noteworthy projects widely used by Solana developers, such as Anchor and Soligo, were among the beneficiaries. This process not only rewarded past contributions but also established a precedence for sustained community-led support for public goods.

Future Expectations and Improvements

Following the first RPGF round, there is an impetus for refinement in project eligibility, impact metrics, and enhancing the efficiency of delegate participation. The condensed timeline for RPGF Round One was challenging, but future iterations will likely provide more lead time and the possibility of broader community participation, including additional funding sources. This round opens the door for continued evolution and support of the open source landscape within Solana.

Facts + Figures

  • RPGF is a new funding experiment on the Solana blockchain aimed at supporting open source and public goods.
  • Andrea leads the capital team at the Solana Foundation, involved in the provision of appropriate funding for ecosystem teams.
  • Deljit is a co-founder of OpenBlock Labs, which specializes in data-driven incentive optimization.
  • RPGF began with an initial funding pool of 250k in SOL (Solana's cryptocurrency).
  • The program received over 100 project applicants in its first round, with approximately 36 projects receiving funding.
  • A consortium of around 30 delegates with a long-term view of Solana was assembled to vote on project nominations.
  • OpenBlock Labs developed a platform and tools to facilitate the voting process.
  • Criteria for project eligibility included offering free open source resources and being a public good.
  • RPGF employs quadratic voting to balance influence between economic power and community engagement.

Top quotes

  • "RPGF is an experiment that we're very excited about, sort of trying out and seeing how it plays out." – Andrea
  • "We want to basically find a way to give some of this revenue back to the open source providers that are making all this all possible." – Deljit
  • "There's a lot of value in actually sort of incentivizing past contributions as well, rewarding those past contributions." – Andrea
  • "How can we basically promote and make those that are creating these public goods have a sustainable income stream?" – Deljit
  • "If you're a new project, you might apply for an Instagram from a [Super Team]. If you're slightly more established, you come and get a grant from the Foundation." – Andrea
  • "We care a lot about, you know, all four of them. They — we think can drive the Solana ecosystem forward." – Deljit
  • "It's very important that they go to the right people and the right projects." – Deljit
  • "We want to make sure that the open source ecosystem continues to thrive, that public goods continue to thrive." – Deljit

Questions Answered

What is Retroactive Public Goods Funding?

Retroactive Public Goods Funding (RPGF) is a novel funding approach introduced at Solana that rewards and incentivizes creators for past work on open source projects and resources that benefit the ecosystem. It seeks to provide a sustainable income to those who have contributed to key tools and infrastructure.

Who is behind the RPGF initiative?

The RPGF initiative is a collaborative effort between the Solana Foundation, represented by Andrea of the capital team, and OpenBlock Labs, particularly its co-founder Deljit. They are at the forefront of thinking about innovative funding and incentive models within the Solana blockchain community.

How does a project qualify for funding in the RPGF program?

A project must offer free and open source resources to the public and be identified as providing significant contribution to the Solana ecosystem as a public good. The definition used by RPGF includes projects that are actively maintained and offer significant free-tier access or benefits for community members.

What was the outcome of the first round of RPGF in the Solana community?

In the pioneering round of RPGF, over 100 projects applied for funding, with around 36 receiving it. Selected projects benefit various strategic growth sectors of the Solana ecosystem, such as UX, developer tools, governance, and technical stack development.

Where can more information on RPGF be found?

For those interested in the details of RPGF, or considering applying for future funding rounds, all pertinent information can be accessed on OpenBlock Lab's website at