Opening nominations for the Namada RPGF Program

Opening nominations for the Namada RPGF Program

Namada couldn't have come to be without prior pioneering research and implementation work in cryptography, distributed systems, cryptoeconomic protocol design, and public advocacy for open access to cryptography in a civil society. In order to express our gratitude, the Anoma Foundation has decided to allocate a large portion of the Namada genesis block to retroactive public goods funding. Part of this retroactive public goods funding will be allocated to specific projects and communities which have contributed to Namada's technology stack and public consciousness of the importance of privacy. We haven't decided on a final list, but Zcash, Ethereum, and Cosmos are top of mind. This funding may take the form of snapshot airdrops, integral airdrops, direct donations to organisations which have created and sustained these networks, or combinations thereof.

However, one disadvantage of retroactive public goods funding is that it can overly advantage people and projects that we already know and like - and for every project which contributed to the cause of interchain privacy that we know of, there are ten that we don't. Of course, it is impossible to trace all contributions perfectly, but to remedy potential blind spots a little bit, we'd like to ask the public to help us learn about those contributing prior efforts which we might not yet know about, and in so doing start to compile a directory and a history of contributions which is itself a public good, both as a more accurate allocation of credit and as a resource for future retroactive distributions performed by future projects.

Accordingly, we invite written nominations for Namada retroactive public goods funding. Please post these on the Namada forum in the RPGF category (nominations should be posted as separate threads), and feel free to share your posts elsewhere on the internet for input & feedback from relevant parties. Include in your nominations a description of the project(s) which you think deserve retroactive public goods funding and why (one nomination for several projects and one nomination per project are both fine), and contact information for both you and the proposed recipient. The nominations do not need to be long or fancy, but they should capture an interesting bit of history and describe the prior work. We especially appreciate nominations of unique projects or aspects of historical work that we would not otherwise have known about. Compiling a history is also an important contribution, and we plan to allocate a small amount of retroactive funding to everyone who nominates a selected recipient as well (if they would like).

We conceive of retroactive PGF as a "big tent" spectrum, and we encourage creative submissions, but here are a few categories we'd like to be sure to cover:

  • Research work in cryptography, distributed systems, and cryptoeconomics, especially concerning designs which Namada uses, such as zero-knowledge proofs, Tendermint BFT, and proof-of-stake. Examples: Zerocash, Tendermint.
  • Implementation work in cryptography, distributed systems, cryptoeconomics, and data structures, especially code which Namada imports directly or is inspired by. Examples: Tendermint Go, Tower ABCI, Jubjub.
  • Public advocacy work defending individual and collective rights to privacy, free speech, and self-determination. Example: EFF.
  • Local meetups, user groups, and online tutorials which help people understand what privacy technology is available to them, how it can help protect their information, and how to use it safely in their everyday lives. Examples: PRISM-Break, How does Tornado Cash work?.
  • Art, speculative fiction, and critical analysis reflecting on the role of technology in individual and cultural consciousness, exposing the abuse of surveillance by corporate and state monopolies, and imagining alternative worlds (utopian, dystopian, or otherwise) through this sociotechnical lens. Examples: Neuromancer, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Wikileaks.

The Anoma Foundation will compile these nominations into a recommendation for part of the Namada genesis block. A final allocation has not yet been determined, but retroactive public goods funding will comprise no less than 20%, so we expect these allocations to be meaningful. Allocations disbursed through this program will be unencumbered. Retroactive PGF nominations must be submitted by March 5th, 2023.

A few final notes:

  • Self-nominations are allowed (in which case you need list only one recipient).
  • Namada's retroactive PGF program is not limited to "blockchain" technology or holders of previous blockchain tokens - Namada depends on a lot of previous work which doesn't fall into those categories, and we expect the retroactive PGF distribution to reflect that wide dependency graph.
  • As we conceive of it, retroactive PGF nomination is not about marketing either the project in question or marketing Namada, but rather about compiling an accurate history of who has contributed to our common cause of a privacy-first technology ecosystem, especially of contributions not financially rewarded at the time and/or not easily measurable in monetary terms. Nominations should be written in a neutral style and strive for historical accuracy.
  • Employees or contractors paid directly or indirectly by the Anoma Foundation or any of its contractors are eligible to submit nominations for other projects, but ineligible to receive individual rewards for doing so.

Thank you for reading & hope to see your nominations on the forum!

Adrian Brink
Awa Sun Yin
Christopher Goes

Board, Anoma Foundation