A soft proposal to increase transparency for the Uniswap Grants Program

The Uniswap Grants Program is a potentially great vehicle for strategic deployment of funds into projects that benefit the community and protocol. But as most things regarding DAOs, the best way for something like this to be managed and evaluated is still unclear.

We should be thinking of the current Grants Program as an experiment that ours and others DAOs will learn from, hopefully as a successful case study. What is the decision making process within UGP? How are we evaluating the results of the funded projects? How can we minimize centralization in UGP? If centralization is inevitable, how case we increase accountability for people running the program and discretionarily deploying DAO funds?

As a builder of an analytics project for Uniswap (https://revert.finance), the Uniswap Grants Program has been rather unhelpful, not only in getting funds, but also on getting feedback for grant applications. We have applied three times, with a working and used analytics product, and didn’t get funded but also received no feedback from the program, even after repeated requests for it.

Here’s a simple idea:
Currently the Grants Program discloses what projects it funds, not doing so would seem preposterous. Perhaps we should think of not disclosing what projects are denied funding equally as preposterous. The proposal is that every grant application denial gets published along with the reasons for the denial, unless the applicant decides to withhold the publication.

It would be great to read if the people selected by the DAO for these important roles are thinking in those terms about their responsibilities and their thoughts on this proposal.


Agree… There is always more we can do to remove the guardrails that exist in these new systems we are building, and most of that starts with transparency. Understanding the logic behind decisions being made is the easiest way for us to improve on past behaviors.

Obviously there’s a fine line between having all of your failures exist eternally and providing transparent and open reasoning, which is something that definitely warrants discussion. Some people value having the knowledge that whole world won’t see those things. Perhaps there is a way to reveal the logic behind a decisions without revealing any tying data.

@wario What are your thoughts on that?

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Absolutely. I think the applicant would need to make the decision that they want the grant denial to be made public after they receive it privately. And perhaps there is a middle ground as you suggest, where some reasoning is disclosed but the applicant decides to keep some details private.

I think it’s helpful to consider the design of these DAO sub-processes/orgs similarly to how we would analyze protocols. Publishing grants approved is required to verify that funds are deployed, in reasonable amounts, to worthy projects, and that funds are not misappropriated. Publishing, at the applicants approval, the grant denials I think helps to prevent the overlooking or even the potential censorship of worthy projects. Both seem like important aspects to be mindful for with regard to the optimal administration of a grants program.

So going from Twitter, it seems our experience in getting no feedback for grant applications is not really unique. It would be great to read some thoughts from the folks at UGP on this proposal as described. @kenneth @jcp

First of all, real nice app you got there! Pretty much covers most of the current needs for LP analysis! Great job guys!

Cannot talk about improving feedback, etc, since I got no information maybe there are some resource or talent constraints. But imo, feedback for valid/solid applicants should be provided even if denied, preferably with reasoning behind (i.e at this stage we have already given reserved amount within given category), to my understanding applicant chooses to apply in private or public, for the latter I assume every UGP round update (the notion page should also have a table with all the denials by default) again not sure about extra complexity or effort it would require, but 100% agree that this would be a preferable practice, and much needed to enhance transparency, trust and participation, since we do have some centralisation bottleneck here, I think it crucial and would be beneficial for ecosystem as a whole to work and acknowledge points you have raise, as some actions or inactions could cause disinformation/disengagement/etc.

Also think that UGP overall been doing a great job, so if I may humbly suggest to listen @wario, not only guys build great product for the ecosystem, they have raised over $8k thru gitcoin funds (that’s a clear monetary sign of added value to LPs) plus coming to gov forum with nothing but what to me seems like a constructive agenda, would be a shame to lose active community members over miscommunications or lack of thereof.


Thanks @wijuwiju!

Yeah, it seems like something like what you are suggesting with the Notion workflow should be quite trivial to implement, and would be a learning opportunity for the community and the UGP, but would be great to get some feedback on this from folks within the committee.

It also seems like thinking in terms of how to increase transparency and accountability for UGP should be uncontentious, and would set a great precedent and example for other future programs that might also have points of centralization.

Agreed. I apply my DeFi with no success, but it 100% matched for my Uniswap investment info requests.