[DRC] dYdX Short-Term Boost Program (STBP)

dYdX Short-Term Boost Program (STBP)

After pouring through the comments to the Ecosystem Development Program, which has just been voted into effect, we identified a few key areas that could need support through an additional complementary custom-tailored grants program.

To address these challenges, StableLab proposes a six-month $1M Short-Term Boost Program to enhance dYdX community growth, develop trader-specific tooling and governance and security research to unlock the potential of dYdX Chain.


The dYdX Short-Term Boost Program includes:

  • $1M in dYdX for grant distribution
  • A council of three independent entities
  • Focus on Community & Growth, Traders & Tooling and Governance & Security
  • The ability for the community to adjust the allocation of funds to the three tracks at the start and at the three-month mark
  • StableLab will manage the program and use its analytics capabilities to monitor the progress of grantees.

Detailed proposal

dYdX is currently the number one decentralized perpetual futures exchange. Thanks to grant programs like the DEP, dYdX was able to attract talent and innovation. We want to play a role in ensuring all aspects of the ecosystem are served well and that community funding is used in the most transparent and democratic way possible.

StableLab is proposing this program as a complementary short-term pilot, building on the successes we’ve seen managing the 67M $ARB Short-Term Incentive Program (STIP) and successfully launching the Long-Term Incentive Program. Arbitrum is aggressively spending community funds to boost the ecosystem and secure its place in the cut-throat competition between Layer 2 networks.

We will now break down the program into its components and explain how they work together to create buzz and attract talent.

The council of experts

STBP will be overseen by a council of three independent entities (people or businesses) selected through an application and voting process. We expect the nominations and elections to generate a flurry of social media, forum activity, and positive buzz. Council members will receive as compensation $4,000 worth of dYdX per month, which will attract high-caliber candidates.

The council member selection process has two phases:

  1. The application phase - After StableLab publishes a Request for Applications on the forum, candidates will have two weeks to apply by replying to the forum post. Candidates will need to demonstrate experience in community growth, DAO governance, or validator operations or be recognized Web3 developers.
  2. After the two weeks have passed, the community can elect the three council members by approval voting. Approval voting is known to be the most inclusive voting mechanism. The poll should run for another five days, from Monday to Friday.

The council is responsible for:

  • Screening applications and filtering out spam, malicious applications, or other applicants not deemed eligible.
  • Presenting well-informed opinions about the pros and cons of applicants in an easily digestible manner so that community members can decide which applications they want to zoom in on.
  • Monitoring grantor deliverables and reporting to the community. StableLab will aid this task by providing on- and off-chain analytics and dashboards.
  • Halting payment streams to grantors who stop fulfilling their obligations or exhibit questionable behavior.

A second-order effect we hope to achieve with the council is to get prominent members of other ecosystems to become active in dYdX. The application process can generate a lot of social media activity and interest and could be a clear win for dYdX.

Program Funding Tracks

The program consists of three distinct tracks, with the dYdX community at the center. The dYdX community can decide the distribution of funds to the three tracks, with StableLab providing reports and data-driven insights thanks to our analytics resources. Our aim is to ensure the community makes informed decisions and that every token spent contributes to meaningful outcomes.

The three tracks we propose are the following:

Track 1: Community & Growth track

This track will empower projects that deliver growth to dYdX v4 along key verticals:

  • Community Growth through questing protocols or similar incentive programs
  • Delegation and Delegate incentives
  • Community Engagement through regular AMAs or other places for the community to gather
  • Creator programs for video or long-form text that reduce barriers to entry

It will fund promising proposals that tackle one or more of these growth challenges and monitor their impact closely, ensuring they deliver on their promises. Examples of promising candidates here include questing protocols, trading competitions, activity incentives, and similar community-focused proposals.

We expect grants in the $10,000 to $100,000 range here.

Track 2: Traders & Tooling track

Another grant program will fund tooling development for traders and trading strategy research. dYdX wants to offer the best trading experience, period. Part and parcel of that experience are tools traders need to design and execute the most profitable strategies and document their experiments. This track will fund promising development efforts while tracking delivery to the community by setting appropriate milestones.

This could be for developing integration into charting tools such as TradingView, analytics, position setting tools, trading journaling tools, book-keeping and account management tools, and other similar proposals.

We expect grants in the $20,000 to $250,000 range here.

Track 3: Governance & Security track

The third track focuses on validator diversity, governance, legal security, and technical research needed to make dYdX Chain the most robust and secure possible. We expect a few larger, long-running grants in this category that have asymmetric payouts in the long run.

We would fund legal research, validator diversity incentives, liquid staking token proliferation or development, and fundamental research here.
Further enhancing ways for delegates to work with validators in a mutually beneficial way could also be funded as part of this track.

We expect grants in the $10,000 to $100,000 range here.

The community at the center

We will use community engagement and poll token holders to determine which portion of the funds should be allocated to each track. The community retains executive decision-making power, powered by data-driven insights from our analytics product and expert guidance from the council.

We plan to run the program in two waves of three months each. This will bundle applications in two submission periods, which will help with social media recognition and establishing dYdX as a vibrant ecosystem.

Operational cost

We propose a 35,000$ a month operational budget to be used as follows:

Position Description Cost per month
Management Top-level responsibilities and operations of the STBP by StableLab $13,000
Council seats Compensation will be needed to attract top-level talent. Three seats total. $4,000 per seat per month. $12,000
Analytics Using StableLab’s in-house data analytics team and upcoming product to ensure every token is well spent $10,000
Total $35,000

The operational cost would not be part of the grant volume in order to maximize the impact the STBP can achieve. The total cost of the program for six months would be $1,210,000 in dYdX.

StableLabs responsibilities are operational. We will:

  • Prepare the RFA for the council members
  • Deploy the on-chain polls for all aspects of the STBP
  • Work with applicants to ensure they understand the process and are clear about where their progress
  • Work with the council to ensure they have insight into the applications and have the necessary information available to screen promissory applications
  • Report to the community about the progress of applications and compile the recommendations and analyses of the council members
  • Create in-depth reports about the performance of grantees
  • Make sure the whole program stays on track

About StableLab

StableLab is a firm specializing in protocol governance operations and analytics. We contribute to over 20 protocols and ecosystems with exceptional diligence and participation metrics. Partners include Arbitrum, Optimism, Aave, Uniswap, 1inch, Balancer, Element Finance, InstaDapp, Lido, and MakerDAO.

StableLab has participated in every poll on every proposal for all the ecosystems we cover and provides explanations on every vote as long as we are active there. We participate in the entire governance process, from initial discussions, proposal creation, and feedback rounds to on- or off-chain polls.

Apart from ensuring well-informed decisions, we author proposals where possible. Our focus is on minimizing unnecessary expenses or growth opportunities.

We prioritize governance that drives value to token holders.

StableLab has recently had experience in shepherding similar efforts with Arbitrum’s LTIPP and Safe OBRA. Our upcoming analytics product will ensure the best outcomes through copious on-chain sleuthing.

About StableLab Analytics

StableLab is building a governance analytics platform and is currently working with Arbitrum and one other protocol on building out our solution. We would be delighted to bring the capabilities of our in-house data scientist to bear on making sure the community can make informed decisions about which grant track delivers the outcomes that matter.

Below you will find some screenshots of the work in progress as well as of ongoing analytics work.

Screenshot of a design study for our upcoming analytics product.

Analysis of the impact of different initiatives we did for Arbitrum.

More details from the same analysis.

Distribution of Funds

Should the proposal be approved by tokenholders, StableLab would first organize the election of the council of experts. StableLab would then request a disbursement of one million dollars worth of dYdX tokens to a Keplr multi-sig managed by StableLab and one representative of each of the entities in the council, plus one other representative of the community. The resulting multi-sig would have 4 out of 5 signer requirements to start payment streams to grantees. The program would offer a $200/month compensation for the community member, paid by StableLab.

That way, funds are always secure, and neither StableLab nor any other party will ever have direct access. We will stream funds to grantees or resort to milestone-based payouts to ensure only actual work gets funded.

See the schema below.

Stablelab Pte. Ltd. is incorporated in Singapore and can legally manage the grants program due to the favorable legal conditions in our jurisdiction of incorporation.

Next steps

Let us sum up this proposal once more.

The six-month dYdX Short-Term Boost Program seeks $1 million in $dYdX to fund three grant tracks:

  1. Community & Growth
  2. Traders & Tooling
  3. Governance & Security

It will be managed by a council of experts comprised of three entities from the Web3 space.

StableLab will have an operational role and provide on- and off-chain analytics and reporting to help the community make informed decisions.

The community can adjust funding between the three tracks, while the council has oversight over deliverables and can screen applicants.

We encourage the dYdX community to give critical feedback to this proposal, which we will incorporate. Given positive community sentiment, we plan to put this proposal to an on-chain vote early next week.

If DMs are preferred, we’re happy to answer any questions via Forum DM to @rspa.


We fully support the dYdX Short-Term Boost Program proposed by StableLab, especially the focus on developing traders’ tooling, which is a much-needed area of improvement. The lack of adequate tools has been a significant gap, and addressing this can greatly enhance the dYdX trading experience. We believe that incorporating fresh ideas and new participants through this program will significantly benefit the ecosystem. We’re eager to see the positive impact of the STBP, particularly in empowering traders and strengthening the dYdX platform.


I fully support StableLab’s proposal.

I think that a new parallel grant program is necessary. It will serve as an excellent complement to the existing program and could provide a significant boost to the entire ecosystem.

I think we as a community should not fear experimentation, and within six months, this program has the potential to achieve a lot

StableLabs credentials look amazing and under their supervision and with the stated level of transparency, every penny will be spent for its intended purpose.


Sounds interesting!

Especially the governance part is something which triggers my attention hahaha

With respect to the payments for Stablelab itself; what are the promises about the dedicated time we will get? Will the tasks for the STBP be put on team members who already have other tasks as well?
Or will new ones be hired?

In the first case; will the costs indeed be 13k + 10k?
In case of new hires I can imagine the costs. For existing team members I think the costs are quite steep, since they are being paid on this day already :wink:
I am sure a proper payment needs to be in place, but a 23k spend on non-dedicated employees is something I also wouldn’t do with my own money…


Thanks for inquiring about this. We expect the program to consume about 2-3 FTE of manpower across management and analytics. At times this is likely to be closer to 3-4 FTEs.

The analytics part is subsidized by StableLab because our upcoming governance analytics platform is currently under development, and working with dYdX can give us valuable insights into what is most valuable for customers while producing dashboards for the community.

Once the product is finished, we don’t think we will be able to offer it at this price point any longer. After all, we are a business and have to be profitable.

I hope this answers your question.

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So, you expect it to be higher?

Just doing some basic math, based on the numbers provided.
$23k per month on salary costs, 4 FTE (taking the worst case scenario). This means an average pay of $6k a month per employee. Where are they based? For “Western” standard this can be a bit short on the paygrade, for a lot of other locations this is a very generous salary. I mean, average monthly salary in India is $387. This would be nearly 20 times as much.
I am aware that capable people to work in blockchain tech need a proper payment, but I am also aware that a lot of crypto-companies are here to fill the pockets of the people working for a project (not stating that this is the case in this particular scenario, but it is relevant to determine the relevant spending imo)

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Thanks for the detailed questions. What StableLab pays its employees is confidential, as I am sure you can appreciate.
We’re proud to be a globally distributed team with 18 employees on four continents.

StableLab generally pays well, regardless of the employee’s location, but we can’t compete with Bay Area startup salaries.
As a business, we don’t just have to earn what we pay out as salaries, but also cover our operational costs and make a profit. I think this is self-explanatory.

That all being said, I think we’re offering a pretty good deal here.

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Your questions are completely justified but if you compare the costs of this program to DEP. They have 90K (salaries) + potenital 6.25K (100k legal+50k infra costs). So the cost of this program is 1/3 of DEP per month. And DEP stakeholders are working with other projects like you mention in the next topic.

With the proposed level of transparency the community will be able to see how many individuals are actually working on the program and what happens internally.

Additionally, the program is designed for a six-month duration, after which a clear understanding can be reached regarding whether the program justifies its expenses

In my opinion, this is a huge step up from the current program that operates like a black box.


Because the question came up:

StableLab will have NO decision authority over grant allocations.

The council of experts can screen out candidates and write recommendations. But this happens openly and has to include rationales.

Ultimately the community decides.

The program is designed so that collusion and corruption are costly. To the point where we believe they’re not worth pursuing as tactics.


Sorry I didn’t answer this. And by the way: thank you for caring about this. I just wanted to make let you know that.

We don’t expect the cost to be higher. If it becomes higher we will subsidize it internally.

We will need to charge subsequent customers more, once the product is finished.

But we will not charge the dYdX community more, definitely not.


We support the idea presented in this proposition. We would appreciate confirmation from the Grants subDAO to ensure there is no operational overlap between the two. Input from @DGP on this matter is essential for us to make an informed decision on voting for this proposal.

Assuming there is no overlap, the targeted scope aligns with key areas that would have a rapid positive impact on the chain. We appreciate the idea of the “short-term boost program (STBP)” as an alternative to the standard DGP program from the Grants subDAO. This would assume a clear separation of both mandates, constraining the STBP to strictly short-term goals limited to its 6months duration, in constrast to the DGP which would focus on more durable and long-term based stimulus.

If this program is approved by the general community, we will also consider a candidacy for one of the three Council seats. The requirements for this position are a perfect fit for one of our team members who has extensive experience in all three sectors (Community, Trading & Governance).

However, this is a topic for another day. At present, we just want to express our initial support for the program if there are no contingencies with the existing grants program.

Thanks for reading.


We agree. The worst case scenario would be a grantee double dipping.
We’re in contact with Reverie and will be coordinating tightly with the DEP to ensure no fraudulent activity can happen.

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Thanks for the answers!

Note that I like to poke around a bit to see the type of reaction I get. The fact that you make a calm, solid answer is a good sign (for me).

It is also good that it is a request for a limited amount of time, where after that period a judgement can be cast based on the outcome of this first time period.


O yeah, totally agreed on this one.

I am wary of the argument “we do it at the DEP so let’s do it elsewhere as well”. My history shows I don’t like setting precedents, because it is a slippery slope you get on if this arguments gets a foothold (imo).

What is more interesting is that when this initiative will be successful other questions will / should arise why the other programs costs so much and operate as a black box. Large grants comes with the responsibility of being as transparent as it can be.

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What I see here is a different approach. It can be succesful or not. Thats why proposal is only for 6 months. After the program can be extended or cancelled. Or the community may decide that only one program will be necessary, but it will take into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of each of the two.

I think the best way is to have an open discussion with all the involved parties so the community can make well informed decision at the voting


The may arise or may not. In some situation acting like a black box is needed to secure a world class service provider so it can be an advantage. Thats why I see no overlap between two programs. And I think with some coordination between programs 1+1 will be bigger than 2


~ personal thoughts as community member ~

I strongly oppose this proposal

It seems very unnecessary and outright inefficient to have two grants programs running in parallel. The dYdX community should take a stance that significant disbursements from the treasury have a strong purpose to exist. They should not duplicate existing efforts, waste funds, and make the project more inefficient


Thanks for chiming in here. An honor.

We proposed this because we have learned a lot about what makes grant programs succeed. They should always have the community at the center and be extremely open, fair, and transparent.

This limited six-month program is designed to complement the DEP, and we will make sure no double spending occurs.

In return, we hope to demonstrate an alternative way to run grant programs, and we will make very sure every token spent delivers outcomes that matter by documenting their impact with analytics and by supporting a council of experts that guides the program to its best possible outcome.

Adding to this: Should there be a shortage of qualified applications, no funds will be spent and the money returned. Should this become apparent in the first round we will end the program prematurely and refund the operational cost.


I respect your concerns but I believe the aim of introducing a second grants program is not to waste resources or duplicate efforts. Instead, it’s about exploring diverse avenues for growth and efficiency that Reverie might not cover. Many successful protocols operate multiple grants programs to address different needs effectively. This isn’t about inefficiency; it’s about providing a comparative basis to ensure the community is getting the best value and impact from its investments. Let’s stay open to ways that could potentially offer better outcomes for the dYdX community.


It’s our belief that this is extremely important and something we feel is majorly lacking in the current program. There has been plenty of talk about this very topic behind the scenes with various community members for years now and nothing changes. We think it would be a crying shame to not give this a shot with Stable Labs.