First of all, I’d like to introduce myself to the dYdX community and the rest of the Trustees and DGP team. My name is Hector and I’m a co-founder of Cosmic Validator. As others have also mentioned, since dYdX is transitioning from the Ethereum ecosystem to the Cosmos ecosystem, it is very important that the DGP team includes people very involved and with in-depth knowledge about the Interchain Tech Stack, the Cosmos community, projects and teams. Therefore, given my involvement in the Cosmos ecosystem since 2018, before the launch of the Cosmos Hub, and as co-founder of Cosmic Validator, I’d like to submit my application here for consideration for the open Grantor role.
What’s your background? What previous work have you done, especially within crypto communities?
In 2017 and 2018 I worked directly with Scott Lewis, the founder of DeFi Pulse, since I was selected as a Qfellow for the first cohort of the ConcourseQ program, which consisted of community driven due diligence of ICOs and the evaluations and research were publicly shared for the community. Our work identified many fraudulent projects and it was a great learning experience of how to analyse crypto projects, also I learnt a lot from Scott Lewis.
I was also head ambassador for Polkadot in the Switzerland, Germany and Austria region in 2020 and 2021, coordinating all the ambassadors from these countries. In addition, I led the organisation of a large event in the HEC Alumni offices in central Paris with speakers from Ledger, Binance and Polkadot.
I was also involved in 2018 for several months as a Cointelegraph writer, covering stories about Binance, Telegram or Bitcoin, some of my articles were featured in the top 5 most read articles in Cointelegraph for several days.
I also have work experience at the PwC blockchain lab in Paris and the Bank Frick blockchain lab in Liechtenstein. Bank Frick was one of the first and pioneer banks in Europe or even globally offering crypto services to clients. While working at PwC, I participated in blockchain consulting projects for entities such as Société Générale. At Bank Frick, I was responsible for the content of the weekly Crypto Industry Report (CIR) newsletter that was sent to clients and other stakeholders. I also supported with the integration of USDC in the custody infrastructure of the bank and I led other projects such as internal training of employees regarding the Liechtenstein Blockchain Act regulatory framework. The link to my LinkedIn profile is included here for further details about my work at PwC and Bank Frick. In terms of my educational background, I have a BSc in Physics from Imperial College London and an MSc in International Finance from HEC Paris. This combined background technical, financial and in crypto is very helpful for understanding in detail dYdX, its priorities and also for analyzing and evaluating teams and projects wishing to bring value to dYdX through the Grants program. I could leverage this knowledge and background to prepare RFPs and source people and teams for the key priorities identified where resources are needed to improve the dYdX ecosystem, the educational content or the onboarding of new contributors.
More specifically about the Cosmos ecosystem, I’m a co-founder of Cosmic Validator and I lead the governance forum discussions and the research for the content of our educational videos about the Cosmos ecosystem, as well as business development and strategy. I’ve contributed to many projects in the Cosmos ecosystem regarding governance and strategic decisions or business development. I’ve been very involved in the Cosmos community since 2018 and thus I’m in touch with most teams and projects within the ecosystem and I believe this could be valuable when sourcing teams for specific RFPs. For our content, I have done extensive research about dYdX v4 and we have been covering the main updates about the development of the dYdX v4 chain since last year.
I believe that my knowledge about both the Cosmos and dYdX ecosystems could allow me to support the smooth transition of dYdX to the Cosmos ecosystem by identifying and supporting grants, as well as drafting relevant RFPs and sourcing the right teams to fulfill these RFPs and contribute to the success of the dYdX v4 chain.
Why are you an ideal fit for the role?
I am deeply involved in the Cosmos ecosystem since 2018 and researching and covering updates about the dYdX v4 chain since July 2022 in our educational videos, blogposts, twitter threads and Zealy educational quizzes for incentivized learning. Some of the content we produced about dYdX v4 was shared with the dYdX Foundation and they then shared and retweeted our content.
I have a large network of contacts both in the Cosmos ecosystem as well as in crypto in general, with over 4,000 LinkedIn contacts mostly from the global crypto industry. This could allow me to accelerate the sourcing of teams and contacts for specific RFPs for the Community Initiatives of the DGP.
I think a great knowledge of both Cosmos and dYdX is key to understand and evaluate grant applications as well as for the due diligence, interviews and the processes involved. This knowledge is also crucial to be able to identify and draft relevant RFPs as well as to review and assess recommendations from the other Grantor. This is further enhanced given the current transition period with likely many opportunities and synergies but also challenges that this grants program could help to solve efficiently.
As a Grantor there will be many interactions with applicants during the evaluation process as well as during the follow-up period of engaging and monitoring the progress of approved grants, and the review of milestones achieved and informing the community about the progress. In addition, there will be a lot of internal teamwork, coordination and interactions with the other Grantor, the Trustees or the Operator. I have a lot of experience collaborating with teams both during my professional work experience as well as a co-founder of Cosmic Validator, so I think I could also add value in terms of teamwork and support with the different processes involved to contribute to the success of the DGP.
What should the DGP prioritize as part of this extension?
Regarding the Community Initiatives:
-More educational content for the dYdX community about the Cosmos ecosystem such as key concepts, main stakeholders, the Interchain Tech Stack, the roadmap as well as the reasons that led dYdX to build the dYdX v4 chain leveraging the Cosmos tech
-Similarly, more educational content for the Cosmos community about dYdX v4, Perps and derivatives trading or onboarding to dYdX v4
-Tools to make the transition and onboarding of the existing dYdX community and users to the new dYdX v4 chain as seamless and simple as possible. This includes as well the DYDX token migration
-Content, events and marketing initiatives that highlight well how dYdX v4 is superior to v3, in which specific areas and for this interviews with users and traders of dYdX that explain their experience and why they prefer dYdX v4 and the key advantages, including the v4 iOS app
-Fostering a good relation and mutual cooperation between the dYdX and Cosmos communities, as well as bringing closer devs from Cosmos and dYdX for better collaborations through joint events, conferences or hackathons
-Tutorials about trading in dYdX v4, highlighting the key differences for existing v3 traders
-Initiatives for survey research of dYdX v4 users for feedback regarding the UX and whether they would like to add some changes or modifications
-Tutorials regarding the One-click onboarding with Squid and Axelar
-Design a dYdX delegation program to reward fairly the dYdX validators contributing and adding value in terms of engineering, tooling or community contributions, similarly to the ICF delegation program
-Educational content and tools to better highlight the risks of MEV in dYdX v4 and the MEV dashboard built by Skip showing both honest and harmful validators
-Research to further enhance the MEV protection of the dYdX v4 chain and to identify potential synergies with privacy focused projects such as Namada that might bring additional value to dYdX v4
-Research about how each upcoming new features or modules in the Interchain Tech Stack roadmap could be useful for dYdX v4 and the feasibility of a potential implementation
-Marketing initiatives regarding the bug bounty program so more talented devs can participate and hence there will be a higher probably that some potential critical bugs could be found and fixed
-Analytics tools with great and simple UX about the dYdX v4 chain and its validators
-Initiatives to onboard Binance derivative traders to dYdX v4 and become the largest platform for derivatives trading in terms of volume, by highlighting that dYdX v4 is a derivatives order book based DEX, having the decentralization of AMM DEXes such as Uniswap or Osmosis, as well as the orderbook derivatives trading of centralized exchanges such as Binance
-Conferences, workshops and educational content explaining and highlighting that a full decentralization of dYdX implied the decentralization of the orderbook and matching engine and how this was achieved successfully with the dYdX v4 chain
-The community should be informed and updated regarding the progress of each approved grant in terms of milestones and KPIs achieved
What is the role of the Community and Ecosystem in the growth of dYdX?
It is very important because via platforms such as twitter, reddit or telegram the community can have a large and fast reputational impact on dYdX. Therefore, even if dYdX v4 brings a very good product, if the sentiment of the community becomes very negative this could have a very bad effect. Also, if there is not a good relation between the dYdX and Cosmos communities and ecosystems this would be equally negative.
Since dYdX v4 is built with the Cosmos tech stack, for the future growth of dYdX the community and ecosystem will become increasingly important, and this is because in Cosmos the community plays a crucial role and is very active and present. Therefore, for the growth of dYdX in Cosmos it is crucial that the community respects and supports the project, both the existing Ethereum community and the Cosmos community. This is even more challenging since the existing community is on Ethereum, and now the shift is being done to Cosmos, with dYdX v4 built with the Cosmos tech stack, all perpetual contracts in dYdX v4 will be settled and margined using native USDC in Cosmos and most validators are from the Cosmos ecosystem. Therefore, managing well the community and ecosystem will be as important as the tech itself.
For the Cosmos community, the dYdX v4 mainnet launch is definitely the highlight of this year and the most anticipated launch. I would like to contribute as a Grantor to the successful launch and growth of dYdX v4 and helping to bring together the Cosmos and dYdX communities. A successful launch of dYdX v4 would precisely prove the thesis and reasons of why dYdX chose in the first place to build a customised chain with the Cosmos tech stack. This is of the utmost importance, because it would serve as a clear example and evidence for many other projects of the advantages of shifting to a sovereign and customized chain based on the Cosmos tech stack. This might lead to a wave of projects following the steps of dYdX and could bring massive activity and interest to the Cosmos ecosystem. Therefore, the DGP has a major responsibility to contribute to this smooth transition and successful launch and I’d like to also take part in this responsibility as a Grantor for the Community initiatives. I hope to support the DGP with the items and possible RFPs that I covered above about the priorities of the v1.5 extension. Thank you for your consideration!