Request for Applicants - STBP Council of Experts

First, we thank everyone who responded to our proposal with feedback, which we have taken to heart and will help improve the dYdX Short-Term Boost Program.

We will now move ahead and make this a reality. Here are the next steps:

  1. Request for Applications for the Council of Experts (this Forum thread). Two weeks nomination time.
  2. Off-chain election for the Council of Experts (more on this later). The election will be open for four days.
  3. On-chain poll asking for formal ratification of the council, the grants program, and distribution of the funds to the multisig. (four days)
  4. Grants program kickoff, first poll to assign funds to tracks and launch of cohort one.

The grants program will work in three 2-month cohorts, grouping applications to one point in time every two months. We will go into more detail about this in another forum post.

Request for Applications - STBP Council Members

We ask interested parties to reply to this forum thread with their application to become an STBP Council of Experts member.

Key Responsibilities:

Council members will be responsible for three main areas:

  1. Screen applicants and use their veto powers to block malicious or ill-fit applications.
    Any rejection must be supported by at least one council member and substantiated by a forum post detailing the rationale behind excluding an applicant.
  2. Monitor grant delivery. If a grantee has specified milestones in their application, the council is responsible for quality control and feedback to the grantee, in written form, at the milestone points. The council must approve the final deliverable if the grant has no milestones by comparing the output to the goals set out in the application.
  3. Developing application guidelines and requests for applicants. This is a primary responsibility of StableLab, but members will be asked to provide feedback and help improve the requests for applications for the individual tracks and application guidelines for potential grantees.

In addition, StableLab will lean on the council members for input to grant program reports and to select the most appropriate parameters for analytics.

We encourage both businesses or formalized groups as well as individuals to apply.

The application should use the following template:

Applicant Name:

Applicants dYdX Address (for compensation):

Link to something you’re proud of:

Pitch Summary (One-liner):

Detailed Pitch:
Please tell us why you should be part of the council of experts.
Tell us about some achievements, expertise, or other qualifications you’re proud of.
Stay informative and factual.

Each council member will receive $4,000 worth of dYdX, priced at the time of ratifying the on-chain poll with a 14-day TWAP per month, paid out at the end of each month starting after ratification of the on-chain poll. StableLab will pay council compensation as part of the operational budget.

Election of Council members

This request for applications will be open from 2024-03-04 to 2023-03-17 2100 UTC.

StableLab will screen applications and exclude spam, incomplete and malicious applications. These decisions will be documented in a forum thread.

The resulting applications will be condensed into a forum post, with a forum poll running for four days. A forum poll was chosen because dYdX Voting mechanisms currently do not support Approval Voting or multiple-choice voting. Popular off-chain voting tools such as Snapshot or jokerace are unavailable on non-EVM chains.

A common concern with Forum polls is that they can easily be manipulated by creating new accounts on the forum. To prevent this kind of Sybil attack, StableLab will only count votes by accounts created prior to this RFA (including 2024-03-03) and with at least one forum post or reply.

While crude, the off-chain poll does not need additional tooling and is very inclusive in giving the community a voice regardless of their dYdX holdings.

The council and the program must then be ratified via a regular YES/NO/ABSTAIN/NO WITH VETO on-chain poll. Any funds will only be disbursed after a successful on-chain poll.

Revoking a council member

The community can launch a petition to remove a council member at any time, as can StableLab. This petition has to include a detailed description of why the council member should be removed and give the council member seven business days to respond to the allegations. After seven business days, an on-chain poll should be conducted to decide whether a member should be removed. In the event of confirmation, the council member must resign their position and will forfeit all future compensation.

StableLab will then ask for applications for replacement with a similar process to the one outlined here.

Desired Qualifications of Council Members

Council members should ideally bring relevant domain experience to the grants program and need to have the necessary availability and resources to fulfill their role.

The STBP will fund grants across these three domains:

  • Community & Growth
  • Traders & Tooling
  • Governance & Security

Candidates should have expertise or qualifications in at least one of these domains. They should have a track record of providing value to decentralized organizations and should be able to demonstrate integrity and a knack for analytical thinking and research.

Most importantly, they must be available to fulfill their council member responsibilities for the full six months of the program. We expect the program to consume between 10-20 hrs per week on average, with peaks during the cohort application phases and less intense periods during the execution phases.


Applicant Name:
Leonoor’s Cryptoman

Applicants dYdX Address (for compensation):

Link to something you’re proud of:
(note: in the case of the interactive video it is a starting point for further exploration, which will come in the coming period)

Pitch Summary (One-liner):
“Empowering through governance, validating for integrity; shaping tomorrow’s trust with every keystroke.”

Detailed Pitch:
We are very active in governance on the chains where Leonoor’s Cryptoman is a validator. On most of these chains we are one of the very few validators doing that and one of the very few who is visiting the forum on a regular basis to participate in the pre-work before a proposal goes online.

On most chains we are also in good contact with the teams and help reflecting on choices to be made or making them aware of signals from the community. If necessary we can get recommendations from these teams.

We are passionate about listing to people, understanding what drives them, learning how it can benefit projects and putting the necessary gears in motion. With a background in Project Management where stakeholders must be aligned this is a role which is suited for us and where we can contribute to the STBP. Our main passion goes to the Governance / Community & Growth area to help projects grow and thrive.


Applicant Name:


Applicant’s dYdX Address (for compensation):


Link to Something Your Proud of (some links are pay walled):


(Research on V4) What to Expect from dYdX V4 | Blockworks Research

(Research on perps sector) Decentralized Perpetuals Part 1: GMX and dYdX | Blockworks Research

(Interesting BTC MEV I identified in relation to Stacks)

Pitch Summary (One-liner):

dYdX has the opportunity to become the largest derivatives exchange in the world, and I believe that applying what I have learned by building Blockworks Research and leading dydx coverage I can help make it happen.

Detailed Pitch:

I was employee number 1 at Blockworks Research and have been instrumental in growing the brand into an industry-leading research platform. I also started the 0xResearch podcast and continue to co-host it today, and I have worked directly with dYdX contributors to create 5-minute clips highlighting dYdX ecosystem participants that are embedded within our episodes (see example).

I have a deep passion for helping DAOs scale, and I strongly believe that accountability/efficiency are the main things that are lacking in DAOs today. Every major DAO has a grants program in place at this point, but I believe funds are inadequately allocated more often than not. There are rarely specific people/entities in place to ensure grant recipients are held accountable and that the right applicants are awarded grants. I want to help dYdX run a highly efficient and effective grants program, which is why I am applying to become a member of the STBP council.

I have significant experience in crypto after working in the industry full-time since 2021. I have also developed a strong network with some of the industry’s leading builders, users, foundations, DAOs, etc., and have a good feel for the pain points these parties within DAOs face on a day-to-day basis. I regularly cover dYdX for an institutional research subscriber base and have repeatedly proven my ability to scale products, brands, and partnerships throughout my tenure at Blockworks Research.

My “North Star” if elected to the STBP council will be two-fold: ensuring that grant applications are up to the dYdX standard in terms of quality and holding grant recipients accountable for their commitments on behalf of the dYdX DAO. I plan to run for reelection after the initial 2 month period concludes, and I feel confident that StableLab and the broader dYdX DAO will support me after seeing firsthand what I am capable of contributing.

Thank you very much in advance for this opportunity and consideration. I look forward to following dYdX and contributing where I can, regardless of the STBP council vote result.


Applicant’s name: Aishwary Gupta

Applicant’s dYDx Address for compensation : dydx17hgmm8ley8w2vhkd2clse5vu39cnwyzwy4r60q

Link to something you’re proud of (The forum is not letting me post links)

  1. Launch of Polygon DAO in 2021

  2. Launch of Polygon Village and voucher program

The above two have been the key highlights from the perspective of the work which is relevant to the STBP Council. Apart from that, I’ve been a key part in the early DAO days to setup the grant and voucher systems as well as disbursing grants. Rest I’ve been a part of wider web3 ecosystem from over 5 years helping hundreds of startups with the GTM, fund raise and getting things in place for them to launch. I’ve also been an investor in 4 Web3 companies.

Pitch Summary: Through my extensive experience in finance and Web3, derivatives as a platform is something I’ve deep expertise in. I’ve also helped similar protocols like SynFutures and Gains and hence this is something I have a good understanding.

Detailed Pitch: I’ve been into this space for over 5 years, I’ve taught over 20K people DeFi which includes dydx as one of the platfroms. blockchainbyte (dot) in is the name of the website in case you want to check it.

I’ve also a financial background and also a trader in perps so understand the space deeply. Being in the council, will enable me to have a deep understanding of the product and provide my insights on the applications. This helps me with traders and tooling aspect. I’ve also been involved in grants program of 0x as well as Polygon and have led the strategic development of the program to evolve to a space where it currently is. So I’ve good experience with the overall governance and community. My learnings could greatly benefit the overall program.

The time requirement is also something which can be easily completed by me by sparing 10-20 hours per week on average and go beyond whenever needed.


Applicant’s name: Codeknight

Applicant’s dYDx Address for compensation: x432a3de762e06C564B48ec693328e83C64E8e9f9

Link to something you’re proud of: Unable to post links, so added spacing.

forum. makerdao .com/t/codeknight-delegate-platform/16806

Pitch Summary (One-liner): I will leverage my skills and experience as a delegate for both MakerDAO and TrueFi to ensure grant proposals provide accountability and a strong value add to dYdX, while aiding applicants in properly developing their proposals to fit the needs of the protocol.

Detailed Pitch:

I have worked as a delegate for both MakerDAO and Truefi, where I operated in a fast-pace environment evaluating a wide variety of requests for funding, covering everything from marketing to UI development to allocation of protocol controlled assets. During this time, I tirelessly worked to get clarity on how funds would be used and how each budget requester could be held accountable to provide value to MakerDAO. I also maintained a newsletter. codeknight. substack .com/, where I would provide short-form reports to MKR holders cover important changes within the protocol.

I will bring that same approach to dYdX. I will work to ensure grants have clear accountability for both quality and timeliness, that they fit with the dYdX roadmap, and have objective milestones built in. I will also work to streamline the process where possible, in order to make the complete grants process easy to understand and monitor.


Applicant Name: Daniel Hwang

Applicants dYdX Address (for compensation): dydx1p8n8nukeu2y2lgw6yuh4z9y9dg5lk77dtgq74h

Link to something you’re proud of:
(I can’t post more links here so here is a google doc hash address): [dot com] /document/d/1MJAwF-F0QDaSyDqEAn1_CwlCzNg7R8zFMCokbU2_2nA/

Pitch Summary (One-liner):
I respect the DyDx ecosystem for taking such proactive and serious steps towards decentralization of the network and its governance process and would love to contribute my experience in PoS protocol management, governance, and ecosystem development to the continued maturation of the ecosystem.

Detailed Pitch:
Please tell us why you should be part of the council of experts:

I contributed much to this process and helped shape a lot of governance processes in PoS since what have included: the first validator working group (Validator Commons), Infrastructure Conferences for validators (Blockchain Infrastructure Forum), validator specific governance workshops, and more governance related workshopsPlease tell us why you should be part of the council of experts.


I have extensive tenure across the blockchain ecosystem including: infrastructure service providers, L1 ecosystem development, DEX building, piloting permissioned blockchains in enterprise, DAO set up, NFTs, and metaverses.

I currently support proof of stake and zk infra services as a co-founder in Kintsugi Technologies, an infrastructure service provider and leads Aleo’s ecosystem development.

I began running Bitcoin miners in 2013 and supporting remittances in the Philippines with crypto. He recently led the Protocols Team at stakefish while also leading the Special Projects team at F2Pool.

I contribute extensively to the validator ecosystem and established and founded the validator working group (Validator Commons) and the Blockchain Infrastructure Forum (BIF).

I have contributed substantive work in the climate domain leading to the co-founding of the Blockchain Infrastructure Carbon Offset Working Group (BICOWG) which eventually led to the founding of the BlockchainXClimate nonprofit.

I support regional development with the establishment of Korea’s first DAO (HanDAO) supporting the Korean creator ecosystem and was awarded grants to build hyperlocalized DEXs in asia from 0x Protocol.

My work has also spanned leading an IEEE workstream on health data on blockchain and leading pilots for large pharmaceutical companies for their supply chain sample management development with permissioned blockchains.

I have also led a top 10 L1 ecosystem development team. My formal education includes degrees in Biology, Religion, and Computer Science from Swarthmore College, the University of Maryland College Park, and Johns Hopkins University. My focus in graduate school was on cryptography and distributed systems.

In bullet form:

  • former Head of Protocols for stakefish validator
    • helped grow validator to largest Cosmos Hub Validator
    • managed, the Cosmos Hub validator specifically to support grants for early Cosmos ecosystem projects. The projects included: Chainapsis (Keplr) and Confio (Cosmwasm).
    • facilitated the integration of Cosmos into Gitcoin
  • created the first validator governance working group, Validator Commons
  • helped coin and define areas for the Protocol Specialist role that most validators now have as a specific validator role that engages in protocol management and governance
  • hosted the first formal validator meetups and continued workshops on validator ecosystems and governance
  • host high signal Validator summits (Blockchain Infrastructure Forum)
  • former Head of Ecosystem at Terra (ragequit in 2020 after discovering the premine and confronting Do and resigned immediately)
  • currently runs Validator incubator Kintsugi Tech
  • currently Heads Aleo Ecosystem managing Validators, ZK Provers, and supports BD initiatives through APAC and institutional relationships

Applicant Name: Vladimir Zhdanovich

Applicants dYdX Address (for compensation): dydx1dqj6dj9aq6dhrkhfv4a8he3g4rfwytc7nhc2ts
Link to something you’re proud of: dydx forum contributions

Pitch Summary (One-liner):
Let’s harness the power of community efforts to propel the dydx protocol to new all-time highs, embodying the truth that unity is strength, and together, we achieve the extraordinary

Detailed Pitch:
As a one of the OG members of the dydx community since 2021, my journey within this space has been marked by unwavering advocacy and commitment. My passion lies in enhancing the value of the dydx protocol and enriching the experience of its community stakeholders. My expertise spans the intricate realms of crypto security and on-chain forensics, underscored by a notable achievement in unmasking the entity behind the attack on the dydx insurance fund during the November incident involving Sushi and YFI.

My professional network extends deeply within the cryptocurrency sector, particularly in the Eastern European region, enabling me to leverage a wealth of connections with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) to further the goals of the dydx community, especially its regional expansion.

Beyond my contributions to dydx, I have successfully managed a private crypto fund, garnering the trust and backing of some of the most esteemed poker players globally. This venture was preceded by a prosperous career as a professional poker player and an integral role in a successful poker affiliate business

I am a fervent believer in the principle that true decentralization is inextricably linked with unwavering transparency. It is my commitment to not only drive this program to success but also to establish exemplary standards of transparency and integrity that will inspire and guide other initiatives within the dydx ecosystem. My dedication is fueled by a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of our collective efforts


Applicant Name: Brian Adam (Sixty)

Applicants dYdX Address (for compensation): dydx1g8wtl2ppxxfkj9me73l6hm7gq2w8qj2kqxuyu3

Link to something you’re proud of:
All links (including links to experience mentioned in the detailed pitch) have been added to this Google doc :point_down:

Pitch Summary (One-liner):
I am committed to promoting the growth of the dYdX ecosystem through the foundational principles of Integrity, Decentralized Governance, Transparency, and Long-Term Sustainability.

Detailed Pitch:
Hey guys, I am currently a key governance contributor and community member of Push Protocol / Push DAO, the leading web3 native communications network. I am also the co-founder of daospace (still in development), a decentralized application that will allow DAO contributors to store all the contributions they have made across different DAOs as an on-chain resume.

I have been involved in DAO Governance and Community Growth initiatives of different DAOs for the past 4 years, and I intend to bring my knowledge and experience to the STBP Council of Experts. Below I will highlight some of the relevant experiences that would make me a good fit for the Council.

I have been involved in both sides of the Grants process so I have a unique perspective of the needs and pain points of both Grantors and Grantees. Most recently, I have led the designing and structuring of the Push Grants Program v3. This was the third iteration of the Push Grants Program, and it was created to enhance the DAO’s legitimacy and provide greater visibility and transparency across processes, resource allocation, and overall DAO activity. This program was successful in leveraging a decentralized network of contributors throughout the web3 space to participate in the DAO. The program was also similar to the STBP in that an independently community-elected council was selected to steward a Grants Council in a transparent and accountable manner using web3 native tools such as Push Protocol, Charmverse, and Hedgey Finance.

As mentioned above, I am also a co-founder of an in-development dapp. While applying for Grants to support our project, I have experienced many of the pain points highlighted by community members in the original STBP post, such as non-responsiveness by program managers, lack of transparency, and lack of experimentation. So if selected, my top priority will be to ensure that the STBP program is frictionless and operationally efficient to ensure that grantees have a world-class experience in terms of application process, speed, responsiveness, and communication.

Before my time at Push Protocol / Push DAO, I led a Governance Operations Working Group for the DeFi protocol Index Coop. While leading this group, we successfully increased voter participation by close to 300% (over 12 months). I was also in charge of creating and sharing regular reports on the OKRs and KPIs specific to the working group using governance analytics.

I was also part of the Index Coop MetaGovernance Committee, which meant I was part of a multi-sig that controlled millions of dollars in voting power across several DeFi protocols (Aave, Compound, Uniswap, Balancer, etc.). The remit of this committee was to ensure the participation of Index Coop in the governance of all of these protocols. This allowed me to gain vast experience in the governance operations and workings of leading DAOs in the DeFi space. This role also allowed me to build a strong network across these DAOs which I can leverage as a member of the STBP Council.

1 Like

Applicant Name: Abdullah Umar (Arana Digital)

Applicants dYdX Address (for compensation):

Link to something you’re proud of:

Last quarter our blockchain investment fund, Arana Ventures, achieved “#1 Top Performing Crypto Fund” across all strategies according to Crypto Fund Research. Our fund was able to return over 1200% in 2023.

(can’t post links)

Pitch Summary (One-liner):
Arana Digital’s experience with facilitating governance for numerous DeFi protocols, its members’ background in critically analyzing projects on the investment side, and Abdullah’s experience as a consultant for dydx, makes us ideal candidates to help facilitate this grant program.

Detailed Pitch:
Arana is a firm with two divisions: Arana Ventures (AV) and Arana Digital (AD).

  • AV is a blockchain fund that invests in small cap protocols across a multitude of chains and sectors. The fund optimizes for achieving outsized returns while not sacrificing liquidity by solely investing in the public market.
  • AD is a governance group composed of ex-Michigan Blockchain members. Our team is currently made up of five individuals, all of which are deeply steeped in the crypto space and have multiple years of participation in protocol governance. With delegation history for DEXs, money markets, L2s, liquid staking protocols, and stablecoins, we’re acclimated with a breadth of sectors. We bring a diversity of experience to DAOs–our members have consulted for companies like Immutable and dYdX, worked at crypto investment and trading firms, set up various validator nodes, and run educational events for university students.

AV and AD are legally separated entities but have a degree of overlap in membership. Hence, Arana is able to amalgamate its experiences from both the investment side and the governance side to help with this grant program.

Our governance team has been highly active in DAOs like Uniswap, Aave, Compound, Arbitrum, Stader Labs, Origin, etc. In 2023 alone, via Michigan Blockchain, we spearheaded Uniswap v3 growth by helping deploy the DEX on Base, Avalanche C-chain, Scroll, Moonbeam, Rootstock (BTC L2), and Filecoin VM. Abdullah is also on the Uniswap Accountability Committee, responsible for administering incentive programs for various deployments as well as helping new chains adopt Uniswap. We actively help various parties, like bridge providers, foundations/labs, delegates, developers, and BD teams, coordinate on governance proposals. Abdullah has also been involved in the first Uniswap meta governance initiative, where he works with a team to manage an Arbitrum delegation on behalf of the Uniswap DAO.

Arana Digital has also worked heavily on the money market side with Aave and Compound. Our team served as prominent Aave delegates for the past 1.5 years. We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with various service providers, like Gauntlet, Chaos Labs, Llama, Karpatkey, Flipside, etc during our tenure. We’ve also been able to converse with numerous teams who’ve approached Aave for a diversity of reasons. Prominent examples include–

  • Working closely with Centrifuge to ensure the DAO most effectively made an entrance into the RWA space
  • Back-and-forth with the risk assessors around events like the Curve fiasco in Q3 2023 and the bad debt debacle with Avi Eisen in December 2022
  • Aiding Celo through the Aave deployment process (underway) by co-authoring the proposal and responding to feedback from BGD labs and the risk assessment teams
  • Collaborating with Pyth to potentially introduce a backstop oracle–which we ended up stepping back from after a handful of conversations with Chainlink
  • Co-proposing Aave private voting as well as delegate gas rebates

Abdullah will be representing Arana if elected into this program–and will closely consult the rest of the Arana Digital team for guidance.


Thanks to all the applicants. We’re more than thrilled about the breadth of expertise and experience present here.

Now is the deadline for applications.

We will combine the applicants into a voting thread posted here on thr Forum tomorrow.