Proposing Grant Ships as the Premier Grants Program for ApeChain

Dear Ape Coin DAO Community,

As we anticipate the launch of the ApeChain initiative, harnessing the power of Arbitrum technology, it is essential to anchor its development in a framework that cultivates innovation and fosters community collaboration… We propose “Grant Ships,” a novel grants metaframework, tailored for the evolving landscape of Web3 ecosystems.

What is Grant Ships?

Grant Ships is not merely a grants program but a competitive metaframework designed to optimize resource allocation across the Web3 space. It functions on a set of smart contracts that constitute a governance system, enabling:

  1. Decentralized Grant Allocation: Multiple Grant Ship Operators, essentially subDAOs, distribute grants autonomously.
  2. Community-Driven Oversight: Token holders assess Grant Ship Operators’ effectiveness, influencing their funding levels for subsequent rounds.

Key Terms:

  • Metaframework: A framework designed to support the operation of other frameworks within it.
  • Ship: Sub-DAOs within Grant Ships responsible for grant allocation.
  • Allo Protocol: Utilized for strategic fund allocation and management.
  • Hats Protocol: Employs NFTs for dynamic role assignment and revocation.
  • Karma GAP: Provides impact evaluation and community feedback mechanisms.

Core Offerings of Grant Ships Enhanced with Allo, Hats, and Karma GAP Integrations:

  • Strategic Allocation & Reporting: Utilizing Allo Protocol, Grant Ships strategically automates fund allocation and reporting. This innovative approach enables Operators to focus on identifying and supporting impactful projects, while Allo’s smart contract strategies ensure efficient fund management and transparency. Learn more about Allo Protocol here.

  • Revokable Permissions with Hats Protocol: Grant Ships incorporates Hats Protocol to facilitate dynamic and secure governance within the ecosystem. By assigning roles as NFTs, it offers a flexible structure where permissions can be easily reassigned or revoked, enhancing the system’s integrity and adaptability. Discover Hats Protocol here.

  • Impact Evaluation via Karma GAP: To ensure that grant allocations are effective and align with community values, Grant Ships integrates with Karma GAP for comprehensive impact evaluation. This tool allows community members to provide attestations on the effectiveness of each Grant Ship’s strategy, fostering informed decision-making and accountability. Explore Karma GAP here.

These key integrations underline Grant Ships’ commitment to revolutionizing grant allocation through transparency, strategic fund management, and community-driven impact assessment, setting a new standard for decentralized grant programs.

The Genesis of Grant Ships:
Originally conceptualized by DAO Masons for a Plurality Labs contest, Grant Ships emerged as a winning design aimed at revolutionizing grant systems for the Arbitrum DAO. It epitomizes a pluralistic grants system, where existing models can seamlessly integrate and thrive within its structure.

Strategic Competitive Dynamics:
At its core, Grant Ships leverages competition to foster excellence. High-performing Ships can gain increased funding, while less impactful ones face reduced allocations. This balance between competitive and cooperative dynamics ensures that all Ships are incentivized to aim for high impact, elevating the entire network.

Governance and Evolution:
Grant Ships is envisioned as a progressively decentralized platform. While initial phases maintain some level of centralization to refine game mechanics, future iterations will feature democratically elected roles, fully embodying the ethos of decentralized governance.

Why Grant Ships for ApeChain?

  1. Community Empowerment: Involving the community in grant allocations deepens engagement and fosters a vested interest in ApeChain’s success.
  2. Innovation and Growth: By directing funds to high-impact projects, Grant Ships accelerates innovation, driving the growth of ApeChain.
  3. Adaptive Framework: Built to evolve, Grant Ships ensures relevance and effectiveness as ApeChain expands.

Moving Forward with Grant Ships

The integration of Grant Ships as ApeChain’s foundational grants mechanism aligns with ApeCoin DAO’s principles, setting a precedent for innovation and community-driven progress. We invite the ApeCoin DAO community to join us in refining this proposal, contributing ideas, and participating in the beta phase.

Together, we can leverage Grant Ships to catalyze innovation, fostering a robust and vibrant community at the heart of ApeChain.

If you would like to get a more detailed understanding of what Grant Ships is, please check out our rulebook.


It’s a nice idea would love to see what you can achieve


Thank you, we’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far. We are big supporters of Arbitrum. We are doing our best to help the gaming community grow and thrive within its ecosystem, so we were really excited to see AIP-378 pass.


This is an interesting grant system that could be highly effective. Performance-based and slashing sounds powerful. My favorite part is that it allows multiple teams. Can you share more about the results this has seen elsewhere? Also, how much $APE do you recommend be allocated towards this program to start?


Thanks for the question @0xSword.
We are just finalizing development of our MVP and plan on having a beta grant round mid-March. We are distributing 90K Arb during the beta. There are a couple things missing from our final product as yet, We would like to add an in-app TCR voting. Currently, we are going to outsource voting to an outside app.
We are implementing a custom “direct grants” Allo strategy on the backend, which does offer a lot of flexibility for how a Ship may choose to run. Future plans will be to have a few custom strategies built in house, such as quadratic funding.

As far as how much $APE, it would really be up to the community. We aren’t really looking for funding to build it, however there may be some customizations required for branding if the community decides.

During our beta rounds, we as the developers, are going to be the game facilitators as the goal is to test the contracts and front end. After that, the community should be able to facilitate the game and decide on pay for these individuals.

So the DAO could decide to run whatever size program they choose, really. It really depends on what the goals would be.

For example a round for education/community engagement would require less in the pot than complete game development. For something like that, we almost recommend Grant Ships as a funnel into an incubator program.


Welcome back! @0xSword Dao. For. Life.


Hey fam!

A couple of us commenting have been from the DAOs Governance Working Group, and always looking for effective automation tools, so I’d love to learn more about what you’re proposing.

  1. I’m seeing that based on your Twitter account and Discord server that your platform is quite new. Could you provide a little background on your team?

  2. Based on information from this post and the application form for people wishing to join your team, you’re currently in a beta stage on Arb. Please provide background on this integration, and how long you have been live for?

  3. How many members are currently on your team?

  4. I’m seeing a tech stack of at least four protocols. Is Grant Ships in any way affiliated with these providers, or just an intermediary?

  5. You mention becoming ApeChain’s foundational grants mechanism, which could be interpreted as wanting to handle all of our grant distribution. If your proposal were to pass with no changes to its wording, how many team members would be required to operate this program?

  6. Are there any costs associated with your services? And if so, how much?

  7. Could you provide context to readers who may not have gone through your rulebook as to what Grant Ships, Ship Ranking and Game Facilitators are, and why you have chosen these names over more traditional verbiage?

  8. Do you have any stops in place for situations where bad actors have been identified and/or to help identify them? This could be from KYC processes to stops that could be put in place through the tech you are proposing to use.

No rush on response!



Great questions, thank you.

  1. Our team is called the DAO Masons, we have been together for a little over a year now. Prior to that we met while at DAO Haus, especially during the development and release of DAO Haus V3 and SDK.
    Here’s some more info on DAO Masons and how we operate.
    There are three of us on that team:
    Myself, Chris
    I come from a construction/project management background. I look after PM, biz dev, marketing and Integration Research.
    Jord is our Lead Engineer, Product Manager and designer.
    Matt, has a computer science background and is our UI/UX lead and Game Coordination lead.He’s also my partner on the business development side.
    All of us have played a role in the game design and theory.

  2. Yes, we received a grant from Plurality Labs to build the app and to host the beta round of grants. Plurality Labs themselves received their funding from Arbitrum DAO. So that is the connection that brought us to Arbitrum. Our original plan was to start our first round of grants on March 2. Fortunately, we have been invited as guests on the Green Pill podcast, which is a great marketing opportunity for us, so we decided to push the date until that airs.

  3. 3 officially, with great support from Plurality Labs that sometimes makes it feel like a team of 8.

  4. We are not affiliated. We have built great relationships with the protocols in the stack though. We are using their protocols in the way that these guys hoped someone would use them and they have all been very supportive of our build. For example, members of Allo are currently peer checking our smart contracts. Also, we know the team from Hats very well, having worked with some of them at DAO Haus and other DAOs throughout the Meta Cartel ecosystem of DAOs. The Hats team worked with us during the contract development and were enormous support.

  5. That’s a good question. Operationally, two to three people should be enough. This would be the facilitator role. The ships themselves, aka the grant sub-DAOs, we would recommend a minimum of three ships to make it a game. The more the merrier though. But that’s something that can be built up over time. (Personally, I almost see a marketplace of ships developing, but that’s the long game and another discussion maybe). A ship can consist of anywhere from 1 to whatever is comfortable. I would say 4-6 people in a ship would work very well. It really is dynamic. One of the main purposes of Grant Ships is to surface the best funding mechanisms that provide the most impact.

  6. We don’t have any built in fees but obviously that’s not a great business model lol. We haven’t totally figured that out yet to be honest. I think we would negotiate setup costs or at least have it figured out closer to the time we make an AIM proposal, if we get that far. Sorry I can’t provide a better answer right now.

  7. The verbiage, no real reason, just in that we wanted to make it fun and have a theme… a game.
    This answer could be a long one. We just put out our whitepaper yesterday, we’re just letting Plurality Labs provide feed back before officially releasing it. I’m going to copy pasta some sections.
    obviously replace Arbitrum with ApeCoin DAO in this case :slight_smile:

A Grant Ship is an entity with permission to approve grant applicants and make allocations within the Grant Ships game. Ideally, these entities will be a Sub DAO of Arbitrum DAO. During each funding round, ships are allocated funds to be distributed to successful Grant applicants.

Each active Ship can design and implement its own grants system, with the goal of providing grants to people or projects that support the known priorities of Arbitrum DAO.

Ship operators must follow the rules of the game, such as alignment with our compliance policy and providing a high level of ethical standards. Other than that, operators are free to run their ships as they please. They may set up their own communications channels and create their own rules that they will follow.

Participant Roles

Participants within Grant Ships w/Allo are divided into 4 main roles: Game Facilitators, Grant Ship Operators, Grant Recipients, and Delegated Voters.

For the beta round, the Hat for Delegated Voters will be held by a designated Game Administrator responsible for setting up the game and translating votes into game parameters.

Future versions will be automated and have the hat held by a DAO contract managed by voters or a delegated security council.

Role Permissions and Responsibilities

This section details at a high level each role’s permissions and responsibilities. These permissions each correlate to onchain events (i.e. contract function calls).

Delegated Arbitrum Voters

  • Distributing initial allocation of funds to the game contract
  • Periodically voting on ship performance to determine future funding levels
  • Revoking and reassigning roles as needed

Game Facilitator

  • Approving fund allocations (after due diligence, such as KYC and deny list accounting), allowing Grant Ships to distribute at their discretion.
  • Activating or Deactivating the Grant Ship funding pools
  • Withdrawing funds from deactivated Grant Ship Funding pools
  • Flagging Grant Ships that are not operating in good faith, (e.g. Ships that have failed to make allocations, that make repeated attempts to fund bad actors, etc)
  • Resolving Grant Ship flags that no longer apply
  • Posting updates as needed

Grant Ship Operators

  • Distributing funds to Grant Recipients
  • Capturing Grant Recipient details and including them in the disclosure
  • Reviewing Milestones declared by the recipient
  • Rejecting invalid Milestones
  • Declaring Milestones for recipients (or recipient can do it)
  • Posting updates as needed

Grant Recipients

  • Registering as a potential Grant Recipient for grants
  • Declaring Milestones (or Grant Ship operator can do it)
  • Submitting milestone completion
  • Posting updates as needed
  1. Yes absolutely. We are negotiating with KYC service providers and are close to making a decision on that. We have also been using a know your transaction service which seems to work very well for searching for sanctioned addresses.
    Also, Hats protocol enables the revocation of privileges. If the DAO discovers a bad actor, whether it be a facilitator, operator or recipient, the Hat, with all permissions attached to it, can be revoked.
    We also have a flag system built in for the game facilitator. They can issue a yellow flag, which acts as a warning for actors at risk of being out of compliance. This can be upgraded to a red flag which revokes all activity until and only if a there is resolution to whatever problem is happening.

Thanks for the questions. I really appreciate that you took the time to research and ask these. Please feel free to hit me with follow ups if you have any!

Here’s a little video I made as well:


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Versus a centralized grants team, this seems like a competitive route that could enable our sub-communities to act as ships. How open are you to customization for that?

For example, if main DAO were to allocate 4.2m $APE to the program, could it be split amongst our sub-communities for them to grant regionally? We sorta have sub-DAOs that need activated.

-Ladies of BAYC
-French Apes
-BAYC Taiwan
-Maybe 8-10 more

If we could utilize this game for them, it has the potential to quickly decentralize small grant distribution. It’d get the $APE into the hands of MBA(Ape Builders) and the sub-communities.

Would that work with your program?

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Would require no customization. That is exactly what Grant Ships is. The only thing that is centralized is the facilitator role. However, this can be an elected position, hired or whatever works best for the DAO. The role is revokable by the DAO as well.

The way we envision it is each ship would start with an equal amount of funding to distribute. As seasons progress, the ships that perform the best should end up receiving more funding to work with. I say should, because funding levels is ultimately being left for the DAO to decide. We try to provide as high a signal as we can. The data from the game is all on chain or on ipfs.

I will also say, it can also be used as a mini-game, with ships that specialize in a domain. Say for example an education and marketing campaign could be crowdsourced with Grant Ships, with ships that are really good at finding such people.

Or if you are looking to specifically fund development of games, that Ship might not do as well as a team full of DevRels.


Thank you, appreciate the comment.

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Impressive concept! I’m eager to witness your accomplishments and see this idea come to fruition.


Thank you @Onnuel. We should have an announcement soon for details on the beta grant round on Arbitrum.

We did just release our whitepaper yesterday:

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Hi @boiler,

The community feedback period for your proposal would be ending in less than 24 hours.

  • If you’re content with the feedback received, your next steps are to finalize your proposal using the AIP Draft Template.

  • A moderator will reach out to the author to finalize the AIP Draft. Upon receipt of the final Draft, we will review and provide instructions on the next steps.

  • Are you ready to proceed to the next phase or do you wish to extend community discussion for another 7 days?

We look forward to hearing from you.


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Thanks so much for the info


This is awesome I’m definitely going to watch out for this


Hi @boiler,

Thank you for your ideas [and the ApeCoin DAO community for the insightful discussions].

A moderator will reach out to the author to finalize the AIP Draft using the appropriate template.

  • Once the AIP Draft is confirmed by the author and meets all DAO-approved guidelines, it will receive an AIP ID number and move forward for Draft Analysis Review.
  • @boiler please see your messages for the next steps.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments. In accordance with DAO-approved guidelines, if the author does not respond within 30 days, the proposal will be automatically transferred to the Withdrawn category, and the author can re-submit the idea.


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This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.

Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

@boiler has requested to withdraw their application. This AIP will be moved to and remain in the Withdrawn AIPs category.

Kind Regards,