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Grant Ships Game

Grant ships was the winner of the Arbitrum JokeRace contest for innovative grant program design!


Grant Ships is an 'evolutionary grants game' where Grant Ships (grant-giving subDAOs) compete to best deploy capital in the Arbitrum ecosystem.

The goal is to continually improve how we allocate capital by learning which Ship models are most effective, who the talented actors are, and which allocations resonate with Arbitrum voters.

How it works

The game begins with the election and funding of at least 3 Grant Ships and a small Game Facilitator Team.

At the beginning of each funding round, the Grant Ships are assigned capital from a common funding pool. For the bulk of each funding round, Grant Ships are busy screening applications, distributing funds, and reporting results.

The Game Facilitator Team facilitates the game and finalizes funds transfers to grant recipients. Game Facilitators may also flag a Grant Ship crew for inactivity or clear bad faith operations.

At the end of each funding round, each Grant Ship produces a Portfolio Report that includes all of their distributions and disclosures.

The Arbitrum community then ranks the Grant Ships through a weighted token vote. In the following funding round, high-performing Ships receive a larger portion of the funding pool, and lower-performing Ships receive less.

Ships that fail to meet a minimum threshold of votes may be replaced by new operators looking to enter the game.


Pluralistic Design
Pluralism is our primary design consideration. Nearly all of the coordination, creativity, and decision-making is left up to the individual Grant Ships. This creates competition and skill sharing as Grant Ships work to discover the best approaches for grant distribution.

Capture Resistance
This game decomposes the traditional, centralized grants-giving committee pattern and distributes power and responsibility among Grant Ships, Game Facilitators, and the Voting Community - each serving as a check and balance on the others.

Each Grant Ship is incentivized to monitor, document, and report on progress made by Grant Recipients. Grant Recipients are incentivized to produce results and disclose progress to receive more funding in the following funding round.

Voter Participation
This game is a spectator sport, designed to be fun to play and watch. This is necessary to ensure the ecosystem stays involved and provides the right incentives and signals.

Adaptive Approach
Through token-weighted voting, Arbitrum DAO creates the selective pressure that forces Grant Ships to evolve. As Arbitrum evolves, so will its grants program.

Final Thoughts

Grant Ships is being designed from the ground up and some of the details will have to change as we implement it. Please read more in our FAQ.

Released under the MIT License.