Creating CPS "Open Standards"

Hey everyone - I would like to start a discussion with the ICON community and validators regarding CPS “Open Standards”.

I believe these open standards could help remove some politics from CPS decision making, while setting clear expectations and providing the proper framework to both Builders (Proposers) and Validators (Voters).

The Google Doc posted at the bottom contains the first rough draft for these open standards. Similar to how @errcsool structured the ICON Terminology discussion, I would prefer if we discuss here in the forum and use the Google Doc to propose changes via comments.

Thanks, and let me know your thoughts!

CPS Open Standards Working Document

Disclaimer: The purpose of this working document is to start the conversation within our community on what funding through the CPS should look like going forward. I do not believe current/previous proposals should be affected by these future standards.


This is a very good move TJ! Well done !

How would community member be able to enforce these standards ?

Also , i personally dont think community building aspects of a project should be funded via cps.


I would say enforcing these standards for “proposers/builders” should be done by Validators (rejecting proposals).

Who will enforce these standards for “validators/voters” could probably use more discussion. Ideally in a DPOS network these would occur through changing of votes, but not sure if that would realistically occur so maybe a different method is needed.

(Enforcement also seems like a very strong word no? :joy:)

Maybe not for a specific project, but what about ICON as a network?

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Yep. Icon as a network for sure!

Just think individual projects should have the capacity to fund community building since other aspects of their project will be funded.

Haha. Yes enforced is a strong word. Just using terminology in the doc.

Since the doc mentioned enforce by community members. I was curious to know how this would be possible…

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For me, the biggest point of focus is the progress reports. I would approach that issue from four sides: “Project owners / builders”, “Community members”, “Sponsors”, “System-related”.

In short, something similar to Kickstarter would be good.

For project owners / builders:

  • Update community and sponsors regularly as well as on request
  • Keep project page up-to-date

For community members:

  • Inquire directly to project owners / builders about project status
  • Inquire directly to sponsors about project status

For sponsors:

  • Inquire directly to project owners / builders about project status
  • Offer resource support
    • E.g. advice, help sourcing contractors

Related to CPS system:

  • Create templates for project owners / builders to fill in status reports
  • Maintain a better project page to showcase project status
    • Incl. roadmap, promos, social media / contact locations
  • Maintain a better system for contacting project owners / builders
    • I.e. comments section & mailing list
  • Maintain a better system for contacting sponsors
    • I.e. comments box

As for scope of projects that should be valid through CPS / Ecosystem Fund, I would support better categorization of project submissions. Better tagging system for one, and possibly separate sections for viewing and interacting with projects of different types. We would have to figure out what types are worth separating, though.

I could see CPS / Ecosystem Fund as a pretty broad community-based funding framework

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I did a thorough analysis of all the CPS projects, without going into too much depth, here are some issues and thoughts I came across:

First off all, we should establish the fine line between:

  1. What CPS grants are for and what the foundation should pay for.
  2. Secondly, what the CPS is for and what it is not for.

Current Issues with CPS:

Marketing within CPS:

Many projects are taking ‘marketing’ budgets for their project, not thorough detail and no confirmation that this will be spent on Marketing. Furthermore, if we are funding marketing for every single project, this is not feesable, marketing for projects should be funded upon completion, i.e. sales of NFT’s.

Question: Should CPS fund marketing initiatives? Especially whilst it is funding the creation of the Dapp. Regarding ICON marketing, shouldn’t this be paid for by the foundation?

Low quality of delivery and lack of accountability

Many projects seem to have just vanished, other projects continously take funding whilst remaining incomplete and nothing to show. Other projects have taken a lot more than proposed and have nothing to show.
Some projects go unknown, are poor quality and lack potential, not sure why they’re funded

Dapps with DAO taking CPS:
Projects with a DAO and other revenues of funding are still taking funding money from CPS.

Dapps not being built on ICON:
Many dapps not being built on ICON, with no clear plan of how they will implement BTP and grow ICON.

Lack of open-source code:

  • Projects that take CPS funding should opensource their code and resources.

Value of workers (The aim is to not confine but there should be certain limits), questions arise:

  • Are project managers needed in a web3 start-up? aren’t they part of the entrepreneurial group already? I.e. the dev, designer, web dev?
  • Should CPS fund content writers of projects?
  • Should CPS fund community managers of projects?
  • What’s the max value for types of jobs?
  • Do some jobs require two people?
  • Time-scale for some projects is absured

CPS is not your pillow

Projects should not expect constant funneling of funds, and reapplying for the same project. For example, if certain areas of your project was not factored, this should not result in a renewed funding of for your whole team for a further term.

CPS is not here to fund teams, but projects.


1. Vetting Projects:

Teams should be able to show past experience, a business plan, key differentiators and design prototypes.

2. Should Marketing / Infrastructure Projects Be Allowed?:

TJ has stated several times CPS should be used for infrastructure and marketing projects. But these categories are also partially the Foundations responsibility and P-Reps generally prefer to fund DApps. So how do we balance this?

My suggestion is to organize the CPS system into buckets. This will create space for more diverse types of projects and also address quality standards by increasing competition in the specified category.

3. Proposed Fund Standards:

  • 75% cap: DApps

        Example: DeFi Platforms, SaaS Companies, NFT Projects, Games, etc.
  • 15% cap: Infrastructure Upgrades

        Example: Command Line Tools, Trackers, Ledger Updates, etc.
  • 10% cap: Marketing & Community

        Example: Educational Content, Hackathons, Incubators, Meme Competitions


  1. Budgets should be determined by cost of skill-specific labor. Amounts should be based on industry standard.

  2. DApps should not use funds for advertisement or marketing. Any advertisement or marketing funds should be vetted and approved in the marketing bucket and imo should only promote ICON, ICE/SNOW and BTP.

  1. Yes, we should fund content writers and other non-technical projects. Talent based labor expands beyond design and development. This is the real world and soft skills like writing, strategy, recruitment, and event coordination are all in high-demand.

  2. ICE & SNOW’s success will make or break ICON. We have to fund these projects. I don’t think we should shortchange projects looking to build on ICE/SNOW. If anything these projects should be supported the most because they are our bridge to a massive ecosystem of investors on DOTSAMA.


Hey @maxicongrowth,

Good points, just two things that I would like to add:

I like hackathons, but I think the hackathon strategy should change. We should identify specific missing tools and put out a request for people to build them for $x.

Regarding content writers, I was speaking about them being included in project expenses, for example, a game or a defi dapp, pricing in content writers.


I’m reading through everything here so I’ll make more comments later but I will say these projects should NOT be forced to be open sourced.

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Okay so I’ve read through everything and here’s my thoughts:

Firstly. I think standards are a good thing so that all projects can be better comparable so I’ve been making my comments in the Standards doc.

Secondly, I think if the CPS system itself was templated for Proposals and Progress Reports it would help not only the people submitting them but also the validators make sure that they have all the proper information to meet these Standards and not be rejected. So the CPS system on a Proposal should have fields for each “required” standard that we decide on. This way no one will miss entering information and the validators can easily check to make sure they have said information to be able to make their decisions.

When it comes to who/what we should fund shouldn’t that be up to the validators? That’s the whole point of a decentralized system. Allowing the people voted in charge of the ecosystem to determine what they think will help the ecosystem. I don’t think we should be putting limits on who/what should be allowed to be submitted/funded through CPS. That includes marketing, content writing, etc.


Without settings priorities and standards, we will have a lack of direction, and a lot of wastefulness. Also, it is not necessary that a node validator acts to ‘help the ecosystem’, it is very possible that they act in a selfish manner.

The point is not to restrict growth, but to add more rigour in proposals. Other grant systems require proof of workers, track record, prototype, fund certain things after completion. They also do scrutenise the number of workers, salary and stipulate that the project itself should fund the marketing and community aspects through the revenue of their project.
The CPS is currently very loose in criteria.