Sharded blockchain protocol Polkadot and its canary network Kusama have released details of a brand-new Bounty Extension, enabling curators to ring-fence funds for projects they deem valuable. The so-called budget mechanism has been developed to provide Council members with more autonomy and to aid scaling.
Giving Power to the People
Until the spending mechanism was introduced, both networks had to rely on off-chain mechanisms to initiate Treasury proposals, and Council members’ curation capabilities were severely limited. The concept of a Bounty Extension was advanced by members of the Kusama community who wished to reward projects that helped support the Polkadot ecosystem.
As per the Treasury Bounty Extension, the Council will approve bounty allocations before curation of spending proposals is delegated to an expert known as a curator. Curators are defined as addresses with agency over a percentage of the Treasury, with the goal of fixing a bug, vulnerability, or monitoring tasks related to a specific topic. After approval is granted, active bounties are locked in the Treasury and earmarked for the agreed purpose. Curators are also tasked with closing the bounty after all milestones have been reached.
The mechanism, which is ready to be used by all KSM and DOT holders, allows the Council to “extend their authority over a portion of the Treasury without permanent supervision over how funds are spent” according to Council member Raul Romanutti. Any token holder can submit a bounty proposal and determine the reward, with the Treasury able to accommodate multiple active bounties and curators.
As well as curating spending proposals, curators can request ‘top-ups’ from the Council or any contributors to advance the work being undertaken. In the future, they may also be able to divide the allocation into sub-bounties and work alongside different teams as required.
Ethereum Rival Polkadot Makes Headway
The introduction of a Bounty Extension is likely to pique the interest of developers, who have surely made note of Polkadot’s success in recent months. The protocol has been making headlines of late, after its native DOT token became a top 10 cryptocurrency by market cap soon after launch. DOT, which is used for network governance, staking and bonding, is closing in on $400m volume, with a market cap of $3.4 billion.
Multichain network Kusama is Polkadot’s little cousin, an experimental development environment created (like Polkadot) by ex-Ethereum CTO Gavin Wood. Owned and governed by a community of network participants who vote on and control the evolution of the network, Kusama was created expressly for early-stage Polkadot deployments, enabling developers to build and deploy their own parachains or interact with Polkadot’s governance and staking in a user-friendly environment.
Last month Polkadot facilitated its first successful inter-chain asset transfer using the new XCM standard, as detailed by Gavin Wood. It is positioned as an alternative to Ethereum 2.0, with both projects sharing goals centered on security, scalability and innovation.