Harmony Grants AMA

Earlier today I mentioned Harmony having to put grant applications and payouts on hold. Naturally, the community had many questions. Instead of hijacking that post, I thought it would be good to create this post to help answer your questions, and I’m sure you have many.

I know I’m exposing myself to a barrage of angry comments here but I wanted to make sure the community is kept informed and to give you a place to ask us questions. But before you take out your pitchforks, please know this is not my decision and this was a Harmony-wide mandate in an attempt to save on operational costs to weather the storm. I’m just here to help :blue_heart:

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I’m also available for questions and are willing to help however I can. For existing grantees, I would like to discuss co-marketing opportunities and loop in our friends @Globey.one and @Maba078 in the conversation.

As @giv mentioned above, this decision was an attempt to save on operational costs - it’s not ideal and it’s a very unfortunate situation; the impact to our grantees is real and I won’t sugar coat that. If there’s anything we can do in the meantime on the Harmony side, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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Thank you both so much for creating this topic-specific thread! I was going to do exactly this, and also to offer a safe place for voice discussion at a later date for the community (and hopefully some of its leadership) to come together and connect. There is already enough dismay, fear, and blame going around the space. I believe that we need to conduct goal-oriented, productive discussion as a family, that we need to stay together and whole, and that we need to prioritize during this tough spell.

I see the main issues being two major concerns:

The Harmony community feels that the team should re-budget spending while not suspending current promised payments to those that were approved for funding, unless perhaps that was brought down to an internal vote and community snapshot. Completely halting grants and payment discourages the development, innovation, and growth of our home and chain. It sends the wrong message to the investors and userbase. It tells the family that we’ve built to find another home and to make it on their own, because they no longer have the support of the chain that they have invested so much of their money, time, energy, and essence into.

Second, there seems to be so much negative conversation around the space concerning the lack of qualified leadership amongst the core team. I personally applaud those amongst you that address the community directly and hope that every decision maker can take the time to chime in here and provide both re-assurance in a brighter future as well as actionable plans- and soon for the sake of Harmony. So many of us are still here to support the chain, the community, and the decentralization of DeFi to the utmost of our ability, but there are many project leaders and teams that have dedicated themselves to your chain and whom need to be addressed in public. Some people are angry, but if you take the time to talk with everyone in a safe, moderated environment, I think that you will find that we still support you, we want to help, and that we mean business. We just need some of your time and change that supports your community.

@giv @dpagan-harmony thank you both so much for starting this conversation in an official capacity, your actions can literally save the chain. I also want to thank the other moderators and grant decision makers for the hours that they spend reading through our nonsense (@Harmonious_Dude, @jbeltran , and all of the others that I have yet to meet)

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hey there , i have been a $ONE token holder since 2019 , i have been with harmony during the bad and good times i never gave up bcs i like your tech and vision !
regarding the put grant applications and payouts on hold i think it is the smartest decision honestly , for a while now i have been a bit nervous because this macro economic factor is such a carnage and even the strongest projects may not survive this … my $ONE bags are the biggest in my portfolio , i do not mind waiting , i am patient , but such macro economic carnage can take down even the biggest projects today !! i think the harmony community needs more of a hug and sort of an assurance that Harmony would survive this and finish on top !
i think by making people know about harmony through marketing we could achieve that !
compared to fantom , solana , polkadot cosmos etc … harmony is my favorite ! and i find it unreasonable how people do not share the same POV as me , then we figured , the heads down working till they come would not cut it anymore … everything is shifting so fast ! harmony needs to be heard , shown , known and used by 1B users !
thank you !

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Just jumping in to say individual thanks to @giv and @dpagan-harmony as well. I do sometimes come here and read comments to learn overall community sentiment.

My personal opinion (not representing project I am part of) is that I accept the decision, it makes sense business-wise.

As far as angry comments, I mentioned it before this was predictable to have outpour — sometimes justified — screaming and tears. At least situation is clear now. I only wish Harmony takes this time to also implement internal restructuring and reorganisation so it can come out better, eventually, when the grants hopefully resume.

I wish Harmony and the community the best.

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I don’t think it would be wise if I speak on anyone’s behalf, but it is the correct decision considering the sequence of events that have transpired (& the toll of learning curve) in my personal opinion.

However, in light of how immediate the indefinite suspension of the grants program were across all the entire spectrum, the developers across the Harmony ecosystem & developer DAO’s could try gather together for a meet amongst themselves or with the Harmony team & try to discuss strategies, a resource playbook, or even partner network access to help them devise independent fund-raising goals from multiple sources to achieve product-related sustainability. While internal roles are getting reorganized, atleast a discussion window can be kept open for the next 2 weeks.

However, that would require the developer community grantee projects having to suspend self interest & see if a discussion around much smaller bridge grants can happen to oversee a smoother transition, than an abrupt full stop.

Having stricter internal standards around a proper-product thesis will eventually help ecosystem developers turn their focus to a more consumer-centric approach, while also forging an independent path across interoperable chains too.

I do think that the builders in the community can set a professional precedent by building products & solutions that not only creates a valid reason for the core team to reverse their grants suspension (on a case-by-case basis, conservatively speaking IF the challenging market conditions persist), but create an entirely different paradigm where “grantees” will have improved negotiating power, as an equal community partner to facilitate investment interest.

While it’s understandable that capital is scarce & mistakes have been made, it also exhibits how difficult it can be to raise capital, and how even more essential & important it is to ensure its preservation & judicious use consideration - A completely new experience for all involved parties alike.

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Thank you @Pioneer for your well articulated and constructive message both here on the forum and on Twitter. Your way of engaging in the forum is greatly appreciated. We will be reviewing and discussing your post with the team this week - our Bay Area team is working together back in the office every day now. As @giv and @dpagan-harmony mentioned, we are looking at all the ways to support and work with our ecosystem.

To touch on our action plan in Q3 and Q4 this year, we will be working hard to demonstrate market-product-team fit with monthly growth on metrics that we can control. We’ve been working on that plan as a team for a few weeks now and will be sharing that. And as a team, we will take the time to engage on this thread with the builders like yourself and we’ll share more on the topic of grants.

Some of us have been working on Harmony since 2017/2018 and we have faced many periods of difficult times and we’ve had to make hard tradeoffs in every year of the project. In 2018-2019, there was very low industry wide adoption for decentralized applications after some initial enthusiasm in 2017 and we launched mainnet with a team of 10 people. In 2020, when COVID first hit the U.S. and we were still figuring out what to do as a team, we launched open staking. Now we need to again focus on going deeper on fewer initiatives. Probably more context than you asked for, but I do hope that the sentiment is conveyed here that we’ll keep building and engaging. Hitting the orange “Reply” button on this for now, and look forward to continuing this over the coming days and weeks (and years too!)

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Thank you team Harmony for being direct and communicating this rather unfortunate news. As a recipient of the grant, it is obviously a disappointment that the program is on hold, but with the macro environment being what it is, it is also completely understandable. We as a team completely respect the decision made and our support goes out to all of you in your team who are probably going through a pretty tough time. Like @lij has pointed out, Harmony’s ability to navigate through difficulties over the years demonstrates the collective strength of this organisation, and backed by the support of the community, we truly believe that Harmony will be able to tide over this situation and eventually emerge stronger!

We came to Harmony because of the superior technology and how it could be transformative for a product such as ours, and that reality has not changed. While the grant was intended to help accelerate our blockchain development, as a startup it was an unexpected bonus that we are grateful for. We do not intend moving away, and will continue building out so that we can be on mainnet soon. It is best to work towards productive outcomes during these times of uncertainty, and that is what we will aim for.

Thank you again team Harmony for the support we have received so far, and all the best with your high-impact deliverables planned for later in the year!

Team Planet League.

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As mentioned by @dpagan-harmony we have recently begun work on organic co-marketing from the central team surrounding Harmony. Promoting the success of Harmony is and will always be about both telling an organic and honest story about our technical achievements and what our incredible builders are producing on a regular basis.

While todays announcement was difficult for both the Protocol, the leadership making the decision, and our community of harmoniums and builders, I want to be as available and transparent as possible.

This decision was made from a place of ensuring the health of the protocol for years into the future, and everyone here is available and willing to assist in any way we can.

Over the next several days we will be publishing the co-marketing playbook on the Harmony notion website and will begin the process of intaking builders who are ready to show off what they have been working day and night to deliver to our incredibly vibrant community.

While this may not generate immediate revenue, I believe holistically this will still enable extensive and healthy growth for both Harmony and our individual on chain projects. While we are diving deep during the summer on impactful initiatives mentioned by @lij and @giv , we remain committed to supporting builders in the way we can; myself specifically in helping builders share their story , crafted and honed for the widest net possible.

We still build together, we survive together, we thrive together; as ONE

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look at this response man ! you can’t find such reasonable people not even within coinbase company !
Heck coinbase and other giants are cutting staff by %10 and more …
it is hard time indeed but only together we can overcome this difficult time , and those that are patient and supportive would be greatly appreciated and rewarded in my opinion …
such time is an opportunity to filter those that come here as a serious business partner and those scams or tourists … cash grabs …
we will make it through this and get back stronger than ever !

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Hi! Why weren’t the grantees notified about this? What about the teams that completed their milestones back in March, but still haven’t received their payments? Why at the call with the Harmony representative we were not told that you freeze grants, but postponed for another month?

So many questions, so few answers. We want to move forward on the grant milestones and develop the project. But the procrastination, and then the freeze is upsetting.

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Thank you for creating this thread for us to discuss the current situation.

Hi @lij , This is regarding Harmony Core DAOs and Core DAOs alone. As you may be aware Harmony Core DAOs have always faced issues when it comes to funding, some current members of the core team are well aware of this as some of them have experienced this themselves on the Community DAO in the past.

I have been the longest serving member of Harmony Core DAOs at 12 months, I have served consecutive terms since the creation of the Community DAO. As you may know I currently serve on The Community DAO and the Creative DAO, and I have been unpaid since March 1st on the Creative DAO and Since April 1st for the Community DAO, This is 6 months of unpaid work I have spent building organizations for Harmony and it’s communities, I dedicate these hours after finish my 9-5 and over my weekends, time of which I spend away from my partner and two children.

I justify my time away from them knowing that my time away will benefit them financially in some way, my dream like many others, is to stake as much Harmony as possible and maybe one day be able to afford a house. But sadly at the moment, like many other core DAO governors who are some of the most dedicated and deeply routed community members, fear they will not be paid for there time as they have been promised by Harmony.

I’m going to be very clear here, I’m extremely lucky to have a 9-5, so thankfully for the moment, my bills are paid. However, we have some Harmony Core DAO governors who do not currently have 9-5 jobs who are relying on the being paid so they can pay their bills, pay their rent, feed their children and justify the time they have sacrificed away from their families like myself. The current situation is not just damaging people financially, this is damaging relationships as we are promising our partners this will be sorted soon whilst dedicating more time to Harmony’s vision.

I implore you to please come up with a solution for this and pay your Core DAO Governors for their time and discuss the reality of the Core DAOs going forward and what current and next term serving governors can expect going forward. I understand that the main bulk of funding being asked by DAOs may be unfeasible at this time, and this is perfectly understandable, but please pay the people that support you for time served. There has been ‘delays’ in one form or another that have conveniently aligned so funding has almost been stopped completely for an extremely long time.

We have previously made many attempts to get this sorted through DAO operations, many, many times before, but there has only been so much they can do as the decision to fund never sat with them. Please bare in mind, we have been told ‘We will look into this’’, or ‘‘let’s have a meeting to discuss this soon’’ too many times for this to be something that gives us hope from this point forward.

I’m so tired of having to air this publicly, back channels simply don’t work either, These are conversations that simply shouldn’t have to be had. Can we please come up with a solution once and for all?

Thank you for taking time to read this, I understand there is a lot to address right now, but this should also be a priority.

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The disappointment, regret, and anger are justified but what’s not is the expectation that it’s Harmony’s job to make up a 9-5 salary for people.

Unfortunately, people get laid off during economic downturns and Harmony’s decision is sort of like that. Crypto still isn’t immune the macro environment. Look at how many people Coinbase laid off. Harmony is protecting it’s operation, like every other any company, bc it wants to fight any other day. Hard decisions have to be made in business. This is one of them. Furthermore, everyone knows that nothing is guaranteed in Crypto.

Perhaps as a compromise, there could be some interest accrual that’s paid out after certain economic milestones i.e. +0.5% after price hits .10, +0.5% after price hits 0.15, etc…

In conclusion, near markets shake out the weaks hands as the kids say, and if you leave out of frustration now there most certainly will be someone take your place when we’re back on track. Might be best to work with the team and stick it out

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Thank you to the entire core team for open this discussion.

It’s always beneficial for a blockchain to be more decentralised. DeepSquare being a decentralised cloud, it is a target of choice for Harmony to have nodes running on this infrastructure. At DeepSquare we are willing to make users able to host blockchain nodes as a service and we would start with Harmony provided that they are helping us with the grant. Users would be able to host Harmony nodes very easily, with RPC endpoints that scale.

We would like to partner with Harmony and help the infrastructure achieve the faucets we all are working on in the Harmony protocol.

We are looking to encourage the Harmony ecosystem to move forward in this hard situation… The community have concerned many times about the core team, but the people who are supporting you since long time ago want to see you succes in the near future. We have a long back fight, why we can achieve it one more time?

Thank you for taking time to read this, the community and I appreciate it!

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You are not the only one. A lot of community members including team members never received any payment.

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I agreed to the decision that Harmony has made. Grants are good but its a difficult investment. We should come up with a better plan on it before further execution.

I will not stop building even I do not receive any funds.

Grants are just incentive for what i build, not the “goal” of my build.

If people needs an incentive as a motivation to build, then that is not a healthy project development.

We are all learning and growing from mistake.

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It’s fine as long as we get paid for all the time spent. Working for months without pay to find out that you’re not getting anything is completely disrespectful. It’s taking advantage of the community. It’s not harmonious.

The worst part is seeing all the funds go out to DAO’s with Harmony employees on them but not other core DAO’s that helped keep the chain running. One of the DAO’s that got funded recently tried to pass their mandates to the community DAO! We was told from @Sam that they got funded because their report was so good, it was full of inaccurate information! Harmony core team is so out of touch with their community is sad.

Shut it all down, it’s ok. For you to say that it’s ok for Harmony to get people to work for them and not pay them is ok, really shows how out of touch the community is. It’s heartless.

All these regional DAO’s that Harmony encouraged people to form saying they’ll pay for translation.

Meanwhile everyone at harmony is still getting paid and supporting centralized decisions.

I volunteered plenty before I ever put my candidacy in to serve on a DAO. This is now a kick in the teeth to all the time I’ve spent away from my family trying to make Harmony better.
Meanwhile a new “contributor” to harmony is making shit loads of one that I could’ve been buying myself if I didn’t waste my time on DAO’s that Harmony pretended to care about. They just want people to think their decentralized, FAR from it!

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Hi. I wanted to stay away from this conversation, but while reading this forum changed my mind. What surprises me?

  1. The Harmony team launched a $300M grant program and wrote about it everywhere. ONE and many other cryptocurrencies were severely overvalued at this time.
  2. This initiative has caught the attention of many people who have spent their time creating product or marketing initiatives for Harmony.
  3. As ONE and the entire cryptocurrency market returns to real value, the Harmony team begins to drag out the payment and granting of new grants under many excuses.
  4. There comes a point where the Harmony team unilaterally stops funding almost all projects, and notifies teams with the same letters.
  5. Project threads on the forum are closed by moderators from the Harmony team.
  6. After a short time, it turns out that the Harmony team has not fulfilled its promises and has not paid the teams of many DAOs, specified in the grants program with a budget of $300M, the promised reward for the work already done.
  7. The reasoning behind the suspension of funding by the Harmony team is "a difficult market situation.

As soon as I wrote down everything that is going on in the Harmony project, a very ugly picture appeared in my mind. It looks very much like cheating or Default is the company’s inability to pay its financial debts to creditors and employees.

I only painted the picture I saw. In my time working with crypto projects I have seen many such cases, but I didn’t expect to see this at Harmony.

I understand that Harmony is interested in building its ecosystem, which will eventually become profitable. But you guys think about how you look from the outside and how you are seen through the eyes of a longtime Harmony follower.

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While I have no stake in the grant program at the moment that doesn’t mean I don’t care about what is happening. This has been a long time coming and the core team knew it. They have stopped communicating with people about funding milestones for over a month before the Q3/Q4 plan drop. It really makes it seem like they knew what they were going to do awhile ago but didn’t want to come out and tell the community. I agree that layoffs happen and such in times of economic struggle, but when you are layed off you are still paid what you are owed from work done. Only when a company goes bankrupt can they not pay you for work owed. This cone across as very suspect to the community and I would like to know why communication for milestones had been cut off long before the announcement?

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Personally, I could understand the decision to stop funding. Whether or not to (if Harmony can) pay out to project that completed their milestones, it’s difficult. In general I believe people should be paid what they’re owed but if Harmony can’t, or needs to pause… well they can’t. Most likely it should be addressed individually but some act like they must too be getting free money or else. That’s not okay either.

You have to however address the elephant in the room that is big part of the equation. How come several people who have been beneficiaries of the grants HAVE BEEN paid, even during difficult times and even for what looks to be made up projects? Littleboss Amy, Novell, Al who also somehow ended up being “partners” on Harmony payroll, or Sunny. There is few other names that are showing up repeatedly on every shady looking DAO and investment. Boris Polania, Biosensei, it’s pretty much guaranteed if you scorch the forum and come across these people commenting/approving projects it will be: funds paid immediately, no questioning, no follow up, months later nothing delivered.

@giv @dpagan-harmony if you don’t truly address this, just showing “here’s partners’ list” is not enough, I don’t think we will ever be able to move forward and past it. No matter if you resume, pay partially, find other way with other projects and people in DAOs like CDAO, the community can’t truly accept to move on.

It’s a pity to see these funds so grossly mismanaged and now that the belt really needs to be tightened, some honest ones are at the blunt end of this.

These questions have been asked countless times, individually on project pages and collectively. We see a pattern, we know. So can you actually, really answer what’s been going on and what will Harmony actually do about it?

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