This is the fourth request to the CFC as we committed to do month to month requests instead of a lump sum request. Markets have recovered some with FIRO back from USD1.60 to about USD2.20 but we are still operating at a deficit.
Previous CFC fund requests have cushioned the deficit but even with CFC support, it has eaten into our reserves. For instance, last month, the deficit was USD24,093 (not including the CFC funds) and CFC covered USD13,333 meaning there still was a deficit of USD10,760
Core team gets about ~16000 FIRO a month or around ~USD35,200. USD2.20/FIRO
Breakdown of Core Team Expenses
Core team expenses remain unchanged except with a slight increment to Anwar/Ajay as part of keeping in line with inflation (300 USD extra cost)
Developer Pay (covers 4 developers Peter, Levon, Gevorg, Narek) 24,000 USD/month
Research: 7,000 USD/month (but min 4,000 USD/month). This is a combination of retainer and per hour basis consultation.
In January's proposal, we mentioned that we were intending to cut this down due to the recent donation of 200k USD by Arcadia to MAGIC (Firo Fund) which to date remains unutilized. Note that MAGIC is independent of FIRO and can only fund things that are related to development/research. They are managed by MAGIC Board in consultation with the core team and Arcadia. You can read about this donation here. However, after speaking to Aram our lead cryptographer, we agreed that we should do a further deep dive into the feasibility of some of the research as we don't want to fund something and have the research not lead anywhere fruitful. Of course, this is the nature of research and not all research yields results, but we wanted to be at a higher confidence level before putting it to the MAGIC Board.
Currently, some progress has been made on curve tree research and Aram has a much better confidence level of its implementation. Curve tree research would yield global anonymity sets and better performance for Lelantus Spark.
The other research task that we have been doing is NFT support for Spark Assets. We have also been in preliminary talks with Geometry Labs on developing better light wallet infrastructure for Spark.
Admin/Support/Management (including Reuben) 9000 USD/month (covers Reuben, Anwar, Ajay)
Hosting Fees: 1,000 USD/month This covers Github, Continuous Integration, Matrix, chat bridges, seed nodes, explorers, light wallet servers, testnet and website hosting fees. The bulk of this is on explorers and the light wallet support which require beefier specs.
Sysadmin 2,500 USD This is engaged from Cypher Stack and covers the running of all our infrastructure.
Market Making 6,333 USD We engage Armada Labs (the team from Hummingbot) to run market making on three exchanges Binance (FIRO/BTC, FIRO/BUSD), Bittrex and Bitmart.
We also continue to fund a Hummingbot liquidity mining campaign that has boosted organic liquidity on Binance on FIRO/BTC and FIRO/BUSD pairs.
Last month, we mentioned that we would try to get Armada to cover Huobi as well but due to some concerns with Huobi especially with ownership change and huge staff layoffs, we held off on this as we do not want to risk team's funds.
We are contractually obliged to provide market making to Bitmart as part of our agreement with them to list us. We maintain Bittrex/Bitmart support due to their US licenses. Our main market is Binance by a wide margin.
Total: USD 49,833/month
As you can see this excludes any sort of marketing or unexpected costs and we are relatively lean. For core team to break even on this budget, the price of FIRO needs to be at USD3.11.
Deficit: USD14,633 a month. Do note that the deficit is only an estimate and is based on the current market price. This figure changes with the ebbs and flows of the market.
We are requesting the same USD equivalent amount as last month despite the continued deficit. We will utilize some of our reserves to cover any shortfall.
Total requested: ~USD13,333/month in FIRO equivalent. Note that due to the increased price of FIRO, this month's request is less than last month in FIRO terms (8400 FIRO (Jan) vs 6061 FIRO (Feb).
Market Making: USD6,333.00 In the long run it might make sense for market making costs to not be borne by the core team to avoid any conflict of interest.
Research: USD4,000 This covers the base retainer for one of our cryptographers. Note we have negotiated lower rates and these researchers can demand for much more at other companies but continue to work with us because of their belief of the project and the long term relationship we have established.
Development: USD3,000 This covers the cost of one junior developer.
We won't be requesting volatility protection especially this will be on a month to month basis.
We are requesting for this proposal to be reviewed on a month to month basis by the Community Fund Committee so that in the event market conditions improved we can cease this and we can also adjust the amount requested.
The core team as a general principle does not want to make requests from the Community Fund unless absolutely necessary.