Ethereum layer-2 scaling network Optimism is putting aside $3.3 billion worth of its Optimism (OP) token for its community to grant to projects or people deemed important contributors to the blockchain’s ecosystem.

On March 26, the chain’s governance and community arm, Optimism Collective, said that some of the 850 million OP would be doled out over four categorized rounds starting in May and continuing throughout 2024.

Optimism Foundation chief operating officer Bobby Dresser told Cointelegraph that the 850 million OP — 20% of the initial OP token supply — is allocated for funding, with 40 million OP, worth around $158 million, being doled out across three past rounds.

On-chain builders will kick off the fourth round for Optimism’s retroactive public goods funding (RPGF), or retro funding — where some of its community votes on what projects get tokens if they’ve shown value.

Rounds five through seven will see infrastructure, governance and dev tooling contributors rewarded with “everyone, anywhere putting the work in to improve Optimism” eligible for the funds. The last round wraps in mid-November.

Public goods in crypto are service projects or people giving to a blockchain or crypto community for free, and retro funding aims to reward them for their demonstrated contributions.

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Retro funding has cropped up as a funding source for such contributors who typically can’t raise capital from other means, like venture capital, as their contributions aren’t expected to turn a profit.

In the last round of funding in January, a share of the 30 million OP tokens on offer was given to data aggregators DefiLlama and L2Beat, token approval revoking tool and blockchain sleuth ZachXBT, among hundreds of others.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said in an X post after the round that he was “really impressed” by Optimism’s commitment to public goods funding.

Source: Vitalik Buterin

“Hope to see more projects doing [Quadratic Funding] QF and RPGF rounds in the future!” he added.

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