CIP-35: Renewing the CoW Grants Program

CIP-35: Renewing the CoW Grants Program

CIP: 35
title: Renewing the CoW Grants Program
author: @middleway.eth, @Kubesqrt, @notsoformal, @Chim9, @Master_CoW, @mfw78, @fairlight 
status: Active
created: 2023-01-04

Simple Summary

Over the past 12 months, CoW Protocol and the Grants Committee have seen substantial progress, successfully approving and implementing several impactful grants. These initiatives have strengthened our integration with prominent DeFi platforms and furthered CoW Protocol’s features.

The CoW Grants Program, whose first renewal occurred in January 2023 under CIP-18, has proven to be a vital component in advancing CoW Protocol. As we approach the end of CIP-18 term, we would like to propose extending the program. We’re reaching out to the community for support to renew the CoW Grants Program for another 12 months, aiming to continue supporting grants that grow CoW Protocol.


Past Grants

The CoW Grants Program has been actively supporting the growth of CoW Protocol, reviewing and funding a variety of applications over the past year. These projects have made significant contributions in different areas, enhancing the overall functionality and reach of the protocol.

Below are some of the impactful contributions funded in 2023:

  • Safe Composable Conditional Orders: Significantly enhanced CoW Swap’s functionality by allowing developers and integrators to create their own custom orders with unique conditions that get enforced onchain. This contribution enabled the launch of the "Programmatic Orders’’ framework.

  • Streamlined the process of consolidating multiple tokens into a single asset, making portfolio management simpler and more efficient.

  • Balancer and CoW Swap Integration Bounty: Played a key role in strengthening the integration between Balancer and CoW Swap. This grant focused on encouraging solvers to integrate the fee discount mechanism into their solver infrastructure.

  • CoW DeFi Hook Interface: Currently under development, this initiative aims to make CoW Protocol services that are based on hooks more user-friendly and widely accessible, enhancing the overall user experience.

  • Composable CoW Framework Treasure Hunt: Introduced by MasterCow, this unique approach engages the community through a treasure hunt, fostering interaction and creativity in exploring the Composable CoW Framework.

  • Core contributors: At the time of writing there are three full time core contributors funded by the CoW Grants program: Content writer, Backend developer, Designer. Their contributions are ongoing and invaluable. These costs account for 272k xDAI from the yearly Grants program budget.

Volume rewards program

Over the past 12 months, the CoW Grants Program successfully implemented the Volume-based Partner Reward Program, initially introduced with the Shapeshift Integration Grant. This program aligns incentives for partners by offering rewards based on actual performance, measured in terms of the trading volume they drive to CoW Protocol.

The grants committee has approved 8 applications related to this program, two of them during December. Three applications achieved milestones and therefore became eligible for rewards.

In aggregate the program rewarded 550k COW vested linearly over 12 months across 3 eligible partners based on $910M worth of added trading volume. The main contributor being DeFi Llama with all three volume milestones achieved.

Besides incentivizing higher volumes, the program also provides partners with exposure to the COW token, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between CoW DAO and its integrators.

More information about grants can be found at:

Grant program financial position

As we approach the end of the current term, here’s a summary of the CoW Grants Committee’s financial commitments and disbursements (excluding the January monthly payment):

  • Payouts Completed: So far, the Grants DAO has distributed a total of 499k XDAI and 1.2M COW, of which 530k was for the Volume program.
  • Total Commitments: The Committee has committed 615k XDAI and over 4M COW to various projects and initiatives. These commitments account for 55.92% of the XDAI budget and 80.54% of the COW budget.
  • Volume-Based Grants: Of the 3,000,000 COW allocated for volume-based grants, 88% has been committed. To date, two bounties have met the criteria and are eligible for payout under this category.

CoW Grants Committee Structure and Operations

Committee Members

The current CoW Grants Committee, consisting of seven members (three from the core team and four from the community) is structured as a Gnosis Safe with 5/7 quorum for approving grants.

Compensation for community committee members

The stipend structure for the community members of the Grant Committee defined in CIP-18 is 8,000 COW plus an additional $150 in $XDAI monthly. This arrangement was designed to compensate the committee members appropriately, taking into account their responsibilities and the variable value of $COW.

As the COW token price increased, it is proposed to add a quarterly cap adjustment for the COW compensation component to $1k worth.
For Q1 2024:

  • 4400 COW (Calculation: $1k / 0.23, will be revised quarterly)
  • 150 xDAI

Proposing new committee member for nomination

Recognizing the increasing scope of work, the committee advocates for adding an eighth member, making the approval quorum 5/8. This addition aims to distribute the workload more effectively and enhance the committee’s capacity for thorough grant management and decision-making.

Brett is an active technical contributor to the Ethereum ecosystem who currently co-leads Cherry Crypto. Brett is also active committee member at the Safe Grants Program, and has proven his contribution to the CoW team over the years. We propose to nominate Brett for a technical committee member seat. More information about Brett can be found in a comment down below, together with the specified address to be added to the Grants Committee Safe.



For the upcoming term, we propose the following funding structure:

  1. 700k xDAI, on top of remaining funds in the Grants Safe (executed by the Treasury team on demand)
    a. An increased amount given the number of Core Contributors which are associated with the Program.
    b. Paid quarterly or on demand to the Treasury Core Team.
    c. Sources to be funded from the Treasury Operation.

  2. 1M COW, on top of remaining funds in the Grants Safe (executed by CoW DAO using the attached payload)
    a. Given that current commitments are expected to exceed the current CoW remaining balance.
    b. Paid once at renewal of the Program from the CoW DAO safe

  3. Up to 3M CoW allocation for the Volume Program (executed by CoW DAO using the attached payload)
    a. Giving mandate to the Grants DAO to commit up to a total of 3M CoW extra to the current allocation.

  4. A new community committee member will be added to the Committee Safe with the address 0x57C2570F1a4228a3aEff4fE533826C2A04a2D52f, (brettsun.eth) - Will be executed by the Grants Committee upon approval of this proposal.

Grants Program Duration

The CoW Grants Program continues on a rolling 12-month term, up to Jan '25, subject to yearly reviews and renewals by CoW DAO. This structure allows the program to adapt dynamically to the changing needs of CoW Protocol.

Safe Transaction Data

    "to": "0xDEf1CA1fb7FBcDC777520aa7f396b4E015F497aB",
    "value": "0",
    "method": "approve(address,uint256)",
    "params": [
    "to": "0x88ad09518695c6c3712AC10a214bE5109a655671",
    "value": "0",
    "method": "relayTokens(address,address,uint256)",
    "params": [
    "to": "0x88ad09518695c6c3712AC10a214bE5109a655671",
    "value": "0",
    "method": "relayTokens(address,address,uint256)",
    "params": [

Tenderly Simulation

<Link> to Tenderly simulation


Phase 2 Proposal: TBD


Its really great to see the progress made under the grants program. I second Brett’s nomination to the committee. My only suggestion is that community committee members (5/8) stipend is reduced from 8000 to 5000 COW for the year, and then reviewed again next year.

@netrunner.eth , the current proposal is for the compensation to be reviewed quarterly, and for Q1 2024, the allowance would be 4400 CoW (~1k USD in value).

Hi all, Brett here :). Thank you for the kind introduction and nomination, very excited to have the opportunity to more actively contribute towards CoW DAO as a grants committee member.

As Chen mentioned, my current focus is co-leading Cherry Crypto, a first check crypto fund. We’ve been long-time supporters of CoW Protocol and are active participants in governance (eg. forum posts and CoW DAO voting history on Snapshot).

I’ve written more about my background here, in the Safe governance forum, but to be concise my past is technical. I spent 2017-2020 as Aragon’s lead engineer/CTO and had the opportunity to contribute towards leading projects such as Synthetix or Decentraland in either technical integrations or as a security board/multisig member.

I’m a strong believer in grants funding as an opportunity that can both further decentralize the DAO from the core NoMEV team as well as sparking the creativity of a wider contributor base. I have a long history of reviewing and supporting grantees ranging from the smallest to largest (hundreds to hundreds of thousands) and have also been across the table helping write grant proposals. As a testament to this belief, at the moment I’m currently serving as a grants committee member for Safe DAO in its initial Wave 1 grants program that has funded ~$500k into early stage projects consistent with the Safe’s ecosystem KPIs.

I’m looking very forward to what the next year of CoW grantees will bring!


I look forward to working with you. I think you’ll add value to the program.

Interesting fact, I kick-started the Safe Grants Program which you are a part of! Small world!

Great to see. I would like to know more on the grant side for what is happening to bring more to the cow swap solvers and how we can help with that.