What’s it like joining the Rootstock Grants Program? Asami’s success story
We caught up with Nubis Bruno, the director general of Asami, to find out how a Rootstock grant transformed his business — and get his advice for future applicants.
The Rootstock Strategic Grants program is empowering developers and entrepreneurs worldwide — giving them the mentorship and funding they need to build powerful dApps that supercharge DeFi on Bitcoin.
Every quarter, promising projects are given up to $25,000 to transform their vision into reality — and add even more utility to the Rootstock ecosystem.
So what happens when you receive a grant? Who better to ask than Nubis Bruno, the director general of Asami. His smart contract-based platform allows advertisers to access private social networks — and received $4,000 after taking part in a Rootstock hackathon last year.
Do you know a smart developer looking for funding to build on Bitcoin? Refer a Bitcoin builder and get $250 here.
Why Asami chose Rootstock
A Pillar of Support and Infrastructure Diversity
Nubis says the guidance and encouragement Asami has received from the Rootstock team has been invaluable.
“I found that Rootstock mentors are very open, very focused on their area of expertise, they try to be more objective. They listen to what you want to build and give you an honest opinion,” he said. “Their understanding of the uniqueness of our project and limitations in the mentorship process has been instrumental, setting them apart from one-size-fits-all approaches in other programs.”
Beyond the support and advice given to Asami’s team, there was another compelling reason for choosing Rootstock over rival blockchains: the power of its infrastructure.
“Rootstock sits in a sweet spot with affordable fees, a large ecosystem, and Bitcoin-based stability,” Nubis explained. “We considered other options, such as Cosmos and RGB, but found Rootstock’s infrastructure, cost-effectiveness, and transparent EVM-based smart contracts to be superior.”
This has proven crucial — as the smart contracts powering Asami can be easily audited by experts to give users confidence.
What do you get from the grants program?
Mentorship, support, and a diverse ecosystem
Beyond the financing to put roadmap milestones in motion, Nubis said the grants program meant he had a passionate support network cheering Asami on — as well as offering advice and ideas to make his platform even more successful.
Thanking Ongun, a member of the Rootstock Grants team, Nubis said “I think that Ongun has been a champion for our project and he did the effort to understand what we were trying to build. [He] made some really good suggestions about, what course to take with it. And he was very understanding as well when we needed to pivot away from Nostr.”
The Asami team have also been able to access a plethora of tools and dApps to aid them in the building process, as well as marketing assistance to help them spread the word. This, when coupled with connections to the wider Rootstock community, has catalyzed development.
Asami is now gearing up to launch its mainnet in the first quarter of 2024 — and ensuring that the platform’s native Asami token can be used for governance and fee rebates. By enhancing usability and utility, as well as integrating a greater number of social networks, the ambition is to ensure more and more users are paid using this cryptocurrency.
Nubis said Asami’s journey through the grants program has allowed him to better understand the dynamics of building a business in Web3 — and the power of reaching out to customers and learning what other decentralized projects are working on.
Advice for Rootstock Grants Program applicants
“If anybody has an idea, one with missing technological or business part, they should join [the Rootstock Grants program], it is a good place to find the missing part,” he says.
And referring to the unique capabilities of smart contracts on Bitcoin, Nubis adds “a lot of things that are cool about Rootstock are not available in other networks, and they don’t have an equivalent for that.”
Doing this research can be vital, as the entrepreneur says he’s encountered many smart contracts with brilliant ideas but poor execution because of the network they’re built on.
“It might be because they have high fees, they don’t have the right smart contract ecosystem, or they don’t have enough connections to wallets and everything,” Nubis explained. “You get lots of support from Rootstock in terms of all this infrastructure.”
A key benefit when building on Rootstock is familiarity, as developers who have worked on Ethereum dApps before can continue to use the same Solidity tools and libraries they’re accustomed to.
Another top tip is to ensure grant entries align with the themes put forward by the grants program. They include focusing on everyday use cases, creating infrastructure that allows real-world assets to be used as collateral for loans in RBTC, and bridging Rootstock to other Layer 1 and Layer 2 blockchains — enhancing liquidity and unlocking new applications.
About Nubis Bruno
Nubis Bruno, with over 20 years of experience in technology and innovation, is a T-shaped expert and a pioneering force in the cryptocurrency and blockchain arena. An early Bitcoin adopter since 2011, Nubis co-founded South America’s first Bitcoin exchange, conectabitcoin.com, in 2013, and bitex.la, a major Bitcoin exchange and broker for Latin America and the U.S., in 2014. His work significantly propelled the adoption and understanding of cryptocurrencies in these regions.
Beyond cryptocurrency exchanges, Nubis has been instrumental in advocating for technologies such as Rust, Haskell, and the broader Web 3.0 ecosystem. He is a founding member of the Argentine Fintech Chamber, highlighting his influence in shaping financial technology policies and practices. Through initiatives like dao.education, aimed at web 3.0 education, and constata.eu, which uses the Bitcoin blockchain for securing digital interactions, Nubis has demonstrated a consistent commitment to advancing technological knowledge and application.
His latest venture, Asami, aims to enable members to monetize their personal networks within the Rootstock web3 ecosystem, leveraging his extensive background in finance, fintech, and cybersecurity. Nubis’s journey underscores a deep-seated dedication to fostering community, innovation, and empowerment in the digital age.