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Rootstock Grants Program: FAQs #1

Published on: 23 February, 2024

The Rootstock Grants Program means ambitious builders and entrepreneurs can receive a share of $2.5 million in funding to build everyday DeFi on Bitcoin.

In the recenet AMA session dedicated to the Rootstock Grants Program, community members and interested developers had the opportunity to delve into the intricacies of the Rootstock Grants program, posing insightful questions to the mentors and judges behind this initiative. 

In this article, we’re sharing some of the frequently asked questions about the Grants program. Read along to learn more.

And remember, if you know a developer who would be a good candidate for the program, you could earn $250 by referring them to get involved.

Why does Rootstock have a grants program?

The goal of the Rootstock Grants Program is to encourage talented developers to start building on Rootstock — the first and longest-lasting Bitcoin sidechain that’s EVM compatible and secured by BTC’s Proof-of-Work mechanism. 

We believe that Everyday DeFi is the future — a world where businesses can make and accept payments without facing punishing fees, remittances are dramatically cheaper, and loans are accessible to all. 

Does the Rootstock Grants team get equity of my project?

Rootstock’s grants are not made in exchange for equity, meaning successful applicants retain full ownership of their business.

However, funds are gradually released in milestones to ensure that key objectives are met — and builders remain incentivized to make progress.

Who can apply for grants?

Some programs have strict requirements on who is eligible to apply for a grant. This could be based on geography, gender, experience, or the project’s current status.

Rootstock takes a different approach by ensuring grants are for everyone. Irrespective of whether you’ve got an idea and are yet to start building, or are part of a big platform with lots of traction, everyone can throw their hat into the ring. 

The Rootstock Grants program runs hackathons where cutting-edge concepts can be put through their paces — and loves supporting established brands looking to bridge across to Rootstock’s blockchain. 

For more on eligibility and acceptance criteria, read the step-by-step guide for a successful application.

How does the application process work?

The process begins by filling in an application form. You’ll be asked for your name and email address — and to confirm whether the project is currently live.

Next, you’ll be invited to go into further detail — telling us about your education, your years of professional experience, any background you have in running start-ups, and your knowledge of the industry related to your field. It’s also important to estimate how much time you’re devoting to the project on a weekly basis.

Once the application is completed, an internal review begins — with Rootstock’s Grants team assessing applications, and determining which ones are the best fit for the grants program. Pitch days are then held where shortlisted projects can present their vision to a panel of experts. Winners are determined by vote, and funding milestones are established. The legal team then steps in to complete Know Your Customer checks and draw up an agreement.

For more on how to create your project milestones to present on the pitch day, read the comprehensive guide on crafting effective milestones.

What are the benefits of the grant program? 

Recipients of Rootstock grants receive much more than a cash injection. The teams will also have access to technical support and mentorship. Teams from the first wave of the program have even gone on to secure capital from venture capital firms during the crypto winter.

As enthusiasm for Bitcoin grows following the approval of ETFs, and ever-increasing numbers of investors gain exposure to crypto, we firmly believe there’s never been a better time to start building on Rootstock — and we have the know-how to get your startup where it deserves to be.

Will we get feedback on our application? 

Past waves of the Rootstock Strategic Grants program have attracted hundreds of applications — and it can be difficult to give detailed pointers to every project that applies. However, all those who reach the pitch day stage, meaning they’ve taken a considerable amount of time to prepare their proposal, will be given one-to-one feedback.

Are there quotas for grants from specific areas?

One of Everyday DeFi’s most powerful use cases surrounds supporting unbanked and underbanked consumers in emerging economies. Across Latin America and Africa, hard-working families are being hit hard by high remittance fees and hyperinflation — and we believe that crypto-powered solutions built on top of Rootstock can be the answer. 

That being said, we don’t have quotas for geographic regions, and work purely on a case-by-case basis.

Do projects need to be built natively on Rootstock? 

DApps that are built on Rootstock will definitely be seen favorably during the grants program — especially as we’re keen to forge long-term partnerships. However, we are open to projects that are seeking to bridge from other blockchains too. 

Any other questions?

This is a small taste of the questions that curious developers had for the leader of our grants program at a recent ask-me-anything session — and if you’d like to learn more, join Discord to catch the second AMA session on March 7th.


You can find out more about the Rootstock Strategic Grants program here. 


Best of luck if you’re planning to apply for a grant. Who knows: you could be the next success story!