Announcing RetroPGF Round 3

The Optimism Collective is excited to announce the third round of RetroPGF. This fall, 30 million OP will be distributed to builders, creators, and educators who have provided positive impact to the Optimism Collective. If you want to get started building, head to our Ecosystem Contributions board to find a project.

Optimism is building an economy that empowers community members to be recognized and rewarded for their contributions to the Collective. These regular rounds of RetroPGF are key to growing Optimism’s economy, and eventually, to scaling the principle of “impact = profit” to the world.

Round 3 Details

RetroPGF 3 will distribute 30 million OP tokens to reward contributions that have supported the development and adoption of Optimism. Work may be nominated in four categories:

  • OP Stack: Work that enhanced the efficiency, security, resilience and awareness of the OP Stack

  • Collective Governance: Work that provided impact to governance participants of the Optimism Collective, or helped bring new governance participants into the Collective

  • Developer Ecosystem: Work that provided impact to application developers in the Optimism Collective, or helped bring new developers into the Collective.

  • End User Experience & Adoption: Work that provided impact to end users in the Optimism Collective, or helped bring new end users into the Collective

RetroPGF Round 3 project registration will open in the coming months and voting will take place in fall 2023.

To be eligible for funding in RetroPGF 3, get started building today! While RetroPGF rewards are ultimately determined by the badgeholder of the Citizens’ House, any type of contribution that fits in the categories above is eligible. Head to the Ecosystem Contributions page for suggestions on what to build that could possibly be funded.

Why we RetroPGF

RetroPGF Rounds 1 & 2 rewarded hundreds of public goods builders. For many RetroPGF recipients, the retroactive grant made a meaningful difference to the project’s future or the team’s commitment to the Optimism ecosystem:

"It’s had a huge impact. The potential for RetroPGF makes it easier to focus on providing maximal value without worrying as much about monetization. It’s also been a great motivation. Working on public goods for years with no reward can be demotivating.” - 0xKofi, Rollup Economics Dashboard

“RetroPGF has made it possible to work on public goods without needing to convince people to provide funding from the get go. Instead I am able to work on what I think will provide the most value and get rewarded if others agree.” - Rosco, Revoke.Cash

"We’re no longer seeking active monetization, at least while we have a decent runway from the grants. We are prioritizing other public goods companies more and are less concerned with having closed-sourced repos. Before this, we didn’t see a way around corporate culture.” - Aditya, JiffyScan

The Optimism Collective believes that building public goods should be profitable. RetroPGF is a fork of the market economy to support public goods – and we can already see that it’s working for many builders in the Collective.

RetroPGF is Optimism’s mechanism to support the creation of a truly free, open, and decentralized internet that returns value to the people who create and maintain it.

Execute, iterate, improve, repeat

RetroPGF will run frequently and continuously until it becomes the driving funding mechanism behind the entire Optimism Collective economy.

This is an iterative process. Each round is an opportunity to observe, learn, and iterate based on the successes and shortcomings of the previous round.

For a full breakdown of our learnings from RetroPGF 2, see the Learning & Reflections post.  Round 3 will improve upon Round 2 in the following key ways:

  • In Round 2, badgeholders had to develop their own frameworks for evaluating “impact.” Round 3 will introduce key success criteria for each project nomination category to help align badgeholders while still leaving room for interpretation, discussion, and more granular definition.

  • In Round 2, voting was high-friction due to low quality project information and poor voting UX. Round 3 will introduce (1) more structured project applications to gather better data, and (2) better voting UX through a custom-built voting application.

  • In Round 2, badgeholders had to review nearly 200 projects, many in areas outside their expertise. Round 3 will introduce a process for community-sourced recommendations and curation to allow badgeholders to both vote directly, and incorporate the research and expertise of the community.

How to get involved

There’s never been a better time to join the Optimism Collective:

  • If you’re a developer, check out the Ecosystem Contributions board for a range of ideas and projects to get started on. These may all be good candidates for RetroPGF funding!

  • If you're working on a project you believe is aligned with our Collective Intents, but need a grant to get started, you can find the guide to apply for a grant here.

  • If you’re a community builder, check out the NERD program (support, onboarding) or Ambassador program (marketing, business development).

  • If you want to choose your own adventure, go ahead! 195 projects and people were rewarded in RetroPGF 2 – check out this post for an overview of what was funded to get some ideas about how you can contribute.

Contributing to the Optimism Collective means you’re eligible for RetroPGF.

If you know a project or builder you think should be recognized for their impact in RetroPGF 3, hang tight! To be the first to know when RetroPGF project registration is live, sign up for Optimism’s RetroPGF Newsletter.

Until then, talk soon, and, as always, stay Optimistic! 🔴✨


What would a crypto announcement be without an NFT 😉? We teamed up with our friends at Decent to provide a free-to-mint open-edition artwork commemorating the launch of RetroPGF 3. Enjoy!

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