Arbitrum Research & Development Collective: Elections & Applications

Below is a joint ARDC application submitted by both @BlockworksResearch and @Delphi-Digital. You can find a link to the full application here.

Thanks @Immutablelawyer and the Axis Advisory team for leading this initiative!

Applicant Information

  • Name of Applicant & Applicant’s Representative [If Applicable]:
    • Blockworks Research
      • Applicants: MattOnChain, EffortCapital, Pibblez0x
    • Delphi Research
      • Applicants: Ashwath Balakrishnan, Jake, Gutz, Mo
  • Email Address:
  • Telegram Handle (if applicable):
    • Blockworks Research: effortcapital, hut4, pibblez0x, TriciaLin
    • Delphi Research: ashwathbk, deployed_0, Gutzman9816, momilio
  • LinkedIn Profile (if applicable):
  • Role being applied for: Research-Oriented Member

Background Information [Applicable to all]

Please provide a brief overview of your experience in the digital asset industry and, more specifically, Ethereum & Arbitrum Ecosystems. Include any relevant projects, contributions, or roles within the ArbitrumDAO, if applicable. (400 words max)

Blockworks Research

Blockworks Research is a team of analysts that delivers institutional-grade, data-driven research and analysis for L1s, L2s, DeFi, and gaming/consumer applications. Our team is well-known in the industry for producing high-quality, actionable research reports and data dashboards covering various topics, including extensive coverage of Arbitrum and Ethereum. The team is divided into protocol-specific coverage so that our analysts are experts in their respective niches.

We have authored reports such as Arbitrum vs Optimism, Arbitrum Stylus: The Dual VM, An Arbitrum Odyssey, Part 1: Bridge Week, Arbitrum Staking and the Search for Token Utility, Sequencers: The Key to The Rollup Investment Thesis, as well as reports covering many of the apps in the ecosystem such as GMX, Vertex, Radiant, and more. Additionally, we host a data dashboard covering all aspects of Arbitrum’s onchain data.

We actively contribute to the Arbitrum DAO, participating in community calls, discussions, and proposal evaluations. Our notable contributions include highlighting key points in AIP-1, developing resources like the original STIP spreadsheet, and authoring the original Arbitrum Coalition proposal. Our engagement and contributions to the Arbitrum DAO reflect our commitment to advancing the ecosystem through informed analysis and active participation.

Delphi Research

Delphi Digital is a research-driven firm comprising a global hivemind dedicated to making crypto happen sooner and better than without us. Through our six years of building, Delphi has become one of the most trusted brands in crypto. Our team consists of crypto’s finest researchers, economists, and developers. This pool of intellectual capital empowers us to help the industry’s most prominent builders, investors, and institutions make informed, strategic decisions.

Delphi Research is known for the depth of our research across all crypto sectors. We specialize in deep-dive, actionable analysis for our clients. We pride ourselves on separating signal from noise and ensuring members remain at the cutting edge of crypto markets, narratives, and technology.

Since inception, our team has delved deep into Ethereum and its burgeoning ecosystem. Our second report ever, Entering The Ethereum, walked through concerns we had with ETH 2.0’s security budget and ended up getting us connected to Vitalik and ETH 2.0’s core team to share our models before they pushed through a proposal a month later. In 2019, we were one of the first teams to begin covering Layer 2 scaling solutions. Throughout the years, other ecosystem report highlights include: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ethereum (which drew praise from Vitalik), The Complete Guide to Rollups, Arbitrum Nitro, and Reflecting on EthCC. Finally, we’ve written about Arbitrum ecosystem projects like GMX and Gains Network in GMX’s Success Spawns Competition, Examining the Design and Traction of GMX’s Hybrid DEX, and Gains Network Gains Ground.

Specify the subject-matter area(s) you are interested in contributing to within ARDC (e.g., Research, Framework Development, Risk Assessment, etc.). Explain why you believe your skills align with the chosen area(s). (500 words max)

We are interested in contributing to the ARDC through:

  • Governance proposal templates, reviews, and discussions
    • Will provide impartial data-driven research surrounding ongoing proposals to help delegates understand the context and competitive environments such that they can make more informed decisions. These reports may also be used as a tool for those writing proposals to improve their work.
  • Research
    • Objectively analyze and contribute to the design of new and existing mechanisms such as sequencers, fraud proofs, data availability solutions, and more.
    • Sustainable governance frameworks that allow the DAO to be agile while ensuring proper checks and balances across all key stakeholders
    • Retroactive analysis of passed initiatives to identify best practices as it relates to grant programs, treasury management, and initiatives like the Arbitrum Expansion and Developer Guild programs
  • Framework development
    • Create frameworks that measure requirements, expectations, and desirable outcomes for partnerships, grant programs, and other initiatives.
  • Project management
    • Proactively identify, execute, and monitor opportunities within the DAO.
    • Establish powers to hold Arbitrum incentive recipients accountable for their commitments.
    • Oversee and coordinate across work streams within the DAO, fostering a spirit of collaboration, decentralization, and efficiency.
  • Growth initiatives
    • Will produce content surrounding coalition activities. Blockworks Research’s podcast, 0xResearch, will feature a segment on a weekly basis throughout the coalition’s term that will discuss the latest updates in Arbitrum the protocol or governance. Additionally, Twitter threads and newsletter mentions will be regularly provided to attract more developers and users into the Arbitrum ecosystem.

Objectives & Motivation [Applicable to all]

What motivates you to join ARDC, and what do you hope to achieve as a member? (300 words max)

Blockworks Research

Our motivation to join the ARDC stems from a core belief: our success is intrinsically linked to the success of crypto. We are committed to contributing to Arbitrum’s success, recognizing it as a key player in the ecosystem. Our aim as an ARDC member is to empower the DAO with in-depth research, contributions, and analytical tools, enhancing its capacity for informed decision-making. As active participants in the DAO and initiators of the original proposal for the ARDC service, we seek to address a critical need in Arbitrum governance. Our goal is to facilitate better decision-making processes and stimulate professionalized proposals that drive the protocol’s advancement, ultimately contributing to Arbitrum’s and the wider Ethereum sector’s long-term growth and success.

Delphi Research

Delphi’s mission is to make crypto happen sooner and better than without us. Joining ARDC is a natural extension of our commitment to accelerating crypto. We recognize Arbitrum as a pivotal player in this landscape and are enthusiastic about aligning our goals with its success. Our admiration for the vibrant engagement and dynamic governance processes within the Arbitrum community has fueled our eagerness to contribute significantly. As ARDC members, we pledge to bring our extensive research, valuable insights, and proven experience to empower the DAO. In doing so, our objective is not only to actively participate in the DAO but to serve as strategic architects, guiding stakeholders through pivotal decisions. Our goal is to act as a true partner and expect the DAO to hold us to the same high standard we hold ourselves to.

Explain how you envision contributing to the primary mandate of ARDC, which is to provide objective assessment of ArbitrumDAO Forum proposals & discussions and expedite governance decision-making within the Arbitrum ecosystem. (300 words max)

Blockworks Research

Blockworks Research will allocate full-time commitment from its Research Analyst team and dedicate specific analysts whose expertise is tailored to the respective task/work order. By ensuring alignment with the specialized analyst and the task, we will provide the required technical coverage, including but not limited to in-depth research, analytical tools, and data insights to community members for the purpose of equipping delegates with the required knowledge to evaluate proposals holistically.

By offering tools and clear objective information Blockworks Research will streamline the decision-making process to enable delegates to reduce the repetitive or non-valuable time spent on due diligence across multiple information sources. Additionally, we are committed to elevating the professional standards of DAO operations: our contributions will not only be to enhance the quality of governance in the Arbitrum ecosystem but also help steward DAO operations and new ventures, merging best practices from both traditional and decentralized sectors.

Delphi Digital

Delphi will dedicate full-time researchers with relevant experience to this effort. These team members will have deep familiarity with Arbitrum, governance frameworks, and come prepared with ideas on how to propel the ecosystem forward. We are confident in delivering actionable insights to the ArbitrumDAO to promote robust debate and drive tangible results.

Delphi researchers have significant experience working closely with other ecosystems and projects and will lean on this to provide the DAO with valuable research, advice and support. We are committed to playing a role in governing the Arbitrum ecosystem and promoting its mission of scaling Ethereum and delivering credibly neutral technologies to the world.

Skills and Experience [Applicable to all]

Provide details about your relevant skills and experience, including any previous work or contributions related to the subject-matter area(s) you are interested in within ARDC. (300 words max)

Blockworks Research

Blockworks Research has a diverse and well-rounded team of analysts who previously worked across several verticals, including crypto investment funds, consulting and advisory firms, investment banking firms, SaaS companies, traditional hedge funds, and crypto infrastructure companies. Additionally, every analyst is aligned with the core belief that cryptocurrencies will transform multiple aspects of society, including finance, economics, technology and geopolitics. More specifically, the team has skills in onchain analysis, deep technical research, project management and an unparalleled understanding of blockchain data structures that enables Blockworks Research to craft data-driven stories with industry-leading dashboards.

Blockworks Research has a proven track record in Arbitrum governance, where we have been leading voices in community calls, discussions, and proposal evaluations. We led the dissenting opinion in AIP-1, created an extensive STIP tracker for all open Arbitrum Incentive Proposals, and authored the original Arbitrum Coalition proposal. Additionally, we have experience working with other active communities as a Research partner that performs analysis on monetary and fiscal policy and value capture mechanism design. The Blockworks Research team is equipped to streamline and strengthen Arbitrum governance, whether that be through communicating complex topics to decision-makers, project management, or weighing in on important decisions that dictate the future of the network, as demonstrated by our commitment and past body of work to Arbitrum.

Delphi Research

Since inception, Delphi has been on the forefront of virtually every vertical in crypto. We have diligently monitored Ethereum’s scaling solutions since the start and have a proven track record of delivering impactful and insightful research to the community. Our team is composed of subject matter experts who live and breathe their respective verticals. We bring vast depth of experience and passion for what we do. Having worked with other high-caliber DAOs (Aave, Lido, Synthetix, Gitcoin, and more), we are not afraid to voice our opinion and stand up for what we believe in. Our value-add comes from our deep expertise and willingness to dig in and solve problems alongside teams.

Our team looks forward to contributing thoughtful ideas on how best to scale Arbitrum’s community, address the challenges of the day, and maintain robust governance procedures. We believe our experience in communicating complex ideas, narratives, and technologies to our readers makes us well-suited to help the ARDC navigate its role as steward over the Arbitrum ecosystem.

Proposal Review & Assistance [Applicable to all]

Share what approach you would implement to conducting objective research and providing assistance to proposers to enhance their proposals. (300 words max)

Blockworks Research

Traditional DAO governance has fallen victim to inherent bias introduced via backdoor deals and private Telegram chats. To fix this, we will facilitate discussion with proposers in the Arbitrum forum and on community calls, empowering the community to gain an honest view of the motives of parties.

To streamline the operational efficiency of governance, all proposers will have the opportunity to workshop their proposals with the ARDC to concisely communicate goals, actions, and desired outcomes at the discretion of the DAO through the Advocate.

We will conduct due diligence on those submitting proposals, assessing:

  • Prior proposals and outcomes
  • Track record within other communities/ecosystems
  • Sentiment around the proposer among crypto-native communities
  • Technical prowess and alignment with the Arbitrum ecosystem
  • Disclosures of any conflicting interests or inherent bias, if present.

We will provide objective research around technical concepts when warranted:

  • A snapshot of the competitive landscape for proposed architecture and infrastructure integrations.
  • A data-driven analysis of different solutions within a vertical.
  • Deep conversations with teams behind technical proposals, assessing security, risks, and how objectives align with the broader DAO vision.
  • Disclosures of any conflicting interests or inherent bias, if present.

Delphi Research

Delphi’s approach to objective research is rooted in our commitment to delivering thorough, data-driven analysis and offering insights from first principles. Our analysts excel in providing in-depth and opinionated analysis while maintaining objectivity. This commitment extends to all our work for Arbitrum DAO.

Our dedication to enhancing proposals for Arbitrum DAO centers on understanding the DAO’s goals and aligning them with proposers’ submissions. Collaborating with Blockworks Research, we’ll develop a benchmark framework for evaluating all proposals. Leveraging our extensive experience and understanding of objectives, we ensure our assessments directly contribute to the DAO’s overarching goals. By providing strategic and objective insights, our aim is to play a pivotal role in enhancing the quality and success of proposals, aligning them seamlessly with the DAO’s vision.

Review on Chain Proposal Code Updates [Only applicable to Security]

Describe your experience in conducting code reviews and assessing security risks. How can you contribute to enhancing the security and integrity of the Arbitrum ecosystem? (500 words max)


Quantitative Assistance [Only applicable to Risk]

Explain how you can bring quantitative analysis skills to proposal evaluations and contribute to identifying and mitigating economic risks associated with proposed initiatives. (500 words max)


Research Initiatives [Only applicable to Research]

Describe your experience conducting research-oriented initiatives within the digital asset industry, more specifically, research re. the Arbitrum-specific tech-stack. Explain how your previous experience can translate to an added value contribution to the ARDC & the ArbitrumDAO. (500 words max)

Blockworks Research

Blockworks Research authored four technical research reports about Arbitrum over the past year, including an analysis of the Arbitrum staking proposal, a comprehensive comparison of Arbitrum vs Optimism, a deep dive on Arbitrum Stylus, and an analysis of how sequencers function and fit within the rollup ecosystem. These reports demonstrate our team’s deep understanding of Arbitrum and the broader L2 ecosystem, including analyses of technical concepts, such as BOLD, Orbit, time boost, sequencers, proposers, upgradeability, licensing, forced inclusion, and more. This experience positions Blockworks Research as a leading voice to further Arbitrum research, where complex upgrades and decisions on the tech stack are not easy. Blockworks Research has the ability to dissect complex topics and explain them in simple terms, which will be incredibly valuable in governance decisions around concepts like fraud proofs, sequencer design, etc. We acknowledge that sometimes a report does not fully encapsulate the knowledge needed to make a decision, so we are excited to host whiteboard sessions and broader research calls where the community can discuss and truly understand complex topics as needed.

Further, research around different programs, such as the STIP/LTIP and Arbitrum Expansion and Developer Guild will be a major priority, as the DAO needs further insight into the effectiveness of such programs. Through these, the ARDC will encourage accountability in spending and foster a democratic approach to Arbitrum’s growth strategy.

Delphi Research

Delphi Research’s engagement with the Ethereum ecosystem dates back to the early days of our company. Over the years, we have diligently observed and analyzed the developments within the Ethereum ecosystem, producing definitive reports on various subjects, ranging from Ethereum’s rollup-centric roadmap to the ongoing L2 wars.

Our team possesses an in-depth understanding of the current landscape of the EVM and has authored numerous reports that shed light on the evolving dynamics of the ecosystem. Our extensive experience uniquely positions Delphi to guide discussions and influence decision-making processes related to intricate upgrades and strategic decisions.

Our expertise becomes especially valuable when considering the Arbitrum-specific tech-stack, specifically focusing on critical areas such as sequencer selection/rotation and bridge upgradability. Critically important is conveying these complex ideas & solutions in simple language. We firmly believe that our well-established track record of delivering clear and actionable insights will significantly contribute to shaping the direction of the Arbitrum DAO.

Project Management [Applicable to all]

Describe your project management experience. (250 words max)

Blockworks Research

Our team has extensive project management experience in both the crypto and traditional world. Effortcapital, one of our Research Analysts, has over seven years of project and program management experience working across cross-functional teams in the energy industry where he spearheaded multiple $100M+ construction programs. EffortCapital also led the project management function for the Cosmos Hub’s tokenomics grant where three teams, including Blockworks Research, performed mechanism design and governance research for the community over the span of a quarter. Additionally, 0xPibblez is on the Uniswap Accountability Committee where he manages Uniswap deployments on various chains and ecosystem alignment.

Delphi Research

Delphi brings substantial project management expertise to the table, cultivated over several years of steering multiple client engagements concurrently. Our experience ranges from navigating the intricacies of DAOs to providing strategic token advisory and diverse consulting services for protocols. Notable DAO collaborations include Aave, Lido, Axie Infinity, Synthetix, and Gitcoin. Rooted in years of traditional finance and consulting experience at institutions like Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank, and Deloitte, Delphi emphasizes precision in task execution and transparent communication. We firmly believe that effective communication and early trust-building are instrumental in project success. Through our engagements, our analysts aim to become extensions of the teams they are working with and are able to adapt to the client organization’s preferred working style. In partnering with ARDC, our aim is to leverage this experience to establish a solid foundation for success.

Purpose/Mandate of the ARDC [Applicable to all]

How do you intend to objectively contribute to achieving the purposes/mandate of the ARDC? (500 words max)

Blockworks Research

Please see our responses in sections “Objectives & Motivation” and “Proposal Review & Assistance.”

Delphi Digital

Please see our responses in sections “Objectives & Motivation” and “Proposal Review & Assistance.”

Additional Contributions [Applicable to all]

How can you contribute to the creation and enhancement of tools for security assessment, the development of educational materials, research into new mechanisms, delegate engagement, and growth initiatives, as outlined in ARDC’s objectives? (500 words max)

Blockworks Research

Blockworks Research will review best practices across other decentralized communities across the crypto space, and tap into our strong network, to gauge how to enhance delegate engagement, including looking into delegate incentive programs. Blockworks will also leverage our Research, Twitter, and Podcast platforms to produce content surrounding coalition activities to inform our wide audience base of Arbitrum’s growth story to hopefully onboard new developers and users. Additionally, as outlined above, we will continue to review the competitive landscape of sequencer mechanism and governance design to ensure a sustainable and fair Arbitrum ecosystem. A good example is looking into Optimism’s “Law of Chains”, Retroactive Public Goods Funding campaigns, and its bicameral governance structure to take best practices and lessons learned and create a better system for Arbitrum.

Delphi Research

Delphi Research is committed to playing a pivotal role in establishing best practices and success metrics in decentralized ecosystems. To achieve this, we will conduct an exhaustive review of other community governance procedures, drawing upon our industry experience to discern best practices and areas that need improvement. Our aim is to facilitate the coordination of decentralized ecosystems effectively.

In addition, we recognize the importance of community engagement and growth within the Arbitrum ecosystem. Leveraging our extensive network, we will explore avenues for fostering growth, connecting with key stakeholders, and enhancing community engagement. By tapping into our network, we aim to gain valuable insights into how the Arbitrum ecosystem can expand and effectively involve a broader community.

Education is a key pillar of our strategy, and we will utilize our research, as well as our platforms on Twitter and the Delphi Podcast, to disseminate valuable information. Delphi has a track record of hosting prominent figures in the blockchain space on the podcast, including the Arbitrum team on several occasions. In November, we hosted Steven Goldfeder and Ed Felten in A 2014 Classroom Idea to The $10B Scaling Technology Arbitrum, ZK Technology Flaws and Interactive Fraud Proofs where we dove deep into Arbitrum’s technology.

Scope of Services & Applicable Fees [Detailed breakdown of fees including pricing model for the 6-month term] [Applicable to all except DAOAdvocate] [Must not exceed applicable cap]. Please provide a detailed breakdown of the scope of services through which you will be contributing. Include the pricing model implemented & a description of expected hours + hourly rate (if applicable) & manpower dedicated to the ARDC.

Blockworks Research and Delphi Digital will collaborate to commit full-time coverage throughout the 6-month term. We envision this being the beginning of a long-term commitment where both firms are instrumental in helping to create a DAO playbook that serves as a guide for the successful operations of other DAOs and ensures the sustainable growth of the Arbitrum ecosystem. Our proposed fee for these services is $960k, structured as follows:

  • 25% upfront ($240k) upon the passing of the AIP.
  • The remaining amount will be divided into five equal payments of $144k each, dispersed on the first of each month, starting in the second month.

As of February 11th, the total fee is approximately 74% of the total Research-member allocation of 665,000 ARB (~$1.3M). In the event the DAO determines the completed services by Blockworks Research and Delphi Digital have exceeded expectations, and there are still excess funds remaining from the Research-member allocation, we propose an additional 20% performance bonus that would be subject to a vote at the discretion of the DAO.

Summary [Applicable to all]

In summary, please highlight your key qualifications and what you believe you can bring to ARDC. (400 words max)

Blockworks Research

Established in 2022, Blockworks Research’s mission is to increase the credibility and quality of research and access to data in the digital asset industry. We currently work towards the broader adoption of crypto assets and positive change in the digital asset industry through multiple product lines. Blockworks’ strength in reach and distribution will be largely additive to the growth and awareness of Arbitrum.

Over the past two years, Blockworks Research has built a reputation for being a leading source of truth for deep technical, protocol-specific research. Our crypto-native analysts are regularly engaging with crypto communities, which has also enabled us to establish ironclad relationships and trust with the strongest teams in crypto that are working on cutting-edge technology, enabling us to tap into a broader network of advisors and consultants in support of Arbitrum’s growth.

Most importantly, Blockworks Research’s deep commitment to informed decision-making, unbiased governance, and the growth of the Arbitrum ecosystem (as demonstrated by the four Arbitrium technical research reports we published about Arbitrum in 2023, the comprehensive Arbitrum Incentive Proposal Summary and Tracker document linked below, and broader advocacy for the DAO governance) demonstrates our appropriate fit and qualifications to successfully execute the required framework development, project management, growth initiatives, and construction/execution of governance proposal templates, reviews, and discussions.

Our team’s experience is comprehensive and diverse, spanning project management, technology investing, fundamental and macro/thematic research, valuation, data analysis, management consulting, and computer science. We may additionally appropriately staff our team to ensure sufficient coverage to enable delivery excellence full-time, including the hiring of three additional Research Analysts as needed to ensure the success of the ARDC.

Delphi Digital

Delphi Research is a member of the Delphi Digital family, a group of separate companies sharing the same brand and vision. The Delphi Digital family has grown and matured multifold since its inception. Delphi Research was born in 2018 as a firm focused on producing institutional-grade research. Delphi Ventures launched in 2020 and operates as an independent venture capital firm that invests in world-changing founders. Delphi Labs was established in 2021 as an incubator and launchpad for projects building in the blockchain and digital asset space. We are a research-driven firm comprising a global hivemind dedicated to making crypto happen sooner and better than without us.

Delphi Research is known for the depth of our research across all crypto sectors, and delivers our analysis to the industry’s most prominent builders, investors and institutions, helping them make informed, strategic decisions. We achieve success by combining the perspectives of researchers, builders, and investors. From inception our primary moat has been attracting the best talent in crypto to our teams and understanding the crucial role of possessing a deep understanding of all verticals and niches within crypto. The industry’s highly flexible and composable mechanisms makes this breadth & depth of knowledge non-negotiable. Our years of living and breathing the space 24/7 enables us to help save countless hours for the teams we work with.

Since the early days of our company, our team has closely followed the evolution of Ethereum, growing alongside the broader ecosystem. Our journey has been marked by a commitment to in-depth analysis of Ethereum and its scaling solutions, evident by our early coverage beginning in 2019. Subsequent updates and other ecosystem reports have consistently offered valuable insights to readers, underscoring our dedication to understanding the design, traction, and success within Ethereum. Delphi’s mission has always been to make crypto happen better and faster than it would without us, and we believe supporting Arbitrum is one of the highest-leverage opportunities to drive crypto forward. Leveraging our deep expertise in Arbitrum’s current construction and its technical tradeoffs positions us to ensure the success of our coalition.

We commit to serving as objective and candid partners in this relationship, bringing the same unwavering determination, passion, and expertise to ARDC that defines our approach to research and client engagements. As dedicated collaborators, our commitment to ARDC extends beyond expertise; it’s a personal investment in the success, ensuring a collaborative partnership that exceeds expectations.

Feel free to attach any relevant documents, portfolios, or links to previous work or contributions.

Blockworks Research

Proposal: Arbitrum Coalition (October 2023)

Proposal Summary and Tracker

ARB Airdrop Tracker

L2 Sector Dashboard

STIP Tracker Twitter Shoutout

Delphi Digital

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ethereum

The Complete Guide to Rollups

The Year Ahead for Infrastructure 2023

DeFi Year Ahead 2024

Examining the Design and Traction of GMX’s Hybrid DEX

Gains Network Gains Ground

Reflecting on EthCC