During the 4th Governance call, I brought up the fact that the Arbitrum Foundation is in contact with strategic partners who are interested in obtaining a licence to utilise the Arbitrum technology stack as a layer-2 solution.
It is the right time to initiate a discussion on the most suitable approach on granting licences to strategic partners.
To facilitate this discussion, we have scheduled two community calls for this week at the following times:
We have three main goals for the above calls:
Understand the community’s sentiments regarding the issuance of licences.
Determine if there should be any specific conditions attached to these licences.
Establish a score-based system and a set of criteria that needs to be met before a licence can be granted.
Additionally, it is important to highlight a short term and medium term roadmap that we should consider in all discussions.
In the short term, the Arbitrum Foundation is hoping to issue licences to strategic partners who can meet a set of predefined criteria and agree to adhere to conditions that benefit the wider Arbitrum ecosystem. This process will allow us to work with partners who align with the community’s objectives.
Looking ahead in the medium term, the Arbitrum Foundation plans to assess the feasibility of creating an ecosystem licence. This licence would grant any project the opportunity to utilise the Arbitrum technology stack, on the condition that they adhere to the specified licence conditions.
The primary aim is to foster a thriving ecosystem for the Arbitrum DAO and ensure that all forks of the Arbitrum technology stack will contribute to the overall growth and success of the Arbitrum ecosystem.
The Arbitrum technology stack has a Business Source Licence:
- Offchain Labs remains the licence owner.
- The Arbitrum DAO has the right to issue a licence to new projects.
- The Arbitrum Foundation can request Offchain Labs or the Arbitrum DAO to issue a licence on its behalf.
Additionally, the Arbitrum Constitution specifies how the Arbitrum DAO can decide the governance model for the newly approved chain:
- ArbitrumDAO-governed chains: The Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova chains and any additional chains authorised by the ArbitrumDAO
- Governed Chains: Any ArbitrumDAO-approved chains that are governed by the $ARB token
- Non-Governed Chains: Any ArbitrumDAO-approved chains that are not governed by the $ARB token
It is important to clarify that the Arbitrum technology stack can be freely forked by anyone, given that they deploy it on top of either Arbitrum One or Arbitrum Nova. These deployments, known as ‘Arbitrum Orbit’ chains, are in line with the layer-3 roadmap.
We have engaged privately with a number of delegates on the topic of the Arbitrum Foundation issuing licences to strategic partnerships.
So far, most of the feedback has been positive. The main comments can be summarised as the following:
The strategic partnership should offer something back to the community. This may be development resources, ability to onboard millions of new users, or to share a portion of their revenue back to the Arbitrum DAO.
It appears to be a strategic blunder that the Arbitrum Foundation or Offchain Labs have not already issued a licence to large strategic partners to use the Arbitrum software stack. This dithering may actually be harming the Arbitrum ecosystem.
The DAO should have an opportunity to provide its feedback before the Foundation begins issuing licences to strategic partnerships.
We have not had any feedback that the Arbitrum Foundation should not issue a licence for the Arbitrum technology stack to strategic partners. It has mostly focused on the criteria for doing so, conditions that should be attached to it and allowing the DAO to give its initial input on that process.
As mentioned, we have arranged two governance calls to talk with the Arbitrum DAO and the community about how the Arbitrum Foundation may begin issuing licences to strategic partners.
We invite community members to:
- Comment on this thread with your thoughts,
- Join the two community calls,
All discussion should be focused on whether the Arbitrum Foundation should issue licences to strategic partners, and if so, the short-term and medium-term goals for how we may reduce the friction for projects to deploy an instance of the Arbitrum Technology stack while ensuring they remain aligned with the wider Arbitrum ecosystem.