Grant Proposal: The Blockchain Scholars Book

Grant ID: 8687acqu7

Summary:

The idea for the book is: Feature, in easy-to-understand language, summaries of top academic publications in the field, written by the original authors to improve understanding of opportunities and risks related to blockchain.

I have proposed to zoom in on three particular themes:

  1. Crypto-economics,
  2. Privacy, and
  3. Web3.

If the publisher agrees to proceed, I am planning to create a sponsorship opportunity for each theme.

I am wondering if the Graph would be interested in sponsoring the Web3 theme?

I would of course thank the Graph for the support on page one of the theme/section and also mention you in all social media posts related to the book.

I am looking for a modest amount of USD 20k to:

  • compensate the circa 25 top scholars for taking the time to write the summaries of their works

  • build a small marketing budget to complement sales efforts of the publisher for maximum distribution of the book

  • cover some of my (editorial) expenses related to the book

I have read and agree to the privacy policy:
true

Describe what your project does or is aiming to do in 50 characters or less:
I am proposing an a book, an edited volume with works by top academic scholars, written for practitioners to drive global adoption of blockchain

How far along are you?:
I am getting the publisher’s contract.

Scholars from Columbia, Durham, Rotman and others have already agreed to contribute

I have an initial structure for the book and a list of additional scholars I want to invite

Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you’re making?:
I have started the Blockckchain Scholars Podcast following the same model - I strongly believe that education of busy decision makers amongst the practitioner community is critical.

What’s new about what you’re making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn’t exist yet (or they don’t know about it)?:
I do not think such educational resource exists today. Most content is either very opinion based and potentially misleading to decision makers or too complicated and hard to digest - I am merging best of both worlds

What’s your vision for how your project will impact The Graph and/or web3?:
I hope that with this book project and the podcast I can help those who need to make the decisions to adopt web3 in a big way and make it ubiquitous understand opportunities and risks better.

How will you measure success?:
The first step is to get the publisher’s support. I will not ask for your support if that doesn’t come through. But I am very confident.

Then I need to gather support from the top25 scholars I need to create the book - their approval also is a partial success.

Then there is Book sales of course.

Also visibility online / on social media.

Citations of individual articles will also act as a success proxy

What milestones will you achieve in the coming weeks/months, with or without the grant?:
I am planning to get scholars support by 22nd Feb.

I hope to have the publisher’s support by mid Mar.

I want to complete the manuscript by end of the year.

Please select who you think will benefit from your project?:
Other

How much funding are you looking for? (USD):
20000

Provide a breakdown of your requested funding:

  • compensate the circa 25 top scholars for taking the time to write the summaries of their works (7k)

  • build a small marketing budget to complement sales efforts of the publisher for maximum distribution of the book (8k)

  • cover some of my (editorial) expenses related to the book (5k)

Have you applied for (or already received) funding from somewhere else?:
Yes

If yes, please describe where you’ve received funding from and how much you have, or will, receive:
I have not requested or received yet (you’re the first entity I am approaching) but I will look for two additional sponsors for the Privacy and the Cryptoeconomics theme.

Can you share any information about current/past web3 experience?:
I am adding my Bio here for your reference:

Daniel (Dan) is a half-german/half-Argentinian “pracademic” based in Asia. Academia first: He is an Affiliate Faculty Member at Singapore Management University, teaching Cryptography, Blockchain & Digital Assets, and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) courses. Previously, he was a visiting professor at IE Business School in Spain, where he received the Teaching Excellence Award. His research investigates blockchain in the context of financial markets and has been published in various academic journals. “Security Token Offerings” is the most cited paper on the topic globally. He is also the Associate Editor-In-Chief of World Scientific’s “Annual Review of Fintech” journal. Having been a practitioner first, Dan, now, at 45, is completing his PhD in Finance at Erasmus University in 2024 and holds Master’s degrees in Innovation (SMU) and Finance (IE). As a practitioner, he is the Founder of Lightbulb Capital in Hong Kong and Singapore and the CIO of the Modular Blockchain Fund at Modular Asset Management. Previously, Dan was COO of HSBC Securities in Singapore. He also worked for UBS in Germany and the UK, Barclays Capital Singapore and Tokyo, and Close Brothers in Frankfurt, his hometown. Daniel has spoken at some of the world’s most significant events in the field, including Messari Mainnet in New York, Singapore’s Fintech Festival, Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative, and Spain’s Mobile World Congress.

Why are you interested in contributing to The Graph and/or web3?:
Because I am convinced that without a thorough understanding by non-crypto-native entities and their decision makers global use of Web3 will remain utopic - and I don’t like that idea.

Are you applying as a team or individual?:
Individual

What type of grant are you pursuing?:
Project (one-off)

Please select the category your project best fits into:
Education




Primary Community Poll

Do you fundamentally support this grant application, knowing that the final scope and grant amount may differ from the requested proposal?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters




Grant Committee Vote

Do you recommend this grant to the DAO?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Thank you for your application. I would like additional clarity on a few questions:

  • How does this project directly benefit The Graph and its community? Do you have any examples or scenarios where the book could directly contribute to The Graph’s ecosystem, beyond general web3 education?
  • How do you plan to measure the book’s success in terms of distribution and impact, beyond sales and online visibility?
  • How will you secure additional sponsors for the Privacy and Crypto-economics themes? What if additional funding is not secured?
  • What personal contributions (financial or time investment) are you making to this project?
  • What made you choose The Graph for potential sponsorship over other projects?
1 Like

Thank you for your application.

  1. How will you measure the success of your project?
  2. Could you provide further justification for the allocation of funds, particularly regarding the breakdown of expenses outlined in your request?
1 Like

Let me answer each of your valid questions below:

How will you measure the success of your project?

Success comes in different forms:

  • I will quantitatively look at book sales, citations, how many universities will add it to the library, and so on.
  • But I will also look out for qualitative data. Imagine a decision maker in a large corporation who reads the book and decides to use The Graph going forward and at scale.
  • If the press picked up the book release, that could also be a success indicator.
  • I will also actively ensure the media picks up the book release. I also plan to appear on other podcasts and talk about the book and the sponsors.

Could you provide further justification for the allocation of funds, particularly regarding the breakdown of expenses outlined in your request?

The sponsorship opportunity comes as outlined in the original proposal:

  • compensate the circa 25 top scholars for taking the time to write the summaries of their works (7k)
  • build a small marketing budget to complement sales efforts of the publisher for maximum distribution of the book (8k)
  • cover some of my (editorial) expenses related to the book (5k)

Regarding the expenses, writing a book and organizing an edited volume like this involves a lot of project management and stakeholder engagement, as you can imagine. The project would start immediately after all approvals are available and end by end of Dec 2024.

How does this project directly benefit The Graph and its community? Do you have any examples or scenarios where the book could directly contribute to The Graph’s ecosystem, beyond general web3 education?

I believe The Graph’s adoption is low, and the ecosystem is still tiny. That said, it could be much, much larger than it is today. With the book, I want to contribute to that.

Examples that could assist with adoption:

  • (Under)graduate students learn about The Graph at University and decide to become regular users
  • Corporate executives like the idea of The Graph and engage, either as end-users or ecosystem partners, lending additional credibility to the ecosystem.
  • Entrepreneurs read it and see the benefits of The Graph to access blockchain data and build their data-related products on the platform.

How do you plan to measure the book’s success in terms of distribution and impact, beyond sales and online visibility?

I tried to answer this when I answered the other question above about success factors. I hope that the answer satisfies you. If not, please let me know and I can aim to expand more into the area you are interested in?

How will you secure additional sponsors for the Privacy and Crypto-economics themes? What if additional funding is not secured?

I will use my network to raise the additional funding required. I have already started conversations with parties for the other segments and am confident I can close these out. If the additional funding is not secured, I can not proceed with the book project.

What personal contributions (financial or time investment) are you making to this project?

I commit to:

  • Securing the publisher contract
  • Organizing submissions of 25 scholars over a year-long period
  • Writing the introductory chapter of the book
  • Writing the concluding chapter of the book
  • Supporting sales in my courses at University and online, prominently featuring the sponsors and thanking them.

What made you choose The Graph for potential sponsorship over other projects?

I started exploring native blockchain data for academic research purposes. I found that many so-called Web3 projects do not have utility, or the use case is not very apparent. I can empathize with why The Graph is a platform worth using. That is the real reason why I would want you on board.

Thank you for this application.

I would like to know because you are requesting DAO founds:

1.- Type of book
2.- Do you have the book index already prepared?
3.- Do you have the bibliography to be used?
4.- Mention that you would write the introductory chapter and the conclusion chapter. Does this imply that you would be the director or coordinator of the collective book? Who would be in charge of the rest of the book? Who selects the rest of the participants?
5.- Do you plan to sell the book?
6.- Who holds the copyright of the book? and how do you plan to distribute the profits in case of sale?

Thank you

Thank you for your questions, Lorena.

Let me answer your questions 1by1:

1.- Type of book

This book will be an edited volume.

2.- Do you have the book index already prepared?

The broad structure is (the exact contributions from individual scholars are to be confirmed):

  • Foreword (likely by a prominent TradFi person)
  • Introduction (I will write this with my co-editor, who is a Professor in the Netherlands)
  • Theme 1 intro (I will write this)
  • Theme 2 submissions
  • Theme 2 intro (My co-editor will write this)
  • Theme 2 submissions
  • Theme 3 intro (I will write this)
  • Theme 3 submissions
  • Conclusion ((I will write this with my co-editor, who is a Professor in the Netherlands)

3.- Do you have the bibliography to be used?

  • We do not have this ready, but we have checked with some of the most prominent scholars in the field, and they have agreed in principle to submit already - which is very cool. We will cite other works in the book as usual.

4.- Mention that you would write the introductory chapter and the conclusion chapter. Does this imply that you would be the director or coordinator of the collective book? Who would be in charge of the rest of the book? Who selects the rest of the participants?

5.- Do you plan to sell the book?

  • A well-known publisher will publish the book. We have interest from several of them. We hope that this gets the maximum visibility, also for the theme-sponsors

6.- Who holds the copyright of the book? and how do you plan to distribute the profits in case of sale?

  • The publisher will hold it, and distribution is planned to be through bookstores, amazon, audible, etc.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Kind regards,

Dan