[Grant Proposal] Join Blender Development Fund


Since last November we have been having dank discussions how to build an open metaverse together with other builders in the space. We’re also now seeing a spike in interest for 3D NFTs, which I predict will keep trending.

We have an opportunity to both fund crucial open metaverse infrastructure and foster a relationship with millions of designers and industry folks on values we share like community ownership and freedom.

Use of funds

Grant size: 135k
Beneficiary address: Donations — blender.org

Costs for corporate patron based on 2/19 RARI price of $8.01:
~17,000 RARI per year (120k euro)
~11,426,275 RARI in Treasury atm (~$200M)

Make a one-time donation to the Blender Foundation fund to for RaribleDAO to join as a corporate patron member. In return we will get the RaribleDAO logo next to the likes of Google, Steam, Adobe, Microsoft, Activision, etc plus benefits:

  • Transparency. Members will get frequent reports about expenses, supported activities,
    scheduled activities and roadmaps.
  • Board contact. Members will get a contact person assigned within the Blender Foundation
    board for feedback on management level. The member will assign a person within its own
    organization as the Blender Foundation board contact person.
  • Developer Liaison. Members get a Blender developer liaison for development topics
    assigned. The member will assign one person within its own organization as the developer’s
    contact person. The liaison’s role is only for communication or to help connect with the
    blender(.)org developer community. A liaison will not take part in Members projects.

For many new participants in crypto, buying a NFT and making it your pfp has been a social signal about conviction on the rise of digital ownership and crypto culture.

I see the crypto industry building the data layer that the 3D industry (AR/VR/movies/games) visualizes, especially over the course of this decade when a pair of glasses will revolutionize interfaces the way smartphones did.

DAOs funding public goods outside of the crypto ecosystem such as Blender can act as a similar bridge of positive alliance towards the millions of creators making 3D content.

We could really use that positive alliance bridge because lately there’s been some toxic attitudes from the games industry towards what we’re building in web3.

Team Members

Blender currently employs 26 full time employees, and 12 freelancers remotely. To compare with the proprietary software alternatives, the most popular game engine Unity has over 5000 employees and Autodesk has over 11k.

Why should Rarible DAO fund this?

  1. We care about the long term vision of building a decentralized open metaverse
  2. It’s time for big moves on better supporting the fast growing 3D NFT ecosystem
  3. Excellent follow-up after partnering with launching VR marketplaces with oncyber

“A rising tide lifts all boats”

1. Interoperability

Over the past 3 months we have been co-hosting a weekly Twitter spaces to discuss aspects of building an open metaverse together. Interoperability was a major topic of discussion, and Blender was brought up many times as an indispensible tool that’s open source and solves many of the challenges for converting assets to use across many virtual worlds.

There’s also many talented 3D artists on Rarible and in the cryptoart scene already. Many of us are using different tools, and often mint things as a 2D render. It sometimes feels like the art is trapped behind a glass box waiting to break out when 3D is trapped in 2D.

If we want to make our creations more immersive and interactive in virtual worlds or AR we’d all stand to benefit from Blender becoming more powerful and user friendly to help us with converting our projects to mint as 3D files.

2. Timing is right now

Much of the huge spike in 3D NFTs is coming from users on the oncyber platform and RTFKTstudios growing Space Pod ecosystem community, can check out @SpacePodCurated on Twitter

People are making and selling incredible skins and decorations for their home spaces. Interest to learn Blender together has grown so fast that they made a separate discord for all the people interested.

Recently oncyber added a feature to purchase NFTs directly on their 3D platform via Rarible protocol. Soon more people will be visiting these 3D galleries buying 3D NFTs for their home spaces which Rarible isn’t fully prepared for yet.

Watch magic will happen as VR marketplaces, excellent Blender i/o support, and 3D model viewers in the marketplace all come online together powered by Rarible protocol. This proposal can light the fire to upgrade other parts of our systems ahead of time so that a “summer of 3D” may commence.

3. Foundations for freedom

Couple months ago Decentraland had announced patron level support for funding Blender development. The Metaversal newsletter by Bankless did a good coverage of it, and said this on why it matters:

"This Decentraland donation is good for multiple reasons. First off, the support will help Blender further support its developers and creators, which is great in and of itself.

Then in a political and pragmatic sense, open metaverse projects will absolutely need to lean on and increasingly support open tools if they’re to offer real foils to centralized “closed gardens” like Meta. Open tools will be the foundations of our metaversal freedoms, and we must take care to foster them.

Also, sometimes in life the big power move is to put your money where your mouth is, and Decentraland just did this in a big way with regard to the open metaverse. Their donation to Blender is a beacon and rallying cry to all other crypto-native VR projects, i.e. let’s go big when it comes to the big picture!" (Source: Decentraland backs Blender - Metaversal)

This is our chance to double down as an industry to prove that such a move wasn’t just a single party trick, and that web3 is serious about supporting open tools that serve as foundations of our freedom in the metaverse.

Blender is GPL licensed, ensuring that the code will be free as a public good for all time. It protects the developer and user community from malicious patents, hostile forks, lock-down attempts, bait-and-switch-to-closed. Other software that is GPL licensed include the Linux kernel and wordpress.

Blender is the most popular open source 3D content-creation program. In 2020 alone there were 14M downloads. The subreddit has almost 500k members and there have been over 100 books published covering Blender.

Imagine the logos of Rarible DAO and Decentraland standing shoulder to shoulder above Steam (which recently banned crypto) and Google (which centralized much of the web).

It’s necessary to foster a more positive relationship with wider industry folks in order to grow since there’s been a lot of pushback against NFTs lately. Public support for the #1 open tool that millions of content creators use for building, optimizing, and converting avatars and worlds is something we can all appreciate. It’s wagmi energy of the best kind.

Interesting but why Blender or only Blender?

There have been many great reasons listed in this article: Decentraland backs Blender - Metaversal

Blender is the #1 open tool for 3D creation and has good benefits for joining the development fund, it will make a powerful statement as an industry to double down on our support alongside DCL DAO which became a patron a couple months ago. It’s what most people are using when creating or preparing 3D assets for VR galleries like oncyber also, which Rarible has recently integrated with.

We’ve had months of discussions together about building the open metaverse and Blender’s usefulness was a recurring topic / tool in many of them. There are other projects, and perhaps we can sponsor some kinda buildathon or match donations